On Tuesday, April 22, member-owner/volunteer Theresa Bindig, MS, RD, CDN lead a discussion on the topic of Genetically Modified Organisms, also known as Genetically Engineered/Transgenic Crops. Theresa kicked off the discussion with an overview that included; the definition of a GMO, applications, top GMO crops, concerns about safety and consumer issues regarding labeling and the FDA approval process. Audience members then engaged in a dialogue which concluded with a suggested “To Do” list for anyone who is concerned about the use of GMOs in our food supply.
What is a GMO?
A genetically modified organism occurs when a gene or genes from one organism are inserted into another organism with the goal of transferring a desirable characteristic.
Why genetically modify?
Applications include; pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, increasing yield, enhancing flavor, retaining freshness longer.
What crops are being genetically modified?
A majority of the following crops grown in the US are genetically modified: corn, cottonseed, rapeseed, soybean and sugarbeet. Some estimates suggest that 70% o f processed foods contain GMO’s.
What are some concerns regarding GMOs?
What will the effect on soil organisms be? How will GMO plants intermix with their natural counterparts? Why have the EU, Japan and 60 other countries banned, or instituted tight restrictions on GMOs? Will GMO’s introduce an increased amount of allergens into the environment? Are GMO’s actually increasing the amount of herbicide needed to grow crops instead of decreasing them in our current agricultural system?
- GMO labeling will give consumers choice.
- Case by case research on the safety of GMOs is the best approach.
- Vote with your dollars, buy Non-GMO labeled or organic foods if you are concerned about GMO’s.
- Eating less processed food is better for you, better for the environment, and will decrease the demand for processed foods therefore decreasing the use of GMO’s.
The East Aurora Cooperative Market would like to thank Theresa Bindig for sharing her time, talent and knowledge with the community through her many excellent presentations during our Food For Thought Nutrition Series.