What are GMOs: Are they dangerous?
Health-conscious parents are very proactive and selective about what they give their children. Parents understand the weight of responsibility to keep their children healthy and growing.
Read: 4 Benefits of B Vitamins for Children
If you read the label on a vitamin bottle and see that the product contains GMO or bioengineered ingredients, you might think twice about buying it.
Here's what you need to know about GMO and bioengineered ingredients in food and health products, and what labeling guidelines mean for your ability to make informed choices at the grocery store.
What are GMOs?
GMO stands for the genetically modified organism. GMOs are a controversial topic. They are often fundamentally misunderstood, and many people do not have accurate knowledge of how GMOs are produced.
Scientists find plants that are hardy and will survive a wide range of conditions and fortify new plants with their genetics.
Corn is the most common example of an organism that is a GMO, although soybeans, potatoes, cotton, canola, papaya, and sugar beets are almost always genetically modified unless specifically stated otherwise.
Farmers want to increase their yields and increase the chances of survival of their crops.
Some corns appear to thrive better in the dry season or are less reactive to the herbicides used to manage weeds that naturally appear in the fields.
The scientists looked at the genetics of corn that was better than any other type of corn, and they isolated the gene responsible for making corn so tough.
They introduced the genes to similar maize seeds. Corn grown from such seeds has a higher chance of showing the same characteristics, leading to less food residue.
Read: When is the Best Time to Take Vitamins?
More plants will grow to full maturity, and farmers sometimes use fewer resources to keep their crops alive.
Are GMOs Safe?
GMO foods are perfectly safe to eat as long as they are washed and prepared properly.
Your body can't tell the difference between genetically modified corn (GMO) genes and corn that isn't. No food products are produced which are harmful to your body.
GMO crops like golden rice have saved lives. Corn rice is rice that is genetically modified to contain higher amounts of vitamin A and has been used to prevent the harmful effects of vitamin A deficiency plaguing children in developing countries.
When something is safe to eat and has the potential to save lives, how can it be so controversial?
GMOs are very misunderstood. Many people avoid it for the wrong reasons. The problem at hand is not what GMO foods can do to our bodies, but what most common farming practices can do to the environment.
Most GMO crops are designed to be resistant to chemicals such as glyphosate, controversial herbicide, and pesticides with damaging effects on the environment.
Not all GMO plants are exposed to glyphosate, but there's no way for the average consumer to tell the plants that have it other than those that don't.
Glyphosate works while GMO crops are still relatively new to mass farming, but weeds growing in GMO crop fields have grown rapidly to withstand their effects.
This has led to an exponential increase in the amount farmers use glyphosate to drive weeds from their fields.
Glyphosate is the real enemy. The use of glyphosate to rid South America of illegal crops has a particularly detrimental effect on the Amazon rainforest.
Millions of pounds of excess glyphosate have ravaged the soil and seeped into the water supply, effectively poisoning the soil on which the aboriginal tribes depended.
The same thing happened in the United States. Whenever a farmer introduces glyphosate into the environment, they have the potential to contaminate wildlife habitats and the resources humans need to survive.
It is not the GMO food itself that is a problem for human health, but the conditions that are often used to produce the food.
If GMO crops are grown with excessive amounts of glyphosate, glyphosate residues may be left on the outside of the plant. Washing your products is very important, as there is no known safe threshold for taking glyphosate.
Should You Avoid GMOs?
Many people choose to avoid GMOs because they are afraid they might contribute to this environmental pollution.
Because glyphosate is still legal to use (despite strong opposition from human rights organizations and environmental watchdog groups), people have no way of knowing whether the GMO products they buy are contributing to the glyphosate problem.
Organic farmers are not legally allowed to produce GMO crops, so the only way to know that the product you are buying does not contain GMOs is to buy exclusively organic food and health products.
Farmers with organic type do use pesticides, it's just that the type of pesticide they use is different from the usual. Many organic farmers use derivatives of the neem or chrysanthemum plants for their natural pesticide abilities, and because these compounds are easily found in nature, they are not known to harm the environment.
Why Are There GMOs in My Child's Vitamins?
If there are GMOs in your child's vitamins, it means they are from genetically modified plants. Plants can be genetically modified to increase their vitamin production (as in the case of golden rice), or the vitamin fillers are derived from transgenic plants.
The term "bioengineered" is a less intimidating synonym for GMOs. The terminology makes it sound like something different, but the same thing wrapped up in a packaging that hasn't developed any negative connotations.
Tips for finding Non-GMO Multivitamin Supplements for Kids
Until 2022, it will be difficult to tell which vitamins do and don't contain GMOs unless they are specifically stated on the packaging. If vitamins don't state that they are non-GMO, it's best to assume they are not.
Hiya's children's non-GMO chewable multivitamin is sugar-free and naturally flavored. We use a blend of organic fruits and vegetables to give your chewable multivitamin a natural color and flavor your kids will enjoy.
We are also an eco-friendly company that manufactures our products in the United States. Your first order comes with a sturdy, reusable container for your child's vitamins. We will send refills in packs at least every month according to the schedule recommended by the pediatrician. Sustainability means a lot to us, and we know it means a lot to families who want to manage their environmental impact.
We know the health of your children is the most important thing in the world to you and that every household has different needs. We aim to design a multivitamin that fits every child's needs. Hiya is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Children with special dietary needs can safely use Hiya.