I wanted to swipe some excerpts from an e-mail I received from Stonyfield Farms (here is the full post)
"The term genetically engineered (GE, or sometimes GMO – genetically modified organism) refers to a plant or animal that has been altered through the insertion of genetic material from another species, creating something that wouldn’t ever occur in nature. Genetically engineered ingredients are already in 60-70% of all non-organic processed foods, but most people don’t know this because companies aren’t required to disclose when their products were produced with GE ingredients."
Last month's Women's Health article, "Frankenfish and the World of Genetically Modified Food", shed increasingly scary stats and current trends.
"But now the concern that these genetically manipulated foodstuffs are harming human health is growing. Inserting a gene into a plant's genome is a random and haphazard process that allows no control over where the gene actually ends up in the plant's otherwise carefully constructed DNA. Insertions can show up inside other genes, can delete natural genes or permanently turn them on or off, and can cause significant mutations near the insertion site. For instance, one study found that a gene known to be a corn allergen was turned on in GM corn, though it was turned off in its conventional parent.
"It's genetic roulette," says Smith. "You can create carcinogens, anti-nutrients, toxins. We don't understand the language of DNA enough to predict what might happen. It's an infant technology, and we're making changes that are permanent in the gene pool of species."
The potential for allergenicity is an acknowledged problem, says Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. In fact, food allergies doubled from 1997 (the year Bt corn entered our diets) to 2002. The EPA recently gave the University of Chicago a grant to assess whether the pesticides produced in genetically modified plants might be the culprit.
Agricultural biotechnology companies roundly dismiss these fears, saying that millions of Americans have been eating GM foods without ill effect. So if they are making us sick, why don't we know about it?
"The trouble is we don't have controls. We don't know what we're eating because we don't have labeling, so it's all just sort of a crapshoot," says Freese. "The GM corn is mixed in with regular corn, and then it enters the food supply. It's really impossible to trace the impacts." Since neither consumer nor manufacturer actually knows how much GM content is in their food, it's near impossible to investigate properly and expose a link to illness. "
To summerize the WH article the 3 main problems with GMO food:
1. It's not tested for allergens.
2. It can potentially change gene expressions and therefore increase risk for CANCER.
3. Tempering with mother nature's growth process can cause genetic defects.
Where do you stand on GMO food?