DANGERS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS (GMO FOODS)
Posted: 06 Feb 2019 05:25 AM PST
GMOChange creates both apprehension and controversy in us, and there is no better example of this than the changing of our food supply to include genetically modified, or GMO, foods. While some people may be fine with genetically altering the makeup of our food, others point to the potential for health problems stemming from unnatural, lab-generated modifications.
But, just what are GMOs? And what is it that is so bad about them?
The fact of the matter is, we don’t fully know what all of the risks may be, although we do have a good understanding of what they could be and already are. In fact, we have already seen the ill-effects of hybridization–a “natural” approach to improving a plant or animal species–so it would only make sense to be even more apprehensive of genetic modifications.
In this post, we will go over some of the questions surrounding GMOs, what they are, and their negative effects on your health.
WHAT ARE GMOS?
To start, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, which means that the genetic makeup of the plant or animal in question has been scientifically altered. This is commonly done for such reasons as to enhance crop size, reduce a plant or animal’s resistance to pathogens, fungus, or disease, or to help crops become more drought-resistant as our climate becomes warmer and dryer.
The process of creating a GMO entails scientists locating a gene in one organism which has characteristics that are desired in another. The gene is then extracted, copied, and inserted into the genome of the new organism, so that the desired traits are then present in the new host.
While some may say that this is merely an improved method of hybridization, it is not. In fact, there are two problems here, one being the idea that creating GMOs is as harmless and safe as natural breeding, and the other being that there are already human health problems associated with hybridization— “natural,” or not.
Take wheat, for example. While wheat itself has been consumed by humans for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that it was hybridized to a dwarf variety which produced a higher-yielding, less expensive crop to grow. Unfortunately, the protein composition of the wheat was also changed in the hybridizing process, and while modern wheat contains a variety of proteins, only one is recognized by some people, and the other proteins are allergens to them. (1)
True, most hybridization may be just fine and have benefits outweighing any negative aspects. However, the fact that the process of hybridization can create something unhealthy for the human body tells us that altering something genetically is likely even more risky.
WHAT DOES GENETIC MODIFICATION DO TO FOOD, AND HOW DOES IT CHANGE ITS STRUCTURE?
When an organism is genetically modified, genes are transferred past biological barriers which would normally disallow such an association. This allows unnatural things to happen to foods, such as apples which resist going brown, tomatoes which stay ripe for long periods after harvest, and, perhaps most concerning of all, crops which can withstand heavy pesticide and herbicide application.
THE PROBLEMS WITH HERBICIDE AND PESTICIDE RESISTANCE
Since herbicide resistant crops allow farmers to control weeds with herbicides such as glyphosate without concern for it killing the crop, the tendency is for farmers to use even more of it. Unfortunately, this is not only harmful to our health and the health of the environment, but is likely creating herbicide-resistant weeds as well.
Organisms can also be genetically modified for pest resistance, which, while seemingly a good thing which can help alleviate the overuse of pesticides, creates other concerning problems as well.
For instance, Starlink corn is a strain of corn genetically engineered to use the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene to make the plant resistant to the European corn-borer. Unfortunately, and despite Starlink corn’s intended use only as animal feed and never for human consumption, some found its way into human food production—likely due to a lax approach to restrictions on the part of seed sellers. This led to millions of dollars of processed food having to be destroyed, rather than allowing the dangerous toxins to be consumed by the public.
Another problem with plants using the Bt toxin is the pollen from such plants settling on leaves of the milkweed plant, which is a main food source for Monarch butterfly larvae. Since the pollen from the genetically altered plant contains high levels of Bt toxin, the leaves then become toxic to the larvae as it settles on them. This is particularly disturbing when we consider the iconic species has declined in population by over 68% in the past 24 years.
Pollen from GMO crops can also transfer to wild plants, where the traits engineered into them can cause further environmental damage, such as changes to the ecosystem when a plant can no longer be used by species as a food source. (2,3)
GMO FOOD DANGERS
In addition to the danger of accidental human ingestion of plants modified to include the Bt gene in their genome, there are some other concerns surrounding GMOs, as well. For instance, there are concerns that genetic modification of a plant can cause the development of diseases which are resistant to antibiotics. This is due to the possibility of viral resistance leading to new viruses and diseases.
This is in addition to the potential for newly synthesized proteins posing the risk of allergies—similar to what has happened with wheat hybridization. For instance, when bean plants were altered to increase content of the amino acids cysteine and methionine, the expressed protein of the transgene proved to be a strong allergen, causing the project to be scrapped. However, this doesn’t mean that every allergy-causing protein or potential for human toxicity will be “caught” prior to approval of a genetically altered food for the public, since the long-term potential for dangers is nearly impossible to detect—particularly since nearly all testing is performed on animals, and rarely on humans. (4)
Even more disturbing perhaps is the increase in the following health conditions starting after the introduction of GMOs in 1996:
This includes the increase in Americans with 3-or more chronic illnesses, which leapt by 6% in just 9-years following the introduction of GMOs. While there is not sufficient evidence to support the connection between the release of GMOs and these health risks, we must also consider the distinct possibility of this being more than mere coincidence—particularly when some of GMO’s strongest advocates also hold very strong political sway, including ex Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor, who is now the US Food Safety Czar. (5)
EXAMPLES OF GMO FOODS, AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON LABELS TO AVOID GMOS
Unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible to avoid GMOs in foods such as corn, of which around 92% of all grown in the US based on acreage has been genetically modified. Even more concerning is the rapid worldwide increase in acreage of genetically modified crops, which has grown from 67.7 million hectares (10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres) in 2003, to 185.1 million in 2016 for more than a 117% increase. (6)
However, there are foods to look for and ones to avoid, as well as things to look for on food labels to help reduce you GMO foods health risks.
COMMON GMO CROPS TO WATCH OUT FOR INCLUDE:
Canola (used in producing canola oil)
However, by avoiding highly processed foods and conventionally grown foods in favor of 100% organically grown whole foods, you can better avoid GMOs. You can also look for labels which tell you the product is GMO-free, although this is a voluntary rating for companies, which may bring up issues concerning adherence. For this reason, it is best to look for a third-party certification, such as the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, which ensures certain compliance standards are met prior to certification. (
NON-GMO FOODS TO LOOK FOR
In addition to buying 100% organic and Non-GMO Project certified foods, you can also shop locally from small producers, such as at farmer’s markets or your local health food store, many of whom are committed to selling only non-GMO products. Growing your own food is also a good way of keeping GMOs away, although not all of us have the time and growing area for this.
However, most leafy green produce is safe, as are most other produce items, although this is subject to change. Unfortunately, the lack of regulation requiring GMO labeling also makes it a guessing game when it comes to identifying GMO foods, which makes sticking with 100% organic your best option when shopping.
References: https://maninisglutenfree.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/the-history-of-how-wheat-became-toxic/ https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1227&context=ijgls https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/monarch_butterfly/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791249/ https://responsibletechnology.org/10-reasons-to-avoid-gmos/ https://www.statista.com/statistics/263292/acreage-of-genetically-modified-crops-worldwide/ https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/biotechnology/permits-notifications-petitions/petitions/petition-status https://www.nongmoproject.org/product-verification/verification-faqs/
Originally posted: https://www.hotzehwc.com/2018/07/dangers-of-genetically-modified-foods-gmo-foods/
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CBD Oil Is More Than Just A Fad: Holistic Vets Effectively Use It On Dogs
Posted: 06 Feb 2019 05:18 AM PST
CBD dogsBy Sara Tipton
CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) is proving itself as more than just a fad. It seems like everyone, from athletes to everyday busy moms, and even veterinarians are using it as a natural and safe holistic treatment for a variety of ailments.
Many deeply entrenched in the realm of “Big Pharma” are going to say CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) is just a fad and it won’t ever gain real popularity like their drugs. But trusting Big Pharma has proven deadly for so many, and now some are choosing a more natural path to healing for themselves and their beloved pets.
Dogs Naturally Magazine reported on a holistic veterinarian who has had success with natural CBD oil. Australian veterinarian Edward Bassingthwaighte discovered how CBD oil could be a necessity in his holistic veterinary practice. “I simply can’t explain the improved heart murmur,” says Bassingthwaite. “They normally don’t get better,” he added, speaking of a Jack Russell terrier’s improved heart murmur. The ailment improved to the point of the dog wanting to go on long walks outside.
As more people seek natural remedies for health problems, interest in cannabidiol (commonly known as “CBD”) is growing, as it is safe and effective when used not just on yourself, but on your beloved dog. CBD oil is a fascinating substance that has tremendous therapeutic value. As Ready Nutrition previously reported, it is just one of over 100 compounds found in cannabis plants (including hemp!) that belong to a class of naturally occurring, biologically active chemical constituents called cannabinoids. CBD is non-intoxicating and unlike THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, CBD is a phytochemical that won’t get you or your dog “high.”
While you can use CBD oil on yourself, as it has been known to help regulate basic bodily functions, including mood, temperature, digestion, sleep, pain, appetite, and many more in humans, veterinarians are also finding it essential in their practice. Those who live a more naturally healthy and holistic lifestyle seem to be on to something with CBD oil.
CBD oil can aid a dog who has separation anxiety. We all know the type of dog; the one that can’t stand to be away from his family. But CBD has already been extensively studied on anxiety in humans, and it has been found to reduce anxiety caused by public speaking, reduce anxiety in both healthy people and people with anxiety disorders, and be effective for diminishing panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders.
CBD oil and other substances found in hemp and cannabis have been found to have an anti-tumor effect on both humans and dogs. Dr. Bassingthwaighte experienced this first hand when he used CBD oil on a senior Staffordshire Terrier that had a 6cm mammary tumor. That tumor disappeared in 3 months and didn’t come back. CBD has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increased tumor cell death.
Further animal studies show that CBD can help prevent colitis (IBD) and restore normal gut motility in inflammatory bowel disease. CBD also has antibiotic properties, including Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
CBD oil is perhaps used the most for pain, as its likely the most common and broad ailment. The cannabinoids in CBD work so well for pain that scientists are considering it as a new class of drug for the treatment of chronic pain. Studies show CBD to be very effective for decreasing pain (including neuropathy and nerve-related pain) and decreasing the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress (which causes degeneration and premature aging). CBD oil also has been shown to decrease inflammation in acute pancreatitis and reduce inflammation, including intestinal inflammation which is associated with irritable bowel disease. And it works just as well on your beloved dog as it does on you!
CBD use on dogs is safe and legal too. With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe even when taken in high doses (more than recommended) and over extended periods of time. It can decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs, so if your dog is on medication, you might want to check with your holistic veterinarian before using CBD.
When looking for a CBD oil for your dog (or yourself for that matter) you’ll want to choose a high-quality organic oil. It’s also important that you don’t “cheap out.” A cheap CBD oil may cost you less, but you also may not get the full holistic benefits if you try to save. This is one area where frugality is not necessarily your best friend. This CBD oil is our favorite and highly recommended: Organica Naturals
This oil by Organica Naturals comes in three specially formulated versions for pets of all sizes – even horses! And if you have any questions, you can get them answered online on the website quickly.
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease, illness, or any other ailment
This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com and was sourced from SHTFplan.com.
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