Today, it is estimated that 70 percent of foods found in grocery stores may contain bioengineered GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients. That means the genetic material of these foods has been altered by inserting foreign DNA from other plants or animals, even chemical pesticides. Dubbed “Frankenfoods” by GMO opponents, this process drastically changes the plant or animal genome from what nature intended into a large-scale biotech experiment. The problem is that we know very little at best about the long-term effects of GMO foods on human and animal health, farming and the environment. But preliminary studies show great cause for concern.
In the U.S., GMOs don’t have to be labeled on packaging. This keeps consumers unaware of their increasing presence in the grocery aisle. But this November, California voters will make history with the first mandatory GMO labeling initiative, Proposition 37. If passed, the law will require the labeling of all GMO foods sold to consumers in California. The European Union, Australia, Japan, Russia, the Czech Republic and South Korea have already adopted such measures. These governments recognize the importance of giving people the choice regarding whether they consume biotech industry experiments or natural whole foods.
The Right To Know
Consumer choice may be the most critical weapon in protecting against the health detriments that are likely caused by GMOs. Reputable human studies proving GMO safety are virtually non-existent. The studies that do suggest GMOs are safe are not adequately designed and do not reflect the long-term consequences of GMOs. This is the warning call sounded by a growing number of scientists, researchers and activists who urgently warn of GMO dangers. Furthermore, the supposed safety studies are funded by GMO industry giants such as Monsanto, demonstrating extreme conflicts of interest. These are the same chemical corporations who “assured” the public that Agent Orange and DDT — two pesticides now banned in the U.S. — were “safe.”
What The Real Studies Show
What’s most concerning amid this controversy is the expanding body of published evidence suggesting that GMOs may be destroying health right before our eyes. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine suggests just that, claiming GMOs to be inherently unsafe. Even Food and Drug Administration scientists warned against the uncertainty of adding GMOs to the food chain and environment.
A growing number of independently published in vivo studies have analyzed the effects of feeding GMO foods to animals — mainly corn and soy — over the course of their lives. Results are extremely concerning and indicate:
- Reduced fertility
- Immune dysfunction
- Organ damage
- Accelerated aging
- Major changes in gastrointestinal system and other organs
- Low birth weight
- Other severe problems
These health effects merely scratch the surface of exposing possible GMO risks. Other crucial considerations include the potential for stronger antibiotic and drug-resistant bacteria to emerge, the need for heavier pesticides in the future and ongoing biological contamination of the environment with invasive plant species that can’t be controlled. For more information about GMO risks to human, animal and environmental health, visit the Institute for Responsible Technology at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/.
Most Common GMO Foods
Currently, organic labeling laws do not allow for GMOs to be certified organic. However, non-GMO farmers across the world are witnessing the inevitable cross-contamination from neighboring fields of GMO corn, soy and other crops. Therefore, it may be difficult to completely avoid GMOs.
The following list highlights the most common commercialized GMO foods in our food supply.
- 94 percent of commercial soy
- 90 percent of commercial cotton
- 90 percent of commercial canola
- 95 percent of commercial sugar beets
- 88 percent of commercial corn
- Meat and dairy from animals fed GMO feed
GMOs And Recent Health Epidemics
We still don’t know the long-term human health effects of GMOs. But we can draw parallels between their mass introduction to our food supply, starting in the late 1990s. Since then, food allergies have skyrocketed, particularly soy allergies. Gastrointestinal problems and metabolic diseases have also increased. Cancer is on the rise. Are GMOs to blame? Of all possible environmental factors involved in today’s chronic epidemics, diet is a primary influence. So we must consider GMO foods in this epidemiology equation.
Best Strategies For Protection
In the face of the dangers of GMOs, there are ways to help protect yourself. Here are my top recommendations for supporting your health in the face of GMO exposure:
- Choose organic: An organic certification isn’t a completely failsafe protection, but choosing organic, non-GMO foods may reduce your exposure dramatically.
- Support Digestion: Some in vivo GMO studies show that GMO foods change the gastrointestinal lining, causing increased cell proliferation, which can be a precursor to cancer. Reduced digestive enzymes were also noted, as well as increased allergies to non-GMO foods.
There are some effective ways to protect digestion with probiotic and prebiotic supplements; the minerals zinc and chromium; digestive enzymes such as amylase, protease and lipase; and herbs such as cinnamon, cardamom, pomegranate, ginger, lesser galangal with other digestive herbs. These ingredients improve digestive function, protect against harmful toxins and bacteria, help reduce inflammation and food allergies, and support the lining of the digestive tract. I recommend an integrative digestive formula containing these herbs and other ingredients for digestive health and protection. I also recommend taking a potent probiotic and prebiotic supplement.
- Boost immunity: Immune system issues (and allergies) seem to be some of the first noticeable problems caused by GMO foods. There are a variety of ways to train immunity to better respond to allergens, microbes and foreign invaders. Medicinal mushrooms are excellent choices because they help to train immune cells to function better. They also reduce inflammation, help detoxify the body, support digestion and protect against cancer.
- Protect DNA with antioxidants: Antioxidants are critical allies in protecting against DNA damage, repairing cells, reducing inflammation and fighting against abnormal cellular growth. Top antioxidant sources include vitamins A, C, E, Selenium, Glutathione, CoQ10, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, honokiol, sea buckthorn and others.
- Protect organs and tissues with Modified Citrus Pectin: Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) regulates inflammation and fibrosis-related organ damage. It has also been proven in multiple studies to fight cancer growth and metastasis, reduce heavy metals and boost immunity. Because GMO foods are demonstrated to cause mutations related to abnormal cellular growth, organ damage and cancer, MCP is a valuable agent in helping to prevent these changes. And because it is also a powerful immune booster and helps detoxify the body, MCP may prove critical in protecting against GMOs.
Winning The Fight
The fight against GMO deception has been won in other countries. As more and more scientists and activist groups urge against the looming dangers of these biotech experiments, hopefully we can become better educated about the real risks — and take the necessary steps to protect the health of ourselves, our children and the environment. Before it’s too late.
For more health and wellness information, visit www.dreliaz.org.