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What you need to know about GMO's - Part One

From: Donna Descoteaux
Series: Living Well Show
Length: 28:37

Ron Cummins, executive director of the Organic Consumers Association discusses the genetic manipulation of our food supply. Called GMO's (genetically manipulated organisms), this manipulation of our food has been quietly taking place for years and the general public is unaware of what they are eating every day. Common GMO foods are corn, soybeans, fish, canola, rice, tomatoes and potatoes. Because the GMO industry has successfully lobbied against the labeling of GMO foods, people are unknowingly eating these experimentally altered foods.

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Research has shown there are serious health consequences from eating GMO foods.  Rats fed potatoes engineered to produce their own insecticide developed potentially precancerous cell growth in the digestive tract, displayed inhibited development of their brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, enlarged pancreases and intestines and immune system damage. In another study rats were fed the GM FlavrSavr tomato for 28 days. Seven of 20 rats developed stomach lesions (bleeding stomachs); another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. This tomato was approved despite unresolved safety questions by FDA scientists. In the GMO process foreign genes are inserted in the target organism, the foreign DNA can disrupt the natural DNA at the insertion site.  When genes are inserted at random in the DNA, their location can influence their function, as well as the function of natural genes. "Insertion mutations" can scramble, delete or relocate the genetic code near the insertion site. Evaluation of insertion sites have shown relocations of up to 40,000 DNA base pairs, mixing together foreign and host DNA, large scale deletions of more than a dozen genes and multiple random insertions of foreign DNA fragments. This process may also result in hundreds or thousands of DNA mutations. While a change in a single base pair may have serious consequences, widespread changes in the genome can have multiple, interacting effects. Most scientists working in the field are unaware of the extent of these mutations, and no studies have examined genome-wide changes in commercialized GM plants. Genetically modified foods may well be one of the most critical health hazards we all face. Your listeners deserve to know what they are eating.

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Piece Description

Research has shown there are serious health consequences from eating GMO foods.  Rats fed potatoes engineered to produce their own insecticide developed potentially precancerous cell growth in the digestive tract, displayed inhibited development of their brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, enlarged pancreases and intestines and immune system damage. In another study rats were fed the GM FlavrSavr tomato for 28 days. Seven of 20 rats developed stomach lesions (bleeding stomachs); another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. This tomato was approved despite unresolved safety questions by FDA scientists. In the GMO process foreign genes are inserted in the target organism, the foreign DNA can disrupt the natural DNA at the insertion site.  When genes are inserted at random in the DNA, their location can influence their function, as well as the function of natural genes. "Insertion mutations" can scramble, delete or relocate the genetic code near the insertion site. Evaluation of insertion sites have shown relocations of up to 40,000 DNA base pairs, mixing together foreign and host DNA, large scale deletions of more than a dozen genes and multiple random insertions of foreign DNA fragments. This process may also result in hundreds or thousands of DNA mutations. While a change in a single base pair may have serious consequences, widespread changes in the genome can have multiple, interacting effects. Most scientists working in the field are unaware of the extent of these mutations, and no studies have examined genome-wide changes in commercialized GM plants. Genetically modified foods may well be one of the most critical health hazards we all face. Your listeners deserve to know what they are eating.

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