If you suffer with stomach and digestive problems and wonder why, you may find the answer in the modern landscape of our food supply.
Up Close: BT CORN and GMO SOY
In 2018 94% of the soy and 82% of corn grown in America were GMO crops.[i] There are 20 varieties of GMO soy and 33 different varieties of GMO corn[ii] currently approved by the USDA.[iii] GMO soy and corn are hiding in many foods we eat everyday.
“The fact that genetically modified soy may be present in as much as 70 percent of all food products found in U.S. supermarkets means that a vast majority of Americans are putting a lot of GM soy into their systems daily.”[iv]
The biotech industry claims these foods are no different than traditional corn and soy, yet the EPA and FDA admit that they themselves don’t test the foods for safety, but merely review data submitted by the manufacturers.[v] Considering the coverups[vi] within the biotech industry, can we really trust any test results they provide? Many independent studies suggest a different tale than what we’ve been told. Anyone suffering with allergies or digestive issues, take note.
- The BT insecticide is implanted within the seed and the toxin extends to every part of the plant while growing. It remains in any food developed from the plant.[vii]
- Contrary to industry claims that when ingested BT passes through the human gut without harm, BT has been found in the blood of pregnant women and their fetuses[viii] thereby demonstrating it does cross through the intestinal wall.
- BT makes holes in insect gut cells and likely does the same in animal and human cells, causing “bowel hypersensitivity,”[ix] which is linked with “leaky gut,” colitis, gluten sensitivity, acid reflux, reduced enzyme activity and digestive disturbances.
- Rats fed for 90 days on Monsanto’s MON863 maize (a BT Corn variety) showed “signs of toxicity” in the liver and kidneys.[x]
- BT pollen kills monarch butterflies[xi] and possibly other animals and pollinators
- Contains residues of glyphosate and its main metabolite, AMPA, a neurotoxin causing glutamate excitotoxicty, oxidative stress, and depression[xii]
- GMO soy is nutritionally inferior to organic grown soy[xiii]
- Soy mimics estrogen and lowers testosterone; eaten raw, soy has an anti-nutrient effect, contains protease inhibitors that inhibit the body’s ability to digest protein, and contains phytates which prevent absorption of essential minerals; soy without fermentation also contains goitrogens, which have an ill effect on the thyroid gland.[xiv]
- Most of the meat & dairy in the US comes from factory-farmed animals that are only fed GMO corn and soy. If you eat any nonorganic meat or milk from factory farms you are essentially consuming GMO corn & soy in large amounts. Additionally food products derived from factory farm animals contain antibiotic residues, synthetic growth hormones, and drugs that promote weight gain.
- Childhood food allergies are a rapidly growing public health problem. Their prevalence in the USA increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. In the USA, eight foods are responsible for 90% of childhood food allergies: peanuts, tree nuts, cow’s milk, chicken eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.[xv] Are these allergies linked with pesticide residues as well? Since GMO soy is found in so many foods, how does it affect those with allergies?
- Rounding out the threats from GMO corn and soy, glyphosate (used on GMO and other crops) is known to disturb normal gut flora– the good microorganisms in our digestive tract—and cause anxiety.[xvi] How does this extra strain on our stomach affect our health? Is it any wonder colitis and crohn’s disease and heartburn are all escalating in occurrence? If we get off all factory farmed meat and dairy and GMO grains and foods, do our stomachs heal?
GMO foods and many other nongmo foods contain residues of Glyphosate, the herbicide most commonly known as Roundup.
Newsweek reports that Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide, 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been sprayed onto fields.
As reported by US Right to Know in November 2016, data released by the USDA shows “Residues of many types of insecticides, fungicides and weed killing chemicals have been found in roughly 85 percent of thousands of foods tested.”[xvii]
Glyphosate contributes to heaps of health issues, both physical and mental. Nearly all food tested contains traces of it.[xviii]
Studies show that glyphosate:
- Negatively affects the gut microbiome, causes anxiety and depression[xix]
- Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor
- “Glyphosate-based herbicide exposure leads to despair behavior!”
- Impairs the liver’s ability to detoxify xenobiotics, and
- Suppresses production of serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and tryptophan[xx]
Is it any wonder Americans are taking more anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills than ever before? The CDC reports that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation.[xxi] Since 1999, antidepressant use in America has risen 64%.[xxii]
BREAD and BEYOND: GLYPHOSATE IS IN OUR FOOD
In the UK, the Soil Association reported, “Glyphosate can follow the grain into our food. Tests found that almost two thirds of wholemeal bread sampled contained glyphosate.”[xxiii] More and more commonly, farmers are choosing to apply glyphosate to crops not just while growing but also just before harvest. This practice known as desiccation is done to dry out and lessen the time it takes to harvest. Unfortunately this results in greater herbicide residues in foods and alas, greater exposure to pesticides for us.
According to the Soil Association of Scotland, “Glyphosate kills parts of the crop that haven’t ripened evenly, and dries the crop. This allows Combine harvesters to move more quickly and cover more ground during harvest, and may reduce drying costs. But applying glyphosate so close to harvest makes the likelihood of finding residues in food even higher.” Peter Melchett, Policy Director states, “If glyphosate ends up in bread it’s impossible for people to avoid it, unless they are eating organic. On the other hand, farmers could easily choose not to use glyphosate as a spray on wheat crops – just before they are harvested. This is why the Soil Association is calling for the immediate ending of the use of glyphosate sprays on wheat destined for use in bread.”[xxiv] According to EcoWatch, glyphosate is applied to wheat, lentils, peas, non-GMO soybeans, corn, flax, rye, triticale, buckwheat, millet, canola, sugar beets, potatoes and sunflowers.”[xxv]
Avoiding bread and grains contaminated with glyphosate will reduce your intake and exposure to glyphosate. For those looking to lose weight, you have even more reason to avoid wheat.
Modern Wheat: increases Appetite & Blood Sugar
Modern wheat, though not genetically engineered, is vastly different than wheat from the old country. American wheat may play a big role in diabetes and obesity. According to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, modern wheat causes more dramatic increases in blood sugar than any other food, contributing significantly to diabetes, weight gain, and acts as an appetite stimulant making us continually hungry. “Wheat elimination is not just about eliminating gluten. Eliminating wheat means eliminating the amylopectin A of wheat, the form of complex carbohydrate that actually increases blood sugar higher than table sugar and candy bars.”
If you want to feel your best, it’s best to avoid foods containing the BT Toxin, glyphosate and Roundup. Especially avoid GMO soy, BT corn and milk, meat and dairy products derived from factory farm animals.
“Individuals can take important steps in their own lives to reduce their exposure to environmental elements that increase risk for cancer and other diseases. Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues. Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications if it is available.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Glyphosate is also used in managing forests throughout North America. In my next post see how this damages tree health and relates to forest fires.
Shocking as it may be, this is the green reality.
[vii] USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=959031259&topicorder=4&maxto=9
[viii] Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, AzizArisabcSamuelLeblancc, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623811000566?via%3Dihub
[xii] Developmental exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide and depressive-like behavior in adult offspring: Implication of glutamate excitotoxicity and oxidative stress, DaianeCattaniabPatrícia AcordiCesconettoabMauren KrugerTavaresaEduardo BenedettiParisottoabPaulo AlexandreDe OliveiracCarla Elise HeinzRiegabMarina ConcliLeitedRui Daniel SchröderPredigercNestor CubasWendtaGuilhermeRazzeraaDanilo WilhelmFilhobArianeZamon, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X17301683
[xv] Childhood food allergies, An evolutionary mismatch hypothesis, Paul W Turke, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health,October 4, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861434/; Evolution of Guidelines on Peanut Allergy and Peanut Introduction in Infants: A Review., Anvari S1, Chokshi NY2, Kamili QU3, Davis CM1, JAMA Pediatrics Jan 1, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27820622
[xvi] Glyphosate based- herbicide exposure affects gut microbiota, anxiety and depression-like behaviors in mice, Aitbali Y1, Ba-M’hamed S1, Elhidar N2, Nafis A2, Soraa N3, Bennis M4. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, May 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29635013
[xix] Glyphosate based- herbicide exposure affects gut microbiota, anxiety and depression-like behaviors in mice, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, May 2018, Aitbali Y1, Ba-M’hamed S1, Elhidar N2, Nafis A2, Soraa N3, Bennis M4, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29635013
[xx] Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies, Anthony Samsel, Stephanie Seneff, Surgery Neurology International, March 24, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392553/
[xxi] Prescription Sleep Aid Use Among Adults: United States, 2005–2010 Yinong Chong, Ph.D.; Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; and Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db127.pdf
[xxii] By the Numbers, Antidepressant Use on the Rise, American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/11/numbers.aspx