guineapigHey, we have an idea.  Let’s all become part of a cool experiment about how GMO (genetically modified food) affects our health!  We can all become subjects of a long-term health study to the impacts of genetic changes we are making to our mostly popular foods.    Oops!  It looks like we ARE all part of that experiment whether we volunteered or not.   In fact, if you don’t want to use GMO food, you have to pay a premium for GMO-free foods.    This is one of the few situation where it pays to live in another country because the rest of the world has effectively banned or severely restricted GMO food pending the outcome of the 313 million Americans participating in this forced human experiment.

There are several reasons why GM plants present unique dangers. The first is that the process of genetic engineering itself creates unpredicted alterations, irrespective of which gene is transferred.   In short, the genetic insertion process creates more changes in proteins than the scientists assume. Second, bioaccumulation — where toxic substances from the environment build up as a result of the modifications — results in increased metals, chemical substances and other material that had not been anticipated.   Finally, the proteins that are in the plant are changed and human bodies may respond differently to these new identified proteins.   Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.  We believe this explains the alarming rise in food allergies since the introduction of GMO foods.  Robyn O’Brien and others have documented the correlation between GMO, cancer rates and food allergies and its frightening stuff.     Take 18 minutes of your life and watch this video to learn more.   These  findings are largely consistent with those summarized and well-documented by the Institute for Responsible Technology,  the Center for Food SafetyGM Watch, and John Robbins’ research.

The increase in several diseases in North America may be due to the profound changes in our diet. The most radical change occurred a little over a decade ago when genetically modified (GM) crops were introduced. Their influence on health has been largely ignored, but recent studies show serious problems. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to thousands of toxic or allergic-type reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.

There are many animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,  including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. In fact, nearly every independent animal feeding safety study shows adverse or unexplained effects.

  • Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants
  • Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
  • More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
  • Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
  • By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
  • Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
  • Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
  • Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
  • The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
  • Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.

According to Arpad Pusztai, PhD, one of the world’s leading experts in GM food safety assessments, the type of stomach lesions linked to the tomatoes “could lead to life-endangering hemorrhage, particularly in the elderly who use aspirin to prevent [blood clots].” Dr. Pusztai believes that the digestive tract, which is the first and largest point of contact with foods, can reveal various reactions to toxins and should be the first target of GM food risk assessment. He was alarmed, however, to discover that studies on the FlavrSavr never looked passed the stomach to the intestines. Other studies that did look found problems.

Dr. Pusztai’s experience highlights one of the most troubling aspects of the biotech debate;  critics are fiercely attacked.   Not only are adverse findings by independent scientists often suppressed, ignored, or denied, researchers that discover problems from GM foods have been fired, stripped of responsibilities, deprived of tenure, and even threatened.  Dr. Pusztai, whose research is cited above, went public with his concerns, and then was fired after 35 years at Scotland’s Rowatt Institute  and silenced with threats of a lawsuit. False statements were circulated to trash his reputation, which are recited by GMO advocates today.

After University of California Professor Ignacio Chapela, PhD, published evidence that GM corn contaminated Mexico’s indigenous varieties, two fictitious internet characters created by Monsanto’s PR firm, the Bivings Group, initiated a brutal internet smear campaign, lying about Dr. Chapela and his research.   And some of the literature created by the Institute for Responsible Technology has been harshly denounced by mainstream media and self-styled web news sites.   While US media around the world has largely overlooked the serious problems associated with GM crops and their regulation. The reason for this oversight is varied and includes contributions from an aggressive public relations and disinformation campaign by the biotech industry, legal threats by biotech companies, and in some cases, the fear of losing advertising accounts. This last reason is particularly prevalent among the farm press, which receives much of its income from the biotech industry.

We don’t intend to mislead anyone into thinking that the crusading non-GMO scientific community has come up with a smoking gun proving the GMO food is harmful.   They haven’t.   But they’ve found a lot of bullets and gun-shot wounds that would lead everyone other than the O.J. Simpson jury to conclude that foul play is afoot.   Most of Europe, China, Brazil, Australia and some 30 other countries have largely banned GMO food or require labeling of any GMO products.   An estimated 70% of processed foods in the average American kitchen contain GMO ingredients.  Here are the most common GMO foods, much of this data comes from the Non-GMO Project:

  • Soy  (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Corn  (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Wheat
  • Sugar  (Sugar Beets – approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Canola Oil   (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Cotton
  • Milk
  • Zucchini & Yellow Squash
  • Bananas (grown in the U.S.)
  • Papayas (only those grown in Hawaii)
  • Golden Rice  (largely grown in China)
  • Wheat  (beginning in 2013)
  • Alfalfa  (largely food stock for animals — beginning in 2013)

Another important alert for concerned shoppers is the number of common ingredients that are derived from GMO crops.   They include Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup,  Honey, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

We strongly recommend checking out Non-GMO Project’s Verified Product list and Shopping Guide.   If you’ve not started reducing soy, wheat and corn from your diet, this is the time to do it.