Avoid GMO Foods for your Health
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They called for a moratorium on GM foods, pursuance of long-term independent studies, and mandatory labeling. AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”
More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, “I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods.” Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”
Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, “Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions.” World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.
AAEM states, “Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation,” including increase in cytokines, which are “associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation”-all on the rise in the US.
Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods might create hard-to-detect allergies. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests. The White House at that time was promoting bio-tech and therefore never required such testing.
Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, “The experiments simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.” He adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”
To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their “members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.”
Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets-unless it says organic or “non-GMO.” There is a pocket Non-GMO Shopping Guide, co-produced by the Institute for Responsible Technology and the Center for Food Safety, which is available at Good Earth.
This Fall watch for the new Non-GMO Project verification mark to be assured that products have undergone rigorous screening to avoid GMO’S.
Ingredients & Products to Check for GMO
The following foods are considered the highest risk for GMO’S. Of course, the best way to avoid GMO’S is still to eat organic. Organic crops do not permit any intentional GMO use.
• Soybeans: Soy flour, soy oil, lecithin, soy protein isolates and concentrates, tofu dogs, cereals, veggie burgers and sausages, infant formula, crackers, breads, cookies. GMO soybeans were 91% of the American soy crop in 2007.
• Corn: Corn flour, corn starch, corn oil, corn sweeteners, syrups. GMO corn was 73% of the American corn drop in 2007.
• Canola: Oil. Products that may contain genetically engineered canola derivatives: chips, salad dressings, cookies, margarine, fried foods. 75% of canola is GMO.
• Cotton: Oil, fabric. Products that may contain genetically engineered cotton or its derivatives: clothes, linens, chips, peanut butter, crackers, cookies.
• Sugar: Starting in 2008 most of the US sugar beet crop is GMO
• Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, whey. You have to ask several questions when you are looking at dairy products. Have the cows been treated with rBGH? What kind of feed have they been given? If they are not being fed organic grains, chances are quite likely that they will be eating genetically engineered animal feed. What does this do to their milk products? No one knows.
• Animal Products: Because animal feed often contains genetically engineered organisms, all animal products, or by-products may be affected.
Please note that a food may contain some of these items and yet be free from genetically engineered organisms, but we have no way of knowing without tracking down every brand, every product and every ingredient. http://www.safe-food.org
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