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The medical community is witnessing a rapid rise in the deterioration of human digestive health not only in adults, but in kids. Food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease has skyrocketed by as much as 40% in the last decade and intestinal permeability, more commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome, is also on the rise. Although the disorder is something of a medical mystery, this serious digestive disorder compromises the stomach lining (epithelium) making it so porous that damaging bacteria and endotoxins can leak through. As the incursion becomes chronic, our immune systems weaken ultimately triggering chronic inflammation which may leave the door wide open for any one of the autoimmune diseases that are currently on the rise: irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Alzheimer’s 20 and most recently Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Systemic in the processed food we eat, two separate and potentially dangerous factors co-exist and studies indicate both may be affecting our well-being and that of our children. Roughly 85 percent of all genetically engineered plants are herbicide-tolerant and are sprayed with high levels of glyphosate which accumulates in the growth points of the crop. Glyphosate immobilizes nutrients and destroys the beneficial micoflora in the gut which can trigger chronic inflammation.

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory examined more than 300 studies on the herbicide and conclude that “the negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.” Stephanie Seneff, PhD, coauthor of the study, says that when the delicate beneficial microflora like bacillus and lactobacillus are wiped out, harmful pathogens like Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, and E. coli can survive leaving the body vulnerable. Interestingly, when researchers studied the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder, they discovered that the honeybees left in the hive were mineral deficient as well. Somehow two fundamental digestive components honeybees have in common with humans have vanished. Without Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium the majority of the adult and unborn honeybee population were left susceptible to a chronic disease that is now destroying their species.

BT toxins are also systemic in the cellular structure of the transgenic plant. Since the toxin has become part of our regular dietary intake, it’s showing up in human blood and we now know it can pass from mother to child. Advocates claim BT toxins pose no danger when in the blood, but, these crops are virtually untested.

Independent research already shows that BT toxins have ill effects on laboratory animals, producing a potent immune response. Advocates of agriculture biotechnology maintain BT toxins attack structures in the insect gut that aren’t present in humans. But specific receptors called cadherins, to which the BT toxin adheres to in insects, are present in humans. To date, eighty different types of cadherins have been identified and sequenced in humans but there are many more that haven’t yet been sequenced. Cadherins play an important role during fetal development in cell adhesion (binding cells within tissue together), neural development and the brain’s temporal patterns of expression. After birth, they continue to be vital to cell maintenance.

Today, there is no hard evidence that links meat protein fed BT grains and digestive health. Long term feeding studies are expensive and distressingly there is too much vested interest to encourage impartial exploration. But while the debate that links BT toxins and glyphosate to digestive health and chronic inflammation continues, independent science is hard at work demonstrating the safety claims of transgenic agriculture may have been overstated.

The average person eats 200 pounds of beef, pork, poultry and fish per capita per year. Two out of every three farm animals in the world are factory farmed meaning the vast majority of the 50 billion animals that are processed to meet this demand have one thing in common. Just before slaughter, they are ‘fattened up’ using a transgenic cuisine made from BT grains peppered with a healthy dose of glyphosate, antibiotics and an array of other questionable chemicals including the drug Ractopamine, a growth additive that’s been banned almost everywhere except USA and Canada. Brazil’s University of Brasilia demonstrated that contrary to industry claims, BT toxins are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought and at much lower levels. They also demonstrated the toxin bioaccumulates not only in the environment, but in fatty tissue which could pose a direct threat to human health. Dr. Monika Krueger at Leipzig University shows that a mere tenth of a part per million of glyphosate is all that it takes to kill human Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus faecalis. Yet, in the face of all this independent scientific evidence, the EPA in the US has doubled the health levels of glyphosate allowed in food.

The danger of transgenic food whether boxed or slaughtered is not that the consumer suffers an acute onset of disease; it’s the concentrated amounts consumed overtime that may be causing the damage, just like the deadly effects of cigarette smoking. Considering BT crops and glyphosate have tainted over 70% of the food products on the shelf and in the vast majority of meat protein in the refrigeration aisles, we’re swallowing the controversial duo at every meal. We owe it to our children to stop shovelling billions of dollars into subsidies and research for chemical agriculture and start investing in the research that will help safeguard their future.

It was a sad day when I told my young granddaughter that she couldn't have the ice cream she wanted because the ingredients were 'not good'. We were on a lovely summer-day stroll and we both were craving ice cream. I asked the vendor what type of sugar they used. They couldn't answer the question. So then I asked to see the ingredient list and they couldn't supply that either. So we passed on the purchase and went on the hunt for organic ice cream or at the very least ice cream that was made with recognizable ingredients. Needless to say it was a very long walk.

Ultimately we did find some and to celebrate we had 'doubles'. As we licked the scrumptious organic strawberry cream and the exquisite peanut butter and chocolate, we had an interesting conversation about what ice cream was and how did 'the ice cream store' get it. We asked the salesperson that question and we got us a peek into the vendor's on-premises ice-cream making facility. Very cool and very yummy samples.

Happily organic ice cream will soon be only as far away as the corner store. Ben and Jerry's, the iconic ice cream maker, just announced that it will transform all of its 50 flavors to non-genetically modified ingredients and Fair Trade certification. To meet the non-GMO and Fair Trade standards, Ben & Jerry's had to find new sources for some 110 ingredients that go into their wonderful chunky flavours. But before we get weepy-eyed as we embrace another large corporation who is making the move to non-GMO food its good to understand perspective.

This move puts Ben & Jerry's back in the good graces of a growing GMO-opposition movement. Just two years ago, Ben & Jerry's parent company Unilever spent more than $450,000 to try to defeat the California GMO labeling ballot initiative. Ben & Jerry's took heat for it from their customer base who are GMO opponents. Less than a year later, Ben & Jerry's announced plans to go non-GMO.

Ahhh the power of consumerism.

'We now eat food grown by unnatural processes which make use of a host of chemical substances: hormones, antibiotics, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides - of which residues are to be found in nearly all the food commercially available today.' Edward Goldsmith, The Ecologist, Vol 30 No 7, October 2000

Although toxicologists are able to investigate single substances quite efficiently, they have no basic methods for analyzing complex mixtures of toxic substances and the 'cocktail' effect of the mixture of several hundred synthetic chemicals that each one of us carries in our body.

According to the EWG's Body Burden website, there are 80,000 chemicals in commerce. The site states, "No one is ever exposed to a single chemical, but to a chemical soup, the ingredients of which may interact to cause unpredictable health effects."

There are only a few studies that evaluate the combined effects of food additives. One 2006 study published in Toxicology Science concludes that the combination of several common additives appears to have a neurotoxic effect. "Although the use of single food additives at their regulated concentrations is believed to be relatively safe in terms of neuronal development, their combined effects remain unclear." Of the four additives examined, only one is banned in the US, while the rest remain in the foods on our grocery store shelves. A 2000 study, looked at the combination of four major food additives or a mixture of six typical artificial food colours and found indications of toxicity in both.

Perhaps the most alarming study comes from a 1976 Journal of Food Science. Young rats were fed a low-fiber diet along with sodium cyclamate, FD&C Red No. 2, and polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate individually and in combination. While the study found that any one of the three food additives given individually had little negative effect, the combination of all three additives resulted in weight loss and the death of all test animals within 14 days. Sodium cyclamate is an artificial sweetener banned in the U.S., but FD&C Red No. 2, a food dye, and polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate, an emulsifier, are still in regular use in the food supply, according to the FDA's website.

And it's not just food. A number of additional toxins also enter our systems from other industrial sources often in the form of phthalate plasticizers and parabens -- both of which are used in personal care products, some medications, and even foods and food preservation. The vast majority of us use some form of shampoo, soap, lotion, and antiperspirant every day, and these toxins are absorbed through the skin.

Chemicals used in all of these industrial products are big business and food corporations are once again some of the biggest offenders. Many own shares in some of the largest personal care companies in the world. For example, Nestlé owns 30 percent of the world's largest cosmetic and beauty company L'Oreal. They use cheap, industrial ingredients to maintain their enormous profit margins.

Our governments are not being proactive. Using the precautionary approach when purchasing food and personal care products is the only solution currently available. Read the label - your body will thank you.

The danger of transgenic food whether boxed or slaughtered is not that the consumer suffers an acute onset of disease. The danger is in the concentrations of bio-ag chemicals in the body over time, just like the deadly effects of cigarette smoking.

Within the last three decades, coinciding with the increased ingestion of transgenic ingredients, the rates of obesity, Diabetes II and autism have steadily increased worldwide. Our kids are developing dietary diseases that are characteristic of a much older generation and for the first time in human history, the likelihood exists that parents will outlive their children.

In May, 2009 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on all ‘physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GE foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.’

In the first study to measure the delayed effects of exposure to Roundup on sperm in mammals, the molecular biology department at the University of Caen, France, found that rats exposed to the glyphosate based pesticide Roundup altered testicular function after only 8 days of exposure at a concentration of only 0.5%. This concentration is similar to levels found in water after agricultural spraying.

Dr Séralini's team found that Roundup changed gene expression in sperm cells, which could alter the balance of the sex hormones androgen and estrogen. A negative impact on sperm quality was confirmed, raising questions about impaired sperm efficiency. The authors suggested that repeated exposures to Roundup at doses lower than those used in agriculture could damage mammalian reproduction over the long term.

The study’s findings should raise alarm in farm workers, as well as people who spray Roundup for municipal authorities and even home gardeners. People exposed to lower doses repeated over the long term, including consumers who eat food produced with Roundup and people who happen to be exposed to others’ spraying activities, should also be concerned.

An important and controversial piece of independent research that provides new insights into the risks of genetically modified organisms in food was republished in 2014. The events around the retraction pointed to how far agri-corporations will go to protect their very lucrative market.

In 2013, a research paper was summarily retracted without just cause by The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT). The retraction basically removed the study's findings from the realm of accepted science. Independent scientists all over the world objected. Many believe the study was removed from the journal due to pressure by Monsanto, the owner of the plant and Roundup. Monsanto’s position was that the results of the Séralini study were inconclusive as was its own (90-day) research.

The two-year study, conducted by a team lead by French biotech critic Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, found that groups of lab rats fed a lifetime diet of either Monsanto's NK603 corn (NK603 is treated with Roundup herbicide) or exposed to varying levels of Roundup herbicide in drinking water died earlier and had higher rates of tumors and organ damage than controls. NK603 is a genetically modified organism, or GMO, that is bioengineered to tolerate Roundup.

The publication claimed Séralini did not experiment on enough rats to support his explosive cancer claims, and the Sprague Dawley lab rats used in the study are prone to developing tumors if allowed to live long enough. Independent scientists, however, say the Sprague Dawley breed is an industry standard for toxicity research, and while the Séralini study is not perfect, there is no legitimate reason to remove it from scientific debate.

After the research was yanked from FCT, the study underwent two additional peer reviews, both of which reinforced the validity and results. Consequently, the study has again been published, this time in Environmental Sciences Europe. The republished version contains extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication. The raw data underlying the study’s findings are also published – unlike the raw data for the industry studies that underlie regulatory approvals of Roundup, which are kept secret.

Sometimes the truth does prevail.

Spoiler alert -- this isn't going to be appetizing. Consumer Reports released a study testing 257 samples of ground turkey from supermarkets and found that virtually every one was contaminated with either – get ready for it --- fecal bacteria, staph or salmonella. What’s worse the fecal bacteria were resistant to one or more antibiotics important to human medicine. This just after the US government admitted a significant majority of supermarket meat is contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria.

If you missed the announcement its little wonder. It was buried in the FDA’s 2011 Retail Meat Report which reveals results from their periodic testing of common supermarket meat products for contamination and bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Thanks to the good works at Environmental Working Group, they crunched the numbers and came up with the results and they were disturbing enough to consider vegetarian options. Three of the superbugs listed can cause tens of thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths. While these reports are US centric, Canada doesn’t lag far behind. Last September we had the biggest beef recall in Canadian history.

Perhaps most disturbing fact is that the superbugs seem to be on the increase and the evidence points to the overuse of antibiotics in livestock operations.

In an attempt to give consumers some clarity around this issue, The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) developed a useful guide for each category of meat purchased at the retail level. The study called Risky Meat ranks risky meats and poultry. Highest Rise is chicken and ground beef. High Rise goes to beef cuts, steak and turkey. Click for full report.

Today, there is ample evidence to suggest that our commercial grade meat, poultry and fish should be labelled just as much as the chemical cuisine we get in a box, tin or jar. The how behind industrialized meat processing is not only off-putting, its methodology is downright dangerous to human wellbeing.

Aside from adding all that pink slime to hamburgers, eighty percent of all antibiotics purchased are used on factory farm animals like poultry, pigs, cattle and fish because it promotes fast growth and offsets some of the vile conditions these animals are forced to live in.

While that makes for big profits for both the food and pharmaceutical industries, the consequences for those who consume industrially processed meat is serious - particularly our children. Outbreaks of illnesses from antibiotic-resistant bacteria have grown in number and severity because antibiotics are losing their effectiveness including a critical class of antibiotics like Cefzil and Keflex, which are commonly used to treat pneumonia, strep throat and skin and urinary tract infections. Then there's the emergence of new pathogens like E. coli O157:H7, the bacteria responsible for killing four children back in 1993's during the Jack in the Box outbreak in the United States. Canada’s largest-ever beef recall, at a whopping 4,000 tonnes, spread across the country and the U.S. states, after the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta produced beef tainted with E. coli bacteria. It came just four years after an outbreak of listeria bacteria killed 23 Canadians who ate tainted meat produced by Maple Leaf Foods.

The U.S. court system has taken steps to ban the use of antibiotics and the Canadian Medical Association and the Department of Pathobiology at University of Guelph has called on the federal government to stop the use of antibiotics in the agriculture sector except by prescription from a veterinarian, citing concerns that antibiotic misuse is “rampant” and fears the practice could give rise to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The meat industry claims banning the use of such drugs, would greatly reduce the efficiency, drive up the cost of meat, and some in the industry believe that the scientific evidence linking low-dose use of antibiotics to increased drug-resistant illness in people is too inconclusive to justify banning their use. Really?

In February 2012 an analysis by the Environmental Working Group determined that government tests of raw supermarket meat detected antibiotic-resistant bacteria in: 81% of ground turkey; 69% of pork chops; 55% of ground beef; and, 39% of chicken parts. A joint project of the federal Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that supermarket meat samples collected in 2011 harboured significant amounts of the superbug versions of salmonella and Campylobacter, which together cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year. Hardly inconclusive.

Unfortunately the ingredient list doesn’t stop there. Ractopamine is a growth enhancer. The growth additive, called a beta-agonist, has enjoyed stealth use in the US and Canadian food supply for a decade despite being widely banned overseas. Ractopamine has been linked to cardiovascular effects, behavioral changes, and nervousness in humans and pigs.

Ractopamine is a beta agonist drug that increases protein synthesis, making the animal more muscular. This reduces the fat content of the meat and increases the profit per animal.
Beta-agonist drugs, as a class, have been used in US cattle production since 2003. Ractopamine is administered in the days leading up to slaughter, and as much as 20 percent of it can remain in the meat you buy.
Animal research has linked ractopamine to reductions in reproductive function; birth defects; increase of mastitis in dairy herds; and increased disability and death. FDA records show ‘death’ is the most-often reported side effect.
The Center for Food Safety, together with the Animal Legal Defense Fund recently sued the FDA, maintaining it is illegally withholding records pertaining to ractopamine’s safety.
Then add the BT toxins.Transgenic BT crops were commercialized in 1996. Originally they were engineered to reduce the use of pesticides, but in the end, that reduction didn’t really happened. In fact, chemical usage actually increased. In the lab, the seed’s original DNA are altered to make the BT toxin systemic within the crop, so its deadly charms shows up in every cell, from root to fruit, whether the resulting biofood is soy, corn, cotton, potato, papaya, tomato, sugar beet or squash. This genetic manipulation is so toxic, crops like BT corn and BT soy are registered as pesticides, not food. In this systemic state, the toxin cannot diminish when exposed to sunlight nor can it be washed off. So feed animals and consequently humans swallow it lock, stock and barrel.

What’s at issue with BT toxins is horizontal gene transfer. Corporations like Monsanto claim the BT toxin protein in food could never pose a threat because horizontal gene transfer from plant to human was thought impossible. That assumption was based old science. Gene transfer can shape the evolution trajectory of life on the planet. Vertical gene transfer is typified by the genes that are passed from parent to child. But horizontal or lateral gene transfer doesn’t require sex to reproduce and that type of transfer can mess up our evolutionary picture pretty quickly. Horizontal gene transfer is one of the most serious hazards of transgenic technology. It can affect all types of bacteria, including those that live inside the human digestive system. The bacteria that play a vital role in keeping us healthy, could become contaminated by the transgenic BT toxins. BT toxins have now showed up in non-pregnant women and moms-to-be as well as in the babies they were carrying despite not living anywhere near farmers’ fields. The Canadian scientists who carried out the study believe the toxins were transferred from the meat they were eating.

Damning reports have surfaced worldwide linking systemic BT crops with respiratory issues, intestinal and skin problems, cancer, and the quickened growth of tumors. The medical community is witnessing a rapid rise in the deterioration of human digestive health not only in adults, but in kids. Food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease has skyrocketed by as much as 40% and intestinal permeability, more commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome, is also on the rise. This serious digestive disorder compromises the stomach lining (epithelium) making it so porous that damaging bacteria and endotoxins can leak through -- much like the targeted insects that ingest BT toxins. As the incursion becomes chronic, our immune systems weaken ultimately triggering chronic inflammation leaving the door wide open for any one of the autoimmune diseases that are currently on the rise: irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and Alzheimer’s. And now Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is being considered for that list.

Today, there is no hard evidence that links meat protein fed BT grains and digestive health. Long term feeding studies are too expensive and distressingly there is too much vested interest to explore the matter impartially. However, the average person eats 200 pounds of beef, pork, poultry and fish per capita per year. Two out of every three farm animals in the world are factory farmed meaning the vast majority of the 50 billion animals that are processed to meet this demand have one thing in common. Just before slaughter, they are ‘fattened up’ using a transgenic cuisine made from BT grains peppered with a healthy dose of glyphosate, antibiotics and an array of other questionable chemicals including a meat additive that’s been banned almost everywhere except USA and Canada.

Do these dangerous chemicals interfere with our digestive system? Do they affect the development of our babies-to-be? It’s anyone’s guess. But there is an interesting parallelism in Nature that just may be the canary in the coal mine. When researchers studied the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder, they discovered that the honeybees left in the hive were mineral deficient. Somehow two fundamental digestive components they have in common with humans have vanished: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Something the honeybees have eaten have left the majority of the adult and unborn honeybee population susceptible to a chronic disease that has now wiped out over half of the population of honeybees.

Genetically engineered food is chemically treated and heavily processed. Seven out of 10 foods on grocery shelves contain questionable transgenic ingredients, yet they require no label identification. Industrially processed cows, pigs and chickens are usually fed genetically modified crops but animal products like milk, eggs and meat do not require warning labels. Genetically engineered salmon is becoming a reality yet it will require no identifying label. Supporters of agrichemical biotechnology claim that the World Health Organization (WHO) position is that GMO foods are safe. But that's not accurate. The IAASTD Global Report, co-sponsored by the WHO and six other world organizations, says GMOs have NOT been proven safe. Over 100 science or health based world-wide organizations support mandatory labeling.

HELP CHANGE THE FUTURE OF FOOD
Industrial agriculture contributes to many pressing problems: toxic drift and runoff of pesticide residues and animal wastes; green house gases emitted by farms and food transport; and, the link to the decline of public health. We need a food system that values people over profit and we need people like you to help it happen. Change the future of food. Join the concerned citizens worldwide that are demanding that their countries take action. Sign up to let our legislators know that you want foods that contain transgenic ingredients labelled.

More than 60 nations, including France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, India, Chile and South Africa require GE labeling on their processed shelf food. Unfortunately, meat proteins and dairy are still exempt from the practice. In Canada and the United States, no such luck. New transgenic crops like alfalfa, lawn grass, ethanol-ready corn, 2,4 D-resistant crops as well as genetically engineered trees and animals are being fast-tracked for approval by the US government, with absolutely no independent pre-market safety-testing required, no public discussion and no labelling requirements.

Here we go again. Not so long ago governments worldwide banned the use of BPA in plastic containers. Studies showed the plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was linked to some serious health problems including breast and prostate cancer, heart trouble, type II diabetes, autism, liver tumours, asthma, infertility and obesity. In response to the public's outcry, manufacturers removed the chemical from their products and replaced it with bisphenol S (BPS). Now it's been discovered that the replacement is as bad or worse than the original. This latest discovery, demonstrates yet again, the failure of a regulatory system that allows manufacturers to use chemicals that have never been properly tested to rule out potential health effects.

The groundbreaking study from University of Calgary researchers found that even tiny doses cause concerning brain damage in zebrafish. "I was actually very surprised at our results. This was a very, very, very low dose, so I didn't think using a dose this low could have any effect," says Deborah Kurrasch, PhD, a researcher in the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine.

In the study, published in PNAS scientists exposed zebrafish embryos to concentrations of the chemicals at levels found in the Bow and Old Man rivers of Alberta, Canada. By doing this, exposure to BPA and BPS changed the timing of neuron formation in the brains of the zebrafish. "These findings are important because they support that the prenatal period is a particularly sensitive stage, and reveals previously unexplored avenues of research into how early exposure to chemicals may alter brain development, " says Cassandra Kinch, a PhD student involved in the study.

What this means is BPA and BPS may scramble crucial brain development that takes place during the second trimester, causing too many neurons to form early and not enough to form later in development. In essence, the plastical chemicals short-circuit the brain, causing lifelong problems like hyperactivity. In fact, researchers discovered the number of neurons generated in the developing zebrafish brains increased by 180 percent compared with unexposed fish. They also learned that BPS increased the number of neurons by 240 percent in similar experiments.

Cultivate conscious choice to protect your family from the perils of BPS, BPA, and their chemical cousins:

Avoid plastic whenever possible, including plastics making "BPA-free" claims.
Replace plastic water bottles with high-quality stainless steel, such as those from Klean Kanteen.
Use glass food storage containers like Pyrex or Ball mason jars,
Ditch old, scratched plastic.
Avoid canned food and opt for fresh whole foods or frozen whenever possible.
Say no to receipts for trivial purchases. The coating on the paper usually contains BPA or BPS and has been shown to easily seep into your skin.
Eden Foods is one of the few companies that uses a vegetable-based canned food lining.