On his TV program, The Dr. Oz Show , Dr. Mehmet Oz addresses concerns surrounding genetically modified foods , or GMO as they are commonly called. The show, which aired on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, explored aspects from both sides of the debate.
Genetic modification of foods is the process of mixing genes from one substance, such as bacteria, and adding it to another substance, like corn. By mixing the genes you end up with a product that kills bugs and makes it resistant to pesticides and other chemical sprays. The goal of GMO is to produce bigger crops, ward off plant diseases and lower food prices.
Genetically modified foods were first introduced less than 20 years ago. About 90% of corn, soy beans and sugar beets have been genetically modified and 3 out of 4 processed foods contain them. The FDA states that GMO’s are safe, however many of these foods have been banned by many countries.
Martina Newell-McGloughlin, Co-Director of NIH Training Program in Biomelecular Technology at UC Davis, is an avid supporter of genetically modified foods and feels from both a personal and scientific standpoint that they are safe. She claims that genetically modified foods are not only safer than conventional foods, but that they are the most sustainable production system available. American farmers as well as farmers in third world countries who have lost their farms as a direct result of GMO may not agree with her.