By Jeffrey M. Smith

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states,”Genetically
Modified foods have not been properly tested and pose a serious health
risk. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and
adverse health effects. There is causation.”

Last May the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called
on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and
the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and
provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”
They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent
studies, and labeling.

AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious
health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune
problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major
organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more
than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects.
There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria.
“The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and
disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy
Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of
AAEM says, “I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically
modified foods.” Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test
for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically
engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”

Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, “Physicians are
probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to
ask the right questions.” World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava
goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific
journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are
a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.

Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute
warns that “children are the most likely to be adversely effected by
toxins and other dietary problems” related to GM foods. He says
without adequate studies, the children become “the experimental

The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM
soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three
weeks-compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural
soy. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems
getting pregnant.

When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed
color-from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered
young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant
changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study
had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.

Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investi-gations in the
state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM
cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions,
infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US,
about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile
after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies;
others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became
infertile when fed the same corn.

Food Designed to Produce Toxins

GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in
pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits
open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the
pesticide, called Bt (produced from soil bacteria Bacillus
thuringiensis) has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and
others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control.

The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times
more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic,
has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed
off the plant.

Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial
spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the
Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like
symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room. The exact same
symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India who
have handled Bt cotton. In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday
India reported, “Victims of itching have increased massively this year
related to BT cotton farming.”

American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “Multiple animal
studies show significant immune dysregulation,” in-cluding increase in
cytokines, which are “associated with asthma, allergy, and
inflammation”-all on the rise in the US.

According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the
immune status of GM animals are “a consistent feature of all the
studies.” Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune
system changes in rats fed Bt corn. A November 2008 study by the
Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt

GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic
properties, GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor-a
known soy allergen-and skin prick tests show some people react to GM,
but not to non-GM soy. Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy
allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food
allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.

In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when
shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post
mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines
and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said
preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was
due to a toxin most probably Bt-toxin.” In a small follow-up feeding
study by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton
plants died within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants
remained healthy.

In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants
for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo
grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the
next day; all died within 3 days. Bt corn was also implicated in the
deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens
in the Philippines.

In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn
died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs;
another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. Monsanto’s own study showed
evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according
to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.

Worst Finding of All-GMOs Remain Inside Us

The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most
dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy
transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and
continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMOs,
we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced
continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip
produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into
living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.

When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences
around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of
gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade.
GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about
all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents
released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was
that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create
hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new
diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to
require rigorous long-term tests. But the White House had ordered the
agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting
Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to head up the formation
of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge
of scientists’ concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs
are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to
determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto’s
vice president.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “GM foods have not
been properly tested” and “pose a serious health risk.” Not a single
human clinical trial on GMOs has been published. A 2007 review of
published scientific literature on the “potential toxic effects/health
risks of GM plants” revealed “that experimental data are very scarce.”
The author concludes his review by asking, “Where is the scientific
evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as
assumed by the biotechnology companies?”

Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, “The experiments
simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.” He
adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I
say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”

Dr. Schubert points out, “If there are problems, we will probably
never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases
take a very long time to develop.” If GMOs happen to cause immediate
and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then we might have
a chance to trace the cause.

This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late
1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique
measurable change in the blood-but it still took more than four years
to identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed
about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or
become permanently disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered
brand of a food supplement called L-tryptophan.

If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity,
diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive
problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans,
we may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide
variety of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with
multiple symptoms. It is therefore telling that in the first nine
years after the large scale introduction of GM crops in 1996, the
incidence of people with three or more chronic diseases nearly
doubled, from 7% to 13%.

To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their
“members, the medical community, and the independent scientific
community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food
consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to
investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe
methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.”

Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors
advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy
or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM
sugar beets-unless it says organic or “non-GMO.”

If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food
industry will likely respond as they did in Europe-by removing all GM
ingredients. Thus, American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s
non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.

Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible
Technology, is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs.
His first book, Seeds of Deception is the world’s bestselling book on
the subject. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks
of Genetically Engineered Foods, identifies 65 risks of GMOs and
demonstrates how superficial government approvals are not competent to
find most of them. He invited the biotech industry to respond in
writing with evidence to counter each risk, but correctly predicted
that they would refuse, since they don’t have the data to show that
their products are safe. Spilling the Beans, the institute’s monthly
column, is available at The
website also offers eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and
in restaurants. Contact American Academy of Environmental Medicine at
(734) 213-4901;;