The Skinny on GMO Foods

GMO Foods are all the buzz these days.

What are they?
How do they affect us?
Why do we care?

Photo - The Skinny on GMO Foods - Genetic Engineering Concept image by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.netGMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms.  They’re also known as Genetically Engineered (GE) along with a few other terms.

The premise behind artificially altering the genes of plants, animals and soil bacteria is to help agricultural crops to resist pests, be less affected by drought, grow and ripen faster and produce more crops for the effort.  GMO’s are also being used in pharmaceutical production.

There are a lot of compelling reasons being presented to support the idea.  If genetically altered crops were to contain higher amounts of certain nutrients, the argument goes, then think of all the good GMO foods could do.  Maybe rice could contain more vitamin A to aid vision health, particularly in fighting blindness in children who live in nutritionally-challenged, less-developed countries.  And how about cancer-fighting foods, like broccoli, being able to fight cancer even better?

Who doesn’t want these things?!

The percentage of GMO foods is increasing rapidly.   Proponents seem to want us to believe this is a natural evolution.  But we’re not talking about cross-pollination the way nature does it.  Or even taking cuttings from one fruit tree (for instance) and grafting it onto another fruit tree (for instance).  We’re talking about huge, commercial laboratories (cough cough Monsanto cough cough) artificially forcing foreign genes into the genes of plants and animals.  Forcefully breaching the barriers that naturally occur between species. Including plants and animals that end up in our kitchens and restaurants.

To this, I used to say, “So, what?” Continue reading “The Skinny on GMO Foods”