Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives

Story at-a-glance

  • The health dangers of genetically engineered (GE) foods are masterfully presented in this documentary by Jeffrey Smith, one of the world’s leading authorities on GE foods
  • Americans get sick more often than Europeans or people from any other industrialized nation, and scientific evidence suggests a significant factor may be the genetic engineering of our food supply
  • Genetically engineered organisms are created by taking one or more genes from one species and forcing it into the DNA of another species. Such genetic cross-breeding between incompatible species can never occur in nature
  • GE foods trigger immune attack because your body recognizes them as foreign invaders rather than food; this immune response can lead to chronic inflammation, raising your risk for multiple additional health problems
  • The two main types of GE foods are herbicide-tolerant crops and pesticide-producing crops; both are imprecise processes that are riddled with unexpected consequences


This is an older article that may not reflect Dr. Mercola’s current view on this topic. Use our search engine to find Dr. Mercola’s latest position on any health topic.

By Dr. Mercola

We are extremely excited to announce another free weeklong streaming of the hour-length version of Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives,1 winner of the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide and 2012 Movie of the Year by the Solari Report.

Featuring testimony from healthcare practitioners, scientists, veterinarians, parents, and others about the health risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, this powerful documentary shares the amazing stories of individuals who saw undeniable improvements after switching to a non-GMO diet.

Last year, during its first free showing week, Genetic Roulette garnered over 1.25 million views. Viewers were so moved that many made the decision to eliminate GMOs from their diet before the credits rolled, and subsequently reported profound improvements in their health.

This film could change your life too! So please, take advantage of this opportunity and forward this important film to all of your close personal friends; share it with others on Facebook and Twitter.

“GENETIC ROULETTE unveils a world most of us have never seen. It raises alarming questions about GMOs, and we deserve answers. For all that you love, hear this message and act now.” — Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind

What Is a GMO?

As Jeffrey Smith, creator of Genetic Roulette, explains, genetically engineered organisms are created by taking one or more genes from one species and forcing it into the DNA of another species. Oftentimes, the gene is “piggy-backed” on a virus, or part of a virus, in order to activate the gene.

Examples include inserting spider genes into goats to produce goat’s milk that contain spider web proteins used to make bulletproof vests.

Cow genes have been inserted into pigs in order to produce pigs with cowhides. Human genes have been inserted into corn to produce a spermicide. When it comes to GMOs in our food supply, there are two main categories:

  1. Herbicide-tolerant crops, designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of chemicals. Roundup Ready crops are in this category. In June, groundbreaking research was published detailing a newfound mechanism of harm for Roundup. The finding suggests that glyphosate may actually be the most important factor in the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases.
  2. Pesticide-producing crops, designed to produce a toxic protein inside the plant itself, which kills bugs that eat the plant by causing their stomachs to rupture. These are the so-called Bt crops.
  3. A study published in February 2012 shows that this Bt toxin is capable of breaking open human cells, and that it might cause the same kind of disruption in the gut of humans as it causes in the insects it kills. Consuming Bt corn or soy could potentially cause gut permeability ("leaky gut"), which can predispose you to all sorts of health problems.

Contrary to popular belief, the process of genetic engineering is anything but precise. As Dr. Robin Bernholt says, “it’s sub-microscopic shooting from the hip.”

“The very process of genetic engineering creates unpredicted side effects. You take a gene and make millions of copies and they put them into a gun, literally and then shoot that gun into a plate of millions of cells – and then you clone those cells into a plant,” Jeffrey Smith explains.

One of the things that the biotech industry does not want to admit is that this process creates wholly unpredictable side effects. Take the genetically engineered cow Daisy, for example. Daisy, a cloned dairy cow, was genetically engineered to produce milk that does not contain a whey protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), which is a common cause of milk allergy.

However, it didn’t take long for unexpected results to crop up. For one, while the genetic modification did reduce levels of BLG protein in the milk to undetectable levels, it more than doubled concentrations of caseins, other hard-to-digest milk proteins that are also linked to allergies and even Alzheimer’s disease.

With Introduction of GMOs, Chronic Disease Rates Began to Climb

Over the last two decades, the United States has witnessed a dramatic rise in chronic illnesses that simply were not part of the norm some 30-50 years ago. Since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled.

Life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has increased. So what’s changed? Why are so many more Americans getting sick today—and at an earlier age—than ever before?

One of the most radical changes that has occurred in the past 20 years is the genetic engineering of our food supply. Genetically engineered soy and corn were introduced into the American diet in 1996. As stated by Ashley Koff in the film, “We have gone from food in its whole food form, to food undergoing a scientific experiment.” One unintended side effect of this experiment is the creation of foreign and highly allergenic proteins. To quote soil scientist and physician Dr. Arden Anderson:

“From a biophysics perspective, when we look at the signature now of that entire gene sequence, it’s foreign; it does not exist anywhere in nature. And therefore your immune system, which is truly a grand electromagnetic sensor system, looks at that gene sequence that is supposed to be food, whether it is soy or corn or whatever it might be.

.. and says 'I’ve never seen that sequence ever, it doesn’t exist in nature, it’s foreign.' [So] it attacks. It creates an inflammatory reaction and attacks that sequence.”

According to Jeffrey Smith, who has spent the last 17 years educating people about GMOs, there are definitive correlations between the results from animal-feeding studies and the patterns of human disease we’re now seeing.

For example, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has done a number of animal-feeding studies on GMOs, specifically enumerating the particular categories of diseases and disorders found in these controlled environments. These include:

Gastrointestinal problems Immune problems Reproductive problems
Organ damage Dysfunction and dysregulation of cholesterol Dysfunction and dysregulation of insulin

Kidney problems, for example, have been demonstrated in 19 different animal-feeding studies, and kidney diseases are also on the rise among Americans. As stated by Smith:

“You look at the three different corresponding factors: (1) what humans are getting better from, (2) what livestock is getting better from, (3) what afflictions are afflicting the lab animals fed with GMOs, and then you look at what diseases are really taking off in the United States – they’re the same categories:”

Glyphosate—Another Major Culprit in the Rise of Chronic Disease

There’s also another potent toxin associated with genetically engineered foods that is unrelated to the Bt toxin or the genetic alteration itself, and that is glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide, which is used on both genetically engineered (GE) crops and many conventional crops as well. The contamination appears to be greater in GE crops however, especially in so-called Roundup Ready crops.

For example, in one nutritional analysis,2 GMO corn was found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. At 13 ppm, GMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA. As mentioned earlier, groundbreaking research published this past June details a newfound mechanism of harm for Roundup, which suggest that glyphosate may actually be the most important factor in the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases.

44,000 Pages of Memoranda Prove FDA Has Lied About GMO Safety

You’ve probably heard that “genetically engineered crops have no impact on the environment” and are “safe to eat.” But did you know that federal departments in charge of food safety in the US and Canada have not actually conducted tests to affirm this alleged “safety”? Since 1992, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has maintained that the agency is unaware of any information showing that GMOs are significantly different from conventional varieties, and so therefore safety studies are unnecessary.

But, as discussed in the film, some 44,000 pages of secret internal memos and other documents forced out by a 1998 lawsuit shows that the FDA has lied about the safety of GMOs since the very beginning... According to Steven Druker, an attorney and executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity who coordinated the lawsuit against the FDA to obtain mandatory safety testing and labeling of gene-spliced foods:3

“As I combed through those 44,000 pages of memoranda and other documents, I was shocked. Because it became clear that the FDA had lied repeatedly since 1992; they claimed that there was an overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that these foods were safe. But the overwhelming consensus within their own scientific staff was exactly opposite. These foods could not be presumed safe.

...What Monsanto and the biotech industry wanted from the FDA was a policy that created the illusion that genetically engineered foods were being diligently regulated but, in fact, impose no burdens at all; [a policy] that in fact had zero regulation. And the FDA has pulled that off masterly.”

How could such a thing happen, you might ask. Well, once you realize that the person in charge of policy at the FDA at the time was a former Monsanto attorney, Michael Taylor, the answer should become fairly easy to recognize. Taylor later became Monsanto’s vice president. And now he’s back at the FDA again as the US Food Safety Czar...

How to Avoid GMOs

There are nine primary GE food crops, the derivatives of which can be found in more than 70 percent of supermarket foods, particularly processed foods. If you want to avoid GMOs, make sure none of the following are on your grocery list or in the foods you buy, unless they are USDA certified organic:

Soy Cottonseed Corn
Canola oil Hawaiian papaya Alfalfa
Sugar from sugar beets Some varieties of zucchini Crookneck squash


Also avoid any product containing aspartame, which is derived from a GE organism, and any milk product that may have rBGH. I recommend consuming only raw, organic milk products you've obtained from a trustworthy local dairy farmer. The Institute for Responsible Technology has put together a helpful Non-GMO Shopping Guide you can download and print. They even have an iPhone app.

Your best bet, of course, is to buy organic whole foods. By buying organic, you will dramatically reduce your exposure to pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, as those are used on nearly all GE crops. Get to know your local farmers. Many are too small to afford official certification, but may still adhere to organic, sustainable practices. The only way to determine how your food is raised is to check them out, meeting the farmer face to face if possible. Yes, it does take time but is worth it if you are really concerned about your family's health.

Get Involved, and Help Spread the Word

If you enjoyed the film, please purchase the DVD and support the Institute for Responsible Technology’s work to educate people on the health dangers of GMOs. With your purchase, you will receive a bonus DVD, which includes:

  • The beautiful Seeds of Freedom, narrated by Jeremy Irons and produced by The Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network.
  • A presentation by Jeffrey Smith to hundreds of physicians who not only give him a standing ovation, but indicate they will prescribe non-GMO diets to their patients.
  • A hard-hitting talk on the unholy alliance between the US government and Monsanto; accompanied by some dark highlights of Monsanto’s history.

Also, join IRT’s Tipping Point Network of organized advocates who are making a difference. And be sure to subscribe to IRT’s free newsletter, Spilling the Beans, to stay informed of all things GMO.

Last but certainly not least, you can make a difference by making a donation to the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). Your gift will help IRT to get this urgent message out to millions of others. Together, we can end the genetic engineering of our food supply.

Donate Today!


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