You may not have heard of what a genetically modified organism (or popularly known as GMO) means, but it is actually everywhere. From the food that you eat and even the clothes that you wear, GMOs are alive and kicking. GMOs are a highly controversial topic in science for a number of reasons –specifically how they affect our health.
It is important that you are onboard in this discussion because it can affect your daily living.
Read on further to know why.
What exactly is a GMO?
Genetically modified organisms refers to any living organism that has been altered genetically to acquire certain characteristics that weren’t present on their default state. It can range from plants, animals, food, and other life forms. To put things in a clearer context, let us take food as an example. GM foods tend to have longer shelf lives and can be resistant against factors that may contribute to their spoilage like insects and weeds.
It is a scientific breakthrough that is aimed to help improve the living conditions of humans but as it is a relatively progressive field, it is still filled with controversies and inconsistencies. Common criticisms of GMOs point out to its legalities, and most importantly, its adverse effects to human health.
Which leads us to the next question…
How can GMOs be bad for our health?
There are numerous studies that can attest to the negative effects of GM food to our body. One research published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology has attested that these GMO-derived products can help in the proliferation of kidney and liver damage as well as other fatal illnesses.
Another study from the Environmental Sciences Europe journal tested the effects of GMOs among mammals by feeding at least 19 cows and other mammals with genetically altered soybeans within 90 days. After the allotted period, it has been observed that damages in their internal organs such as the kidney and the liver reached to alarming rates of at least 30-45%. This means that within a month and a half’s time, almost half of your organs may be in critical condition with the intervention of GMOs in your diet.
In addition, medical website Dr. Oz has reported that in the United States, at least 8 percent of its food products that are consumed on a daily basis contain GMOs. Another controversy coupled with this is the fact that the country’s agriculture department did not issue orders on labeling what foods contain GMO from those that aren’t.
You could probably be eating GMOs as we speak.
Should I be alarmed? What are my alternatives?
In understanding the science behind GMOs, it is important to keep an open mind. This scientific breakthrough is intended to harbor positive effects to humankind and as mentioned earlier, it is still undergoing revisions and improvements to finally perfect it. With the intelligence of the human mind, we are surely positive that we’d reach a point where GMOs can be integrated into our daily lives seamlessly.
However, if you are still skeptic about GMOs, here are some alternative tips that you can engage on:
- Avoid foods that are usually genetically modified like corn, soya bean, and canola oil.
- Go organic. There are organic markets and stores popping up around your neighborhood and you can get your naturally grown produce from there without worrying about GMOs.
- If you have the skills and resources, start your own fruit and vegetable garden. Though it can’t possibly replace all the GMO food products that you use, an all-natural garden salad would be a great start, right?
- Read up on GMO-related articles. By being up-to-date with the developments in the said field, you are equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge to help you discern whether GMOs are something that you should totally avoid or if it is worth giving a try.
Do you know any other valuable information about GMOs that you think is worth sharing? Join us in our discussion by posting a comment below.