Several weeks ago I wrote about the first long-term study on the impact of GMOs. The ten year study out of Europe has shown conclusively that GMOs and GE foods are not harmless: they cause damage to the digestive system and our ability to digest proteins, change the micro-structure of our intestines, alter our immune systems and cause us to eat more, gain weight — and retain the weight – than would occur with a non GE diet.

Now another study out of France has followed rats through their lifespan, which typically lasts two years, and found severe health concerns including tumors, organ damage and premature death in the rats eating genetically modified corn. You may have seen some shocking photos in the news: if not, and you are a visual person for whom it takes a picture to make an impact, you’ll want to check them out. If you have a weak stomach, stay away!

As a result of the study, Russia has announced it is suspending import and use of American GM corn and several other European countries are considering the same. In this newsletter, I want to share the results of the study and why even though they are shocking, things are unlikely to change here in America.

The study, published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal conducted at the University of Caen was the first to explore the lifetime effects of eating GMOs, following rats through their entire lifecycle and comparing the effect of consuming GM corn vs a control group. (Typically studies follow rats through a 90-day trial.) According to a UK publication known as The Grocer, the study found “that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts (of GM corn and Monsanto Roundup weedkiller, which is one of the pesticides the GM corn is altered to withstand) developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males and seven months for females.”

Some of the shocking results included that up to 50 % of the males and 70% of the females suffered premature death (vs. 30% and 20% in the control group). Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup (the same levels legally allowed in the water supply in the US) had a 200%-300% increase in large tumors and an increased risk of cancer. In addition, scientists found severe organ damage to liver and kidneys in the rats.

While scientists say that the study needs to be repeated with more animals and by more laboratories, which will take several years, nevertheless Professor of Cancer Biology at Imperial College in London, Mustafa Djamgoz, who describes himself as GM neutral said the results were “ a surprise” and that “The results are significant. The experiments are, more or less, the best of their kind to date.”

If you read the study or see the pictures, you will be shocked at the results and the changes that the rats experienced. Clearly, Russia was! And several other countries are reviewing the study and determining their next steps. I have to say I cheered Russia and as the parent of two adopted Russian children, I was proud! But while the results confirmed what many of us have already suspected, in this country pockets are deep and with all that money involved, change is unlikely.

It may seem amazing that no long-term studies were undertaken on GMOs, but when you follow the money and the politics, it becomes clear. While campaigning, President Obama said “Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they are buying.” But two of his biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, own 900,000 and 500,000 shares respectively of Monsanto stock.

And upon election, President Obama filled key government positions with Monsanto executives. Some of these include: Director of National Food and Agriculture at the USDA, Roger Beachy, who is a former director of Monsanto Danforth Center; deputy commissioner of the USDA Michael Taylor who was formerly VP of public policy at Monsanto; commissioner of the USDA Tom Vilsack who created a Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership to work with biotech companies and was given an award as Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto; Former Monsanto lobbyist Islam Siddiqui as Agricultural Trade Representative; counsel for the USDA Ramona Romero, previously corporate counsel for DuPont, another huge biotech company; and even Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan who had achieved fame arguing for Monsanto in the Monsanto vs Geertson seed case before the Supreme court.

I don’t want to turn this into a political debate for or against President Obama, as it’s not clear any other President or candidate would behave much differently. It’s part of the political process of getting elected in this country, which requires big money, and then paybacks to those who provide it once elected. But with these people in key positions, during the last four years, more than ten new genetically modified crops have been approved. And as we have seen with corn, they have not been tested long-term for safety.

So what can we do? We need to stop eating GM foods unless or until they are proven safe. But the problem is that corn is now ubiquitous; it’s everywhere and in everything. It’s not just about buying organic corn anymore; the GM modified NK603 which was found to cause severe health problems in the study is fed to animals and the toxic chemicals remain in the animal fat and in the milk and other by-products. It’s being fed to salmon now so it’s also in farm-raised fish.

It’s in so many products and packaged foods such as corn-based breakfast cereals, tortillas and corn snack chips. It’s extremely difficult to avoid it, and that is when you know it is there. The bigger problem now is that many products contain it and you might never suspect corn to be in there but it is and it does not need to be labeled.

One look at the pictures released from this latest French study and you will be convinced that more research needs to be done and that we have a right to know what is in our foods. Especially since these foods being fed to our children, whose immune systems are still developing and whose brains are still forming. These toxins are in cereals, chips, crackers and more and without labeling, you may never know.

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal at

Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the European study linking genetically modified corn and Monsanto’s weed-killing Round Up spray to cancerous tumors and other health concerns. This study led to America’s GMO corn being banned in Russia and pending reviews by other European countries.

As with all studies, some will challenge the results and even the study’s scientists say the study will need to be replicated. But seeing the pictures of the tumor-laden rats wasn’t necessary for me to confirm what I know intuitively: that these products are not in our best health interests.

As the attention focuses around the upcoming Proposition 37 in California, which would potentially change the food industry forever by requiring companies to label genetically modified food ingredients, conversations with leading health food executives are making the news. Recently, a Whole Foods executive was interviewed admitting that Whole Foods’ products contain GMOs. Apparently, many customers were shocked by this fact. But as we have discussed in the past, GMOs are so pervasive, it is almost impossible to avoid them, even if you are trying.

So the question is not “Are they there?” as much as “How hard are the stores trying to avoid them?”

In the interview, Libba Letton, who is in charge of investor relations and food safety for the store chain said, “Unless a store is all organic, every store in the country sells unlabeled genetically modified [foods].” She went on to say, “I don’t think that Whole Foods does anything to try to make people think that we don’t have food with GMOs in them.”

Recently, in a blogpost, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey confirmed that Whole Foods knowingly sells Monsanto GM corn in numerous products, which may include some of its house brand products. Genetically modified ingredients may be everywhere, but Whole Foods certainly doesn’t seem concerned about trying to avoid them.

For me, I stopped shopping at Whole Foods because it is expensive, and because most of what I am looking for when I shop is organic produce and grass-fed meat. I found that the majority of produce at Whole Foods was conventional and I really had to hunt for organic products. When I found them, they were very expensive. Same with the meat, so I switched to Trader Joe’s where I can affordably find what I need to feed my family.

But even though I am not a Whole Foods shopper, I confess to be shocked by the acceptance and overall lack of concern regarding the presence of genetically modified ingredients in a store supposedly committed to healthy living.

Trader Joe’s has not escaped without question however. Some organizations are demanding that Trader Joe’s show proof that there are no GMO ingredients in any of the products they sell. Trader Joe’s faces the challenge: how do you guarantee something isn’t there when you are buying from a supplier who probably can’t guarantee it either? Or may not want to be forthcoming about it for fear of losing their account revenue?

If you promise they are not there and someday, they are found in some way in some product, intention doesn’t seem to matter: credibility is shot, lawsuits will follow and you are now taking full responsibility for something that is actually out of your control. There are so many steps along the food chain process where GMOs could possibly sneak in along the way. But unlike Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s has publicly made the commitment to do their best to avoid GMO ingredients and to replace them or find new suppliers if they discover they exist.

They have committed publicly on their website that their private label products are GMO-free. Here’s what their website says about non-GMO products:

“Our customers can be assured that all products in Trader Joe’s private label are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. Our process has been to identify any product containing ingredients that could potentially be derived from genetically engineered crops and work with our suppliers to replace offending ingredients with acceptable alternatives.”

They may not be able to guarantee that there is not a GMO in any single product that they sell: in today’s world that may be impossible. But they are doing their best and are standing behind the products that they themselves produce. That’s a big difference in attitude and approach, don’t you think?

All this comes as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) announced that the average American eats more than his or her body weight in GMOs every year. Using 2011 data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), genetically modified foods corn products such as corn oil, salad oils, corn meal, and corn-based sweeteners such as corn syrup, EWG showed that the average person consumes 193 pounds of GM corn products, beet sugar and salad oils such as soybean oil. (The average American weighs 179 pounds.)

That was just the result of looking at three main products and there are another 30 GM food products currently in trials. Among the genetically engineered crops coming soon are apples, barley, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chili peppers, coffee, cranberries, cucumber, flax, grapefruit, kiwi, lentils, lettuce, melons, mustard, oats, olives, onions, peanuts, pears, peas, persimmons, pineapple, radishes, strawberries, sugar cane, sunflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and watercress.

EWG concluded it is likely that we could be eating 2-3 times our weight in GM foods within the next decade. (All without any long-term health impact testing.)

Before we leave this topic, there is an interesting twist on the use of GMOs in animal feed that was recently reported by a Canadian paper. (Isn’t it interesting that all these breaking stories about American food come from Europe and Canada and are barely covered in the news here?) The Vancouver Sun recently reported via Reuters that due to the warm weather we had this summer and the resulting drought, the crop this year will be the smallest in six years. That makes GMO corn a scarce commodity right now.

Because it is in such high demand in food products, the price has risen to the point that it is not as affordable for farmers to use as animal feed. You might think that is good news, and, well, on some levels it certainly is, even though it’s just a temporary situation. But as corn rises, so does the price of any other alternatives or “co-products” to feed the livestock. The corn in their diet is a source of fat, energy and sugar, according to Hansen Mueller Grain who provides animal feed options. So what do you feed a cow to replace the fat, energy and sugar corn provides?

The answer: gummy worms (made with corn syrup), ice cream sprinkles and marshmallows. Add to that leftover food scraps, cereals like Fruit Loops, and even orange peels. The old adage “you are what you eat” applies to animals, too as they are not immune from the impact of dyes and preservatives, fructose and chemicals which will remain stored in their fat. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t eat that myself, so why would I want to eat it via my meat?

So how do we make better choices and avoid GMOs? It isn’t easy, as we’ve discussed, as GMO products are everywhere and are not required to be labeled. Yet, though I am hoping that will change after the Proposition 37 vote in California this election. The answer is to limit packaged and prepared foods and if you must buy them, to be sure they are labeled as certified organic (which cannot contain GMO products) or certified GMO-free. Natural or all natural is not a legally defined or enforceable term, so it is really a meaningless marketing statement.

Look for grass fed beef, which means the cows aren’t being fed GMO grains, candy or food scraps but rather, they are eating what nature intended them to eat. Avoid farm-raised fish as they face the same food challenges. As for poultry (and eggs) and pork, they are not as likely to be eating the candy alternatives, but virtually always are fed vegetarian grain diets that often include GMO products. It is hard to find — and often expensive to find — chicken allowed to eat a natural diet of grass and bugs but if you can find it and you can afford it, buy it!

If not, limit chicken and pork consumption (don’t eat chicken every night!), as even cage free typically means vegetarian feed. And definitely buy organic chicken and pork and animal products. This is one area that is definitely worth the investment.

To avoid genetically modified produce, stick to organic. Organic produce is labeled with a product code starting with the number 9. Labelled GMO products begin with the number 8 and should be avoided.

But labeling produce is optional so if you buy conventionally grown produce such as 3 or 4, or any other number besides 8 or 9, all you know is that it’s not organic. You will not know for sure if it’s genetically modified. So to the extent you can, invest in organic and try to minimize your consumption of corn and corn-based products.


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal at

Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art

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