GMOs have been a hot topic since it has been invented. Nowadays, GMO technology has developed and widely used in many parts of the World. Some show it in a very positive way. You might be asking yourself, should I be concerned about GMO foods on a vegan diet? This article will help you to get the information about GMO safety straight forward so that you can make your own decision about GMO food.
What is GMO?
GMO states for the genetically modified organisms, GMOs are plants or other organisms which carry not only their original set of genes but also a gene from another organism or their own gene, which has been extracted, modified, and put back. We definitely should be considered about the health consequences of the food, which has been genetically modified.
How are GMOs created?
As mentioned above, GMO plants have genes from another organism in them. The most common method is to put the specific gene into a bacteria, which will infect the plant and pass that gene to it. This process is not very precise and it takes many trials and errors until they achieve the result- a new thriving plant with this new gene.
Why GMO is made?
These genes, which they put into another plant are manipulated in the labs in order to make a specific gene, which will help that plant to become herbicide or pesticide-resistant so that non of the crops would get spoiled while growing or eaten by a bag. To be able to grow a lot of good looking crops at a low price and sell them to make a profit.
Are GMO plants bad for us?
The use of herbicides on GMO crops is enormous! In fact, GMO plants are produced by the same companies which produce herbicides to spray on the crops! We need to understand, that these herbicides are not only affecting the plants, they also harm people and everything alive! They can cause cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and endocrine system disruptions! [1,2] These herbicides are in the plants and their seeds too, which we eat! Apart from that, the nutrient content of these plants is very disproportional compared to what it should be in one or another type of plant. GMO plants are toxic because they literally carry toxins in them, such as glyphosate for example. In The US and Europe, they keep increasing the `standard of how much of these herbicides are allowed to be in the plant, which is basically an allowed amount of poison that can be sold to us! These farmers, which spray them have so many different illnesses! There organic farmers, who don’t use herbicides, and plants grow just fine!
We also should keep in mind, that if feeding GMO plants to people is more or less a concern in most countries, it is widely accepted to feed GM plants to levestock, whom later omnivore people would eat. Animal organisms are not very different from humans in terms of organs and their functions therefore we can assume that they also get these deseases from GMO plants.
Are there GMO plants in my country?
In the US it is allowed to grow and sell GMO corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa, beets, papaya, squash, potatoes, and apples.
In most of the European countries GMO cultivation is banned, however, the import of GMO food is widely allowed.
In Russia GMO growth and import was banned until 2020, but since then they actually allowed to grow GMO soy.
In counties like Ukraine and Peru even though the cultivation of GM is not allowed, farmers often ignore it.[3,4,6]
In Spain and Portugal, they grow GMO maize MON 810, which is manufactured by American multinational biotech company Monsanto. 
Other than that, considering the ban of growing GMO foods for humans, in many countries it is still allowed to grow for livestock.
How to avoid GMO foods?
In my conclusion, depending on your country in terms of following the law, level of corruption, and complexity of governmental policies with all the exceptions and amendments, it might seem not easy. In terms of the US, it is pretty clear that if you buy exclusively organic corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa, beets, papaya, squash, potatoes, and apples, you can be GMO- safe. I recommend finding out the exact GMO regulations in your countries in terms of not only growing GMO crops, but also imports of them. Buy organic as much as possible and always look at the country of origin. In Switzerland, for example, the imports of GMO foods are allowed, and I have seen that most of the frozen edamame comes from China, where are no strict regulations against GMOs. Therefore, this Chinese edamame sold in Swiss supermarkets can likely be genetically modified. . I recommend to always read the labels, look for approved Non-GMO labels in your country, especially on soy and corn containing products as they are two crops are most commonly being genetically modified.
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- De Roos AJ, Blair A, Rusiecki JA, Hoppin JA, Svec M, Dosemeci M, Sandler DP, Alavanja MC. Cancer incidence among glyphosate-exposed pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Jan;113(1):49-54. doi: 10.1289/ehp.7340. PMID: 15626647; PMCID: PMC1253709.
- Gasnier C, Dumont C, Benachour N, Clair E, Chagnon MC, Séralini GE. Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology. 2009 Aug 21;262(3):184-91. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2009.06.006. Epub 2009 Jun 17. PMID: 19539684.
- Where are GMO crops and animals approved and banned?
- Battle over 15-year GMO ban extension rages in Peru as farmers breed and cultivate the illegal biotech seed
- Several European countries move to rule out GMOs
- Cитуация с ГМО в Украине
- The Chinese public’s awareness and attitudes toward genetically modified foods with different labeling