- The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states,"Genetically
Modified foods have not been properly tested and pose a serious health
risk. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse
health effects. There is causation."
- Last May the American Academy of Environmental Medicine
(AAEM) called on "Physicians to educate their patients, the medical
community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when
possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health
risks." They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent
studies, and labeling.
- AAEM's position paper stated, "Several animal studies
indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including
infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and
changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude,
"There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse
health effects. There is causation," as defined by recognized scientific
criteria. "The strength of association and consistency between GM
foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."
- More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free
diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board
member of AAEM says, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically
modified foods." Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says "I used
to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically
engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."
- Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, "Physicians
are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how
to ask the right questions." World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava
goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals,
he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor
to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.
- Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the
Salk Institute warns that "children are the most likely to be adversely
effected by toxins and other dietary problems" related to GM foods.
He says without adequate studies, the children become "the experimental
- The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals
is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died
within three weeks-compared to a 10% death rate among the control group
fed natural soy. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems
- When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually
changed color-from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered
young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes
in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer
babies, which were also smaller than normal.
- Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investi-gations
in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed
had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility,
and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers
reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn
varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water.
Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.
- Food Designed to Produce Toxins
- GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own
built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison
splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that
the pesticide, called Bt (produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis)
has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria
spray for natural insect control.
- The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands
of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more
toxic, has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed
off the plant.
- Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural
bacterial spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths
in the Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like
symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room. The exact same symptoms
are now being reported by farm workers throughout India who have handled
Bt cotton. In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported,
"Victims of itching have increased massively this year related to
BT cotton farming."
- American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, "Multiple
animal studies show significant immune dysregulation," in-cluding
increase in cytokines, which are "associated with asthma, allergy,
and inflammation"-all on the rise in the US.
- According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai,
changes in the immune status of GM animals are "a consistent feature
of all the studies." Even Monsanto's own research showed significant
immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn. A November 2008 study by the
Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.
- GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic
properties, GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor-a known
soy allergen-and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not
to non-GM soy. Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies
skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma
is a casualty of genetic manipulation.
- In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest.
But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died.
Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines
and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary
evidence "strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a
toxin most probably Bt-toxin." In a small follow-up feeding study
by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died
within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.
- In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed
on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008,
the buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were
sick the next day; all died within 3 days. Bt corn was also implicated
in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens
in the Philippines.
- In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty
Link corn died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs;
another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. Monsanto's own study showed evidence
of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French
toxicologist G. E. Seralini.
- Worst Finding of All-GMOs Remain Inside Us
- The only published human feeding study revealed what
may be the most dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into
GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines
and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMOs,
we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously
inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn
might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories,
possibly for the rest of our lives.
- When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical
conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase
of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade.
GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.
- Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According
to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency
was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect
allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional
problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.
But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and
the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney,
to head up the formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect
today, denies knowledge of scientists' concerns and declares that no safety
studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech
companies to determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became
Monsanto's vice president.
- American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, "GM
foods have not been properly tested" and "pose a serious health
risk." Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published.
A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the "potential
toxic effects/health risks of GM plants" revealed "that experimental
data are very scarce." The author concludes his review by asking,
"Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are
toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?"
- Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, "The
experiments simply haven't been done and we now have become the guinea
pigs." He adds, "Anyone that says, 'Oh, we know that this is
perfectly safe,' I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying."
- Dr. Schubert points out, "If there are problems,
we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and
many diseases take a very long time to develop." If GMOs happen to
cause immediate and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then
we might have a chance to trace the cause.
- This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic
in the late 1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique
measurable change in the blood-but it still took more than four years to
identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about
100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently
disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement
- If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism,
obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive
problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we
may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety
of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms.
It is therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale
introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or
more chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.
- To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks
their "members, the medical community, and the independent scientific
community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption
and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role
of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the
effect of GM foods on human health."
- Citizens need not wait for the results before taking
the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything
with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from
GM sugar beets-unless it says organic or "non-GMO."
- If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands,
the food industry will likely respond as they did in Europe-by removing
all GM ingredients. Thus, American Academy of Environmental Medicine's
non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.
- Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute
for Responsible Technology, is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers
of GMOs. His first book, Seeds of Deception is the world's bestselling
book on the subject. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health
Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, identifies 65 risks of GMOs and
demonstrates how superficial government approvals are not competent to
find most of them. He invited the biotech industry to respond in writing
with evidence to counter each risk, but correctly predicted that they would
refuse, since they don't have the data to show that their products are
safe. Spilling the Beans, the institute's monthly column, is available
The website also offers eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and
in restaurants. Contact American Academy of Environmental Medicine at (734)
213-4901; firstname.lastname@example.org; <http://www.aaemonline.org>www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html.