“YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”. This is a phrase that has most likely been used in every language in known history. But if you don’t know what you’re eating, do you really know what you are? And then how can you know if you’re healthy? Are you forced to then rely on doctors, drugs, and hospitals for your continued survival? Skyrocketing medical costs for those without health insurance AND those with insurance is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in this country – and many would say are leading to the USA’s bankruptcy as well. GMOs, otherwise known as Genetically Modified Organisms, are big in the news these days….but what are they? And why are they in our foods?
What is a GMO? Hailed as a breakthrough in agriculture and the answer to feeding the world just three decades ago, GMOs have recently been discovered to have emerged as a serious threat to the health and continued existence of life on this planet. Well, not all life…just civilization as we know it.
How did this all occur? As has been the tale of human folly throughout the ages, our own arrogance and ignorance – and a blind faith in our ability to conquer the natural world through “science” – all while not following the first rule of science – to fully explore the facts objectively before making assumptions. In other words, once again our reach has exceeded our grasp – and once again, greed for unprecedented profit for some threatens the existence of all.
But haven’t we been combining and modifying plant crops for thousands of years to try to get the highest yields from our food supply – plants and animals? Hasn’t this also been highly successful? Why, yes on both counts. However, this was done in the past through cross-breeding by natural means of germination and reproduction. The modern world of science has sought to alter the very genetic makeup, or DNA, of these plant species, by gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology. GMO’s would offer increased crop yields, help crops survive droughts, enhance nutrition – and help to end world hunger. Companies such as Monsanto and Genetech promised that the future was one of unlimited capacity.
GMO crops seek to eliminate the ability of crop pests, primarily insects, to destroy crop yields either by allowing crops to be sprayed with pesticides directly or to make the crops produce their own internal pesticides. By splicing the genes of these crops with pesticides, insects attempting to eat these crops instead are destroyed by poisoning themselves – with their little bug bellies literally exploding. The problem with this concept is that the ultimate goal of the crops are to be eaten by humans – and this same pesticide is toxic to these same humans! Of course, someone eating some GMO corn is not going to have their stomach explode five minutes later (although we’ve all had moments after eating where we’ve felt like that has happened to us!). However, the accumulation of these toxins, by continued use, will continue until it becomes a serious issue for the body to have to eliminate – along with the buildup of all toxins in the body. Of course, there are no end of government officials who will assert that “studies have shown that this amount of exposure is harmless to humans”…which is what they always tell us at first (for example, the use of flouride in drinking water to prevent cavities and the use of mercury in “silver” dental cavity filings – despite the fact that these are two of the most poisonous substances on Earth!)
Worse, these GMO foods could very possibly alter our own genetic makeup – and turn our own intestines into pesticide-generating mini-factories! Try to imagine eating a small can of RAID every day for a year….and the can of RAID is continually spraying inside your stomach twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Do you think this might cause a health problem for you at some point down the line? Do you remember the old commercial, “RAID kills bugs DEAD!”? As a child, I remember that it didn’t always take one spray of RAID to kill a bug, but eventually, despite crawling, wiggling, and struggling – they all ended up dead – somewhere. I could compare a hospital to a roach motel at this point (bugs crawl in but they don’t crawl out) – but I think you get the picture at this point (I hope!).
Here is an explanation in an interview with Jeffrey M. Smith, who is probably the leading anti-GMO foods expert today:
“The Share Guide: What are the risks to children and babies? Your latest book says that the trans genes can survive digestion and be passed through the placenta into the fetus.
Jeffrey Smith: The transfer of genes is a very, very serious issue. The only human feeding study ever conducted on GM foods verified that the gene inserted into soybeans transferred into human gut bacteria DNA, and was integrated on a stable basis. This means long after you stop eating a genetically modified food, you might still have this foreign protein produced inside your gut. One of the more scary examples would be if you ate a genetically modified corn chip, and the gene that produces the BT toxin (the pesticide) were to transfer to your gut bacteria, it could theoretically transform your intestinal flora into living pesticide factories…possibly for the rest of your life. In addition, genes might also transfer into your own cellular DNA, causing it to produce foreign proteins. Or the promoter, the so-called “on switch” which switches on the foreign genes in these genetically modified crops, might transfer into your own human DNA and turn on genes at random, causing them to overproduce either a toxin, allergen, carcinogen, or anti-nutrient. We just don’t know; it’s a genetic roulette!”
These practices have become endemic over the last few decades…and now the overwhelming majority of corn (86%) and soy (91%) and sugar beets (95%) are GMO crops. Simply put, these crops are no longer safe for human consumption. These two foods are already the cause of allergies to most people in some degree. It has been estimated that allergic responses are magnified by anywhere from three to seven times in the GMO versions. More and more children are being diagnosed with allergies, and these effects can often lead to serious diseases and illness. Simply put, allergies are increasing in large part in our population because GMOs are being eaten in large amounts, and these GMO foods are not recognized by our immune systems, causing immune reactions we call allergies.
“The huge jump in childhood food allergies in the US is in the news often, but most reports fail to consider a link to a recent radical change in America’s diet. Beginning in 1996, bacteria, virus and other genes have been artificially inserted to the DNA of soy, corn, cottonseed and canola plants. These unlabeled genetically modified (GM) foods carry a risk of triggering life-threatening allergic reactions, and evidence collected over the past decade now suggests that they are contributing to higher allergy rates.”
I have seen this increasingly in my own interactions with shoppers at various healthy supermarkets – especially in the increased occurrence of allergies in their children.
“The classical understanding of why a GM crop might create new allergies is that the imported genes produce a new protein, which has never before been present. The novel protein may trigger reactions. This was demonstrated in the mid 1990s when soybeans were outfitted with a gene from the Brazil nut. While the scientists had attempted to produce a healthier soybean, they ended up with a potentially deadly one. Blood tests from people who were allergic to Brazil nuts showed reactions to the beans. It was fortunately never put on the market.”
Pesticide use of toxic herbicides such as Roundup (also owned by Monsanto) have increased by about 15 times since GMOs were introduced. An estimated 185 MILLION pounds of glycophospates (the active component in Roundup) are being used in the U.S. each year! This has led to “super weeds” which can only be killed with even more toxic poisons – such as 2,4-D. As a result, more groundwater has been affected by toxic runoff from this spraying – as well as the surrounding ecosystems.
Pesticide use of toxic herbicides such as Roundup ( also owned by Monsanto) have increased by about 15 times since GMOs were introduced. So the very companies that produce GMO crops (Monsanto) are also in the pesticide business – and have benefited greatly by the increased use of these pesticides.
What about the increased crop yields that were promised to farmers? These have not been demonstrated at all. The only real difference in the crops so far is that in GMO foods, farmers are unable to save seeds from their previous year’s crops and replant their fields with these seeds. Instead, farmers have to annually buy the new seeds from companies like Monsanto, because the seeds from Monsanto’s GMO crops are programmed not to grow! And of course, they’ re also patented. This has led to the estimated deaths of hundreds of thousands of destitute farmers in India, who bought into the promises of the GMO foods companies and then were unable to plant crops in successive years.
And are GMO crops more resistant to droughts like the one experienced this summer in the U.S.? No. In fact, they are far more likely NOT to survive drought conditions than the non-GMO versions!
Recent studies have demonstrated severe health consequences from prolonged exposure to eating GMO-foods, including a study in France which studies the effects of rats eating GMO corn. GMO corn was approved for human consumption in the U.S. after a short 90-day trial study by the FDA. Lab Rats in the French study were fed the GMO corn for 4 months (120 days) and the majority developed large tumors and died as a result!
Unbelievably, this was the first study to conduct long-term results of eating GMO foods.
According to Natural News, here are some results of the study:
“Here are some of the shocking findings from the study:
• Up to 50% of males and 70% of females suffered premature death.
• Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup (at levels legally allowed in the water supply) had a 200% to 300% increase in large tumors.
• Rats fed GM corn and traces of Roundup suffered severe organ damage including liver damage and kidney damage.
• The study fed these rats NK603, the Monsanto variety of GM corn that’s grown across North America and widely fed to animals and humans. This is the same corn that’s in your corn-based breakfast cereal, corn tortillas and corn snack chips.”
“After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.”
GMO wheat has been shown to silence certain genes. Over the years, wheat has been modified so much its gluten content has increased from 5 percent to 50 percent, which has caused a major increase in Celiac disease and allergic responses.
GMOs are also soon going to be found in the animals you eat too. As if fish-farmed salmon weren’t already bad enough for you – and everywhere (7 out of 10 NYC restaurants who advertised Wild Salmon were found to be Farmed Salmon just a few years ago!)! Meet AquaBounty, the GMO Salmon. Of course, how you are going to keep the Frankenfish from getting out and merging with (and wiping out) the normal fish is going to be a real issue going forward. Fortunately, at this point, the governmental agencies are not rushing to approve these genetically-engineered beasts of burden to be as widespread as GMO crops – yet. However, so far the FDA has ruled out having to label GMO fish – which makes California’s Proposition 37 that much more important.
According to Jeffrey M. Smith, the US Government fast-tracked the use of GMO crops to try to dominate the world’s agriculture industry, and heavily subsidized its use. The WikiLeaks scandal revealed leaked U.S. State Department cables indicating the the U.S. was covertly retaliating against European countries and their political leaders who have attempted to ban U.S. GMO-foods being imported into their countries (over 50 countries around the world ban or restrict the use of GMO foods).
Even more sinister is the possibility that instead of being created to help end world hunger, GMO crops were actually created to help reduce the world’s population. This would occur two-fold: By causing disease and illness among more susceptible people and by also reducing the ability of people to reproduce.
How else do you explain Epicyte? (here is an article on Epicyte from September 9, 2001). The protein in Epicyte attacks sperm and has already most likely spread by pollination. The problem is, even if you agree that population reduction is is a worthwhile goal and a necessary goal – how do you contain the spread of this type of corn from contaminating all of the world’s corn supply? Or do the ends justify the means?
Where does this all lead if unchecked? How about crops with vaccines and pharmaceuticals included. Feel sad or depressed about something? Just eat a potato pumped up with Prozac – you’ll be fine, comrade.
In any event, GMOs have NEVER been proven to be safe for long-term human consumption (assuming you plan to eat and live longer than 90 days) and have never been proven to have any benefits. Behind every attempt and argument to sell GMO crops and foods as being safe are nothing but profit motives. The very few benefit while the rest of humanity suffers. But it may go even further than that: it appears that the U.S. Government and its agencies (State Department, US FDA, US EPA, Dept. of Agriculture, etc. – and the people in high places that control its actions) seems to be completely behind and supportive of all GMO efforts and causes to date. The collusion of Monsanto, Big Agriculture, the FDA, and the EPA seems to be very apparent on the surface.
Please also see The Non-GMO Project – I suggest you go to this site and sign up.
Still have doubts? Please watch these documentaries:
GMO Ticking Time Bomb by Dr. Gary Null: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm6vk9wVU6k
Genetic Roulette – Jeffrey M. Smith
In Part Two of this article, I will seek to explain the confusion surrounding the arguments for and against Proposition 37, the Ballot Initiative in California which seeks to label all packages of grocery foods to indicate use of GMO foods.