GMO: How Much Do You Know?

GMO: How Much Do You Know In Canton MA?

Chiropractic Canton MA Natural Wellness

Last November I attended a public information session at the Cambridge Library regarding genetically engineered food, a topic that has been a subject of interest for me for some time now and but has remained somewhat enigmatic to the public. The session was led by a panel of Consumer Reports experts comprised of Urvashi Rangan, PhD, the director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group, Michael Crupain, MD, MPH, associate director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group, and Michael Hansen, PhD, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, the public policy arm of Consumer Reports. These experts led a lively, thought-provoking discussion that delved into ethical and safety issues stemming from the introduction of genetically modified organisms into the food chain in Canton MA while highlighting some central issues of concern.

Understanding Genetically Modified Organisms in Canton MA

Genetically engineered organisms are more commonly known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. This term refers to experimental plants or animals that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory with DNA fragments from other plants, animals, bacteria, or viruses. The most common types of genetically engineered crops include those that have been manipulated to survive the application of toxic herbicides as well as those that have been engineered to produce pesticides. In other words, the insertion of bacterial DNA changes the behavior of plants, allowing them to become pesticides.

What's most alarming is that GMOs are found in most packaged food found in U.S. households today. The five most prevalent GMO crops are soy (94%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), and cotton (90%). Examples of the most common products derived from GMO crops include cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, high fructose corn syrup, and, unless specifically labeled as "cane sugar", all other sugars including fructose, maltose, and dextrose. Additional sources of GMOs include beef, chicken, or farm raised fish which have been fed a diet consisting of GMO corn, soy, or alfalfa. Egg and dairy products from GMO fed animals or from cows injected with rBGH growth hormones also contain GMOs.

A myriad of health concerns have been associated with the consumption of genetically engineered food in both humans and animals. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has recently released a statement asserting that GMO foods "present a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy, and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health" and should not be consumed until immediate long-term safety testing and labeling of foods containing GMOs occurs.1 In the same light, the American Medical Association has also recommended that independent researchers conduct mandatory pre-market safety testing of GMOs. Currently, the Food and Drug Association requires seed manufacturers to submit safety assessment data on a voluntary basis.2

GMO crops are also further implicated in damage to human and animal health as they are designed for surviving heavy application of pesticides and herbicides.3 These toxins have been linked to a variety of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.4

Aside from certified organic products, the majority of processed, packaged foods available for purchase in the U.S contain GMO ingredients. Current FDA regulations do not require companies to disclose whether or not foods contain GMOs. In contrast, more than 60 countries, including the entire European Union, require GMO labeling.5 Movements to label are underway in more than half of the states across the U.S., with Connecticut and Maine passing mandatory labeling laws that will take effect once neighboring states pass similar laws.6 Public support of GMO labeling continues to grow, with a recent article in the NY Times revealing that 90% of the public are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs.7

In summary, the lack of regulations regarding labeling of GM food coupled with the pervasiveness of GM food in the U.S. food supply today render it impossible to track the effects on human health. More long-term studies need to be conducted on the effects of GMO food, but this is not possible if consumption continues to remain unmonitored based upon the lack of labeling. GMO foods have not proven safe, and the decision to to eat them should be made by the consumer as opposed to corporations who stand to profit from their sales. Massachusetts legislators have until March 19, 2014 to take action on proposed GMO labeling laws, and community support of GMO labeling is critical if progress is to be made. Please visit for more information regarding ways to encourage legislators to take action on proposed laws.

As a service to our community, we will be holding a public education night on Thursday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Canton Dale Chiropractic, 351 Turnpike St. in Canton MA. Emphasis will be placed on strategies for avoiding them in everyday life, and clips from award winning documentaries including "Seeds of Death" and "Genetic Roulette" will be featured along with some samples of delicious organic appetizers. There is no cost for attendance, but we ask that you call to reserve your seat (781) 821-0072.

1. Genetically Modified Foods Position Paper AAEM ; Amy Dean, D.O. and Jennifer Armstrong, M.D.

2. REPORT 2 OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (A-12) Labeling of Bioengineered Foods 2012

3. Pesticide use ramping up as GMO crop technology backfires, Reuters, Oct 1, 2012

4. Glyphosate's Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases; Entropy 2013, 15, 1-x manuscripts; doi:10.3390/ e140x000x; ;

5. Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Laws;

6. State Labeling Initiatives;

7. Strong support for labeling modified foods, New York Times, July 27, 2013;


8:30am - 1:00pm
3:15pm - 6:00pm

3:15pm - 6:15pm

8:30am - 1:00pm
3:15pm - 6:00pm

8:30am - 1:00pm
3:15pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Canton Dale Chiropractic

351 Turnpike St
Canton, MA 02021
P: (781) 821-0072
F: (781) 821-0071