GMOs Explained & What We Can Do
If you’re anything like me, you hear one thing about politics or movements and you tune out. There are few things that I take the time to learn about, but this GMO issue caught my attention.
I first learned about them from my Sistas at Mamavation. I heard the phrase, GMO, and just sort of smiled and nodded as if I knew what they were talking about.
A few days later, Aaron and I were watching Real Time with Bill Maher and the topic came up again. The guests and Maher discussed in a way that I actually understood.
So what are GMOs? And why should anyone in the “regular” world care? And why isn’t everyone talking about this?
- GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism.
- GMOs are used in our food products.
- Currently, the US does not have a mandate to require food producers to include information on their packaging concerning GMOs. In other words, food distributors don’t have to tell the consumers that their product does or does not contain GMOs.
- There are some serious unhealthy statistics about GMOs.From Leah’s post on Mamavation:
It’s estimated that 70% of our food on grocery shelves contains GMOs, compared to only 5% in Europe. The early 1990′s the FDA allowed all sorts of things into our food supply such as additives, preservatives, and GMOs. Since then we’ve had some significant changes to the health of our children. According to Healthy Child Healthy World these are stats about differences in illness in children since early 90s.
400% increase in food allergies
300% increase in asthma
400% increase in ADHD
1,500% increase in autism
- There are unclear answers about what other negative effects GMOs might have.
What does this mean?
- GMOs are used in many ways when it comes to food. They can be used as pesticides, as a means of producing food faster, as a way to strengthen crops against environmental issues (weather, etc)., and other such uses.
- There is a grassroots movement in California that recently fought and won to get a Proposition put on their ballot that would (if voted in and enforced) require food manufacturers to label their packages concerning GMOs by January 2014. They need our help no matter where we live in the US.
Why does this matter?
- While some would argue that GMOs aren’t hurting anything, there’s evidence that, most likely, there are adverse effects.
- For instance, when we genetically modify a food, we open the opportunity for humans to develop allergies to the new biochemical compounds. Additionally, with the modifications, plants could develop antibiotic-resistant genes which could create “ecological imbalances” and open the chance for “allowing previously innocuous plants to grow uncontrolled, thus promoting the spread of diseaseamong both plants and animals” (Scitable).
- Check out this information about GMO-related Health Risks.
- Here is a link that will discuss how to Protect Your Children.
- We want to know what’s in our food, right? We at least deserve the RIGHT to know what we’re ingesting, feeding to our children, purchasing.
- For some reason, our country (government?) refuses to say that we deserve this right. For some reason, we’re just being told, “Nope, sorry.”
- Some will argue that GMOs and the movement to label them are not a big deal and are being blown out of proportion. If that’s the case, WONDERFUL. But, if that’s the case, why not just label anyway? If what is in our foods won’t affect us, then just tell us and give us the RIGHT to know.
So what can we do?
- The US and Canada do not require that companies explain that their product contains GMOs. My question: Why not? If they aren’t going to harm us, then what’s wrong with letting us know what’s in our food? So, here are a few things you can do to help educate the general public and tell those peeps in political positions that we’re serious and WANT to know.
- First, if you’re a Twitter fan like me, tweet out this message: Passionate abt. labeling #GMOs? Join #CARighttoknow Evangelist Team to make a difference! http://bit.ly/NiCGV4 #yeson37
- There’s a twitter party August 10th from 10-11pm EST/7-8pm PST. Save the date and plan to be there!
- Join the Evangelist Team to make a difference. Check out this link by @bookieboo from #Mamavation: Labeling GMOs: Join the Evangelist Team for Prop. 37.
- Share this post on Facebook and tell the people you love about GMOs and their possible risks.