We have all seen the pictures of what genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) do to rats. Yet, there remains real resistance to even the suggestion that GMO foods be labeled as such. The reason for this is beyond the scope of this article but the question remains – why would you want to consume food that has the potential to cause similar harm in humans?
I admit that I am a bit of a food snob, not as in fine-dining, but as in good quality food. Besides the obvious health reasons, I am surrounded everyday by our clients who are the most dedicated people I have ever seen in their efforts to get their health back. I am surrounded every day by doctors who are not satisfied to settle for genetics as the sole cause of health problems. I am surrounded every day by my staff who are constantly coming up with new ways to eat right for themselves and our clients. It is no wonder that quality food is something I am passionate about. It is no wonder why I am so confused about why anyone would want to consume food that has the potential for such harm when there is so much good food out there.
If we change the genetic code of food, the food becomes genetically modified. In most cases GM foods are “developed – and marketed – because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or nutritional value) or both.” Good intentions might have been the reason GM foods developed. But, as the old saying goes, the road is paved ….. The most common genetically modified foods are corn, soy, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini, alfalfa, canola, milk, and sugar beets. (Click to Tweet)
You should not eat genetically modified foods because:
Would you take a medication, vitamin or seek a medical treatment without knowing the side effects? There is a reason that certain manufacturers and health care providers must, by law, disclose the potential side effects or complications to their customers before asking them to consume such product or service. What is that reason? Because people should know of potential risks associated with anything they put in their body so that they can make an educated choice. Each time you consume a genetically modified food, you may be playing roulette with your health.
From a scientific standpoint, when we introduce a foreign genetic material into another organism, it causes the organism to “behave erratically.” “Genes can be suppressed or overexpressed causing a wide variety of results.” While some mainstream media downplays the potential problems from GMOs, scientists have been outspoken that such foods have been “linked to health problems such as reproductive damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.”
What you need to consider is whether you want to develop a health issue resulting from an unintended effect of the genetic modification of food? Who knows what that effect might be?
2. Pesticide Exposure
We modify foods to make them more resistant to pesticides, making them “Round-Up Ready.” That way, when farmers spray the field to kill weeds, the crop is not damaged. But are human beings “Round-Up Ready? (Click to Tweet) “One common condition that has been clearly linked to pesticide exposure is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” Long-term studies correlating other conditions with pesticide exposure have not been done, but do we really want to expose ourselves to more chemicals?
3. Possible Food Allergy
As before mentioned, we create GM foods when we insert a protein into the food to change it for some specific purpose. The problem is that often the protein is known to cause allergies in humans and/or is a protein that has never been consumed by humans. Thus, there is a concern that this new protein “could elicit an immune response in humans.” It is very difficult to find the allergic potential of a particular protein. “The only certain answer is when an allergic reaction in a human actually occurs.” Do you have any allergies that appeared out of nowhere? (Click to Tweet)
4. Antibiotic Resistance
When engineers develop genetically modified foods, they experiment to see if the host cell will accept a foreign gene. They do this by attaching a trait for antibiotic resistance to the gene before they introduce into the cell. They then douse the new organism with antibiotics. The surviving cells are antibiotic resistant proving to the engineers that the cells have accepted the foreign gene. This means that when you eat a GM food, you are potentially introducing an antibiotic-resistant agent into your body. “Overuse of antibiotics can potentially cause the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.” In fact, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have both stated that, “the use of these antibiotics [should] be phased out of the process of making GM foods.” Have you ever read Sam Spitz’s story about how antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” affected his health? Read it here.
I know that you might be envisioning corn-on-the-cob as we head into the summer, but have no fear. There are corn products certified as non-GMO, including fresh corn. This is because the corn is grown from non-GMO seed. Just keep your eyes open and read labels. The Non-GMO Project has a website on which you can search many foods to find whether they are GM foods or contain a GM ingredient. It is a great resource. You can find it here. Check out the Non-GMO shopping guide website too by clicking here.
In the meantime, until the labeling of genetically modified food occurs, doesn’t it just make sense to reduce your exposure by reducing or eliminating your intake of the seven foods listed above?
What should school systems do to address the issue of GM foods?
April 21, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
 Id, noting that in “one example, cows that ate Roundup Ready soybeans produced milk with more fat in it. In another example, milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone was found by a number of researchers, including those published in the journal Lancet, to have substantially higher levels of a compound known as insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to human breast, colon and prostate cancers. The milk also has higher levels of bovine growth hormones in it, along with pus and sometimes antibiotics.”