GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and it has become a hotly debated topic over the last several years. However, I still meet people that don’t really know what GMOs are, or why they should care. I even find that some people know about GMOs, but they aren’t aware that they’re still eating them, because they’re hidden in so many foods and sources. Because of this, I decided to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) and provide some of the important details so you can protect yourself and those you love.
So, why should you care that genetically modified organisms are in your food? Well, the primary reason can be stated in one word- CANCER! And making this even more frightening, is the fact that an estimated 80 percent or more of the food in our grocery stores, contains genetically modified substances.
Independent studies have proven that, when consumed by animals, GMOs cause tumor growth, as well as inflammation, infertility, organ damage and a host of other health issues (8,11,13,15). This has also been substantiated by farmers(16) who have personally experienced these and other issues, with their farm animals that are fed GMO grain. It’s very likely that the rapid rise in U.S. cancer rates can be attributed, in part, to the use of these substances in our food supply(1,7,8,9,21,22).
What Are GMOs?
So what are GMOs and why are they hated by so many? It’s true that genetic modification, also known as genetic engineering or gene splicing, has been used in various ways, for centuries. However, for the purpose of this article, GMO refers to the practice of genetically modifying plants for human consumption.
Scientists have taken the living organism of a plant and have genetically altered it, at the DNA level, to produce a desired effect or end product. In this case, the genetically altered plants have been merged with bacteria, viruses, animals and other plants. This was done to make the fruit and vegetable plants resistant to drought, herbicides, pesticides and infestation, and to increase yield.
According to the biotech companies that created these types of GMOs, these “miracle” seeds would end world hunger and reduce the price of produce. This new breed of genetically altered crops was first developed in the 1980’s and was introduced into the U.S food supply in 1995, without the public’s knowledge. Yet, world hunger has not been eradicated and produce prices have continued to increase over the past 30 years. Thus, these genetically modified plants have failed to fulfill their purported objective.
2 Types Of GMO Seeds
1) Herbicide Resistant Seeds
Herbicide Resistant Seeds, also known as Roundup Ready, were developed to withstand mass doses of herbicides to kill pests, while leaving the plant intact. The problem with this type of seed or crop, lies in its very virtue- the plant lives, yet the large quantity of herbicide remains in and on the fruit or vegetable, as it inevitably seeps into the soil, leaves, stem and skin of the produce.
Although GMOs were created, in part, to reduce the application of pesticides and herbicides, it has been proven that Herbicide Resistant Seeds have actually increased the use of these harmful toxins(21,22). Additionally, it has become necessary to develop even stronger herbicides and pesticides, as weeds have now evolved into “super weeds” and have become resistant to Roundup and other similar products.
The use of Roundup, in particular, has been deemed extremely hazardous to human health. This is especially disconcerting, as it is the most widely used herbicide on the planet(21,22). Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated glyphosate(1), the key ingredient in Roundup, and classified it as a Level 2 Carcinogenic, meaning that it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Their report further stated that there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals” and that “glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells”. Additional studies(13) show a direct causal link between glyphosate and a host of neurological disorders including depression, dementia, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions that have been rising steadily in the United States, over the past 2 decades. Coincidence?
2) BT Seeds
BT (bacillus thuringiensis) seeds are made with a bacteria that naturally produces a toxic protein. With this type of seed, there’s no need to spray pesticides or herbicides on the plant, because the toxin actually resides within every cell of the plant itself. Therefore, when an insect bites into the plant, it ingests the toxin, which breaks the insect’s stomach apart and dissolves the gut lining.
Obviously, if the BT toxin can do such damage to an insect, taking one minuscule bite, we have to wonder what these same toxins are doing to our gut lining, after decades of exposure on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, scientists and doctors are beginning to question the link between GMOs, glyphosate and the rise in what is now known as Leaky Gut Syndrome and gut symbiosis. Research(10,14,15) strongly suggests that consumption of genetically altered foods, as well as glyphosate, may account for the increasing number of reported autoimmune diseases, digestion issues, food allergies and intolerances, among other things.
Foods That Contain GMOs
Between 50-95 percent of the most prolific crops in the United States are grown from genetically modified seeds(17,18,19). This includes corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, rice, papaya, cotton, alfalfa, zucchini, yellow summer squash and apples.
The greatest risk lies with corn, soy, canola and sugar beet crops, as these ingredients are used in the vast majority of packaged foods on the market, and are listed under very deceptive names such as citric acid, fructose or lecithin. A more complete list can be found in this guide to Invisible GM Ingredients.
In addition to GMOs in packaged food products, GMO corn and soy are fed, almost exclusively, to animals on factory farms(20). This means that if you eat turkey, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, or any other land animal, you are consuming GMOs in every bite, unless you choose Free Range or Grass Fed animal products.
FDA Approval Of GMOs
So, what’s the big deal? I mean, if GMOs were really harmful to humans, wouldn’t the FDA have banned them long ago, or refused to put them on the market? The answer is no. Unfortunately, as with most government agencies nowadays, it’s all about the money. And, although the FDA’s own scientists warned the agency about health risks involved with these types of genetically modified organisms, the FDA chose to ignore those warnings and even go as far as to hide the studies from the public.
If you’d like more information about the collusion between the FDA and the biotech companies, and the illegal manner in which GMOs were brought to the marketplace, pick up a copy of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. This book was written by an American Public Interest Attorney, Steven Druker, who spent 15 years investigating GMOs. He then sued the FDA for concealing evidence and failing to protect the American people from the known and harmful effects of these genetically modified seeds. Mr. Druker’s book recounts the details of the lawsuit, and also explains how the FDA and biotech companies use scientist shills, to obscure the facts and mislead the public and other government entities into falsely believing that GMOs have been scientifically accepted as “safe for human consumption”. The fact is that there were no long-term studies ever performed, prior to these ingredients being allowed into our food supply. Essentially, we have all been part of a large experiment without our knowledge or consent. We’ve been used as human guinea pigs, with disastrous results!
How To Get GMOs And Glyphosate Out Of Your Food
The safety of these genetically modified seeds is so questionable, that over 60 countries have either completely banned GMOs, or they have placed severe restrictions on their use, and require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients. This, of course, takes away the argument that food companies pose, regarding an increase in prices, if they were forced to label their foods. Food manufacturers already label their products for other countries, and these food are not only the same price or less, but they’re also safer.
In America, the government has been unwilling to restrict the use of GMOs and glyphosate, and they’re reluctant to even allow labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
This is why, the best way to get GMOs out of our food supply is by hitting them in the pocket book, where they’re sure to notice. Once food manufacturers and farmers begin to lose money to their organic and non-GMO competition, they’ll change their evil ways. Remember, it’s ALWAYS, ONLY about the money! Here’s what you can do:
- Only buy packaged foods listed as organic, Non-GMO or GMO free.
- Only buy organic fruits and vegetables.
- Eliminate animals from your meals.
- Sign the petition to Congress, demanding that they stop the DARK Act. This bill, which was introduced and recently passed in the House, was written by Republican Congressman, Mike Pompeo, who has ties to Big Money and is beholden to corporate interests. The bill will soon reach Congress, and will be up for a vote. If Congress passes this corporate-backed bill, it will prohibit states from implementing and enforcing their own GMO labeling laws, making it harder for you to know if there are GMOs in your food.
- Sign the petition to the EPA, demanding that they ban the use of cancer causing Roundup herbicide in the United States.
- World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer-IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides, 2015 March
- Reuters.com- U.S. regulators may recommend testing food for glyphosate residues, 2015 April
- Institute of Science in Society, http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_is_Carcinogenic.php Sept 2015
- JM Smith- Seeds of Deception, 2003 Sept
- JM Smith- Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, 2013 Oct
- S Druker- Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, 2015 March
- The Food Revolution Network – 2013 GMO Mini-Summit
- Séralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, de Vendômois JS – Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Nov;50(11):4221-31. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005. Epub 2012 Sep 19
- Thongprakaisang S1, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J – Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors, Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Sep;59:129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.05.057. Epub 2013 Jun 10
- Samsel A, Seneff S – Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases, Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416
- Carman JA, Vlieger HR, Ver Steeg LJ, Sneller VE, Robinson GW, Clinch-Jones CA, Haynes JI, Edwards JW – A Long-Term Toxicology Study on Pigs Fed a Combined Genetically Modified (GM) Soy and GM Maize Diet, http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf
- Koller VJ, Fürhacker M, Nersesyan A, Mišík M, Eisenbauer M, Knasmueller S – Cytotoxic and DNA-damaging properties of glyphosate and Roundup in human-derived buccal epithelial cells, Arch Toxicol. 2012 May;86(5):805-13. doi: 10.1007/s00204-012-0804-8. Epub 2012 Feb 14
- Aris A, Leblanc S-Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada 2011, May 31
- Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, Monastra G, Ambra R, Turrini A, Mengheri E – Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice, J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Dec 10;56(23):11533-9. doi: 10.1021/jf802059w
- Huffington Post – A Farmer’s Perspective on GMOs, 2014 March 4
- USDA – Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States
- Non GMO Project – What is GMO
- Time.com – GMO Food Charts, 2015 April 30
- GMO Inside – How Pervasive are GMOs in Animal Feed?, 2013 July 16
- The New England Journal of Medicine – GMOs, Herbicides and Public Health, 2015 August 26
- Sustainable Pulse – WHO Cancer Expert: Glyphosate is Definitely Genotoxic, 2015 July 15