Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

15 September 2012

The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

It is significant that Dr. Mercola has posted his latest article about genetically modified (GM) foods on 15 September 2012, the day of The Meal, a world-wide sharing of locally-grown natural food to support rural farmers worldwide, to plead for food sovereignty and give natives access to natural resources, soil, water, forests and seeds.
Jeffrey Smith, one of the world’s leading authorities on the health risks of genetically engineered (GE) food, has produced a new documentary, “Genetic Roulette:  The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods” that is available only until 22 September 2012 (after which it must be purchased).  You are invited to view the film through Dr. Mercola’s article “How Can the Wealthiest Industralized Nation be the Sickest?”  I have summarized below some of the points made in the film.
In his article, Dr. Mercola says, “Americans get sick more often than Europeans or people from any other industrialized nation. [Europe has mostly banned GMOs.  Switzerland will likely extend the moratorium on GMOs despite a government report which basically says they are safe.]  Since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled. Life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has increased. Illnesses once rare are now common, with some approaching epidemic levels. For example:

  • Autism now affects one in 88 children (CDC1), compared to one in 25,0002 in the mid-1970s
  • Type 2 diabetes rates in the U.S. increased by 176 percent between 1980 and 20103
  • Celiac disease is four times more common now than 60 years ago4
  • Alzheimer's disease is rising at alarming rates. It's estimated that 5.4 million Americans (one in eight older Americans) now has Alzheimer's disease, and nearly half of those age 85 and older have it; AD rates have doubled since 19805
  • New infectious diseases are increasing in number, according to a 2008 study6

“In his documentary, Jeffrey Smith makes a convincing argument that one of the primary forces driving these illnesses is America's changing food supply. And one of the most profound changes is genetically engineered food.”
The film discusses:
  • definition of a GMO, how it is made, how it came to the table
  • health risks related to consumption of GM food (testimonies of doctors and mothers regarding children’s food allergies and autism)
  • health of GM plants:  they are getting sicker earlier and are less nutritious
  • effect of GM feed on animals (most U.S. livestock consumes GM feed):  weakening, miscarriages, infertility, autistic-like symptoms, changes in testicles, ovaries, uterus.  
  • health effect of pesticides on farmhands working in GM fields:  70% increase in birth defects in children in areas where pregnant women are exposed to spraying of Roundup
  • GMO myths:  actually, GMOs reduce crop yields, organic produce outperforms GMOs in times of drought, GM plant resistance to weeds and insects decreases after several years, requiring more pesticide applications.  GM produce has no better taste or nutrition and is not cheaper than non-GM produce
  • harassment of independent scientists and researchers, and legislatures:  loss of reputations and jobs, cancelling of funding, loss of lab facilities to carry out research, suppression of proposed GMO labeling legislation
  • GM cotton-growing in India:  health problems of farmers working in cotton fields, sickening of animals consuming cotton plants, indebtedness of farmers buying GM seed which has led to very high suicide rates.
  • testimonies of health professionals on the reversal of damage caused by GMO consumption and of farmers and veterinarians on the improvement in plant and animal health following a switch to a non-GMO diet.

Americans have been consuming GM foods for the last 20 years.  The goal of the leading GMO producer, Monsanto, is “to replace all natural seed and create a market for the chemicals associated with GM seed.”  To date, there has been only one human feeding study revealing that the Bt toxin gene found in GM corn transfers into the intestine, which could turn gut flora into pesticide factories.  Food allergies (affecting an estimated 5 million children) and infertility are on the rise. 

The film shows how public awareness-raising can force food store chains to no longer offer certain GM products.  The example of rBGH dairy is given.  Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)  is a GM hormone injected into cows to increase milk production, which causes cancer risk in humans.  Enough consumers have rejected dairy containing this hormone to force store chains to no longer offer these products.
It is of vital importance to educate the American public on GMO health risks in order for them to no longer consume these foods, which comprise 70% of supermarket products (foods containing soy, corn, cottonseed and canola oil, sugar from GM beets, aspartame – which is derived from a GMO).  Bills calling for mandatory labeling of GM foods have been introduced in 19 states, but California has the best chance of achieving this goal because people will be able to vote directly on this issue.  And “so goes California, so goes the nation.”
Americans, especially mothers, wake up and protect your children!  Avoid GM food!
The site www.nongmoshoppingguide.com gives advice on how to shop for non-GM foods.

by Meris Michaels

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