Genetically modified food and Genetically modified organisms are making their way from field to the grocery store to our tables. GM foods are made from genetically modified organisms. These foods are created by introducing changes directly into the organisms DNA.
This goes beyond gene therapy as the process is closely associated with genetic engineering, which means that the organisms DNA structure is changed and not simply modified. Humans have long used the natural means of genetic modification through practices of selective breeding.
The recent advancements in genetic engineering have produced something altogether different than selective breeding. GM foods such as corn have developed resistance to herbicides, and resistance to insect damage through the creation of a Bt protein which equates to a plant produced pesticide.
Problems With GM Food:
The problem with GM food is that there are no labeling requirements so consumers are eating GM foods without knowledge. Companies who produce GM crops have long argued that the Bt toxin would be destroyed during consumption and eliminated by the body. However, recent studies by Canadian Gynecologist found that 93% of blood tested from fetuses contained traces of the Bt toxin.
Further, the toxin was found in pregnant women, and in non- pregnant women. Clearly a concern for health and human safety, yet The U. S. Government continues to drag its feet when it comes to initiating labeling laws that would give consumers the option of choosing to consume or not to consume GM foods.
People who are concerned about health should be very concerned about GM foods. The study that links GM to fetal blood toxin levels is the first study to link health risk to GM foods. This is also a good lesson for every consumer to understand that reliance on foods from unknown sources is not necessarily good for our health. One of the main crops that have become GM is corn.
The problem with corn is that it is in everything that is commercially produced. Corn products are fed to livestock such as cattle, poultry, sheep, pigs, and buffalo. This means that livestock that has been fed GM corn could potentially transmit that Bt toxin to consumers. Corn by-products appear in everything that is sweet as corn has long been used as a sweetener. Corn syrup is used in soft drinks. The list of uses of corn goes on and on.
When reading the reports about GM foods, my first inclination was to give up products that contained corn. The list of products is overwhelming because products that you would not think would have corn in them… have corn in them. Corn is everywhere. This brings us around to teaching children to garden. The long-term and short term health concerns for adults and children should be evident by the continual tweaking of the food supply by corporations who do not have consumer permission.
The continual battle between companies like Monsanto who present huge roadblocks in the development of labeling laws is another point of interest. Again, corporate profits are being paid for by consumer health risks. Recently the state of Vermont began an initiative to develop food labeling laws and their action was met by legal threats from Monsanto. That action alone is a red-flag.
As a parent, children’s health becomes paramount and this means reducing their exposure to potentially tainted food. Teaching children to garden is a great way to have total control over food that a family consumes. Corn is fairly easy to grow as are many other garden vegetables.
The problem now is that seed stocks have been tainted by GM crops. Shopping for seeds has become very important as have seed collections. The GM crops seem to be dominant and cross pollination is occurring. Sampling of non-GM crops is resulting in GM plant detection which means that wind and pollinators are transmitting GM plant pollen to non GM plants. Overtime, cross pollination will spell disaster.
In the 1950′s pesticides such as DDT were approved by the Government for home use. It was discontinued in the U.S. as a home based pesticide and for commercial ventures in 1972. This is because it after use, the toxins in DDT stayed in the environment.
Those toxins posed significant health threat to wildlife, and the fact that the toxins masses in the fatty tissue of mammals were two reasons it was removed from the market. The argument of GM foods is by far worse than any threat posed by DDT. This is because genetically modified organisms threaten to change our food supply permanently.
The ability of GM crops to cross pollinate and GM animals to cross breed means there is a significant risk long-term to world food supplies. This is because GM crops are grown around the world. More reasons to grow your own food comes from the common sense approach that GM foods are new enough that the health risk has not even been identified. The fact that Bt toxins have been found in fetal blood samples is alarming.
What you can do to help is to:
- Call your local, state and governmental representatives and ask them to support legislature to adopt food labeling programs.
- Start growing your own food.
- Rely less upon grocery stores as a source of food crops.
- Think long-term about food health issues.
- Teach your children to garden