Are GMOs Safe? | Chris Kresser
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Are GMOs Safe?


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Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have been popular in the news lately ever since California failed to pass Prop 37, which would have required the labeling of GMO ingredients on all products sold within the state. While California may be setting the stage for the discussion of future labeling of GMO foods in our country, currently there is no regulation anywhere in the United States requiring the disclosure of GMO ingredients to consumers. This is in contrast to countries such as those in Europe and South America, who highly regulate the cultivation and sale of genetically modified crops and often require the labeling of foods that contain GMO ingredients (1, 2). In America, unless you buy certified non-GMO food, there is no way to know if your food contains GMOs or not.

So why does it matter if our food contains GMOs? You may have heard from various media sources that genetically modified foods are perfectly safe and there is no evidence to suggest any long term risk from their consumption. On the contrary, there has been some evidence suggesting potential health risks caused by these foods; even scientists within the FDA itself have repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. (3, 4) With so much conflicting information, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. Are GMOs safe for human consumption, or not?

Do GMOs really affect our health as negatively as some believe? Tweet This

What is Genetic Modification?

Genetic modification involves the transfer of genes from one species of plant or animal to another, using techniques that can cause mutations in the genome that may have unintended consequences for the crop’s safety. (5) The imprecise rearrangement of genes can create new proteins in these plants that may trigger allergies or promote disease. (6) Our immune systems often do not recognize these new proteins and may mount an immune attack against them if they enter our bloodstream intact.

These unintended gene transfers, along with those that are intended, can lead to significant changes in gut and immune function, and may have long-term consequences that are not yet known to the scientific and medical communities.

In genetically modified corn and cotton, a gene from a bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is inserted, which causes a pesticidal toxin to be produced in every cell of the plant. This Bt-toxin kills insects that eat the plant by breaking down its gut lining and killing the insect from septicemia caused by the ensuing blood infection. (7) While this toxin has not been proven to be toxic in this way for humans and other mammals, several recent studies have suggested this toxin could have effects on immune health, gut health, liver and kidney function, and fertility.

The potential dangers of GMOs

The gut is most susceptible to the potential dangers of GMO consumption. Bt toxin produced by GMO corn has been shown to significantly alter immune function in mice, and may cause disrupted immune function in the gut. (8, 9, 10) One study suggested that Bt toxin has toxic effects on human cells in vitro, causing them to die prematurely. (11) This could cause damage to gut endothelial cells if the toxicity is found to occur in vivo. The potential intestinal effects of GMO consumption go beyond Bt toxin. Some argue that gut bacteria are capable of acquiring DNA sequences from GM plants, which could lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in those microbes. (12) It’s not yet fully understood what proportion of the GM genes are able to be transferred to gut microbiota.

There have been effects of GM corn found on organs outside of the intestinal system as well. Analysis of Monsanto’s own research and independent research by a lab in France determined that mice and rats eating Bt-toxin producing corn sustained liver and kidney damage. (13, 14) Other harmful effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and hematopoietic system of these GM corn-fed rats. Bt toxin has also been demonstrated to reduce fertility in mice, with fewer offspring being produced than by mice fed on natural crops. (15) While these are small, preliminary studies, it’s worth investigating the effects GMOs can have on other organs besides the intestines.

Since the research is in its infancy, GMOs may have associated health risks that we do not fully understand. The organization known as The Institute for Responsible Technology has developed a list of potential hazards of GMO consumption, providing a list of references for each health risk discussed. They have amassed a great deal of support for their position that GMOs are dangerous, and much of their information comes from research studies, clinical experience from doctors, and anecdotal evidence from farmers and parents of children who thrived on a GMO-free diet. (Unfortunately, the website’s statements exaggerate the findings of several studies, so it’s best to be a critical thinker and take the information with a grain of salt.)

Why is there still controversy?

Recent reviews have proposed a different story when it comes to GMO safety, arguing that the bulk of the evidence demonstrates no health risks associated with GMO consumption. (16, 17, 18) These reviews found GMOs to be generally safe with no multigenerational effects, but also recommended that more research continue to be performed on the health effects of GMO consumption in mammals. It’s interesting to note, however, that the majority of the studies considered by these reviews had been conducted by biotechnology companies responsible for commercializing these GM plants; this conflict of interest could have an effect on the reporting of certain data. That said, there’s no denying the fact that independent critical reviews have so far found GMOs to be safe in food.

Unfortunately, credible research demonstrating the potential dangers of GMOs is not only sparse, it is also inconsistent. While many scientists argue that GMOs are unsafe for human consumption, there are many more scientists who suggest that the evidence to date has not found any significant health risks from ingesting GMOs.

It’s impossible to tell at this point who has the right answer, and it’s unnerving that there is so much controversy over the safety of a food product that is present in 60 to 70 percent of processed foods found in grocery stores. (19)

A verdict on GMOs?

There hasn’t been nearly enough research performed on GMOs to make an informed decision on their safety. However, lack of proof is not proof against. While the available evidence is still mixed, it seems likely that genetically modified foods could have an effect on the immune response as well as the permeability of the gut. Whether or not this leads to an increase in disease is yet to be determined. However, if regular consumption of GMOs is able to cause leaky gut, it could play a role in the recent dramatic rise in obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmune disease, and infertility in our country.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I think there is enough inconsistency in the available evidence to support the removal of GMOs from your diet. Fortunately, purchasing certified non-GMO or organic foods and eating a whole-foods or Paleo diet will allow you to steer clear of most GMO foods on the market. Until more legitimate research is conducted, I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid genetically modified foods as much as possible.

Have you or your family experienced a health improvement from cutting out GMOs? Tell me your story in the comments below!


Join the conversation

  1. My retail food company has a no-GMO policy, but IMO, the problem is not GM technology per se, which is neutral, but lax regulation and lack of independent research.

    Bt corn is a an example, but is not emblematic of GM crops, per se … it is just one choice from an in infinitude of possibilities, made by one creepy, politically powerful company (Monsanto)

    Jeffrey Smith (who runs IRT) routinely distorts the evidence, and he has very strong career/financial interests for spinning reality.

    According to a wide range of independent scientists, the Caen et al. studies (cited as 13, 14) were scientifically bogus.

    Unsurprisingly, re: the most recent Caen study, Smith failed to note that many of the rats fed regular corn got equally huge, ugly tumors, and that the study has been refuted as bogus by experts in study design and cancer research.


    This Slate article is also worth reading and links (indirectly) to a EU report, excerpts of which are shown below.

    The EU’s science panel and the U.S. NRC agree that GM crops are not inherently unsafe, or inherently less safe than crops bred conventionally, by exposing seeds to toxic chemicals and radiation, creating far more mutation, and totally random one, vs. gene splicing.
    The EU does not have a blanket ban on GMOs (though it had approved only two GM crops as of 2011) and recently sued France over a GM-corn ban which the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms ruled unscientific.

    In a 2010 report, The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research found that GMOs per se are not less safe than conventional crops.
    A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001 – 2010)

    These are the key excerpts [my comments in brackets]:

    Back Cover:
    This publication (June 2010) summarizes the results of 50 selected research projects on genetically modified organisms (GMO), co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, and conducted in the period 2001 – 2010, including a summary of the latest Eurobarometer survey 2010 on Life Sciences and Biotechnology.

    A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001 – 2010), pg. 16
    The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”

    [This echoes the conclusions of the U.S. NRC (see “Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods:
    Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health
    Effects” at and everything I’ve read about conventional hybridization methods, which, BTW, produced many of the commercial organic crops raised/sold today … see pg. 3 and 4 of the report and the “GM fear-mongering doesn’t help” section at ]

    Safety Assessment, pg. 128 (from Chapter 2: GMO and Food Safety, which starts on pg. 127)
    A number of projects (ENTRANSFOOD, GMO CARE, SAFOTEST, NOFORISK, and GMOBILITY) have focused on the development of safety assessment approaches for GM foods/feed.

    Conclusions, pg. 133:
    These activities [referring to the research programs cited on pg. 128] provide at least equal assurance of the safety of these foods compared to conventional counterparts, provided these GM products have been approved by the EU and the national food safety evaluation procedures.

    Quality studies of micro-organisms used for food fermentation, pg. 130
    The results suggested that gene modifications induced by molecular biology tend to produce less unexpected events than classical methods.

    [Again, this echoes the conclusions of the NRC and everything I’ve read about conventional hybridization methods.]

    I highly recommend “Tommorows Table” by husband-wife team Pamela Ronald (UC Davis plant geneticist) and Raoul Adamchak (Head of UCD’s organic farming program), and “Food, Inc.” by Perter Pringle.

    Ronald makes the case that GM could be a valuable ally to organic farming, and her husband agrees.

  2. How many of you know that the current food safety czar is Mike Taylor who is the former Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto? How many know that the current Secretary of Agriculture is former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack who has been in bed with Monsanto, Dupont et al for years. How many of you voted for Obama in the last election?

    The wolf is watching the hen house folks.

  3. In 1989, the “contaminated” tryptophan that killed about 30 people and permanently disabled over 1000 was produced by an untested GMO process. How can anyone say that untested GMO can be safe, or how can the FDA claim they know of no problem? At the recent WAPF conference, I asked Jeffery Smith about this, and he confirmed that my information is correct.
    Ira Edwards, author of HONEST NUTRITION

    • Ira, Wrong. The problem was caused by an impurity in the tryptophan by a Japanese company. And remember almost all insulin and cheese is produced using genetic engineering.

  4. After becomig aware of the GMOs products implications in our diet, I cleaned my pantry and replaced all products with verified non GMO ingredients. I spent a lot of time on the phone with the manufacturers to decide what I could continue purchasing for my family and what product I should avoid totally. In consequence, I also switched to gluten free products and as well as to coconut products to replace the butters, milk and sugar needed in my recipees. As a result, no one in the family has complained of the adjustements, the kids have lost in average 5 pounds, I have lost 11 pounds after 12 weeks into “our family awareness program” I would encourage anyone who cares for their family to pursue a non GMO awareness program. It is worth it!

  5. I read “The world according to Monsanto” the other day, scary stuff. I too feel for economic and environmental factors GMOs should be left alone. History of monsanto speaks for itself, its bad all the way around. Massive deregulation in such an ethically slippery field is not the way towards real progress.

  6. Good, even-handed analysis, as always. Thanks Chris. It would have been good to have this article a few weeks ago before we had to vote on labeling GMO’s. I actually voted against prop 37 (though I felt uncertain about it). It just seemed to me somewhat pointless to try to label GMO, since, as you pointed out yourself, it’s become so ubiquitous. Also, with cross-pollination and all… My feeling is that we should just assume that food produced by mega-farms will be compromised in a number of ways, and the best we can do is to buy organic or from small traditional farms. I’m the strongest proponent of clean, healthy food that I know, but I caught a lot of flack for my vote. Ah well…

    • It does surprise me you would vote against prop 37 yet support “small traditional farms.” Kinda defeats the purpose if you vote in favor of big multinational corporations on a measure, yet vote with your dollar in favor or small farms when it comes to your food.

    • That makes a lot of sense to me. I figure, with all the furor about GMOs in the public eye, any product that IS GMO-free is going to want to state that clearly on the label as a marketing strategy… so GMOs are already labeled, basically. If it doesn’t say it’s GMO-free, there’s a good chance it isn’t.

      • That will only happen with enough demand. Most of the population has no clue whats going on. Now when trans fats came out and were horrible, thats when companies started labeling “TRANS FAT FREE!” Which in a way is absurd to see sorbet marketed as trans fat free. When GMO if ever is considered very bad to the public you will labeling everywhere. You guys are not very progressive, are you?

  7. Thanks Chris a good balanced view, we all need to investigate what we are eating, drinking and wearing. I’m increasingly concerned about the increase in soy formula given to babies as young as 4 months and would love to see an article about the pros and cons of soy formula? The babies are lactose or milk protein intolerant but soy products do concern me.

  8. Ok, caution makes sense. Your article focused on the Bt effect, while others have focused on the massive amounts of pesticides which are used on so many GMO crops, enabled by the genetic modifications of the plants. The combination of these two factors could indeed be dangerous.

    However, it seems to me that the “dramatic rise in obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmune disease, and infertility in our country” was well underway long before the rise of GMO crops and foodstuffs and may be equally or more traceable to poor diet, high grain and sugar consumption, powerful antibiotics and advancing age of the childbearing cohort. Certainly pollutants can only contribute to this downhill spiral. Seems that organic foodstuffs/retailers will be a growth industry for many years to come.

    • Robert J There is no BT effect. The proteins that kill insects only effect those with an alkaline digestive tract. People have acid systems, hence the acid reflux. The acids break down the protein. That’s one reason that BT can be used in organic farming.

  9. I find it suspicious that almost all of the (actually concerning) references you cited as evidence that GMOs are potentially dangerous come from the same guy (Séralini) who has demonstrated sketchy behavior and a likely anti-GMO bias, y’know? The research should be done, of course, but we have to have reasonable risk-benefit analyses in the meantime. It seems ridiculous that people are so afraid of genetic modification, requiring so much testing, while crops created from breeding or mutagenesis are given a pass. At least with the former we know exactly what the genetic change is, y’know?

    • Cross pollenation and hybridization are NOT the same as scientifically injecting and splicing DNA together in a lab. The former can happen in nature without human intervention, the latter cannon. GMO crops are not a product that could have happened in nature.

        • The difference, Jesse, is that Mother Nature, although not completely perfect, has had MILLIONS of years to create and improve each organism and plant in a way that will benefit the most. And while scientists are discovering more things each day, there are still many, many things that the human race just does not understand about how the body works and the consequences of putting different things into our bodies. We are very much still in the process of learning. For these reasons, I personally feel much more compelled to trust what nature has produced and feel it best that scientists not try to mess with it (at the very least, they need to PROVE as best they can with many long-term, controlled, randomized studies that it is not harmful, before I might feel safe ingesting it).

          • Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure I see things the same way. Is Mother Nature actively interested in our well-being so much to develop things for our benefit? Aren’t there many deadly substances in Nature that can harm or kill us, either in the short-term or the long-term? Aren’t many of the things we enjoy eating today such good food because of human intervention and ingenuity (for example, the banana)? I don’t think almost anything we eat has been studied with such rigor as you suggest, so is being a hunter/gatherer the only option?

            • Right on. Have we tested organic apples to determine whether they cause cancer? I mean, seriously, apple seeds contain ARSENIC. Feed that to mice and you’ll kill them. Should we ban apples now?

            • Banana! I have seen the absurd logic to for gods existence. Then there is a coconut tree right next to the banana tree. LOL. You can debate genetic mutation all you want. The fact is Monsanto’s GMO has not been fully researched. Why should anyone trust the FDA, or AMA for the things they have pushed into society without proper research and then 20 to 40 years laters we find out cigarettes are bad, BPA is bad, etc. People don’t think conspiracy happens because its a taboo word. Conspiracy happens daily.

    • Jesse – Can I recommend a book called Seeds of Destruction by William Engdahl and I urge you to spend a day on the Organic Consumer Associations website just reading all of the articles and studies they have gathered regarding GMO’s. I’m not as concerned with specific breeding of crops within the same species of plants but would agree mutagenesis should get much more review.

  10. One more concerning element about the trend towards genetic modification is that it’s driving thought further way from the health of the soil being the element we need to focus on. If the soil quality is getting so poor, and plants so week, that we need to insert virus DNA into them so they can grow, then we’re ignoring a huge demineralisation issue and subsequent ill health of the population using those foods for the bulk of their calories.

    Also, would it really be the wise thing to do to trust a company with such a track record as Monsanto’s? They’ve told us in the past that things like DDT and Agent Orange were okay. Are genetically modified foods to be on next on the list of regrets 20 years from now?

    It is somewhat concerning that, with all the talk in the past years about the bees and colony collapse, that Monsanto went and bought out a bee research firm which had been investigating their involvement…

    • monsanto never said those products were “OK”…where to people come up with such thinking. Every chemical, natural or synthetic comes with risk. No scientist would say they don;t. If someone recieves significant exposures…they take on risk. If you stand next to your grill and bretathe smoke, you are getting cancer risk. Do charcol manfucaturers have to tell you not to do that.

      I personally think it is positive that monsanto bought a company concerned with bee colony collapse..why are you concerned ? Why don’t anti gmo people fund such research…why do they say testing is not good enough, but offer no suggestions on what testing is acceptable…and they certainly could fund such studies.

      easy to think our neighbors that work for the gov’t, or a corporation are out to kill us for profit I guess. I personally would trust a professional in either more than your basic citizen who has little or no accountabilty or responsiblity in what they do.

      rant over 🙂

      • Ok Jon I seem to be seeing you vouching for Monsanto a lot. There is a lot of reason to be wary of Monsanto, we in no way should be trusting them with a large portion of the food supply.

        Funny how you think individuals are the ones with no accountability when corporations are running rampant.

        • Applause Trav. A good many of us not certified professional have done years of our own research and reading here. I personally don’t trust ALL professionals and we have excellent professionals who’ve done the research on GMO and being verbal giving us information that Monsanto prefers we aren’t exposed to.

  11. I enjoyed Chris’s article very much. I was especially surprised to read that even cotton has been GM’d! My husband is “sensitive” to many foods [even one major grocery store’s brand of Organic Spinach bothers him] and even cotton, especially his socks. I buy hemp or bamboo socks for him. Many times even hemp socks contain a large % of cotton. Bt might be the reason for his sensitivity. But to those of you who say you are Paleo/Primal/or??, don’t you still eat vegetables? Vegetables, even organic, may be GM’d apparently–unless you grow your own–and then you have to be careful of the seeds It’s just not fair for those who live in climates that can’t grow much more than spinach and lettuce–and can’t afford health-food store produce which are miles away from our area anyway. All we can do for now is make the best choices we can to try to stay healthy.

    • Marlene – Most vegetable crops have not been genetically modified. The most notable food crops that have been GMO’d include soybeans, corn & sugarbeets. A good reason to buy cane sugar and not just “sugar” – if you buy sugar that is.

      • Potatoes not marked organic are likely now GMO, that was to start in 2014. Most yellow summer squash is now GMO. Fruit trees are now starting to be GMO, it goes on and on.

        Read Dr. Don Huber..Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University.. one of many giving warnings. Obama has had up to 12-15 people working in the White House with close ties to Monsanto.

        There are many reproductive problems that are happening. Male frogs, subjected to chemical run off of agricultural land, in areas of California are now producing eggs, instead of sperm. It is not just super weeds and other pathogens coming from round up. And, the Monsanto RNA damaging GMO Wheat, is now everywhere. So many people are having gut issues… Wonder why?

        AT 69, I grow most of my food organically, I use BT dust on plants, it helps kill cabbage worms… but it is not IN the plant itself. It is a soil organism that causes no problem topically, but I hate the thought of that being in my body, damaging my intestinal track, from eating non-GMO food.

        People and their health mean little to corporations who look only for profit. A study was out this week, which stated, that kids exposed to chemicals have a much lower IQ. How will we compete in the world, if we dumb down our kids… ? What is the connection between the hight rate of autism] [1 child in every 52 births!] and Autism.. autistic kids a tons of gut issues…. hummm..

        Think about what Fracking chemicals are going to do to young minds… water flows everywhere. Fracking chemicals can not be contained in deep wells, the very drilling caues earthquates that release the water into what we drink. Also, radiation is in those wells, entering our water supply!

        Both issues, GMO and Fracking are Crimes Against Humanity! Get some organic seeds, plant in containers, if you have no land, but begin to learn to feed yourselves. It is delicious, healthy, centering and safer form of exercise, than walking down shopping lanes in a grocery store! Learning to grow food, may very well be a survival tool, since people in charge of this nation, seem to consider citizens expendable, where money is involve

        The information is out there, the choice is ours. GMO’s are for making money, not for properly feeding people! Without health, life becomes a sad chore..I think about that if I ever go into a supermarket, that most of the food, is in all likelihood GMO! All part of taking responsibility for ourselves! Wishing you well

        • cairnMom, Read U.F. professors attempt to get a straight story out of Huber and The articles debunking his claims at biofortified.

  12. Great article. The effects on health could be minimal. That really isn’t the reason I oppose GE. There are too many other extant reasons, from economic to environmental. Being tied to an unsustainable farming system is reason enough. Resisitance of plants to relatively benign chemicals (like glyphosate) leads to greater use of the same product and increased use of much less benign (and more expensive) herbicides. The same could be said of BT and insects.

    It’s all about corporate profits.

    I’m glad GE agriculture is prohibited here in NZ.

  13. This past August I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. In an effort to heal the internal bleeding, I cut all sugar and grains from my diet. Four months later, and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds. I have more energy. I’m having normal bowel function again and the bleeding has mostly stopped, although I have had times where the bleeding flairs up again for a day or two. I don’t know if these improvements in my health are from avoiding sugar, GMOs, or wheat, but what ever it is, I will continue to make all my food from scratch and avoid grains and sugar, even though it is extremely difficult, than go back to the way I was eating, which made me sick!

    • I’ve had UC for 40+ years. I hope eventually your gut will be stable enough to let you eat a few targeted grains, but wait a while. Hopefully you will be able to eat millet, wild rice and quinoa (soak them first). I’m very glad you are doing so much better. Keep managing it well!

  14. I think this article is pretty reasonable and thank you Chris for the work. I tend to have more a problem with specific GMO’s that either create their own insecticides, or allow the plant to withstand heavier doses of herbicides, etc. I’m not opposed to hybridization or other means to create more drought resistant plants, but that’s not entirely where this GMO thing is headed. In the end, you can’t beat the advice to at least be wary, and to eat well probably means choosing the cleanest and most natural foods that you can. It’s hard to go wrong via that route.

  15. I have tried to avoid GMOs after reading Seeds of Deception. Hard to do since they are not labeled.

    • Isn’t it possible for responsible food producers to label non-GMO foods as such? Then consumers may start looking for the “non-GMO” label to trust the foods they buy. If the GMO proponents don’t want to their products as containing GMOs, so what? All we need is for the “good guys” to label their foods “non-GMO” and that’s what we buy. Leave the unlabeled stuff on the shelves. It’ll probably never rot…

      • good point….much is said about lack of transparency and people want to know. I know, if it is a processed food it likely has GMO…no rocket science needed.

        If mfg’s (good guys as you say) want to supply those who don’t want gmo….they are free to do so.

        The reason things don’t rot on the shelf is an entirely different matter (and known to anyone who wants to look). That you think gmo has anything qualities related to shelf life…says to me preception is what drives you, not science. genetically evolution, and hybrid manipulation good….engineered bad….not sure I can think of why people think that way, but many do.

        • The reason they said it wouldn’t rot wasn’t solely based on the GMO aspect, it is more likely they mean foods that contain GMO are likely to be filled with other toxic ingredients and preservatives.

          Also, if you are trying to say that hybridization is the same as genetic modification you are absolutely wrong.

          Hybridization works within the boundaries of nature, genetic modification crosses species barriers that were never meant to be crossed.

        • I did speak in haste. Please believe that I honestly don’t really think GMO has anything to do with food not rotting on the shelves… it was a bad statement, and I was just caught up in the whole disgust with various forms of fake food.
          Wish I could have erased my reply, which was formed in an agitated state. But sadly, I cannot retract the comment.

  16. Well done. My take is, since we don’t know why risk it? When we mess with the foods mother nature gives us, it tends to turn out bad. Until there’s a definitive answer, I’m fine with skipping them… of course, I eat a Primal/Ancestral diet so I’m not too concerned anyway!

  17. To me it is a no brainer, that GMOs should be avoided. This story resembles Big Sugar’s fight to disprove the harmful effects of sugar consumption on human health. Good old Europe is very right in regulating the stuff extensively. Feed GMOs to your enemies if you want to do them harm. Avoid them yourself.

  18. I used to work for USDA. Approval of these GMOs is a total farce. USDA Biotechnology Resources tells the manufacturer “if you tell us its safe, then we believe you”. I mean this with no exageration. There is no requirement to provide test documentation. The fact that Monsanto spent 40 million to defeat the proposition shows that they dont want consumers to make informed decisions. One other fact Chris, just because a product is labeled Organic, does not mean it is GMO free. The term organic is a USDA regulated term which just means basically no chemicals were applied.

    • Just to state here about the GMO content of organic labeled food… There’s multiple tiers of organic labeling based on the percent of organic ingredients:

      How do I know if something is organic?

      The USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products:

      100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients

      Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients

      Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)

      Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.

    • Rich,

      Thanks for your comments about your experience working with USDA and how the “approve” GMO’s. I have been under the assumption if I bought organic corn tortillas for my family they would be GMO free. Hmmm I will have to be more diligent..

    • That is upsetting re organics and GMOs … I had counted on organic foods to be GMO-free! Hope organic producers could make sure to label their GMO-free produce as such.

    • Dear Rich, could you explain were your claim on GMO in organic foods comes from?

      I would say that this claim on GMO seeds is wrong. Without doubt in Europe GMOs are strictly forbidden in organic farming. The EU standard (which is the most lax one in Europe) says: “Absolute prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms”

      And also the EPA writes: “The NOP [National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling, red.] rule prohibits the use of genetic engineering”

      May I ask, are there any benefits for Americans for being the guinea pigs for the rest of the world?

      • “May I ask, are there any benefits for Americans for being the guinea pigs for the rest of the world?”

        Cheap food for the masses, $$$ for the elite!

        • I believe the second part, Monsanto and co. are making profits.

          I get the impression, that they determine the prices in a way that the farmers already do not get much of the profit. As the commodity prices are a very small part of the product price, I do not think the masses notice anything. Even in case of bread, the price of the wheat does not contribute much to the price, most is labor, transport, marketing and opportunity costs.

          • That is not true Goldman Sachs and other investment banks are now allowed to speculate in commodities and are driving prices up. This is since 2000 when Clinton signed the Commodities Futures Modernization Act when he also got rid of Glass Steagal which required investment banks to be separate from deposit banks which used to prohibit banks from speculating with depositor’s savings. Now Goldman is speculating in oil and aluminum driving up the price of gas and cokes.

      • Hi Victor,
        I worked in the government for 30 years. Most people really are unaware of the fraud and devious ways of manipulating rules within the government. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the USDA gives carte blanche approval of products to the manufacturer, i.e. Monsanto. I have seen it done and seen the internal memos. The USDA regulates growth and production of food products, whereas, FDA, regulates the sale of food products. As far as the Organic definition, let me get my hands on the rule which is used (not necessarily published) and I will post it.

        • I have worked for “the gov’t” also…and find your statement of carte blanc silly. If you had any data to support your statements you should provide it.

          so, you think there is a ‘rule” that is used, but not published…a credibility killer imo.

      • I would say their are benifits….ask the farmers, they buy them for some reason related to yield, climate resistence, and other reasons. While I think risk should be assessed. I also think risk of existing crops should be the benchmark of comparison. To create some new criteria that the existing risk is not compared to seems silly. Do you feel a gu

        Did you feel like a guinea pig for cell phone risk too ? We did pick up both cancer risk (if you believe everything you read)…and real documented travel safety deaths and accidents just for being able to say…where you at ?

        Regardings organics and certifications….lets also be candid about that. Many “certify”, the majority don’t test, don’t audit, and don’t report. And we know organic comes with a bit more food risk due to bio contamination….

        • Regarding Jons citing of “Bio-contamination*” This sort of thing occurs at processing and not on the farm. To think because something is grown in manure there is some risk of illness is fear based decision making. This is a talking point and a red herring promoted by lobbyists and corporations like Monsanto that practice SOCIAL engineering for profit. Lets stick to legitimate arguments to defend our positions.

          I grew up in agriculture and have never heard of anyone getting sick from eating produce grown in manure based fertilizer.

          Furthermore, If GMO’s are so safe then why do the food producers not want to do the research. Like a polygraph test- if you are not willing to take one then you are probably hiding something.

          Eat whole foods as opposed to processed packaged foods and not only will you be healthier but the land fills will thank you too. Whole food diets hurt these profit driven manufacturers and retailors because produce is mostly brought in from local farms because of perishability, not cheaply produced and imported from Communist China and marked up 400%. Wal-Mart and Target resisted offering fresh produce because margins are tighter, there is no juicy mark up for packaging and labeling, and there is more product loss do to spoilage.

          Playing GOD has never paid off for the human race and has only benefited corporate profits.

          Look at all the bad pharmaceuticals being crammed down our throats, the constant need for war because it is more profitable than peace, HFCS, Hydrogenated Oils, Tobacco, environmental, financial and media de-regulation, industrial consumerism based economics, just to name a few. All of these things have been engineered to maximize profit and limit understanding by the general public thru misinformation, media suppression and distraction. You wanna talk about guinea pigs…

          And we wonder why our education system is failing. A misinformed and fearful person is more easily controlled. Imagine you are in a burning building that you are unfamiliar with and a stranger comes up and says, “follow me!” What would you do? Fear and disorientation force a decision based on fight or flight response and not on logic or comprehension. Not really guinea pigs I guess, more like cattle!

          May your life be filled with peace and clarity thru logic and understanding.

  19. Good article Chris, thanks. Also, lectins are routinely inserted into GMOs to make them pest resistant. This usually sneaks past popular/regulatory scrutiny because lectins occur naturally in non-GMOs. While most lectins are destroyed through the cooking process, many are not.