Most people will have a New Year’s resolution related to losing weight, eating healthier, being more active, etc.
Wait a minute! Did I say ‘eat healthier’? Yes I did.
Now this is when we step into uncharted territory.
Why? Because all the health gurus are going to tell you that eating less fat, meat, and more vegetables and fruits will make you feel better and all together be healthier.
But somehow all is forgotten about engineered foods, found all around us.
I remember reading about the seeds irradiated in space by some Chinese scientists, seeds that eventually yielded bigger crops. At that point I am pretty sure that most people clapped their hands in ecstasy thinking about how easy would be to feed more population with less food basically.
But those seeds were genetically modified at that point.
Moving back to North America, in the USA, over 80% of all processed foods contain genetically engineered components.
You will say that it’s easy then to avoid them: steer clear of processed foods.
But the problem is that genetically engineered foods are found in everything we eat: rice, corn, wheat; in soybeans and soy products; vegetable oils, vegetables and fruits; dairy products including eggs; meat, chicken, pork and other animal products.
We don’t know what we are eating because nowhere on the label is anything mentioned about genetically engineered food.
We know that cows are treated with growth hormone (rbGH), which will affect the milk.
The milk from cows injected with bovine growth hormone has much higher levels of the hormone IGF-1 that risks breast, prostate, colon, lung and other cancers, and it has lower nutritional value.
I was talking the other day with our secretary and she said that back in time, when she grew up at a dairy farm, they drank the milk fresh from the cows, cows not injected with hormones. The milk was not supposed to be good for 10 days or a week, because it did not have any chemicals added. Now it’s a different story; they treat milk to increase the shelf life.
The treatment of poultry and animals with hormones and antibiotics is standard procedure these days, unfortunately and it costs lots extra to buy ‘organic’ meat coming from animals not treated.
But… what did they eat?
If they were fed animal by-products (they were not apparently, or so it’s the claim made by the organic growers) it still not clean meat. Of if they were fed corn or other grains coming from genetically engineered seeds…. we are back to square one.
Disease-resistant crops may promote human viruses and eating these products may produce toxins associated with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, allergies, kidney disease and cancer.
What people seem to fail to understand is that as soon as you genetically modify something, the long time effect of this modification is unknown.
FDA and other regulating bodies, in bed with the big agribusinesses, like to say that GM crops are the same with ordinary seeds, when in fact they are not.
Agribusiness giants like their money and I have serious doubts that they would cave in and accept how dangerous GM are. On the contrary, they funded studies to prove they are safe. Really?
How objective a testing funded by this industry could be?
The most probable scenario (not unknown to other industries like the pharmaceutical one for example) is that the study funded by agribusiness would fail to investigate the impacts of GM food on liver, kidney, gut function (studies on rats showed smaller than normal liver and kidney and bigger pancreas), on the immune and endocrine system, in blood composition (studies on rats showed a decrease on the white cell counts), would fail to present the effects on the unborn as well.
Furthermore, they would cook the books.
How could they cook the books?
By diluting the GM component of feeds used, limit the duration of feeding trials, keep sample sizes too low for statistical significance and ignore animal deaths and sickness.
And most important: hide the negative results.
I took an introductory genetic course, enough to make me understand the implications of genetically modified foods.
The picture is like this: you take a seed and genetically modify the DNA. That will trigger changes in the natural functioning of the resulting plant. The inserted gene can become truncated, fragmented, and different than the original design, expressing a new GM protein maybe different than the one intended, with characteristics that may be harmful, even if the industry claims that transgenes are destroyed by our digestive system.
In reality and contrary to industry claims, transgens are not destroyed by the digestive system and the surviving foreign DNA can be transported by blood to internal organs, may proliferate over time, and get into cells DNA, possibly causing chronic diseases.
Another aspect not to be ignored: Antibiotic Resister Marker (ARM) genes are attached to transgenes prior to insertion to allow cells to survive antibiotic applications. They potentially can cause antibiotic-resistant super-diseases and these is already fact not fiction (see my article on hospital superbugs).
To the industry claim that there are no harmful effects claim I would give the example of the L-Tryptophan epidemic. L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid, was identified as the cause of the 1989 epidemic of Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome [EMS] in country-wide litigation against Showa Denko K. K., a major Japanese petroleum corporation that manufactured and sold L-tryptophan in the U. S.
L-tryptophan was sold as a food supplement during the late 1980s to induce sleep “naturally,” because this amino acid produces serotonin in the brain, similar to the calming role of milk as a sleep inducer.
Showa Denko’s pills had several unique contaminants that were likely to be responsible for the epidemic. In addition to that, the manufacturer was genetically engineering bacteria to produce the L-tryptophan more economically. Genes had been inserted into bacteria’s DNA in order to produce high concentrations of several enzymes used in its production.
EMS is a painful and progressive, multi-system disease which causes permanent scarring and fibrosis to nerve and muscle tissues, continuing inflammation, and provokes a permanent change in the body’s immune system. EMS is a serious systemic illness characterized by elevations of white blood cells known as eosinophils and by severe muscle pain.
Probably there is an international conspiracy of big agribusiness to control the world food supply, therefore our moaning over the health hazards of GM food fall on deaf ears.
The worries are dismissed and the pink fluffy picture of big crops and happy farmers showed to us.
The giants who are currently controlling our future existence are: Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Agrisciences, Syngenta in Switzerland (from the merger of the agriculture divisions of Novartis and AstraZeneca) and – Germany-based Bayer CropScience AG (division of Bayer AG) with its Environmental Science and BioScience headquarters in France.
Just reading the names will get your skin to crawl.