Thursday, October 25, 2012

Genetically Modified Organisms

This is a topic I have been reading about for months. It's one of those monsters that creeps into the back of your mind and is kind of always there, freaking you out so much that you just force yourself to not think about it. Researching for this post has been a nightmare. I can only read a little bit at a time without having to take a break and play on Facebook or look at cute pictures of baby animals. It's that intense.

What is a GMO? Genetically Modified Organism. I used to think this was like crossing a white rose with a red one to get a pink rose. That's not scary right? Unfortunately genetically modified foods are much more sinister. Scientists take DNA from one species and force it into the genetic code of another species, creating a whole new organism that would never have existed in nature. For instance, spider DNA has been put into goats with the hopes of being able to milk spider webs from the goats to make bullet proof vest material (I know this sounds like a bad science fiction movie!) You can fact check me over here at ABC News.

The danger to us comes in when our food sources are genetically modified. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a toxin produced by bacteria found in soil. Scientists were able to isolate the gene that produces the BT and force it into the genetic code of corn. Now every single cell inside the corn produces Bt toxin on its own, so any insect that tries to eat it dies because the BT makes the insect's stomach explode. This was also done with soy and cotton. Monsanto, the company behind these horrible ideas, assured us that Bt would only kill insects, not us.
"They claimed Bt-toxin would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system, so it would not have any impact at all. However, such was not the case. Doctors at Quebec's Sherbrooke University Hospital were shocked to find the toxin circulating in the blood of 93 percent of the pregnant women, 80 percent of their babies' umbilical blood, and 67 percent of the non-pregnant women they tested.10 Clearly, Bt toxin is not destroyed in your GI tract."- Source

A theory which is gaining more supporting evidence every day is that after eating this corn and soy, our stomachs begin producing Bt. We are becoming walking pesticide factories, poisoning ourselves on a daily basis. Remember how Bt kills? It explodes the stomach. Many researchers believe the skyrocketing numbers of autoimmune disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies are the result of eating genetically modified soy and corn. Researchers have found small cracks in the walls of our intestines that should not be there, which allows undigested bits of food to get into our blood stream. When the immune system sees these invaders, it attacks. This explains why food allergies are becoming so prevalent, even in non GMO foods. Anything that leaks into the blood stream is seen as a threat and will set the immune system alarms off.

Have you ever wondered why we are so sick? There are obviously many things that contribute to our sorry state these days, but one of the biggies is GM foods. Many holistic doctors are reporting that when they "prescribe" a completely GMO free diet for their patients, all kinds of symptoms disappear. Everything from migraines to food allergies to exhaustion to infertility have been reported to improve or completely disappear when GM foods are removed.

A new study was just released that is so frightening it cannot be ignored. Again, my disclaimer that I hate animal studies, they are cruel and horrible and often useless. However, these animals have already suffered and died for us, so the least we can do is take note and change our lives accordingly. Warning, some disturbing pictures appear below. If you are sensitive you may want to skip them.

"Here are some of the shocking findings from the study:

• Up to 50% of males and 70% of females suffered premature death.

• Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup (at levels legally allowed in the water supply) had a 200% to 300% increase in large tumors.

• Rats fed GM corn and traces of Roundup suffered severe organ damage including liver damage and kidney damage.

• The study fed these rats NK603, the Monsanto variety of GM corn that's grown across North America and widely fed to animals and humans. This is the same corn that's in your corn-based breakfast cereal, corn tortillas and corn snack chips." -Source

You might be wondering why the results are so immediate and shocking in the rats, but not in humans. Rats only live a few years, while we live about 80. Since GMO's were released in the mid 1990's, this means we have only been consuming them for 20% of our lives, while the rats ate them for their entire lifespan. The truth is that we have no idea what the long term effects on humans will be. In a few decades, we could all be walking around with tumors the size of basketballs, just like these poor little guys. That is, if any of us are still alive.

Corn and soy are dirt cheap, so companies use them for everything. Oil, sweetener, thickener, etc. It is estimated that 80% of all processed foods contain GMO's. That means anything in a box, bottle, or can. This time just reading labels won't protect you because GMO's do not have to be specified, so you never really know what you are getting. I just realized yesterday that there is corn oil in my chapstick! (It's even in infant formula. Shame, shame.)

The only ways to avoid GMO's are:

1. Buy organic. Certified organic produce cannot contain and GMO's.
2. Buy from a farmer you trust or grow your own food.
3. Look for the Non-GMO Verified symbol. Products with this symbol have been tested and certified to contain no GMO's. You will only find this in the health food/natural food section so don't bother looking for it on your Kelogg's Corn Flakes.

Why isn't the government protecting us? That's a big pile of stinky dog poo that I'm not going to wade through, but take a peek at the chart below to get an idea of where the smell is coming from. You can read about it in-depth here. Let's just say that many of the people in the high up government positions who should be looking out for us are former Monsanto bigwigs, and vice versa. Actually, President Obama promised to make labeling mandatory for GMO's during his first campaign, but instead he has done nothing except appoint Micheal Taylor, a former Vice President and lobbyist for Monsanto, as the Deputy Commissioner of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Hmmmmm. Now don't go thinking I'm saying you should support here for an article on his ties to Monsanto. The craziest part about this scandal is that Romney and Obama both insist on all organic food for themselves and their families. So while they are turning a blind eye to the poisoning of our citizens, they feast on the purest food available. I guess you don't have to worry about pesticides and GMO's when you are a multimillionaire. Must be nice! Here is a petition you can sign to tell Obama to end the ties between the FDA and Monsanto.

I know this is all seriously mind blowing and you might feel like your brain is short-circuiting right now. There is an amazing documentary called Genetic Roulette which breaks this stuff down so it is easier to understand. I highly recommend it! You can watch for free until Oct. 31st. After that, it's $19.95 to buy a copy of the DVD. If you miss the free viewing deadline, check the website frequently because they often have free weeks sponsored by natural food companies. The link to watch the movie is:

Warn your loved ones about GMO's! Remember that every dollar you spend is a vote. Are you going to support companies that are knowingly poisoning us for profit?