Are genetically modified foods, bovine growth hormones (rBGH), antibiotics and high fructose corn syrup making you fat and sick?
According to CDC report, more than one third of the US population (about 34%) are obese and about 68% are overweight. Childhood obesity is now a growing epidemic and one in three kids born after the year 2000 are either obese or overweight.
Medical bills related to obesity have grown more rapidly than ever and they are expected to soar even more as the obesity rate increases. Although No one disagrees that genetic is an important factor in weight gain, in the last few decades the extraordinary increase in body fat of the American population makes you wonder if genetics are the only factor in play.
Over the last five decades, our genetic hasn’t changed as much, but there have been drastic changes in the diet and life style of the American public. While we are no longer as physically active as we were before, and toxic foods, additives and preservatives have found their way into our dining tables.
Genetically modified foods:
More than 95% of corn and soybeans produced in US have been genetically modified. The genes of most cotton seeds (that are fed to dairy cows), sugar beets, canola and alfalfa have also been modified and more than 75% of processed foods have at least one GMO ingredient in them.
According to researchers, rats, pigs and dogs that were fed on GMO diet had gained a lot more weight than animals that were fed on non-GMO diet. Also according to a CDC report, since the introduction of GMOs in the early 1990s, the obesity epidemic has accelerated drastically. Beside weight gain, GMOs have been linked to a wide range of health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, allergies, cancer, gluten-related diseases, leukemia, birth defect, sever inflammation of stomach and intestines and intestinal permeability and leaky gut.
Recently, studies have even shown that the toxic ingredient in Monsanto’s popular herbicide ‘Roundup’ called ‘Glyphosate’ is now in the breast milk of mother across US. Other studies have shown alarming levels of BT toxin in the blood of 93% of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.
However despite all the health risks associated with GMOs, the giant agribusinesses refuses to respect the right of the customers by labeling genetically modified foods. Recently, biotech spent millions of dollars to defeat Colorado and Oregon right to know that were trying to inform people about what’s in their food.
Bovine Growth Hormones have been extensively used in our food supply for increasing milk production and fattening the livestock. The history of Bovine Growth Hormones goes back to 1994 when Margaret Miller (the top scientists of Monsanto who was researching on rBGH growth hormones) was appointed as Deputy Director of FDA by George Bush Sr.
Miller approved rBGH growth hormones soon after she became the Deputy Director of FDA. Since then FDA has been ignoring independent studies of researchers on how growth hormones are linked to early puberty, obesity and prostate/breast cancer.
Dairy cows injected with hormones produce 10% to 15% more milk but they often get painful udder infections and then have to be treated with high levels of antibiotics. Cows and chickens injected with hormones have ballooned up and many even cripple under their own weight. rBGH growth hormones will finally find their way into our food and water supply from urine, meat or dairy of cows injected with them.
rBGH growth hormones are definitely harming the health of our kids when they are making dairy cows fat and sick. It’s no longer a surprise why young teenage boys or men at the age of 40 are growing breasts and younger girls are going through early puberty.
Factory farming and extensive use of chemicals and pesticides have led to an increase in use of antibiotics in our food supply. 90% of cows and pigs are raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) during their short lives and they don’t have enough room to turn around. These animals are often treated with high levels of antibiotics since they are sick and suffer from a wide range of infections. Other livestock including turkeys and chickens are routinely injected with hormones and antibiotics for increasing the profit.
The idea that seafood is safer is now doomed since 86% of seafood in US is imported from countries like China and Vietnam and most seafood sold in many restaurants or grocery stores are farmed and have dangerous levels of illegal antibiotics. This is bad news for those who love sushi since most seafood and sushi restaurant serve farmed seafood and GMO soy.
If you are a fan of farmed fish you should know that tilapia in Chinese farms are fed with pig and goose manure and farmed raised salmon in US are fed on pallets made of dead and sick cows. Farmed raised salmon are also fed on pellets of chicken/turkey feces, cows (dead or sick), corn meal, GMO soy/maize and GMO canola oil.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
The history of a high fructose corn syrup goes back to 1970s and 1980s when farmers had major problems growing enough corn for consumption of US population. To help farmers grow enough corn, the US congress passed a bill for corn subsidy. But few years later after the government subsidy, the farmers were producing a lot more corn than needed.
In order to keep corn subsidy, the farmers had to exploit the 1980s corn shortage and find a way to use the extra corn that they were producing. One of the ways was to extract sugar from corn, but this was not cost effective since they could not keep the sugar for more than a year and the storage facilities were expensive.
The other way was to covert excessive amount of corn into corn syrup and this way they could store the syrup for more than 12 years. That’s how high fructose corn syrup found its way to a wide range of food products including bread, pastries, ice cream, canned foods, soy products, sodas, coffee, sugary drinks, ketch up, sauces, salad dressing, baking powder, pancake syrup and even toothpastes.
Reports show that every 12 ounce of Coke has about 13 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup. Every year, the US consumers eat more than 62.5 pounds of high fructose corn syrup (mostly consumed in forms of soft drinks)which that adds up to about 217,500 calories per year.
Although high fructose corn syrup is very cost effective and profitable for the food industry, it has been linked to a wide range of health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Researchers suggest that high fructose corn syrup is toxic, contains mercury and over a period of time damages the body cells so the body cannot filter and fully digest the nutrients in foods anymore.
According to studies, a diet high in high fructose corn syrup (typical American diet) can lead to weight gain and damage liver in a short period of time. In a St. Louis study, rats that were fed on a typical American diet (rich in fructose syrup) had their livers severely damaged. In fact, in just matter of four weeks the rats started developing glucose intolerance (beginning of type II diabetes). Researchers reported that "we had a feeling we'd see evidence of fatty liver disease by the end of the study, but we were surprised to find how severe the damage was and how quickly it occurred”.