Jeffrey M. Smith
March 25, 2010
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called on all physicians to prescribe diets without genetically modified (GM) foods to all patients. They called for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), long-term independent studies, and labeling, stating,
"Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
...There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation..."
Former AAEM President Dr. Jennifer Armstrong says,
"Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions."
Renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava also believes that GMOs are a major contributor to the deteriorating health in America.
Pregnant Women and Babies at Great Risk
GM foods are particularly dangerous for pregnant moms and children. After GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died - compared to a 10 percent deaths among controls fed natural soy. GM-fed babies were smaller, and possibly infertile.
Testicles of rats fed GM soy changed from the normal pink to dark blue.4 Mice fed GM soy also had altered young sperm.
Embryos of GM soy-fed parent mice had changed DNA. And mice fed GM corn had fewer, and smaller, babies.
In Haryana, India, most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had reproductive complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, and infertility; many calves died.
About two dozen US farmers said thousands of pigs became sterile from certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile.
In the US, incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating.
Food that Produces Poison
GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce a built-in pesticide called Bt-toxin-produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. When bugs bite the plant, poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Organic farmers and others use natural Bt bacteria spray for insect control, so biotech companies claim that Bt-toxin must be safe.
The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray. It is designed to be more toxic, has properties of an allergen, and cannot be washed off the plant.
Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural spray can be harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in Washington and Vancouver, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms.[10,11] The same symptoms are now reported by farm workers from handling Bt cotton throughout India.
GMOs Provoke Immune Reactions
GMO safety expert Arpad Pusztai says changes in immune status are "a consistent feature of all the [animal] studies."
From Monsanto's own research to government funded trials, rodents fed Bt corn had significant immune reactions.[14,15]
Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50 percent. Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says
"I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."
GM soy and corn contain new proteins with allergenic properties.16 and GM soy has up to seven times more of a known soy allergen. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.
Animals Dying in Large Numbers
In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Investigators said preliminary evidence "strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably Bt-toxin." In one small study, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died; those fed natural plants remained healthy.
In an Andhra Pradesh village, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, 13 buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All died within three days.
Bt corn is also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.20 In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7 of 40 rats fed a GM tomato died within two weeks.
Worst Finding of All - GMOs Remain Inside You
The only published human feeding study revealed that even after you stop eating GMOs, harmful GM proteins may be produced continuously inside of you; genes inserted into GM soy transfer into bacteria inside your intestines and continue to function.
If Bt genes also transfer, eating corn chips might transform your intestinal bacteria into a living pesticide factory.
Warnings by Government Scientists Ignored and Denied
According to documents released from a lawsuit, scientists at the FDA warned that GM foods might create allergies, poisons, new diseases, and nutritional problems. But the White House ordered the agency to promote biotechnology, and Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, headed up the FDA's GMO policy.
That policy declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. Monsanto and other producers determine if their foods are safe.
Taylor later became Monsanto's vice president, and was reinstalled at the FDA in 2009 by the Obama administration as the US Food Safety Czar.
How You Can Opt Out of Being a Guinea Pig
Biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute says,
"If there are problems [with GMOs], we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop."
In the nine years after GM crops were introduced in 1996, Americans with three or more chronic diseases jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent. But without any human clinical trials or post marketing surveillance, we may never know if GMOs are a contributor.
Citizens need not wait for more research to take the doctors' advice: avoid GMOs.
Consult the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Even a small percentage of people choosing non-GMO brands could force the food industry to remove all GM ingredients.
Thus, the AAEM's non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.
Tell the USDA that you DO care about GE contamination of organic crops and the food you eat! Let the USDA know that you WILL reject GE Contaminated Alfalfa and Alfalfa-Derived Foods and that GE Alfalfa will significantly increase the use of pesticides, resulting in the harm to human health and the overall environment.
To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, please visit ResponsibleTechnology.org.
About the Author
International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods. His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced. Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply. For a straightforward guide to shopping Non-GMO, see the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.
[2.] Irina Ermakova, "Genetically modified soy leads to the decrease of weight and high mortality of rat pups of the first generation. Preliminary studies," Ecosinform 1 (2006): 4 - 9.
[3.] Irina Ermakova, "Experimental Evidence of GMO Hazards," Presentation at Scientists for a GM Free Europe, EU Parliament, Brussels, June 12, 2007
[4.] Irina Ermakova, "Experimental Evidence of GMO Hazards," Presentation at Scientists for a GM Free Europe, EU Parliament, Brussels, June 12, 2007
[5.] L. Vecchio et al, "Ultrastructural Analysis of Testes from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean," European Journal of Histochemistry 48, no. 4 (Oct - Dec 2004):449 - 454.
[6.] Oliveri et al., "Temporary Depression of Transcription in Mouse Pre-implantion Embryos from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean," 48th Symposium of the Society for Histochemistry, Lake Maggiore (Italy), September 7 - 10, 2006.
[7.] Alberta Velimirov and Claudia Binter, "Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice," Forschungsberichte der Sektion IV, Band 3/2008
[8.] erry Rosman, personal communication, 2006
[9.] See for example, A. Dutton, H. Klein, J. Romeis, and F. Bigler, "Uptake of Bt-toxin by herbivores feeding on transgenic maize and consequences for the predator Chrysoperia carnea," Ecological Entomology 27 (2002): 441 - 7; and J. Romeis, A. Dutton, and F. Bigler, "Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Cry1Ab) has no direct effect on larvae of the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)," Journal of Insect Physiology 50, no. 2 - 3 (2004): 175 - 183.
[10.] Washington State Department of Health, "Report of health surveillance activities: Asian gypsy moth control program," (Olympia, WA: Washington State Dept. of Health, 1993).
[11.] M. Green, et al., "Public health implications of the microbial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis: An epidemiological study, Oregon, 1985-86," Amer. J. Public Health 80, no. 7(1990): 848 - 852.
[12.] Ashish Gupta et. al., "Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers' Health (in Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh)," Investigation Report, Oct - Dec 2005.
[13.] October 24, 2005 correspondence between Arpad Pusztai and Brian John
[14.] John M. Burns, "13-Week Dietary Subchronic Comparison Study with MON 863 Corn in Rats Preceded by a 1-Week Baseline Food Consumption Determination with PMI Certified Rodent Diet #5002." December 17, 2002
[15.] Alberto Finamore, et al, "Intestinal and Peripheral Immune Response to MON810 Maize Ingestion in Weaning and Old Mice," J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (23), pp 11533 - 11539, November 14, 2008
[16.] See L Zolla, et al, "Proteomics as a complementary tool for identifying unintended side effects occurring in transgenic maize seeds as a result of genetic modifications," J Proteome Res. 2008 May;7(5):1850-61; Hye-Yung Yum, Soo-Young Lee, Kyung-Eun Lee, Myung-Hyun Sohn, Kyu-Earn Kim, "Genetically Modified and Wild Soybeans: An immunologic comparison," Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 26, no. 3 (May - June 2005): 210-216(7); and Gendel, "The use of amino acid sequence alignments to assess potential allergenicity of proteins used in genetically modified foods," Advances in Food and Nutrition Research 42 (1998), 45 - 62.
[17.] A. Pusztai and S. Bardocz, "GMO in animal nutrition: potential benefits and risks," Chapter 17, Biology of Nutrition in Growing Animals, R. Mosenthin, J. Zentek and T. Zebrowska (Eds.) Elsevier, October 2005
[18.] "Mortality in Sheep Flocks after Grazing on Bt Cotton Fields - Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh" Report of the Preliminary Assessment, April 2006
[19.] Personal communication and visit, January 2009.
[20.] Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Yes! Books, Fairfield, IA USA 2007
[21.] Arpad Pusztai, "Can Science Give Us the Tools for Recognizing Possible Health Risks for GM Food?" Nutrition and Health 16 (2002): 73 - 84.
[22.] Netherwood et al, "Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract," Nature Biotechnology 22 (2004): 2.
[23.] See memos at Biointegrity.org
[24.] Kathryn Anne Paez, et al, "Rising Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Chronic Conditions: A Ten-Year Trend," Health Affairs, 28, no. 1 (2009): 15-25