You may have heard that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe, properly tested, and are possibly the answer to the world hunger problem. But, is a steady diet of GMO foods a contributing factor to the increase in disease in North America?

The impact of GMO food on health has been largely ignored by US government regulators, but studies show serious problems. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, world renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of America.

More and more doctors in the US are prescribing GM-free diets.

Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) says that she, “strongly recommends patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods.” Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”

Last year, in their position paper on genetically modified foods, the AAEM called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.

The AAEM cited, “Several animal studies (that) indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The paper concludes that, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects…there is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria.

Most people think that the FDA approved genetically modified foods through rigorous, in-depth, long-term studies, but what really happened?

Today, in our Gulf Coast region we are witnessing the disastrous outcome of government regulators failing to adequately enforce safety regulations inside the industries they regulate. Sadly, we are now aware of how little the government agency (Minerals Management Service, MMS) charged with regulating the oil industry, did to protect the public and how little the industry did to prepare for a deep water oil spill in our Gulf region.

The same type of inadequate risk assessment and disaster preparation closely parallels the both the introduction and current regulation of GMOs in our food supply ten years ago.

In the early 1990s, the scientific consensus at the FDA was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. The FDA’s own scientists recommended rigorous long-term testing of these new foods! In a political climate that ordered the FDA to promote biotechnology, the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to oversee the formation of GMO policy. Under White House political pressure to rush GM foods to market, the agency officials rubber-stamped research from the biotech companies like Monsanto.

Employees of the FDA, and the Biotech industry routinely switch sides.

Mr. Taylor later returned to the biotech industry to become Monsanto’s vice president and in January 2010, was appointed deputy commissioner for foods at FDA. This revolving door between government regulators at the FDA and the biotech industry allowed GE foods to enter our food supply ten years ago with virtually no safety studies or a single published, human clinical trial.

This same cozy relationship has prevented the US unlike the EU, from requiring labeling of genetically modified foods. This is why it’s so important that as a healthcare professional you both educate yourself and inform your patients about the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).