Monday, August 30, 2010

GMO - from Dr. Mercola

This post is an excerpt from Dr. Mercola’s “Eight Foods that Could be Disastrous for Your Health” available on mercola.com.

While I generally don’t copy and paste other people’s work, I strongly believe that this is well worth reading and want my audience to have access to it. You can read the original, full length post here.

Why GM Crops are a Threat to Your Health

I believe that aside from common sense, which says it might not be such a good idea to consume toxins in every bite of food (which is what you’re doing when you eat a food that contains built-in pesticide or herbicide), there’s compelling scientific evidence demonstrating that GM foods can cause a number of health problems, and that these health problems may get more and more critical with each passing generation.

In a recent interview with Jeffrey Smith (GMO expert) he discussed a recent Russian animal study that illustrates the generational health hazards of a GM diet.
In the second generation, GM soy-fed hamsters had a five-fold higher infant mortality rate, compared the controls. But it got worse, because nearly all of the third generation hamsters fed GM soy were sterile...

As you may know, genetically modified crops weren’t released until 1996, starting with GM soy, corn and cotton. Modified canola came about a year later. Humans have much longer life spans than hamsters and other lab animals, so we have not even begun to see the health effects of GM foods on our FIRST generation yet!

We’re still nowhere near seeing the full effects of these potential ramifications in humans, as we’re only about 15 years into it. But if the effects are anything like the effects on numerous types of animals, we could be looking at significant health problems, including sterility on a grand scale as our great-grandchildren grow up...

The fact that the US is completely unwilling to implement the precautionary principle with regards to GM foods is incomprehensible in light of the findings we already have from animal studies. Additionally, some 800 genetically engineered food applications have been submitted to the USDA, but not one single environmental impact statement has been prepared!

So not only are human health ramifications ignored, but the entire eco system is being jeopardized.

Health Effects of GM Foods
I strongly believe that one of the most obvious clues about the danger of GMO foods is that animals virtually never opt to eat a GM food if conventional food is available. Many times they will avoid GM food to the point of starvation – a clear indication that they have an intuitive sense of the danger inherent with this food.

Many people are unaware of the fact that no safety study has ever proved that GM foods are safe for consumption. Studies have, however, linked GM foods to:
• Cancer
• Food allergies
• Damage to your immune system
• Super-viruses

In a 2007 article published on the Institute for Responsible Technology’s web site, Jeffrey Smith also points out several animal studies that show a number of different GM foods appear to cause liver damage.

Your liver is a main detoxifier in your body, so liver damage can indicate that your toxic load is simply too great. In his article Smith includes the following study results:
• The livers of rats fed Roundup Ready canola were 12–16 percent heavier, possibly due to liver disease or inflammation
• Rats fed GNA lectin potatoes had smaller and partially atrophied livers
• Rats fed Monsanto’s Mon 863 corn, engineered to produce Bt-toxin, had liver lesions and other indications of toxicity
• Rabbits fed GM soy showed altered enzyme production in their livers as well as higher metabolic activity
• Microscopic analysis of the livers of mice fed Roundup Ready soybeans revealed altered gene expression and structural and functional changes. Many of these changes reversed after the mice diet was switched to non-GM soy, indicating that GM soy was the culprit. The findings, according to molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, PhD, “are not random and must reflect some ‘insult’ on the liver by the GM soy”.

With all the evidence against them, why are these products still on the market?
Because there’s big money to be made – these seeds are all patented and must be purchased anew each season -- and because it’s difficult to link health problems directly to them, in large part because many of the side effects happen over time – it may even take generations before certain health outcomes become apparent. So there’s plenty of room for denial. Only time will reveal the extent of the unforeseen and surprising illnesses caused by GM foods.

The question is, are you willing to ‘wait and see,’ which equates to playing Russian Roulette with your grandchildren, and great-grandchildren’s, health?

How to Avoid GM Food

There are currently eight major GM food crops on the market, so memorizing this list will help you avoid any and all food products that might contain GMO’s:
1. Soy
2. Corn
3. Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
4. Canola (canola oil)
5. Sugar from sugar beets
6. Hawaiian papaya
7. Some varieties of zucchini
8. Crookneck squash

You’ll also want to avoid any kind of derivative of these (such as high fructose corn syrup).

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This situation clearly demands individual action. Unfortuantely, the USDA & FDA are grossly enmeshed with corporate greed and are not looking out for our best interest. What we can do: join a local co-op,  research the subject and share info with friends and family, buy foods labeled 'non-GMO', and read more on Organic Consumer's website.

To good health,
Chana

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