There has been a lot of talk about GMO (genetically modified organism) crops and foods in the past couple of years. In the U.S. GMOs have entered the food system untested, while 64 countries around the globe have total or partial bans. Consumption of GMOs has consistently increased so that now approximately 80% of processed and packaged foods in the U.S. contain GMO ingredients, such as corn, soy, canola and dairy that is supplied by cows given genetically altered hormones to increase production.
Recently the conversation about GMO labeling has reached a frenzied pitch with passage of H.R. 1599 (aka the DARK - Deny Americans the Right to Know - Act) which prohibits mandatory GMO labeling and allows GMO ingredients into foods labeled as "natural." If this bill passes the Senate we will be unable to learn what is in our food.
What are GMOs
The traits that are most prevalent among GMO crops is herbicide resistance, specifically to Roundup. Inserting this pesticide into the seed makes it possible for the plant to produce its own pesticide. Additionally, crops engineered with genes from certain bacteria are able to survive frequent and/or heavy application of herbicide to kill weeds in the field.
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In addition to these human health concerns are environmental concerns that will also have long-term effects on our wellness.
Alright, So What Now?
Right to Know Minnesota - of which I (Jesse) am a coalition member - has proposed a bill that would require mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs. A similar bill was passed in Vermont. This effort is null if the DARK Act passes. If you feel inclined to raise your voice in opposition, contact your Senator (find them here).
Jesse Haas, CNS, LN is a licensed functional nutritionist and certified health coach. She was a founding partner of Wellness Minneapolis and was an active practitioner with the clinic from 2014-2022. To connect with her regarding functional nutrition and health coaching services, please follow this link.