Genetically Modified Foods

Of the list of things I’m completely against in this world, genetically modifying (GMO) our foods is one of those things that rate up there towards the top. But it’s more insulting in my humble opinion when countries refuse to admit that it is an issue, and don’t require that it be on the label. Not only is this dangerous, it’s sometimes deadly towards those with food allergies. Let me explain.

I’ve had many friends and family over the years with food allergies, from my mother being allergic to chocolate, to friends with peanut allergies, and what a travesty it’d be if I gave the friend with a peanut allergy a strawberry and it killed her. “What???” you say? Yea, me too. But the fact is, it happens, and more often than you might think. In fact do you realize if you live in the United States, in most cases you’re 8–9 times more likely to eat a genetically modified product than you are a non-modified one? It’s true, for instance 86% of all the corn you eat is. And here’s the kicker to me, even if they don’t genetically modify a specific food, it doesn’t mean it’s not modified by other genetically modified crops. Take for instance Canola (93%+ GMO), there have been confirmed instances of honey bees collecting pollen off these genetically modified crops, thereby spreading it to the honey they produce.

Conventional and organic strawberries freeze easily making them go bad quickly. However, genes from arctic fish and peanuts have been introduced to the genetically engineered strawberries. The genes make the strawberries more resistant to frost by causing the strawberry plant to produce a form of antifreeze.

When I was in college at Oregon Tech I had the privilege to take a course entitled “Technology, Society, and Values” by Mark Neupert which I’ll forever give credit for changing the way I view the world. It opened my eyes to what GMO was, to how much it was affecting us, and this was back in 2000? It’s been 11 years, and it’s only gotten worse, so what can we do to stop it? Glad you asked, because there are organizations out there fighting to get this labeled around the world, so consumers can make informed decisions.

I implore you all, please, visit the Just LABEL It! website, take action, take 30 seconds to fill out their form and have an email sent on your behalf showing your support of labeling. You’d be surprised how often these can actually have a lasting impact.

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Jamie Harrell is an Information Technology specialist in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area. From business, to gaming, and everything in between, technology drives him forward in his life goals. On he rambles about various thoughts, opinions, and news he wishes to share with the world.

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