Who doesn’t want the very best for their kids? That includes what we feed them.

In fact, we tend to be even MORE concerned about the quality of foods we give our children, since little growing and developing bodies can be even more susceptible to negative health effects from what they consume.

That’s why you may want to take a closer look at the foods your kids eat and avoid foods with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, because kids can be especially vulnerable to the effects of GMO foods.

But first, let’s start at the beginning, and give you a basic overview of what we mean by GMO foods and how they can potentially impact you and your kids.

GMO Foods
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What’s a GMO?

A GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.


What Kinds of Traits Are Added To GMO Foods?

  • Foods can be altered to become herbicide tolerant crops, which allows farmers to spray weed killers directly on the crop without killing it.
  • Foods can also be altered to become pesticide-producing crops, where the plant produces its own internal pesticide.
  • Foods can also be altered for desirable traits, like not bruising or turning brown.


What Are The Most Common GMO Foods?

  • Soy, canola, sugar beets, corn, Hawaiian papaya, milk, zucchini and yellow squash.
  • Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
  • At least 80% of all products on supermarket shelves contain GMO ingredients.


Why Are GMO Foods A Potential Risk For Children?

Here’s the thing… when it comes to GMOs, there’s a lot we just don’t know. While the U.S. government has said GMO Foods are safe to eat, 19 other countries have banned or placed severe restrictions on GMOs and the pesticides that go along with them. And the list of countries to ban GMOs continues to grow.

GMOs have been linked to allergies, various digestive issues, and some animal feeding studies have resulted in tumors, damaged immune systems, and other issues.

Children face a greater potential health risk from GMO foods because:

  • GM effects can occur rapidly in fast-growing and developing bodies.
  • Children are more susceptible to allergies and nutritional problems.
  • Children are prone to issues with milk.
  • Risks associated with antibiotic resistant diseases.


Growing Bodies

In GMO feeding studies, young rats showed significant health damage to their immune systems and digestive function as well as displaying smaller brains, livers and cellular changes in their intestines in only 10 days, according to the Institute of Responsible Technology (IRT), a world leader in educating about GM foods and crops.


Allergies and Nutritional Problems

Children are three to four times more susceptible to allergies than adults. GMO foods can boost allergic response, since they introduce foreign DNA into your system. GM corn is particularly problematic for children since they generally eat a higher percentage of corn in their diet.

A 2002 report by the UK’s Royal Society, said that genetic modification “could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods.” Meaning GMO foods may not have the same nutritional value as their non-GMO counterparts.


Milk Issues

That brings us to milk, and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This is a genetically engineered hormone used to increase milk production in cows.

Milk and other dairy products from cows treated with rBGH contain a larger amount of the hormone IGF-1, one of the highest risk factors associated with breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Also In Beenke: Is Eating Organic Worth The Hassle?

If that weren’t enough, Sam Epstein, M.D., Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, writes, “rBGH and its digested products could be absorbed from milk into blood, particularly in infants, and produce hormonal and allergic effects.”


Antibiotic Resistance

Children who are prone to infections may be severely impacted if antibiotics lose their effectiveness due to antibiotic-resistant genes in GMO foods and the overuse of antibiotics in rbGH treated cows. The British Medical Association cited this as one reason why they called for a moratorium of GMO foods.


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What Can A Concerned Parent Do?

To help your kids avoid eating GMOs:

  • Read labels and avoid buying processed food products containing corn, soy, canola, and vegetable oil.
  • Look for the NON-GMO Project Label
  • Get a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide
  • Buy USDA organic foods whenever possible

To make this task easier, you can buy products from a wholesale online market such as Thrive Market and have items shipped right to your door. They sell Non-GMO products, that are natural and organic at wholesale prices, so you can save a little money to boot.

It’s a big help for busy moms that are picky about the ingredients they’ll feed their family, but don’t have the time to run all over town trying to find products that fit the bill.


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