Top 10 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), introduced into our food supply in the mid-1990s, are one of history’s most dangerous and radical dietary changes. These largely unregulated GMO ingredients are in 60-70% of the foods in the US, but it’s well worth making the effort to avoid them.
1. Resistant Weeds
Food crops grown from genetically modified seeds can affect the weeds that grow in the same area. Weeds can access the modified genes which make the crops resistant, and after some years the weeds themselves can become resistant. This will mean more chemicals needed, which can affect the safety of the food crops when consumed. Higher chemicals can mean food which should not be eaten.
2. Higher Levels of Plant Estrogens
Glyphosate, which is applied to make crops resistant to weeds, causes higher plant estrogen levels. Estrogen affects all mammals, including humans, and children are very susceptible to higher estrogen levels, which can be dangerous and pose long term health risks.
3. Unknown Toxins
Genetically altering seeds and foods can pose unknown risks of toxins and allergens that have never been present before. This was seen with an L-tryptophan supplement produced in 1989. This supplement caused the death of thirty seven people and affected more than fifteen hundred more. The bacteria used was altered genetically, resulting in a new and toxic amino acid never found in this supplement before.
4. Risk of Negative Interactions
With genetically modified foods, there is always a risk of interactions or reactions that have never been seen. This can be an interaction between two different foods with modified genes or between the genes in the food and certain medications. There is not enough evidence because these crops and foods have not been in use long enough, and new varieties are frequently being produced.
5. No Long Term Research
Genetically modified foods have not had long term research done, and very little short term information. The government approved the use of these foods in the food chain under the assumption that the risks were the same as the unmodified plants, and this was a big mistake. The genetic modification done on the plants can have a dramatic effect on the risks and safety concerns, and there is no long term risk information available to determine if these foods have long term risks.
6. Genetically Modified Food Is Not Labeled
One of the biggest dangers with genetically modified foods is that there is no labeling requirements. These foods make up one fourth of the food supply in the United States, and is in more foods than you may think. Without labeling it is impossible to know which foods have higher risks so that you can avoid them and protect the health of your family.
7. Unknown Genetic Effect on Humans
There is no way to tell if genetically modified foods can have an effect on the genetics of people. At first it was believed by scientists and researchers that the modified genes were destroyed during the digestion process, but recently modified food genes have been found in the brains of some infant mice. This can be very dangerous in infants and children, and poses unknown risks for anyone who eats these foods.
8. Higher Fat Content in Some Foods
When genetically modified food crops are fed to animals, the result can be unexpected. When genetically altered soybeans were used as part of the diet for dairy cows, the resulting milk had higher percentages of fat in it. This factor shows that the genetically modified foods should not be considered just as safe as the traditional food.
9. Insect Resistance
Foods which are genetically altered to minimize the need for pesticides can actually cause an increase in chemical use over time and produce insects which become resistant to commonly used pesticides. This can create insect problems that can threaten the food supply and result in food shortages.
10. The Little Information Currently Available Is Skewed
The small amount of information available about genetically modified foods is skewed and not accurate at times. When the application for Roundup Ready genetically modified soybeans was completed for market approval of the soybeans, the information in the application was based on the safety level and compound concentration levels of traditional soybeans and not from testing on the genetically modified version.