Consumers/Consumption

Dietitian: How genetically modified foods fit into a healthful diet

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Molly Knudsen examines the disconnect between what science says and what people believe about GMO’s in a recent article titled GMOs are NOT ‘as seen on social media’.

Knudsen writes that in the food world, GMOs (aka genetically modified organisms) are often depicted as the Mean Girls character Regina George. Claims appear on websites, blogs, social media, and news stations that link GMOs to cancer, antibiotic-resistance, and allergies.

But what if these harmful claims, much like the rumors spread through Regina George’s infamous burn book, connected with GMOs are just gossip?

Well, according to science these allegations do not hold true, and research shows GMO foods are safe and nutritious to eat.

People’s distrust of GMOs may stem from confusion about what “GMO” actually means. Hearing the words geneticallymodified, and food in the same sentence seems to elicit the picture of a mad scientist injecting an apple with a giant syringe (or whatever food pops in your mind). But, that is not the case.

According to registered dietitian nutritionist Neva Cochran, the genetically modified part of GMOs comes from alteration in the seed’s genes. These changes in the seed’s DNA give the plant certain characteristics, such as resistance to disease and drought that are impossible to achieve otherwise.

Foods with these types of genetic modifications have been on the market since the early 1990s. Over 75 studies have been conducted on the safety of each new seed variety with these altered genes to understand the impact on people, animals, and the environment. Only after these rigorous processes are these products, that have proven to be safe, allowed to hit the shelves of grocery stores across the United States.

Read the full article by Knudson, published on Medium, here