“It is health that is real wealth; not pieces of gold & silver.” - Mahatma Gandhi
All our body’s systems are chemical. The raw materials these system’s use for our health and well-being are derived almost exclusively from our diet. The lack of adequate amounts of individual nutrients is a serious situation often rendering our system crippled and unable to fight disease and promote an optimum state of health and well-being. It is a personal belief of mine that almost everything on this earth that has not been industrialized by man, in its most natural form, is good, healthy and very beneficial to the human body.
GMO’s. What is it and why is it popping up on all our labels causing such a debate concerning health? After trying for almost a year to find as much information from Government, agricultural and factory departments and companies as possible and having nothing more than null and void responses from unprofessional or unhelpful employees choosing to remain mum to most of my questions, I took matters into my own hands. Some time ago I decided to try out some research of my own concerning a diet consisting of as many GMO foods as I could find. Which was not hard as all of South African supermarkets have such a large variety of it that shopping was a breeze. This personal trial of mine had nothing to do with weight gain or loss or taste differences between natural and GMO foods but rather to see what GMO’s would do to me internally. So I changed my diet a little allowing myself pap in the mornings, soya products and soya seeded breads that contained GMO’s replacing the rye and homemade breads I usually eat as well as alternating my organic milk and eggs with replacements that were not labeled free-range, hormone free or organic. I replaced my usual olive oil with canola oils. I tried to contact a number of fruit and vegetable suppliers to ask if their foods originated from GMO’s or farms using the practice but I am sad to say that I am still waiting for an answer.
And so began my month long trial. Please bear in mind that I did not do a complete 360 degree diet change, I simply replaced the foods I knew where from a reliable natural source with foods that came from GMO’s. After the first three days I started experiencing cramping in my lower abdomen. On day four I had consistent diarrhea for two days. After a week the uncomfortable cramping and diarrhea subsided only to be replaced by a running nose that knew no end. I broke out into a rash that itched me awake at night and I was so lethargic that I could not drive myself to the supermarket down the road – literally – to stock up on groceries. It was a hateful four weeks which I ended with a good detox and raw food and fruit diet for a week. Although I felt better I experienced joint pains and lower back pain that no massage could take away. Close to three months after my month long GM food trial did I only start to feel like me. I am a healthy, active and happy woman with no history of allergies, running nose or aching and cramping. I was not myself whilst doing this trial and I can tell you in all honesty that research, findings and what the major companies and scientist say, good or bad about GMO’s, this man made practice cannot be beneficial for you in any way. It just can’t. Logically, in my opinion, anything touched and altered by man cannot be good for you.
Genetically Modified Organisms is an unnatural, processed, genetic engineering man made technique that manipulates nature in an unnatural way. A GMO is taking genes from one species, plant, animal, bacteria and or virus and amalgamating it with the DNA of another in order to introduce a new trait or characteristic. Think dog breeding giving us mongrels or the breeding of a horse and a donkey that will render a mule. In this case I pay special attention to plant modification. There are many techniques used for GMO manipulation but to me the most horrifying is what is called stack traits. A food plant that has been genetically altered and manipulated to continually produce its own pesticides and withstand massive amounts of week killing chemicals. Although economic for the farmer, seed companies and biotech giants who manufacture, sell and plant the GM seeds it can only be detrimental to the consumer as some pesticides continues to be active in our bodies long after the GMO food was consumed.GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergic properties. GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor – a know soy allergen. The ones who are most susceptible to the disadvantages of GM foods are children as their bodies are still growing and the effects of these unnatural foods has proved to have profound negative effects on them including hormone imbalances, allergies, asthma and some research finding a link to Autism and some cancers. These findings still need to be approved as they are in very early stages.
Research concerning the disadvantages of GM farming are horrifying yet for some reason some hot shot scientist usually employed by an agricultural or seed producing company will for some reason see the findings as null and void even after photographic and documented research containing evidence of mass tumors and deformities on lab rats and mice were not allowed to be published or exposed. In India, thousands of livestock died simultaneously after grazing on cotton crops sprayed with Bt toxins. The very same toxin ingested by humans after eating a GM plant that can withstand its poison and continue to be active in our bodies. The sole human feeding study relating to GM food we eat, reveals the most shocking and dangerous findings of all. The gene inserted into GM soy and corn transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. Plainly put long after we have stopped eating GM foods, we may still have potentially harmful GM substances producing inside of us. So, eating a corn chip (My own research found that 8 out of 10 corn chips on any South African supermarket shelf is derived from GMO’s) produced from Bt toxin sprayed corn could change our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the remainder of our lives. Think of the sudden increase in food allergies, IBS conditions, Ceoliacs and Asthma sufferers.
GM foods and reproductive failures have also proved to be linked. GM foods in addition to their potential to produce hard to detect allergies and nutritional problems also have the possibility of unexpected and accidental changes in genetically engineered plants that might have increased levels of know naturally occurring toxins, appearance of new not previously identified toxins and an increased tendency to gather toxic substances from the environment, such as pesticides and heavy metals. Both in rats and mice fed on GM Roundup Ready soybeans show shocking changes. The male rat’s testicles changed color from pink to bluish black and experienced sever swelling of that organ and in the male mice the research found their young sperm cells altered. Female rats fed on GM soy two weeks before mating found that 52% of their offspring died in the first three weeks compared to the female mice fed on non GM foods. The size of the offspring derived from GM food that did live were smaller in comparison and unable to conceive. As a nutritionist, having been visited by perfectly healthy ladies not being able to conceive for some reason strikes an uncanny link to the research above. I have attached a case study of one of the very first ladies that came to see me regarding her infertility and the astounding results we attained by altering the food she ate and the source of where her food came from. The debate on GMO’s and its impact on environmental hazards, economic concerns and human health risks is ongoing.
There is much to be said, still researched and findings to be approved or denied. We are at the beginning of GMO research and what it does to a human being. I am no tree hugger, closed to the continuing progression of science and its benefits for the human race and at times our planet. I am all for positive natural change. Natural being the key word. Am I the only one angered that some hotshot made the decision for me to feed me man altered food without my knowledge? How did they get that right? I understand the notion of wanting to feed the world as the biotech giants claim they want to. But at what cost? My question to them is, will it be worth it to see a well fed child with exasperating health problems? Can they honestly say they have researched to their fullest capacity and can tell with utter certainty that GMO’s are 100% safe for human consumption? They cannot. They have not. According to Global Research, GM foods are “unsafe”. Business Day South Africa (August 2013) as said by VP of DuPont Pioneer, Dan Jacobi that he has admitted farmers can double, triple or quadruple their yields with what he called “Stress tolerant hybrid seeds”. Is the mass manufacture of GMO really to feed the poor and not for financial gain? South Africa is the only country in the world to grow a GM staple food – corn. Food prices are at an all time high and there are more sickly people across all ethnic borders in our country than ever before.
Please understand that I am not blaming the state of our nation’s health solely on GMO’s. Processed, chemically enhanced, high sugared foods (again all engineered by man), unbalanced, inactive and stressed lifestyles and the wave of technology that has our little ones on the couch watching too much television or typing frantically on as well as economical and psychological factors all play part in our population’s medical conditions. But to walk into a supermarket and pick up a vegetable, fruit, piece of meat, carton of milk or packet of corn puff chips and not have to turn around the packaging and search for the GMO label would be nice. We have enough human interference in our daily lives. In my opinion, a strawberry from mother earth is by far more appreciated than one made by man. And tastier too.
Please revisit the websit for added research, information, articles and published case studies as the hunt for the good, bad and ugly concerning GMO's continues.© Elenia Kolokotronis 2011-2013
Elenia Kolokotronis 2011-2013, research still on going
Institute for Responsible Technologies
Business Day, South Africa
GMO Free CT
Ohio Wesleyan University
University of Baghdad, Biological research centre