By: Sapna Fliedner MSN, HHC
Kinesiologist Stephanie Relfe’s “Health, Wealth & Happiness” website defines a genetically modified organism (GMOs) as “a plant, animal or microorganism that is created by means that overcome natural boundaries.” Genes, usually from animal species are mixed in plants by artificially inserting a genetic code to create new species which are then copyrighted and “owned” by the company. For example, genes from a fish have been inserted into strawberries and tomatoes.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has requested that the public avoid genetically modified food until further studies have been conducted on its side effects. Many scientists claim that genetically modified foods are safe because almost all food is modified in some way. However, this is untrue. “Genetic selection” refers to farmers taking seeds from their best crops and using them to grow only the best crops in the future. “Genetic modification” actually changes the plant’s DNA.
Why Genetic Modification?
Scientists who are pro-GMO claim that these modified plants can be used to grow better crops which are resistant to disease and pests. They claim that this technology can be used to grow foods for starving populations around the globe. In practice, however, the GMO industry uses “seed terminator technology” to force farmers to buy new seeds every year. “Terminator technology” refers to seeds that are programmed genetically so that second generation seeds are sterile, and thus farmers must buy again next year. This is so no one else owns them and they can make billions of dollars from them.
The Dangers Of Genetically Engineered Organisms
When you start to play God in the garden, you are going to see a whole host of problems.
Foods that are genetically modified can be allergenic, toxic and carcinogenic. Due to the genetic alterations, people may be unknowingly eating foods that they are allergic to. For example, one may be eating a food that contains peanut genes when they are highly allergic to peanuts. They wouldn’t even know what caused the allergy because right now, there are no labeling laws for GMO’s. No one is going to know what they are eating. Some doctors are now warning their patients to avoid all GMO food.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has conducted studies which show that genetically modified foods cause severe health problems including, “rapid aging, severe alterations to major bodily organs, infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and disruption to proper insulin regulation.” These studies have found that GMOs can live and reproduce within the intestines, years after being eaten, causing the bacteria inside them to reproduce Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) pesticides rather than producing living bacteria. It basically transfers into the DNA of the intestine. Good bacteria are essential to life. Without this, you slowly die as you cannot fight off anything. This is the start of a slow death that starts in the colon. Shepards who grazed their sheep on Bt cotton after harvest, witnessed thousands of their flock die within 30 days while those that grazed on natural cotton remained healthy.
This is so frightening, knowing that GMo’s are transferred into the gut bacteria and continues to function years after we stop eating GMO’s. We still may have the potentially allergenic protein continuously produced in our intestines. According to the EPA, infants below two years old have the highest incidence of reactions. “An immature gut or permeable mucosal epithelium is more likely to allow a higher degree of macromolecular transport and access to the immune system than the intact barrier of a normal mature gut.”( Environmental Protection Agency).
Biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava states that the decline in the health of Americans in recent years can be directly related to their consumption of GMO foods. Doctors believe that it might take years for the health effects to begin appearing. However, since GMOs were introduced into the market in 1996, the rate of chronic diseases among Americans has jumped from 7% to 13%. (Bhargava).
GMOs And Children
We are all guinea pigs this experimental horror but children become the true “experimental animals” according to biologist David Schubert. He believes that children are at the highest risk when it comes to consuming GMOs. Infant toxico-pathology expert Vyvyan Howard states, “Swapping genes between organisms can produce unknown toxic effects and allergies that are more likely to affect children.” This is because the food that children eat is used to build organ tissue rather than maintain or regulate bodily functions.
Ohio allergist, John Boyles, M.D., is one of a growing number of experts who believes that GMO’s are responsible for the increased jump in food allergies among children.
Children react to smaller amounts of toxins than adults and are 3-4 times more prone to allergies. They are also at a higher risk of death from allergies. Children eat more corn and drink more milk, both products that are created with genetically engineered growth hormones. Milk contains the growth hormone rbGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), which has been associated with breast and prostate cancer. Babies can be exposed to this hormone through breast milk or in the womb.
A report by the UK’s Royal Society states that genetic modification “could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods.” Children who suffer from ear and other infections are at a higher risk from antibiotic resistant bacteria found in genetically modified foods. A food allergy evaluation conducted in 1999 at the York Laboratory in the UK found that allergic reactions to soy had increased by 50% from the previous year. The soy used in the study was mostly GM soy that had been introduced in the United States. Female rats fed GMO soy saw many of their babies die within 3 weeks compared to a 10% death rate of rats fed natural soy. Not to mention that the GM tomatoes fed to rats caused bleeding stomachs before it eventually killed many of them. Researchers stated that the findings raised “serious new questions about the safety of GM foods.” GM soy reduces digestive enzymes in mice. If proteins “digest” slowly in humans, there is more time for allergic reactions (possibly to many food proteins).
How To Avoid GMOs
A large amount of food produced in the United States is genetically modified. The United States government’s regulatory agencies have close connection to agribusiness giants who produce and profit from genetically modified foods. While effectively banned in Europe and Japan due to lack of evidence proving their safety, the United States does not even require producers to label their foods as genetically modified. Here are some things that you as a consumer can do to avoid them.
– Only buy products that are labeled 100% organic.
– Look for products with a non-GMO Project seal on them.
– If you consume dairy products, they should be labeled “no rbHT,” “no rBST” or “artificial hormone free.”
– If there are no labels, avoid foods that are likely to be genetically modified such as corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, small zucchini and yellow squash. Look carefully on the labels of candy and snack foods and avoid soy lethicin in chocolate, corn syrup in candy, and cottonseed or canola oil in snack foods.
– If a product from North America contains “sugar” and not “sugar cane,” then it is probably at least partly produced by GMO sugar beets.
I highly recommend reading the book “Seeds of Deception” by Jeffry Smith. He is the international best selling author, spokesperson and filmmaker on the health dangers of genetically modified foods. This book should be on everyone’s bookshelf.
Today’s Americans are the guinea pigs in a massive experiment supervised by corporate agribusiness giants. For people who don’t want to find out the hard way how GMOs affect the human body, it is highly recommended that you avoid eating genetically modified foods altogether.
• Dr Mercola, GM foods more dangerous for children than adults, www.mercola.com, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/07/gm-foods-more-dangerous-for-children-than-adults.aspx
• Genetically engineered foods pose higher risk for children, www.saynotogmos.org, http://www.saynotogmos.org/uoct03a.htm
• Tips for avoiding GMOs, nongmoshoppingguide.com, http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/tips-for-avoiding-gmos.html
• Dr Mercola, genetically engineered soybeans may cause allergies, www.mercola.com, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/08/genetically-engineered-soybeans-may-cause-allergies.aspx
• Ethan Huff, genetically modified organisms are unfit for consumption, www.naturalnews.com, http://www.naturalnews.com/026426_GMO_food_GMOs.html
• Genetically engineered organisms (GMOs): the greatest threat ever to humans and animals, www.relfe.com , http://www.relfe.com/GMOs.html
• Mike Adams, GMO lies: deliberate misuse of the term “genetically modified” designed to mislead people, www.naturalnews.com, http://www.naturalnews.com/031105_genetically_modified_GMO.html