The topic of GM foods is a very controversial topic. The companies that produce them claim that they are necessary to feed the world. They also say that GMO foods are safe for human consumption, as well as for use in other products, such as vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs, animal feed, and other myriad uses.
Proponents in favor of GM products say that they are safe, and are not substantially different from food products derived from normal cultivation methods. Those who are wary of their use say that they have unknown effects at best, and that they are extremely dangerous at worse.
This is a very critical question to consider because there are a lot of GM foods that are already being consumed by humans in America. Unfortunately, labeling of GM foods in the United States is not mandatory for all GM products. This is a short list of the genetically modified crops being grown in the United States today:
- Sugar cane
- Sweet peppers
- Soy bean
- Cocoa beans
- Yellow squash
If that isn’t bad enough, take a look at the partial list of processed foods that are manufactured with genetically modified organisms:
- Canola & Cottonseed Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Frozen Pizza
- Canned Soups
- Baby Formula
- Dry Cereal
- Frozen Dinners
- Aspartame Sweetener
So there are already a lot of genetically modified foods in the marketplace. In the US, 60-70% of the processed foods are genetically modified. In 2006, GMO crops in the US reached approximately 135 million acres, while the total global area was more than 250 million acres. This wouldn’t be a cause for alarm if there was no doubts about the safety of GM foods. Although their significance has been understated and relatively unreported by mainstream news and other media, there have been negative experiences with GM foods and their effects on animals and humans.
Two research studies independently demonstrated evidence of allergenic reactions, fertility consequences and immune issues from GM Bt corn. One 10 year study on GM peas was discontinued after it was learned that they were causing lung damage in mice. Scientists at the York Laboratory found that allergic reactions to soy jumped by 50% over the previous year, at the same time that GM soy had been introduced.
Despite industry claims to the contrary, GM foods have been linked to cancer. Monsanto’s GM-derived rBGH (which is a genetically-altered growth hormone given to dairy cows to make them more milk) was shown to increase the production of IGF-1 from 70-1000%. IGF-1 is a very powerful hormone that has been linked to a 2.5-4 times higher incidence of human colon, breast and prostate cancer.
It is known that all genetically modified crops have bacterial DNA fragments inside. This is because the genes are manipulated by using bacteria. The bacterial DNA contains a genetic portion that stimulates the immune system to create inflammation. Animal experiments have shown that exposure to these genetic fragments may lead to inflammation, arthritis and lymphoma (a type of leukemia). In addition to this danger, researchers have also found that ingested DNA fragments that are large enough to contain whole genes can remain intact, and are able to enter the blood and tissues. This is a very scary proposition.
We must remember that the highest priority of Big Pharma and chemical corporations is profit. All other considerations are of relatively minor importance. This appears to be one of the major reasons that these organizations are so adamant in their push for the rapid introduction of genetically modified organisms, foods and crops into widespread use. But it is a very risky proposition because once GMO’s are introduced into nature, they will probably be virtually impossible to remove. We are literally gambling with our lives, and the lives of future generations. This could conceivably lead to the extinction of the human species. Nobody knows because no long-term studies have been performed. This is a critical issue that will affect everyone on Earth.