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What are GMO's?

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Ever wondered “what is a GMO”?


Do you think genetic engineering is harmful to health?


Discovering exactly what GMO’s are can be intimidating. GMO’s are all around us so learning what a GMO is important.


In this article we will discuss:

  • What is a GMO?

  • What is genetic engineering?

  • Are pesticides harmful to health?

  • Do GMO’s effect health?


What is a GMO? What is Genetic Engineering?

A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, or microorganism whose genetic nature has been altered in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. Genetic engineering is a practice that uses laboratory-based technologies to alter the DNA nature of an organism. It involves adding genes from one organism to another to get desired characteristics. Genetic engineering is a form of crossbreeding. With genetic engineering, different combinations of the following exist:

  • plants

  • animals

  • bacteria and viruses

  • genes


When Was Genetic Engineering Started?

Genetic engineering was first introduced by scientists in 1973. In 1982, the FDA approved the first GMO consumer product; human insulin to treat diabetes. In 1994, the first GMO crop, a tomato, become available for sale. This led to more GMO crops being available for sale throughout the 90’s. From genetic engineering’s 1994 - 2016, there were no labelling laws passed that deciphered GMO crops conventional and organic crops.


Which of these are NOT widely GMO? (answer at end of article)

  • Soy

  • Corn

  • Kale

  • Broccoli


Are Pesticides Harmful to Health?

GMO crops are more resistant to pesticides. Pesticides are any substance used to eliminate or manage certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests. Pesticides can be used more often on these crops because of the resistance. Pesticides pass-through food at low levels. Many people use pesticides frequently in the following:

  • homes

  • on skin

  • school and jobs


Pesticides at low levels don’t present as much risk to humans. However, larger amounts of pesticides in crops have raised health concerns of potential allergic reactions and increasing the risk of developing chronic disease.


Are GMO’s Harmful to Health?

There is no evidence that GMO crops cause health concerns such as allergic reactions and increased risk in developing chronic disease. However, certain types of pesticides, such as organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Many others are considered the following:

To search for information about pesticide ingredients and labels, click here.


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Poll Answer: Kale



Learning about what a GMO is can be intimidating but do not worry. Our smoothie recipe book is full of in-season produce that is GMO free. Link below:


Sumn Slight Smoothie Recipe Book (Sumn Slight)




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