In the last few decades many Americans have been suffering from different chronic diseases. Many factors could be contributing in the increase in chronic diseases but the most important one is indeed our diet, even more so than our lifestyle.
Many of us are so busy to hold on to our jobs, pay our monthly bills and take care of our families that we hardly even notice that we might be shopping and feeding our families with foods that don’t give us nutrients and/or are nutrition-deficient foods. While these foods give our bodies little energy to maintain its health, the even worrying prospect is when we are given toxic foods without our knowledge and foods that are genetically engineered and altered from its natural state into a DNA modified and potentially hazardous compounds.
What is genetic engineering?
In genetic engineering scientists take the gene of one specie and insert it into the DNA of another specie. For example cow genes have been inserted into Pig’s DNA in order to increase the milk production. There are two major GMO crops, the herbicide tolerant crops and the pesticide producing crops. The herbicide tolerant crops are sprayed with pesticides that won’t kill plants but kill pests and insects. However the pesticide producing crops produce their own toxic insecticides that kill pests by breaking their stomach.
Isn’t genetic engineering a dangerous interference with nature?
It took million years of evolution to do things in a certain way and not to mix and match different DNA and genes. Over these millions of years, scientists agree that even slight variation or slight mishaps could have resulted in the humans not existing on the planet. Our evolution has been a very precise and calculated phenomenon without any room for error. Now scientists and large corporations are playing god with people’s lives and that of other specie, in particular our food chain. None of these genetically modified genes and new organisms were a part of evolution and therefore we cannot predict how they will evolve and change our habitat and the food chain that we so much depend on.
There are even more alarming hazards. While inserting genes into DNA of a plant or an animal for its modification, a virus or bacteria is also inserted which is tasked to to turn on the gene. This process in creating a foreign DNA through bacteria insertion could result in mutation and changes at the cellular level which could cause many side effects that would take years to discover past its point of no return. It took million of years of evolution for our bodies to digest foods with certain DNA sequence. When our body is exposed to food with a new DNA sequence, our immune system will attack it and treats it as a foreign invader.
This is precisely why allergies are a common place now in US, and younger children are more prone to have allergies than 30 years ago. Should we assume that the biotech companies will protect us from such mutations? Will they know themselves if a mutation has gone wrong before it is too late? Have safety procedures been put in place in order to make absolutely certain that precautions are taken to protect the public? I myself am not convinced that we can rely on large corporations that have to increase their profitability ever quarter. Every few months there is an outbreak of salmonella and E. Coli bacteria in lettuce, or tomatoes, or sprouts, or chicken, or turkey or some other food product depending on where you live in the country. We have all seen and heard about these outbreaks. What is concerning to proponents of GE labeling and safety regulations and testing before human consumption is that the biotech companies have the power to manipulate the whole creating and evolution of these new GE products and make new genes without acknowledging that the new products can put the health of you and your family at risk.
Are GMOs the best way to feed the world?
We’ve been told by these multi-billion dollar biotech companies that GMO is the best technology to feed the world hunger and that isn’t simply TRUE. But, really, do you want to believe what a large “for-profit company or bank” tells you without safeguards to protect your family? How did we live all these years without GMOs? How come all of a sudden the world can’t feed itself without GMOs? Nature does a much better job than laboratory genetic engineering; it has proven to be safe over millions of years, it’s less expensive, it is sustainable, it does not radically change mutation and make people sick or deformed or damage their organs or cause cancer. This whole hypocrisy initiated by biotech companies that GMO is the BEST and the ONLY way to feed the world hunger is just preposterous since there are many long term side effects, dangerous toxins, and potentially serious health hazards associated with GMOs.
Possible Health Risks and Environmental Hazards associated with Genetically Modified Foods:
Increase in Inflammatory Bowel Disease resulting in Chronic Constipation, Crohn’s Disease and Gastroesophageal Reflux
Inflammation causes many chronic diseases. The rates of chronic diseases have been increasing drastically since GMOs were introduced to public. The figures below show increase in inflammation rate, the rate of chronic diseases such as constipation, gastroesophageal reflux, Crohn’s disease and diabetes.
So what is FDA doing about this?
The original policies of FDA in 1992 points out that GMOs aren’t any different than normal foods so no further studies are required. However a lawsuit against FDA in 1998 resulted in release of 44,000 secretive memos about GMO harms and danger.
It is self-evident that these memos are indeed a total scandal on how the FDA was dishonest about GMO safety. In fact the memos showed an overwhelming concern in the scientific community about GMOs. Even FDA SCIENTISTS mentioned in their memos how GMOs were DANGEROUS. The memos describe how GMOs could result in allergy increase, malnutrition, new diseases and pathogens.
Additionally, repeated requests by FDA scientists for a full set of long term studies on GMO side effects were ignored and the ongoing studies were stopped or banned. What people want to know is, why would FDA stop or ban studies by the scientific community to research the safety of GMOs in our food supply? The fact is that, Mike Taylor the deputy Commissioner of FDA is Monsanto’s former attorney and its current VP. However right now there are no regulations about GMO foods from FDA so Monsanto has the main authority to insure that GM foods aren’t hazardous. So Monsanto is making and regulating GM foods and calls them safe. This is the company that was the producer of DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange and called them safe too at the time.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine on Genetically Modified Foods
Most studies and research done on GMOs side effects have been dependent on Monsanto’s funding. However independent studies performed by concerned scientists shows the alarming side effects of GMOs.
For example the American academy of environmental medicine performed independent studies on how GM foods cause immune system disorder, infertility, allergies, accelerated aging, adverse cholesterol level and many other problems like changes in kidneys, damage to liver and gastrointestinal diseases.
Bt corn was first introduced into the market by Monsanto in mid 90s. The bacillus thuringiensis (BT) is a bacteria that is sprayed on vegetables to kill pests. Engineers inserted BT bacteria into corn and soy. So every cell in GMO soy or corn is producing toxic protein and the pests are killed by the GM plants themselves. BT toxin breaks the stomach of pests with one bite. No wonder why we are facing an epidemic of gastrointestinal problems here in US. Although EPA says that BT doesn’t harm human beings and animals, a study published in February 2012 shows that BT toxin actually kills human cells.
There has been only one study performed on human beings about side effects of GM foods. The study showed that a part of gene in Roundup ready soy was transferred into DNA of bacteria that was living inside intestine. As a result Roundup actually didn’t kill any bacteria but turned the intestine into a living pesticide factory. Some researchers even believe that if you stop eating GM foods, the GM proteins could be still alive and active inside you.
Both studies suggest that Bt toxin found in the blood of pregnant women and fetuses were the result of animal products (meat or dairy) and the animal was fed by Monsanto’s Bt corn. Thanks to biotech companies Roundup ready is now in 60% of air and water samples. It’s in the urine of children and blood of pregnant women and their fetuses.
The independent studies show that GMOs cause intestinal damage. If the intestinal is permeable, foods could get into the blood stream before they are fully digested. No wonder why food allergies are on raise and very common in US.
Possible links between intestinal permeability and food processing: A potential therapeutic niche for glutamine.
Many times kids and elderly with lower immune system develop food allergies. In many cases when kids with food allergies were off of GMO diet, they started feeling better and showed no sign of allergies.
Since the introduction of GM foods, autism rates have gone up drastically. If we can’t say for sure GM foods are causing autism, we can’t also say for sure that they aren’t. Studies show that the stomach of GMO fed animals turned dark and the animals suffered from inflammation and irritation. The same side effects we see with autism children.
In 1974 Monsanto’s best selling herbicide called “Round Up”, made and is still making Monsanto a fortune. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. Roundup functions by making the nutrients unavailable to the plant and that kills the weeds. Roundup also weakens the plant immune system and spread diseases in the soil which will eventually make the plant sick. The plants that are treated with Roundup have lower nutrients and lower immune system. The livestock that are fed with GMO plants also have a lower immune system and get sick more often. Human beings that consume GM dairy products and meats are also more likely to have lower immune system. Roundup ready products could also deprive our bodies from nutrients.
Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize Gilles-Eric Séralini
Few decades ago the rate of infertility wasn’t that high. Now the US fertility is in decline. However Monsanto denies the scientific findings and pretends there are no problems related to GMOs and infertility. Here are some findings and research: When Roundup ready soy was fed to animals in labs they had an increase in infertility rate.
In a study 50% of babies of female rat died when they were fed soy roundup ready. Also the third generation of hamsters that consumed GM foods couldn’t have babies anymore.
A glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels.
The tissue of livestock that had miscarriages showed a new organism that scientists hadn’t seen before. The new mysterious organism is currently under research but the previous studies show that the new organism is related to reproductive failure. The studies showed that the mystery organism is a high concentration of soy and corn sprayed with Roundup. In one study the new organism killed the embryo of a chicken in less than 48 hours. Also in a US farm 90% of sheep died from GMO corn that was sprayed with Roundup ready. In fact Dr. Huber, one of the concerned scientists wrote a letter to Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture and the former governor of Iowa who was awarded by biotech industries as the governor of the year describing his concern about this new organism:“For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency”
In his letter Dr Huber asks the secretary of agriculture to hold off to Roundup ready alfalfa for more tests. He expresses his concern that if this new organism is somehow related to Roundup, at larger scale the whole country could be contaminated.
However Dr Huber never received any answers or responds from FDA. Also other letters by concerned scientific communities about Roundup were ignored by FDA.
Cancer from Dairy Products
Monsanto scientists took the cow’s genes and put it into E. Coli bacteria and called it Recombinant Bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Then they injected the rBGH growth hormone into cows for increasing milk production. The rBGH growth hormone causes painful udder infections in cows. There is also more growth hormones and antibiotics in the milk of cows injected with rBGH. The growth hormone does increase the level of IGF-1 linked to cancer. Studies show that people who had higher levels of IGF-1 had more chances of breast and prostate cancer.
The data in a study also showed that women who were consuming rBGH milk had 50% to 60% higher chances of developing breast cancer. Here are the figures:
FDA has made many controversial statements before approving rBGH but they finally approved the use of growth hormones in livestock.
rBGH is banned in 27 different countries including Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada, and their scientific community are vehemently against the use of GMOs and rBGH and even Monsanto gene pesticides.
Children and GMO
Kids are more susceptible and sensitive to GMOs than adults because they have smaller body mass for accumulation of toxins. They also cannot digest foods properly and have lower immune system. Also pregnant women who consume GMO foods can pass genes to their babies and affect the growth and development of the fetus.
Breast feeding is the best way of feeding babies. In certain circumstances the mothers that do not have enough milk use infant formula. Nearly most non-organic infant formulas use cows’ milk injected with rBGH and derivatives of GM corn or soy in their products. As a matter of fact many popular infant formulas have GMO soy and corn in them. There is a serious risk and health hazard with pregnant women eating GMOs and feeding GMOs to new born.
US export Decreased as a result of GMOs
All independent studies (the ones that weren’t paid by Monsanto and biotech companies) show that GMOs are no sustainable way for agriculture. Actually GMOs caused 99% loss in export of US agricultural products to Europe.
The biotech industry has also claimed that GM crops could reduce the need for herbicides which isn’t true. The studies show that in matter of few years farmers are dealing with superweeds and have to use stronger herbicides.
Pro-GM Abuse of Science and Scientist
The reality is that the few people who have talked about devastating side effects of GMOs have paid a highly serious personal and professional price.
Things are so uptight that even if you raise question about GM technology you will be demonized and your reputation will be shredded. If the message scientists give out isn’t aligned with Monsanto PR message they will risk accusations, threats and loss of their funds and jobs.
Biotech companies also directly invest in our universities so not too many scientists and researchers could perform independent research and studies about negative effects of GMOs.
That does raise a question that why any independent study that shows negative side effect of GM foods are either banned or stopped.Monsanto and DuPont keep the GMO seeds away from scientists and won’t even give the seeds to anyone but their own scientists for research. It’s really hard to perform any independent study. But once a researcher can perform an independent study and the results are negative, they will be severely penalized, their funding is canceled or they lose their jobs.
Dr Arpad Pusztai
Dr Arpad Pusztai one of the leading scientists was given 3 million dollar research grant to test GMO safety. He found some disturbing result that GM engineering foods were actually unsafe causing pre cancer cell growth, digestive tracts, damage to liver and lower immune system.
Few days after the GMO results were out, Dr Arpad Pusztai gets fired, he is threatened with law suit and his reputation was destroyed.
When Andres Carrasco, another scientist in Argentina was going to talk about the relation between GM soy and birth defect a mob attacked him and his colleagues. He got himself into his car but the mob beat his car for two hours. However two of his friends were left outside the car, one was knocked unconscious and the other one was paralyzed.
GMO crisis in India
Monsanto forced BT cotton seeds on Indian farmers so millions of farmers changed to Bt cotton. As mentioned BT cotton produces an insecticide that breaks the stomach of pests and kills them. Bt cotton has caused skin rashes and allergies in many farmers. Thousands of animals also fed with Bt cotton got sick and died.
The Deccan Development Society in India asked the Indian government to perform safety test on Bt cotton. Not a single university or government agency agreed to test Bt cotton safety. So the Deccan Development Society themselves performed tests on Bt cotton. The results were stunning. All the animals fed with Bt cotton died within 6 months!
But the only side effects of Bt cotton isn’t death of animals or skin rashes in farmers. BT cotton is also very unreliable in a way that it works sometimes and doesn’t work other times.
Many farmers borrowed money and had to pay high interest on the money they borrowed to plant BT cotton that doesn’t even work. As a result of Monsanto’s costly Bt cotton farmers are falling into the endless cycle of debt and commit suicide. Most suicide is actually taking place where farmers are planting Bt cotton and disturbingly farmers kill themselves by drinking Monsanto’s insecticide.
So what could we do about GMOs?
The biotech companies have done an excellent job making us believe that the world can’t be fed without genetically engineered foods which is absolutely not TRUE. The TRUTH is that nature is full of ABUNDANCE and there is plenty of food available in nature for every man, woman and child. The problem with food crisis and food shortage in some parts of the world isn’t actually lack of food but CORRUPTION. GMOs are simply the biggest scam and the most serious threat to our lives and this whole excuse that we can’t feed the world with organic sustainable agriculture is just an irrational statement marketed to all of us by biotech companies. It might also be interesting to know that the same biotech companies are also the biggest producer of pesticides, drugs and chemicals. After the WW2 GMOs were an excellent excuse for the use of chemicals and pesticides in our agriculture and food supply.
There is NO WAY to feed the world with GMOs in a way that is sustainable and affordable. In fact the world can feed itself, it always has! GMOs are just a toxic product for increasing sales and corporate profit. However Monsanto’s pockets are very deep and their lobbyist are very influential but if consumers realize that GMO is a disaster, we the people have the choice to boycott GMOs. The tipping point for GMO products will happen a day that most Americans avoid GM foods and stop voting against their own interests.
These biotech companies need to get the anti-GMO sentiment the way they got in the rest of the world. GMO is now banned permanently in many developed and even some developing countries. We as consumers shouldn’t forget that these profiteering companies are only interested in corporate profit not the health of our families and loved ones. We can’t control what was produced yesterday, but we can control what’s produced tomorrow. Women and moms are the main driving force behind this. If women avoid buying GM foods the biotech companies will get the hint. Most women will do anything to protect their babies, so why not protecting your child from genetically engineered foods?
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