Some Say GMOs Are Safe, Some Say GMOs Are Unsafe – Who Should I Believe?

August 08, 2016

Some Say GMOs Are Safe, Some Say GMOs Are Unsafe – Who Should I Believe?

Food brings out the emotional eater in all of us, especially when it comes to the topic of genetically modified foods (aka GMOs). As parents, we want to feed our families healthy foods, but does healthy mean GMO-free? With all of the conflicting headlines, healthy has become so confusing and quite frankly, downright scary. As a registered dietitian mom who shares your concerns, I’d like to help you become more than a headline reader. Rather than rely on the Food Babe or the food industry, here is where I go to get the facts about GMOs – both pros and cons - from reliable sources. I encourage you to check them out so that you can get the full story and make the right call for feeding your family.

GMO Safety 

National Academy Report. According to this recently published report, genetically engineered foods appear to be safe to eat and do not pose health risks. A committee of 20 independent scientists examined more than 1,000 studies spanning the twenty year period since GMO crops were introduced and found:

  • “No substantial evidence of a difference in risk to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered (GMO) crops and conventionally bred crops.”

While continued GMO safety research is essential, national health experts, such as Connie Diekman Former Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President, are hopeful that using the technique of genetically engineered foods will have the potential to help meet the needs of feeding a growing worldwide population.

GMO Labeling 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is the FDA’s job to make sure all food –genetically altered or not – is safe to eat. Some countries already have laws requiring GMO labeling. Here in the U.S., a new law just passed requiring a national standard for GMO labeling. Before the law can be enacted, the USDA will work out the specific rules for use. Until then, the FDA has issued guidance on when the term is appropriate. If you prefer to not eat GMOs, choose foods carrying the "certified organic" seal.

GMO Education 

GMO Answers. What do seedless watermelons, honeycrisp apples, and grapefruits have in common? They’re all hybrids meaning they were crossbred with other plants, a technique that’s been going on for centuries. Genetically engineered foods speed up this natural process using biotechnology to make it happen. Currently there are only nine GMO crops available in the U.S. today with one more approved and coming to market soon. If you’re confused or skeptical about GMOs, the biotech industry created this website to do a better job of answering any and all types of consumer questions. Independent experts such as researchers, nutritionists, and farmers provide all of the answers to questions generated by people like you. The goal of GMO Answers is to have an honest conversation with everyone who cares about how our food is grown. You’ll also find several resources written in consumer language to help you better understand the science and issues about GMOs.

Bottom line: When it comes to feeding your family healthy foods, you’re in charge. So when it comes to GMO’s, whether you’re reading a food label or blog post, rather than be scared, be informed and prepared.

 

Jodie Shields

Jodie Shield Kildeer, IL

Jodie is the Editor-in-Chief of the blog Healthy Eating For Families and teaches nutrition at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL and Dominican University in River Forest, IL.

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