What I’m Learning About GMOs
Before I started researching this topic I was almost clueless as to what genetically modified foods were and unknown to me I was probably eating them on a daily basis. Through research I have been able to learn a lot on GMOs, focusing on the production and regulation of them. A commonality in some of the articles I have read state that federal regulation of GMOs is not doing enough research to ensure complete safety of health risks of these crops. I have also found that most developed countries already have policies regarding labeling genetically modified foods or out right banning the use of genetically modified crops, so why is the United States allowing free use of these for commercial use?
Many of the adverse health effects from the consumption of genetically modified foods are still unknown however, does not knowing if there are immediate negative health effects completely make sure that there are none? The lack of knowledge concerning health effects from genetically modified crops is enough for countries to place bans on the use of them in commercial use. According to the Society of Toxicology, the safety assessments used for genetically modified foods are solely based on “substantial equivalence”. “If a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food.” The safety regulations set forth by the Society of Toxicology for genetically modified foods is only based on the looks and similar nutritional value of their non genetically modified counterparts. If organizations like the American Academy of Environmental Medicine frown upon the use of genetically modified crops, it seems odd to me that the FDA doesn’t take their findings into consideration.
Testing the safety of these crops have been left for the same people who produce these genetically modified crops. Allowing biotech companies to do their own testing does not ensure complete safety for consumers, these results fail to show comprehensive test results concerning short term and long term health effects. Countries throughout the world have already began implementing precautionary measures dealing with genetically modified crops. Not all the risks or benefits have been fully proven scientifically meaning that there is still a possibility of serious or irreversible damage, consequently resulting in countries taking a safer route to not use them.
Several animal studies have concluded there are many serious health risks associated with genetically modified food consumption including, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, protein formation along with many other health issues. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies” Animals studies researching the health effects of consuming genetically modified crops have shown altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism which also lead to accelerated aging and possibly reactive oxygen species. There have also been many other findings that indicate a connection to insulin regulation and intestinal damage. This therefore tells us there could possibility of adverse effects in humans as well.