GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD: SERIOUS RISKS TO HUMAN HEALTH
Scientist presents the evidence at international conference 15.10.06
Washington D.C., October 6, 2006: Genetically engineered food presents serious risks to human health, especially to growing children, according to Mae Wan Ho, PhD, co-founder of the London-based Institute for Science in Society (ISIS). Dr. Ho will present the scientific evidence on GMO dangers at the 7th annual international conference of the Weston A. Price Foundation, November 11, at the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, Virginia.
Dr. Ho warns that the technology of genetically engineering organisms is hit or miss, and not at all precise, contrary to misleading accounts intended for the public, as it depends on the random insertion of an artificial vector carrying the foreign genes into the genome. ?This random insertion is well-known to have many unexpected and unintended effects including virulent new microorganisms and increased risk of cancer, digestive disorders and allergies.?
Plants engineered with genes from viruses to resist virus attack actually showed increased propensity to generate new, often super-infectious viruses, writes Dr. Ho. Thus, genetically engineered crops may spread antibiotic resistant genes to pathogenic bacteria in the environment as well as to bacteria in the gut of animals including human beings. They may also contribute to generating new viral pathogens?
Dr. Ho, currently an Honorary Research Fellow at King?s College, London University, has published nearly 200 publications covering human biochemical genetics, molecular genetics, evolution, developmental biology and biophysics, and is the recipient of numerous awards. She is the author of Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare?
Dr. Ho will be joined by a roster of authors and medical professionals including Arden Anderson, PhD, DO, author of Science in Agriculture and expert in the relationship of soil fertility and human health; Mary G.Enig, PhD, expert on the dangers of trans fats and author of Know Your Fats; and Kaayla Daniel, PhD, CCN, author of The Whole Soy Story and expert on the dangers of modern soy foods.
The theme of the 3-day conference is ?The Health Equation.? Conference speakers will explore the relationship between agricultural practices and human and animal health. Lunch and dinner menus will feature organic, traditional food prepared with local ingredients. The conference offers Continuing Education Units for many health professions.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit nutrition education organization based in Washington, DC, with over 400 chapters in the U.S. and overseas. The Foundation supports accurate nutrition information, pasture-based farming, community supported agriculture and holistic therapies.
For further information, visit www.westonaprice.org or call the Foundation at (202) 363-4394. To schedule an interview with one or more of the presenters, contact the Foundation at 202 363-4394, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Press passes are available.
The Damage GM Foods Can do to Your Body A project to develop genetically modified, pest- resistant peas has been abandoned after tests showed the peas cause lung damage in mice.
Protein Kills Pea Weevils
Field peas are susceptible to pea weevils, which lay their eggs on pea pods. The gene for a protein capable of killing pea weevil pests was transferred from the common bean to the peas. This protein does not normally cause allergic reactions in mice or people.
But when the protein is expressed in the pea, its structure becomes subtly different from the original. Researchers say that this indicates a potential for unpredicted and unintended effects due to such structural changes. In this case, it was probably caused by differences in the ways that the two plants produce proteins.
Trials showed that the GM peas were almost completely resistant to pea weevils. But mice injected with the protein showed a hypersensitive skin response, and those exposed to it in airborne form developed airway inflammation and lung damage. The effect was the same whether the protein was taken from raw peas or cooked peas.
In the early 1990s, a similar situation happened when researchers engineered a new strain of soy bean by adding a gene taken from brazil nuts. But that project ended when it was discovered that the hybrid was likely to trigger a major attack in people with brazil nut allergies.
New Scientist November 21, 2005
Dr. Mercola's Comment: For a long while, I've been warning you about the blight of genetically modified (GM) crops on our world's food supply, always concerned about their effect on your bodies and health. Now, we have another clue about their potential dangers.
Luckily, this study -- a rare glimpse into Frankenstein-like crop combinations gone bad -- was conducted by a national research organization. Had a private company like Monsanto been involved in this study, you would most likey have never heard a thing about it.
Chances are very good you've eaten GM foods: At least seven out of 10 items at your neighborhood grocery store contain them. That said, there's some steps you can take that will help you steer clear of them:
Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods. Some 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients. There are many reasons why processed foods are not optimal for your health -- for instance they often contain trans fat, acrylamide and little nutritional value -- so avoiding them will not only help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will also boost your health. Read produce and food labels. GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there's a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it's listed as organic. Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Look at Produce Stickers. Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown or genetically modified. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight. Finally, if you feel you can't afford to buy organic foods, please read Colleen Huber's excellent piece on how you can do so on your current budget.
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