It Turns Out That GMOs May Pose Some Pretty Serious Health Risks

mbg Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability Editor
Emma is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

Genetically modified organisms are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives, whether we like it or not. Altering a plant's genetic structure can increase production yields by making crops more disease-resistant and weather-tolerant, translating into big paydays for major agrobusinesses. As a result, more than 75% of processed foods on American shelves contain genetically modified ingredients.

These companies have said for years that GM seeds are nearly identical to non-GM ones, thus making them safe for human consumption. But strict patent laws protect modified seeds, making it nearly impossible for scientists to back up these industry claims.

A new study in Agricultural Sciences may be challenging those claims, finding that genetic modification significantly disrupts a plant’s ability to handle stress. The study, led by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, found GM soybeans to have higher formaldehyde levels than their non-GM counterparts. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, so this is potentially dangerous news for the food industry.

Scientists behind the study are now calling for increased transparency in the GM industry and a more regulated system for testing our food.

"This is not a pro- or anti-GMO question,” says Ayyadurai. “But, are we following the scientific method to ensure the safety of our food supply? Right now, the answer is no.”

Food for thought.

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