GMO’s: How do they effect our bodies and our environment?

 

Video credit: TabithaDurrant

Genetically modified foods are everywhere. Technology has come so far that we can now design our ideal foods. Genetic modification is when the DNA of the crops we eat are changed in attempts of resistance against pathogens, herbicides and pesticides. Other benefits include additional nutrition and more crops being produced.

I reached out to Greenpeace, who were unable to give me a direct quote, but gave me permission to use their GM campaign in support of the article. The campaign suggests that using GMO crops isn’t what is right for the general public because we need to know what it is we are putting inside our bodies. Much isn’t known about the process of genetically altering the DNA of these crops.

As we don’t know exactly how they are made, nor do we know for certain what it means to modify crops, should we really be putting them into our bodies?

As they are in nearly everything, especially processed foods, it is difficult to avoid them. But, if you do want to avoid them, try going for organic fruits and vegetables and anything with a GMO free label.

But this may not help you entirely. Even the livestock we eat can be affected by these crops. Farmers feed their livestock genetically modified feed because, simply, it is cheaper. But when the livestock end up on our plates or on the shelves at your local supermarket, there is no way to tell which beef joint was fed genetically modified grain and which was not. So, in any case you could be consuming GM foods without actually knowing.

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Image credit: TabithaDurrant

GM foods are not the only thing that is wrong with the food industry though. If we look at what we are putting into our bodies, we need to look at what types of foods we eat as well. Not eating genetically modified foods won’t be effective to your health if you carry on eating non-healthy foods.

In defence of GM products, they have a longer shelf life, which essentially can reduce the amount of food we, as a collective, throw away. Think about how much food your household throws away and whether these are genetically modified foods.

Even so, these crops can be designed to produce the maximum amount of nutrients and vitamins that we need to survive. This is revolutionary, because it can (if used properly) end world famine. But is that really an excuse to change the DNA of food that has served us well for so long?

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Image credit: TabithaDurrant

Well… yes and no. The world’s population has increased massively since mass farming began and now in 2018 farmers can’t keep up, especially if they are faced with bad weather and crops don’t make harvest. Genetically modified crops can fix this. They are able to protect themselves from bugs, germs and weather because their DNA has been adapted to do just this.

GMO’s are suspected to cause food allergies, of which there is an increasing number of people who suffer from them; wheat, eggs, milk, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds. Though it is uncertain that genetically modified food actually causes these allergies, most of these food products have had their DNA altered, which kind of puts them hand-in-hand.

It isn’t just our food we need to think about and how it affects our bodies. What about our environment? Are genetically modified organisms good for the Earth and its wildlife?

Well, it is common knowledge that the pollen in these crops is vastly different from plants that are not altered in any way. It is supposedly far down inside the plant so it is not picked up in a wind transfer, however Prince Charles made an excellent comment, “can you govern how far a bee flies?”

No, no you cannot.

Monsanto were unavailable for comment when I reached out to them. The company has facilities in 69 different countries and contribute to the use of GM crops. Monsanto encourage the use of these crops on the basis that they can be more efficient in feeding the masses.

Genetically modifying crops can be harmful to the earth but it can be very beneficial, especially to humans. I mean, now that we have over populated the earth and are running out of food, we need this food-based revolution so we have enough for everyone.

Is the unknown as scary as we think it is or should we continue to allow the modification of our food?

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Image credit: TabithaDurrant

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