Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are just what the name implies. Organisms, in this case foods, that have been altered genetically.
Genetically modified foods alter genetic codes of the DNA in an organism by wiring in genes from other forms of life including other plant forms, insecticides, pesticides, bacteria and viruses. Most GMO foods today have been modified to tolerate or produce pesticides (like canola oil).
According to a report by Dr. Oz, more than eighty percent of the foods we eat on a daily basis contain one or more type of GMO. And what’s more distressing is that the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) doesn’t require these foods to be labeled!
Health Concerns with GMO Foods
If you haven’t been convinced of the damaging effects of GMO’s yet then this next study may cause you to think twice.
Eating genetically modified corn (GMO corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer (commonly used in GMO) caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death.
The study has been deemed “the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GMO crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats.”
In a 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals, fed GMO soybeans and corn, were evaluated. The 90-day long trials indicate liver and kidney problems as a result of GMO foods. Kidney’s were disrupted by 43.5% and liver by 30.8%.
These are the photos taken from the study and you can see the deadly effects GMO’s had on these rats.
According the researchers:
“The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. [Editors note: this level of Roundup is permitted in drinking water and GE crops in the US]
In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs.
Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments.
In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher… Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls, which occurred up to 600 days earlier.
Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.”
According to reports, individuals who consumed GMO’s also experienced the following side effects:
- Increase in allergies
- Increase in antibiotic resistance
- Problems with endocrine system
- Disorders of the reproductive system
- Increase in aging symptoms
- Cancerous Tumor growth
A 10-year study in Norway has found GMO’s may cause obesity, digestive problems, and damage to major organs including liver, kidneys, pancreas and genitals.
In one of the most recent studies published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Disease indicates GM crops that contain Bt toxin increase risk of leukemia.
This is just the tip of the iceberg according to many leading scientists and researchers. In fact, some countries (notably the European Union), do not allow GMO foods to be imported. In addition, if more than .9% of their foods contain GMO’s they must be labeled so the consumer knows exactly what they’re getting and consuming.
The U.S.D.A. and related government agencies in the U.S. argue against any labeling of GMO foods on the grounds that this “…would imply that GMO’s are different”.
Well… isn’t that entirely true? Big agricultural companies like Monsanto have raised millions of dollars to fight against labeling because they know it would negatively effect sales.
Recent polls shows that about ninety percent of Americans are in favor of labeling foods that contain GMO.
The truth is the public is becoming more aware! Many food companies like Chipotle are already starting to make a switch to non-GMO ingredients and also labeling what is GMO.
Monsanto is the largest producer today of genetically modified foods like corn, soy, and canola. And now there are even companies working to produce genetically modified salmon and cattle.
While the list of GMO’s is undoubtedly growing, here are the most commonly found GMO foods are must be aware of:
- Sugar Beets
If you are buying any of the above foods and the label doesn’t say “Organic” or “Non-GMO” you can be fairly certain the food is GMO.
When you see the words on a nutrition label like corn syrup, soybean oil or even sugar, a majority of the time that ingredient has been genetically modified.
Other foods that may also be GMO or have GMO residue include: cottonseed oil, non-organic dairy, and papaya.
The benefit claims of GMO foods are that they can be grown in less than optimal soils. One problem from growing food in less than optimal soils is the foods provide less than optimal vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. And the long term effect GMO’s have on our soil and ecosystem cannot be overstated.
How to Avoid GMO Foods
The following are my top recommendations for keeping GMO foods out of your body:
- Avoid all foods with corn, canola, and soy.
- Look for and buy foods that are labeled GMO free.
- Shop for organic foods. (By law they must contain less than 5% GM Products.)
- Shop at your local farmers market or plant your own garden.
- Read and stay informed on natural health websites
Follow these steps and you can be GMO free and help spread the word about the dangers of GMO’s. It is my hope that sometime soon we will see GMO’s labeled or even better–banned altogether.
Helpful GMO Resources
- The Dr. Axe Show Ep. 21 – GMO’s with Jeffrey Smith
- Genetic Roulette
- Seeds of Deception Book and DVD (Amazon: http://amzn.to/MFgc7N)
- Millions Against Monsanto on Facebook
Seralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Vendomois JS. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012; 50(11): 4221-4231.
Mezzomo BP, Miranda-Vilela AL, Souza Freire Id, Pereira Barbosa LC, Portilho FA, Marques Lacava ZG, Grisolia CK. Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice. Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases 2013; 1(1): 1000104.
Dr. Oz. Genetically Modified Foods: Get the Facts. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/genetically-modified-foods-get-facts?page=1 (accessed 3 June 13).
Non GMO Project. e.g. Training and certification. http://www.nongmoproject.org/ (accessed 2 June 13).
De Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. International Journal Biological Sciences 2009; 5(7):706-726
Jack Kaskey. ‘Mounting Evidence of Bug-Resistant Corn Seen by EPA. Bloomberg Businessweek September 2012. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-04/mounting-evidence-of-bug-resistant-corn-seen-by-epa