What are GMO’s

Hazel Noe    Healthy Living

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms come from plants, animals or other organisms that are genetically modified. This means that through genetic engineering scientists alter their genetic makeup in a laboratory process. In plain words, scientists force the genes from one organisms’ DNA into the genes of another organisms’ DNA. Additionally, this DNA can come from either a plant, animal or a different organism.

This process brings forth unnatural genetic reactions that would not exist had it never been done in a lab. Therefore, GMOs are unstable and can be considered an extreme case of crossbreeding. Due to the process of gene transfer, GMOs are also known as transgenic organisms. The genetic engineering that takes place to create these organisms can be between animals, plants, bacteria, insects, humans and even viruses.

The process of genetic engineering was developed in the 70’s. Although, the first genetically modified organism wasn’t created until the early 90’s. GMOs are not specifically labeled as safe, but can be found in most food and products across the world.

Where do GMOs come from?

Realistically, they have been around for thousands of years. Farmers and animal-owners have been crossbreeding for a very long time to improve their crops, meats and food. The labs came into the picture during the early 70’s when scientists discovered a way to slice a piece of DNA from an organism and insert it into the DNA of another organism. This was done by Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen via biotechnology. It was towards the later 70’s when genetic engineering and biotechnology became commercialized and further tested.

The first genetically engineered food was a tomato in the 90’s. This tomato contained the genes of an arctic fish, which allowed the tomatoes to be frozen for long periods of time. Later, companies began creating GMO tomatoes that allowed them to last longer and resist harmful bacteria. GMOs come from genetically modifies organisms that have been manmade. They are practically impossible to be created by nature, solely.




How do GMOs affect you?

While the FDA has approved and legalized consumers’ use of GMOs, they are not technically safe. Of course, the FDA labeled GMOs as safe for human consumption, even though there is no proof that it won’t harm the body. Then again, no one really knows the impact of GMOs on our bodies due to them being fairly new, just over 20 years old.

While GMOs aren’t vastly known to be safe or harmful, they are directly related to altering metabolism, inflammation as well as kidney and liver malfunction. Through animal testing, there have been cases of animals losing the ability to reproduce after a couple generations have passed. Therefore, this shows the genetically modified organisms link to infertility.

Those with food or plant allergies have appropriate concerns regarding allergens being present in a product that would normally not contain it. For this reason, to avoid cross contamination, doctors continue to state that consumers need to take certain measures. This is especially relevant since the outcome of genetically modified organisms is never 100% predictable. Some even suspect these scientists may introduce a brand new allergen into the world with GMOs.

Additional Tips

It is safer to simply avoid them altogether, especially since our limited knowledge of how GMOs harm the body. While GMOs are vastly populating the common world, it’s important to take safety measures into your own hands. While GMOs have only been around for over 20 years, the long term effects are still a mystery to us. Take the safe route and consider converting to an organic lifestyle.

Check out the Non-GMO Project for shopping tips and finding foods that have not been genetically modified or start your own organic garden today!