So, you’ve heard the term GMO food, but what does it mean?
By Dr. O
Most people have heard of genetically modified (GM) foods, but are not sure what it actually means, at least many of my patients are confused about this. To be honest, it wasn’t too long ago it was explained to me either, and it needs to brought to everyone’s attention. Before I even start explaining what it is, I want to ask a few questions. Did you know that genetically modified food is now banned in Europe? Did you know that animals such as mice and rats do not voluntarily eat food that is genetically modified?
Did you know that GM foods have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergic reactions in people? I hope these questions encourage you to learn more about genetically modified foods. The process of making genetically modified food is all about genetically engineering. Simply put, a gene is inserted into the plant (fruit or vegetable) so that the plant when it is growing will produce its own pesticide and/or herbicide when it grows. In other words, it is to protect the crop, not to improve the quality of the fruit and/or vegetable. The problem with this is that this form of genetic engineering has been found crude and inaccurate and thus these genes transfer across species. Furthermore there are animal studies that suggest that GM foods could be involved in multiple chronic medical conditions. By the way, animal must be force fed this type of food for us to obtain the following results.
When rats were fed genetically modified potatoes their liver atrophied (became smaller)
Rats that ate GM canola oil has a 12-16% heavier liver
GM soy changed the liver cells in mice in ways suggesting it was a toxic insult
Infertility and mortality issues:
More than 50% of the offspring in rats of mothers fed GM soy died within 3 weeks. Normal mortality rate in rats are less than 10%.
Male mice and rice that was fed GM soy showed testicular changes and altered sperm cells
The genetic cells in embryos from mice that had eaten GM soy were functioned differently than from those parents eating non-GM soy. Furthermore, the offspring of these mice was considerably smaller in bodily size!
When sheep ate GM cotton plants (specifically the Bt genetic crops), 25% of them died within 1 week of doing so!
A significant increase in deaths among cows, water buffalo, chicken and horses has been reported from farmers throughout Europe and Asia
About 2 dozen farmers have reported that pigs and cows become sterile if they eat GM corn (Bt type).
These animal studies suggest that there are severe adverse effects from consuming genetically modified foods, which is why it has been banned in Europe. By the way, did you know that Europe has also banned over 200 types of chemicals that has been found harmful to humans, while out of these, only 8 are banned in the US? Guess where the companies who make these banned chemicals are selling their products! However, that is something we’ll discuss in another newsletter. I do hope you’ve gotten enough information about why genetically modified food is something you should avoid, but if you are still in doubt, here are a few more tidbits.
Antibiotics has also been genetically modified and inserted into plants. If these “antibiotic-genes” transfer into humans it could create super diseases that are resistant to multiple antibiotics.
Animal studies suggest that the Bt toxins in GM corn where to transfer into humans, it might turn your intestinal flora into living pesticide factories.
I personally find this very interesting being that I see so many patients with “leaky gut syndrome”. I wonder if the leakiness of the digestive tract is actually due to genetically modified foods destroying the intestinal lining.
Last, but not least, animal studies show that DNA can transfer into fetus and change the expression of genes leading to visible changes such as smaller body sizes, infertility and increased death rate.
If you find this as scary as I do, I encourage you to visit the www.responsibletechnology.org to get involved and to learn how to avoid genetically modified foods. This web site provides free information pamphlets and Non-GMO Shopping Guides. We also have a few of these free information brochures available in our office and we are planning on bringing in more. I also recommend that you pick up Jeffrey M. Smith’s book: Genetic Roulette; The documented health risk of genetically engineered foods.
A copy of this book is also in our office for you to peruse. Until then, here are some suggestions on how to avoid GM type foods.
1. Buy organic products. Certified organic foods are not allowed to contain any genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).
2. Look for Non-GMO labels. The label may say “Non-GMO”, “not genetically modified” or “made without genetically modified ingredients” all of which means they are not genetically modified. However, sometimes this may only pertain to certain ingredients so when in doubt, don’t buy it.
3. Avoid the most commonly GM ingredients. The “Big Four” of commonly genetically modified foods are; Corn, Soy, Canola oil and Cottonseed oil. Over 90% of these products are genetically modified. Note; high fructose corn syrup is a genetically modified corn product!
4. Meat, fish and eggs are not genetically modified, but the animals are often fed foods that are! Hence look for 100% grass fed animals, wild rather than farm raised fish, and cage free organic eggs.
For further detailed shopping guidance get the “Non-GMO shopping guide” at www.responsibletechology.org, www.centerforfoodsafety.org and www.healthierEating.org.
By visiting these web sites you will be able to get involved in stopping GM food production. Letter writing and even discussing these issues with your local storeowner actually makes a difference. When people voiced their concerned of bovine growth hormone in milk, it took only 5% of the consumers to make the major companies remove this from their milk products. In other words, a small group of people can make a big difference. I therefore ask you to get involved. Your health depends on it!