A little more about Genetically Modified Foods. I posted some information about GM Foods back in February. The following information gives a little more specific information about how a toxin found in GM Foods can affect the health of the kidney.

I subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s blog so every morning I get an e-mail with his topic(s) of the day. Most of the stuff that comes through on Dr. Mercola’s site is about bad stuff and how to avoid it. It’s kind of a bummer but at the same time good to know. One topic that comes up repeatedly is GM Foods.

The title of Dr. Mercola’s blog post today is Eating This Common Food Could Damage Your Kidneys. Yipes, that got my attention – here is a link to the article. Corn, or rather corn rootworm appears to be the problem. You should head over and read the article to understand how this is happening. I’m going to quote two different parts of the article here.

The first part I’m going to quote is, Can Genetically Engineered Foods Destroy Your Kidneys?

According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, low doses of the Bt biopesticide CryA1b, and the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, kill human kidney cellsv. The Bt biopesticide, which confers insect resistance, and the glyphosate tolerance trait tied to the use of glyphosate herbicides, can be found in nearly all genetically engineered crops grown worldwide.

Researchers tested the effects of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac proteins as well as their combined effects with the herbicide Roundup. They found that Cry1Ab caused cell death at concentrations of 100 parts per million. Glyphosate at 57.2 parts per million — 200 times below agricultural use – killed half the cells. According to the Institute of Science in Societyvi:

“This study indicates that Bt toxins are not inert on human cells, and may indeed be toxic … Bt crops have previously been shown to induce hepatorenal abnormalities … as well as immune responses that may be responsible for allergies”.

This is in addition to previous evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically engineered corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses… Disturbingly, Bt-toxin has been detected in the blood of 93 percent of pregnant women tested; 80 percent of babies; and 67 percent of non-pregnant women. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the U.S. since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.

Nightmare! The next part of the article I am going to quote is Proof Positive that GMO Labeling WILL Change the Food Industry. I liked this section of the article because it made me feel like it’s possible that we will see an end to GM foods.

Many don’t fully appreciate the strategy of seeking to have genetically engineered foods labeled in California. The belief is that large companies would refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be very expensive and a logistical nightmare. So rather than have two labels, they would simply not carry the product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. This is why we are so committed to this initiative as victory here will likely eliminate genetically engineered foods from the U.S.

Powerful confirmation of this belief occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to alter one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogensviii:

“Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.”

This is a PERFECT example of the national impact a California GMO labeling mandate can, and no doubt WILL, have. While California is the only state requiring the label to state that the product contains the offending ingredient, these companies are switching their formula for the entire US market, rather than have two different labels. According to USA Today:

“A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and as a result may be found in trace amounts in many foods. “While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Giarlante said in an email.” 

The rest of the article really encourages all of us to learn as much as we can about GM Foods. There are good links to additional information including a Non-GMO Shopping Guide. I posted a PDF link to the Shopping Guide in my original post about GM Foods.

Here is the page for the California Ballot Initiative to label GMO foods. They need 800,000 signatures by April 22 nd in order to get this on the 2012 California ballot. Only people in California can sign and they have to do it in person. The page directs California residents to areas/places where they can sign. Hopefully they will get the 800,000 signatures they need by April 22 nd. I’ll check the website and let you know. Fingers are crossed.

Kind of a bummer of a post but it’s empowering to understand the little things in day-to-day life. Information and knowledge give us the power to make informed decisions. Read nutrition labels and make good choices.

Eat Well, Feel Good, Have Fun!


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