On Dec 19, 2016 a team of scientists published a new paper* revealing that GMO corn, NK603 a Roundup-tolerant variety, showed alarming differences from non GMO corn. The variety showed to have metabolism disturbances caused by the GMO process and the presence of cadaverine and putrescine, chemicals which can be toxic. The presence of these differences show that concern for harm, when GMOs are consumed by humans, is warranted. The impact of these disturbances and chemicals are unknown. The rise of health conditions in the USA is a known however, since the introduction of GMOs, food allergies have increased 400%. Currently 1 out 2 American children have a chronic illness such as autoimmune disease, asthma, allergies, autism, diabetes or obesity.
As described in the paper, metabolism disturbances, cadaverine, and putrescine found in NK603, prove that this GMO corn is significantly different from non GMO corn and therefore the basis for the FDA’s approval of GMOs, “GRAS” - Generally Recognized As Safe- is unfounded. The basis for the GRAS approval was on the claim that GMOs are not substantially different from non GMO food and therefore should not require any additional safety testing. This claim is also how companies like Monsanto persuaded the FDA to classify GMOs as a “process” and not an “additive”. “Additives” in food require long term safety testing and labeling, “processes” do not. Clearly however, a genetically engineered food undergoes both the process of genetic manipulation and the addition of genetic material or changes to the DNA or RNAi, which are additional. Further testing will detect GMO proteins and changes to the food.
The paper points out some disturbing changes and impacts from the genetic engineering: Regarding the presence of cadaverine and putrescine: “toxicological effects such as nausea, headaches, rashes and changes in blood pressure are provoked by the consumption of foods with high concentrations of polyamines (cadaverine and putrescine) 56.
This section reminded me of when my family went out to eat and my son ate a corn tortilla and onion rings, likely cooked in GMO corn or canola oil, and within minutes he had nausea, headache, rash, and felt like he would faint. The area around his mouth went white and he began shaking. After getting up and walking around, he improved, but he is now determined to only eat organic, and his health has benefited tremendously.
The paper continues:
“Putrescine and cadaverine have been reported as potentiators of the effects of histamine, and both have been implicated in the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines with nitrite in meat products"
Histamine is connected to food allergy reactions, which kill hundreds of children a year in the USA, a phenomena which was unheard of 30 years ago.
It would be speculative to say that my son’s reaction is connected this particular type of corn, as I have no idea what kind of corn it was, but the fact that GMO corn has been proven to create polyamines raises great concern for the hundreds of GMOs which make up 85-100% of major food crops on the market. Who knows what toxins were in the GMO canola, soy, corn and sugar he likely ate that night? I assert that they must all be tested and until proven safe, a moratorium on GMOs must be enacted.
Cancer rates are also skyrocketing: 1 out of 2 males and 1 out of 3 females are expected to get cancer in the USA. Should we really be consuming GMO food and chemicals which have been linked to cancer?
“Glutathione metabolism was significantly altered in the NK603 when Roundup was sprayed during cultivation. Glutathione is known to be an important antioxidant in most living organisms, preventing damage to important cellular components caused by several environmental pollutants, including agrochemicals“
The significance of these findings of substantial non-equivalence, which was long expected, and proven in other ways in other studies, provides more evidence that the FDA is not doing their job to protect the American people and livestock. This evidence shows that the FDA should immediately put a moratorium on all GMOs until proven safe.
It is astonishing that the FDA has been bullied and/or bribed into overlooking the studies showing harm and have allowed GMO products in our food supply. Yet, they have: GMO products have expanded into corn, soy, sugar from sugar beets, cotton seed, canola, Hawaiian Papaya, some zucchini and yellow squash, potatoes, apples, pineapples, salmon, and soon, bananas. Hundreds of varieties of GMO wait in the pipeline.
Poisoning our population simply must stop.
While many consumers call for a moratorium on GMOs, waiting for the FDA to protect us, however, is not sensible, we must protect our families now. Mothers and women make 90% of the household purchasing decision. We buy most of the food. If we simply say that we will not buy GMO food, then they cannot sell it. If we put a moratorium on GMO in our households, eventually farmers will not grow them, and we can, on our own, eliminate GMOs in the market place.
It makes a difference when we put down the corn chip Doritos and pick up the organic chips or an organic apple instead. It makes a difference when we buy organic milk, eggs and bread. With every organic purchase we make we send the message that we do not want GMO and chemical farming. We do not want toxins in our food. We put the safety of our children and the future of our country FIRST.
Zen Honeycutt Moms Across America Executive Director