Bill Gates recently made headlines once again for his stance on genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. In recent years, Gates has been known to promote GMOs as "perfectly healthy" and as a viable way of putting an end to world hunger, Business Insider reported. What's more is that he has made it clear that he is discouraged with those fighting to promote labeling and remove GMO products from store shelves.
As we have previously reported and as Ann Malkmus has so wonderfully captured in her book "Unravel the Mystery," there is a definite link between produce that has been genetically modified and numerous diseases, whether GMOs are the primary cause or a variable of the bigger picture. These altered foods have been attributed to a rise in allergies and perhaps most significant, the soil in which these plants and crops grow is void of many of its essential nutrients. God created the bountiful plants and vegetables as a source of vital nutrition: It was not His intention that they be modified in any way.
The next time you collect your weekly supply of vegetables, consider these facts about GMOs, and be wary of your selection:
The first GMO product to hit the U.S. food market was the Flavr Savr tomato in the mid 1990s, according to Berkeley Wellness of the University of California School of Public Health, a leading evidence-based wellness information source. While interbreeding – the process of purposefully modifying or changing the characteristics of crops – has been practiced for centuries, the ability to alter organisms genetically is relatively new. Only in the last few decades have scientists been successful in remodeling specific genes in plants, such as size and rate of growth. This process has also enabled them to control the shelf life of produce.
Since the introduction of genetically modified plants, animals and food, the reach of packaged and marketed GMOs has become widespread. According to Prevention, nearly 80 percent of processed food in U.S. grocery stores has been gentically altered in one way or another. This is likely true of some of the vegetables you eat as well as more than 165 million acres of GMO crops that fill our country today.
Of all the foods modified in the U.S., corn is the biggest victim. Canola, sugar beets and soy are not far behind. The reality is that you may never know what is and what isn't genetically enhanced because in the states, manufacturers are not required to include such labeling, Prevention explained.
The debate about GMO safety has been brewing since its introduction, and there exists a big divide among doctors, researchers and consumers. The Food and Drug Administration is one of the regulators disputing any risk associated with these altered crops, USA Today reported. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are also among the organizations overseeing the regulation of GMOs though they do not treat these products any differently than non-GMO foods.
As The Global Healing Center reported, the failure to take GMO foods off the market boils down to money. Large corporations have used payouts and financial bargaining to keep consumers uninformed. Even major food companies continue to sell GMO food, despite an understanding of safety concerns or not, simply because of profits. For example, several years ago, General Mills made clear it was removing GMOs from Cheerios but then stopped there. The rest of its cereals remained as-is because the company did not see a rise in sales and has been led to believe that there are not significant risks associated with the engineered foods, The Global Healing Center explained.
Many support the notion that this kind of modification is beneficial for produce in guarding against pesticides, building a resistance to external factors or increasing its nutritional profile. The real problem however, is concern over pesticide use and the growing risk of glyphosate, the key ingredient of the widely used Roundup of infamous organization Monsanto, Agmag of Environmental Working Group reported. According to a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, those working directly with glyphosate – used in GMO crops – are especially at risk. Data has shown that farmers and those living in the area are at an increased risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other blood cancers.
"A report concluded a connection between GMOs and 22 diseases."
Another study, published in the Journal of Organic Systems, found a correlation between GMOs and 22 different diseases. The researchers explained that both humans and animals are unable to detoxify these kinds of chemicals found in the pesticides, which can cause damage as a result. The diseases included several cancers, liver failure, stroke, hypertension and thyroid disease, to name a few. Though they were unable to confirm causation, the study authors concluded that:
"…we have data for 22 diseases, all with a high degree of correlation and very high significance. It seems highly unlikely that all of these can be random coincidence."
The relationship between genetically engineered crops that are altered at greater and greater rates to resist, or become immune to, the use of glyphosate present a high risk of disease. Whether it is a direct cause or not remains to be seen, but the associated disease risk is certain.
5. Food Security
As mentioned above, Gates is among those who believe genetically enhanced or altered foods can be used in the fight to end world hunger. As Prevention explained, a number of researchers and organizations, including the United Nations, have found this assertion to ring false. In a report from the Rodale Institute documenting a 30-year trial on various farming methods, findings revealed that the practice of GMO would not be beneficial in providing surplus food supplies for the hungry. Only in perfect agricultural conditions and during the initial years were GMOs concluded to produce excess amounts of food.
On the other hand, the organic produce resulted in similar amounts over the long term. In the event of a drought, organic methods would prove better at delivering high yields.
Given the above information, selecting organic, natural, GMO-free produce is important. While you can feel confident in buying from a local, trusted farmer, the best way to ensure you are consuming 100 percent natural produce is to grow your own. Consider starting your own garden today with these helpful hints from Hallelujah Diet.