GMO or Genetically Modified Organism are the plants and animals whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.
There are majority of GM crops that have been used for human benefit. Here is a list of 10 common gm crops that you might have in your kitchen right now:
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Squash was genetically modified to become more resistant against viruses and bacteria. Experts believe that GMO squash blended into the wild plant might have increase the chances of new pathogens and bacterial diseases.
Both Golden rice and flood resistant rice are genetically modified and contains high levels of vitamin A. However Daily China reported health issues like increase in allergies related to GMO rice.
The seeds of Jatropha plant are like palm oil and it can be used as biofuel. The extracted oil from the Jatropha seeds is a high source of protein and is used for feeding livestock. However planting Jatropha seeds have caused destruction of the native plants and devastating results in agricultural practices in India.
Most of the vegetable oils we find in the market are genetically modified. Cotton seed oil, corn oil and soy oil are mostly genetically modified and produced in US, India and China. However the best healthy oil for cooking is organic grapeseed oil and the best cold-pressed oil for salad dressing is olive oil. But be careful with cold pressed oils like olive or coconut from exposure to heat.
GMO soy can be found in pastries, soy tofu, soybean oil, soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy beverages and many famous infant formulas. GMO rats that were fed GMO soy had higher rate of death and infertility. And these have caused major health issues.
6. Sugar Beets
GMO sugar beets were engineered for growing them faster and to be more resistant to weeds. However it has been put on halt as the processing GMO sugar beets failed to present an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Many environmentalists and researchers are concerned that GMO sugar beets might have serious impacts on the environment and other crops.
GM Corn can be found is almost every processed foods in forms of high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, corn starch, corn oil and corn meal. Many food products such as many breakfast cereals, infant formula, salad dressing, bread, cereal, hamburgers, mayonnaise, veggie burgers, meat substitutes, soy cheese, tomato sauce, crackers, cookies,acohol, vanilla, powdered sugar, peanut butter, ice cream, frozen yogurt, tofu, tamari, soy sauce, enriched flour and pasta have high levels of GM corn. GMO corns have been related to infertility, tumors, and increase in food allergies.
Although the wine institute released a statement that GMO yeast shouldn’t be used in making wines, genetically modified wine yeast, ML01 is out in the market.
GM yeast are known to increase in headaches and allergies. Make sure you contact the vineyard or the wine maker before purchasing the wine, if you want to make sure they aren’t using GMO yeast.
Cassava is a starchy plant like potato that is consumed by many people across the globe like Africa. The first GMO cassava plant was engineered in 1955. It was supposed to be pest and virus resistant but farmers reported that in few years the GMO cassava lose their anti-virus resistant quality.
10. Artificial additives, preservatives and sweeteners
Many additives, preservatives and food flavoring are genetically modified. Aspartame in diet drinks is sure one of the products of genetic engineering.