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Genetically modified food can cause health problems

Leslie is a normal 16-year-old teenager. She is full of energy and life, but her effervescent personality tends to subside at times because she is always walking around with puffy eyes and a runny noise. When I asked her about this problem, she explained that it was par for the course, a condition she has accepted.

Curious and wanting to know more, I asked Leslie about her diet and how she feels after eating certain foods. She confirmed my suspicion – that her puffy eyes and runny nose manifest after eating common foods that we tend to enjoy every day.

I suggested to Leslie that she should stop eating a few common foods that I'd suspected as culprits. They had become part of her daily diet. She followed my advice and was amazed to see her eyes and sinuses clear up in a matter of days.

Leslie's problem is not uncommon. Tens of thousands of people, just like you and me, are allergic to certain foods that cause the body to react in a certain way. So what is in food that invades the body and causes it to react, even violently sometimes? The answer is GMOs – genetically modified organisms.

GMOs are animals or plants created through the process of gene splicing or genetic engineering. This experimental technology merges DNA from different species creating unstable combinations of animal, plant bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

On May 23, 2003, Present Bush proposed an initiative to end hunger in Africa using genetically modified foods. He blamed Europe for having unfounded, unscientific fears of genetically modified foods, thereby hindering the efforts to end hunger. It wasn't that Europe did not want to end hunger in Africa, it was because government-level officials knew the dangers of GMO foods.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, world hunger has rapidly increased since 1995. It had reached 925 million individuals in 2010. So why is there so much hunger when there's more than enough agricultural land to feed everyone on the planet?

Maybe it's incorrect to assume that all the current land is in production or being used efficiently.

GMOs are now proposed as the farmer's solution. This idea is being sold to government, industry and the public as the silver bullet to solve the world's food shortage. The premise is that world hunger can be solved by inventing new crops called super foods. The problem is that these so-called super foods have been known to cause all types of health problems such as allergies, organ defects and childhood diseases.

I would venture to say that most people wouldn't be able to remember what they've eaten in the past 24 hours let alone know what ingredients were in those foods. In many countries, including the United States, GMO foods are not labeled. As a result, neither consumers nor the manufacturers know how much genetically-modified content is really in the food that we eat daily.

More and more doctors are prescribing GMO free diets. Amy Dean, D.O., a Michigan internal medicine specialist and board member of American African Academy of AAEM, said, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods."

Biologist David Schubert, PhD, of the Salk Institute warns that children are most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems related to GM foods. "Without adequate studies," said Schubert, "our children will become the experimental animals."

Diabetes, cancer, birth defects, low birth weight babies, infertility and infant mortality are all escalating out of control because of GM foods. Corn and cotton, for example, are two crops engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs eat from these crops, the poison additive now inherent in the plant splits open their stomach and kills them. If it can kill a bug, what affect is it having on your short- and long-term health?

If you were told that the food you're eating was crossbred in a laboratory, would you stop eating it? There are many problems with GMO foods. The only solution is more regulation of the food industry and the requirement for specific identification and labeling on all GMO products.

If GMO foods are scaled back or banned altogether, then maybe Leslie wouldn't have to walk around with puffy eyes and a runny noise.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is an author, professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached at cheftimothy@ cheftimothymoore.com. Visit www.cheftimothymoore.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ ­cheftimmoore.)

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