Get the Facts on GMOs

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If you’re not sure what a GMO is, you’re not alone. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. Using what some call “modern biotechnology,” genetic material is altered in some way that does not occur naturally. Scientists can transfer genes from one organism to another, and the foods produced from genetically modified (GM) organisms are often called GM foods.

Not surprisingly, the introduction of genetically altered foods has stirred up concern and questions. Understanding more about GMOs can help you decide what’s best for you and your family.

Why produce GMOs?

GM foods were first developed with farmers in mind. Through GMO technology, crops can be protected through increased resistance to pesticides or diseases caused by insects. For consumers, this can translate into less expensive, more nutritious food.

Are GMOs safe?Get the Facts on GMOs - In Content

Any GM food now on the market has passed strict safety assessments and is highly unlikely to present any risks to your health. Studies show that in countries where GM foods have been approved, there have been no negative effects on human health. That said, it’s not possible to generalize about the safety of all GM foods. Because the technology may vary, individual GM foods should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

How is GM food safety assessed?

Most of us don’t give much thought to the safety of the food we put into our grocery carts. However, because the process for creating GM foods is different from that of conventional foods, most authorities agree that GM foods need their own set of rules. With the help of the World Health Organization, strict guidelines have been established to evaluate GM foods and their effect on human health and the environment. Typically, safety assessments focus on any toxic effects or allergic reactions that may be caused by GMOs, as well as any nutritional changes in foods or other unexpected effects.

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