Featured image: GM protest in Montpellier, 2015 (Source: Flickr)
There is increasing concern about the health of our children among some parents, and our new book explores the perfect storm we have created that may be the culprit.
This storm is formed by a toxic mix of;
- 1) outdated medical models that struggle with chronic diseases and often overlook food;
- 2) an embattled scientific community, some of whom have obscured questions about the safety of GM foods and their associated pesticides; and
- 3) frustrated parents and children who are finding solutions by doing something so simple as changing their diet.
Of course, the causes of children’s disorders are many. But food plays an enormous role. Consider the possibility that some of the food we are feeding our children is loaded with chemical ingredients that are impairing our kid’s guts.
We’ve always known that guts – the intestines – play a huge role in maintaining health and causing disease. They allow food to become nutrition and nutrition, we all know, provides the external source of the building blocks for life. More recently, we’ve learned that the collection of microbes that inhabit our gut, called the microbiome, have a lot to do with this process. The microbiome may just be the evidentiary glue that connects the dots between GM foods and poor health.
Rather than rehashing old and worn out debates about how GM foods create unknown proteins that may be harmful, or about how GM foods are not ‘natural’, or even about harms to agriculture from weed and insect resistance, this book takes us in a new direction.
We focus on the fact that GM foods, because they are designed to be resistant to the potent weed killer Roundup or to kill insect pests with Bt, come loaded with ingredients that were once thought to be harmless to humans but now may understood as being harmful to the microbes in our guts.
Consider the fact that increases in use of one of these ingredients, the active ingredient in Roundup called glyphosate, has escalated over 300-fold from 1974 to 2014. Keep in mind, there are non-agricultural uses for glyphosate including playgrounds, parks, schools and backyards where Roundup is used profusely.
How GM foods affect human health
Now we start to get a sense of the crisis we are facing and the central claims of this book. These are not the only GM foods to worry about, but they are the lion’s share of them, being ubiquitous in corn, canola, soy, sugar beets and other foods as well.
What has often been missing in the stories about GM foods is how to find a clear pathway through the controversial sciences to answer questions about how these foods affect human health. Those familiar with the world of GM food debates know that we have never actually tested these foods on humans and that they have slipped through most of the safety regulatory processes, especially in the USA.
However, we do have a vast number of studies from animals that should raise alarm. Still, it is hard not to be confused. Anyone taking even a short journey to the science library on GM foods will be met with naysaying, with the notion that the scientific consensus has deemed these foods safe.