What’s a GMO?
A GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.
What kinds of genetically engineered traits have been added to our food crops?
- Herbicide tolerance crops, which lets the farmer spray weedkillers directly on the crop without killing it
- Pesticide-producing crops, where the plant produces its own internal pesticide
Why should you be concerned about GMOs?
- Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in tumors, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, birth defects, reproductive problems and infertility
- GMOs have also been linked with allergies, various digestive and bowel syndromes and even autism in humans
What foods are GM?
- soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres)
- Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
- Approximately 90% of all products on supermarket shelves contain GMO ingredients
How do GMOs impact the environment?
- Crops are being genetically engineered as “Roundup Ready” so they can withstand massive spraying with the toxic pesticide, doesn’t readily break down in the environment, and ends up in our streams
- New super weeds and super bugs are becoming Roundup resistant, so more an stronger pesticides are being used
- The built-in pesticides found in genetically engineered crops may be largely responsible for the dying off of many insects, including honey bees and Monarch butterflies
What can you do to avoid GMOs?
- Read labels and avoid buying processed food products containing corn, soy, canola, and vegetable oil
- Look for the NON-GMO Project Label
- Get a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide
- Buy organic when possible
What can you do about GMOs?
- Tell everyone you know
- Write letters to your Member of Parliament and Demand GMO Labeling
- Attend the GMO – Kids Right to Know Walk on November 3rd