Monday, February 21, 2011

Why On Earth Are We Eating This?

So I am having a bit of trouble staying motivated and on track lately.  A bit of trouble is an understatement.  Eating out when we are busy is getting us!  I need some Motivation.  So for a little while on Monday I am going to have Motivation Monday.

Today, I'm going to address Genetically Modified Foods.  By no means is this extensive.  Just a quick reminder to myself and maybe you, too.

Genetically Modified Food or Organisms, GMOs, are foods that have had a deletion or insertion of a gene to the nucleus of a cell.  

Monsanto is the company responsible for the vast majority of GMOs on the market today.  Monsanto is also the producer of Round Up.  You know, Round Up, the weed killer.  Well, most of the GMOs we are eating today have been genetically modified with a gene that is "Round Up Ready."  "Round Up Ready" seeds means we are eating food that has been modified to survive poison sprayed on it time and time again.  For the most part that is the only benefit.  And it really is no benefit to the consumer.  None at all! 

The main sources of GMO on the currently on the market now are soy, corn, canola, and cotton.  Here is a list of all the GMO food allowed on the market.

That's not so bad, I guess.  I mean none of us dropped dead.  Well, how about this to make you think?  GMOs were first grown commercially in 1996.  1996!  That is stunning to me.  We have no long term data to show the effects of this new GMO on the human body and yet we consume it daily.

There is however, long term data from animals.  It is frightening to say the very least.  Here's one:

"After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups."  source 

Or how about this study:  

"In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller (see photo) and could not reproduce.

"In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova's feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.

"When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue! Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes [PDF of Study], including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently."

Here's the kicker, "When Ermakova reported the high infant mortality among GM soy fed offspring, for example, she appealed to the scientific community to repeat and verify her preliminary results. She also sought additional funds to analyze preserved organs. Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Samples were stolen from her lab, papers were burnt on her desk, and she said that her boss, under pressure from his boss, told her to stop doing any more GMO research. No one has yet repeated Ermakova's simple, inexpensive studies."

Although this one study has not been repeated, other studies point to GMOs causing reproductive problems.  Here are a few results from other studies:

"An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer the babies they had [PDF of study], and the smaller the babies were.

"Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry's problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.

"Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding 'neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.' Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females 'at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.' One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.
"In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously."  Source

Again and again, research is at least offering clues to us about the long term health affect GMO food might have on humans.  That data alone should be enough for the government to allow labeling on GMO and nonGMO food.  If it is going to remain on the market the consumer should at least have the right and ease of removing GMOs from their diet if they so choose.  

"Without detailed tests, no one can pinpoint exactly what is causing the reproductive travesties in Russian hamsters and rats, Italian and Austrian mice, and livestock in India and America. And we can only speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population. But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens don't think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech industry's massive uncontrolled experiment."  Jeffrey M. Smith

This just makes my head spin.  I hope for the sake of our kids and grandkids we wake up and demand our government stop bowing to Monsanto's human experiment.  This billion dollar biotechnology industry may just be a ticking time bomb.

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