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us food and drug administration
food and drug administration
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Frankenfoods: GMO Foods Are More Prevalent Than You Might Think
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Frankenfoods: GMO Foods Are More Prevalent Than You Might Think

Soy is the most genetically modified food in the United States, with 91% of the soy crops produced in the country having at least some form of genetically modified organism (GMO) used to improve crop yield. Cottonseed is the second highest at 88% and corn is third with 85% but those are far from the only ones. And, it is not only the crop that becomes the problem, it is the dozens and dozens of products that are created and then used to make other products that makes it almost impossible to steer completely clear of all GMOs. Even labeling has become an issue for most consumers; simply choosing organic may not be enough, according to many experts who suggest choosing foods with the "non-GMO or GMO free" label instead.

Many people think if they are buying only fresh, whole foods, they are not facing the problem with these additives but they are sadly mistaken. The US Food and Drug Administration has a list of foods that are reviewed for GMO's. On that list are things that you would have assumed to be "safe" or at least safer than the processed foods and include papaya, some types of squashes and of course, corn. The FDA also recently announced that genetically altered salmon might be allowable in the very near future. Breeders want to be able to use GMO's to push the salmon to grow to full size nearly twice as fast as non modified fish.

Genetically modified foods were first introduced to the American public in the 1990's. Some scientists claimed that they were not different in terms of nutrition or safety and that there was no cause for alarm. Others claimed that there were not enough research studies or information available to make that determination. But, some thirty countries around the world have decided to err on the side of caution by banning or limiting GMO crops. Japan, Australia and all of the nations of the European nation have adopted these bans but the US has so far refused to do so as well.

Reducing your family's exposure to these crops and products made with them is difficult but not impossible. The eight highest GM crops are soybeans, corn, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, papaya, zucchini and some squash. If you can find foods that are labeled as either "GMO free" or "certified organic" then you will be in better shape. Any food that is labeled as "certified organic" can have no trace of GM ingredients as well as a number of other substances.

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