Let’s talk about GMOs. This conversation needs to happen. Everybody needs to know what is happening to our food supply because it is very scary.
What is the definition of GMOs?
A Genetically Modified Organism is an organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered using the techniques of genetic engineering.
“Scientists today have the ability to modify the genetic makeup of plants and animals, and even to transfer genes from one species to another. Not since nuclear power has a technology been so controversial, with opponents concerned about the creation of so-called Frankenfoods and proponents promising a better tomorrow through science. The term genetically modified organism (GMO) is used to refer to any microorganism, plant, or animal in which genetic engineering techniques have been used to introduce, remove, or modify specific parts of its genome. Examples include plants being modified for pest resistance; lab animals being manipulated to exhibit human diseases, such as sickle cell anemia; and even glowing jellyfish genes inserted in a rabbit for an art piece. GMOs show great promise in improving agriculture. Plants could be engineered to better tolerate temperature or weather extremes, to contain various vitamins, or to dispense medicines and vaccines. Many think genetically modified foods have the potential to end world hunger. On the other hand, there are fears that the disease- or pest-resistant genes inserted into crop plants might escape into other plants, creating hard-to-control superweeds. There is also the possibility of unexpected effects on other flora and fauna, the risk of agriculture being controlled by biotech companies, and, as with any new technology, problems that are yet unknown.”
Scientists, farmers and bakers pick the best traits in wheat such as texture, taste and stability against pesticides, and then cross-breed them to get those specific traits in the wheat. They can achieve a grain that makes a flour which produces a lighter, fluffier muffin by doing this. They are also able to make wheat that is stable against the pesticides and herbicides that kill everything they come in contact with.
There are two types of GMO’s. Round up ready, which means it can withstand the toxic chemicals being sprayed on them, and those that produce they’re own toxic insecticide. The worst offending of the latter is the Bt toxin. When this toxin is typically sprayed on crops, it causes the stomachs to explode in the bugs that ingest it. It does this by poking holes in the cells of the insect’s intestinal lining, which causes disease and eventual death for the inscet. So now, they are taking this toxin and putting it directly in the genetic makeup of the cottonseed and corn. So essentially the plants are doing the killing now. What is happening when we ingest those plants?
How did this get approved by the FDA?
Somehow, the Biotech Industry and the Environmental Protection Agency convinced the FDA that it was safe for human consumption because it only interacts with certain insects and not with humans or mammals.
However in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2012, this was overturned. They took the Bt toxin out of corn molecules, applied it to human cells and it did the same mechanism of poking holes in the cells, just like it did insects. So it does show the same damage in humans as it does in insects.
The Biotech Industry and EPA say there is no cause to worry since the Bt toxin gets destroyed in the acidic environment of the stomach when you ingest it. This theory however was overturned in a study at Sherbrooke University Hospital in 2011, when doctors took blood from pregnant women and non-pregnant women who had ingested this Bt toxin, and found that in 93% of the pregnant women and about 2/3’s of the non-pregnant women had Bt in the blood.
It was also found in the cord blood of the fetuses. So it did survive the digestion of the human stomach and now we have a hole-poking toxin in the blood of humans and unborn fetuses. It is also possible that it could be crossing the undeveloped blood-brain barrier in the fetuses. This can cause all kinds of developmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism, that we are seeing so much of today. Coincidence? I think not. Scary stuff.
They’ve concluded that this toxin, among many others can also cause many other disorders such as leaky gut, gastrointestinal disorders, decreased digestive capacity, dysbiosis of gut bacteria, immune system problems and behavioral problems.
Probably the most frightening of all is the possibility that the Bt toxin can be consumed by your gut bacteria in the intestines. It can stay alive in the bacteria and continue to function 24/7, after all it is originally sourced from bacteria when they make it. So you eat a corn chip, it gets eaten up by your natural gut flora, then you have your own personal toxic pesticide factory pumping out Bt toxin0 in your gut 24/7. Wow.
A little bit about Roundup
Roundup is Monsanto’s most popular weed killer. They also produce “Roundup Ready” crops in the seed form. The active ingredient is called glyphosate, which is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Unfortunately glyphosate kills the beneficial bacteria in the gut, but it doesn’t kill the bad ones such as E coli, Salmonella and botulism bacteria. It has been shown to create gut dysbiosis in poultry and cows, which is an uneven balance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut. It is most likely doing this in humans as well, since this is a huge problem that we are seeing these days. Dysbiosis is linked to leaky gut and gluten-related disorders.
GMOs in other countries
It is important to know that GMOs have been banned in other countries. Twenty six countries including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia all have either partial or complete bans on GMO foods. Significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries. Why is it okay for the US citizens to be subjected as lab rats in this genetic roulette experiment? We do not know the long term effects that it will have on our health. Apparently these other countries have a pretty good idea though, enough to ban it.
We do know, that in a Russian study done at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, the discoveries showed problems in growth and reproduction in hamsters and rats that were fed a GMO diet.
“After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.”
He goes on to say, “We have no right to use GMOs until we understand the possible adverse effects, not only to ourselves but to future generations as well. We definitely need fully detailed studies to clarify this. Any type of contamination has to be tested before we consume it, and GMO is just one of them.”
How to avoid GMOs
This is really hard since GMOs don’t currently have to be labeled on food products. They are in almost all packaged and processed foods such as dressings, cereals, grains, chips, cookies, cakes and other snack foods. Most of those foods contain soybean oil and/or high fructose corn syrup and soy and corn are two of the biggest GMO crops. You better believe you are consuming GMOs when you’re eating processed foods, any fast food and most restaurant foods.
The only way to make sure you are not eating GMO is if you buy organic produce, organic meats and animal products, and order organic dishes off the menu. It may cost a little more, but it certainly will save money on medical bills in the long run.
Another glimmer of hope is that is we as consumers vote with our dollars. We can create a tipping point where we tell the farmers that we don’t want GMO, we want organic. It will no longer be profitable for them to grow GMO if we all demand organic. That will drive the prices down and we will all benefit. The farmers make an honest living, everybody benefits from better health, and we as the human race will not be in danger of extinction within a few generations.
This is a hot topic right now. How do you feel about it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts. This is an open discussion!