GMO – What you need to know

A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

Young Farmers See Growth in Going non-GMO

Kade McBroom, a fourth generation farmer in Quilin, Missouri wants to build a non-GMO soybean processing plant in his area.

McBroom, who is 26, farms about 3200 acres with his father, growing rice, corn, soybeans, and a small amount of wheat. He has been growing non-GMO soybeans for the past seven years. He earns a premium selling them to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Now he and several other farmers want to tap further into the fast-growing non-GMO market by building a facility to process value-added products such as non-GMO soybean meal for animal feed.

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Dr. Stegall’s comments: The increasing public interest in non-GMO farming sends a very powerful message to companies who are producing GMO foods in mass quantities. The more we vote with our wallets by choosing non-GMO foods, the more farmers will devote resources to producing these healthier options.

Science is telling us that GMO foods and additives are not good for us, and what we know intuitively and are seeing before our eyes supports this. A great example of this is mentioned in the article: farmers are noticing that pigs who are fed GMO food are having intestinal problems. We are seeing those same issues in humans who eat GMO foods. Scary!


GMO Arctic Apple gets new logo and higher profile

Okanagan Specialty Fruits continues to raise the profile of its genetically modified Arctic Apples with a new marketing logo and test marketing of its packaging at select stores. As a genetically modified organism, Arctic Apples are controversial within the fruit industry and more broadly with certain environmental groups. However, Okanagan Specialty Fruits believes it has a winning approach that will gain popularity with growers and consumers.

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Dr. Stegall’s comments: This is one of many examples of companies genetically modifying foods and not labeling them accordingly. The reason? They aren’t required to. A safe rule is to assume that the food you are eating is genetically modified unless it clearly states that it is non-GMO. Also, if a food label says 100% organic or certified organic, it cannot have any GMOs in it. Read labels very carefully!


Food growers say that a newer strain of genetically modified seeds is hurting their businesses

When Monsanto announced its plans to introduce a new strain of herbicide-resistant soybean seeds and cotton seeds and a new type of herbicide to accompany them, the company promised that its next generation of products would give farmers better control of weeds, “especially tough-to-manage and glyphosate-resistant weeds,” or the so-called Superweeds resistant to Monsanto’s current Roundup herbicide.

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Dr. Stegall’s comments: We already know the dangers of the herbicide glyphosate, and its potential for harming our digestive systems, nervous systems, and immune systems. And now, due to such widespread use of glyphosate, we have glyphosate-resistant weeds. This is akin to antibiotic-resistant bacteria we so frequently see in humans as a result of overprescribing antibiotics. Unfortunately, we do not have long-term studies on these herbicides such as glyphosate and Dicamba, but I am confident that they all have a negative impact on the health of our bodies. Avoid them whenever possible!