GENETIC MODIFICATION/CONSUMER DISCLOSURE
What's It All About?
GMO's and gene-editing, such as CRISPR technology, are subjects of growing public outrage. Not only in the practice of manipulating our food supply, but also the outright lack of consumer disclosure. Grocery stores now carry 80% or more of genetically modified products, making it very difficult for the consumer to eat GMO free. Organic options in the average grocery store are limited in variety or quality and have ironically become more expensive luxuries in eating. The Food and Drug Administration continues to deny transparency by refusing to mandate corporate labeling practices. The political ties between government agencies and biotech corporations are nothing short of incestuous.
What Is GMO?
A GMO is a genetically modified organism. The practice occurs when scientists introduce genetic material into organisms to manipulate, modify, engineer or affect desired changes in both living plants and animals. The same effect can now be achieved by the use of gene-editing tools, such as CRISPR, which are essentially the evolution of the traditional GMO. In this case, the process creates a loophole because DNA material is not introduced into a cell, rather it is rearranged and edited at the gene level with pinpoint accuracy. So although modification has taken place, it can be claimed that it is not a GMO in the original sense. Such radical change in the sources compiling our food supply have undergone inadequate, if not non-existent, independent human study which presents risks that are reckless and may be disastrous to human health.
Recombinant DNA technology alters the organic core found in the genetic code of living organisms. "Frankenfoods" have been designed through this genetic manipulation, allowing scientists the ability to modify original traits and create new ones with no guidelines. Consumers are growing more and more concerned. It is impossible, due to lack of labeling, to discern which foods contain GMO's and, due to lack of sufficient testing, to know the long term health risks involved. Initial studies reveal that animals who have ingested GMO feed, as also seen in human health cases, indicate the ramifications of consumption could be severe.
It has been determined that the toxins from genetically modified organisms are absorbed by humans who eat them. Both pregnant women and their fetuses show detectable levels of toxins in the blood. Research also shows toxic effects on human kidney cells, death of tissues known as necrosis, and cell death in human embryonic kidney cells.
Transparency and labeling are essential to basic consumer rights to know what is in the food we are eating. Consumers have the right to make informed choices.