Do You Eat GMOs? Why You Might Without Even Knowing

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you’ve been following the genetically modified foods debate, it’s no surprise that GMOs are popping up in places you’d least expect them. Without regulations requiring GMOs to be labeled as such, they are becoming more prevalently available, and without many of us even knowing. But would you expect to find this to be the case at Whole Foods?

The Los Angeles Times reports this week that Whole Foods can no longer guarantee their food is GMO free. Why is this important? Monica Eng of the LA Times explains:

Organic foods, by definition, can’t knowingly contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation’s top organic food retailers says it hasn’t been able to avoid stocking some products that contain them.

Genetically modified food is a complicated subject. On one hand, it has allowed for far more efficent farming; GMOs are designed to withstand disease and produce greater yield. But these advancements may come with a price for those actually eating the modified food. GMOs also present potential problems for soil health and the increased use of pesticides. Advocates argue that if the FDA has deemed the GMOs safe, why should we worry?

Other countries have not been so lax, however. France banned GM food in 2008. Spanish researchers published their findings on GMO food safety earlier this year (opinions were evenly split between the food deemed safe and harmful). Canadian researchers found that the blood of 93 percent of pregnant women and 80 percent of blood samples from their umbilical cords contained a pesticide implanted in GMO corn by biotech behemoth Monsanto.

How do you feel about genetically modified foods?

(Images: Flickr user fishhawk licensed for use under Creative Commons)