GM Foods and cancer
Nothing appears to be more certain than the fact that nothing is certain. Rarely, do experts agree. And so it is with cancer, and it’s causes. A growing body of evidence suggests indicators, which many of us have known for years, that food, lifestyle and (for a smaller minority at the moment) the way that we think, are underlying factors. To me, these things are self-evident. Like a very wise woman used to tell me – “life is simple, really. Look to the simple things first.” That is exactly what I attempt to do in my counselling and coaching practice.
There can be no doubt (in my mind at least) that much of the world’s big business, and more often much of the rest of our society, is driven by greed. Again, to quote a sage, “if you want to find the cause of any disruption in our society, look to the dollar. The chase for a dollar will be behind most trouble.”
I wanted to use this page to introduce my musings regarding food. I have spoken previously about the importance of diet for our health and the role that food, it’s consumption in various guises and our choices with regard to that consumption play in the onset or management of cancer. Food is a staple of life. Without food, our body has little or no nourishment. No fuel to keep on going and growing. A good analogy this idea of fuel, because many of us will recognize what happens to our motor vehicle when it gets a tank of dirty or inferior petrol or diesel. It won’t start, or at best, is difficult to start with low quality fuel. If you do get the thing going, it misses and coughs and splutters and at worst, refuses to run smoothly or at best, is sluggish and has no power. Why would we be any different with the quality of food that we choose to consume?
Normal cell function is the key to good health. A point that I have labored, but, never the less, a point worth making – if we can keep the picture in our mind of normal, healthy cells, and what makes those cells healthy and normal, we are then able to ask ourselves,” Is what I am about to do, going to put the health of my cells at risk?” “Is the pizza that looks and smells so delicious or the sweet laden dessert that calls me across the table, going to make me more – or less, healthy?” “What effect will this have on my cellular development?” Choice becomes a little less confusing.
Cysteine is an amino acid. Cysteine is a crucial element to normal healthy cellular function. Cysteine assists in the conversion of protein into other forms of chemical energy (Hack et al). So where do we find cysteine? Well, generally we find it in dairy foods such as Riccota cheese and yoghurt, white meats such as turkey and chicken and in wheat germ and oats, seeds and nuts. All pretty easy, really. This is basic to our health. Basic, that is, until we look at how our food is grown. Early in our cancer management journey, we sued soy. Soy looked like the perfect alternative to red meat, which we had dropped from our diet when Donna was so ill that she could not eat. Soy is a source of protein and has a wide variety of products such as tophu. Soy has been regularly consumed for more than fifty years in Western society and at first, it looked like a product that we should add to our diet, (I no longer hold this view) however, it is worth looking at how our foods are grown before we make up our minds to include them in our diet.
Up to 90% of all major US grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed, and can be used in human and animal foods without any safety testing or labeling to let us know what’s been used. (Filis) This includes GM corn, soybeans, and canola. It has been estimated that these and other genetically modified food products make up around 80% of grocery store items in the US. (Filis) Genetically modified foods are grown so that crops can withstand repeated, heavy application of weed-killers – and still survive to be turned into food for both human and animal consumption. Since the introduction of GMO, it has become apparent, according to environmental journalist, Theodora Filis, that pesticide use has increased (and) it hasn’t eliminated weeds or the need to reduce weeds. Instead, weeds have become stronger and our food has become more toxic.
France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece have all blocked the importation and use of GMOs, however, recent rulings have indicated that individual countries within the European Union have no individual rights to instigate such bans, even on their sovereign soil. Paulo Mengozzi, legal adviser to the European Court of Justice, ruled that only the EU itself could institute such bans. Under pressure from United States based companies, blanket bans based on the safety aspect of GM foods, were over-ruled. The consumption of meat products will also expose the consumer to genetically modified products as United States Department of Agriculture statistics show that the majority of animal products produced in the U.S. today that are raised on confined feed lots, are fed with genetically modified feed, and are injected with genetically engineered hormones and vaccines.(Filis)
Concern regarding the safety of genetically modified foods is muted from many scientists who value their careers. The top GMO safety researcher at Rowett Intitute in Scotland, Dr. Arpad Pusztai ,was dismissed after he reported that lab rats which ingested GMO foods “developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and showed signs of a damaged immune system.” (Bezrouch)
So just how safe are genetically modified foods and other products? Truth is, no one knows and probably, we are already consuming such foods without knowing. Cross contamination of crops is a major concern among growers who wish to maintain integrity of their historically (and “normally”) grown foods. Does it really matter if the meat that I eat was raised on a feed-lot and injected with hormones? Well, yes, it does matter, if we are to maintain our health and if we are to maintain the delicate balance between reasonable health and cancer – and that balance is delicate and will remain so, for a number of years after we get the “all clear.” The way an animal is raised and kept and the way in which it is slaughtered is paramount to the hormones and neurotoxins that course through it’s veins in those moments before death. These are, after all, the very things we ingest when we consume the product as a meal.
Professor Richard lacey, microbiologist and professor of foods safety at Leeds University reported that in the late 1980’s , the Japanese company, Showa Denko K.K. genetically engineered bacteria. The enzymes expressed in these bacteria through genetic engineering, altered cellular metabolism substantially, leading to greatly increased production of tryptophan. The product placed on the market in the USA in 1988. According to US law, Showa Denko was allowed to sell the tryptophan, produced in genetically engineered bacteria, without safety testing because they and other companies had been selling tryptophan produced in non-genetically engineered bacteria for years without ill effects.
This product was placed on the market, and within a few months it caused the deaths of 37 people and caused 1500 more to be permanently disabled .
“Potentially disastrous effects may come from undetected harmful substances in genetically modified foods,” said Dr Andrew Chesson, Vice Chairman European Commission Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition. “The fact is, it is virtually impossible to even conceive of a testing procedure to assess the health effects of genetically engineered foods when introduced into the food chain, nor is there any valid nutritional or public interest reason for their introduction”
As mentioned in my book cancer Cause And Effect, most concerns have been raised in regard to the way in which genetically modified foods are modified to contain pesticides. It is the consumption of these foods, that those concerned believe, is really the consumption of pesticide. The GM manufacturers tell us that these new foods have a higher nutritional content, that they stay fresh longer and that any such pesticide residual, is negligible as it dissipates prior to plant maturity. Crops are made resistant to insects because they contain Bt Toxin or virus resistance factors manufactured from the genes of viruses.
Professor Joe Cummins, Emeritus Professor of Genetics University of Western Ontario, reported as long ago as February 1997, that “one such insect virus, Baculo virus, is being modified with genes, such as scorpion toxin, diuretic hormone gene, juvenile hormone gene or mite toxin gene to make a potent insect virus to spray on crop plants to protect the crops from insect pests. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that such modified crops and viruses should be regulated like chemical pesticides but the companies patenting the modified crops argued that food should not be labeled as being pesticides.
Unfortunately such pesticides are as likely to cause cancer, birth defects, nerve damage or reduced immunity as their man-made chemical relatives.”
China modified it’s initial reluctance to GMO imports in 2002, after heavy lobbying from the United States. According to China Daily “MOFTEC’s announcement came after “positive and fruitful” talks between China and the United States. Ministry Of Foreign Trade and Co-operation officials said they are seriously considering complaints from US soybean traders about the Chinese GMO regulations and are actively seeking measures to ensure smooth trading.
Concerns by experts with regard to the safety of GMO products have led the Chinese Government to issue regulations on the safe management of GMO products. (Almost one decade ago), China established rules to strengthen the safety and management of GMO products, however, after complaints from the US exporters of GMO products such as soybeans, corn and cotton, the Chinese Government announced new rules that virtually reversed the law.”
According to a Reuters report in December 2010, the “Chinese Ministry of Agriculture last year approved GM strains of rice and corn in China, which triggered backlash from groups concerned about the safety of such “Frankenfoods”. The approval set the stage for the widespread cultivation and distribution of GM corn and rice in the nation within the next two or three years. And the report also states that China is now the largest producer in the world of GM cotton.
China is the largest producer of GMO cotton, but it has been much more cautious about accepting GMO food than some other producers, such as the United States.
Last year the Ministry of Agriculture’s bio-safety committee gave the first safety approval for GMO strains of rice and corn, paving the way for a large scale commercial production of those GMO strains within 2-3 years, but the approval has caused controversy in the country about whether the GMO strain of rice, the staple food for 1.3 billion people, is safe.
Greenpeace said it found illegal sales of GMO rice in some markets in the country, sparking concerns that China may have loose management over GMO products, despite a similar regulation put in place by the State Council, or cabinet, in 2001.”
I mention these things so that you can make up your own mind with regard to the consumption of these foods. I would draw your attention to the posts that I have made elsewhere on this site with regard to how cancer is formed at the cellular level and the seemingly minor changes required in order to upset the balance of health. It is worth while, I believe to investigate GM products destined for our table and determine then, only after you have satisfied yourself of it’s safety or otherwise as to whether or not it is fit for you and your family.
I am John Allan, good luck and may your God be with you
Bezrouch .K. imagine2050.newcomm.org/ Sep. 25, 2008
Filis Theodora, UK Progressive.co.uk
Hack.V., Grob.A.,Kinscherf.R.,Bockstette.M.,Fiers.W.,Berke.G.,Droge.W.,Abnormal glutathione and sulfate levels after interlukin-6 treatment and in tumor-induced canchexia. FASEB J Vol 10 pp1219-1226,1996.
Reuters BEIJING Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:06am EST–
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Filed under: Dietary Advice for cancer Management
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