WHAT ARE WE REALLY EATING?????
Over the last twenty years, changes have occured in the natural world beyond anything our ancestors could have imagined. The most significant of these is the newfound ability of humans to alter the genetic code, the foundation of life.
This new type of genetic manipulation is utterly different from the selective breeding which has been practiced for millennia and which has resulted in many of humanity's food crops, animal species, and many of our medical herbs. Biotechnology enables scientists to randomly insert genes from one species, which can never happen in nature! New organisms thus created are frequently released into the environment, and have been known to escape into wild and non-genetically engineered (GE) populations. Once released, transgenic organisms have a life of their own- they can never be recalled!
The majority of transgentic crops are grown and eaten in the US, making Americans unwitting subjects of "THE LARGEST UNCONTROLLED EXPERIMENTS IN MODERN HISTORY". In a 2003 survey of Americans by ABC news, 93% supported the labeling of GE foods, which is done in many countries including the European Union, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand. Austalia and New Zealand. Most multinational food corporations have two lines of products: those containing GE ingredients for the US and Canadian markets, and GE-free products for other countries. Despite years of activist efforts, Congress has yet to mandate GE labeling. Insted up to 75% of processed foods in supermarkets and restaurants in our nation contain GE ingredients, and approximately 60% of the corn, 89% of the soy, 83% of the cotton, and 75% of the canola grown in the US is geneticically engineered.
How did these foods become so pervasive without the public's knowledge? It would seem logical that before a novel entity is introduced into the food supply, it should be tested for safety in animal and human feeding suddies. Insted teh USDA and the FDA, which share responsibility for the safety of the food supply, have used the concept of SUBSTANTIAL EQUIVALENCE, asumming that transgenic foods are the same as naturally bred food, teh result of which is that most of these products have not been thoughly tested. In his 2007 book GENETIC ROULETTE, Jeffery Smith describes every published animal feeding study using genetically engineered foods, revealing a myriad of potential threats to health. In the study-which is widely considered the BEST DESIGNED AND CAREFULLY CONTROLLED STUDY of its type- Arnad Putszai, senior scientist at the prestigious British Rowett Institure, and a team of 20 researchers found that after just eatting 10-110 days of eating GE potatoes, young rats had damage to almost every organ system, as well as abnormal proliferative cell growth in their stomachs and intestines. The drama that unfolded after Putszai met with the press and discussed his concern over the damage to teh young rats is typical of history of GE foods. the potatoes were approved anyway, Putszai was fired followed b y an outcry among the scientific community,and it was later revealed that the Rowett Institute had received 140,000 British Pounds in funding from Monsanto.
The vast majority of GE crops grown in the US have been designed to do one or both of the following: to express resistance to a particular pesticide, such as Roundup, which is marketed by the company that makes the seed; or to continuously produce large amounts of BT toxin, a natural bacterial toxin also used by organic farmers to control weeds. In a study done by Monsanto in 2002, rats were fed Monsanto's MON 863 BT corn for 90 days and showed statistically significant changes, including increased basophils, lymphocytes, white blood cells, blood sugar, and kidney weight, as well as decreased reticulocytes (indicating a risk of anemia). The study methodology was widely criticized, and scientists worldwide called for follow-up on the findings, which was never done! Despite these concerns, the corn was approved, and is now planted and consumed around the world. According to the industry wesite agbio.com, MON 863(the transgene) has different nutritional properties than the parent strain: it contains less protein and vitamins, and more carbohydrate. Could the widespread consumption of transgenic corn in this country be contributing to our skyrocketing diabetes rates?
Early safty assessments of GE foods assumed the transgenic material would not surive digestion. However, more recent studies have confirmed that DNA, transgenes and gene fragments can and do surive digestive processes. In the only human feeding study of GE foods conducted thus far, seven volunteers who had previous ileostomies were fed a soy burger and soy milkshake made of GE "ROUNDUP READY" soybeans. three of the subjects were later found to have soy transgenes in their but bacteria. Interestingly, the researchers inferred that gene transfer had taken place prior to the study intervention, and suggested that the likelihood of gene transfer is dependent on repeated exposure. As most Americans are eating GE foods daily, it is likely that trangenes are being widely expressed in the gut flora. This is particularly disturbing in light of contemporary research which highlights the importance of gut bacteria and its complex effects on health. Consider that all transgenes contain not only the desired trait which was intentionally inserted, such as pesticide resistance, but also contain ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT GENES used as markers, which could lead to the spread of antibiotic resistance among humans. It was on this basis the the United Kingdom rejected one strain of transgenic maize.
The story of STARLINK corn highlights another category of health risks posed by GE foods, as well as the major environmental threat of genetic contamination. STARLINK is a GE corn variety manufactured by Aventis which was approved for animal feed only(not human consumption) because of the risk of increased allergenic potential. The corn was planted in less than 1/2% of the acreage of the US, but it quickly contaminated the entire food supply. In 2000, the discovery of STARLINK in taco shells after several people experienced severe allergic reactions sparked a recall of 300 corn products and cost Aventis $150 million in the cleanup effort. Between 1999 and 2005, 115 cases of GE contamination were documented, in which unapproved GE organisms were found, or approved Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) were found where they don't belong(such as in fields of certified organic farmers). The Union of Concerned scientists reported in 2004 that the conventional food supply is now "PERVASIVELY CONTAMINATED" with transgenes. The risk of transgene transmission from GE crops to conventional crops, to weedy relatives of crop plants, to wild plants is very real!
Author and researcher Jeffery Smith estimates, based of European experience, that if 5% of American consumers began to consistently reject GE foods, the food industry would ast quickly to remove them from the food supply.
OK....... WHAT CAN WE DO?
Read your right to know:Genetic Engineered and the Secret Changes in Your Food Supply, the most current layperson's book on genetically engineered food.
Download free non-GMO shopping guilds...www.responcibletechnology.org/GMFree/Non-GMOShopping/ShoppingGuildShort/index.cfm
Join the Campaign for Healthier Eating America
Sponsor a showing of a film such as "The Future of Food" or "The World According to Monsanto".