GMOs: How They Impact the Planet and You

Are you aware of the dangers of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) that have been introduced into our food supply without our consent? Thousands of foods sitting on supermarket shelves contain genetically-engineered ingredients – and we have no idea what they could be doing long-term to us health-wise. The government has not required food manufacturers to divulge, whether specific foods or ingredients have been genetically engineered. We are all guinea pigs – and only time will tell how dangerous these unspecified foods are.

What is a GMO? A GMO is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are known as “transgenic” organisms. If you buy food from a regular supermarket or restaurant – you’re probably consuming genetically modified foods.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has warned that the public should avoid genetically modified (GM) foods, stating, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”

A large number of studies and incidents have implicated GM foods in a wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption..

For example, animals consuming crops that have been genetically modified to produce the pesticide BT (approved for human consumption in the United States) have died by the thousands, while animals grazing on a non-GM version remained unharmed. Upon autopsies, researchers have found black patches in the animals’ livers and intestines, internal bleeding and other signs of BT poisoning. Farm workers in India have begun developing allergic reactions upon handling BT corn, similar to the effects experienced by people exposed to BT spraying.

In addition to these risks, GM corn and soy contain significantly higher concentrations of allergens than unmodified varieties. In addition to these risks, Evidence also suggests that the genetic abnormalities of GM foods may transfer to bacteria in the human gut, thereby exposing people to their detrimental effects long after a food has been consumed. Yet in spite of this and much more evidence and the prevalence of GM crops in the United States food supply – not a single clinical trial of any GM crop has ever been published by our government. Our government has only relied on studies that have been done by the people who are promoting these GM foods.

Environmentally-aware health researchers have conducted studies, which were very compelling. For example, female rats fed a diet of GM soy experienced a drastically higher infant death rate, and their surviving infants were smaller and less fertile than the offspring of rats fed on a non-GM soy diet. Male rats fed the GM soy had their testicles change from pink to blue, and the GM soy was also observed to damage the DNA of sperm and embryos. Fertility problems such as, abortion, infertility, premature delivery, prolapsed uteri, infant death, and even delivery of unformed infants (bags of water) have been observed in farm animals fed GM cottonseed and corn.

Genetically modified foods have definitely been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, in sick, sterile and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals, The effects on humans consuming these new combinations of proteins produced in GMOs are unknown and have not been studied. Don’t risk your life. Get the facts.

Jeffrey Smith, the president of The Institute for Responsible Technology has produced a very informative book entitled Seeds of Deception. It may be purchased at: www.responsibletechnology.org It is the #1 rated book on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms. His meticulous research documents how the world’s most profitable biotech companies continue to mislead legislator and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment at peril. Another book of his Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods gives an in-depth look at 65 health risks of these GM foods.

The biotech industries claim that the FDA has thoroughly evaluated GM foods and found them safe. This is untrue. Internal FDA documents made public from a lawsuit, reveal that agency scientists warned that GM foods might create toxins, allergies, nutritional problems, and new diseases that might be difficult to identify. Although they urged their superiors to require long-term tests for each GM variety prior to approval; the political appointees at the agency, including a former lawyer for Monsanto, ignored the scientists. Official policy claims that the foods are no different and do NOT require safety testing. A manufacturer can introduce a GM food without even informing the government or consumers.

A January 2001 report from an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada said it was “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe. Likewise, a 2002 report by the UK’s Royal Society said that genetic modification “could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods,” and recommended that potential health effects of GM foods be rigorously researched before being fed to pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly people, those suffering from chronic disease and babies.

How could the government approve GM foods? A close examination reveals that industry manipulation and political collusion – not sound science – was the driving force.

Government employees who complained were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired. Scientists were threatened. Evidence was stolen. Data was omitted or distorted. Some regulators even claimed that they were offered bribes to approve a GM product.

There were only two dozen peer-reviewed animal feeding studies on the health effects of GM foods:

* One study showed evidence of damage to the immune system and vital organs, and a potentially pre-cancerous condition. When the scientist tried to alert the public about these alarming discoveries, he lost his job and was silenced with the threat of a lawsuit.

* Two other studies also showed evidence of a potentially pre-cancerous condition. The other seven studies, which were superficial in their design, were not designed to identify these details.

* In an unpublished study, laboratory rats fed a GM crop developed stomach lesions and seven of the forty died within two weeks. The crop was approved without further tests.

Many industry studies appear to be rigged to find no problems. In the case of a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH), for example, researchers rejected cows with only one forty-seventh the normal dosage before reporting hormone residues in milk. They heated the milk 120 times longer than standard to report that pasteurization destroys the hormone. Of course, if people did this – there would be no value left in the food being consumed.

The biotech industry claims that millions have been eating GM foods without ill effects. This is misleading. About 100 people died and five to ten thousand fell seriously ill, when they consumed the genetically modified version of L-tryptophan , which had been produced by a Japanese supplement manufacturer. People who were using brands other than this were not affected.

* Milk from rbGH-treated cows contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer, among others.

* Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, coinciding with the introduction of GM soy imports from the United States.

* Food is responsible for twice the number of illnesses in the U.S. according to a March 2001 report of the Center for Disease Control which stated that in seven years this jump had occurred. This increase roughly corresponds to the period, when Americans began eating GM food. Could it be contributing to the 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 76 million illnesses related to food each year? We have no way of knowing, if there is a connection, because no one has looked for one.

How to Avoid GMO Foods: Avoid the big four, which has become five now, The highly genetically engineered crops are soy, corn, canola, cottonseed and sugar beets. However, legal action has been taken to halt GM sugar beet production.

Most blended oils in North America contain canola and cottonseed oils. Use virgin olive oil and coconut oil instead. Avoid all soy products and oils as well.

What are the GMO foods we need to avoid? Think corn flakes, corn syrup, popcorn, tortillas, soy milk, soy burgers, soy lecithin, rice krispies, rice cakes, tomatoes (pig genes), potatoes (fish genes), baby food, dog food, bread, mayonnaise, etc. GMO corn is fed to the cows that produce the dairy and meat being eaten – milk, cheese, ice cream and meat. In addition, McDonald’s, Burger King and Tahoe Joe’s serve GMO hamburgers. GMO corn is fed to chickens that are being eaten and to those, which lay eggs. If you eat beef, pork or fowl, you are probably ingesting GMO’s. The best chance of avoiding these GMO’s is by eating humanely-raised free-range, grass fed meat or cage-free fowl..

There is no labeling ban on GMOs – they are everywhere and are in everything. The EPA and FDA are not protecting the health interests of the consumers. They have not insisted on any long term GMO testing – so 80% of the produce now in the grocery stores are GE.

Europe has placed a ban on GMO products, because they don’t know what harm they are doing to the gene pool. Everything a GMO in Europe is labeled by law. Europe will not buy corn or soy products from the U.S. Japan will not buy our rice.

The Dangers of GENECTIC ENGINEERING:

* Technology Risk that it may disrupt the functioning of other genes essential to the life of an organism, (Bergelson 1998)

* Side Effects: Scientists have not taken in consideration all the ramifications of messing with nature, Mutations could be created, which could be harmful to the environment and our health. (Washington Times 1997, The Village Voice 1998).

* Widespread Crop Failure – Genetic engineers intend to profit by patenting genetically engineered seeds. This means that when a farmer plants these seeds, all the seeds have identical genetic structure. As a result, if a fungus or virus, or a pest develops which can attack this particular crop, there could be widespread crop failure. (Robinson 1996)

* Our Entire Food Supply Threatened – Insects, birds, and wind can carry genetically altered seeds into neighboring fields and beyond. Pollen from transgenic plants can cross-pollinate with genetically natural crops and wild relatives. All crops are vulnerable, organic and non-organic, to contamination from cross-pollination. (Emberlin et al 1999)

We need to be aware:

Genetic Engineering uses material from organisms that have never been part of our food supply. GE can cause unexpected mutations, which can create new and higher levels of toxins in food’ (Inose 1995, Mayeno 1994).

Allergic Reactions – Genetic Engineering can also produce unforeseen and unknown allergens in foods. (Nordlee 1996)

Decreased Nutritional Value – Transgenic foods may mislead the consumers into thinking it is fresh. A luscious-looking, bright red genetically engineered tomato could be over several weeks old and have little nutritional value.

Be aware – organic foods are labeled with 5 digits headed by the number 9. Conventional produce has 4 digits. It is difficult to know, if produce or products are pesticide-free and organically-grown,, unless they bare an USDA Certified Organic Seal. This seal certifies that the product is at least 95% organic, and that no genetically modified ingredients or derivatives were used in the manufacture of the food product; the remaining 5% of the ingredients are legally required to be non-GMO. To earn the USDA seal a food product undergoes an extensive certification process that goes from field to your table.

Critics of GMFoods – concerned by the fact that these organisms are subject to intellectual property law (Wikipedia). GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. We have seen that Americans have become more obese and unhealthy during the past 20 years, Eating foods that are nutritionally-poor could have a great deal to do with creating a nation riddled with health problems.

How do we personally combat this major problem? Elementary, my dear Watson, as Sherlock Holmes would say…Simply avoid all the genetically engineered crops: Soybeans, Corn, Cottonseed, Hawaiian Papaya, Rapeseed (Canola), Squash (Zucchini) and Rice (Forecast to be on the market in 2012).

There are major ecological concerns, for example with other species, such as, the Monarch Butterfly whose major food is Milkweed and it has been contaminated with GMO pollen, which has devastated the butterflies, How many other beneficial insects will be destroyed before these mad scientists wake up to the major problems they are creating globally?

I found a great deal of this information on www.naturalnews.com It is a website that has some very good information on it.

Most people don’t have the time to do the research that is ongoing with me. My major goal is to provide information that will keep my readers healthy. After almost 50 years of experimentation and research, I have the ability to discern what is valid and what isn’t. I am ultra concerned about what is happening to our food supply today. Commercial interests are mainly concerned with the bottom line at the expense of our health. Sick people seem to be the motivation of the government, the entire Medical Industry and the Food Industry. If you want to beat the odds, educate yourself. Be Pro Active.

In 1976 I was told that I would be given ‘no guarantees’, unless I had a tumor surgically removed. I walked out, after telling the doctors that I was going to go home and pray. I prayed – and a book came into my hands, which gave me the answers I needed. I was guided to give up the food that had created a tumor…it was regressed and never came back.

I am telling you to do what I did and get better…give up the foods, which are hurting you. Nothing is more important than health. I have been guided to avoid all these GMO foods. It is not a big loss to avoid foods, which are detrimental to your health. The alternative – Illness is ultra costly and painful.

Holistically Yours,

Barbara Charis

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