Frequently Asked Questions about GMOs
When you go to the supermarket to buy any food product, you might observe that some products have GMO labels. Many people don’t know what GMO entails and whether they should purchase food products that have a GMO label. GMOs are food items created through genetic engineering. Learning more about GMOs and how they affect your health can help you make a better choice.
Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you understand GMOs better.
What are GMO foods?
GMO foods are made from genetically modified crops. Such crops have modified DNA, in which they added a new gene to their DNA to enhance their quality. Such modified crops can have increased disease resistance, yield, and flavour due to their changed genetics.
Which GMO crops are grown in Canada?
The GMO crops grown in Canada include canola, corn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, and alfalfa. The Government has also approved apples for GMO production, but they are not yet commercially grown in Canada. Many people believe that tomatoes and strawberries are also grown through genetic modification; however, that’s not true.
Are GMO foods safe to consume?
One of the primary concerns people have about GMO foods is whether they are safe to eat. The answer is debatable. Many scientists say that GMOs are essentially safe for consumption. However, many studies also point out that we do not have enough understanding of genetic engineering to identify the threats, and GMOs can adversely affect human health and the environment.
Why do farmers opt for GMO crops?
Farmers opt for GMO crops as it has various benefits, including increasing the disease resistance of the crops by adding insect-resistant genes to the crop. It, in turn, increases the yield for the farmers.Increased insect resistance also means that farmers have to use fewer pesticides and insecticides on the crop, making them safer for human consumption and the environment.
How are GMOs regulated in Canada?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency currently accesses all GMO crops to ensure that they are safe for consumption. The agency also checks whether it is harming the livestock or the environment. The inspection can take years of field research and trials. Only after that are they allowed for production.
Are GMO foods labeled in Canada?
There are no specific laws in Canada that state that GMO Foods should be explicitly labeled. All producers are bound to follow the Food and Drugs Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act while labeling food products.