What Is A GMO?

What Is A GMO?

GMO stands for genetically modified organism. It is any organism which has had its genetic material modified by genetic engineering. It can include yeast, bacteria, insects, fish, plants, and mammals. The most common use of GMO technology, at least in the United States, is in genetically modified foods and crops. For example, many seed manufacturers, have introduced various genetic modifications designed to enhance disease resistance, pest resistance, or drought resistance. The crops grown from these seeds and foods made from those crops are considered GMOs. The prevalence, purpose and effect of GMOs in our food supply has recently become the subject of much debate.

How prevalent are GMOs?

In the United States, 86 percent of corn, 93 percent of soybeans, and 95 percent of sugar beets planted come from genetically modified organisms. Those are just three of the largest crops. Several other foods see increasing amounts of GMO production. Many ingredients used in modern processed foods contain one more of these GMO crops.

What is the purpose of GMOs?

The ultimate goal of genetically modified organisms is to make life easier. It helps to keep crops healthier and to produce higher yields. GMOs can increase the nutritional value of certain crops, making them more beneficial to countries with particular nutritional deficits.

What are the effects of GMOs?

The effects of GMOs are a constant source of debate between those that support them and those that do not. However, some environmental and medical studies are showing they are not as healthy as the supporters will tell you they are. Genetically modified foods can leave material behind in the human body. Genetically modified corn has been shown to leave behind toxic insecticide even after it has been digested. Milk from cows treated with genetically modified bovine growth hormones has higher levels of 1GF-1, which has been linked with cancer. It is almost impossible to keep GMO DNA out of the environment. Pollen from GMO crops has snuck its way into organic and non-GMO crops, which contaminates its gene pool. The organic and non-GMO farmers must constantly monitor their crops to prevent contamination.

What are the social attitudes about GMOs?

Social attitudes regarding the use of GMOs run the gamut.  Many people just do not realize the extent and propagation of GMOs in the American diet. They are oblivious to its effects and long-term consequences. Some people recognize the problem of GMOs, but have no idea of how to handle it. Others have taken up the fight to bring labeling to products that contain GMOs or to ban them altogether. Unfortunately, even the most basic labeling requirements are met with strong resistance by the GMO manufacturers.

How can you avoid GMOs?

One option is to avoid the most common GMO crops completely. The top five GMO crops are corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, and sugar beets. However, even a non-organic product in the U.S. can list sugar as one of its ingredients. But be aware that it is likely a mixture of cane sugar and sugar beets, one of the most genetically modified crops in America today. Many dairy products contain artificial hormones, a genetically modified organism. Fortunately, there is good news in the push against GMOs. A growing number of farmers and food manufacturers realize there is a market for certified non-GMO products. DK Organics offers hand-made non-GMO nutritious cookies that also taste great. Read About Us to learn more or give us a call at (806) 239-7808.  You can check out all of our delicious varieties on our Products page.