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03/12 Sunday 09:56AM

genetically-modified food-is it safe?

There has been much protests and debates on GMOs in the news lately.  What are GMOs and should we care? Treehugger put up an infographic explaining what genetically-modified organism (GMO) is. It helps us understand how and why they are made and how we are affected so that when we pick up that box of cereal from the supermarket shelf, we can decide if that is the box we want and what alternatives there are.

GMOs - genetically modified organisms - are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered in the laboratory with DNA from other plants, bacteria, bacteria and viruses to produce plants and animals that are stronger and resistant to attack from specific germs and viruses. Molecular engineers introduce poisonous pesticides and herbicides so that plants are inherently protected from the insects and worms that might damage them. That means, as plants grow from the ground, they already contain genes from these concoctions to protect them and grow nicely.

Natural News reported that majority of the products Americans eat on a daily basis contain some form of GMO soy, corn, canola (rapeseed) oil or cotton seed oil, and research has shown that ingesting these pesticide/herbicide concoctions lead to the mutation of cells in the human body, which in turn fuels the development of malignant tumors and other various forms of cancer. Some countries are rejecting the imports of GMO vegetables, dairy and meat products as there are not enough studies on the long term effects from this lab-food.

U.S farmers have adopted genetically engineered crops widely since their commercial introduction in 1996, notwithstanding uncertainty about consumer acceptance and economic and environmental impacts. In terms of share of planted acres, soybeans and cotton have been the most widely adopted genetically-engineered crops in the U.S., followed by corn.

In the U.S. and Canada, product labeling of genetically engineered food is not required but around the world - in 40 countries including Australia, the European Union countries and Japan - they are, and imports of GM products are restricted or banned because they have not been proven safe.

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