Truth About GMOs: Today’s topic is more than an assault on your body and health—it is truly an environmental disaster. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are organisms (animal, plant, or microorganism) in which the genetic material (DNA) is altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and natural recombination. We will focus on the widespread genetically modified foods (or Frankenfoods) popping up in our restaurants, supermarkets, and even our farmer’s markets. We will explore what they do to our bodies (especially in conjunction with herbicides like glyphosate), ways to avoid further exposure, and how to undo some of the damage.
GMOs: What They Are and What They Are Not
To fully understand what something is, it can be helpful to review what it isn’t. Our food supply is being messed with on multiple levels, so let’s distinguish between processed, hybridized, and genetically modified.
- Processed food: is any food that modified after harvesting. This includes things like chips, sauces, cakes, and even cake ingredients like flour. Processed food can be organic; it can also (and often does) contain hybridized and genetically modified ingredients.
- Hybridized food: involves crossbreeding to make food more resilient, better looking, and faster growing. It is manipulated from the outside, using things like gamma x-rays and other devices. These devices eventually de-nature the food (often creating variations that aren’t recognized by the body as food).
- GMOs: are plants or animals genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or traditional crossbreeding. This modification is from the inside out and again is used in the food industry to make them more resilient, better looking, and faster growing.
- Glyphosate: is a problem deeply intertwined with the GMO issue because this herbicide (produced by a company called Monsanto, with a product called Roundup) sprayed on over 80% of GM foods is engineered to be resistant to the spray. Roundup essentially kills living things (especially weeds), but when sprayed on food crops, it can also damage them (as they are living things). The new GM foods are bred to be resilient to the spray, so spraying it on fields only kills weeds… and not crops.
Truth About GMOs: The Science
Most of the research used to claim that GMOs are safe has been conducted by biotechnology companies with a vested interest in perpetuating genetically modified foods.
Monsanto has spent millions of dollars covering up the studies demonstrating the dangers of GMOs. Not only covering them up but also bad-mouthing the scientists who’ve produced them. The public is now becoming aware of it, but the word is spreading. In Europe, GMOs are banned, as is the toxic chemical sprayed on them (glyphosate).
More and more studies are raising questions about GM foods’ safety, including “Genetically Engineered Crops, Glyphosate And The Deterioration of Health in the United States of America,” which was published Journal of Organic Systems spearheaded by researcher Nancy Swanson. The paper strongly correlated the evolution of GMOs with 22 different disease models ranging from brain conditions and many forms of abnormal cellular growths.
The concerns have made their way out of the labs and into the courts. Dewayne Johnson was recently awarded 289 million dollars in a lawsuit against Monsanto, proving Roundup (glyphosate) caused his cancer.
By now, it is clear this is a massive issue, and it is a great human experiment, unfortunately, gone wrong. Let’s explore individual problems.
Problem 1: It’s Unnatural
Many pro-GMO lobbyists claim that GM foods are just an extension of natural breeding. Still, the reality is that genetic engineering is technically and conceptually different from natural breeding and entails a host of various risks. This difference is recognized in national and international laws and has led to the ban of these organisms in some countries.
Corn is an example of the detrimental effects of GM foods; Monsanto genetically modified corn to produce its own internal pesticide so that it could be more resistant to pests, etc. However, studies demonstrated that when consumed, this chemical actually stayed in the human gut and continued to proliferate the chemical—effectively turning the gut into an herbicide factory.
Problem 2: Glyphosate, and Leaky Gut
We’ve touched on it briefly, but glyphosate needs to be explored as its own problem associated with GMOs.
GMO crops are being engineered to withstand high levels of herbicides. These GM glyphosate-tolerant crops have led to over 239 million kilograms (527 million pounds) in herbicide use in the US between 1996 and 2011 and compared with the amount that would have been used if non-GM crops were planted. The consumption of GMOs, therefore, means that generally, humans and animals are consuming concerning levels of glyphosate. The usage of this herbicide is so widespread that glyphosate is being found in our water supply, in the rain, and even in organically grown produce. This is because of the run-off from neighboring soil/ the rain or the use of irrigation.
Glyphosate opens up the gut barrier and invites inflammation, food allergies and sensitivities, and pathogens of all kinds. Eventually, this leads to serious autoimmune diseases and complicated cancers. “Leaky gut” is this breaking down of the gut’s naturally tight junctions, and as the science shows, a healthy gut is a fundamental pillar for whole-body health.
We’ve explored the role that glyphosate plays in generating illness and disease (and particularly the role it plays in modern gluten allergies) in past Health Hunters. Indeed, it is not gluten that most people are allergic to; it’s the presence of glyphosate that breaks down the gut and triggers sensitivity to the hybrid and/or GM strains of gluten that are considered foreign substances to our bodies.
Gluten is not the problem. It’s this GMO issue. It’s glyphosate.
Problem 3: Truth About GMOs, It’s Killing Our Soil
Not only is glyphosate being sprayed into the soil, but it has actually be found in 60% of rain, so certified organic or not… glyphosate is making its way into our soils.
The negative impact of this on the earth is not rocket science: our soils are made up of bacteria, microbes, and other living things. Glyphosate is coming in and altering the bacteria, preventing them from carrying out their duties. As a result, our soils are depleted by things like nitrogen, eventually causing the earth to become infertile. From there, it’s not hard to imagine the problems as a lack of food trickles up the food chain.
Problem 4: It’s Turning Our Animals into GMOs
Everything is connected. The soil feeds the plants, which feed the bugs and animals, which feed us. Altering the makeup of the soil with glyphosate and genetically engineering the foods has actually been shown to impact the microbiome of chickens in vitro (still in the womb). This study demonstrated that detrimental bacteria (like Salmonella) and others were resistant to glyphosate, while the beneficial bacteria (like Bacillus badius and Bifidobacterium adolescentis) were getting killed. Before even being born, these chickens are more likely to carry dangerous pathogens to infect other animals and the humans that consume them.
This means our food is less beneficial at best and downright harmful at worst.
These sprays and genetic engineering do not simply impact the world in the positive ways they might have intended to when they were first created. The negative consequences are rampant. Anytime we introduce something into an environment it isn’t native to, we have complications; this is why you cannot travel internationally with plant matter! It’s true with bugs and seeds, and no different with GMOs and herbicides.
Nature always wins.
Problem 5: Truth About GMOs, It Affects Your Ability to Detox
Stephanie Seneff demonstrated in a 2012 study how glyphosate opened up the gut and blood-brain barrier, effectively making it easier for toxins and pathogens to enter the body. You see, our bodies do naturally detoxify themselves. However, glyphosate is actually opening up the floodgates and letting in more toxins than your body could ever rid itself of naturally. This is the impact of a leaky gut (not to mention a more porous blood-brain barrier) that is driving up the epidemic of food intolerances and allergies. Our body’s natural ability to process and digest has been hijacked. These toxic chemicals are lodging themselves in our brains and bodies, paving the way to neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
Truth About GMOs Solution: Go Organic
For all the reasons we’ve explored today (and more), it’s important to be 100% organic with your diet. You cannot out-detox a toxic lifestyle. The first step is removing the sources of GMOs, hybrid foods, and glyphosate-sprayed foods. You can google “dirty dozen” to see which foods are the most sprayed. However, organic food should be a priority no matter to what degree it has been sprayed. When it comes to GMOs, the worst of the worst are corn, soy, and wheat. If those three aren’t certified organic, you know they are genetically modified and sprayed with glyphosate.
Food is like the code that programs our bodies. GMOs, hybrid strains, herbicides, and pesticides like glyphosate are foreign languages the body doesn’t recognize. Stick to real, minimally processed, organic food.
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