Sunday, August 7, 2016

What GMO Means to You

What GMO Means to You

Food quality is a hot topic in the news today.  Many are concerned 
about current efforts by leading chemical companies to alter our
 staple food crops in ways that have no precedent in nature or 

Especially as parents, we are responsible to see that our children 

get the best start we know about, and the quality of their food is a 
huge factor. We also owe it to ourselves to stay as healthy as we
 can. So what if we are eating Genetically Modified Organisms, 

Let's take the long view for a moment. For more than a million 

years, humans have been eating everything in their local 
environment that didn't kill them. If a person tried to eat an 
animal or vegetable that was poisonous, that person didn't 
live to have children. So over the years, humans found what 
species were edible and what weren't.

Over time, our human ancestors discovered how to cook food

 to eat even more variety and to store food more effectively. 
Eventually we even learned to replant the seeds of food and 
to choose the seeds which gave us the qualities we liked 
most. And we could do the same with animals once we 
learned to corral them.

A few centuries ago, we became far more scientific about

 "breeding" our crops and animals, to produce food quicker,
 cheaper, more efficiently, and with more of the 
characteristics we wanted at any given time.

Once we learned about genetics in the mid-twentieth century,

 scientists began to imagine that they could actually tinker 
with the genetic code to hone in on the characteristics we 

But then the question becomes, the characteristics who 

wanted? Is it the scientists who hire the geneticists to 
experiment, is it the chemical companies who want the 
crops and animals to use more of their chemicals, or is 
it we the eaters?

In the book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, the author Steven 

Druker reveals how our image of scientists going in with 
tweezers and carefully manipulating the genes to improve 
the crop is completely misleading, and unfortunately 
deliberately so.

At least four or five manipulations, almost unfathomable to

 the non-geneticist, are applied to the genes at issue, and 
even then there is no assurance until scrupulous testing 
that the wanted results are achieved. For example, in many 
cases, whether a cell has accepted the new gene is 
detectable because a light sensitive gene from a jellyfish 
has also been injected.

We know that the genetic code of any creature, plant or 

animal, is extremely interdependent, and one gene often 
affects many activities in a cell. Likewise, groups of genes
 often operate together to create other kinds of crucial 
cell activities. So if we alter one gene because it will now 
change a particular chemical in the plant,  we have no 
way of knowing if this change will also affect how some
 other important cell chemical is designed.

We also now know that genes are activated and 

deactivated by other processes in a cell that are 
responding to numerous factors in and outside the 
cell, including the stress level of the plant or animal. 
This is the core of the science of "epigenetics."

These complications may explain how many experiments 

which we rarely hear about in the media, but are 
considered well designed and reported by respected 
scientists, have shown that when GMO foods are fed 
to animals, unwanted health conditions develop at a 
disturbing rate compared to animals fed the equivalent 
non-GMO foods.

Most developed countries have minimized the growing, 

importing, and selling of GMO foods within their borders. 
The chemical companies which encourage GMOs say
 that if they are forced to label GMOs in the USA, the 
same thing will happen here because the public doesn't 
realize that these foods are "safe."

But do we want to feed them to our children? 
Do we 
want to experimental lab animals?

The vast majority of all corn and soy sold in the USA 

is genetically altered today. And there is no way to know 
whether these crops may be responsible for the increases
 in various chronic conditions like obesity, immunological
 insufficiency, autoimmune disease, cancer, metabolic 
syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and other 
inflammatory diseases. All are on the rise, and it is
 logical to look at recent changes in our food supply 
which coincide with this rising trend.

Don't believe the story that these alterations are necessary 

to feed the hungry world. Most of the GMO crops go to feed
 large animals which feed only the wealthy populations in 
developed countries.  In addition, the GMO crops increase
 yield only for the first few years, but unfortunately by then, 
the farmer has become dependent on the special seeds
 and pesticides the chemical company has sold her or 
him, and has no GMO-free seed to start a new crop.

I am not one to volunteer my child for a dietary experiment 

that comes from a chem lab. I advise sticking with the 
foods you grandmother would recognize or that your 
great uncle could produce on his farm.

The federal government just passed legislation which 

was promoted by the chemical companies to prevent 
individual states from responding to their citizens by 
insisting on the labeling of GMOs. The law is touted as
 having required that they be labeled, but it doesn't go 
into effect for a couple of years, it has loopholes because 
only certain foods or ingredients must be labeled, and the
 label is only a QR code. So if you really want to know,
 you must hold your mobile phone up to the label to 
check the QR code!

I will continue to buy only foods that say non-GMO 

certified, and "organic," because so far the organic
 label is not supposed to have any GMOs, although 
there are a few exceptions already.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Avoid becoming dogmatic 
about your food, because the burden of extra stress can
be as harmful as an occasional over-processed or
chemicalized food. Only if you have developed a reaction
to a  certain kind of additive or GMO-related item do you
need to be absolute about it, and even then you can build 
your digestion and immunity back up in most cases so that
an occasional exposure won't hurt.

Beware of wheat, which is not usually GNO but which is
sprayed with Round-Up just before harvest because it makes 
harvesting easier. That herbicide is causing many issues
with people's intestines and gut bacteria. So buy organic 
wheat products whenever possible.

In the family and among friends, avoid giving lectures, judgments, 
or admonitions at meal time. Keep that time calm and happy to 
promote good digestion and good relationships. Instead, at a 
later time, share what you know as a caring aside, such as, "You 
know I just saw an interesting article today about ... Do you
know about that?"

No comments: