In a genetically modified (GM) food, scientists take one or more genes from the DNA of one organism, such as a bacteria, virus, or animal, and “recombine” them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. This new bio-engineered plant will, in turn, express the trait of interest. For example, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is transferred into the DNA of corn. This bacterium produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. Combining the Bt genes into the DNA of corn allows the corn to produce its own pesticide. This sounds reasonable, actually elegant and even highly beneficial. Depending on the objective of the engineering, it could:
- produce pest resistant crops
- produce higher crop yields
- be frost resistant, herbicide resistant, disease resistant, drought resistant
- produce more nutritionally dense crops
- The crops may be resistant to some pest but not others, requiring the use of more pesticides
- Initially there may be need for less herbicides, but ‘super weeds’ are being created, requiring stronger and more toxic chemicals to be sprayed
- There is the same amount or less crop produced compared with the yield of the conventional seed
- the food is not nutritionally more dense, some crops are now deficient in certain nutrients
- Our ecosystem is being negatively affected. For example, the Monarch Butterfly numbers are in decline
- GMO crops are threatening farmers’ lively hoods around the globe.
Manipulated crops in combination with more chemicals (specifically the pesticide Roundup) have been linked to malformations (birth defects), reproductive problems, DNA damage, and cancer in test animals. Human epidemiological studies have found an association between Roundup exposure and miscarriage, birth defects, neurological development problems, DNA damage, and certain types of cancer.
Chronic inflammation is a widely accepted an igniter of chronic disease. With the introduction of GM food, there has been a drastic increase of inflammatory conditions. This suggests that the irritation and toxicity caused by GM foods and related chemicals are increasing people’s susceptibility to chronic health imbalances.
So what can we do?
Avoid eating GM food.
At this point, unless it is labeled non-GMO, or is labeled organic, there is a high probability that these specific foods are genetically modified.
Many countries have banned GMOs and others have enforced labeling of GM Food. In the US, there is a push to require the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to label GM Food. The only way to make a decision about whether you want to consume GMO’s or not, is to first know if you are eating them. If this sounds like an important cause, go to Label it WA
If you are interested in keeping up on what is in our food the Non GMO Project is a helpful website that has up to date information. There is also the non-GMO shopping guide on this website which is a helpful mobile tool
I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie. It is extremely relevant and a wake up call to pay attention to what you are putting in your body and how it affects your health, as well as the health of generations to come.