The Truth About GMO’s
GMO foods reflect one of the most contentious topics among health professionals and nutritionists. And one of the biggest debates surrounding GMOs is their potential link to weight gain.
But what’s the research really saying about GMOs and weight loss? How concerned should you be?
Before we get to the issue of weight gain, let’s make sure we understand what GMOs really are.
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Included in the category of GMOs is any bacteria, plant, insect, or animal whose genetic material (i.e., DNA) has been changed using genetic engineering. In most cases, this involves combining or inserting DNA from different species.
The results can vary considerably – from glowing goldfish to larger tomatoes and corn that is resistant to pesticides and drought. And this kind of stuff has been going on for a while. Food companies have been producing GMOs since the 1970s, and they became staples in the produce aisle in the early 1990s and are prominent even at Whole Foods grocery stores.
One of the companies that has been at the center of the debate most recently is Monsanto, an international agricultural tech company of enormous size and influence. They are also the world’s largest manufacturer of seeds, most of which have been genetically modified in some way.
In particular, many of Monsanto’s seeds have been modified to resist the herbicide Roundup. This is a powerful herbicide that is often used in very high doses to kill weeds, especially on crops like corn, wheat, and soy. In order to make sure that the crops themselves aren’t damaged by Roundup, the company has genetically engineered these plants to be Roundup Ready.
The Health Controversy
Originally, Monsanto claimed that their Roundup herbicide was biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Today, scientists have determined that this is not the case, with potentially far-reaching effects on the environment and other species.
And where the controversy is especially strong is in regards to human health. At the very least, many GMOs appear to contain nutritional deficiencies as a result of their genetic modifications, DNA insertion, and gene splicing. But links to more serious diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and many cancers, have also been made.
Some of these links are still awaiting a scientific consensus. But if there’s anything to be critical of, it’s research that’s done by the companies making GMOs. You may share this option, but I believe you can never entirely trust research done by companies whose first and most important goal is profit.
As you might guess, the controversy is a big one, but today let’s focus specifically on the link between GMOs and obesity.