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Drop that Corn Chip! - Scary Scientific Studies on GMO food

This isn't directly about growing your own food, but food politics are a large part of my motivation. One of the reasons I started to grow my own food was after learning more about GMO food from a documentary called "the future of food," which i'd reccommend to everyone. But as far as I know, this week is the first time scientific evidence has been publicized of the dangers of GMO food. The following is crossposted from Living Lime:

Two days ago, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urged doctors to "educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” Further, they're calling for long-term independent studies, labeling, and "a moratorium on GM foods."

The findings of negative health effects of GMOs in animal studies are frightening and diverse: "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects." A quick scan of the article's end notes shows more than 20 cited scientific studies.

“There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria.

Here are some highlights of the effects in animals:

Rats:
-Death of most offspring of rats fed GMO, compared to 10% mortality in control group.
-smaller, fewer babies of GMO fed mothers, and those babies are also less fertile
-even the embryos "had significant changes in their DNA"
-Testicles of GMO fed rats turned colour from pink to blue (what?). Sperm was altered.
- "Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn."
- "7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks." Oh, and by the way, Monsanto's own study also showed evidence that major organs were poisoned.

Sheep:
-death of "all sheep fed Bt cotton plants...within 30 days", compared to healthy non-GMO cotton eating sheep

Buffalo and Cattle:
- "premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses" and high mortality rate in those calves that were actually born.
-Infertility in both cows and bulls
- "On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo [who usually grazed on non-GMO cotton plants] grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days"

Pigs:
-sterility, false pregnancy, "others gave birth to bags of water" (yikes!)


On a completely unrelated note, "the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating" in the US population.


Here's the really scary thing:

The only published study on humans revealed that when you eat GMO soy, the inserted gene "transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function." That gene? It's a pesticide. Sure, it's a organic-approved natural bacteria pesticide (fatal to caterpillars that eat it), but the difference is you can't wash off a pesticide that's inside your food's DNA. (Read "The ABC's of Bt" on Dave's Garden.)

Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.

Our lightbulb powering friend David Suzuki adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”

So how do you avoid eating GMO? You really can't. If you check the lables of any packaged food, it invariably contains soy or corn (or it's sneaky friend high fructose corn syrup, sometimes listed just as "fructose"). Almost all of that is GMO. Although many fresh fruits and veggies at the grocery store are less likely to be GMO, the tomatoes most likely are (you can improve your chances by buying organic). Of course, you'll never know, because the GMO folks have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure your food isn't labled. Because it's safe, of course, so you shouldn't have a choice. I try my best to avoid them by growing my own food from herloom seeds, but even these I can't be sure are 100% GMO free, because unintentional GMO contamination happens all the time, through natural pollination, and pollen drift, by which the wind causes pollen to float "in from fifty miles away".

How long before our entire food supply is contaminated? Give your MP a call and ask them. If you think you'd rather not eat GMO food, read the "Pocket Shopping Guide to avoiding GMO foods", and let companies know if you've dropped them for a (hopefully uncontaminated) non-GMO brand.

In the mean time, read this article for more details.

If you're on Digg, please Digg this.

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Comment by Sarah Fischbach on June 9, 2009 at 11:23pm
a tip for avoiding GMO fruits and veggies...Look at the number code on the sticker on the veggies. A four-digit code is a conventionally grown crop. A five-digit code that starts with a 9 is organic and a five-digit code that starts with an 8 is GMO.

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