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GMO: What is it? What does it mean?

When you see “GMO free” on food labels, what does that mean?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Foods. GMO on the label is used by some companies to let the consumer know that the DNA of the product has been genetically modified in order to present a prettier, bigger and insect-free product. Companies can realize a higher profit margin with a GMO crop full of “beautiful and healthy” foods.

For many years, companies have stood by the quality and safety of these genetically-altered foods, saying there have been no studies out there showing that these foods were compromised.

However, there have been studies published showing the opposite. One study, published in September 2011 by Cell Research, states that the modified DNA in GMO foods can transfer from those foods into the digestive system.  From there, the DNA can enter the blood stream and move on to vital organs, causing a modification in the expression and function of the organs.

What this means is that in addition to getting protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins from our food, we are also ingesting information that gets stuck in your DNA which can affect the function of your cells and organs.

The body reads micro RNAs, key players in gene expression in food, and then transfers information to the DNA. We become that information. We are what we eat!

According to the information released by Cell Research, GMO foods have been proven to cause important organs to not function the way they should. The affects on fertility organs can cause difficulties for women trying to get pregnant. The liver can be affected when the LDL cholesterol is not able to attach to the LDL receptor. The result is LDL cholesterol is not excreted and high levels of LDL cholesterol may be found in the blood. Additionally, GMO affects the overall health of the cells, the immune response, and cancer fighting cells.

Make sure you look for the organic label, and for labels stating that the food is non-GMO. Common GMO foods to watch for include:

  • BT corn (used in high fructose corn syrup, corn tortillas, and cereal flakes)
  • sugar
  • soy lecithin (found in many packaged foods and all chocolates)
  • fruits and vegetables

The United States is one of the few countries that is not required to list GMO products on the food label. You need to be your own health advocate for a better quality of life.

The bottom line: Since we become what we eat, watch your food choices!