Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October in Non-GMO Month

Jennifer Koslo, PhD, RD, CSSD, CPT
FT Faculty
School of Health Sciences

October is non-GMO month (genetically modified organisms),and in case you aren’t familiar with the ramifications of GMO’s in our food supply then now is a great opportunity to become informed. I for one avoid GMO’s if I possibly can. Well let me back up. Non-GMO month was created by the Non-GMO Project in 2010 as a platform for raising awareness on the GMO issue. And in less you have taken a nutrition class recently (and I happen to teach several), you may or may not be aware of the pros and cons of GMOs. There are some great movies you can watch on the subject like The Future of Food (which you can watch for free online and Food, Inc. (which you have to rent) but I will try to sum it up in a nutshell.

GMO’s are created through gene splicing techniques (biotechnology, genetic engineering or GE), which is an extremely precise way of plucking out just a desired gene or two from one organism and inserting it into another organism. It is light years more precise than traditional cross-breeding which takes the good with the bad when species are crossed. 

While there are some pros to this such as disease and pest resistant in plants, there are an awful lot of cons and quite frankly a dearth of long-term studies on their safety. I could go on for hours about the ramifications and the lack of testing and so on but you can watch the movies I suggested and visit the Non-GMO project site to read more. Actually here is a link to a good article

So what is the Non-GMO project all about? “It is a non-profit multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO projects, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices”. Foods that are Non-GMO certified contain a stamp that looks like this:

Currently in the US products that contain GMO’s are not labeled so unless a consumer purchases 100% organic foods there may be ingredients that have been altered through biotechnology. The beauty of this project is that you can easily identify foods that have no GMOs even if they aren’t 100% organic. All you have to do is look for the seal.

I encourage you to become informed on GMO’s so you can make informed purchasing decisions and make your voice heard with your purchasing dollar.


Anonymous said...

Great Stuff, thank you so much.

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