According to the World Health Organization (WHO), genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that it does not occur naturally.” Here’s something you should know. Approximately 80% of the processed food items in US supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients. So you probably have been eating genetically modified foods for a long time without even realizing it.
The question is… are food products made of GMOs safe at all? The answer is a resounding NO! In fact, various studies have linked GMO food products with cancer. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) states, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified foods.” Besides cancer, these health risks include: Infertility, lung damage, immune impairment, vitamin deficiency, premature aging, damaged Insulin regulation, and a higher rate of mortality. It also leads to liver, kidney, heart and spleen dysfunction.
The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which is a very powerful hormone that has been linked to a 2.5-4 times higher incidence of human colon, breast and prostate cancer.
In November 2012, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled “Long Term Toxicity of Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant genetically modified maize” by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University. The study shows that eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death.
Recent studies also showed glyphosate’s potential to be an endocrine disruptor, which are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system in mammals, and cause developmental disorders, birth defects and cancer tumors. Furthermore, Dr Stanley Ewen, a consultant histopathologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, says that a cauliflower [mosaic] virus used in GM foods could increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers.
All things considered, consumption of GMO food products have negative effects on our health. So, why do we continue to do so? Here’s some suggestions in how to avoid GMOs.
- Buy organic foods from local farmers markets.
- Don’t forget to read the labels, and buy brands labeled as non-GM or GMO free
- Know the most commonly modified crops and avoid them. Soybeans, corn, cotton (for oil), canola (for oil), squash, zucchini and papaya are all popular GMOs.
Photo credit : By Dave Hoisington via Wikimedia Commons