Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Genetically Modified Foods and the Link to Allergies - Part 3

This is the final part to my series on the link between allergies and genetically modified foods.  This post focuses on why our children, newborns and pregnant women are at the biggest risk of developing long-term health concerns as a result of consuming GM foods.

Referencing the article "Moms! GMO Foods Threaten Your Children" on the Nutrition Center Research's website, here's why:
  • Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most.
  • Children are more susceptible to allergies.
  • Children are more susceptible to problems with milk.
  • Children are more susceptible to nutritional problems.
  • Children are in danger from antibiotic resistant diseases.
  • Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most.
I reviewed the Institute for Responsible Technology's list of 65 Health Risks of GM Foods for studies applicable to young children or pregnant women.  Here's one that stood out for me.

In this particular study, female lab rats were given GM soy before conception and continuing through pregnancy and weaning.  Here are the conclusions:

1. Of the offspring, 55.6% died within three weeks compared to 9% from non-GM soy controls.
2. Some pups from GM-fed mothers were significantly smaller and both mothers and pups were more aggressive.
3. In a separate study, after a lab began feeding rats a commercial diet containing GM soy, offspring mortality reached 55.3%.
4. When offspring from GM-fed rats were mated together, they were unable to conceive.

In the article, Genetically Engineered Foods Pose Health Risk for Children, written by Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, a UK government-funded study demonstrated that young rats fed a GM potato developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, partial atrophy of the liver, and inhibited development of their brains, livers and testicles. When the lead scientist went public with his concerns, he was promptly fired from his job after 35 years and silenced with threats of a lawsuit.

According to that same article, differences in GM food will likely have a much larger impact on children because they are three to four times more susceptible to allergies. Children convert more of the food into body-building material. Altered nutrients or added toxins can result in developmental problems. Here are a couple more blurbs..

Kids are regularly fed GM soy-based infant formula. The digestive capacity of small children is less than adults, suggesting that more GM DNA might survive with more transgenes ending up inside gut bacteria or possibly inside organs.

What about corn genetically engineered to create its own pesticide? If the inserted gene were to transfer from the corn that children eat into their gut bacteria, it could theoretically transform their intestinal flora into living pesticide factories.

Children prone to ear and other infections may be at risk of facing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, due to the use of antibiotic resistant genes.

Milk and dairy products from cows treated with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH) contain an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer. “rbGH and its digested products could be absorbed from milk into blood, particularly in infants, and produce hormonal and allergic effects, i.e., premature growth and breast stimulation in infants.”

I did a lot of cutting and pasting in this post which I really hate to do.  There's a lot more information to further explain these blurbs that I pulled from the article written by Jeffrey Smith.  I'd encourage you to read it in it's entirety.

One last thought to leave you with.  While we have the choice to limit our childrens' exposure to GM foods by packing safe lunches, what about the children that depend on the school system for hot lunches and often breakfast too?  Wonder about the quality of food our kids are getting for $2.00 (or that matter, us, on the $$  menu in fast food restaurants)?  You can bet it's below par.  Here's one more reference article published on the Center for Environmental Education's website outlining how school food effects the health of students.

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