Genetically Modified Foods – Weird Science Harming Health – By Jack Eidt

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Are GMO Foods Hazardous?

farming, United States, Michigan

Since their introduction, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with Genetically Modified (GM) foods.” These include infertility, immune disorders, accelerated aging, inconsistent insulin regulation, and alterations to major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

Shopping in grocery stores without understanding origins and processes involved in food production can be hazardous to your health.  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were originally allowed into our foods without labeling despite US Food and Drug Administration scientists warning that they could create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergens, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.

Since their introduction, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with Genetically Modified (GM) foods.” These include infertility, immune disorders, accelerated aging, inconsistent insulin regulation, and alterations to major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

Genetically engineered corn, through a Monsanto product called MON 863, has been studied by the Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering, sponsored by Caen University in France. It showed rats fed corn with the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) inserted, suffered liver and kidney toxicity and hormonal changes.  Scientists in Austria found that mice fed GM corn over generations had significantly less pups at lower birthweights with a lower survival rate.

In 2004, Filipino virologist Terje Traavik found people living near pollinating GMO cornfields developed serious symptoms; genetic material inserted into crops transferred to rat organs after one meal; and the safety of genetically engineered viruses included in vaccines was called into question.  Ecologist Emma Rosi-Marshall also found that runoff from GM Bt corn can kill the caddis fly, which may seriously upset marine ecology.  Traavik and Rosi-Marshall were attacked in the press and scientific community by industry proponents.

farming, Michigan

Studies showed rats fed corn with the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) inserted, suffered liver and kidney toxicity and hormonal changes.

Other findings include thousands of sheep, water buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton; half of the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, with significant reproductive problems in subsequent generations; cooked GM soy contains seven times the amount of soy allergens; the stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth that may lead to cancer; and Bovine Growth Hormone exposes dairy consumers to higher levels of insulin growth factor and antibiotics and have been condemned by health organizations and banned throughout the world.  Except the USA.

Embryologist Andrés Carrasco, from Argentina’s Ministry of Science, studied the impacts of Roundup, the herbicide sold in conjunction with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Crops.  He found amphibians with defects in the brain, intestines, and hearts of fetuses.  Furthermore, the amount of Roundup used on GM soy fields was as much as 1,500 times greater than that which created the effects.  Dr. Carrasco was also attacked for his research, but it led to a petition for a ban on Roundup in Argentina, with the Ministry of Defense banning GM soy from its fields.  Again, not so in the USA.

The only human trials allowed on GMO foods showed genetic material inserted into soy transfers into bacteria inside our intestines, meaning these modified proteins are working inside of us.  This could mean that antibiotic genes transferred can cause antibiotic resistant super-diseases.  And Bt toxins in corn could transfer to intestinal bacteria, turning our gastro-intestinal tracts into pesticide factories.

Frankenfish?

So what about this move toward genetically engineered salmon?  AquaBounty, the company that spliced a growth hormone gene into Atlantic salmon (called AquAdvantage), forcing five-times faster maturation, reducing growth periods from 3 years to 18 months, creating bigger fish brought to market faster.  Unfortunately, this would expose people to the cancer-promoting insulin-like growth hormone factor IGF – 1, plus more antibiotics and allergens.

Furthermore, Frankenfish can kill natural salmon when they escape confinement, as their bigger size helps them attack and out-compete native fish for food; when they inevitably reproduce, their offspring have low survival rates and studies have shown they cause extinctions of fish populations after only a few generations.

Why must consumers in the United States and other countries where public health is less regulated suffer these risks?  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Food safety has succumbed to the higher priority of global corporate profits.”

Take Control of Your Food and Demand Properly-Labeled Healthy Products

We can control our food to a certain extent by buying certified organic products.  Look for products with the “Non-GMO Project” verified seals.  Always buy dairy products that specify “No rBGH or rBST.”  At risk ingredients should be avoided such as corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed oils, sugar beets, some Hawaiian papaya, and some zucchini and yellow squash.  One should also avoid processed foods because of the array of hidden ingredients made wsith GMOs.  More information can be obtained by downloading the Non-GMO Shopping Tips.

Take Action, according to Jeffery Smith from the Insitute for Responsible Technology:

  • Ask Supermarket and Food Company CEOs to help us stop GE salmon!
  • Tell your Congressional Representatives to stop GE Salmon! Click here
  • Sign the Petition to President Obama for MEANINGFUL GMO labeling! Click here
  • Tell Ohio’s Governor Strickland to abandon his rbGH (rbST) labeling restrictions. Otherwise, national brands may eliminate their rbGH-free labels altogether, rather than produce a separate package for sale in Ohio. Click here

 

Sources used for this piece: http://www.naturalnews.com/025001_corn_GMO_research.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/04/watch-out-there-are-more-problems-with-genetically-modified-foods-than-youre-allowed-to-know.aspx

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4790.cfm

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Planners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt