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The Genetic Conspiracy -- Are Genetically Engineered Foods Dangerous?

June 25, 2009 | 43,575 views

How safe is genetic engineering really? Monsanto, the world's largest genetic engineering corporation, insists it is safe. But numerous studies have shown that genetically modified plants can cause allergies and cancers. Nonetheless, commercial and political interests are determined to make genetic engineering the norm.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The videos above do an excellent job of summing up the complex issues surrounding GM foods, including the manipulation of research and political agenda of Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of GM foods.

Monsanto, who continues to insist that genetic engineering is not only safe but the way to save the world from environmental catastrophe and human hunger, refused to be interviewed for the expose, which makes you wonder what they were trying to hide.

Or perhaps what they were afraid might come out.

Your GM Food Probably Contains Roundup Pesticide Residues
For starters, 85 percent of all GM seeds are engineered for herbicide tolerance, most of these being Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” cotton, corn, soy, and canola seeds. This allows plants to withstand the significant amounts of pesticides being sprayed on them, in effect promoting pesticide use.

In fact, since the introduction of GM crops in the United States, more than 120 million pounds of additional pesticides were used.

This particular variety of GM crop (Roundup Ready) became so popular because it allows farmers to spray Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide directly onto their fields without harming the crops. As you might imagine, the use of Roundup herbicide has increased dramatically since the GM Roundup Ready crops were introduced -- a double win for Monsanto.

But while it’s widely known that GM Roundup Ready crops contain Roundup residues (how could they not with how much is poured on them?), a recent study showed, for the first time, just how toxic these residues may be to your health.

Even when researchers tested formulations of Roundup that were highly diluted (up to 100,000 times or more) on human cells, the cells died within 24 hours. They also found damage to cell membranes and DNA, along with an inhibition of cell respiration.

At Least 65 Serious Health Risks Have Been Discovered
GM crops routinely create unintended proteins, alter existing protein levels, or even change the components and shape of the protein that is created by the inserted gene.

This results in brand new proteins that have never before existed in food, some of which may be causing severe allergic reactions.

Creating a GM crop can also produce massive changes in the natural functioning of the plant‘s DNA. Native genes can be mutated, deleted, permanently turned on or off, or change their levels of protein expression. No one knows how this will impact human health, but so far Jeffrey Smith. a leading spokesperson on the dangers of GM foods, has documented at least 65 serious health risks related to GM foods.

Among them:
• Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce

• Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells

• The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning

• Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed GM corn varieties

• Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products

Further, just last year a long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety confirmed GM corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice.

The results were so worrisome that GM opponents called for an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops in order to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

GM Crops Do Not Increase Yield

Anyone who believes Monsanto’s proclamations of saving the world from environmental catastrophe and hunger by way of increased yields is clearly not paying attention to some very blatant signs that this is not true.

GM crop seeds currently on the market do not increase yields, and are not designed to. In fact, GM crops typically render lower yields.

For example, GM soya has decreased yields by up to 20 percent compared with non-GM soya. And up to 100 percent failures of Bt cotton have been recorded in India. Coincidentally, a staggering number of suicides among India’s farmers have occurred.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, more than 182,900 Indian farmers took their own lives between 1997 and 2007, potentially due to GM crop failures. An estimated 46 Indian farmers commit suicide every day.

Additionally, recent studies by scientists from the USDA and the University of Georgia found that growing GM cotton in the United States can result in a drop in income by up to 40 percent.

Are You Willing to Play Russian Roulette With Your Food?

When you pick up seven out of 10 foods in your grocery store, you’re picking up a food that contains GM ingredients. Yet, it likely won’t be labeled as such.

Particularly in the United States, the GMO giants have been very effective in eliminating legislation that would require them to clearly label GM products and, as a result, most grocery stores in the United States do not post signs next to produce to let you know it’s been genetically modified.

To get an idea of just how widespread GM ingredients are, download this Non-GMO Shopping Guide, which uses information from the Center for Food Safety and Institute for Responsible Technology.

So if you want to avoid these potentially dangerous Frankenfoods, this means you need to avoid an ever-growing number of ingredients, or choose organic versions of them. This is not an easy task, especially if you eat processed food. However, the four most prevalent GM ingredients to look out for are:
1. Soy
2. Corn
3. Cottonseed
4. Canola

You’ll also want to avoid the offspring of these products, which includes items like maltodextrin, and high fructose corn syrup.

Examining the produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy is another way to detect GM foods. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers; organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine; and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.

Finally, remember that you can vote with your pocketbook by avoiding everything that contains GM ingredients, and ask your local supermarket to stock their shelves with more natural organic foods. Some supermarkets will even allow you to special order food items.

Large portions of Europe have already succeeded in removing GM foods from their food supply, forcing food manufacturers to use real ingredients in their European product lines. But here in the United States we’re still stuck with it to a very large degree.

However, this can all change, and it all starts with you and the choices you make when buying your food. So please spread the word. If more of us begin to refuse GM foods, food manufacturers will have no choice but to listen.

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