Those who support GMO (genetically modified organisms, also sometimes referred to as genetically engineered or genetically altered) site its potential to increase crop harvest by making food larger, and by making crops bear fruit faster.
Unfortunately, this is not the main tweak to genetically altered food. Genetically modified to withstand pesticides and herbicides, crops like corn and soy are built to interact (or, rather, not interact) with strong herbicides such as Roundup.
The key ingredient in herbicides like Roundup, glyphosate, has long been thought of as having a short lifespan, and therefore a minimum impact on the environment. It is supposed to work by impairing weeds’ immune systems (genetically modified foods are made to be immune to its effects), and then by getting neutralized in the soil or broken up by microbes.
Studies have recently come to light showing that glyphosate is present in the soil long after its use, and that it is having an impact on the microorganisms and pathogens in the soil. Although more research is needed, some has already been done (although no mainstream news outlet will touch bad news about GMO foods).
It seems that GMO crops are becoming ill when there is no other reason, causing crops of soy and corn to suddenly die, while their genetically natural neighbors do fine. Tied to this are the recent reports of livestock who are suffering from infertility and miscarriagesâ€”scientists have tested the accused organism (possibly a superbug of tomorrow) and tied it to both the ill plants and the affected livestock.
There’s reason to believe that whatever is affecting these plants and animals would also affect humans, although there are no reports making the connection (yet).
To avoid GMO foods look for organic labels, and avoid processed foods that use corn or soy as ingredients. If there is a superbug out there causing plant disease and animal infertility, strengthening the immune system can help balance against its contamination in our foods (GMO foods are notoriously dominant and easy to spread).
Take actionâ€”post your opinion below, and let your local news, government representatives, etc. know how you feel about GMO foods.