Ok people, this is a HOT topic right now, and one we should all be very involved in. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the name Monsanto all over the news lately. If you don’t already know, Monsanto is the big-daddy of all chemical companies that likes to also dabble in the food industry. Some of the other key players in this odd little conflict-of-interest, are Dow (chemicals), Scotts (pesticides), and Eli Lily & Co. (pharmaceuticals).
In 1983, Monsanto developed chemically altered strains of seeds that would make crops resistant to bugs. They named these “Roundup Ready” seeds, after their wildly popular pesticide, Round-Up. Monsanto has been busy since their inception in 1901. Some of their most popular products have included Agent Orange, DDT and saccharine to name a few (I’m thinking they might not be looking out for the health and wellbeing of others – what do you think?…). As of 2012, Monsanto controlled the patents (patents? really?) on these seeds, some of which include corn, soy, wheat, peanuts and coming in 2013, apples and potatoes. These crops are known as GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), some people are calling them GE’s (Genetically Engineered), but sadly, most people are still calling it FOOD. GMO’s are currently in the vast majority of processed foods in the United States. While they are banned as food ingredients in Europe and elsewhere, the FDA does not even require the labeling of GMO’s in food ingredient lists. If you buy food from a regular restaurant or supermarket – you’re probably eating genetically modified foods.
Keep in mind, genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. It seems these very intelligent people at Monsanto think that we are so biologically different than animals as to remain invincible to these toxins.
One of the latest pieces of evidence supporting the suspicion that GMO crops are in no way, shape or form comparable to their natural counterparts is a nutritional analysis that shows just how different they really are.
A report given to MomsAcrossAmerica by an employee of De Dell Seed Company (Canada’s only non-GMO corn seed company) offers a stunning picture of the nutritional differences between GMO and non-GMO corn.
Here’s a small sampling of the nutritional differences found in this 2012 nutritional analysis:
Calcium: GMO corn = 14 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 6,130 ppm (437 times more)
Magnesium: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 113 ppm (56 times more)
Manganese: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 14 ppm (7 times more)
Now, If that wasn’t staggering enough…
Remember that Monsanto created Round-Up, a pesticide made from glyphosate.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “safe” level for glyphosate in American water supplies is 0.7 ppm. In Europe, the maximum allowable level in water is 0.2 ppm. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm… At 13 ppm, GMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA.
This is truly disturbing when you consider the fact that in countries like Argentina, glyphosate is blamed for the dramatic increase in devastating birth defects as well as cancer. Sterility and miscarriages are also increasing. This may be due to its similarity to DDT, which is well-known to cause reproductive problems, among other things. (Remember Monsanto also created DDT)
Another health hazard associated with glyphosate is its effect on gut bacteria. Not only does it promote the growth of more virulent pathogens, it also kills off beneficial bacteria that might keep such pathogens in check, both in the soil, and in the gut of animals or humans that ingest the contaminated crop.
It’s important to understand that the glyphosate actually becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. It’s inside the plant. And once you eat it, it ends up in your gut where it can wreak total havoc with your health, considering the fact that 80 percent of your immune system resides there and is dependent on a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria.
An additional disturbing piece of information is that GMO corn contained extremely high levels of formaldehyde. At least one study found that 0.97 ppm of ingested formaldehyde was toxic to animals. GMO corn contains a staggering 200 times that amount! Perhaps it’s no wonder that animals, when given a choice, avoid genetically engineered feed.
Now we’re looking at yet another type of genetic engineering technology: RNA interference (RNAi), also known as post transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS).
According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), apples modified using this technique are slated for approval by the US Department of Agriculture sometime this year. The apple will not require approval by the FDA, which is responsible for human food and animal feed. It only needs approval by the USDA, which is responsible for protecting agriculture from pests and plant diseases.
The new GMO Arctic® Apple does not turn brown when sliced or bitten into. For the cosmetic “advantage” of these genetically engineered apples, you get to be a test subject for yet another untested genetic modification technology.
Non-organic apples are already among the most pesticide-laden foods sold. In the Pesticide Action Network’s analysis of the most recent USDA data, apples tested positive for 42 different pesticides, including two endocrine disrupting pesticides (organophosphate and pyrethroid). The additional risk of untested tinkering with the RNA is not a step in the right direction if we want safer, healthier foods. The OCA writes:
“[U]nlike the case with GMO corn or salmon, scientists aren’t injecting pesticides or genes from foreign plants or animals into the genes of apples to create the Frankenapple. While most existing genetically engineered plants are designed to make new proteins, the Arctic Apple is engineered to produce a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The new dsRNA alters the way genes are expressed. The result, in the Arctic Apple’s case, is a new double strand of RNA that genetically ‘silences’ the apple’s ability to produce polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes the apple to turn brown when it’s exposed to oxygen.
Recent research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food. The biotech industry has always claimed that genetically engineered DNA or RNA is destroyed by human digestion, eliminating the danger of these mutant organisms damaging human genes or human health. But many biotech scientists say otherwise. They point to evidence that the manipulated RNA finds its way into our digestive systems and bloodstreams, potentially damaging or silencing vital human genes.”
OCA also points out the indirect health consequences. The chemical compound used in the RNA manipulation process is one that also combats plant pests. So what might conceivably happen when you compromise the fruit’s ability to fend off insects? As noted by OCA, most likely, growers will have to start using more pesticides—on a fruit that’s already among the most heavily sprayed. In the end, all those pesticides end up in your body and, certainly, avoiding toxic exposures is important if you want to protect your health.
It’s important to realize that genetically engineered (GMO) foods have never been proven safe for human consumption over a lifetime, let alone over generations.
- Zero independent (objective) studies have been conducted to verify if these products Monsanto uses are safe.
- The longest industry-funded animal feeding study was 90 days, which recent research has confirmed is FAR too short. However, in the world’s first independently funded lifetime feeding study, massive health problems set in during and after the 13th month, including organ damage and cancer.
- Companies like Monsanto rarely if ever allow independent researchers access to their patented seeds, citing the legal protection these seeds have under patent laws. Hence, independent research is extremely difficult or nearly impossible to conduct. If these scientists get seeds from a farmer, they sue them into oblivion as one of their favorite tactics is to use the legal system to their advantage. Additionally, virtually all academic agricultural research is controlled by Monsanto as they are the primary supporters of these departments and none will risk losing their funding from them.
- There is no safety monitoring. Meaning, once the GMO item in question has been approved, not a single country on earth is actively monitoring and tracking reports of potential health effects.
GMO foods are an imminent threat to humanity’s food supply. Besides the ethical concerns, genetic pollution is self-perpetuating. It can never be reversed or cleaned up. Genetic mistakes will be passed on to all future generations of a species. Through wind, rain, birds, bees, and insect pollinators carry these genetically-altered pollen into adjoining fields, polluting the DNA of crops of organic and non-GMO farmers. This has been happening all over the world for more than a decade. Theoretically, if genetic pollution continues, it could obliterate the world’s natural organic food supply. Use of herbicide-resistant crops will also lead to a accelerated increase in the use of herbicides, resulting in even greater pollution of our food and water with toxic agrochemicals.
Bottom line: don’t be a human lab-rat. GMO’s are bad news and if you are already dealing with an autoimmune disease, steer clear of this stuff, it might just save your life.
At present, the only way to avoid GMOs is to ditch processed foods from your grocery list, and revert back to whole foods grown according to organic standards.
You can also support your local initiatives in getting GMO’s properly labeled. Go here to learn what you can do to keep GMO’s out of your family’s food.