GMO is a term describing plants and animals that are genetically modified through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology.
In essence, these techniques take DNA from different species and merge them together, creating unstable combinations of plants, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
For example, Bt corn, developed in 1996, contains a gene from soil bacteria that’s toxic to insects. To produce the corn, scientists first isolate the desired bacterium’s DNA. “They use a “gene gun” to shoot the bacteria genes into a Petri dish full of corn embryos,” explains Gregory Jaffe, director of biotechnology projects at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “They hope a bit of DNA randomly gets through the corn cell membrane. If it does, scientists take that embryo and grow a plant from it.” the resulting plant expresses the gene-in Bt’s case, an insecticide–in every one of its cells, enabling the corn itself to kill bugs. This scenario would never occur in nature, but as of 2012, Bt corn takes up 67 percent of all American corn acreage.
There is a growing numbering of Americans who are learning about these ingredients and pushing for legislation in more than half of the states in the country to get these altered foods labeled.
In fact, a Wall Street Journal poll asked: “Do you think genetically engineered foods should be labeled?” An astounding 87% reported “yes,”
However, the food industry is pouring over $21 million dollars into an initiative to keep which foods are genetically engineered off their food labels. Their argument is that GMO labeling would drive up costs.
Ironically, many members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association already label genetically engineered ingredients on products they sell overseas, because there are laws regulating them in Europe. But they don’t do it in the United States.
The United States remains one of the only developed countries in the world that has failed to label genetically altered ingredients that has been altered to withstand highly toxic chemicals and pesticides in our food supply.
Unfortunately, GMO’s are still a mystery to most people. And the answers to how GMO’s affect our health and environment are still out.
Because we at Engage Organics Salt-free Seasoning Blends believe it is vital for the public to be aware of the foods they ingest, we have become Non-GMO Verified and are committed to continuing this GMO discussion in future blogs.