The bad news about GMO’s from a die-hard organic farmer

Editors Note:   The following is Part 2 of a series focused on genetically modified food crops from Wayne Kessler, a decades-experienced organic farmer in northern California.

Learn more about genetically modified foods so you can make informed, healthy choices

Learn more about genetically modified foods so you can make informed, healthy choices

All genetically altered organisms are tested badly. The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration report that GMO and GE foods are safe to eat. The food industry claims no one has gotten sick or died from eating billions of GMO meals. We don’t know because there have been few long-term studies linking animal and human health to GMO foods, including the residue pesticides and fertilizers in them. Remember, most if not all GMO foods come with tiny doses of chemicals that are used on or in them. There’s growing evidence that the cancers and other environmental diseases develop after years of tiny doses of toxins that we breathe and eat.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges people to avoid GMOs until they are studied extensively. Recent animal studies have indicated health risks related to immune, allergies, digestive and other problems.

Judy Carman, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and food scientist in Australia, warns of inadequate testing of GMO crops and their potential health hazards for humans and animals. She states that many of the studies that say GMO foods are safe “are based on really poor quality, really small amount of information.” Here’s an example I heard on December 8, 2013, on the Living on Earth program of National Public Radio.

A Monsanto study of 10 rats fed Roundup-resistant corn for nine months stated that rats fed their GMO corn were just as healthy as the rats fed non-GMO corn, so GMO corn was safe for people to eat. Nine years later a non-food-industry scientist replicated this study. The same number and kind of rats were fed the same rations, but instead of nine months, the length of the study was two years. Instead of no problems identified in the first study, the second one found that the rats had digestive problems and 20% had tumors. Monsanto objected, preventing the report from being published in a scientific journal.

In order to fully understand test results, we need to know who paid for the tests. ( FYI, Monsanto is one of the largest donors to a science lab at Stanford that has issued reports that GMO foods are safe and as nutritious as organic ones.)

These studies are often limited to safety issues. GMOs may not poison us, but can the human body digest them? Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary human biology, raises the possibility that our bodies have not evolved sufficiently to be able to digest modern GMO food – especially sugar and wheat. With modern wheat, the agriscientists have used GE processes to make highly productive wheat that withstands being sprayed with herbicides. But there’s growing evidence that it may be hard for many people to digest the altered wheat.

The whole testing business seems to be at the root of what’s wrong with our pharmaceutical, agriculture and food industry. Rather than using independent testing laboratories, these industries do most of their own testing, then send the results to government agencies for review. If a problem develops, the government may become involved.

The final segment of this series focuses on how deep the chemical companies are involved, the staggering statistics of how much of the food we eat is genetically modified and the health concerns about this biological experiment none of us signed up for but are involved in anyway.Wonder where that “informed consent” form disappeared to?

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