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:
- Allergies – 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.
In 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!
The most common question I get is regarding GMOs is
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