A GMO or “genetically modified organism” is when the genetic material of that organism has been altered in a way that would not normally occur in nature. Human manipulation of an organism’s genetic material occurs when DNA from one species is added to the genome of another unrelated species. A current example of this is found in our supermarkets where fish DNA is placed into tomatoes to prolong the tomatoes shelf life. There is much debate whether GMO’s pose any health risk as long term testing has not been well established. There was one animal study that found mice fed GMO corn over four generations to have significant organ dysfunction and issues with fertility.
GMO’s are designed for many reasons including: increasing crop yields, improving resistance to disease, insect, drought and frost, enhancing specific nutrient content, and as a way to produce medications. There are concerns over feeding our growing global population so one of the biggest argument for GMO’s is to use it as a way to improve food security.
In Canada, there are no labeling laws in place so the only guarantee that a product is nonGMO is with 100% organic products. Most consumers want the opportunity to make an informed decision when buying products for their families and have pushed for GMO labels to be on labels. Some countries and US states have this already in effect.
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