published June 11 2009
by Ethan Huff,
While urging for more independent studies, the AAEM paper cites its own studies alleging that genetically modified foods cause serious adverse health effects, emphasizing more than a mere "causal association" as is commonly assumed. These effects include rapid aging, severe alterations to the major bodily organs, infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and disruption to proper insulin regulation, among others.
Many doctors are warning their patients to avoid GMOs as well, recognizing the distinct correlation between GMOs and disease.
Experimental studies of genetically engineered foods and their effects in the body are disturbing, to say the least. Biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute has stated that children are the most likely people to experience the adverse effects of GMOs, noting that apart from adequate safety studies, children become "the experimental animals". In truth, every citizen is a guinea pig when genetically altered organisms are introduced into the food supply without adequate safety studies let alone honest labeling.
In the animal studies that have been conducted, some noteworthy findings have been discovered about GMOs:
Female rats fed genetically modified soy saw most of their babies die within three weeks compared to the 10% death rate experienced by rats fed natural soy. The babies that survived in the genetically modified-fed control group were also born smaller and had problems getting pregnant later on. Male rats fed genetically modified soy experienced a change in testicular color from pink to dark blue, as well as altered young sperm and significant changes in their DNA.
Indian buffalo that consumed genetically modified cottonseed experienced various birthing complications including infertility, abortions, premature delivery, and prolapsed uteruses. Many of the calves that survived birth died shortly thereafter.
Genetically modified corn and cotton, purposely engineered to create their own built-in pesticide called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), have been indicted in several studies to provoke intense allergic and immune reactions and death. Since the levels of Bt produced in the plant represent thousands of times more a concentration of Bt than natural Bt spray, the effects are greatly amplified. Shepherds whose sheep grazed on Bt cotton after harvest witnessed thousands of their sheep die. Post mortem examinations revealed severe irritation and black patches in the intestines and liver, as well as enlarged bile ducts. All sheep fed the Bt cotton eventually died within 30 days while those that grazed on natural cotton remained healthy.
Bt corn was also responsible for the deaths of cows, horses, water buffaloes, and chicken in both
Genetically modified tomatoes fed to rats were shown to cause bleeding stomachs and eventually killed many of the rats.
These are just a few examples of the many catastrophic effects of using genetically modified organisms as food.
Probably the worst finding in the AAEM report is the fact that GMOs can live and reproduce in the intestinal flora of the body long after being eaten. The genes present in the genetically modified organisms transfer into the DNA of intestinal bacteria, the good bacteria that digests food and maintains bodily health. This reprogramming can cause the intestinal flora to begin reproducing Bt pesticides, for example, rather than producing the living bacteria it is supposed to. The permanent, deadly implications of these alterations are mind boggling since intestinal flora is crucial for life.
Despite consensus from most FDA scientists in the early '90s declaring that genetically modified foods are inherently dangerous and could lead to all sorts of serious health problems, politics won out as mandates were given from Washington to promote biotechnology and GMOs in spite of apparent and obvious dangers. This led to the promotion of Michael Taylor, former attorney for Monsanto, as head of GMO policy at the FDA, a move that led to the official denial by the agency of any knowledge or substantiated concern by any FDA scientists about the safety of GMOs.
Despite findings in some 44,000 pages of internal FDA memos and reports released in 1999 due to a lawsuit, findings that contained the warnings from then scientists about the "unintended negative side effects" of genetic engineering, official FDA GMO policy has been scrubbed clean of the truth and purports blatant lies in its defense of GMOs as safe. In fact, current policy emphatically states that no safety studies on GMOs are even required or necessary; it is instead up to Big Biotech to determine the safety of its own genetically modified organisms if it so chooses.
Many people may remember the deadly epidemic in the late 1980s from the genetically engineered version of L-tryptophan, a food supplement, that was introduced into the market. An estimated 10,000 people became permanently disabled and about 100 died. Yet despite the rapidly occurring, deadly effects from this particular GMO immediately following its release, including noticeable changes in the blood, it took over four years to identify the existence of this epidemic.
Many concerned doctors hypothesize that the disease-causing symptoms of GMOs being consumed today will take years to show up, further besetting the efforts of those who are trying to expose the dangers of GMOs. Current data is showing that since 1996 when genetically modified crops were first introduced, the incidences of people with three or more chronic diseases has jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent.
In addition to all the existing evidence, AAEM is urging its members, the scientific community, and those in medicine to continue gathering case studies and initiate epidemiological research to help determine, once and for all, the effects of GMOs on human beings in addition to their effects on animals.
It is wise to avoid foods that contain GMOs and ingredients that are genetically engineered. These include non-organic corn and soy derivatives, canola and cottonseed oils, and sugar from sugar beets. Ingredients such as corn starch, corn meal, and soy lecithin are great examples of common ingredients that are suspect. Unless labeled as non-GMO or explicitly organic, these common ingredients are most likely genetically modified and should be avoided at all costs.
Lastly, the mindful citizen should contact grocers, food manufacturers, and restaurants to inquire about genetically modified ingredients and oppose their usage. As increasing numbers of people begin to seek out this information across the food supply-chain and purposefully avoid products that contain GMOs, producers and retailers will phase them out in order to meet demand. This can be seen in the gradual elimination of toxins such as high fructose corn syrup from food as consumers learn about its effects and avoid products that contain it.
Call Congress and urge support for mandatory GMO labeling, perhaps even the elimination of GMOs entirely. Get creative. Tell friends and family about the dangers of GMOs, organize local campaigns, and pass out literature. The sooner people become aware of GMOs and the havoc they are causing, and demand their removal from food, the sooner GMOs will exist only in history books as one of the most detrimental scientific experiments ever perpetrated on mankind.
Opposing Views, "Genetically Modified Foods Pose Huge Health Risk"
News With Views, "Obama's team includes dangerous biotech 'Yes Men'"
The Times of India - GM food? It's poison
Institute for Responsible Technology
About the author
Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast
world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an
online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.