January 23, 2017

GMO Foods Pros and Cons

By Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

There is certainly a lot of hype over GMOs.  We have so many people yelling about how it will save the human race from starvation, while others scream that it will completely destroy us!  How are we to know for sure whether foods that are genetically modified are safe and healthy?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but “caveat emptor” is still alive and well.  “Buyer beware” rules the market and we must be informed of all that we buy.  Information is still our best protection from all the toxic scams that are devised to take our money and give us only poor health in return.  I want to get past the hype and look only at the evidence.

GMO kidney damage by flickr Hey Paul StudiosThe GMO Home Case Study

My first experience with the GMO debate came from my wife.  She noticed that our youngest child acted very differently when he ate corn, but not when he ate organic corn.  I was skeptical, until I was home one day when he was given some non-organic corn by a neighbor.  The five-year-old child was literally “climbing the walls!”  He could not keep still!  I had seen many meth addicts act the same way, so I was shocked that our child would be doing this!  I even recorded it on video because the change in behavior was so drastic.

I started doing some research and found, at first, that GMO producers and the FDA were assuring everyone that GMO food was just like organic crops – but better, because the farmers didn’t have to spray for insects or weed their fields.  However, as I dug deeper, I began to see a different picture in the case surrounding GMOs.

Few GMO Studies Beyond 90 Days

Most of the “reassurance” that the FDA and GMO producers offer is based on results from 90-day studies.  That is, nobody died in three months — so it must be safe.  This isn’t very reassuring to me, because I know that it may take much longer than that to produce illness from food. I wanted some real science behind the safety of GMOs, so I went to non-industry studies.

GMOs Can Cause Liver and Kidney Disease

First, I went to studies on animals, because they may give us clues to what may happen in a human.  In 2010, a meta-analysis of 19 rats fed GMO soy and GMO corn found that 30-43% of the rats developed liver and/or kidney disease, compared to those who were not fed with GMOs.

I have read thousands of studies over the years, and the percentage ( 30-43%) of rats developing liver or kidney disease is very alarming.

Most pharmaceutical medicines are only approved on a less-than-10% (<10%) margin over placebo. This means GMO products have been approved despite the lack of rigorous safety assessments for GM crops and with the likelihood of organ damage. Wouldn’t you raise questions regarding GMO approval if it led to organ failure?

I’m not a fan of applying associated symptoms as a cause, so I wanted to know why liver and/or kidney disease might be a threat to humans. Before medical school, I was a microbiologist doing molecular biology and genetic engineering, so deciphering the biologically significant data was right up my alley.

GMO Gene Transfer

One of the most convincing arguments against GMO foods is the fact that

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Are GMOs Safe?

By Amanda Box, N.D.

How would you feel if you heard that the FDA has yet to conduct even one single study lab on the engineered food you eat every day? These foods have NEVER been proven safe for consumption but are in thousands of products on your grocery shelves!  I myself am flabbergasted!  It seems like a cruel joke.  This injustice has more to do with billions of dollars and hidden agendas, than it has to do with our safety.  I am talking about GMOs and their multi-billion dollar manufactures.

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered by genetic engineers. Essentially, scientists have created seeds and plants that make up our food products that contain their own built-in pesticides, which are also tolerant to herbicides.  These organisms are modified by injecting the DNA of one species into another. It is a technical process that crosses plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes in order to achieve a desired result with an altered genetic material. This unnatural process produces unnatural outcomes in our bodies. Foods that genetically modified are connected to:

  • Stay Free from GMO by flickr Nicki_SAllergies – New proteins introduced into GMOs can create new allergies
  • Antibiotic resistance  – Antibiotic resistance DNA implanted in the food can create antibiotic resistance in bodies
  • Increased toxicity – Damaged genes from bio-engineering can produce higher levels of toxins in the plants, which damage our bodies
  • Decreased nutrition – Crossing genes can make some nutritional components unavailable for use in our bodies

Though this may feel like an achievement to scientists and even some farmers, the catch twenty two is that someone is eating these genetically spliced and diced organisms that no longer contain just vitamins and protein, but toxic genetic material that alters our body’s regulation.

Where is the GMO Research?

The most frustrating thing I came across in putting together this article was the lack of research!  People are demanding to know if GMO foods are truly safe and no one can really give them a concise answer!

Only one GMO study has been conducted on humans and it concluded that GMOs survived inside the stomach. There were no follow ups on that test.  The work shows a pathway by which new food products, such as GM foods, could influence human health in previously unanticipated ways. Like I stated above, the FDA has NEVER conducted nor requested a safety study on GMOs.

Long term research on GMOs is pretty much non-existent.  The longest study, until recently, was only 3 months long.(1) It was conducted under the control of Monsanto, the company who manufactured the genetically modified corn used in the study.(2) And, of course, they deemed their product safe for consumption.

What is the main reason there is such a lack in scientific studies?  These seeds are owned by the companies that created them!  The seeds are legally patented inventions.  Therefore you have to have approval to use them for testing.

In 2009, twenty-six corn entomologists sent an open letter to the EPA complaining that, “No true independent research could be legally conducted due to patent restrictions!”(3) Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist who signed the letter later stated, “The industry is completely driving the bus.”(4)

Recently, the first long term GMO study was conducted in France.  The study lasted two years and concluded with large tumors and other cancerous results in the rats fed genetically modified corn.  Though this study has come under a lot of fire as not being accurate or conducted properly, there are substantial arguments on both sides. (5)

Really, you are left to decide who you want to believe. In one corner you have multi billion dollar Monsanto, claiming that their genetically altered corn is safe based on the studies that they have funded.  Then in the other corner, you have people looking for answers who and want more conclusive research.  I, for one, would love more studies.  And I have a good idea what those studies will conclude. Can toying with nature in a lab actually produce something safe and side-effect free? I think not.

Exposing the GMO Fraud

Luckily many people are trumpeting the cause against GMOs. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “GMO foods carry a serious health risk. There is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects.” They go on to say, “GMO foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.”  They called for long term safety tests and the labeling of GMO foods.(6)

Dozens of countries all across the world are banning the growing and importation of GMO foods. Currently 8 European countries have banned GMOs.(7)  Countries like Egypt and Japan have also said no to GMOs. However, this is not because of government demand, but demand of the consumers!  Interestingly enough, there hasn’t been much positive movement in America towards the banning of GMOs. Why? Because big seed corporations have stuffed the pockets of politicians and government officials making a big change nearly impossible!

Even if GMO foods continue to dominate the market, we as consumers deserve to know when we are eating GMO foods.  The dishonesty in labeling has been a disaster for those wanting to avoid genetically modified foods. Without labeling it is impossible to know which foods products have higher risks so that you can avoid them and protect the health of your family.

GMO Starvation by United Nations PhotoIn November of this past year, California’s ballot was the first to introduce a law requiring that all foods containing GMO products be labeled as such.  Proposition 37, was the name of this initiative and it started an uproar around the safety of GMO products.(8)  Monsanto dropped millions of dollars in anti-37 campaign ads.  It seems clear that Monsanto wants you to close your eyes, open your mouth, and swallow.

Much to my dismay, money won the battle and Prop 37 was not approved.  The European Union has been using warning labels on their GMO foods since 2002!  We are extremely behind the ball! However, I believe this bill awakened many all across America, and it is my hope that eventually we will have nationwide labeling of GMO products!

Pro-GMO corporations will argue that not only are their products safe, but their ability to produce more effectively is helping keep food prices down. They also argue that in a world where food is scarce, they are helping to feed the hungry.

But honestly, does this matter if the food itself is dangerous?  Feeding people untested lab modified food is like performing one giant science experiment gone bad!  You could feed a starving child in Africa rice mixed with a little rat poison each day and say, “See, I am feeding this child!”  But, you are hurting that child at the same time! It’s ability to stave off starvation does not counteract the poisonous side-effects!

Avoiding GMOs

The most common question I get is regarding GMOs is

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Genetically Modified Organisms…Does God Need Help?

By Michael Tyrrell

As I begin writing on the patio, I glance at the thermometer and it reads 72 degrees outside! Meanwhile, the weather channel is talking about yet another snowstorm on the East coast (Nemo) that will dump two feet of snow in New England… Yes, I am happy to be called a Floridian!

With that said, I pray your New Year is off to a healthy start! This month’s topic, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), is one hot subject!  I am sure I may hack off a few people in the process, but at least hear me out to the end.

Under Attack

God AlmightyThis publication is read internationally, so this next statement need only apply to my fellow Americans. As I am an ordained minister, I can tell you whole-heartedly that many of the uiteedoms, beliefs — and even our Nations Constitution — are under attack. There is currently a push to undermine our great country’s God fearing resolve by deeming our foundational beliefs as antiquated, obsolete, close-minded or out of touch.

With that said, whenever a citizen’s rights are infringed upon, freedom is diluted. Even the term “politically correct speech,” is a subtle way of saying, “You can’t speak your mind,” which is a gross infringement of our first amendment right to freedom of speech! Well I, for one, never being at a loss for words (or passion), refuse to be pulled off center by bourgeois, uber-liberal, secular humanistic manipulation in layman’s terms. I call them as I see them!

Playing God

GMOs are genetically modified organisms… even the name should raise a red flag, or at least make one a trifle skeptical. Man altering God’s design? Gee… that sounds familiar! Someone is actually believing they can improve upon — or even top God Almighty!

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne ABOVE the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the SACRED mountain (Zion). I will ascend above the tops of the clouds, I will make MYSELF like the Most (Almighty) High.’” Isaiah 14:13-14

Make no mistake. Pride is always at the root of this type of thinking and not far behind lies a lust for power, money and control.

The term, Playing God, has become quite popular in the last decade. First, because of stem cell research and now GMOs. There are plenty of arguments both pro and con on the subject of genetically modified organisms. This article will be unashamedly con!

I would ask you to keep one truth in the forefront of your mind as we continue:

God is eternal and infinite; man is temporal and finite. 

Therefore, being that God is eternal and sees the end from the beginning, it stands to reason that His unlimited proximity trumps man’s limited linear perspective every time!

God operates out of unquestionable genius, while man hypothesizes from human wisdom, which is at best an educated guess.

Recently, in preparation for the upcoming flu season, our brightest and best scientists, biologists, doctors and infectious disease specialists “forecasted” where they believed the flu would originate. They tried to predict what strain it would be and what vaccine would be most effective. How did they do? The consortium of big brains missed it by a mile — so much that they started prescribing an older medicine, Tamiflu instead…which had no effect whatsoever!

This year’s flu, with whooping cough like symptoms, reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. It ran its course with no real help from the medical community; they can only guess what will happen when they “play God.”

Yet, God always sees the end from the beginning, an obvious advantage. By the time you find this article in Home Cures That Work, you will undoubtedly read other outstanding pieces by my fellow contributors on GMOs that will offer definitive information on history, effects on the body, alternatives and even delicious recipes offering GMO alternatives. (By the way, I have personally experienced Grandma’s cooking…totally legit!) So, I will stay in my lane this month and offer an experiential look from a spiritual lens with a few “real life” stories to inspire — or infuriate you!

“Controlling” Life

As I mentioned previously, I live in Florida (South Florida) where on a good day you can smell Castro’s cigars! LOL! My wife Lillian and I live near the Everglades, a natural wetlands that should never have been built on, industrialized or inhabited by man. It was a thriving ecosystem of its own that organically helped stabilize the aquifer, flora and fauna balance in the state of Florida. Here are just a few facts about this amazing organic wetland, the Everglades:

  • It is the largest single marsh system in the U.S.
  • Contains a vast spectrum of aquatic birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including 56 federally listed endangered species.
  • Regulates the water flow.

The reason I am sharing facts about the Everglades with you is to make you soberly aware of the devastating consequences when man tries to circumvent or amend God’s handiwork. As I am sure you are aware, the Amazon rainforest is in dire straits due primarily to over-forestation from man’s hands. The consequences of man’s impact on the land is catastrophic.

Here in the Everglades, after big sugar industries set up shop, the pristine waters were polluted and filled with phosphorous and mercury, dramatically affecting south Florida.

Every time the Army Corp of Engineers would try to solve one problem, two more would spring up in its place. Here are two examples:

  1. Monsanto Evil by flickr live w mcsBecause the delicate ecosystem was compromised, the alligator mating season was altered, thus increasing their population. So, the Army Corp Of Engineers imported a very aggressive South American crocodile known as the Cayman (Caiman) to knock back the alligator population. Unfortunately, the Cayman liked the Florida gators so much they mated with them, creating 1,200 pound monster Crockogators! This “Frankenscience” or “Humpty Dumpty” syndrome, as I call it, ALWAYS has a downside. Now that you have an example of how fauna can be impacted by one human “miscalculation,” let’s look at the flora.
  2. Because of a severe drought, which affected the Everglades flora, the Army Corp Of Engineers imported Melaleuca trees to fill in the gaps. The Melaleuca trees are from Australia where they grow wild. But, when they were planted in the Everglades, they quickly overgrew and wiped out several indigenous Florida shrubs. Then, they cross pollinated the Melaleuca with other plants creating a flowering hybrid plant that 90% of the south Florida residents (including pets) are extremely allergic to — and growing out of control!

Obviously, I could go into great detail on the total impact of man’s destruction of the Everglades by playing God, but that would keep me from mentioning public enemy #1: Monsanto.

Monsanto: Sprouting Evil

The company Monsanto has been around since 1901. Today, Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company, a genetically engineered seed company whose crops account for over 91% of the total GMO crops planted worldwide. They started as a chemical company producing herbicides, prescription pharmaceutical drugs and artificial sweeteners. Here are a few of their products:

  • PCBs
  • DDT
  • Dioxin
  • Agent orange

Monsanto’s original claim to fame was sodium saccharin, an artificial carcinogenic sweetener known as NutraSweet. Later, they would develop other artificial sweeteners linked to cancer known as aspartame and Equal. In 1997, Monsanto sold off their chemical business to pursue “Life sciences,” or what we call Biotechnology.

Monsanto created their flagship “Round Up Ready” GMO seeds and the result is globally shocking. If you want to do more research on Monsanto, then you can readily investigate their dark side and global impact by going to google and read facts about Monsanto.

I am going to finish this article by sharing one of my passions, raising Monarch butterflies and how Monsanto has single handedly wiped out half of the Monarch population with their lethal man made seeds.

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