What Genetically Modified Foods Do to the Body: Say No to GMO Side Effects

Many food additives that come from corn are genetically modified. Avoid corn derived food additives.
Many food additives that come from corn are genetically modified. Avoid corn derived food additives. | Source

GMOs Affect Our Bodies

By the time you're done reading this article, you will be fuming. There are scientific data that show GMOs have dangerous side effects in animals. There is evidence, based on animal studies, that eating genetically modified foods causes a wide variety of problems which make tracing the source of the problem difficult, especially over time. There are not enough data to show the long-term effects of eating food that have been genetically altered. Some scientists predict that GMOs are one of the root causes of epidemics that now plague the United States including obesity, diabetes, asthma, fertility problems, food allergies and even cancer. What about ADHD and autism? There are many conditions that are on the rise which coincide with the introduction of changes in our food system over time.

According to the Academy of Environmental Medicine there should be "an immediate moratorium on genetically modified foods."

Copyright © 2015 Melis Ann

Most corn products are genetically modified which affects the health of animals and people that eat it.
Most corn products are genetically modified which affects the health of animals and people that eat it. | Source

What Is Genetically Modified Food?

Confusion exists over the difference between genetically modified crops and hybrid crops. A hybrid is a cross between two plant varieties where the goal is to produce a plant that has the best features of each of the crossed varieties. This is done in controlled ways, but also can happen in nature.

Genetic engineering of crops involves altering the genetic makeup of a crop in some way, typically for the purpose of making that crop perform better. DNA is extracted from animals, viruses, bacteria, insects and even humans and then inserted into the DNA of the crop.

An example: The pesticide Bt (Bacillus thuringeiensis), a bacterium naturally occurring in soil, is inserted into corn DNA. Bt produces a toxin that destroys the intestinal lining in insects upon eating the corn plant. Although this toxin occurs naturally, it would never become part of corn DNA without intervention.

These terms are commonly used to represent food that has been altered genetically.

  • Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
  • Genetically Engineered (GE) Food
  • Genetically Modified (GM) Food

DNA of food is altered
DNA of food is altered | Source

GMO Controversy

Supporters say GMOs will help solve world hunger by providing more efficient crops that can grow in less ideal climates or soils for example. Supporters say that there is no evidence that GMOs are harmful to us and that the crops are substantially equivalent to their original form. Big companies that benefit from selling GMO products like Monsanto oppose labeling GMOs on food products, but maintain that they are perfectly safe for consumers to eat.

Those against GMOs site scientific research that says GMOs cause allergies, infertility and reproductive problems, organ damage, insulin regulation problems, accelerated aging, immune problems, and changes to the gastrointestinal system. Many organizations and scientists agree that not enough data have been gathered about the long-term side effects of ingesting GMOs.

Which Foods Are Genetically Modified?

Some examples of foods that are genetically modified:

  • 93% of soybean fields in the United States are genetically modified, 77% worldwide
  • 85% of corn in the United States is genetically modified, 26% worldwide
    -affecting products that contain canola oil, corn syrup, cornmeal, xantham gum, corn starch
  • 95% of sugar beet crops grown in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered, 9% worldwide
  • 93% of cotton is modified, 49% worldwide
    -affecting cottonseed oil
  • 80% Hawaiian papaya is genetically altered
  • 70-90% of processed foods on grocery store shelves contain GM foods
  • livestock is fed GM foods
    -affects meat, milk and eggs

How Do I Avoid GMOs?

See my other articles in this series to learn how to avoid GM foods while shopping or dining out.

Video: The Effects of GMOs (2 minutes)

What Do Scientists Say About GMOs?

Scientists have been harassed, fired and received death threats for publishing information or expressing opinions such as the following against GMOs.

  • Scientists speculate that the rise in infertility, low birth weight babies and other reproductive ailments in the U.S. population since the mid-1990s is linked to the introduction of genetically modified foods.
  • The American Academy of Environmental Medicine asked doctors to educate patients about the dangerous effects of eating GM foods.
  • Scientists at the FDA warned the White House of potential side effects, and that these side effects would be difficult to detect, back in the 1990s. Instead of gathering more long-term data, the White House appointed Monsanto's former attorney to push the U.S. forward with GMOs and biotechnology. FYI - Monsanto sells approximately 90% of the genetically modified seeds used in the United States. Many of these seeds are modified to give the crops the ability to withstand heavy doses of Roundup weed killer, also a Monsanto product.
  • Dr. Pushpa M. Bhargave, a biologist known around the world, believes that the increase in diseases and disorders that are affecting Americans today are due to GMOs. His opinions are based on a review of 600 scientific documents and journals about GMOs.
  • The global scientific community continues to express that there are not enough data to show that GMOs are safe for humans. More testing and understanding is needed. They state that we have all become guinea pigs in a huge scientific experiment.
  • Other scientists point out that because the effects of eating GMOs are not understood, that new diseases are likely to develop without us knowing exactly why until too much time has passed. An example of this already occurred in the 1980s when a genetically engineered food supplement called L-tryptophan killed 100 people and caused illness and disability in thousands of Americans because it took four years to find the cause.
  • It is reported that more and more doctors are prescribing GM-free diets.
  • American approach to food safety is based on "substantial equivalence" whereas the European approach is based on "precautionary principle". The FDA says there isn't evidence to support that GMOs are not safe; European officials say that if a reasonable risk exists it is not worth continuing to eat GMOs. This situation is repeated with other food safety issues like food dyes (see link to article on food dyes).

Allergies from Genetically Modified Food

Genetically modified soy contains up to seven times more of the allergen called trypsin inhibitor than non-GM soy. It is reported that soy allergies increased 50% around the same time that genetically modified soy began being used in the UK. Many of these individuals react to skin prick tests for GM soy, but don't have evidence of an allergy to the non-GM soy.

Human Intestines
Human Intestines | Source

Side Effects of GMOs

Since we don't know exactly what GMOs do to our health, we have to base our decision to eat GMOs on evidence from animal studies and the opinions of experts in the scientific field. For some people, the possibility of a risk is enough to make that decision to stop eating GMOs.

See the table below for some specific findings related to GMO studies, including a human study showing that DNA from the modified food inserts itself into bacteria present in human intestines.

Documented Findings On GM Diet

Food Source
Effects of GMOs in Diet
genetically modified foods
fed to rats and salmon
increased weight gain, ate more, changes in immune system, altered intestinal structure
genetically modified soy
humans (the only published human study)
the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living in human intestines - the gene now functions within the bacteria
genetically modified soy
fed to mice
embryos developed significant DNA changes
genetically modified soy
fed to hamsters over 3 generations
3rd generation lost ability to have babies, high mortality of offspring, slower growth, some had hair growing inside mouths
genetically modified soybeans or corn
fed to mice and rats; combination of 19 studies
significant organ disruption; livers and kidneys
genetically engineered soy
tested goats milk
found the modified DNA sequences in the goats milk, having passed from the intenstines to the blood stream to the udders into the milk
genetically engineered plants
analyzed genes in fish
found modified DNA in nearly all inner organs
genetically modified soy
Fed to female rats
most of their babies died within three weeks, babies were smaller, offspring less fertility
genetically modified corn
fed to mice
fewer babies, smaller babies
genetially modified cottonseed
fed to buffalo in India
premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, prolapsed uteruses
genetically modified corn
fed to pigs in U.S.
became sterile, had false pregnancies, gave birth to bags of water
genetically modified corn
fed to cows and bulls
became infertile
multiple genetically altered foods
various animals
significant immune dysregulaton - associated with asthma, allergy and inflammation

Video: It's Time For A Food Fight (3 minutes)

Disclaimer: Note that this website portrays my opinion. I want to help others consider a new or different view. Any action taken based on these opinions is the responsibility of the reader.

Copyright © 2015 Melis Ann
This content is original to Hubpages only at this web address:

GMOs are High Risk

Based on this extensive list of animal studies that show severe side effects, GMOs appear to be a risky addition to the food supply. More data need to be gathered, but not at the expense of our health.

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Comments 13 comments

Turtlewoman profile image

Turtlewoman 4 years ago from California

This is a great article, very thorough and informative. More Americans need to learn about this scary acronym. I read labels obsessively to avoid consuming GMO-products but there are sneaky ways they can add it in our food. Considering almost every processed food contains some form of corn, they're everywhere! The best way to avoid it is to buy mostly organic foods.

Voted up and useful!

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

Someday I hope it's easier to find non-GM foods with labels! Thanks for the comment Turtlewoman.

Ocho7 4 years ago

I have a questions in regards to video of Jeffery mentioning his friend who is a farm grew GMO corn and NON GMO Corn and the cows choose the Non GMO corn. How is it possible to plant GMO and NON GMO Corn side by side? From the research I have done, it implicates that the soil, seed and weed killer, attaches to the Non GMO and makes it GMO especially when they are so close.

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

Good question Ocho7. I'm guessing that when you first plant they remain separate crops, but over the season would mix. It would be difficult to do a controlled experiment with them side by side as like you said they would need different treatments and care.

Ocho7 4 years ago

Thanks for replying.

aa lite profile image

aa lite 4 years ago from London

Your arguments would be more convincing if you provided links to the actual papers in which scientists published the studies whose conclusions you cite. It isn't really enough to write "scientists say", or even to give the name of a specific scientist.

In 1998 Andrew Wakefield published a paper claiming that the MMR vaccine caused autism. Other studies failed to reproduce his results and later investigations showed that he had a lot of undeclared conflicts of interest and that he manipulated data. Basically anybody can say "scientists say that..........." fill in your favourite argument, but that doesn't really mean much.

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

When I get back in to add the latest research, I will definitely add more source data. I agree the argument is more compelling with cited research. I'm happy to have found a wide variety of studies from around the world which I summarized in tabular form above. I've been meaning to get back to this article as there are some great new studies showing the detrimental impacts of GMOs.

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 3 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

In light of the election I've shared this again with my followers. Please pass this along. Californians ~ we are counting on you to vote YES for Prop 37 to enforce labeling of genetically modified foods.

April Salsman 2 years ago

I myself have had many issues with food, in itself. I have to think, how many people have much to say, but no action. My meaning is, if your not sure about if this is actually real, or if something needs to be tested, just try it out. For one thing, no one needs to do research to see that there is a rise in Cancer, Autism, allergies, and many more things. Back in the time there was very few who knew someone with Cancer, now almost every person alive knows someone with Cancer, or has had Cancer. I myself lost my father to this, so I have to say, "What is causing this?" What are we doing wrong, it points to something, dose it not? Yes, I agree it can be a combination, but it is also what we are doing to ourselves. Soon food will not be food, but a by-product of the real thing. I say yes to labeling, yes to more teaching and education for home grown foods, and yes to informing and educating our children about the food we consume. I myself raise my own milk, eggs, and this year enough veggies and fruits for the entire year for my family, all on 1/3 of a acre. I am proud to know my seeds are non-GMO, as well as safe, because I watched the entire process of the growth, and production of my food. Food is killing America, and it is killing our future our children.

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 2 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

Good for you April! If we all followed your example we would all be healthier. Maybe a study of people who eat standard food and homegrown/organic would start to show a more clear picture of the dangers of GMOs.

ruelamoncio 2 years ago

wow,,,,nice info. I've learned a lot

sometimes being innocent can made us stumbled

Mimi 21 months ago

Why is GMO food bad for you?? And what it do to you?? What is a good part of GMO food?? Pls I wanna know the answer soon as you can answer it. Thank u !

Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 19 months ago from Mom On A Health Hunt Author

Mimi, I encourage you to read the many hubs I have written on the subject. Most of the concern around GMO's are the unknown effects we are yet to discover. Thanks for reading.

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