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How to Win a GMO Debate: 10 Facts Why GM Food is Bad

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How to Win a GMO Debate: 10 Facts Why GM Food is Bad

It’s happened to the best of us. The topic of genetically modified (GM) food and crops comes up and someone somewhere starts spewing a spate of pro-GMO rhetoric like, “GM food is the only way to feed the poor! GM crops benefit farmers! GM food and crops are safe!” and we are left with a stammering retort of, “but, but, no, but, uhm, no!”

Next time be prepared by bolstering your argument with these 10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs, courtesy of international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith from The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). This list of ten facts and supporting text clearly explain just how serious a threat GM food and crops pose to our personal health as well as the health of the planet.

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Environment, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Nature & Wildlife

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

177 comments

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8:25AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

How to win a GMO argument

Present 10 false or misleading facts as TRUE

7:56AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

I'm sorry but much of this article is exaggerated nonsense. Its just tiring in the extreme to continually see this misinformation repeated over and over, not to mention the time it tales to play "citation wars," where each side throws published paper citations that claim to refute the others' claims at each other.

So please consider this, everyone agrees that GMO products are used in about 80% of the processed foods we consume and this number has been high for years, also our animals have been eating things like GMO corn even longer. Fine. This means we have all been consuming GMO products for quite some time, So the question becomes where is all the evidence of obvious damage that should be everywhere? I don't see hospitals filling up with poisoned people, nor bodies piling up in the streets, dead farm animals everywhere, etc. So in spite of what a few odd-ball lab results seem to indicate, YEARS of consumption of these materials has not produced every day evidence of harm. How do you explain that? In the absence of such evidence the only conclusion that my sense of logic allows is that GMOs are not harmful. When the day to day evidence changes, i'll change my opinion, but not before.

12:45AM PST on Dec 10, 2014

Thank you Melissa. Food for thought which we all need to consider carefully. GMO's are not acceptable and we have to fight against Monsanto and other companies pushing for GMO'S !

12:33AM PST on Dec 10, 2014

The argument in number 7, where they say that vThe journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.”

Is actually from this paper in Nature: http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/7287905/Battlefield-GMO.pdf#toolbar=0 and the quote is taken out of context and is actually used FOR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT. The quote was talking about how anti-GMO scientists are quick to discount evidence that GMOs are okay. That, my friend, along with many other things people have pointed out, is a gross mistake.

10:28AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

I just spent 4 months writing a research paper about the benefits of GMOs and found this article to be rather bad. The author overlooks the fact that GMOs Decrease Insecticide use by 10 fold. Also saying that GMOs do not increase yield is false, most GM row crops have a 10-15% yield increase. BT corn one of the most widely used varieties of corn in the U.S. gets its pest resistance from the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis found in USDA organic insecticides. BT corn also has amazing drought tolerance. GM crops also are more widely used with low till planting methods, which reduce agricultural runoff. also there has been NO correlation between GMOs and ill health effects, those concern are just speculation. I do not think GMOs are perfect but the controversy around them is perceived hysteria. GMOs are not going anywhere, and if people think we can feed such a rapidly growing population without the help of GMOs it will blow up in their faces.

8:48AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

11:10PM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

I didn't even bother reading the rest of the article after the first point.

IGF-1 is not a hormone, it is a peptide. The only link it has to cancer is that it has the ability to grow tumors that are already present, however there have been no studies that have recorded the enlargement of a cancerous tumor, only the growth of naturally occuring tumors in mice.

I would also like to point out that it doesn't mix well with your stomach acid and will be destroyed before it reaches you blood stream.

You cannot make the claim that GMO's are unhealthy, then say there is no studies to support a link between the data used in your argument.

12:58PM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

The title of this piece is a little messed up... Focusing more on winning an argument about GMO's rather than getting the real unbiased truth out there.

5:12AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

End of list, intact:
American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
Doctors prescribe non-GMO diets: http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

5:08AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

continued:
Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling -- http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809416/ - Genetic Chromosome Damage

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539684 - Endocrine Disruptors

Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun 8. Epub 2013 Jun 8. PMID: 23756170

Moms Across America has some of the above and some I haven't listed in this article:
http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results - Problems named include birth
defects, residue in mothers' milk, umbilical cord blood serum, drinking water, aerial spray
effects, soil bacteria, gut bacteria, etc. There is hardly anything that isn't adversely affected
in one way or another!

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/the-rise-of-superweeds.html

http://foodintegritynow.org/2014/05/08/dr-thierry-vrain-former-gmo-scientist-speaks/

http://www.minds.com/blog/view/268122436501770240/confirmed-dna-from-genetically-modified-crops-can-be-transferred-into-humans-who-eat-them

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/11/25/geneticist-david-suzuki-says-humans-are-part-of-a-massive-genetic-experiment/


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809416/ Genetic Chromosome Damage

American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
Doctors presc

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people are talking

Sounds intuitively true from my personal experience

Thanks for the article - certainly more info about coal mining and its toxins that the average per…

Great advice. I, however, now use a Sonicare.

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