What are they?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, GEO stands for Genetically Engineered Organisms, and GE stands for Genetically Engineered. These are all different terms for the same thing. They are organisms whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering.
Why are they good?
Some GMOs are used in medicine and research and are responsible for new and better ways to treat diseases and improve people’s lives. Scientists found a way to produce insulin from bacteria by using genetic engineering.
Why are they bad?
Many GMOs are used to alter the food that we eat, usually to allow farmers to spray more herbicides and pesticides on their crops.
- GMOs have been linked to a number of health issues
- Pesticide Exposure
- Antibiotic Resistance
- Immune Reactions
- Liver Problems
- Digestive Problems
- Round-Up ready seeds are designed so that Round-Up can be sprayed on our food without causing any damage to the plant and without us knowing it is in our food supply – these herbicides can not be washed off
- GMO plants can contaminate nearby farms including organic farms taking away their choice of how to farm
- GMOs limit farmer’s ability to export crops because many countries will not allow GE foods to be imported. If a neighbouring farm plants GE seeds, it is likely that all farms in that area will be contaminated and prevented from exporting their crops.
- Bee and butterfly populations are decreasing in areas where GMOs are grown. These insects are very important for the pollination of crops.
Many countries around the world have banned GMOs in and many more require that all GMO ingredients in food are labelled. This is not the case in Canada. We are not allowed to know if our food has been altered or not. According to Monsanto, “Such mandatory labeling could imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts.” We should have the right to know so we can make our own decisions.
What can we do?
- Eat less processed foods
- Grow your own food
- Buy organic
- Shop at Farmers’ Markets
- Write letters
- Tell your friends
- Educate yourself