According to pro-GMO activists, genetically modified (GM) foods are completely safe for human consumption. They say that GM foods will make agricultural processes more sustainable, cut back on the use of pesticides, increase the nutrient content of foods, ramp up crop yields, and make farming more efficient and profitable.
According to others, though, each of these claims is scientifically and fundamentally flawed, and were invented by the biotech industry.
One of the big forerunners in the GM arena, the agriculture company Monsanto, is leading the charge when it comes to the “safety” of GM foods. However, what Monsanto fails to tell consumers when making claims about the safety of GM foods is that most of their animal feeding studies (animal, not human) on GMOs are less than three months in length.
A study this short will obviously fail to discover any long-term health problems resulting from GMOs, such as cancer, organ failure, and digestive problems. In order to properly determine the safety of GM foods, long-term studies are needed.
In fact, one of the best long-term studies conducted showed that GM foods were bad for human health. The study took place in 2012, when a team of researchers discovered that Monsanto GM Roundup-tolerant corn caused severe organ damage and hormonal problems in rats fed over a period of two years. The researchers also found an increased rate of large tumors and premature death in some of the animal groups.
Until more comprehensive, long-term, human studies are conducted, no one can definitively say that GM foods are “completely safe” for human consumption.
At current, the US has no system for reporting negative side effects of consuming GM foods. And even if such a system did exist, there are currently no requirements to label GM foods, so most people don’t even know they are eating them.
The sad fact is that GM foods have taken over the country. In order to avoid GMOs, you need to carefully look at everything you eat. In the US, some commercialized GM crops include sugar beets (95%), soy (94%), canola (90%), cotton (90%), and corn (88%). When shopping, look for labels that say “non-GMO project verified” or “organic.”