What's the Real Deal with GMOs?
"In most developed countries... GMOs have been banned or placed under strict regulations. That should raise a huge red flag."
We hear more and more about GMOs every day. But is what they say about them really true? Should we worry about GMOs? Should we avoid all GMOs? And if so, how do we do that?
Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD holistic nutritionist explains why there is so much controversy around genetically modified food (GMOs). And since 70% of what Americans eat today contains GMOs, the information you’ll learn today is critical to your health and the health of you family.
- 2:42: What is a GMO?
- 4:30: GMO application
- 9:59: The top 10 most genetically modified crops available in the US today
- 14:44: Pros and Cons of GMOs
- 17:17: A dangerous chemical called glyphosate is used on most GMO products
- 18:44: American's exposure to glyphosate has increased by 500% since GMOs were introduced
- 19:46: Health issues and chronic illnesses caused by GMOs
- 24:46: Tips for avoiding GMOs
- 30:49: Wrap up
What is a GMO?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory, through a process known as genetic engineering.
When we hear the term GMO, we tend to think of crops of corn, grains, and vegetables. However, GMOs pertains to any plants, animals or microorganisms that have been genetically engineered. Most GMO engineering has to do with helping the farm industry use more pesticides and artificially increase farm yields. These GMOs have been engineered to withstand increased applications of herbicides and to produce an insecticide which helps commercial farmers increase the amount of crops they grow and sell.
In addition to genetically modifying the plants to withstand greater amounts of herbicides and pesticides, as technology continues to advance, genetic engineers continue to develop new uses and applications, including new technologies that are now being used to artificially develop other traits in plants, such as modifying an apple so it doesn’t turn brown after it is cut.
Another application of GMO technology is to modify potatoes so that no matter how much you beat them they don’t bruise. This is an attempt to make them last longer for storage and transportation. All of these modifications have earned the GMO the name of Frankenfood. These are foods that are not natural but instead created in a science lab. Interestingly, it is not possible to genetically engineer water or salt.
Top 10 most genetically modified crops available in the US today
Research shows that the top 10 most genetically modified crops available in the US today are:
- Soy Beans
- Sugar beets
In the list above, soybeans are considered the highest consumed genetically modified food in the United States today at 90%. This is closely followed by corn at 88%.
Soybeans, corn, and sugar beets are used to mass produce most of the processed foods on the market today. They are also made into feed for factory farmed animals: farmed fish, cows, pigs, chicken, and farm-raised salmon. GMOs are everywhere. Scientists are now genetically engineering yeast which will be used in wine as well.
In the US, GMO foods do not have to be labeled. Consumers probably eat GMO foods every day, especially when they eat foods such as cheese, soda, bread, beer, dairy, eggs, meat, and corn.
Pros and Cons of GMOs
The first genetically modified organism was bacteria, created in 1972. Over the years, scientists have now progressed to modifying medicine. They use the bacteria which are easy to clone, for treating diabetes. They also create bacteria to help the body to clot and to mimic human growth hormones. Beyond that, they also go outside of medicine and produce alternative biofuels. So there are definitely some positives to genetically modified engineering.
Some of the pros of GMOs include:
- Medicinal use
- Insect and disease resistance
- Drought tolerance
- More nutritionally dense foods and products
- Making foods last longer
- Reducing waste
- Improving the growing and manufacturing of crops
However, there are some real health concerns when it comes to GMOs and most of them have to do with an extreme toxic pesticide/herbicide called glyphosate, also referred to as Roundup. This is a really dangerous pesticide/herbicide produced by Omega Multinational Chemical Company called Monsato.
In the United States alone today, GMO organisms and products make up close to 80% of the foods that we consume. So you’re probably eating it every day. Most foods that contain GMOs are processed foods. This is one of the major reasons we recommend staying away from processed foods.
A 2017 study found that Americans' exposure to glyphosate has increased by approximately 500% since Roundup GMO products were introduced in the US in 1996. In most developed countries including France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Canada, GMOs have been banned or placed under strict regulations. That should raise a huge red flag in the U.S. Why are GMOs allowed in the US but in 50 to 60 countries around the world they are banned? These countries have done the research and they know that GMOs contribute to chronic illness and to a lot of different negative health benefits.
After the introduction of GMOs, we have seen a significant increase in the occurrence of chronic illnesses and health issues, such as:
- Food allergies, like celiac and gluten intolerance
- Antibiotic resistance
- Heart disease
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Thyroid issues
- Metabolic conditions
- Depression and anxiety
Although much more research has to be done and conducted to directly link GMOs to these conditions, we already know that these conditions have been linked to the increased use of glyphosate and Roundup. When you look at any type of research studies or articles, you have to look at who is writing them and who is funding them. There are two types of people who conduct GMO research; anti-GMO activists who are advocating against its use, and then those on the other side, who swear by science that GMOs do not do any harm to us. On both sides, it can be difficult to get past the agenda and understand the facts.
However, we have seen research out there that directly links genetically modified organisms to higher increased rates of chronic illness. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of all genetically modified crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result of this, the use of toxic herbicides such as Roundup has increased 15 fold, or 500%, since GMOs were first introduced.
So we do recommend avoiding GMOs whenever you can, specifically because GMOs products are loaded with potentially toxic and harmful chemicals and pesticides. We know that many insecticides and pesticides are toxic and contribute to chronic inflammation and a host of other health conditions in your body. These are all directly absorbed into your cells, your tissues, and your organs, potentially making you sick.
You need to protect yourself as much as possible. Education is a number one priority, and if you know that your body has a lot of these different chronic illnesses and you are constantly inflamed, then it’s necessary to be able to shield yourself from all of these toxins. One of the best ways to do so is to take your Smarter Curcumin every day. It will best protect your insides from inflammation and make you feel good.
Tips for avoiding GMOs
Avoiding GMOs can be very tricky. Unlike Europe which requires GMO food products to be labeled as such, the United States does not require GMOs to declare themselves on the label. This makes it difficult, as you don’t really know what you’re buying and/or eating, and whether it contains GMO or not. Fortunately, there are several tips for avoiding GMOs:
- Buy certified organic products. These are products that are not allowed to contain any GMOs. Therefore, when you purchase products labeled 100% organic, or made with organic ingredients, all of these ingredients in these products are not allowed to be produced from genetically engineered ingredients.
- Avoid processed foods. Processed foods are highly likely to contain GMO products. Remember that 90% of processed foods contain GMO products made from GMO ingredients. Studies indicate that 80 to 90% of all these processed foods contain the GMOs and this is because the most common GMO is soy, canola, sugar beets, and corn; they’re all added as fillers and ingredients in these processed foods. Whenever you run across commonly list ingredients like amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, sodium acerbate, flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, more than likely, all these things contain GMOs. Processed foods are a big no no. Avoid them as much as you can.
- Look for non-GMO labels. Companies are not required to tell you that their products are made from GMOs, but many companies will label their products as non-GMO. Some labels state non-GMO while others spell out “made without genetically modified ingredients.” So when you’re out shopping, look for the non-GMO product label or seal, which is blue, green, and white in color.
- Shop locally. Whatever your diet—vegan, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian—it’s a good idea to shop locally. Farmer’s markets and co-ops often feature foods from local growers who do not use GMOs in their animal feed. Most local farmers are very anti-GMO. Please check out your local farmer’s markets or co-ops in your town.
- Grow your own food. Years ago, gardens were popular in backyards all across the United States and then they disappeared. Now they are back, and urban gardening is hip and trendy. People living in New York City have gardens on their rooftops, and little containers on window sills. You can grow your own favorite veggies, but make sure that you use GMO-free seeds. The seeds should be labeled as GMO-free. It’s a really great way to control what you’re eating and what you’re growing.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms that are more resistant to insecticides, grow faster, need less water, and are disease resistant. Since GMOs have been around for only about 20 or 30 years, there isn’t enough clinically backed research for us to know how safe they are. However, one thing is for sure; the amount of herbicides and pesticides used to grow GMO crops, especially Roundup, has increased dramatically since GMOs were created and used, and consumption of pesticides and herbicides and other harmful toxins and chemicals used on GMO crops have been linked unmistakably to increased incidences of cancer and inflammation, heart disease, thyroid issues, food allergies, autoimmune diseases, respiratory issues, and a host of other serious issues.
While the U.S. doesn’t require products to be labeled as GMO, many companies now label their products as non-GMO. We recommend that you try to avoid GMO products, including processed foods, as we now know that close to 90% of all processed foods, unless labeled otherwise, are genetically modified. You can ensure that you are not exposing yourself to the harmful chemicals associated with GMO by eating organically. We also recommend looking for products that are verified as non-GMO. Shop for fruits, vegetables and meats, at your local farmer’s market and co-ops or even start a small garden.
GMOs are one of those issues that people feel very strongly about, depending on where their foundation is, and for years to come we’re going to be arguing about it. You can see them as a way of providing food to the growing population, a way of making money at the expense of people’s health, or you can see them as something very dangerous and detrimental to your health. There are so many sides of the argument. As always, we encourage you to educate yourself about anything and everything that you put into your body and the bodies of your family and loved ones.