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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): 

Poisons Hidden in Plain Sight 

Found in Over 75 Percent of Foods on Grocery Store Shelves

Perception:  Hmmm....What's a GMO?

Reality: GMOs are genetically Modified Organisms. They are also called Genetically Engineered (GE) plants. GMOs are NOT the same as hybrid plants; GMOs can contain DNA from an organism in a completely different species or  kingdom that has been forced into the genome of an unrelated plant or organism. GMOs have been linked to diseases and chronic health conditions.

Key Points:

*"A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans."

*"Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another."

*"With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting."

*"It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.

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Source:

Institute For Responsible Technology, The GE Process. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://responsibletechnology.org/gmo-education/the-ge-process/

 Key Points:

*"Genetic engineering is a new type of genetic modification. It is the purposeful addition of a foreign gene or genes to the genome of an organism."

*"Genetic engineering physically removes the DNA from one organism and transfers the gene(s) for one or a few traits into another. Since crossing is not necessary, the 'sexual' barrier between species is overcome. Therefore, traits from any living organism can be transferred into a plant."

*"The new gene is inserted into some of the cells using various techniques. Some of the more common methods include the gene gun, agrobacterium, microfibers, and electroporation."

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Source:

University of Nebraska Ag Biosafety, Overview of the Process of Plant Genetic Engineering. (2001). Retrieved from http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/education/summary.htm

Key Points:

*"Genetic engineering is a term used to describe biotechnological methods used by scientists to directly manipulate an organism’s genome. Under this definition GMOs do not include plants or animals made by selective breeding, or animals modified by being given hormone supplements or antibiotics."

*"Monsanto created “Roundup Ready” plants after finding bacteria growing near a Roundup factory that contained a gene that allowed them to survive in the presence of the herbicide [8]."

*"Monsanto no longer uses gene guns, but instead takes advantage of bacteria, called Agrobacterium tumefaciens, that naturally invade seeds and alter plants by inserting pieces of their own DNA into a plant’s genome."

*"By modifying A. tumefaciens, which is easier to modify than plant seeds themselves, researchers may use the bacteria’s naturally invasive behavior as a Trojan horse for inserting desirable traits into a crop’s genome."

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Source:

Powell, Chelsea. (2015, August 9). How to Make a GMO. Retrieved from http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/how-to-make-a-gmo/

Key Points:

*"Systems biology, which aims to understand complexity of the whole organism, as a system, rather than just studying its parts in a reductionist manner, may provide a framework to determine appropriate criteria, as it recognizes that GM, small or large, may affect emergent properties of the whole system."

*" The results predict significant accumulation of formaldehyde and concomitant depletion of glutathione in the GMO, suggesting how a “small” and single GM creates “large” and systemic perturbations to molecular systems equilibria."

*"The results from this study suggest a substantial difference in the molecular systems of non-GMO and GMO versions of soybean, as observed in the temporal dynamics of two biomarkers, formaldehyde and glutathione, which predict metabolic disruptions in C1 metabolism."

*" In non-GMO plants, formaldehyde, a known toxin, remains at near zero levels, as it is naturally cleared through a process of formaldehyde detoxification, a molecular system resident in all plants, bacteria and fungi [3] [4]. Concomitantly, glutathione, a known anti-oxidizing agent, in non-GMO plants, is naturally replenished and remains at non-zero steady state levels, to support such system detoxification of formaldehyde [4]."

*" However, in the GMO case of soybean, or RRS, there is a significant accumulation of formaldehyde and a concomitant depletion of glutathione, suggesting how a “small” and single GM can create “large” and systemic perturbations to molecular systems equilibria."

*Ayyadurai, V.A.S. and Deonikar, P. (2015) Do GMOs Accumulate Formaldehyde and Disrupt Molecular Systems Equilibria? Systems Biology May Provide Answers. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 630-662. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.67062.

Read Full Article:

Source:

Ayyadurai, V.A.S. and Deonikar, P. (2015) Do GMOs Accumulate Formaldehyde and Disrupt Molecular Systems Equilibria? Systems Biology May Provide Answers. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 630-662.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/as.2015.67062 
 

Key Points:

*"Currently, up to 92% of U.S. corn is genetically engineered (GE), as are 94% of soybeans and 94% of cotton [1] (cottonseed oil is often used in food products)."

*"It has been estimated that upwards of 75% of processed foods on supermarket shelves – from soda to soup, crackers to condiments – contain genetically engineered ingredients."

*"By removing the genetic material from one organism and inserting it into the permanent genetic code of another, the biotech industry has created an astounding number of organisms that are not produced by nature and have never been seen on the plate."

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Source:

Center for Food Safety, About Genetically Engineered Foods. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/about-ge-foods

Key Points:

*"Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, which tolerate potent herbicides (such as glyphosate, glufosinate, and dicamba), provide farmers with a broad variety of options for effective weed control."

*"Based on USDA survey data, the percent of domestic soybean acres planted with HT seeds rose from 17 percent in 1997 to 68 percent in 2001, before plateauing at 94 percent in 2014."

*"HT cotton acreage expanded from approximately 10 percent in 1997 to 56 percent in 2001, before reaching a high of 91 percent in 2014."

*"Currently, approximately 90 percent of domestic corn acres are produced with HT seeds."

*"Insect-resistant crops, which contain genes from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and produce insecticidal proteins, have been available for corn and cotton since 1996."

*"Domestic Bt corn acreage grew from approximately 8 percent in 1997 to 19 percent in 2000, before climbing to 82 percent in 2018."

*"Currently, 85 percent of U.S. cotton acres are planted with genetically engineered, insect-resistant seeds."

*"The figures below illustrate increases in adoption rates for "stacked" varieties, which have both (in some cases, multiple) HT and Bt traits."

*"Adoption of stacked varieties has accelerated in recent years. Approximately 82 percent of cotton acres and 80 percent of corn acres were planted with stacked seeds in 2018."

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Source:

United States Department of Agriculture, Recent Trends in GE Adoption.(2018, July 16). Retrieved from https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

Key Points:

*"Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both."

*"Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer."

*"To genetically modify a plant for herbicide tolerance, genes are identified which convey tolerance of the active chemical in the herbicide to the organism."

*"The herbicide-tolerant plants absorb the poisons and humans and domestic animals eat them."

*" One critical issue is that multiple genes are being transferred across taxonomical kingdoms in ways that do not occur by natural breeding methods (Bohn et al., 2014)."

*"Plants, animals, fungi, viruses and bacteria belong to separate kingdoms."

*"Genetic engineering allows for the transfer of genes between kingdoms in a way that does not occur naturally."

*" According to the study (Kruger, 2014, p. 212), “Chronically ill humans had significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than healthy humans.”

*" Since the introduction of GE seeds in 1996 the amount of glyphosate used on crops in the US has increased from 27 million pounds in 1996 to 250 million pounds in 2009 (US Geological Survey pesticide use maps, 2013). Charles Benbrook (2012) showed that there was a 527 million pound (239 million kilogram) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011."

*"This has led to genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D, which he predicts will drive herbicide usage up by approximately 50% more."

*"The connection between glyphosate and chronic disease has been outlined in a recent review paper by Samsel & Seneff (2013a). The authors show how glyphosate disrupts the metabolic process by interfering with the Cytochrome P450 (CYP) pathways."

*"Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body."

*"Séralini et al. (2011) reviewed 19 studies of animals fed with GE soy and corn. The studies covered more than 80% of the GE varieties that are widely cultivated around the world. Their review found significant levels of negative effects to the kidneys and livers of the animals that ingested GE feed."

*" They reported toxic effects to liver cells at 5 ppm and endocrine disrupting actions starting at 0.5 ppm. They concluded that glyphosate damages DNA in human cells. Subsequent studies have also shown that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor (Paganelli et al., 2010; Antoniou et al., 2012). A more recent study showed that glyphosate causes the multiplication of estrogen sensitive human breast cancer cells, which further confirms that it acts as an endocrine disruptor (Thongprakaisang et al., 2013)."

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Source:

Nancy L. Swanson, Andre Leu, Jon Abrahamson, and Bradley Wallett.(2014). Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America. Retrieved from http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/92/JOS_Volume-9_Number-2_Nov_2014-Swanson-et-al.pdf

Key points:

*"Although correlation does not prove causation, a huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of disease and chronic health conditions over the last twenty years closely parallels the increased use of genetically engineered soy and corn, as well as the application of Roundup herbicide on these crops.  (Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup.)"

*"36 diseases and chronic health conditions that correlate with amount of GE crops and glyphosate, including lymph disorders, pulmonary bleeding and allergic reactions, congenital heart defects, liver cancer, autism, anxiety, ADHD, Myeloid Leukemia, Thyroid cancer, urinary/bladder cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections, hepatitis C, acute renal failure, and obesity.
Read Full Text:

Source:

Institute For Responsible Technology, Correlation Of Rising Incidence Of Diseases And Chronic Health Conditions With GMOs And Glyphosate. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://responsibletechnology.org/correlation-of-rising-incidence-of-diseases-and-chronic-health-conditions-with-gmos-and-glyphosate-3/

 

Key Points:

*"Processed foods often have hidden GM sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO)."

*Comprehensive list of ingredients often found in processed food that are made with GMOs.

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Source:

Non-GMO Shopping Guide, Invisible GM Ingredients. (No date listed). Retrieved from https://nongmoshoppingguide.com/invisible-gm-ingredients/

Key Points:

*"In 2018, EPA extended the registration for two years for over-the-top use (i.e. use on growing plants) of dicamba to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba."

*"It is registered for use in agriculture on corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans, and other crops."

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Source:

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Registration of Dicamba for Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Crops. (no date listed. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/registration-dicamba-use-dicamba-tolerant-crops

Key Points:

*"Last year, Monsanto introduced new varieties of cotton and soybean plants that were resistant to the well-established herbicide, dicamba."

*"With the introduction of Roundup Ready crops in 1996, however, the acreage of glyphosate tolerant crops increased dramatically."

*"Since then, at least 38 weed species have developed resistance to glyphosate."

*"A Primer on Dicamba: ... The targeted plant takes up the herbicide and essentially dies from unbridled, non-coordinated cell division, metabolism, and expansion."

*"Monsanto first released a variety of dicamba-resistant cotton in 2016."

*"The industry prefers to develop herbicide-resistant crops instead of new herbicides, because it’s less expensive and presents fewer regulatory hoops to jump through."

Read Full Article:

Source:

English, Cameron and Folta, Kevin. (2017, December 12). The Real Story Behind the Dicamba Controversy. Retrieved from https://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2017/12/12/the_real_story_behind_the_dicamba_controversy.html?utm_source=rcp-today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mailchimp-newsletter&utm_source=RC+Science+Today&utm_campaign=7df1d1b4e1-MAILCHIMP_RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_267b89dc8a-7df1d1b4e1-85138537

Key Points:

*p.15"However, FDA does not itself test whether genetically engineered foods are safe. The FDA has repeatedly made this clear. As Jason Dietz, a policy analyst at FDA explains about genetically engineered food: “It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to insure that the product is safe.”56"

*"Nor does the FDA require independent pre-market safety testing for genetically engineered food. As a matter of practice, the agrichemical companies submit their own studies to the FDA as part of a voluntary “consultation.”

*p.16"Most of the animal safety testing prepared for the FDA is merely short-term. A study in the International Journal of Biological Sciences summarizes the typical testing regime: “The most detailed regulatory tests on the GMOs are three-month long feeding trials of laboratory rats, which are biochemically assessed.”"

*p.19"The FDA does not require any post-market studies of health risks of genetically engineered food. As a 2010 study in the International Journal of Biological Sciences points out, “although some stakeholders claim that a history of safe use of GMOs can be upheld, there are no human or animal epidemiological studies to support such a claim as yet, in particular because of the lack of labeling and traceability in GMO-producing countries.”68"

*p.19"Dr. Pribyl knew from studies that toxins could be unintentionally created when new genes were introduced into a plant’s cells."

*p.19"That meant biotechnology companies would not need government approval to sell the foods they were developing."

*p.19"The federal government’s premise for lax regulation of GMOs was the notion of “substantial equivalence” – that new genetically engineered foods were substantially equivalent to regular foods, so there was no need for regulation."

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Source:

Ruskin, Gary. (2015, January). Seedy Business: What Big Food is hiding with its slick PR campaign on GMOs.Retrieved from https://usrtk.org/seedybusiness.pdf

Key Points:

*"Genetic engineering of crops is different from traditional plant breeding because it requires intensive genetic overwriting to allow for genetic changes that cannot occur in nature."

*"And some crops are genetically engineered to produce their own pesticides instead of having the pesticides sprayed onto crops or into the soil where they are planted. This type of genetic engineering incorporates a “natural” pesticide from bacteria into the genetic makeup of a crop. And because it is secreted by the plant, it cannot be washed off.230"

*"Another major concern with genetically engineered crops is the accompanying increase in pesticide use."

*"As a result, recent studies have shown that genetically engineered crops often retain higher levels of glyphosate residues.241"

*"Rather than acknowledge the value in diversified crop practices and moderated pesticide use, chemical companies have come up with a new wave of genetically engineered common crops for resistance to the herbicide 2,4-D in addition to resistance to glyphosate.

*"Much like the case of glyphosate and the first round of glyphosate-tolerant crops, the USDA estimates that approval of these new genetically engineered crops would lead to an increase in the use of 2,4-D on crops from 77.8 million to 176 million pounds.243"

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Source:

Consumer Reports, From Crop to Table Pesticide Report. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://article.images.consumerreports.org/prod/content/dam/cro/news_articles/health/CR_FSASC_FromCroptoTablePesticides_Mar2015.pdf

Key Points:

*"Check your pantry. Do you have any cereals, crackers, cookies, snack bars, soy milk or baby formula in there? How about anything with corn syrup or processed food made from corn on your shelves? If so, you are probably eating food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)."

*"GMOs are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria."

*"Research links GMOs to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health issues, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for GMOs."

*"Market watchers estimate that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients."

*"Corn: Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it — 88 percent — is genetically modified."

*"Soy: 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins."

*"Cottonseed: According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening production, or frying foods, such as potato chips."

*"Alfalfa: Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more."

*"Canola: About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels."

*"Sugar Beets: More than half — 54 percent — of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA’s decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Kelly, Margie. (2012, December 30). Top 7 Genetically Modified Crops. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-kelly/genetically-modified-food_b_2039455.html