We have made so many advancements in the world of genetics in the past few years that we are now capable of creating living organisms as we see fit.
This is where the term GMOs comes in. Do you know what GMOs are and how are GMOs made? Find out below.
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What Are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms, shortened as GMOs, are living organisms that have had their genetic material altered in a laboratory by means of genetic engineering. This means that by introducing different plant, animal, bacteria and virus genes, scientists create organisms that cannot be developed through traditional crossbreeding methods.
GMOs are mostly engineered to produce insecticides or withstand the direct exposure to herbicide. Furthermore, new technologies are also being used for developing peculiar traits in plants like resistance to browning in apples, and creating new living organisms through synthetic biology.
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What Are The Concerns Regarding GMOs?
The critics make a strong case for the potential health effects and environmental concerns related to GMOs. While one of the alleged benefits of GMOs is that they result in the less use of herbicides, overreliance on them has led to the emergence of super weeds that are highly resistant to herbicides as well. This, in turn, requires extra spraying and brings us back to zero.
In addition to that, the extensive use of GMOs has also resulted in the emergence of super bugs that can also be terminated with toxic poisons like 2,4-D, an ingredient of Agent Orange which was used by the US military during the Vietnam War.
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Are GMOs Safe?
Critics also argue that genetically engineering food affects its nutritional value and also creates allergens and toxins that can lead to severe health issues. However, several agencies, including Food and Drug Administration better known as the FDA dispute these allegations and claim that GMOs are safe. However, since there have been no credible independent long-term studies, the actual effect that GMOs have on our bodies is still unknown.
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What Foods Contain GMOs?
The substantial part of corn, soy, canola and sugar beet that are used to derive ingredients for most packaged foods grown in North America is modified through genetic engineering. Since genetically engineered ingredients are also extensively used in animal feed, the critics of GMOs also consider livestock, aquaculture and apiculture products to be at high risk. This includes products like milk, eggs, meat, seafood and honey. GMOs also become a part of our food as processed food derivatives.
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How To Know If You Are Using GMOs?
About 64 countries in the world, which include Japan, Australia and all the nations in the European Union, legally require genetically food to be labeled. Despite the fact that more than 90 percent people in the US want genetically modified food to be labeled, there are no laws regarding the same. So is the case in its Northern neighbor, Canada.
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So, do you now know what GMOs are and how they are affecting your body and environment? Do you think GMOs are good for you? Tell us through your comments below. We would love to hear what you have to say.
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