What is a GMO?

October 19, 2012

By GARY FORESMAN, MD

The GMO controversy can only be understood from a systems approach, and a few definitions are needed so we can all understand what we are talking about. Genomics is simply the study of all chromosomal contents of an organism. The Human Genome Project (HGP) found that humans only have approximately 23,000 genes (at one point nearly 2 million were predicted), similar to that of a roundworm. Merely 7 percent of protein families coded by all DNA in all organisms appear specific to vertebrates.

This takes us to the real key which is Proteomics: the study of all the structure and function of an organism’s proteins, and Metabolomics: the study of the collection of all metabolic processes in the organism, which gets us much closer to understanding our “biochemical individuality”. Now everyone can breathe for a second, I promise to stop defining things, but please understand these terms are not going away any more than the term “computer”. Why these terms are so important is because the HGP documented so vividly that the understanding of all organisms is vastly more complicated than the understanding merely of that organism’s genes.

This really is one of the most important subjects of our time, mainly for reasons people don’t understand. I’m hoping to cultivate understanding, thereby fostering compassion for those who hope to understand your personal role in food, economics, and health, both individually and globally. Every day, what you think, believe, eat, and do changes your genetic expression and can be accurately studied by the much more extensive and complicated fields of proteomics and metabolomics. Truly, our food supply can be understood as “biological response modifiers”, which simply means that you eat “information” that sends signals to your DNA about the health of your environment telling your DNA how to best respond for the health of your organism. This means every bite of your food alters your genetic expression, as does every thought, but that is another discussion.

What I am trying to lead you to is much larger and dramatically more important subject than just GMO foods, organisms such as corn and soybeans that have been genetically altered to resist herbicides. When you drink a diet soft drink, you alter the way your genes respond to sweetness. When you eat vegetable oils at levels impossible to obtain throughout the entire history of your species, you alter your genetic expression leading to hunger. Every time you eat anything but an organic, natural organism, you are “playing” with your genes. When you feed a cow corn instead of grass, the metabolomics effect is to create a “new” cow who has become a “metabolomically modified organism” (MMO, my term).The fat found in that cow has an omega6 : omega3 ratio not of 3:1 (grass fed), but 20:1 (corn fed). What was a healthy food becomes a pro-inflammatory signal to your genes that something very, very wrong is going on in the world.

Every food that has an ingredient list, which is not organic and unprocessed, is an MMO which has a more profound effect on your metabolism than any one genetic alteration could ever hope to obtain. That is truly my concern, while people war over the discussion of whether GMOs are safe (and we don’t know), we have the most “unsafe” food supply in human history, and it is only getting worse. The GMO controversy is an enormous distraction from the real issue of our day, a food supply so tainted by artificial everything, the non-organic practices in the raising of both agriculture and meat supply, that today’s human being has become a metabolomically adulterated fraction of human potential. Eating Real Food is the only sensible option.

Do we have the right to know whether a food is a GMO food? How truly sad that I even have to ask that question. The only people who don’t want you to know what’s in your food have a very legitimate complaint that Americans, like Europeans, will be intelligent enough to insist on a non-GMO alternative. Financially, the Agribusiness Conglomerates worry that knowledge of a GMO food present will alter what you buy, costing them billions of dollars. I don’t believe for a second that it will make much of a difference in America, as we are the only culture that fights the facts of evolution and climate change, why would we care if our food is GMO? Facts and science don’t change public perception.

You can only hope that if you truly understand the importance of the information you put in your body, you will chose Real Food! The questions is now do you actually want to understand what food really is? Do you want to make the decisions necessary to ensure your health and the health of future generations? The GMO controversy represents a very small symptom in a much larger MMO controversy of a tainted food supply based on the creation of quick money for the financially elite and chronic degenerative illnesses for the misinformed masses.

 


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The Gimlet Eye

Poland is on its way to banning the cultivation of GMO foods. [A full ban is planned for January 28th and will include Monsanto’s maize and BASF’s potato. This is the eighth EU state to take this action.] Set You Free News 2013 Jan 3


http://www.setyoufreenews.com/2013/01/03/poland-becomes-eighth-eu-country-to-ban-monsanto-maize/


The Gimlet Eye

France Launches Major Investigation Into GMOs Following Tumor Study


by Anthony Gucciardi

September 19th, 2012 | Updated 11/01/2012


Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/france-launches-investigation-gmos-following-tumor-study/#ixzz2DYtiiERK


The Gimlet Eye

Denmark’s tax on fatty junk foods and chocolate (called the fat-sugar tax) will be cancelled. [It did not improve eating habits; it raised tax revenue but that was offset by loss of revenue from lost jobs and lower sales due to the extra tax; and it made people angry, especially those who recognize that the government was ignoring real health threats like GMOs and vaccines.] Activist Post 2012 Nov 14


http://www.activistpost.com/2012/11/fail-worlds-first-fat-sugar-tax-in.html


leatherpink

Sad story, Monsanto spent $1 million a day and defected Prop 37. I was extremely sadden by the loss of this good legislation. Now we’ll never have an opportunity to educate GMO labels, corporations rule.


Oh did you know that Cal Coast News monitors my post, every one of them? They sure do.


r0y

I am torn on Proposition 37 – as it is written, it does seem like it will attract massive litigation and thus either limit our choices or increase our costs as consumers.


However, I would like other people who aren’t smart enough to know that all that “natural” food they pay top dollar for, often has GMO’s in them.


I mean, I like Broccoli and corn… and pineapple… so many fruits and veggies are “bio engineered” – plant breeding is huge in the agribusiness world. Heck, even my neighbor experiments with heirloom tomatoes in her backyard greenhouse…. these would all be labeled GMO.


Once the label is out, the conditioning will ramp up (it’s already here, trickling out) and soon, it will come down to government controlling yet another part of our lives. For our own good, no doubt.


I disagree that it’s the GMO’s that are causing obesity and other ailments. I personally think it’s cooking out cells via energy waves (cellular, satellite, radio, etc), but that is probably too nutty a position to have this decade.


YES or NO on 37? I’d love to see labeling, but do not need to. I know they are modified. I’d rather see labeling indicating PINK SLIME for meats, truth be known.


R.Hodin

I look forward to an article about epigenetics. How your thoughts create your world and alter your body. And how food & drug marketing influence this process, turing us into conditioned, unconscious addicts.


R.Hodin

Thanks for the article. I hope more people took the time to read it on their way to rant ‘n rave about other issues.


r0y

You lost me at I don’t believe for a second that it will make much of a difference in America, as we are the only culture that fights the facts of evolution and climate change, why would we care if our food is GMO? Facts and science don’t change public perception.

Facts and science are always in flux, to deny this is to deny history – and those who deny history, are doomed to repeat it.


For instance, did the people who lived in Greenland thousands of years ago (when it was “green”) “fight” climate change? That whole idea is just superfluously weak. Saying “climate change” is like saying “planetary rotation” – no kidding, there’s change? It’s not the “change” that people fight or the “facts”, it’s the causes and the over-bloated government controls that come of it that people rail against. It’s what some see as “fact” is nothing more than issues of control. Yes the climate changes. All the time. With or without us.


Also, your very article challenges what was once “facts of evolution” does it not? You talk about the HGP and how scientists originally predicted (using valid scientific facts, no doubt) that we would have nearly 2 million genes; and lo and behold: 23,000 – and this might change, who knows?


So why wrap up an otherwise informative piece with such demeaning, banal statements? Disappointing.


R.Hodin

You’ll also find that “History” is always in flux, if you study history.


r0y

Actually, Russ, it’s the interpretation of history that is often in flux (and re-written). Usually after all the living witnesses have passed on. Thankfully, some of them kept written records.


Jeanne Blackwell

Right on Gary. I’m no scientist but I could figure out that if I poured Roundup on my cereal that couldn’t be good for me. Roundup ready corn is in 85% of the all the corn produced in the US. Corn is in everything. Label it. Yes Prop 37

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Baking Powder (corn starch)

Brown Sugar – look for use of Caramel color. Domino’s Brown sugar no longer uses Caramel color

Calcium Citrate – the calcium salt of citric acid. See Citrate below for details.

Caramel – coloring used in soft drinks, derived from corn “or cane sugar.” The “or” in Coca-Cola’s explanation refers to a temporary change to make the ingredients Kosher for Passover. The rest of the year, it is from corn.

Cellulose, Vegetable, Powered, etc.

Citrate – can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid, or to the esters of citric acid. An example of the former, a salt is trisodium citrate; an ester is triethyl citrate. Forms of Citrate include: Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and more.

Citric Acid – the source sugar is corn steep liquor along with hydrolyzed corn starch

Corn

Corn Meal – items baked sitting on Corn Meal such as Bagels, Breads or Pizza, may not list Corn Meal as an ingredient

Corn Starch – in most over the counter medicines that come in a dry pill form. Yes, this includes Benedryl too. Watch for Corn Syrup in the liquid forms.

Corn Syrup

Decyl Glucoside – used in personal care products such as shampoo. It is produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut.

Dextrin, Maltodextrin – thickening agents found in sauces (check those frozen veggies!) salad dressings, and ice cream

Dextrose (glucose) – corn sugar, found in cookies, ice cream, and paired with glucose in hospital IVs unless specified not to! Can also be used as a carrier with anesthetic shots such as Lidocaine and Novocaine! Dextrose is also injected into meat, lunch meats and deli cuts. Be weary of “honey baked” items, the sweet flavor may not be from honey.

Ethanol – made by fermenting sugars produced from corn starch.

Ferrous Gluconate – i.e. as found in canned olives, and comes from corn or potato acid.

Flavoring – Artificial or “Natural Flavors” – as defined by the FDA regulations of labeling of spices, flavorings, and colorings.

Golden Syrup – Sometimes recommended as an alternate to Corn Syrup, but it may contain Corn Syrup as well.

Honey – May contain corn syrup, as HFCS is sometimes fed to bees, resulting in corn in the honey produced.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

Iodized Salt – Morton’s FAQ explains why they add Dextrose (corn) to their salt.

Lactic Acid – Commercially, lactic acid can be made synthetically from chemicals or organically as a byproduct of corn fermentation.

Lauryl Glucoside – is a surfactant used in cosmetics. It is a glycoside produced from glucose and lauryl alcohol.

Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium salt of citric acid.

Magnesium Stearate

Malic Acid

Malt

Malt Flavoring

Maltitol – (also known as Maltisorb and Maltisweet) Commercially, maltitol is a disaccharide produced by Corn Products Specialty Ingredients (formerly SPI Polyols), Cargill, Roquette, and Towa, among other companies. Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch.

Maltodextrin

Maltose

Mannitol – A naturally occurring alcohol that is often combined with corn derived sugars. Here is the link on USDA’s website explaining this practice.

Methyl Gluceth – an emollient used in cosmetics manufactured from corn sugar and corn starch.

Modified Food Starch

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – The MSGMyth site explains MSG is made from corn.

Polydextrose – is synthesized from dextrose, and contains sorbitol and citric acid. It is a food ingredient classified as soluble fiber and is frequently used to increase the non-dietary fiber content of food, replace sugar, reduce calories and reduce fat content. Note: Dextrose, Sorbitol, and Citric Acid are all on this list of ingredients derived from corn.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) – Plastic made from corn starch (U.S.) or sugarcane.

Polysorbates (i.e. Polysorbate 80) – Polysorbates are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.

Potassium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.

Powdered Sugar – contains corn starch

Saccharin – in powder form IS Sweet’N Low and therefore contains Dextrose.

Sodium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.

Sodium Erythorbate – is produced from sugars derived from sources such as beets, sugar cane and corn. It is a food additive used predominantly in meats, poultry, and soft drinks.

Sodium Starch Glycolate – is the sodium salt of a carboxymethyl ether of starch. It can be derived from any starch source (rice, corn, potatoes, etc).

Sorbitan – is a mixture of chemical compounds derived from the dehydration of sorbitol.

Sorbitan Monostearate – an ester of sorbitol and stearic acid. You will see this ingredient used in Yeast (and possibly other places as well).

Sorbitol – You will find Sorbitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste

Starch – often this is corn starch unless it specifies something else, like potato starch

Sucralose – Sucralose by itself may be corn free, though it is likely one best to avoid. Repackaged as the brand Splenda, it will contain dextrose and/or maltodextrin.

Sweet’N Low – contains Dextrose, and according to Sweet’N Low, ALL sugar substitutes in powder form contain Dextrose.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Vanilla Extract – most brands will have corn syrup, though you can find organic brands that do not, though the alcohol may be corn-derived.

Vinegar, Distilled White – can be made from any sugar, but the most common method is to use corn that has been converted from starch into sugar.

Vitamins – Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E (Tocopherols). Use caution with products that are “enriched” with added vitamins. The vitamins may be corn-derived, or corn-derivatives may be used in the binding (if solid) or suspension (if liquid) of the vitamin compound.

Xanthan Gum – a food additive that is used as a thickening agent. It is found in sauces, spices, and commonly in Gluten Free foods. Xanthan Gum is most often grown on corn, or corn sugars. If an item includes Xanthan Gum and states it is corn-free, call the manufacturing company and inquire as to the source of Xanthan Gum to be sure.

Xylitol – You will find Xylitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste

Zein – used in time-release medications, derived from Maize


And nothing will scare the bejeezes out of people more, sad but true, than the threat of rising cost. Rise in food cost because of labeling is just silly. Does Wheaties raise it’s price every time it changes its label? I don’t think so. And it won’t cost you a thing if you don’t buy it. Especially after it becomes law and they have to label that its a GMO. Don’t buy it and it cost you nothing. And really a company that spends $750,000 a second for an ad on the Super Bowl can’t afford one line of print on a label?