GMO Foods Are Likely Unsafe
As a clinical nutritionist, I have long been suspect of GMO foods. By the way, GMO stands for "genetically modified organisms". This refers to crops whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (also called "genetically modified crops"). It seems that the more we "mess" with Mother Nature, the more problems ensue.
A recent study points to the dangers of liver and kidney tumors and premature deaths in the animals tested. Read on for the specifics...
Remember the commercials about high fructose corn sweeteners just a couple of years ago? They tried to convince us that the sweetener was the same as sugar—and that any negatives were "pure fiction".
Well, you don’t see those commercials anymore. Instead, what you do see is more companies advertising that their product is FREE of high fructose corn sweeteners. Considering its link to obesity, diabetes and degenerative disease, it’s not surprising that a dramatic "about face" has occurred. Are we to see the same revelations come out about GMO foods?
I think the data will be revealed, but I don’t hold out much hope that it will be anytime soon. Recently here in California, Proposition 37 was voted down by the opposition. Prop 37 simply wanted GMO foods be labeled such that we could avoid them if we so chose.
Europe Labels Their GMO Food
Monsanto, a very powerful company in the U.S., spent many millions to ensure that anti-Prop 37 ads portrayed the proposition as simply a way to "raise food prices"—certainly something that no one wants. But guess what?
Such a law passed in Europe and they saw NO increase in the price of their food. But the "truth" was suppressed by the profusion of ads paid for by Monsanto, who obviously has great interest in all of our food becoming GMO. It does seem that one should have a choice however. Shouldn’t we be able to decide if we want GMO-free food? Shouldn’t a farmer be able to decide if he or she would like to grow GMO-free plants?
Farmers Can Get Sued Trying to Maintain GMO-Free Farms
Sadly, the small farmer can be putting his livelihood on the line by trying to maintain a GMO-free crop. Why? Well, birds fly and the wind blows and these are just two of the ways that GMO-containing seeds can find themselves in another farmer’s field.
Giants such as Monsanto have been known to then sue these small farmers for patent violations when the GMO-containing plants are found in their fields. The fact that the farmer didn’t plant nor want to seed is not enough to prevent being sued by a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Sound unfair? And to add insult to injury, these bug-resistant plants can ‘take over’ a field, making it all but impossible for the farmer to retain his field’s GMO-free integrity. Politics aside, what about any health dangers?
On the face of it, it may seem like a good idea to genetically engineer the genes of a plant (e.g. corn) with the genes of another organism such that it has a built-in pesticide. The bugs eat less of the plant so we can produce more crop and more people get fed. That sounds great, right? Well, maybe not. The big question mark lies in the fact that little long-term research has been done on the health safety of these genetically modified plants.
A Research Study Shows Many Health Dangers
I did recently run across a nice study in the International Journal of Biological Sciences. The researchers, out of Brazil, discovered a great deal of harm inflicted upon rats that were fed three different varieties of GMO corn.
While you may suppose that you share little in common with a rat, do realize that health researchers utilize mice and rats in their studies because they do share a great deal in common with the human body's biochemistry—otherwise they wouldn’t utilize them for research in health matters.
The rats were fed a GMO corn variety that was tolerant to the Monsanto herbicide Roundup, plus two other varieties that used bacterial toxins as insecticides. Each study also had a control group that was fed a similar diet but utilized non-GMO corn. The study was duplicated in another location at a different time as a corroboration of their results.
Tumors and Premature Death After Only 3 Months Eating GMO Food
The rats were analyzed after five and fourteen weeks on the diet and their blood was measured utilizing sixty different measurements of toxicity. Most damage was found to occur in the liver and kidneys in the form of tumors that appeared after only fourteen weeks of consuming the GMO corn. Realize that the liver and kidneys are primarily detoxification organs, so the fact that all three strains of GMO corn affected the same two organs, in the majority, is important.
Also affected in the animals was their heart, adrenal glands, spleen and blood production system. Additionally their glucose and triglyceride levels (associated with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome) rose a full 40% over the control group. Finally, 50% of the males and 70% of the females consuming the GMO corn died prematurely in comparison to 30% and 20% in the control groups.
In other words, there is likely some stress put on all animals being in these studies, but those who died in the GMO-fed group was far in excess of the control. What do you think? Do you want to wait the two or three decades it might take before GMO foods are deemed a hazard? And what further amount of time might it then take to rid our soil of these organisms? Or do you want to demand from your grocery stores that they continue to provide known organic, non-GMO food while it's still possible for farmers to produce it?
How to Tell Which Foods Are GMO
Some foods, corn being one of them, are difficult to find in this country non-GMO. Also high on the list of common GMO foods are soybeans, rice, papaya and sugar beets. A little hint to know which produce is GMO is to look for the sticker on the fruit or vegetable tag. At least at this point, these tags still exist and you can know what you're purchasing.
- A sticker that begins with an "8" is GMO.
- If the sticker starts with the number "9", it's ORGANIC.
- If it starts with "4" it means CONVENTIONALLY GROWN.
If you do choose to avoid GMO, you are likely going to have to choose those labelled "100% ORGANIC" to know for sure, especially once companies are no longer obligated to provide the stickers or tags mentioned above. (The US government does not allow manufacturers to label something "100% organic" if that food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed.)
Obviously the more processed a food is, the more ingredients it possesses, making it that more difficult to ensure the quality of the ingredients. This is a good reason to drastically reduce the amount of processed food you consume. An organic apple has a single ingredient – it’s organic or it isn’t. A frozen apple pie opens the door to a lot more ingredients, often impossible to determine their quality.
Let's Make Our Voices Heard
Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. I feel that we are currently at a tipping point in this country and if we make ourselves heard, we could make inroads in abolishing these potentially dangerous foods.
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To your health,Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of "The Gluten Effect"
Author of eBook: "Gluten Intolerance – What You Don't Know May Be Killing You!"
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