The Negative Impact of GMO Crops on Livestock and Human Health

A growing number of consumers’ voices are protesting genetically modified foods, and supporting the rise of farmers’ markets and organically-sourced food. Products containing GMO ingredients have found themselves at the center of a debate regarding their safety. Consumers and farmers question the safety of GMO products—and for good reason. So what exactly is GMO food? GMO crops have been genetically altered to increase shelf life or to insert a gene to deter natural pests. Genes are altered to enhance plant productivity or a flavor profile. Scientists take DNA from one source and insert the DNA into a foreign plant to obtain the desired results. And while this may seem like a good idea, many reports now cite major health concerns with this practice. The Organic Consumers Association recently outlined how devastating GMOs can be to both livestock and human health. In fact, they trace horrific events across the globe from the Netherlands to Argentina where GMO crops directly contributed to deaths and deformities. Corn and soy exist as ground zero for this debate; both livestock feed and sweet corn, a summer picnic table favorite, come in several GMO varieties. A large percentage of GMO sweet corn was successfully altered to produce its own insecticide and to withstand herbicides. This means that the corn’s DNA produces toxins to kill insects as well as chemicals to withstand applied toxins such as Roundup Ready. And while eating one or two ears may not impact human health, eating large amounts of corn (fresh, canned, or frozen) over several years means people ingest GMO engineered herbicides and insecticides. Many scientists believe exposure to genetically modified organisms can lead to a host of health concerns including chronic diseases and certain forms of cancer. And while scientists failed to insert flounder DNA successfully into tomatoes, labs continue to push the boundaries of cross-species genetics, potentially opening a door for allergen contamination among other health risks. Livestock health is a linked issue. Several reports now connect GMO feed to animal sickness; and while GMO feed lethally affects some, animals that survive and make it to market have consumed these products until their processing. This means that over their lifetimes GMOs have made their way into the animal’s muscles. Recently in Denmark, pig farmers encountered a troubling issue with the GMO soy they fed to their pigs. A large number of pigs began dying from violent diarrhea. At first farmers were baffled, but they more they researched, they more they believed the genetically engineered soy feed was the problem. While 30 years ago the feed contained a small percentage of GMO soy, today’s feed contained around 90% GMO soy. Several farmers stopped feeding their pigs feed with GMOs and noticed a rapid, dramatic improvement in their livestock. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Organic Systems concluded that piglets in Iowa fed GMO feed suffered from a host of health issues including larger uteri and severe stomach inflammation. The GMO debate proves that simply because science is capable of doing something doesn’t mean that it should. Such genetic tampering can negatively affect livestock and human health. nature soothie™ believes in the power of quality, organic ingredients. As an advocate of non-GMO foods, we responsibly source all of our ingredients from organic, non-GMO suppliers. This ensures that the products we create support health through powerful, naturally occurring compounds. Time-honored farming methods such as natural pest integration, companion planting, and crop rotation will always produce superior and safer crops for livestock and humans alike, and nature soothie™ will continue to support these methods.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  `
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