WHAT ARE GMOS AND WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID THEM
By Jersey Farmer
Genetic modification is the process of altering the DNA code
in a cell that is being artificially grown in a laboratory. You could call it
playing God. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals
that have been genetically engineered by having DNA (new genes) from bacteria,
viruses or other plants and animals, inserted into their genes. These new genes
confer certain desired traits, such as resistance to drought, disease and
pesticides. Most GMOs are engineered to withstand an herbicide such as
Monsanto's Round-up and/or to produce the Bt insecticide. The use of toxic
herbicides like Roundup are responsible for the emergence of "super
weeds" and "super bugs," which can only be killed with even
more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (think Agent Orange). Despite the claims of the
biotech industry, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer
increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition or any other consumer
Genetically engineered (GE) seeds are patented and farmers
that purchase them, must sign a contract that they will not save the seeds, but
must purchase new seeds every year. One problem with GE crops is that the
pollen from the plants can be carried by the wind to adjacent fields planted
with conventional or organic crops and contaminate them, with the result that a
crop of GE plants occurs where it is not wanted by a neighbor. If Monsanto's
police find the GE plants on the farmers field, he is ordered to pay a royalty
to Monsanto or will be taken to court.
How is genetic engineering of food done?
1. First they must overcome the natural defenses of the plant or animal, to
insert the new gene. There are two ways to do this, the "gene gun", which
shoots the gene into the recipient plant or animal and the "viral vector"
which infects it with a foreign gene. Unfortunately there is no control over where it lands in the recipient's organism's genome and it could land in the middle of another gene and disrupt that gene's
2. To make sure that the foreign gene actually got it, they attach an antibiotic reistant marker gene and when the cells from the organism are grown in a dish containing that antibiotic, if they don't die, it means that the gene " got in".
3. The organism that eceived the gene may ignore the gene, so a "promoter" is included to make sure the gene becomes active. Sometimes the promoter" can increase the activity of other genes that would normally be silent.
Are genetically engineered foods safe?
The FDA says that genetically engineered (GE) food is equivalent to conventional
foods. The FDA's own scientists had repeatedly warned that GE food can
create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins,
new diseases and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies,
but were ignored. There are no human clinical trials of GM foods and the
FDA required no testing..The only published human feeding experiment revealed
that the genetic material inserted into GM soy, transfers into bacteria living
inside our intestines and continues to
function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have
their GM proteins produced continuously inside us!
Today about 88% of the corn grown in the US is a GE variety; but of course it is not identified as such. The FDA and the USDA, who are promoting GMOs with your tax dollars, tell us not to be concerned as they "are equivalent to conventional foods. " Believe that and I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
A 2012 nutritional analysis: Comparison of GMO corn versus non-GMO corn;
however found numerous differences. The tested GMO Corn contained ingredients
not in conventional corn, including chlorides (60 ppm), formaldehyde (200 ppm) and glyphosate (Monsanto's Round-up) (13 pp). The EPA mandates that the level
of glyphosate in drinking water not exceed 0.7 ppm. Glyphosate draws out the
vital nutrients of living things and GMO corn is loaded with it. The nutritional benefits in natural corn are almost entirely missing in the GMO corn.
Recent health studies have found that GM corn damages liver and kidneys, that meat raised on GM feed is different and, that GM soy is linked to sterility.
In a study "Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide Linked to Cancer, Autistm,
Parkinson's and Alzheimer's", the authors claim that glyphosate, the active ingredient
in Roundup, may be "The most disruptive biologically disruptive chemical in our environment."
The negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as
inflammation damages cellular systems through the body. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has reported that several studies indicate serious health risks are associated with
GM food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty
insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system Some disturbing finds include:
- Thousands of sheep, buffalo and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants.
- Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer and smaller babies.
- More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy were smaller and died within three weeks.
- Testicles cells of mice and rats on a GM soy diet change significantly.
- By the third generation, most GM soy fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies.
- Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity.
- Cooked GM soy contains 7 times the amount of a known soy allergen.
- Soy allergies have skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced.
- The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a
condition that can lead to cancer.
- Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.
In face of this evidence, how can the FDA still claim that genetically engineered food is equivalent to conventional foods? Congress should take action.
How can you Avoid GMOs? The best way to avoid GMOs is with foods that are certified Organic by the USDA. Do not be confused with food labeled "Natural", as it has no legal definition. Upwards of 70% of processed foods contain GMOs. The following foods are at risk of being
genetically engineered because GMO varieties are in commercial production: Alfalfa
(fed to dairy cows), Corn 88% (High fructose corns sugar, often called corn sugar), Sugar Beats 90% (the source of 54% of sugar sold in the U.S.) , Yellow Summer
Squash, Canola 90% (canola oil is used in cooking), Cottonseed (94% of the cotton grown in the U.S. is GM, it is used in vegetable oil,margarine and shortening, Papaya 75% of Hawaiian, Soy 93% (a staple of processed foods, hydrogenated oil, lecitin, emulsifiers, tocopherol,a vitamin E supplement and proteins), Zucchini and believe it ornot even Baby Food.
Insist that GMOs be Labeled! Contact your Congressman and Senators and urge them to
support and vote for the bills that have been introduced, both in New Jersey (A3192)
(S1367) and nationally to require genetically engineered foods to be labeled. You have a right to know what is in your food. Insist on it! Lets protect our children and grandchildren.