Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have now become a hidden staple most of us unknowingly ingest daily in our diet. It is infiltrating our most common food groups and stealthily residing in our most loved snacks, cereals, margarines, and soft drinks.
Yet what do we really know about the long term effects of regularly ingesting GMO products?
What is GMO Exactly?
GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms are life forms whose genetic information has been altered using scientific techniques to do so.
The process of GMO is carried out via cutting or splicing gene sequences from one organism, such as an animal, virus or bacteria, and inserting the foreign genetic material into the gene sequence of another, such as a grain, vegetable or fruit.
For example, the donor genetic material, called transgene, is inserted into a plant cell nucleolus at its infancy, where it intertwines with the plants’ own DNA. If successful, the plant will begin to grow with the donor genetics as part of it forever, passing this information onto its seed offspring too.
In the United States (2015), the most common GMO crops are rice, tobacco, alfalfa, cotton, corn, canola, soybean, sugar beet, papaya and summer squash.
Where 95% of all soybeans are GMO, and 90% of all corn is GMO.
In Australia the crops we currently genetically produce ourselves are canola and cotton, and we import most other GMO foods from overseas.
Cotton is used in makeup wipes, tampons, pads, threads, cloth, cottonseed oil for cooking, and the left over meal is fed to cattle and other animals we commonly eat.
Canola is made into oil for cooking and in margarines, dairy blends, in snack foods and tinned foods. The meal is also used as stock feed on the animal meat we regularly ingest.
Next week, we’ll cover part 2.
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