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Teeccino Blog

Are GMOs Toxic?


Written by: Caroline MacDougall

This month I took my 91 year old mother to visit a cousin we hadn’t seen for 40 years. Wow – the last time I saw her I had just started my first job at Celestial Seasonings and I was traveling the West coast in a Volkswagen bus gaily painted with thunderbolts striking teacups and roosters crowing at dawn. It was way before anyone ever thought about Genetically Modified Organisms, but that’s all I could think about on my way to her home in rural Illinois!

Teeccino Are GMO's Toxic?Naïve Californian that I am, I can’t express my amazement at how massive the acreage is of GMO corn and GMO soybeans in this country’s “bread basket”. Talk about mono-cropping and destroying nature’s diversity! Miles and miles whizzed by and all the eye could see was row upon row of GMO plants grown for … yes … animal feed and high fructose corn syrup!

Now there’s a new study that that reveals that the known carcinogen, formaldehyde, builds up in GMO soybeans. Plus it shows a massive decrease in GMO soy’s glutathione, the antioxidant responsible for keeping our cells detoxified. Yikes!

Did you know that the US Congress passed the DARK act just a few weeks ago? Dubbed the “Deny Americans The Right To Know” Act, it will prevent states from requiring labeling of GMOs. Now the fight for our right to know what’s in our food has shifted to the Senate and I encourage all of you to write your senators to vote against it!

What do Russia, China, the European Union and 60+ other countries have in common? They require the labeling of GMOs! What would this mean to food companies in the US? Just a few lines added to the ingredient deck on their label. No cost whatsoever!

Not long ago, food companies didn’t have to put allergen statements on their labels. Now you can read clear statements like “Contains peanuts and other tree nuts” right after the ingredient list. No company resisted this or complained about the cost to tell Americans clearly about the allergens in their foods. So what’s the big deal about GMOs?Teeccino Are GMO's Toxic?

It all sounded so reasonable when General Mills wrote to me after I complained to them about donating millions of dollars to pass the DARK act. They said that they believed that we should simply have a certification for Non-GMO foods just like we have for organic foods.

Except that guess who has to pay for that certification? You!

Certifications cost consumers money because food manufacturers have to pass on the cost of massive amounts of paperwork, time and expense. All of which makes natural food products more expensive than conventional food products and leaves most Americans in the DARK…

 

Back to that study about formaldehyde building up in GMO soybeans; the FDA approves genetically modified foods if their nutrients don’t differ substantially from the same plant that is non-genetically modified. However, as the chief scientist of the study, Dr. Ayyadurai states, “This is not a pro- or anti-GMO question. But, are we following the scientific method to ensure the safety of our food supply? Right now, the answer is ‘no’.” He goes on to explain that the FDA is using 1970’s era science to test differences between GMO and non-GMO plants while ignoring today’s scientific advances which can test for many more compounds like carcinogens!

So yes, when I visited my cousin in the 1970’s driving that colorful VW van and spreading Celestial’s herbal teas to natural food stores up and down the West coast, science hadn’t yet created GMOs. 1970’s science could only test for known nutrients on a macro basis. It couldn’t look into a plant’s biology with a 2015 systems biology approach and see the disruption that is caused by GMOs. So why is the FDA relying on 1970’s technology to determine if GMO foods are safe for Americans today?

Teeccino Are GMO's Toxic?

GMO soybeans take over GMO corn

I leave you to form your own opinion on that. But my thoughts as I passed mile after mile of GMO plants ran like this. No wonder Monsanto’s strategy is to own America’s cropland and force farmers to buy their GMO seeds. That’s a lot of acres out there!

Buy certified organic foods and beverages (which are already regulated to be non-GMO) and write your Senators here:

http://signforgood.com/stopthedarkact/

Read more about the new science showing the build up of toxic formaldehyde in GMO soybeans:

http://prn.to/1OrSEx5

Posted in Caroline's Musings, Health Buzz

8 Responses

  1. Fred Clement says:

    If you do the research, you will clearly see that GMO’s are poison and are only approved because a Monsanto exececutive was heading the FDA at the time. The FDA committed fraud and evil Monsanto had their dirty hands in all science about GMO’s since the early 70’s. The foxes are guarding the hen house. GMO’s cause every disease that Big Pharma sells drugs for to the tune of about a trillion more dollars per year in drug sales. Can you say SCAM! Spread the word, corporate food and drugs cause disease, any questions?

  2. Bruce Campbell says:

    I am neutral on the GMO issue at present but I hate to see statements made without foundation. Thus I wish to comment on the statement: “Now there’s a new study that that reveals that the known carcinogen, formaldehyde, builds up in GMO soybeans. Plus it shows a massive decrease in GMO soy’s glutathione, the antioxidant responsible for keeping our cells detoxified. Yikes!”.

    I went to the trouble of finding and reading the study by Ayyadurai and Deonikar. They certainly did not measure an increase in formaldehyde or a decrease in glutathione in GMO soybeans. Instead they use a complex mathematical model to predict these occurrences. However they have not taken the simple and essential step of actually making the measurements to see if their theoretical prediction is true.

    So at the moment the alarming predictions are worthless and my guess is that when someone goes to the trouble to make the measurements the predictions from their “black box” model will turn out to be false.

    The part of the statement about glutathione shows a lack of knowledge of biology. I do have a background in biochemistry but I had forgotten about glutathione metabolism. It took me just 5 minutes of internet research using reliable scientific sources to confirm that glutathione which is an important biological antioxidant, is synthesized in the body. Dietary glutathione is not absorbed, the tripeptide is broken down by enzymes in the gut lumen and lining. The cysteine part of the tripeptide is important and may be used later in synthesis of glutathione in the body but actual glutathione levels may be important to the plant, but not to the humans eating them.

    • Caroline MacDougall says:

      Thanks, Bruce, for digging into this. The press release from the authors of the study is more definitive about their findings and it didn’t make the results of the study sound theoretical. However, there is now controversy in the scientific community over what data Ayyudurai used from other studies in his model that then produced results showing the build up of formaldehyde and the decrease in glutathione. Depending on the data he used, his results could be valid or could be proven invalid. My hope is that at the very least, his study will stimulate more scientific inquiry into the potential changes in plant biology caused by GMOs and that the FDA will set new standards for much deeper inquiry into genetic modification of plants and their ultimate effects on our health. Caroline

  3. Annarie Lyles says:

    There are many kinds of genetic modifications and it is not helpful to lump them all together when talking about risks and benefits. This blog post seems to be referring to the roundup ready varieties which are grown so extensively with practices like chemical applications. There are other modifications out there that may prove socially and environmentally beneficial. So lets label things what they are so we can distinguish.

    • Caroline MacDougall says:

      Fair enough, I thought I was pretty clear that I was writing about GMO soybeans and GMO corn. Both these plants have been genetically modified to withstand much larger applications of glyphosates, the systemic herbicide called “RoundUp” which is marketed by Monsanto. It has recently been shown to be a suspected carcinogen so greater amounts of it in our food is not something any of us could hope for. Although it is conceivable that genetic modification could be useful in the future, I still prefer cross breeding of plants to build up traits that are desired by humans. We’ve have been doing this quite successfully for thousands of years. On the other hand, taking genetic material from other species, bacteria, etc and using it to modifying a plant’s biology is still not something I think we have the science with which to understand all the ramifications on the chain of life. Witness the die-off of bees and Monarch butterflies!

  4. Anna says:

    Thanks for the article. I’ve spread the word and though I’ve not bought or consumed any GMOs it’s disconcerting to know that now the American ciitzens won’t know if they are consuming GMOs unless they have their own gardens. Still, based on this news, I’ve completely eliminated soy products once and for all and will be sourcing future purchases from known companies who do not sell GMO products.

    • Angie says:

      Don’t forget about GMO corn and all the processed food that uses GMO corn and soy. CAFO is fed GMO so if you purchase your meat from non-organic source then you are consuming GMO’s. This is such an ugly merry-go-round for the naive consummer.

    • Caroline MacDougall says:

      You are still safe with organic soy products! I’m a big fan of organic tofu myself and hope I can continue to eat it safely. However, organic farmers are threatened by their conventional neighbors and GMOs can infect organic crops growing nearby. That’s why there is a big movement now to get the USDA to protect organic crops by containing GMO crops and regulating their planting. Support The Organic Center and other organic groups that fight for protecting organic crops and organic regulations in Congress!

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