Look around your kitchen. Has your food been genetically engineered? Maybe it has been, and you don’t even know it.
Genetically engineered foods, or organisms, are crops or animals that have been altered by scientists for specific purposes. Some are created to grow larger, or more quickly, or away from their natural climates. Several contain pesticides to ward away bugs. Some are grown merely to look prettier, more vibrant, and more attractive to the average consumer. The most common GMOs are corn, canola, and soybeans. Yet, these modified foods are still relatively new. We don’t necessarily understand the consequences of eating genetically modified foods. One French study has revealed that continuously eating the herbicides in GMOs led rats to develop tumors in their digestive organs, hearts, and adrenal glands. It’s too soon to tell what the effects of the novel bacteria created by GE foods will lead to. The harm presented in rats could be emerging in humans without our knowledge, or our consent.
In your local supermarket, more than 75% of processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, but you wouldn’t know it from the packaging. The FDA does not require that GE crops be labeled as different from regular foods, claiming that they are not “materially” different, despite their genetic tampering. 64 countries (including all members of the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, and China) require this information to be available to their citizens, but the U.S. remains one of the last developed nations to let this slip, in spite of the fact that more than 90% of American consumers believe GE foods should be highlighted as what they are. As of 2013, about 1.5 million people have complained to the FDA about this lack of regulation with no changes.
At Beetnik, we strive to have no GMO’s in our products. Period. None of our proteins have GMO’s. Many of our vegetables are sourced from USDA certified organic farms, and none of our vegetables have been genetically engineered. Occasionally, we are unsure whether an ingredient we use in the manufacture of sauces, may have a small trace element of a genetically modified ingredient, but we strive for zero tolerance. As we work with suppliers, our goal is to deliver 100% certainty that there are no GMO’s in our products. We are close, but we can’t say with 100% certainty that we have accomplished our goal, but we will achieve that goal as soon as we possibly can.
More information about genetically modified organisms can be found at the following sites:
Center for Food Safety:
Center for Food Safety on labeling: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/labeling_fact-sheet_35682.pdf
French study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23559886