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GMO Bugs & Drugs

GMO stands for genetically modified organism. A GMO can be a plant, animal, or insect. The FDA is set to give approval to British researchers to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. 2 diseases are a growing threat in the U.S., Dengue and chikugunya. “This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure diseases,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

The male GM mosquitoes have parts of proteins found in herpes simplex virus and E. coli bacteria. When they breed with a female, the offspring die. Male mosquitoes do not bite or spread disease to animals and therefore are considered safe for humans. However, many residents are uncertain.

In 2012 the FDA shocked researchers and the biotech industry by allowing GMO plants to be grown for the use of treating human disease. Now, pharmaceutical companies are capitalizing on this and working as fast as they can to develop drugs in our foods. Carrots and bananas currently have been altered to grow drugs in them.

What would happen to our food base if these were to somehow make their way into nature and our food supply? While companies are lobbing hard for this venue to distribute drugs, the global and human impact should be considered before such steps are taken.

How Well Do Your Genes Fit?

Your genes contain all of the code (blueprints) to build you. Your genes are perfect for you. If we were to modify your genes, you would not be who you are. You would be different.

If different is what you want, you can change how you express your genes by the food you eat, your activity level, and even your attitude! How great is that? You can control how you are expressed. But what if genes from bacteria, viruses, plants, or other animals were inserted into your body and integrated into your genetic structure? Every time your cells replicated, that newly inserted trait or code would be propagated.

How would you feel about that? What would the long-term ramifications be on your children or children’s children? How would your body be able to handle that genetic trait for a lifetime? How would damage from oxidative stressors impact it?