From the Desk of Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Ultra-processed food industry that makes up 70% of an American diet is a hot and scary topic at the moment. But that story overshadows the fact that that most of our foods are also genetically engineered (GE). It appears that everyone has forgotten that insect and animal DNA is contaminating our edible plants potentially creating the next Frankenstein monster or just making us infertile and ending civilization.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Chronology of Plant Manipulation

The US Department of Agriculture gives the chronology of plant manipulation and GE foods on their website.¹ I’ll give you an edited version below:

1940: Plant breeders learn to use radiation and chemicals to randomly change an organism’s DNA.

1973: Biochemists develop genetic engineering by inserting DNA from one bacteria into another.

1986: The Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology had the FDA, EPA and USDA regulate the safety of GMOs.
NOTE: I don’t think turned out very well at all.

1994: The first GE plant created through genetic engineering—a GE tomato—becomes available for sale after studies evaluated by federal agencies proved it to be as safe as traditionally bred tomatoes.
NOTE: Supposedly!

1990s: The first wave of GE produce became available to consumers: summer squash, soybeans, cotton, corn, papayas, tomatoes, potatoes, and canola.

2003: The WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations develop international guidelines and standards to determine the safety of GE foods.
NOTE: I’ve been at Codex meetings, run by the WHO, FAO and WTO, to standardize toxins in foods and their method is to allow as much and as many toxins as they can get away with. I’m sure the same “standards” apply to the safety of GE foods.

2005: GE alfalfa and sugar beets are available for sale in the United States.

2015: FDA approves an application for the first genetic modification in an animal for use as food, a genetically engineered salmon.
NOTE: Since most GMO foods are not labeled as such, do you even know you are eating Frankengene foods.

2016: Congress passes a law requiring labeling for some foods produced through genetic engineering and uses the term “bioengineered.”
NOTE: Currently, GE vegetables and fruits do not carry a GMO OR GE label. At least, I haven’t seen a stamp on any fruits and vegetables in conventional grocery stores. There is no way of knowing what you are eating.

2017: GE apples are available for sale in the U.S.
NOTE: There goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

2020: GE pink pineapple is available to U.S. consumers.

2020: Application for GalSafe pig was approved.

An Absence of Studies

They say that in 1994 research was done to show the safety of GE plants but the US research on GMOs is woefully lacking. You have to go to Europe to find evidence that eating GMO foods causes intestinal microbiome dysfunction and much more. In fact, I read one report that read: “As of January 2009, there has only been one human feeding study conducted on the effects of GM foods. The study involved seven human volunteers.”

In Europe, there has been strong resistance to GE foods. In 1998, a GE corn was approved for commercial cultivation in Europe. Shortly thereafter, the EU enacted a moratorium on new approvals of GMOs pending new regulatory laws passed in 2003. Those new laws provided the EU with possibly the most stringent GMO regulations in the world.² You can read the full Wikipedia text of “Genetically Modified Food in the European Union online.

If you search “are there side effects of GE food” online you will find a large font, bolded NO or the opposite with a list of possible side effects including:

  1. Allergic reactions: There’s a small risk that GE foods could trigger allergies if they produce a new allergen.
  2. Cancer: Some worry about a potential link to cancer, though research is ongoing and not conclusive.
  3. Antibacterial resistance: There’s a concern that GE foods might contribute to antibiotic resistance.
  4. Changes in human DNA: Some fear that GE foods could alter human DNA, although evidence is lacking.
  5. Toxicity: Concerns exist about potential toxicity to body organs.

Sources try to negate your concern saying that current research suggests few risks, and most GE foods on the market have passed safety assessments without showing effects on human health. More long-term studies are needed to fully understand the implications.

NOTE: And therein lies the problem. The studies aren’t being done. To say that research suggests few risks is covering up the fact that there are few studies. Absence of studies doesn’t mean absence of risk. So, we are caught in the game of Big Food and Big Agra trying to manipulate our diet and our health and we have no say in the matter – unless we choose to eat organic!

Genetic Engineering Details

Genetic engineering is a process that involves the following steps:

  1. Identifying the genetic information—or “gene”—that gives an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) a desired trait.
  2. Copying that information from the organism that has the trait.
  3. Inserting that information into the DNA of another organism.³
  4. Growing the new organism.

NOTE: One of the most valued characteristics is to be able to reduce the need to spray pesticides, or the complete opposite – one that allows you to spray pesticides indiscriminately and allows the plant to thrive. Here’s one example. In order to create insect-resistant corn to reduce the need to spray pesticides, scientists identified a gene in a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces a natural insecticide that has been in use for many years in traditional and organic agriculture. After scientists find the gene with the desired trait, they copy that gene. They insert the gene into the DNA of the plant. Then they test it in the laboratory, later in greenhouses, before releasing it in the environment.

The latest invasion of nature is a gene editing tool called CRISPR that makes the whole genetic engineering process much faster. Scientists insist that their methods are making crops more nutritious, drought tolerant, and resistant to insect pests and diseases.

The Alliance for Natural Health, in a recent press release³ has grave concerns that the FDA is not doing any research on the effects of GE foods. The FDA says that “No additional safety measures are necessary for GE fruits and vegetables because the process used to create them is irrelevant.”
NOTE: Irrelevant to insert genes where they don’t belong. How completely irrational! And such a proclamation leaves the door wide open for GE technology to do whatever they want. In 2021 researchers implanted a human gene into the genomes of rice crops, allowing the plants’ protein machines to take over and churn out this human molecule on its own. You can bet that rice won’t be labeled as having human genes.

A Recipe for Disaster

The ANH sends out this warning: “The FDA’s stance is extremely dangerous as it entirely ignores the unpredictable effects of genome editing and it opens the floodgates to foods that we have not evolved to eat with unknown nutrition and toxicological profiles. Yet the agency downplays these risks.”

The ANH references a 2020 article in the journal Nature finding that “gene-editing in human embryos caused ‘chromosomal mayhem,’ analyzing three studies that showed large DNA deletions and reshuffling.”

Just like in the adulteration of dietary vitamin supplements by making them out of coal tar and claiming they are equal to natural supplements, the GE promoters use the term “bioequivalence.” In supplements natural and synthetic vitamins have different rotational spins which makes the synthetics completely different in their conformation and ability to enter vitamin receptor sites.

The FDA actually believes that “gene editing and similar techniques can be used to produce foods that, in its limited view, are identical to traditionally-produced foods. This is a pipe dream, particularly in light of recent research into all that we don’t know about even the simplest traditional foods.”

The ANH says that:

“We disrespect the complexity of natural systems when we think that we can tinker with this or that gene, or ferment foods from GMO yeast, or grow cells in a big vat, and achieve what Nature did over eons. To call these foods “bioequivalent” and ready for market without a deeper understanding of what they’re made of and what it means for human health to eat them is utter lunacy—and a recipe for disaster.”

It’s precisely because of GE foods and our Ultra-processed diet that I became involved with funding a biodynamic, organic farm in Maui for the past ten years. I urge everyone of you to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)4 group; grow your own food; and/or buy safe organic food as much as humanly possible.

Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future