Are you aware of the potential health issues caused by consuming genetically modified food in restaurants and takeaway shops?

What exactly are genetically modified food/organisms (GMO)? GMOs are created by transferring genes from one species to the DNA of another to produce desired traits that do not occur naturally. For example, genetically modified corn reduces the need for pesticides and is less prone to pest infestation and diseases compared to heirloom corn. Genetic engineering can also make crops grow faster and increase product yield, thereby lowering the market cost.

It is not surprising then that most restaurants use GM foods to reduce the cost. Some of the GM foods usually used in takeaway foods are canola oil, soybean products, corn products, potatoes and sugar beets.

And just because GM foods are widely used nowadays, doesn’t mean that it is safe. There are actually a handful of reasons why you should avoid GM foods particularly from takeaway restaurants and shops.

  1. Food Allergy

A common concern on GM foods is the possibility of causing allergic reactions. Protein from a source that has never been consumed by human or known to cause allergies used in GM foods can increase the risk of having allergic reactions. Previously non-existent allergic reactions may also be a result of novel gene combinations in GMOs. Food allergy caused by some GM products was confirmed in in vitro studies.

  1. Toxicity

Plants can potentially produce toxic substances as a result of the changes in their genetic makeup. Likewise, when crops that can withstand high doses of herbicides and produce pesticide find their way into our plates, it can be harmful to health.

  1. Lower nutritional quality

Compared to natural foods, GM foods were found to have lower nutritional value. Due to genetic modification, some of its nutrients may decrease or become indigestible. For instance, GM plants may have increased phytate levels that can inhibit the absorption of minerals. GM soybeans have also been found to have decreased phytoestrogen or compounds known to help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.

  1. Resistance to antibiotics

Certain types of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotic in the recent years. And one of the possible reasons for this is the antibiotic resistance genes added to GMOs that we may be consuming through GM foods. These genes may be taken up by the bacteria in our digestive tract which may eventually develop antibiotic resistance.

  1. Negative effects on internal organs, immune system, fertility and other issues

Another reason why you should avoid GM foods is the probable adverse long-term health effects associated with its consumption. It has been shown in animal studies that consumption of GM foods can cause organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorder, faster aging, and infertility. Similarly, in human studies, GM foods may lead to long-term health problems as it usually leaves materials inside the body. Toxic chemicals produced by GM crops may be left in our bloodstream.

Combining totally unrelated genes can yield unpredictable side effects including the production of new allergens, toxins and carcinogens. It is believed that the rise in the prevalence of chronic illnesses, food allergies and digestive problems is linked to the increased consumption of GM foods.