GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants that have been altered with the aim of becoming more appealing to a mass consumer population. This direct manipulation of an organism’s DNA in scientific laboratories has led to the presence of many unwanted and dangerous toxins in much of our food supply, such as fruits and vegetables genetically engineered to grow to several times larger than their natural size, and to be resistant to pesticides such as RoundUp.
Needless to say, this fabricated image of health and nourishment has had a drastic effect on the wellbeing of the consumers. Unknown to many, these GMOs have found their way into so many products that it is difficult to imagine how so little is known about them.
Okay, please sit down because GMOs are nearly everywhere!
Many well-known GMO-containing products include:
It’s worth checking out the brand of product you’re purchasing beforehand to check what they contain, but fortunately, functional medicine can help you even if you’ve already consumed these products.
Health risks of common GMOs include endocrine disruption, increased susceptibility to allergies, antibiotic resistance, lowered nutritional value of foods, inflammation, and leaky gut.
Ensuring a higher level of non-GMO and organic foods in your diet is a key functional health method to encourage your body to heal from the damage caused by GMOs. As with anything, this kind of healing takes time. It is important to think of this as part of a long-term plan to regain overall health and vitality, rather than a quick fix solution.
One simple action you can take to reduce the effects of GMOs seems simple, and it is – stop BUYING THEM!
This is easier said than done, however, as many GMOs sneak into our kitchens under the guise of foods we’d regularly consider as ‘healthy’ and some even labeled as ‘natural products’. Vermont was the first state to pass GMO labeling laws, which failed to pass in California last year.
Here are some facts about common GMOs:
- Up to 90% of soybeans have been genetically modified to be naturally resistant to herbicides which farmers use to kill the weeds surrounding the beans. Not only does this create a GMO, but it creates a product FULL of pesticides.
- Canola oil is derived from rapeseed oil and is considered one of the most chemically altered oils available.
- One-fifth of the dairy cows in the United States have been given growth hormones to help them grow faster and increase their yield. These hormones can be found in the milk produced by these cows. It’s also been proven that these growth hormones have negative effects on the human body. Cows and other livestock are also fed GMO’s, which we then ingest.
Many other products like corn, sugar beets, yellow squash, zucchini, and papaya are also pumped full of chemicals to increase their resistance to herbicides in agriculture. Newsweek reported that Glyphosate or Roundup was the most used agricultural chemical ever with 50 times more allowed in corn and grain than in 1996. According to the article, “Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide, 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been sprayed onto fields. It’s also enough to spray nearly half a pound of RoundUp on every cultivated acre of land in the world”.
Glyphosate has tremendous effects on the health of the plants, animals, and humans it touches. It is a known endocrine disruptor causing problems with hormones and was named a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization in 2015. There is also extensive emerging research that glyphosate causes cell and DNA damage to epithelial cells and how it disrupts gut permeability by loosening the tight junctures in the gut. Dr. Zach Bush fully explores the relationship of the microbiome to overall health in this podcast. I highly recommend you watch this.
“The microbiome is governing human health.” –Zach Bush, MD
Until a solution has been found whereby farmers either discontinue the use of these chemicals or find another more natural way of protecting crops, it’s likely that GMO creation will continue.
There are more than 34,000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto regarding RoundUp and causing cancer. For updates on these cases visit here.
Many other countries have strict labeling laws for GMO’s and pesticides and have banned glyphosate. Unfortunately, even organic produce grown in the United States is allowed to have a minute level of pesticides derived from natural toxins and synthetic substances.
So what can we do to help? Buy organic and non-GMO when possible, and VOTE! With bills or ballot initiatives appearing in California, Connecticut, Maine, Oregon, and Washington; next time we have an opportunity to have our GMO’s labeled – we need to vote for this! Learn more.
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