Excerpted from Jeffrey M. Smith’s Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods
“Swapping genes between organisms can produce unknown toxic effects and allergies that are most likely to affect children.”
--Vyvyan Howard, expert in infant toxico-pathology at Liverpool University Hospital, United Kingdom
Changes in nutrition have a greater impact on the structure and functioning of young, fast-growing bodies.
More of the food is converted to build organs and tissues, whereas adults convert more to energy and store this as fat.
The UK Royal Society said that genetic modification “could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods” and recommended that potential health effects of GM foods be rigorously researched before being fed to pregnant or breast-feeding women and babies.”
Epidemiologist Eric Brunner said that “small changes to the nutritional content might have effects on infant bowel function.”
Children are More Susceptible to Problems
Children are three to four times more prone to allergies than adults and “are at highest risk of death from food allergy.”
Infants below 2 years old have the highest incidence of reactions, especially to new allergens encountered in the diet. Even tiny amounts of allergens can sometimes cause reactions. One reason for this sensitivity, according to the EPA, is that:
“An immature gut or permeable mucosal epithelium is more likely to allow a higher degree of macromolecular transport and access to the immune system than the intact barrier of a normal mature gut ... The immune system must also be of sufficient maturity ... Both systems appear to be functioning optimally by age three to five.”
According to the Royal Society of Canada, “The potentially widespread use of GM food products as food additives and staple foods, including use in baby foods, may lead to earlier introduction of these novel proteins to susceptible infants either directly or via the presence of the maternally ingested proteins in breast milk.
The UK Royal Society suggested that “post-marketing surveillance should be part of the overall safety strategy for allergies, especially of high-risk groups such as infants,” but acknowledged that it is not clear “whether such monitoring is feasible for GM food.”
Children can react to much smaller doses of toxins than adults. Exposure to hormones or endocrine disruptors may also severely affect normal development. And children who are prone to infections may be severely impacted if antibiotics lose their effectiveness due to antibiotic-resistant genes in GM food and the overuse of antibiotics in rbGH-treated cows.
Children Have a High Exposure to GMOs
Children consume a large amount of products that may be genetically engineered. They eat a higher percentage of corn in their diet compared to adults, and allergic children often rely on corn as a source of protein.
Mothers using cornstarch as a talc substitute on their children’s skin might also expose them via inhalation. Infants are sometimes reared on soy infant formula. The Royal Society wrote:
“Infant formulas, in particular, are “consumed as a single food over extended periods of time by those who are especially vulnerable” and “should be investigated most rigorously.”
Among the potential side effects are changes in soy’s natural estrogen mimickers, which may influence sexual development.
Children consume a disproportionately large amount of milk. In the United States and elsewhere, dairy products may come from cows treated with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH).
The milk contains increased amounts of hormones and antibiotics and an altered nutritional content. According to a discussion paper on the public health implications of rbGH, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, an “infant would be exposed to a dose of IGF-1, which was 12.5 times the recommended minimum.”
Samuel Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and an expert on the health effects of rbGH, says that risks of high exposure to IGF-1 are “of particular concern ... to infants and children in view of their high susceptibility to cancer-causing products and chemicals.” He also suggests that regular exposure might promote “premature growth stimulation in infants, gynecomastia [development of abnormally large breasts on males] in young children.”
Safety Assessments Ignore Children
An FAO/WHO task force on GM food said that “Attention should be paid to the particular physiological characteristics and metabolic requirements of specific population subgroups, such as infants [and] children.”
In practice, GM safety assessments ignore them.
In fact, industry-funded studies often use mature animals instead of the more sensitive young ones, in order to mask results. Biologist David Schubert warns:
“Since children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems, if the GM food is given to them without proper testing, they will be the experimental animals. 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.”
To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, visit www.ResponsibleTechnology.org.
To learn how to choose healthier non-GMO brands, visit www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.
About the Author
International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods.
His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world’s bestselling and #1 rated book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced.
Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply.
October is Non-GMO Month, and together we CAN get GMOs banned from the US. Europe was able to do it over a decade ago without any government assistance. All they did was educate the consumers and that was enough pressure on the food industry to drop their ploys.
If we band together as an effective army we will be able to do this. Please understand that the VAST majority of people in the US do not want them so this is an EASY battle to win. All we have to do is a bit of organizational work.
So let me tell you how we are going to achieve the removal of GMOs in the US.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.
Together, we can protect the health of future generations and help accelerate the progress toward more sustainable agriculture.
The Tipping Point is Near -- The Time to Join is NOW!
How many Americans do we need to convince to avoid eating genetically modified foods to achieve the same victory in the US?
We believe it's only about FIVE PERCENT of US shoppers!
So, changing the shopping habits of about 5.6 million households may be sufficient to eliminate GMOs in the US.
That is our goal!
We already have these numbers on our side. About 28 million Americans buy organic on a regular basis. Eighty-seven million Americans think GMOs are seriously unsafe. A hundred and fifty-nine million Americans, the majority, say they would avoid GMOs if labeled!
Unfortunately, no labeling is required, making your commitment to avoid GM foods all that more complicated. But that's where we come in.
How You Can Help Others to Avoid GMO Foods
Most people want to avoid GMO foods but it is virtually impossible to do so since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffery Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information. It is the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. We realize that with the challenging economy it is very difficult for many to donate money to help this cause, so we are merely asking for your time and connections with your family and friends.
You can really help is by making this message go viral. So if you are convinced that GMO foods should not be in the US please send this information to everyone you know; post it on Facebook and Twitter…
You can also print out Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and give it to your friends and family. If you feel more ambitious print a few hundred or even thousand and bring it to the grocery stores in your area, talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
Who Will You Share this Information With?
You can help nurture this consumer mind-set by bringing information to your local natural food store owner, so that she can share it will all of her customers as well. IRT has created a complete Retailer Campaign Kit for this purpose.
You can also share information with your child's school, your health care providers, and food manufacturers. The IRT has created information kits for all of them, available here:
- Health care provider kit
- Parents and Schools educational material
- Manufacturers information kit
Please remember to share this with your friends and family, but do so lovingly. You don't want to make yourself a pest and risk your relationship with them. This is a MUCH easier sell then getting them to stop smoking or eat less sugar since most everyone doesn't want GMOs anyway and it doesn't involve giving anything up.
You may also want to share this information with your church or religious leaders. As Jeffrey says,
"There are certain religious groups that think the genetic engineering process itself violates God's laws. So 'GMO' for them really means, 'God Move Over' and not 'Genetically Modified Organism.'"
Must-See Movies to Share!
The IRT has created a film called Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals, which is a powerful way for parents to get an initiation into the health dangers. It's only 28 minutes long, which is ideal for local access TV.
You can simply bring the film to your local access TV station, and sometimes they'll play it 10, 20, or even 30 times because they're always looking for material and are open to support from the community.
There's also a video called Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, which exposes the dangers of GM bovine growth hormones. Any parent still feeding their child milk from cows injected with rBGH needs to see this film! They'll never make the same mistake again…
Another powerful video you can share with your friends and family is Jeffrey's Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods lecture.
Your Action Plan
I've already mentioned a number of different ways for you to get actively involved during Non-GMO Month. To recap, and add a few more suggestions, here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:
- Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
- Download the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure and keep it with you whenever you shop, or download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
- Urge food manufacturers to join the Non-GMO Project and become Non-GMO Project Verified. This is currently the only way for manufacturers to get around the fact that there's no GM-labeling system.
- Urge your local food retailers to join the Non-GMO Project's Supporting Retailer Program.
- If your budget allows support this urgent mission by generously .
- Bring the film Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals to your local access TV station, or perhaps your child's school, along with some educational material specifically designed for teachers and educators.
- Share Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, and Jeffrey's lecture, Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods with everyone you know. Post them to your Facebook page, or email the links to your network of friends and family.
- Join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Together, We Control the Future of Our Food
Please join us in this important campaign. Do as much or as little as you can. Maybe you can't make a donation to IRT, but you can distribute 20 Non-GMO shopping guides to your closest family and friends.
Plus, all orders placed through Mercola.com, starting October 6th, will receive a FREE, printed 16-page Non-GMO Shopping Guide.*
No purchase necessary. You may also download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, for free, here.
Please, support this urgent mission by donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology, a non-profit organization.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.
*While supplies last.