Confused about organic versus conventional food?

Most people eat naturally-raised meats and organic produce because they want to avoid pesticides and antibiotics and because these foods are more nutrient rich than conventional meat and produce. But there is another important reason to choose organic foods – to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO).

If you eat processed food – particularly those foods that contain corn, soy, canola or their derivatives – it is almost certain that you are consuming genetically modified ingredients.

Not surprisingly, the industry behind these products claims that the technology offers vast benefits, poses no health risk, and has never been shown to contaminate the environment. The record suggests anything but.

In numerous cases, modified genes from genetically modified crops have been shown to mix with wild plants creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds.” But that’s not all. These foods have also shown signs of animal and human toxicity.

At least seven studies from independent sources have shown that genetically engineered food can cause problems like skin lesions, allergic reactions, cancers, altered blood chemistry, and diminished organ size. A recent animal study, published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Technology, showed that rats developed liver and kidney toxicity when they were fed a genetically modified type of corn (one that has been approved for human consumption).

There is certainly the potential for benefits to come from the scientific innovations associated with genetic modification. But there is also significant potential for risk. So don’t be a guinea pig… Whenever possible, choose whole foods, organic produce, naturally-raised meats, and wild fish.