GMO’s and their potential for danger

Many of us know what we eat by name. However, what is in it and the effects they could have on our health in the future, still remains a mystery. Genetically Modified Organisms, typically called GMO’s, are animals and plants which are created  by genetically engineering the DNA makeup of the organisms that we eat and feed to our pets.According to, in over 60 countries, which includes Japan, the European Union and Australia, there are many restrictions and bans on the use of GMO’s. In the U.S. GMO’s can be found in over 80% of conventional processed food.

With these facts at hand, it still may cause people to wonder, “What is so bad about GMO’s and how do they affect the health of humans?”  The biggest concern many have are the effects genetically engineered organisms have on biodiversity. Typically, fields contain one type of plant that is diverse like humans on earth, but with genetic engineering, all of the plants are genetically identical because they were engineered from the same source. This causes plants to be vulnerable in large numbers to insects and fungus. What GMO’s are, they take a gene from a tampered organism and transfer it into another, creating an organism not found in nature. An analogy many scientists use is when pure bred dogs usually tend to have greater health problems than a mutt.

Since these organisms have the ability to cause health concerns to people and animals, it begs the question, “What purposes do they serve to out-weigh or challenge those risks?” The idea behind genetically engineering is to take the benefits certain organisms have and place those in another in order to receive those benefits that humans and other mammals can get out of them. One example is the use of GMO’s to provide resistance to pesticides in cash crops therefore reducing the need for pesticides. Studies have now shown that although pesticide usage has been reduced, new weeds have genetically evolved and grown resistant to “Round-up” and further caused the need for new and improved herbicide and pesticide usage. As farmers need more and more pesticides, this will contaminate our soil and as you go further down the food chain, these potentially harmful modifications are not only consumed by humans but also the animals that humans eat.

So with a plethora of information being given, “How does this affect people at the OHS?” Director of Food and Nutritional Services Rachel Valesano said, ” At this time we do not serve any organic foods in the school nutrition programs. However. we do source a lot of our food locally and all of the ground beef we purchase is made free of any hormones or antibiotics.” Although the school does not use all organic vegetables, many of the foods they serve are low-risk in regard to pesticide dangers. As a public school many can understand that although the school doesn’t lack critical funds towards school,  ISD 761 has to put money where it is needed most educationally. Valesano said, “My hope is that in the near future we may be able to incorporate more organic types of foods into our school lunch program. School lunch programs have to work with pennies so we must be very strategic in our menu planning and purchasing.”

For those interested in avoiding these harmful organisms, there is a way to do so. Many choose to take the organic route to buying their food of choice. This may be the best option, however, if it does not say USDA Organic than you may not be buying what you think. All organic produce is made pesticide free without the use of bioengineering. All organic meat is made free of animal byproducts like antibiotics and steroids. They are also raised with the ability to roam freely.  With more information being displayed in regard to the food people eat, many have begun to take a greater interest in what they put into their body and hopefully this will cause you as readers to do the same.