A lot of people talk about GMO being “bad” or “unhealthy.” But most people don’t understand why.
A lot of people think it’s related to “Round Up”—the genetically engineered pesticide which is reported to be designed to work hand in glove with Monsanto GMO seeds, each activating the other, and each requiring the other to work properly. This alone might create significant problems for those eating GMO products. Just as Agent Orange impacted the vegetation it touched, so might the plants exposed to Round Up be impacted. It is possible that pesticides, especially genetics-based pesticides, might have significant genetic impacts on humans that eat foods derived from exposed vegetation. In addition, it is now in our air, water and soil.
However, we believe there is something more fundamental with GMO. To explain, let’s look at the history. I am basing a lot of the information on a talk I attended at the International Food Technology (IFT) conference in Chicago in 2015.
In the early 1970s, a certain fast food chain approached Monsanto about making their hamburger buns more consistent across seasons and locations. Monsanto, seeing that Vital Wheat Gluten was a large part of the total array of molecules we call wheat, determined that modifying the structure of Vital Wheat Gluten would have the most effective impact on consistency, flavor and texture, so this part of wheat was modified.
Our immune system is designed to identify, attack and repel unrecognized proteins. Gluten is the protein part of wheat. Once this genetic modification took place in gluten, it is believed our immune systems became activated when we ingested this modified gluten.
GMO Compass, an online publication has stated:
“When a new gene is introduced into a plant’s genome, the principal end result is the production of a new protein. Sometimes, new proteins…can be entirely new to the human diet…we can not simply assume that these new substances are non-allergenic based on past experience.”
Since the modification was subtle, and since all gluten (protein) is about 16% of total calories and 13% of total weight of whole grain wheat, the immune response began as subtle.
That was the early 1970s. However, since then, several disturbing trends have occurred. Nobody can show a “causal” relationship, because there are so many other factors that could have contributed to these trends. And the impacts have been cumulative, over long periods of time, and across generations.
- Allergy rates have skyrocketed, especially in children.
- Autism rates have skyrocketed, especially in children.
- Obesity rates have skyrocketed.
So how can GMO contribute to this? Find out in our next blog.
This is the first part of a 2-part series we’re doing on the perils of GMO. Next, we’re going to go deep into the impact of GMO to food sensitivities.