Genetic manipulation of foods have been considered safe in animal studies for trials that last up to 90 days. This is the standard time frame for evaluating GMO safety. A two-year French study that fed mice genetically modified food for longer than 90 days, showed a much different picture. Published in 2012, in Food and Chemical Toxicology, they found shorter lifespans, cancerous tumors, and liver and kidney damage.
After this study, Russia banned the use and import of Monsanto’s GMO corn. Europe has also been very active in banning GM products, but in 2006 the United States brought action against the European Union and the bans were declared illegal by the World Trade Organization. Since then, the general ban was lifted, but many of the individual countries in Europe have banned the cultivation of GMO’s in their territories. In the book Seeds of Deception, written by Jeffery Smith, he explains the political and corporate corruption that surround the GMO issue.
What could be wrong with GMO foods?
This is food genetically designed to produce a toxin. For example, GM corn and cotton contain genes that manufacture a bacterial toxin called BT (which is presumed safe because it is found in a soil bacteria). When BT genes are inserted into corn DNA, the pesticide becomes much more concentrated in the plant than if it is just sprayed. It is designed to be more toxic than the original version, and has been found to be 3000 to 5000X more toxic than the spray.
It’s mechanism of action on susceptible insects is to damage their gut lining. If this is the case, one can only imagine what it could potentially do to us. We have a delicate balance of bacteria in our intestinal tract and this has the potential to seriously disrupt it. This can set the stage for a hyper-permeable digestive tract which can leak undigested proteins into circulation, and create allergies and chronic disease to susceptible individuals.
Although the pesticide is presumably safe for humans, GM foods contain higher levels of allergens and proteins not normally found in the original plant and our immune systems are reacting to it. Soybeans show as much as seven times more natural soy allergen compared to non-GMO soy. Soy allergies and disorders with intestinal inflammation are on the rise. Allergies to soy are on the rise in the United States and soy allergies have skyrocketed in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced.
Is Glyphosate (Roundup Weedkiller) safe for your dinner plate?
Glyphosate is an herbicide found in GM food that is supposed to be virtually harmless to humans according to Monsanto, but it is far from harmless. Glyphosate disrupts the gut bacteria in chickens, cows and pigs, causing inflammation in the gut along with an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and a loss of beneficial bacteria. It also interferes with the cytochrome P450 enzymes which are important for detoxification in the human body.
Glyphosate also depletes aromatic amino acids which are important for proper brain function and mood. It also depletes important minerals like zinc and iron which are crucial for proper functioning of the human body. Recent research is also revealing it’s contribution to obesity, digestive disorders, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infertility, depression and cancer.
The growing epidemic of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease may be associated with the use of glyphosate on wheat prior to harvest and roundup ready GM foods. A recent study on the use of glyphosate on fish show a destruction of the intestinal tract very reminiscent of celiac disease. This is starting to explain why people WITHOUT a genetic susceptibility to Celiac disease display a mild and transient increase in GI permeability after exposure to wheat.
The biggest problem of GM foods is that the gene inserted into the food may transfer to the DNA of our intestinal bacteria and the pesticide may continue to be produced within our own body. One study showed that this is already happening to some people on a low level. Also the GM crops have the ability to contaminate Non-GMO crops, and this could have disastrous consequences if allowed to continue. Recently it has been reported that many U.S. organic farmers have had loads of grain rejected due to GMO contamination.
Which foods are genetically modified?
Most of our corn, soy, canola, cottonseed and sugar-beet crops are now genetically modified. These foods are found in an estimated 60 to 70% of all products on our supermarket shelves. To avoid these products, eat organic and look for the Non-GMO label.
At all of the controversies surrounding GMO foods, it’s amazing that human studies did not have to be done to meet FDA safety approval. That’s because our appointed Food Safety Czar of the FDA, Michael Taylor, works for Monsanto himself. So you may ask this question to yourself again. Are genetically modified foods safe?