Friday, October 8, 2010

What's wrong with genetically modified food?

If you had asked me a year ago what a “genetically modified crop” meant to me or how it affected me I would have looked at you blankly. I had an underlying feeling that it might not be good for me because it doesn't seem natural to mess with a plant’s genetic makeup, but I wouldn’t have been  able cite anyone who would have agreed with me or been able back up my own thoughts as I had not researched the topic. Recently, I have had more time to care, research, and share my opinions. Here is a snap shot of what I have found out.
Just a little over 12 years ago a scientist, Pusztai, at the forefront of genetically modified research spoke out about his concerns regarding a potato he had been working on with a built in "Assassin" gene. The built in gene was "GNA lectin", a protein that kills insects. He had been working on this for seven years and up until then had seen no reason to doubt the pursuit of this modification until he conducted test on rats that involved them eating the modified potato. What he found shocked him and forever changed his mind regarding genetically modified food. When the rats were fed the modified food, their whole body was affected. Their brains, livers, and testicles were smaller, while their pancreases and intestines were enlarged. Their livers were partially atrophied. Organs related to the immune system, including the thymus and the spleen showed significant changes. Their white blood cells responded to immune challenges more slowly, indicating damage. All of this from a potato?
Previous studies by this same scientist tested just the GNA lectin on rats, which in and of itself had not caused damage. What happened? Pusztai says that when a plant is inserted with a gene (and/or when cell cloning has occurred) there is massive damage to the plant's other or original DNA, causing hundreds of mutations other than the intended one: adding the GNA lectin. According to this scientist, "Important natural genes can be inadvertently turned off, permanently tuned on, deleted, reversed, scrambled, moved, fragmented or changed."

I don't know about you but I have no desire to eat food that has been "messed" with. I want to know the food I am eating is pure and unadulterated. There are so many things in this world that mess with our bodies, why add one more?

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Goods.
Seeds of Deception

Take this with you shopping!

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