Are GMO's Safe
Proponents of GMO safety point to an article written by Michaeleen Doucleff of NPR (National Public Radio, Inc.) https://www.npr.org/ and quoted by a May 7, 2015 article by Erin Blakemore of the Smithsonian (Smithsonian.com). Erin Blakemore’s article points out that the first GMO is 8,000 years old. Apparently, scientist found soil bacteria in sweet potatoes that was traced back to the first known wild sweet potatoes. These sweet potatoes were cultivated and replanted many times. Through the years and 291 varieties of sweet potatoes the soil bacteria have carried though to today. This GMO supporters say this proves that GMO’s are safe for consumption whether the GMO happens in nature or through human intervention.
You have to ask yourself; Is it?
I suggest that soil bacteria modifying a tuber (planted in the soil) is far different from splicing frog DNA into tomato plants so that you can plant it earlier. I was able to personally check out an exhibit regarding this tomato plants years ago on a trip to Washington, DC and the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. This exhibit was designed to explain to the layperson how genetic engineering is of benefit to the world.
In 1972 Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer accomplished the first direct transfer of DNA from one organism to another. GE or Genetic Engineering or Transgenic or GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) the altering of plant, animal or Human DNA with bacterium, plant, virus, chemical or animal genes (or several combined genes). While GMO foods began in 1994 with the Flavr Savr Tomato, 1995 saw the introduction of BT corn (genetically altered to include Bacillis thuringiensis bacteria including Delta endotoxins; poisonous to certain insect pests) followed by the wide scale use of Genetically Engineered crops in 1996; all without any long-term testing. Now genetically modified Cotton, Corn, Soybeans, Sugar Beets, Alfalfa, Papaya, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Milk, Meat, Honey, Eggs, and Soy-based products have flooded the market place. GMO Potato production was launched in 2016 and Apples in 2017.
I wonder does anyone remember “Toad” from the X-men movie series?
The 2011 International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications reported that in the United States 95% of Sugar Beet, 94% of Soybeans, 90% of cotton and 88% of feed corn are GMO. Further, The Genetic Literacy Project reported on their Science and Politics page that 18 million farmers in 26 countries planted 457 million acres of GMO crops. They also reported that 38 countries (including 19 European countries) had banned or had partial bands on GMO’s. Notably towns in California, Colorado, Maine and Washington have also banned GMO’s but allow GMO imports.
The most touted reason to promote GMO production is to increase the food supply for population growth. The news media in the United States has been reporting that there is no evidence of increased crop yields. However, contrary to these recent reports, both Cornell University (New York) and the Genetic Literacy Project both report that GMO’s are increasing the crop yields. With all the conflicting data, it is hard to determine which are true. However, a quick look at the 2/28/2018 page of the Genetic Literacy Project outlines that the GMO field of study is off to the races. They list many projects that include: GMO wheat product increases yield and weight gain (notably with the assistance the University of New York); Argentine scientists are developing a non-browning potato and hypoallergenic milk (gene editing); In Colombia they have used gene editing in cassava, rice and beans; and in Argentine scientists are also developing cloned horses with edited genes to improve the horses muscle development, endurance and speed.
“Kahn” from Star Trek comes to mind.
I find this all horrifying and confusing. I am not sure how to ferret out the truth as there was no long-term testing before the GMO’s were thrust into the market place. GMO’s are in virtually all that we buy; medicines, clothing, cosmetics, packaged foods, frozen foods, fresh produce and meats. Wow! It feels like you can’t escape them.
I wondered how our overall health has been impacted. So, I decided to look at the health statistics here in America before GMO’s and after genetically modified organisms flooded our market place.
In 1995 meta-analysis shows 1.9 million of those 65 and older suffered from any level (mild, moderate or severe). January 1998 ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Estimates of Prevalence in the United States. https://www.gao.gov/archive/1998/he98016.pdf
In 2018 it is estimated 5.7 million of those 65 or older. https://www.alz.org/facts/
On March 10, 2017 a Fibromyalgia News Today report quoted the CDC as identifying 54million adults (f1 in 4) has Arthritis. Dr. Schuchat from the CDC noted that 20% of adults had arthritis in 2002 and in 2015 it had risen to 43%.
Arthritis by the Numbers has more information. https://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Sections/About-Arthritis/arthritis-facts-stats-figures.pdf
In the 1980’s one child out of 2,000 had autism. Today, the CDC estimates one child in 150 8 year olds have some form of autism that includes autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive development disorder. https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/searching-for-answers/autism-rise
* The CDC in 2014 noted a 119.4% increase from 2000 to 2010 (CDC, 2008) https://www.autism-society.org/what-is/facts-and-statistics/
It is estimated that in 2018 there will be 1,735,350 new cases with 609,640 people dying from it. Although modern medicine seems to be winning. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2018.html
Chronic Kidney disease (CDK) and end-stage renal disease (ERSD)
CDK in those 60 and older jumped to 24.5% in a 2006 National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey
ERSD increased nearly 600 % from 290 to 1728 cases per million between 1980 and 2009. Kidney Disease Statics for the United States, National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 1995 only 3.3% of our population or 8.66 million suffered from diabetes https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/slides/long_term_trends.pdf
In 2015: 7.4% or 23.35 million suffer from it. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
The journal of Diabetes Science and Technology is quoted in an article from the US National Library of Medicine & the National Institutes of Health disagree with the government statistic. They state that in 2015 30.3 million Americans or 9.4% of the population with 1.25 million children and adults having type 1 diabetes. They also state that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death (79,535 death certificates and 252,806 death certificates contributing cause of death to diabetes
37 million people suffer migraines with 2-3million being chronic suffers. https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/
In February 2002 The Journal of Family Practice noted 2.8 million visits a year to physicians for migraine symptoms. https://www.mdedge.com/jfponline/article/59964/evaluation-and-treatment-adult-patient-migraine
So, America is getting sicker. Over the last 30 years we have seen many scientific discoveries that have changed our life style, family dynamics, and our culture. I believe all these things contribute to the sickness we see in America. However, GMO’S have saturated throughout the basics of our existence: food, clothing, cosmetics, medicine, even the air we breath which is impacted by the gas in our cars and GMO drift on the winds.
One parting note: most GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) are modified to contain pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. These are additional genic edits and are often in addition to the chemicals that are sprayed on a non-organic farmer’s field. So, you have to wonder, how much chemicals and GMO’s do we ingest either internally or through the skin on a daily basis?
In the first Jurassic Park movie one of the characters said something like “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.” Maybe these are words to live by.
So, which are safe?
Chemicals on the field or Genetic Modifications?
Written By: Cindy Rivers, RCR Organic Feed Store