There is a serious problem with our food supply and many Americans are not even aware of it. Genetically modified (GM) crops and food products pose a significant threat to human health, but efforts to promote labeling of these products have failed. Independent research with no ties to Big Agribusiness shows that genetically modified foods are not safe for human or animal consumption in spite of what we have been told by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies.
Genetically modified foods are present in over 80% of processed foods in the U.S. They are pervasive across the food pyramid, present in grains, legumes, vegetable oils, soft drinks, dairy products including eggs, meat, and even infant formula. Practically all corn and corn products sold in supermarkets come from GM seed. Consumers do not realize how often they are buying GM foods because labeling is not required and in some cases even prohibited.
Genetically modified food is created by inserting genes and DNA from one species into another species. Mutations can occur during this process, or can occur later when totally unrelated species are able to reproduce. The process transfers genes across natural barriers. Native genes can be altered in harmful ways, causing them to overproduce an allergen or carcinogen. Biologist David Schubert claims that “genetic engineering defies natural breeding, and there is no way to assure the result won’t be a deadly Andromeda Strain.”
Animals fed GM products in laboratory settings developed a wide range of health issues. Rats had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains. Their immune systems did not develop normally and they showed negative changes in their white blood cells that would make them more susceptible to infection and disease. Mice ingesting Bt corn, which contains a pesticide gene to make plants resistant to insects, had abnormal and excessive cell growth. Studies of livestock fed or exposed to genetically modified products showed stunted growth, bleeding stomachs, precancerous cell growth in the intestines, and misshapen cell structures in several different organs. What happens in the laboratory rat or mouse also happens in our bodies when we consume GM plant or animal products.
Animals can detect GM food and will refuse to eat it. Deer will avoid GM food plots if another food source is available. One report states that geese that annually visit a farm in Illinois moved to a different location rather than eat genetically modified soybeans.
Genetically modified foods were originally touted as safe because the altered genes were supposed to be destroyed by the digestive process. This has proved to be untrue. In fact, they can move from the gut into internal organs. Genes from Bt corn in our gut bacteria could turn our intestines into “pesticide factories”, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola at www.mercola.com. Commercially raised chickens fed genetically altered feed show higher than normal levels of pathogenic gut bacteria. Studies show that GM feed causes the good bacteria to die and the pathogenic strains to multiply. The pathogenic chicken is eaten by consumers who are then at greater risk of illness from salmonella, e.coli, and listeria.
Several nations have banned imports of GM foods. Proposition 37, which called for mandatory labeling of all GM products, was on the ballot in California in 2012 but did not pass.
A list of foods containing genetically modified products can be found at www.OrganicConsumers.org. The Institute for Responsible Technology is leading a movement called Campaign for Healthier Eating in America with the hope of educating consumers about the dangers of GM foods and how to avoid them. Their shopping guide can be found at www.responsibletechnology.org.