- GMO plants are not killed by the application of herbicides; they are herbicide resistant
- GMO plants release their own insecticides, which means the farmer does not have to apply insecticide (and that the consumer can’t wash it off!)
Some research has shown GMO modified plants to increase risk for cancer in rats (at an astounding rate). But, the truth is, we currently do not know all of the risks and long term effects associated with GMOs. They could also have potential effects on the environment since they have the ability to cross-pollinate with natural (non-GMO) organisms. Once these organisms’ modified DNA gets into the environment through bee cross-pollination and the wind, they will be impossible to stop.
It’s not very easy to avoid GMOs since our country is not yet labeling GMO products. But here’s a few tips to help you avoid consuming GMO products.
Best Ways to Avoid Consuming GMOs:
- Look for Organic: Organic means no GMOs! It is especially important to buy these 8 crops organic: Corn, Soybeans (edamame), Canola, Cottonseed, Sugar Beets, Hawaiian Papaya, and Zucchini and Yellow Squash. These are the only 8 produce items are the ones that currently GMO. Although, I believe potatoes are on the horizon.
- Check for Non-GMO Project verified labels: These products have been rigorously tested for the presence of GMOs. I search for this label when buying anything that is shelf-stable or when buying non-organic meats.
- Buy GMO Free Dairy: Look for labels stating no rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones. Otherwise, the cows have been injected with genetically modified growth hormones. Buying organic dairy is still your best best, however, as the hormone free cows may still have been given a GMO feed.
- Buy Organic Meats: Animals eat soy, corn and alfalfa that can be grown from GMO seed, so the best thing to do is buy organic meats.
- Buy Wild Caught Seafood: Most fish feed contains corn or soy, which are typically GMO crops. Farmed fish from Europe is less likely to have been fed GMOs as GMO feed is less prevalent in Europe. But, to avoid GMOs all together, go with wild-caught seafood.
- Consider additives: The most prevalent GMOs of corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets end up as additives in packaged food (corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents, thickeners, etc). Choose organic or non-GMO labeled foods to be sure items your purchases are GMO free. FYI, in North America, “sugar” as an ingredient (and NOT pure cane sugar) list is most certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets. The most practical way to avoid GMO in packaged food is to buy organic or Non-GMO verified foods.
- Go for grains, beans, nuts, and seeds: As long as you stay away from corn and soybeans, eating these are a great way to avoid GMOs.
- Go local! Check into a local CSA or nearby farmer. They often carry organic, non-GMO produce, even though they may not have gone through the rigorous process of being labeled USDA organic. Many small farmers believe in organic and sustainable practices as being a way to care for themselves and the environment.