General Interest

General Interest: GMO food of no real danger

Contributed by paustian on May 18, 2016 - 09:26 AM

love science and microbiology. I love fitness and nutrition. If you take care of your body and feed it well, it goes a long way to having great quality of life. So I am always interested in fitness and nutrition.

Having the perspective of a scientist, any claims I read for a fitness routine or nutrition regimen have to backed by good solid evidence. This can be very hard to come by. Nutrition research is extremely difficult, because you are dealing with food. The food we eat is incredibly complex, containing hundreds of chemicals that interact with our genetic background and our microbiomes. Even more complexity is added if you are doing the food research using people. Any human subject research will involve hundreds of uncontrollable variables, because you cannot tell a human to only consume leafy greens and broccoli for a year and please stay in this cage the whole time. Where they live, their behaviors and what other food they eat will all influence whatever the research is trying to measure. No matter the nutrition question, finding an answer can be extremely difficult. 

Over 68.8% of adults in America are considered to be overweight and many of them are looking for a way to lose those pounds. The diet industry is happy to provide simple answers that done work, selling various concoctions made up of beets, or oat bran or pine needles. These are the modern-day snake-oil salesman. There is no simple answers. So when I hear claims that fat makes you fat (nope), or sugar causes cancer (not true) I am very suspicious. Another favorite canard of many nutrition experts, that I hear repeated by even heath and fitness experts I respect is the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) we use as food are unhealthy. So I read with great interest a panel of scientists convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine just released a report summarizing the safety of GMOs. The consensus is that they are safe to use. So go ahead and consume that flavor saver tomato, it won’t hurt. I found the article published in Science about the study to be very well balanced.


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