Genetics Health

GMOs -Allergenicities, Mutations and their Precautions

Written by Areej Sabir

“GMO” refers to food crops that have been reformed or altered (genetically) by utilizing a variety of scientific procedures.

Genetically Modified Foods are making more noise, this time it’s because GM foods like soy and corn might be responsible for a wide variety of gluten-related disorders.

Glyphosate inducing several human disorders:

Glyphosate is an active ingredient of the most widely used herbicide and it is believed to be less toxic than other pesticides. However, several recent studies showed its potential adverse health effects to humans as it may be an endocrine disruptor. Glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used for soybean cultivation.

GM crops trigger immune reactions and may cause allergies:

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system interprets something as foreign, different and offensive and reacts accordingly. All GM foods, by definition have something foreign and different. And several studies show that they provoke reactions.

Each gene may control several different traits in a single organism. Even the insertion of a single gene can affect the entire genome of the host resulting in unintended side effects, all of which may not be recognizable at the same time.

Therefore, there could be a number of predictable and unpredictable risks related to release of GMOs in the open environment

GM plants and the environmental hazards:

  • The GM plants may themselves become invasive weeds.
  • The conditions required to grow GM plants affects local wildlife populations.

GMOs causing gluten disorder:

GM foods may either trigger or exacerbate gluten-related disorders, including the autoimmune disorder, Celiac Disease:

  • Intestinal permeability
  • Imbalanced gut bacteria
  • Immune activation and allergic response
  • Impaired digestion
  • Damage to the intestinal wall

Health risks of genetically modified organisms:

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Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food, including

  • infertility,
  • immune problems
  • accelerated aging
  • insulin regulation
  • changes in major organs
  • toxic reactions in gastrointestinal system

Some of the serious pests that were introduced include the pathogenic fungus that has all but destroyed the American chestnut tree, the gypsy moth and Johnson grass weed (Pimentel et al., 2000).

Some of the GMO products:

  • Canola oil
  • Cotton seed oil
  • Dairy products
  • Cotton seed
  • Corn
  • Sugar Beets

Reasons to avoid GMOs:

  • They are unhealthy
  • They contaminate our gene pool forever
  • Create dangerous side effects
  • They harm the environment and are unsustainable
  • Artificial characteristics can be passed on to the next generation
  • It is a global threat to food consumed by us

Precautions:

  • Choose organic
  • Avoid non-organic processed foods
  • “Beware of the label Factory four”(that contain corn ,soy and sugar modified genetically)

References:

Key, Suzie, Julian KC Ma, and Pascal MW Drake. “Genetically modified plants and human health.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 101.6 (2008): 290-298.

Verma, C., Nanda, S., Singh, R. K., Singh, R. B., & Mishra, S. (2011). A review on impacts of genetically modified food on human health. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 4, 3-11.

Thongprakaisang, Siriporn, et al. “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 59 (2013): 129-136.

Ma JKC, Drake PMW, Christou P. The production of recombinant pharmaceutical proteins in plants.Nature. 2003;4:794–805

 

 

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About the author

Areej Sabir