5 Prevalent GMO Foods

Connecticut is the first state in the nation to require foods containing genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) be labelled. Governor Dannel Malloy signed Public Act 13-183 into law on December 11, and said he was “proud that leaders from each of the legislative caucuses can come together to make our state the first in the nation to require the labeling of GMOs.”

“The end result is a law that shows our commitment to consumers’ right to know while catalyzing other states to take similar action,” Malloy said. Other states taking action is an important aspect of the law, two provisions keep the law from taking effect. One is that four other states need to adopt like-legislation. Additionally, a combination of Northeastern states needs to pass a GMO labeling law. The number of states does not matter so long as the population totals exceed 20 million. The law was passed in the hope that it will compel other states into action. Labeling laws exist in more than 60 countries, and are meant to bring greater transparency to what is being consumed.

When DNA from one species is extracted and injected into another — in order to produce a cheaper product, or add nutritional value — the product has been genetically modified, making it a GMO. It is a practice that is highly controversial–praised, and derided. Even though the foods go through FDA testing, people are concerned about the safety of the practice, and whether or not it is ethical. As a result, many favor a label placed on foods to let them know what they are purchasing. Here are 5 prevalent, contentious GMOs.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/

1. Milk

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and recombinant bovine somatotropin (or, rBST) are genetically modified versions of hormones cows produce naturally. Cows are injected with rBGH and rBST by farmers who want to increase milk production. Each has been shown to cause a higher prevalence of mastitis in cows. Not only is the condition painful for the cow, but it requires antibiotic treatment. In 2010, an appellate court in Ohio ruled that when milk is free of these hormones, it  “is safer or of higher quality than milk from treated cows.”