Are GMOs harmful? The jury's still out

Posted at 2:54 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 18:46:21-04

As a yoga instructor and mother of two, Jessica Sexton helps everyone she teaches and her kids live a healthier lifestyle.

That includes avoiding foods with GMOs or genetically modified organisms.

"They make me wary," said Sexton. "What we put into our bodies and put onto our bodies, becomes part of us."

Right now, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 80 percent of all processed foods are genetically modified, but so far most of the research shows GMOs are not harmful to our health.

"Of those foods, they've all been deemed safe," said registered dietician Laura Smith with the University of Kansas Hospital.  "But of course more research needs to be done specifically for each crop as far as whether they pose any health risks."
Smith says crops like corn and soybeans contain the highest percentage of GMOs -- crops that end up in much of our food.

Smith says further studies on those crops could show whether there's an increased cancer risk.

"We get a lot of questions even from our cancer patients about whether they're safe or not," said Smith.

The bottom line for parents like Jessica, GMOs are likely safe, but for those with lingering concerns, buying organic foods can help them avoid them.

"I'm sure there are some that get into our diet, but we do the best we can," said Smith of GMOs.

Recently, General Mills, Kellogg's, ConAgra, and the Mars candy company announced they will label products that include GMOs.

It's all in response to a new law in Vermont which requires the labels.



Justin Wilfon can be reached at

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