GMOs: A Primer

GMOs: A Primer

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are living organisms that have been genetically engineered. In other words, their genetic material has been modified and manipulated in a lab to create combinations that could never exist in nature through ordinary crossbreeding. This is very different than putting a big girl goat with a big boy goat in the same pen for a while. GMO development crosses natural kingdoms. Imagine splicing shrimp DNA with tomato DNA. Or cockroach DNA with human trafficker DNA. Science has come around to a belief that because we can, we should- all without moral obligations or even discussion.

The use of GMOs, particularly in the food industry, has sparked massive debate over the potential for harm these substances pose. Proponents of GMOs, mainly big food and pharma industries, are not interested in conversation, or even letting you know that you are eating GMO’s. They want you to just settle down and eat what they tell you. No need to waste anyone’s time and their money on research. Especially when they need that money to hire more lobbyists to influence the officials that you elected to protect you.

Although you may be aware of GMOs, at least peripherally, you may want to know more. Here’s a primer to get you started.

Pro-GMO Arguments

There are several arguments posited in favor of GMOs. Whether plants or animals are the result of genetic manipulation, GMO proponents claim that mixing favorable traits between viruses and, say, humans, organisms are produced which are heartier, more resilient, better resistant to disease, more productive- and more than virus but less than human.

While there is evidence to suggest that GMOs are more resistant to pests and disease, or at least more tolerant of pesticides and herbicides, the other claims are more dubious. The argument is that GMOs decrease the potential for waste and loss, which is beneficial to the profits of GMO’s.

Proponents claim the process is really no different from breeding a prize cow to a mushroom to produce an unusual offspring that may have value in the marketplace. Really???

Monsanto

One of the loudest proponents (and the largest producer) of GMO products is Monsanto, a multi-billion dollar food and pharmaceutical company with branches across the globe. Since its inception in 1901, Monsanto has been known to produce chemical products like PCBs, DDT, glyphosate (more commonly known as Roundup),
and even Agent Orange. All of which were ͞completely safe͟ when brought to the marketplace. After cancer, death and other chronic diseases ensued, they were later proven to be dangerously toxic to humans and the environment. Odd how that happened, wouldn’t you say?

More recently, Monsanto has lobbied hard for, and won, the right to mass produce GMOs- most notably corn, soy, wheat, and alfalfa products (fed to cows). Some of these GMO foods are used directly for human food and pharmaceuticals. So, yes, even your drugs can be GMO. They are the largest manufacturer of seeds worldwide and they continue to dominate the GMO marketplace, claiming approximately 80% of genetically modified crop production. The seeds are perfectly sterile, so after one planting, the farmer has to pay again for seeds every year after that. Monsanto seeds are designed to work specifically with Monsanto’s proprietary herbicide, Roundup. Therefore greatly increasing global sales of Roundup as a nice side effect. You don’t have to dig too deep to find Monsanto’s self-serving nature, despite the fact that they claim to be motivated by helping to make food safer and more affordable. Now is that behavior psychopathic or sociopathic? I get those two confused when talking about non-people persons.

Because of their status, funding, and connections, they have been one of the most notable contributors to the spread of GMOs across the globe, and they’ve realized the benefits through profit. From their profits, they have invested their billions of dollars into stopping GMO labeling. As a result, most Americans are unaware of the fact that as much as 80% of conventional processed foods contain GMOs. Surprise!!

Negative Health Effects

Although many countries have chosen to limit or ban GMOs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of GMOs in 1996, largely based on studies conducted, commissioned, or overseen by GMO manufacturers. Since then, the spread of GMOs has been connected to alarming health trends, such as the rise in cases of autism and autoimmune diseases, and other health concerns. It’s hard for real science and real scientists to compete with the mega dollars Monsanto pumps into pseudoscience, deflected science, and lobbyists.

Definitive studies have yet to prove causality, but between 1996 (when GMOs were introduced) and 2005, the number of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses nearly doubled, increasing from 7% in 1996 to 13% in 2005. In addition, studies have shown that genes inserted into corn and soy products linger in the bloodstream and splice into the beneficial bacteria living in our bodies. Now your good, kind, healthy, and useful gut bacteria are splicing with the nasty creepies, right there in your intestines. You yourself become a GMO. (My question is, when can Monsanto patent you? And when they do, will you now have to pay them body use fees?)

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has become perhaps the most outspoken opponent of GMOs and their suspected link to health problems, with studies focused largely on the connection between nutrition and health. It is no surprise, then, that she’s had companies like Monsanto squarely in her crosshairs. Let’s get her a kevlar vest, garlic, holy water, and a large life insurance policy anyway.

Globally

There are currently more than 60 countries that have restrictions or bans concerning the cultivation and growth of GMO products, with 38 countries having confirmed bans on GMOs and GMO cultivation. By comparison, only 28 countries, including the U.S., actually grow GMO crops.

It Matters

Without GMO labeling, consumers don’t have the option to avoid foods that contain GMOs – in other words, you have no idea what you’re eating. We have yet to determine the extent of toxicity of GMOs, including what the buildup over time in cells and intestines may do to our bodies. But if Monsanto stays true to form, it’s worse than we now know.

In your everyday life, this could spell the onset of chronic diseases with no cure and the potential to pass along genetic mutations to your children and your children’s children. All signs point to serious health concerns related to GMOs- so until we better understand what these Frankenfoods are doing to our bodies, it’s best to only eat the 20% of our food that is left without the GMO flavor. Do yourselves and your progeny a favor and just say NO to GMO.

The Second Brain: Gut Flora and Why We Need It

The Second Brain: Gut Flora and Why We Need It

All of us need to eat in order to receive the vital nutrients that give us energy and sustain life. Unfortunately, this means that we expose our bodies to outside elements that are both beneficial and harmful. An apple, for example, can deliver water, fiber, and vitamins your body needs, but it could also be a conduit for chemical pesticides and fertilizers, mold, parasites, or harmful bacteria. Even if food is natural, organic, and perfectly healthy, you still need to digest it in order to glean the nutrients and expel the waste. This is where your gut flora, or the microbiome of essential bacteria in your digestive tract, comes into play.

You may be wondering why the gut flora is often referred to as a second brain. It is because your brain and your gut are inextricably linked, with each influencing the other. Not only does the health of your microbiome inform the health of your entire body, but there is also communication between bacteria and the brain via the nervous system, a process known as the gut-brain axis. And all of the signals sent between the two are designed with one goal in mind: survival. Note that you don’t necessarily have to be healthy to survive. You do, however, have to adapt. And the gut is often the first wave of defense because it is where outside elements, good or bad, are introduced into your body.

And from there your two brains – the one in your head and the one in your gut – work together to absorb and distribute nutrients, expel waste, and cope with the rising tide of toxins that are in our environment and that are introduced through consumption. Have you ever heard of a nervous stomach? This is your brain and your gut interacting, creating a physical response to mental and emotional stress. And when the microbiome is out of balance, the result could be inflammation, immune response, and corresponding feelings of fatigue, anxiety, or depression, just for example. In other words, your gut flora could be inextricably linked to all kinds of ailments that are seemingly unrelated to your digestive tract. On the upside, balancing your microbiome and maintaining gut health has the potential to improve the health of your entire body.

So in addition to helping you properly digest your food, the gut flora plays a crucial role in how your body functions as a whole and how it adapts to survive its environment and the items you consume. And just as it can be damaged by outside elements, so too can it be healed by the choices you make. When your gut flora is balanced, you will enjoy optimal health. When your microbiome is compromised, your health is sure to follow suit.

Autoimmune: We Can Heal

Autoimmune: We Can Heal

If western medicine has taught us nothing else, it has imparted the sure knowledge that the genetics we are born with cannot be changed. But is that true? It’s important to understand that genetic predispositions are not foregone conclusions. Even if you have a family history of autoimmune disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are on a predestined path toward illness. You are simply at greater risk. But thanks to a revolutionary field of study known as epigenetics, we now know that you can avoid predispositions and potentially even reverse autoimmune diseases after they have been triggered.

Autoimmune disorders are just one possible genetic expression that may occur when you are predisposed to a particular illness. But your genetic code also features a predisposition for health. So how can you control which expression your genes produce? If you listen to allopathic experts, you’ll come to believe that you have no control, that you merely have to wait for inevitable health problems to surface and then treat them forever with toxic pharmaceuticals that suppress symptoms while inundating you with unfavorable side effects. It’s no wonder so many people are looking for alternatives to western medicine.

The truth is that your body is designed to adapt and survive, and it has mechanisms in place to achieve and maintain health. However, your behavior and your lifestyle choices play a major role in the ability to regulate health. There are several factors to consider when it comes to remaining healthy, avoiding the onset of diseases, and addressing them if and when they are triggered. Input is essential. You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. It’s not far from the truth. The nutrients you ingest not only provide fuel that gives your body energy, but they affect you at the cellular level. And they have an impact on gene expression. When you ingest processed foods laden with chemicals and toxins, there is a much higher chance of triggering unhealthy gene expressions that lead to autoimmune diseases.

But you have the power to make a different choice and create a different outcome where your health is concerned. And food isn’t the only factor. Environmental toxins can play a part, as can your very thoughts and beliefs. If, for example, you follow allopathic thought on the matter, believing that you are doomed to repeat the genetic expressions of your parents, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if you believe that you can overcome disease to achieve health, or that you can make choices that allow you to maintain healthy genetic expression, there is another avenue available to you.

In other words, you are a participant in your health, one way or another. You must stop listening to those who tell you that predisposition equates to an indisputable outcome, that there are no causes or cures for autoimmune diseases, and that a lifetime of pharmaceutical Band-Aids is your only option. With proper nutrition, holistic medicine, and a strong belief that you can control your health and your genetic expression, autoimmune and other diseases can be treated, corrected, and even reversed. In some cases they can be avoided altogether, regardless of genetic predisposition. Your expression of health, for better or worse, begins before you’re even born. But you have ample opportunity to decide which way it goes.

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