Why Are GMO Foods So Scary?
Lets explore what is going on when we ingest GMO foods. Its not just food on its way to becoming poop, there is a lot more happening. To understand it lets first look at how GMO’s are made.
So when you think about high tech bio-engineering and gene splicing what picture comes to mind? Tiny precision instruments delicately moving microscopic genes to precise locations? Well, the truth is they use a shotgun type approach where they place the gene material on shards of gold and tungsten and then shoot them literally from a gun into a pile of unsuspecting cells, hoping that some of the gene material ends up slamming itself violently into the DNA of the food cells.
Michael Antoniou, PhD is the head of, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London School of Medicine, London, UK. He has 28 years’ experience in the use of genetic engineering technology investigating gene organization and control, with over 40 peer reviewed publications of original work. He states that this approach to genetic modification “disrupts the genetic blueprint of the organism with totally unpredictable consequences”.
So after haphazardly blasting the new gene into plant cells, how do we know if we successfully accomplished the mission? Well, prior to firing the foreign gene into the cells it is attached to an “Antibiotic Resistant Marker” or ARM. If the gene was successfully transferred into the plant DNA then this ARM would make that cell resistant to antibiotic treatment. So now the cell is exposed to high dose antibiotics and if it doesn’t die then this proves that the new genetic material made it to the DNA. This leads many scientists to now entertain a new potential problem . . . gene transfer of antibiotic resistant genes. There is a concern that these antibiotic resistant genes may transfer into the healthy bacteria found in your intestines. Continued intake and exposure to such genes may lead to ongoing gene transfer and potential antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization, other worldwide health groups, including the American Medical Association have asked scientists to stop using this technology.
So now that we have this foreign gene inserted into the DNA of a host plant cell what will it do? We have no idea. Genes may switch on or off expectantly as a result of this new gene influence. The cell may begin to produce new proteins that are toxic or potentially amplify the production of existing toxins. Lets take a step back for one moment and understand that the first scientists to begin genetic plant modification were working under a “false” assumption.
Years ago, before we understood the human DNA structure, scientist concluded that our bodies produce more than 100,000 different proteins and that there must be one gene in the human DNA for each protein made. Well, that was proven wrong by the Human Genome Project, which published their results on June 26th of 2000. This project unraveled human DNA and discovered that there are only about 25,000 genes in the human body. So how do we make more than 100,000 different proteins? Each gene must be capable of making multiple proteins from one gene code. This is made possible by a process within the cell using a mechanism called a splicosome.
Hang with me here for a tiny dose of biochemistry. Our DNA is the code or template for making proteins. Our DNA unravels so the cell can see the “recipe” for making a protein and then assembles the individual amino acids called for by the recipe. This newly assembled protein then leaves the cell to go do its job in the body. This protein may turn on other DNA gene switches, it may stimulate the production of immune cells, influence bodily functions or even act as a toxin. Splicosomes can chop up the protein and reassemble it in a number of ways to make a variety of proteins. Well that’s all fine and “normal” . . . BUT . . . when we insert foreign genes into the DNA the recipe for proteins is changed. Now we have added a new ingredient. The splicosomes can chop up the proteins and make new foreign proteins that the body has never seen before. These new proteins may be toxic or turn on bad genes that create disease, allergic reactions or even cancer. We have ZERO control over what might happen.
The genetic and physiological ramifications of this type of manipulations creates a problem list as long as your arm:
- Horizontal gene transfer – genes leaving food and entering our gut bacteria resulting in uncontrolled, unpredictable results.
- Antibiotic resistance
- Positional effects and gene silencing – foreign genes turning off healthy genes
- Hot spots in DNA – unstable chromosomes as if affected by radiation
- Waking sleeping viruses – can create problematic new viruses
- Cancer risk – many experts are concerned about this potential
- Allergy risk increases – many studies have reported this very real issue
- Nutritional problems – altered composition has already been proven
Experiences documented. A quick search on the internet will turn up hundreds of articles and issues related to GMO’s:
- Genetically modified corn called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) can make it’s own pesticide. There have been multiple reports of adverse effects to humans, some of which simply live near these corn fields and inhale the pollen.
- Monsanto’s GM Corn MON863 Showed Kidney, Liver Toxicity in Animal Feeding Study. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4790.cfm
- Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety. http://www.abundantlifeessentials.com/news/gmofertility.htm
- Russian researchers present new data on negative influence of GMO on human health. http://www.regnum.ru/english/813298.html.
- Ban GMOs Now. An article that further discusses the problems and evidence against GMO’s. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/banGMOsNow.php.
How much Round Up would you like with your salad? Some genetically modified foods have the Round Up resistance gene placed in their DNA. That means that a farmer can plant “Roundup Ready” seeds that will resist being killed when sprayed with Round Up. So now the entire crop can be sprayed liberally with Roundup and all the weeds will die leaving the desired crop to grow. BUT . . . when harvested your crop will have a big dose of Roundup in the fruit or vegetable and you get to eat it. Is Roundup good for humans? Common sense would say emphatically NO !!! Scientific studies have proven this point:
Roundup was a potent endocrine disruptor at levels up to 800 times lower than residue levels allowed in food and feed. It was toxic to human cells and caused DNA damage at doses far below those used in agriculture.
Gasnier C, Dumont C, Benachour N, Clair E, Chagnon MC, Seralini GE. Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology. Aug 21 2009; 262(3): 184-191.
For those who want more details I offer the following reference (below). All 123 pages of it will give you thorough understanding of the dangers of GMO.
GMO Myths & Truths
by Michael Antoniou, Claire Robinson, & John Fagan
If you just want the down and dirty on the dangers of Roundup then read pages 64 thru 68. This is very scary stuff.
My objective in life is quite simple. I am NOT a political activist, nor am I out to slay any dragons. My simple driving motivation is to seek the healthiest existence I can for my family, my patients, my community, and protect my little corner of the world as best I can. With that in mind I implore anyone reading this to follow one simple guideline:
Never, ever eat any GMO based food for any reason. To the best of your ability, avoid these foods as if they were contaminated with the plague.
More to come as the stories around this topic are just amazing. The politics and corruption that has fueled this issue is immense. My goal is to offer some suggestions on how to navigate thru these troubled waters. Next we will talk briefly on issue “I-522”. Does your government have the right to intentionally hide which foods are labeled GMO? If this doesn’t make you angry then you better check your pulse . . . you may be dead already.
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