As you shop in the grocery store, you may notice on labels that more foods are being genetically modified. One FOX 26 News viewer offered his concerns about it, so we asked expert Dr. Tony O'Donnell for his opinion and advice.
Dr. O'Donnell explains that genetically modified food, or GM food, is where the food is spliced together and food is produced from genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
"Many corn and chips are genetically modified, so you need to look out for this," states Dr. O'Donnell. He suggests you read all labels.
The Center for Food Safety says about 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton that are produced here in the U.S. are genetically modified.
Dr. O'Donnell tells us he met a food engineer who explained why GMO's came about in the first place. "Companies are spending millions of dollars in America on products they're throwing away that are expired. They question - what if we could genetically modify that food and keep it on the shelf forever? It was primarily done in third world countries, where there wasn't a lot of food and people were going hungry. Now some third world countries are sending back the genetically modified food because they're dying younger, the animals are getting lymphomas on their neck which is a huge problem, and humans are getting sick from it, so we need to be more mindful on what's on our label. Many farmers are not happy, especially in India, where their crops have been destroyed. There's the regular crop, then the genetically modified crop, and the GM one has encroached on the regular crop without the GMO seeds, and as a result, the crops have died, so the farmers are so dependent on their food supply from around the world. We don't farm like we used to! We're throwing away 50 million tons of food in U.S. every year, and this is why we have so many challenges, so you want to be mindful of looking at genetically modified food," says Dr. O'Donnell.
As far as health concerns about GMO's, Dr. O'Donnell says some research suggests it might be causing tumors. That's why he tells his patients to go to farmer's markets and buy organic. "I'm a farm boy from Ireland. I believe in looking for locally grown, organic products - wash it and enjoy it. Read the labels," he emphatically states.