GMO foods and Health

by Steven Carney on October 24, 2012

Recently, Dr. Oz covered GMOs. I’ve been thinking about doing a post on these lab-designed foods for a while, and I decided it was a good time to compose some thoughts about them.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism (also called GM foods). These are foods whose DNA has been modified through genetic engineering, where foreign genes are introduced into the normal plant’s genetic makeup. This is significantly different from previous approaches, such as cross breeding (think tangelos or mules), where desired traits were created through more natural means.

The history of GMOs is recent, starting in the 1990s. The genetic manipulations can be done to plants or animals. A main focus is making crops more resistant to pests, diseases, herbicides or weather. The genetic modifications encompass a range of gene mixing, including those from bacteria, viruses, or genes from insects or animals to plants!

That’s the part I think is so troubling. These are truly Franken-foods! If this seems abstract, here’s how it can affect your health: When genes are added to a plant that make the crop more pesticide resistant, your food can get a heavier dose of poison! That means the food could contain higher levels of toxins!

Some common GM foods are:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Sugar (cane and sugar beets)
  • Canola oil (from rapeseed)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

There are some fish and other crops that are GM foods and the trend is for more. Aside from possible health concerns, most of these foods are not labeled, leaving you in the dark!

Why GMOs are problematic

It is not clear whether these foods are safe for everyone because of possible allergic and health reactions (some research does indicate negative outcomes). And it’s really distressing that most GM foods are not required to be labeled! You won’t know if you are buying a GM food or an animal that was fed GM foods! Various animals are already being raised on GM foods like corn and soy, meaning their meat and milk has elements of GM food!

How to lower your exposure

One possible to way to lower your exposure to GM food is to avoid processed and junk foods, something I recommend already. Those are essentially non-fresh and non-whole foods. For example, fresh fruit compared to a manufactured cookie with a processed-fruit filling (they will be very different)! Another way to avoid GM foods is to focus more on organic foods as those are apparently less GM than non-organic foods.

One interesting note is that Whole Foods apparently said they carry unlabeled GM foods even though they claim to carry nothing artificial! Oops!

We need labels!

As is so often the case, the food industry wields enormous power over regulations, and they have fought the most basic labeling requirements for GM foods (California Proposition 37 would require GM food labeling so that might help)!

I think every consumer has a right to know if they are buying a GM food. Remember the pink-slime controversy? This is a similar situation. I thought pink slime was disturbing (non-meat trimmings and ammonia gas, yum!), but if people were told it was in the ground beef or burgers they were buying, and still chose to buy it, at least they were making an informed choice! That same rule applies here! Tell us which foods are GM foods and what was done to them! It should be mandatory! No exceptions!

If you’re eating processed foods and aren’t sure how to transition toward better alternatives, I can help. As a Health/Wellness and Life coach, that’s why I’m here, to help you make better choices and reap the benefits! You’ll feel better and live longer! In fact, if you want to know what you’re doing that can take 10 years off your life, drop me a request and I’ll send the report!

Also, feel free to ask a question or comment. You can also follow me on Twttter and FB.

Helpful links:

http://biotech.about.com/od/faq/f/GMOs.htm

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/avoid-genetically-modified-foods/

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5981018_gmo-foods_.html

http://www.ehow.com/list_7437835_gmo-products.html

http://www.ehow.com/list_6156131_disadvantages-gmo-products.html

http://www.examiner.com/article/dr-oz-addresses-concern-over-genetically-modified-foods

http://www.naturalnews.com/037467_Whole_Foods_marketing_fraud_GMO.html

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/gmo/gmo_1012100340.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/037477_GMO_protection_dangers.html

After I wrote this post, I found this article which outlines some significant concerns:

http://www.thefutureofhealthnow.com/alfalfa-farmers-protesting-gmo/

Another article on 4/25/13 about GMO foods and the weed killer Roundup and its health dangers:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/25/roundup-health-study-idUSL2N0DC22F20130425?feedType=RSS&feedName=marketsNews&rpc=43

On 6/20/13, I saw this article which demonstrates the perils and need for accurate GMO labeling:

http://www.bakeryandsnacks.com/Markets/Japan-calls-for-more-GMO-info-before-lifting-US-wheat-ban

Another article on GMO foods from June 26, 2013 with updated information:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-are-genetically-modified-organisms/

A great video from January, 2014 by an MD that explores food history and GMO foods:

http://primaldocs.com/opinion/health-risks-gmos-modernized-foods/

Updated list for GMO/non-GMO foods:

http://preventdisease.com/home/tips.shtml

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

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