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Parents often grapple with the question of what is best for their children’s diet. In recent years, the safety of genetically modified organism (GMO) foods has become a topic of concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a comprehensive report addressing this concern, providing evidence-based insights on the safety of GMO-containing food products for children.
What Does the Report Say?
The AAP report was formulated to address the concerns of families and pediatricians regarding GMO foods. It emphasizes the importance of evidence-based research in assessing the impact of GMO-containing foods on children’s health. The report also discusses the presence of herbicide residues in GMO food products, highlighting the need for healthy dietary patterns for kids.
The AAP report also mentions that most U.S. products derived from GMO crops are found in ultra-processed foods and animal feed. This realization underscores the importance of transparency in food labeling to help families make informed decisions when shopping for their children’s food. The report calls for more research and transparency in labeling of GMO-based foods.
Are GMO Foods Harmful for Children?
According to the AAP report, the new genes introduced into GMO foods have not shown potential for harm. However, it does express concerns about the potential health hazards of herbicides used to grow GMO crops, particularly glyphosate. More herbicides are being used in crops and are found in food products, and there is limited research on their long-term health impacts on children.
How Can Parents Minimize the Risks?
The report suggests that parents who want to minimize GMO products can focus on a diet of primarily whole, plant-based foods and reducing ultra-processed foods. For those who want to avoid GMO products completely, buying products labeled as ‘organic’ or ‘non-GMO’ based on third-party testing is advisable.
Organic labeling guarantees non-GMO status as organic farmers are not allowed to use seeds, animal feed, or ingredients with GMO, or any conventional pesticides or antibiotics. Schools and hospitals that care for children are also advised to consider avoiding GMO foods to minimize glyphosate exposure, when alternatives are available and affordable.
The report serves as a valuable resource for parents and health professionals seeking reliable information on GMO foods and children’s health. It advocates for more research into the potential long-term health effects of GMO foods and the need for transparency in food labeling. Pediatricians are urged to minimize fear-based messaging about GMO foods, understanding that non-GMO foods might be too expensive for some families. Ultimately, the goal is to support families in making informed decisions about their children’s diet and health.