January 21, 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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