GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are a complex and complicated topic, and they’re surrounded by much debate. On one side of the argument, we have health advocates speaking out against the corporatization of food sources. On the other side, we have scientists and researchers who claim that GMO food will solve the problems of world hunger.
What Are GMOs?
By definition, GMOs (also known as GE, or genetically engineered) are plants or animals created through gene splicing techniques of biotechnology, as a way of merging DNA from different species.
GMOs have been developed and marketed because of perceived advantage to producers and consumers of food, including lower price, greater benefit, and more volume.
In the past 20 years, GMO ingredients have been commonly found in processed foods (packaged or canned) on grocery store shelves. In fact, some sources say that 80% of the food in your local supermarket contain GMO products.
The most common local crops of GMO foods in Canada are varieties of corn, soya, sugar beets and canola. This explains why GMOs are so prevalent in processed foods – glucose-fructose, a sweetener made of cornstarch, turns up in boxed desserts, canned fruits, baked goods, breakfast cereals and condiments, such as ketchup, jams and jellies.
GMOs and Your Health
By all accounts, nobody has died or gotten ill from GMO food. Yet they’ve only been around since the early 90s, so some think that it may still be too early to tell. The World Health Organization notes that the health debate around GMOs surrounds issues of the potentials to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer from GMO foods to cells of the body, and the migration of GMO plants and seeds into conventional crops.
The current scientific consensus is that GMO foods are safe to eat. But it’s possible that we just don’t know enough about them.
If you care about your health and the health of your family, it’s best to avoid GMO foods and focus on organic whole foods. There’s no doubt about the positive impact of whole foods.
For the GMO conundrum, here’s what you can do:
- Assume that all processed food in the grocery store contains GMOs and limit your consumption of packaged and canned food.
- Look for certified organic labels – GMOs are prohibited in organic products. Non-GMO Project, an awareness-building and educational resource, is working towards mandatory labeling of all GMO-free foods.
ViraOne: Proudly GMO-free
There are no GMOs in ViraOne stuff. We have a head start, by not including any “high risk” crops like soy, corn or canola in our health mix. As well, our Good Stuff is certified organic, so you can rest assured that there are no GMOs.
We go to a lot of effort to source organic chaga mushrooms and cacao, along with wildcrafted lucuma, so it would feel contradictory to include genetically engineered food in the mix.
Our mission is to do good, be good and feel good. We’re just not convinced that GMOs are good for us. There are too many questions around the benefits of GMOs for the health of people and the planet.
Featured image by Anthony Albright via Flickr.