Wow – I think I’ve done a stellar job avoiding this topic. Ha! It’s been a “hot topic” for several years now and I receive many questions about it when I do seminars, etc. and also via the my facebook pagee. Basically, I’ve avoided it because no matter what I say… someone is going to get heated and mad at me. I just know it. People go nuts over it!
However, I think it’s time that we have a frank, open and honest discussion about GMO foods. For those of you who aren’t aware, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. There are certain crops grown in the US that have been modified genetically.
Basically, there are a lot of people who fear GMO foods. People have their own reasons, but I think many are afraid of them because they don’t understand the process. Making decisions based on fear is not usually what I recommend. Rather, I would encourage you to make a decision based on facts, information and your own preferences.
Remember that to educate yourself, you need to go to a reliable source. There are plenty of really LOUD and POPULAR people on TV, internet, radio, etc. but they are not necessarily experts. Read my post here about knowing if someone is a nutrition expert: Are They A Quack? Nutrition Information: Who to Trust. Bottom Line – you can’t trust what Food Babe says about GMO’s.
Here is a great pamphlet from The Center for Scince in the Public Interest called “Straight Talk on Genetically Engineered Foods: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.” It is well worth your read if you want to be informed on the current information regarding GMO foods. It was written in 2012 so the information is pretty current.
Here are some key excerpts that I thought were interesting. FYI – GE (genetically engineered) and GMO are used interchangeably:
- “Although most soybeans and field corn are genetically engineered, the harvest from those crops goes primarily to feeding animals. Some GE corn and soybeans, however, do get used for human food products. Most field corn is used to produce high-fructose corn syrup and corn oil.”
- “Although Americans consume thousands of foods with ingredients derived from genetically engineered crops daily, our diets actually expose us to very little of the engineered gene or their protein products.”
- “There is no evidence at all that the current GE foods pose any risk to humans.”
- “The FDA does not have clear legal authority to formally approve GE crops before they are commercialized. The FDA regulates GE food and feed crops through a voluntary notification process rather than a mandatory pre-market approval process.”
- “To date, there is no evidence that anyone eating food made from a GE crop grown in the United States has had an allergic reaction.”
Should I Be Concerned?
Stay tuned for my next post on what aspects of GMO Foods you will want to keep an eye on and when you might prefer to choose ‘organic’, which is the only way to be sure a product does not have GMO’s in them.
Until then… know that you do NOT need to freak out about eating GMO foods!!
Ironically your post made me worry more since there is no regulation! Hopefully those scientists know what they are doing!
Julie Lanford MPH, RD, CSO, LDN says
I hear you! It can be so overwhelming to try to figure out all the regulations, science, evidence, who is affliated with who, who has conflicts of interest, etc. I honestly believe that the core is eating fruits and veggies and plenty of plants. Whether they are GMO or not is a lesser issue. But if it causes you stress, eat organic. No need to spend too much time or mind energy stressing over it. 🙂