What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food
Original story at The Atlantic• 14 mentions • 10 months ago
The Atlantic 10 months ago
American farmers started growing genetically engineered (GE) crops (which are also commonly referred to as "GMOs") in 1996, and now plant 165 million acres annually. Food manufacturers estimate that 70 percent of processed foods contain at least one ingredient made from GE crops. But along with such rapid adoption of a scary-sounding technology have come myths propagated by proponents and opponents. Here are some facts that sometimes get lost in the hype--and that will come as a surprise to people on both sides of the constant arguments. There is no reliable evidence that ingredients made from current GE crops pose any health risk whatsoever. Numerous governmental and scientific agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Academy of Sciences, have conducted reviews that did not identify any health concerns. Indeed, even the fiercest opponents have not shown any health risks. That should not come as a surprise. The DNA inserted into GE seeds, and the protein it produces, are largely digested in the gastrointestinal tract. And the proteins are sometimes molecules that humans have already been exposed to in our diets. For example, GE crops that fend off viruses contain components of plant viruses that we've long eaten without any harm.