genetically modified ingredients

If you are feeding your dog any plant matter, regardless of whether it is in your dog’s kibble, premixed raw or purchased directly from the store, you may be feeding your dog foods with genetically modified ingredients.

That’s not a good things.

Nathan Batalion ND has this to say about GM foods:

“Largely between 1997 and 1999, genetically modified (GM) food ingredients suddenly appeared in 2/3rds of all US processed foods. This food alteration was fueled by a single Supreme Court ruling. It allowed, for the first time, the patenting of life forms for commercialization. Since then thousands of applications for experimental genetically-modified (GM) organisms, including quite bizarre GMOs, have been filed with the US Patent Office alone, and many more abroad. In just those three years, as much as 1/4th of all American agricultural lands or 70-80 million acres were quickly converted to raise genetically-modified (GM) food and crops. And in the race to increase GM crop production verses organics, the former is winning.”

Scratching the Surface

What are the health implications of GM foods? The most recent research released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

In the conclusion of the IJBS study, researchers wrote:

“Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”

According to the Huffington Post, Monsanto immediately responded to the study, stating that the research is “based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do not call into question the safety findings for these products.”

Toxic Effects Of Genetically Modified Ingredients

In a study with GM potatoes, spliced with DNA from the snowdrop plant and a viral promoter (CaMV), the resulting plant was poisonous to mammals (rats) – damaging vital organs, the stomach lining and immune system. CaMV is also a pararetrovirus. It can reactivate dormant viruses or create new viruses – as some presume have occurred with the AIDS epidemic.

GM foods are engineered to produce their own built in pesticide in every cell which produces a poison that splits open a bug’s stomach and kills them when the bug tries to eat the plant. This represents the first time “cell-interior toxicity” is being sold for human – and therefore canine – consumption. There is little knowledge of the potential long-term health impacts.

Reproductive Issues

In a another study by Cornucopia Institute Research the following information was reported:

“…The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks—compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.

When male rats were fed genetically modified ingredients such as soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.

Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investigations in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.

In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating…” Reported May 20,2009.

Viral Illness

Viruses can mix with genes of other viruses and retroviruses such as HIV. This can give rise to more deadly viruses – and at rates higher than previously thought. One study showed that gene mixing occurred in viruses in just 8 weeks (Kleiner, 1997).

This kind of scenario applies to the cauliflower mosaic virus CaMV, the most common virus used in genetic engineering – in Round Up ready soy of Monsanto, Bt-maise of Novaris, and GM cotton and canola. It is a kind of “pararetrovirus” or what multiplies by making DNA from RNA. It is somewhat similar to Hepatitis B and HIV viruses and can pose immense dangers. In a Canadian study, a plant was infected with a crippled cucumber mosaic virus that lacked a gene needed for movement between plant cells. Within less than two weeks, the crippled plant found what it needed from neighboring genes – as evidence of gene mixing or horizontal transfer. This is significant because genes that cause diseases are often crippled or engineered to be dormant in order to make the end product “safe.” Results of this kind led the US Department of Agriculture to hold a meeting in October of 1997 to discuss the risks and dangers of gene mixing and superviruses, but no regulatory action was taken.

A French study also showed the recombination of RNA of two Cucomoviruses, and under conditions of minimal selection and in supposedly virus resistant transgenic plants. The issue and research involved are also detailed in the consumer reports article by Mae Wan Ho, Angela Ryans and Joe Cummins, Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promoter – A Recipe for Disaster?

Cancer And Degenerative Diseases

Nathan Batalion states:

“GH is a protein hormone which, when injected into cows stimulates the pituitary gland in a way that the produces more milk, thus making milk production more profitable for the large dairy corporations. In 1993, FDA approved Monsanto’s genetically-modified rBGH, a genetically-altered growth hormone that could be then injected into dairy cows to enhance this feature, and even though scientists warned that this resulted in an increase of IGF-1 (from (70%-1000%). IGF-1 is a very potent chemical hormone that has been linked to a 2 1/2 to 4 times higher risk of human colorectal and breast cancer.Prostate cancer risk is considered equally serious – in the 2,8.to 4 times range.

According to Dr. Samuel Epstein of the University of Chicago and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, this “induces the malignant transformation of human breast epithelial cells.”

Canadian studies confirmed such a suspicion and showed active IGF-1 absorption, thyroid cysts and internal organ damage in rats. Yet the FDA denied the significance of these findings. When two award-winning journalists, Steve Wilson and Jane Akre, tried to expose these deceptions, they were fired by Fox Network under intense pressure from Monsanto. The FDA’s own experiments indicated a spleen mass increase of 40-46%- a sign of developing leukemia. The contention by Monsanto that the hormone was killed by pasteurization or rendered inactive was fallacious. In research conducted by two of Monsanto’s own scientists, Ted Elasser and Brian McBride, only 19% of the hormone was destroyed despite boiling milk for 30 minutes when normal pasteurization is 15 seconds.

Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand have banned rBGR. The UN’s Codex Alimentarius, an international health standards setting body, refused to certify rBGH as safe. Yet Monsanto continued to market this product in the US until 2008 when it finally divested under public pressure. This policy in the FDA was initiated by Margaret Miller, Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative Services, New Animal Drug Evaluation Office, Center for Veterinary Medicine and former chemical laboratory supervisor for Monsanto. This is part of a larger revolving door between Monsanto and the Bush Administration.

She spearheaded the increase in the amount of antibiotics farmers were allowed to have in their milk and by a factor of 100 or 10,000 percent. Also Michael Taylor, Esq. became the executive assistant to the director of the FDA and deputy Commissioner of Policy – filling a position created in 1991 to promote the biotech industry and squelch internal dissent. There Taylor drafted a new law to undermine the 1958 enacted Delaney Amendment that so importantly outlawed pesticides and food additives known to cause cancer. In other words carcinogens could now legally be reintroduced into our food chain. Taylor was later hired as legal counsel to Monsanto, and subsequently became Deputy Commissioner of Policy at the FDA once again.

On another front, GM-approved products have been developed with resistance to herbicides that are commonly-known carcinogens. Bromoxynil is used on transgenic bromoxynmil-resistant or BXN cotton. It is known to cause very serious birth defects and brain damage in rats. Glyphosate and POEA, the main ingredients in Roundup, Monsanto’s lead product are suspected carcinogens.”

“As to other degenerative disease links, according to a study by researcher Dr. Sharyn Martin, a number of autoimmune diseases are enhanced by foreign DNA fragments that are not fully digested in the human stomach and intestines. DNA fragments are absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially mixing with normal DNA. The genetic consequences are unpredictable and unexpected gene fragments have shown up in GM soy crops. A similar view is echoed by Dr. Joe Cummins, Professor of Genetics at the University of Western Ontario, noting that animal experiments have demonstrated how exposure to such genetic elements may lead to inflammation, arthritis and lymphoma (a malignant blood disease).”

Food Allergy Reactions

“In 1996, Brazil nut genes were spliced into soybeans to provide the added protein methionine and by a company called Pioneer Hi-Bred. Some individuals, however, are so allergic to this nut, they can go into anaphylactic shock (similar to a severe bee sting reaction) which can cause death. Using genetic engineering, the allergens from one food can thus be transferred to another, thought to be safe to eat, and unknowingly.

Animal and human tests confirmed the peril and fortunately the product was removed from the market before any fatalities occurred. The animal tests conducted, however, were insufficient by themselves to show this. Had they alone been relied upon, a disaster would have followed.

“The next case could be less than ideal and the public less fortunate,” writes Marion Nestle author of Food Politics and Safe Food, and head of the Nutrition Department of NYU in an editorial to the New England Journal of Medicine. It has been estimated that 25% of Americans have mild adverse reactions to foods (such as itching and rashes), while at least 4% or 12 million Americans have provably more serious food allergies as objectively shown by blood iImmunoglobulin E or IgE levels. In other words, there is a significant number of highly food-sensitive individuals in our general population. The percentage of young children who are seriously food-allergenic is yet higher, namely 6-8% of all children under the age of three.

In addition, the incidence rates for these children has been decidedly rising. Writes Dr. Jacqueline Pongracic, head of the allergy department at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago,

“I’ve been treating children in the field of allergy immunology for 15 years, and in recent years I’ve really seen the rates of food allergy skyrocket.”

The Center for Disease Control confirmed the spike on a US national level. Given the increased adulteration of our diets, it is no wonder at all that this is happening. Yet the FDA officials who are sacredly entrusted to safeguard the health of the general public, and especially of children, declared in 1992, under intense industry-lobbying pressure, that genetically-modified (GM) foods were essentially equivalent to regular foods. The truth is that genetically modified foods cannot ever be equivalent. They involve the most novel and technologically-violent alterations of our foods, the most uniquely different foods ever introduced in the history of modern agriculture (and in the history of biological evolution). To say otherwise affronts the intelligence of the public and safeguarding public officials. It is a bold, if not criminal deception to but appease greed-motivated corporate parties and at the direct expense and risk of the public’s health.

The FDA even decided against the advice of its own scientists that there was no need at all for FDA allergy or safety testing of these most novel of all foods. This hands-off climate (as promoted by the Bush Administration and similar to what was done with the mortgage and financial industry) is a recipe for widespread social health disasters. When elements of nature that have never before been present in the human diet are suddenly introduced, and without any public safety testing or labeling notice, such as petunia flower elements in soybeans and fish genes in tomatoes (as developed by DNA Plant Technology Corporation in the 1990s), it obviously risks allergic reactions among the most highly sensitive segments of our general population. It is a well-know fact that fish proteins happen to be among the most hyper-allergenic, while tomatoes are not. Thus not labeling such genetically modified tomatoes, with hidden alien or allergenic ingredients, is completely unconscionable. The same applies to the typical GMO that has novel bacterial and viral DNA artificially inserted. Many research studies have definitively confirmed this kind of overall risk for genetically modified foods:

CORN: Two research studies independently show evidence of allergenic reactions to GM Bt corn.
Farm workers exposed to genetically-modified Bt sprays exhibited extensive allergic reactions.

POTATOES: A study showed genetically-modified potatoes expressing cod genes were allergenic.

PEAS: A decade-long study of GM peas was abandoned when it was discovered that they caused allergic lung damage in mice.

SOY:  In March 1999, researchers at the York Laboratory discovered that reactions to soy had skyrocketed by 50% over the year before, which corresponded with the introduction of genetically-modified soy from the US. It was the first time in 17 years that soy was tested in the lab among the top ten allergenic foods.”

For a full accounting of the dangers of genetically modified ingredients, read Nathan Batalion’s article Fifty Harmful Effects Of GM Foods.