Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) – crops and livestock that have been genetically engineered - have become a larger and larger part of the food web.

But unfortunately, we’re not getting a choice in whether we eat them or not. We’re not given the option to opt out of bacteria genes in our corn . . . or human genes in our rice. Twenty-six countries have banned these food crops. Yet the U.S. still has no labeling or safety evaluation requirements for GMO foods.

While the full health impact of GMOs has yet to be determined, GMOs aren’t your average food safety concern. Because just like we have little choice in eating them, we may also end up losing complete control over how they affect our lives.

What Are Genetically-Modified Organisms?

Working with genes is an integral and healthy part of crop science. We’ve developed delicious tomatoes and hardy wheat thanks to careful work with plants’ genetic makeup.

But for thousands of years, this work has been done using plants’ own reproductive system. We’ve bred plants to develop certain traits like disease-resistance, early production, taste, nutritional value and high yields.

When plants are bred for these qualities the traditional way, nature’s checks and balances are always in place. Just like you can’t breed a mosquito and cat, you can’t breed a bacterium with a squash plant.

Instead, plant breeders have had to keep their eyes open for the evolutionary changes nature provides on its own and then capitalize on them.

Genetic engineering bypasses all this. Instead of adhering to the safety checks inherent in nature and evolution, genetic engineers take genetic material from one organism and splice it right into the DNA of another.

Most genetic engineering in plants has focused on inserting genes for herbicide resistance or even pesticide production from bacteria into food crops. These changes allow farmers to increase herbicide use and created plants that produce pesticides they wouldn’t produce naturally.

Some genetic engineering experiments are even more disturbing . . .

In 2011, Chinese scientists inserted human genes into rice to produce a protein found in human blood – human serum albumin. With a demand of more than 500 tons per year for this important protein, usually only collected through blood donations, scientists were ecstatic about this new rice’s potential.[1]

Now, you could make an argument for how this technology can offer new options in health care.

Nonetheless, this should be explored with absolute caution and circumspection. And unfortunately that’s not being done . . .

Why We Don’t Know Much About The Health Risks Of GMOs

There are no conclusive studies showing GMOs are bad for your health . . . But that’s not as comforting as you might think.

There isn’t much reliable data on its safety either!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require any third party safety evaluation of GMO crops. The FDA only meets with genetic engineering companies on a voluntary basis and accepts their data as sufficient proof of safety. These meetings and much of this data is kept confidential.

This is despite the fact even some FDA researchers have voiced concerns about potential risks.

And what are the potential risks?

No one knows for sure. But one study published in the journal Plant Molecular Biology demonstrated that a genetically modified organism created a completely unknown protein.[2] Another study demonstrated genetic modification in corn led to changes in the amino acids and other metabolites produced by the corn as it grew.[3]

While small, these studies hint at major changes in the nutrition and chemical structure of what we eat. And this may have far-reaching consequences . . .

Other preliminary research suggests genetically-engineered crops may be linked to toxicity, antibiotic resistance, allergies and immune suppression. [4]

Essentially, we’re playing with fire here. And by hiding data and rushing to put these foods on market, the companies promoting this technology are demonstrating a complete disregard for the potential risks.

But it gets worse, because GMOs are really a Pandora’s Box posed to release potential disaster on the planet . . .

The Big Risk GMOs Pose To Your Food

Genetically engineered organisms are different from most other new chemicals or technologies we introduce to the world. Because unlike these other lab creations, genetically engineered organisms reproduce.

Just recently, in November, a farmer in Oregon was startled to find his wheat crop had GMO wheat in it. Not only had he never planted this kind of wheat, the GMO wheat had not even been released for commercial use. It was still being grown experimentally. However, wheat pollen from test fields had clearly gotten into his wheat crop and contaminated it.

His harvest was rejected by China when he tried to export it.

Corn farmers and alfalfa farmers have faced the same contamination and rejection of their crops. Concerns have been raised by salmon fisheries about escaped genetically-modified trout.

As GMO’s contaminate crops, the cost to farmers is in the billions of dollars in export losses.

But ultimately the costs could be far higher. Because as these stories indicate, once we release genetically-engineered organisms into the environment, we may never get them back. If research reveals that indeed these crops can do us harm, we may not be able to get back to the non-genetically-engineered crops we used to raise.

Sources:

[1]Gray R. Genetically Modified Rice Created To Produce Human Blood. The Telegraph. Nov, 2011. Viewed 12/10/13 at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8871899/Genetically-modi...
[2]Rosati A, Bogani P, Santarlasci A. et al. Characterisation of 3' transgene insertion site and derived mrnas in mon810 yieldgard maize. Plant Mol Biol. 2008;67:271–81.
[3]Manetti C, Bianchetti C, Casciani L. et al. A metabonomic study of transgenic maize (zea mays) seeds revealed variations in osmolytes and branched amino acids. J Exp Bot. 2006;57:2613–25.
[4]Genetically Engineered Food: The Labeling Debate. Fact sheet published by the Center For Food Safety. April 2013.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum is a 35-year veteran and widely recognized pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, alternative healthcare and medical acupuncture. As one of America's most respected experts in natural health and healing, Dr. Rosenbaum has been a frequent lecturer to professional medical groups and has participated in numerous television and radio talk shows. He is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.

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