If your pet’s food, treats, or even cat litter contains corn, soy, alfalfa or canola – chances are your pet is consuming Genetically Modified Crops and the risks associated with them. Some words of caution to GMO’s from a Holistic Veterinarian.
On the website VitalAnimal.com, veterinarian Dr. Will Falconer provides a great post on the risks of GMO’s in pet food. Some excerpts are below…
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Other acronyms used to describe the same entities include GE (genetically engineered so-and-so) and GM foods or GM crops, etc.
What sets GMOs apart is the manipulation of an organism’s actual DNA in a laboratory, by the insertion of another species’ genes into the gene sequence of the target organism.
The commonest example of GMOs is made by inserting bacterial genes of herbicide resistance into a crop plant. This is most often done by inserting genes of resistance to Roundup (glyphosate, the commonest herbicide in use on the planet, brought to you by Monsanto).
An example would be growing a GMO soy crop with herbicide resistance. “Roundup Ready” soy varieties allow a farmer to blanket his soybean field with glyphosate, and thereby kill all the weeds without killing his crop.
Dr. Falconer shares that to date, the following health conditions are associated with GMO crop consumption in animals…
- Liver and kidney damage;
- Reproductive failure;
- Stomach inflammation;
- Gut flora disruption;
- Hormone dysregulation, including insulin.
Most pet food consumers are aware that that corn is most often a GMO crop, but many forget about the other top GMO crops in the US. The Non-GMO Project states the following are “High-Risk Crops” (applicable to pet products)…
- Sugar Beets
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Crops that are suspect to have genetically modified relatives in production – known as “Monitored Crops” are…
- Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
- Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
- Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
- Cucurbita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
If you want your pet to be GMO free, check the ingredient list of every product you provide your pet. For the ‘monitored crops’ ingredients, call the manufacturer and ask if those ingredients are GMO or non-GMO. Cat owners, don’t forget corn based cat litter – you can safely assume 100% of corn litter is made from Roundup Ready GMO corn.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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