This week I want to talk to you about Genetically Modified (GM) foods and organic foods. These topics are pretty high on my list of priorities, and I do not think I can cover both in one post. This article aims to give you an overview of GMO’s , but it does not cover any area in great depth. If you have further questions please leave a comment and I will be glad to address your concerns. I will write about organic foods later in the week!
Most people don’t know what genetically modified organisms (GMO) are, what is genetic engineering, what are genetically modified (GM) foods or that they are consuming them, probably daily. It has been estimated that up to 70% of processed foods contain GM ingredients!
Genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, are organisms that have been genetically altered. When you hear the term GMO foods, it refers to foods that have been genetically modified with an inserted gene. Typically, the inserted gene provides some type of benefit to the plant, rendering it resistant to pests or to herbicides used as weed control. A common gene insertion is the gene that produces a toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis- a soil bacteria. The BT toxin gene inserted into the crops, is then present in each cell of these plants. When an insect lands on that crop, the BT toxin, produced by the plant cell, kills the insect, by damaging it’s cell walls.
Other crops have an herbicide resistant gene inserted, which makes the crop resistant to weed killers such as Roundup. This sounds like a great plan right… A way to decrease loss of crops while controlling the weed population easily. However, an unanticipated consequence is those crops retain the herbicide herbicide residue, which ends up being consumed by us. The worst part of this fact is that this information is not public knowledge.
Most American industrialized farm animals are fed GM feed and many dairy cows have been injected with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), which increases the amount of milk produced from 5-15 gallons/day to 55 gallons/day! If the animals are eating GM feed, and are being treated with growth hormones, how do you think that this will affect the quality of the meat and milk you consume?
One of the major seed companies in the US is Monsanto. They have pushed genetically modified crops since the 1990′s. Their goal was to control 100 % of the world’s seed through genetic engineering. Monsanto’s former attorney, Michael Taylor, was in charge of setting policy for the FDA in 1992. Lawsuits revealed, that the FDA, under Michael Taylor, repeated ignoring warning by FDA scientist that more studies were required to assure that GM foods were comparable to no-GM foods. There was concerns of possible allergies, new diseases and compromised nutritional quality. The concerns of those scientists has proved to be warranted. Since the introduction of GM foods into our food supply, disease rates have increased. The BT toxin in GM food, was not thought to be able to survive the human or animal digestive system. But in fact it does. Crops that have been modified with herbicide resistant gene, have high amounts of herbicide residues on them, which we then consume! How about some roundup on your steak! Diabetes, autism, cancer, allergies are on the rise as well as a general decrease in overall sense of wellbeing. People who have switched from GMO to non-GMO foods have reported increased energy, decreased allergies and in some cases major improvements in other ailments they had. In fact, the health concerns about GMO foods are so real the American Medical Association has called for better testing of GM foods with specific concerns for health consequences of genetically engineered foods. Below I have listed several websites, where you can get some additional reading. I hope that you will find an opportunity to read them and that you can then make an informed decision on what foods you and your family will consume. I also recommend ”seeds of Deception” by Jeffrey M. Smith. http://www.seedsofdeception.com/ http://www.newswithviews.com/Smith/jeffrey17.htm http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-19/features/chi-gmos-should-be-safety-tested-before-they-hit-the-market-says-ama-20120619_1_bioengineered-foods-ama-drug-cosmetic-act http://gmolabeling.webs.com/ http://www.gmfreecymru.org.uk/pivotal_papers/revealed.htm