Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)
They are NOT Generally Recognized As Safe....

 

 

EXCELLENT video on what glyphosate and Roundup® (the poison used on GMO soy, GMOcorn, and possibly your backyard!) does to our bodies, brains, hormones, and even our gut bacteria!

CLINK HERE to watch Dr. Seneff's interview: Institute for Responsible Technology 

 

Like to learn more? Watch Genetic Roulette

 

Remember tomatoes and strawberries containing fish genes and potatoes and corn with bacterial genes spliced into them? Some are registered as pesticides but not labeled for human consumption.... these foods have never been seen in nature and have not been tested for safety in humans.  Eminent scientists have outlined numerous concerns about the safety of these experimental foods including allergic reactions, production of unintentional toxins, cross-contamination with traditional food crops and wild species, etc.  

Remember the "tryptophan scare" when they pulled tryptophan off the shelves when the real problem was the GENETICALLY ENGINEERED bacteria they developed to produce the tryptophan.   The GMO bacteria also produced a nerve toxin linked to the deadly cases of EMS that occurred following consumption of the GMO tryptophan.  They SHOULD HAVE PULLED GENETIC ENGINEERING OFF THE SHELF INSTEAD.

Visit the Institute for Responsible Technologybiointegrity.org, safe-food.org or  Organic Consumers Association or GMO COMPASS for more information. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE to support labeling of genetically engineered foods here in the U.S.A. CLINK HERE to follow the Federal Labeling Bill for GMO foods.

 

Because these foods do not have a long history of use in the human food supply (basically being released into the U.S. food supply in 1995) and have no scientific data demonstrating that they are safe for human consumption, they do not meet the criteria for "generally recognized as safe" and are essentially on the market illegally.  Several countries have banned them.

  Please read the excerpt below from The Alliance for Biointegrity and visit their website biointegrity.org to learn about the lawsuit against the FDA for releasing these experimental foods into our food supply.

WHY CONCERNS ABOUT HEALTH RISKS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD ARE SCIENTIFICALLY JUSTIFIED

Steven M. Druker

 Executive Director

 1. Reliance on a Flawed Assumption.  As numerous eminent scientists point out, genetically engineered (GE) foods have not been demonstrated safe through standard scientific testing.  Rather, the belief they are safe to eat rests on an unfounded assumption – the assumption that producing new varieties of food-yielding organisms through recombinant DNA technology (“genetic engineering”) is inherently no more hazardous than doing so through traditional breeding.  Not only is this assumption empirically unsubstantiated, the weight of the evidence is against it.  The following paragraphs explain why.  

2. The Fallacy of Equating Gene-Splicing With Traditional Breeding.  Traditional breeding is based on sexual reproduction between like organisms. The transferred genes are similar to genes in the cell they join. They are conveyed in complete groups and in a fixed sequence that harmonizes with the sequence of genes in the partner cell.  In contrast, bioengineers isolate a gene from one type of organism and splice it haphazardly into the DNA of a dissimilar species, disrupting its natural sequence.  Further, because the transplanted gene is foreign to its new surroundings, it cannot function without a big artificial boost.  Biotechnicians achieve this unnatural boosting by taking the section of DNA that promotes gene expression in a pathogenic virus and fusing it to the gene prior to insertion.  This causes the transplanted gene to act independently of the host organism's intricate control system, as does an invading virus, in contrast to the harmonious coordination that exists among the native genes.  Consequently, not only does the foreign gene produce substances that have never been in that species -- it produces them in an essentially unregulated manner.

Accordingly, the director of UK’s prestigious Rowett Research Institute has stated: "The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don't think we fully understand the dimensions of what we're getting into."  And molecular biologist Liebe Cavalieri, a Professor at the State University of New York, says it is "simplistic, if not downright simple-minded" to claim that genetic engineering is substantially the same as traditional breeding -- and that to do so is a “sham."

3. Unprecedented Risks.  Due to its deep differences with traditional breeding, genetic engineering entails unprecedented risks to human health: (a) Because the foreign genes enter the host DNA haphazardly and disrupt the region into which they wedge, they can broadly and adversely alter cellular function.  (b) The viral boosters (called "promoters") artificially attached to the foreign genes are powerful and can induce erratic expression of native genes or activate biochemical pathways that are ordinarily inactive.  (c) The transplanted genes' continual and unregulated production of foreign substances drains energy from the organism’s vital functions, which can induce metabolic imbalances.  It can also upset complex biochemical feedback loops.

Each of these types of disruption can cause the generation of unpredictable toxins, allergens, and other harmful substances.  Yet, because the bioengineers and governmental regulators operate on the assumption that the only new substances will be those that are expected and desired, the types of tests needed to adequately screen for the numerous potential problems are not performed.

Recent evidence provides added justification for concern about unexpected side effects.  First, the discoveries of the human genome project released in early 2001 (a) confirm that the foundational assumptions of genetic engineering are overly simplistic and seriously unsound and (b) indicate that recombinant DNA techniques entail greater potential for unpredictable hazards than was previously suspected even by experts advocating a more precautionary approach.  Second, there is mounting evidence of GE plants with substantial – and unexpected – alterations in chemical composition.  (a) Aventis’s data shows statistically significant differences between T25 herbicide-resistant maize and its conventional counterpart in terms of carbohydrate, amino acid and fatty acid composition.  (b) Research at the Rowett Institute on two lines of GE potatoes found several statistically significant compositional differences between each one and the non-GE parental line.  (c) The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) analyzed Monsanto’s data from controlled studies on three of its GE plants (herbicide resistant corn (maize) and canola, and pesticide-producing corn) and in all three cases discovered several statistically significant differences in chemical composition (including amino acid profiles) between the GE organism and its non-GE counterpart.  The PHAA report (October 2000) states that the differences in the amino acids cannot be attributed solely to the known products of the inserted genes and cautions that these plants may contain unexpected – and to date unidentified – new proteins that could be harmful to humans.[i]  (d) Recent investigation by Japanese scientists reveals that Monsanto’s data on its “Roundup Ready” soybean, the most widely planted GE crop, shows important differences between the GE bean and its conventional counterpart.  For instance, after heat processing of both the GE and non-GE beans, the concentrations of three harmful substances were significantly higher in the GE samples.[ii]  Third, research at UK’s John Innes Centre confirms that the viral promoter used in almost all GE plants can facilitate various abnormal genetic recombinations.  This could lead to serious disruptions or to generation of new and hazardous chemicals.  Additionally, experts warn that parts of existing viruses could recombine into novel and more dangerous viruses. 

4. Scientists Voice Their Concerns.   In light of the many hazards, hundreds of scientists have signed an open letter to the world’s governments warning of the hazards and calling for a moratorium on all GE foods.  Signatories include professors of biology from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the director of the renowned Woods Hole Research Center.  Further, nine scientific experts were so concerned they took the unprecedented step of joining as plaintiffs in a lawsuit organized by the Alliance for Bio-Integrity to reform U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy on GE food.  By asserting that they regard GE foods to entail unique risks, they refuted FDA’s claim that experts overwhelmingly recognize them as safe.  They include a professor of molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley; the co-director of Targeted Mutagenics at Northwestern University Medical School; and a renowned expert in plant genetics at the University of Minnesota whose declaration to the court stated: "…there are scientifically justified concerns about the safety of genetically engineered foods, and some of them could be quite dangerous.” 

Further, the respected UK medical journal The Lancet has strongly criticized the presumption that GE foods entail no greater risks of unexpected effects than conventional ones, stating that there are “good reasons to believe that specific risks may exist” and that “governments should never have allowed these products into the food chain without insisting on rigorous testing for effects on health.” (May 29, 1999).  And on February 5, 2001 the Royal Society of Canada issued a report declaring the presumption of no increased risk to be “scientifically unjustifiable.”  In the words of the Toronto Star:  “The experts say this approach is fatally flawed … and exposes Canadians to several potential health risks, including toxicity and allergic reactions.”

5. Irresponsible Government Oversight.  The scientific experts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recognized the unique hazards of GE foods, and they repeatedly warned their superiors about them.  This was exposed when our lawsuit forced the FDA to divulge its files.  The pervasiveness of the concerns within the scientific staff is attested by a memo from an FDA official stating: "The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks."  Yet, FDA political appointees – operating under a White House directive “to foster” the biotech industry – covered up these warnings, professed themselves “not aware of any information” showing that GE foods differ from others, and allowed GE foods to be marketed without testing by claiming there is an overwhelming consensus among experts they are safe.  This claim of general recognition of safety remains the sole legal basis for the U.S. marketing of GE foods, despite the fact FDA officials are well aware that  substantial disagreement exists in the scientific community.  Copies of memos from FDA experts and summaries of FDA’s extensive misbehavior are at  www.biointegrity.org   The quotation above is from Document #1 on the list.  

If the FDA had told the truth, no GE foods would currently be marketed, since no other country would have approved them if the U.S. had not. Moreover, regulation in other nations ignores GE foods’ unique potential for unpredictable problems, fails to employ the tests recommended by the FDA experts, and instead relies on tests

that do not adequately screen for the potential hazards about which they warned – the approach the expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada has termed “scientifically unjustifiable.”  Further, even though this overly narrow testing has frequently yielded problematic results (as discussed in Section 3), the regulators have routinely ignored them.  They have also disregarded glaring weaknesses in the way many of the tests were conducted, as documented by the independent investigations of (a) the Public Health Association of Australia, which reviewed several GE plants, and (b) the Japanese scientists who reviewed Monsanto’s tests on its “Roundup Ready” soy.  These experts found so many irregularities in the safety assessment of the GE soy they concluded it was “inadequate and incomplete.”  Their report concludes: “The safety assessment of the Monsanto Roundup Ready soybean needs to be reassessed.”[iii] 

 

6. A GE Food Has Caused Death and Disease  – and Those on the Market May Also Be Causing Harm.  

 

Proponents of GE foods often claim that because no definite link has yet been established between the genetic engineering of a food and human disease, it implies these foods are safe.  However, a large portion of human food-borne illness develops over a long time through repeated doses of harmful substances.  This applies not only to cancer but to many other diseases as well.  Further, some diseases can result from a single exposure but still take a long time to manifest.  The human variant of “mad cow” disease, which is often fatal, has a latency period of over 12 years from the ingestion of the harmful substance to the initial appearance of the symptoms.

 

Accordingly, numerous experts have pointed out that the mere absence of hard evidence linking the genetic engineering of foods to disease in no way constitutes evidence that foods so produced are safe.  They say that due to the hazards entailed by GE foods, it is possible that some of them are causing disease conditions now that will only be clearly documented many years in the future.  In this vein, the head of the FDA’s Biological and Organic Chemistry Section cautioned agency bureaucrats that lack of proof that a GE food is dangerous does not assure its safety and noted, "in this instance ignorance is not bliss."  (FDA Document #7 at  www.biointegrity.org )

 

Further, a food supplement of the amino acid L-tryptophan that was produced through genetic engineering caused an epidemic of a novel disease that killed dozens of Americans and seriously disabled thousands more during 1989.  That supplement contained numerous contaminants, at least two of which have not been found in any conventionally produced batches of food-grade L-tryptophan.  Experts at the Center for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic have concluded that the epidemic was a result of the contamination.  Further, although it’s still unclear which particular contaminant(s) caused the catastrophe, many experts think the bioengineering process may have been a key factor in producing the toxic agent(s); and the FDA’s biotech coordinator admits it cannot be ruled out.[iv]  

 

In light of all the above, it is necessary to uphold the precautionary approach that is mandated by the food safety laws in both the U.S. and the European Union but which in practice is not being adequately followed in the case of GE foods. 



[i]
PHAA’s Written Comments to ANZFA, October 2000.

[ii] The team was headed by Dr. Masaharu Kawata, an Assistant Professor in the School of Science at Nagoya University.  Their report was published in the Japanese journal Technology and Human Beings, vol.11, Nov. 2000.  pp. 24-33)

[iii] Ibid. 

[iv] FDA Administrative Record, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, et al. vs. Shalala, et al., at 22923.

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. This information is not a substitute for acute medical advice. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions or lab tests.