Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What are GMOs?

What are GMOs?

GMOs are genetically engineered foods made in laboratories owned by chemical companies.  The process of genetic engineering involves the insertion of genes from one species into the DNA of an unrelated species.  This is a very new process, which has not been around for thousands of years, as some from the biotech industry would like us to believe. In fact, genetic engineering is only about 20 years old. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING AS CROSS BREEDING OR HYBRIDIZATION.
Most of the traits that have been engineered into our foods are done so to create herbicide tolerant varieties and pesticide producing varieties. Herbicide tolerant crops are resistant to chemicals such as glyphosate, dicamba, and 2,4-D (a component of Agent Orange.)  Pest resistant (pesticide producing) varieties are engineered to contain a toxin in every cell of the crop that causes a bug’s stomach to explode when it tries to eat the plant.

When we eat these foods, we are ingesting the chemicals that were sprayed on the crops and/or the toxins engineered to kill. These substances are in 80% of the processed foods in America today. They are found in human blood, breast milk, and urine.  Glyphosate, the chemical sprayed on most of these crops, was recently granted a pass by the US EPA. The allowable levels on food were doubled.  To put this in perspective, soybean oil is now allowed to contain thousands of times the limit of glyphosate at which it can impact health.

The dramatic increase in the use of agrichemicals, such as glyphosate, correlates with a rise in more than 30 human diseases. Originally patented as a mineral chelator, glyphosate immobilizes nutrients, making them unavailable for the body. Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic that can devastate human gut bacteria. (Aka the micro biome, or the immune system.)

What crops are genetically engineered/contain GMOs?
Herbicide tolerant:  sugar beets, rapeseed (canola), alfalfa.
Herbicide tolerant and pesticide producing: corn, soy, cotton.
Resistant to virus: Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, crookneck squash.
Corn:  There are hundreds of derivatives of corn found in processed foods, like maltodextrine, certain vitamins, and high fructose corn syrup.  For a complete list, download
Soy:  Soy containing products, such as soy lecithin, MSG, and soy protein isolate are just some of the ingredients in processed foods that are genetically modified.  For a complete list, download
Canola: This is a highly processed oil,(winterized, deodorized, bleached, genetically modified,  and chemically drenched) made from rapeseed.
Cotton: Cotton seeds are sprayed with the chemical hexane to expel oil, which is then used to cook things like potato chips, other fried foods, and is used to make man-made lard and margarine.
Sugar beets: This type of beet is used to make sugar. 50% of the sugar in products which list “sugar” on the label is comprised of genetically modified sugar beets.
Alfalfa: A perennial, alfalfa is used to feed grass-fed livestock. Since it has been genetically modified, 100% grass-fed meat may not be GMO free.
Russet potatoes: The newest crop to get USDA approval.
How did GMOs get into our food? 

In 1996 genetically engineered foods were secretly infiltrated into our food supply, without thorough safety investigations. 
 In fact, genetically modified foods were given GRAS status, (generally recognized as safe) even though they did not meet any of the criteria which is specified for products to meet GRAS status, in the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.  In other words, GMOs did not meet ANY of the criteria established by our government, to be Generally Recognized As Safe, but were  given GRAS status anyway, despite inadequate safety testing and warnings from FDA’s internal scientists.

1) They were not substances that have been around for hundreds of years, and

2) They had not gone through scientific, independent, thorough, peer reviewed, long term testing.

(The two requirements to meet GRAS status.)

The US Government was advised that GE foods were “substantially equivalent,” yet the EPA determined that GE corn was so FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT, they decided that it must be regulated as a pesticide, and GE corn was given an EPA registration number.
At the same time, the US Patent and Trademark Office agreed to patent GMO seeds, (because the unique characteristics made them a novelty.) This enhanced and protected profitability.
Steven M. Druker, J.D., an attorney, sued the FDA for 44,000 sealed documents. These documents were written by internal FDA scientists concerned about the dangers of GMOs. Druker states that allowing these substances into the US food supply was/is illegal, based on these documents and the GRAS status they were given.

What are the possible health risks associated with GMOs?

 Genetically Engineered foods have never been scientifically tested in human trials.
When animals fed GM foods and/or glyphosate, are studied by independent scientists for a period greater than three months however, results find damage to vital organs like the liver and kidneys, damage to gut tissues and gut flora, immune system disruption, reproductive abnormalities, and tumors. These scientific studies continue to be ignored by those who should be protecting us.
There is also a strong correlation between the onset of GMOs into our food supply and the rapid rise in many health problems including: food allergies, autism, ADHD, asthma, infertility, stage II diabetes, obesity, birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.  Without labeling, these correlations can not be proven. We must have GMO foods labeled so that we can trace and hold accountable what may very well be causing such a rapid rise in debilitating health trends.
Currently, the FDA, EPA, and USDA rely on outdated studies and other information funded and supplied by chemical companies that, not surprisingly, dismiss all health concerns. (These companies profit from the sale of the GM seeds as well as the sale of the pesticides that the seeds are resistant to.)
Countries that ban or label GMOS:

Currently 64 countries ban or require labeling of foods containing GMOs. These countries include member nations of the European Union, Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and South Africa.
 For a complete list of countries that ban or require labeling, please consult The Center For Food Safety’s website:

Suggested resources to learn more about GMOs:

BooksSeeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith, Organic Manifesto by Marie Rodale, Genetically Altered Foods and Your Health, by Ken Roseboro, GMO Myths and Truths, by Michael Antonio, Claire Robinson, and John Fagan.

State initiatives and Facebook Pages:  GMO Free USA, GMO Free CT(and other states,) 

Movies:  Genetic Roulette, Seeds of Deception, GMO OMG, Deconstructing Supper, Food Inc., The World According to Monsanto, Seeds of Death, Seeds of Destruction