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Frankenfood Takeover: Health Implications of GMO Exposure

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: "GMO" and "non-GMO" are big buzz words these days, but what exactly are GMOs and why are they harmful?
Air Date: 2/18/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Gene I. Ridley, DN, ND
Dr. Gene I. Ridley is a naprapath, naturapath, herbalist, and natural healthcare physician in practice treating patients in Chicago for 32 years. He is also a practicing diagnostician specializing in kinesiology and has extensive knowledge in anatomy, physiology, chemistry and nutrition. These fields have provided him with keen insight into natural healing principles and applications. He has developed over 80 proprietary herbal formulas, used in his practice and around the world, to address and correct many diseases, especially chronic conditions. Dedicated to finding natural, effective, non-invasive methods of correcting and improving health issues, Dr. Ridley has assisted the healing process in several thousand people.

Dr. Ridley has been a featured speaker at the Green Festival, the Health Freedom Expo, the Corey Brooks Community Empowerment radio show and has conducted numerous workshops for Greenheart and community health organizations in Chicago. He was featured in a special documentary broadcast on WBEZ (Chicago NPR) during the series “Chicago Matters: Health."
Frankenfood Takeover: Health Implications of GMO Exposure
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Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are foods that are engineered to have improved characteristics and properties to aid in all areas: growth, flavor, and bug resistance, just to name a few. New GMOs are being created every day, but what negative effects can they have on your body and how do you spot these “enhanced” foods?

What are GMOs?

Simply put, GMOs are “foods that have trans-genetic material from other species implanted into their structure,” states Dr. Gene Ridley, a natural healthcare physician with over 30 years experience. Some examples can include frog genes used in tomatoes to keep flies away, or strawberries becoming more resistant to freezing temperatures by adding cold-water fish genes.

According to Dr. Ridley, genetically modifying foods can leave undesirable agents in your system such as pesticides and toxins. It’s important to recognize that added toxins cannot simply be washed away since they are actually incorporated into the tissue structure. In a way, that enhanced broccoli is no longer broccoli or a true plant, rather a genetically modified organism.

Some of these harmful agents can continue to express their traits within you, which can confuse the immune system. As a result, eating GMOs may accelerate mucus production, cause fatigue, sneezing, or present as food allergy symptoms. Oftentimes, what you may perceive as a food allergy may actually be your body reacting to the negative substances in GMOs.

Of course, there are critics who believe the negative publicity surrounding GMOs is unwarranted. If you have doubts about how these foods can impact you, try to avoid eating anything that may contain GMOs for a day or two, and resume eating them for another few days. Repeat this process two or three times and you will be able to correlate any symptoms that may show up with the GMO consumption. Doing so will give you a better idea of how sensitive you are to these modified foods, and hopefully push you to avoid eating them.

Sometimes you may even experience immediate symptoms; for example, if you just finished a meal and your vision blurs a little or you just don’t feel well. The harmful agents in GMOs can interrupt the endocrine system and work as hormonal disruptors.

Spotting GMOs

When grocery shopping, how can you spot GMOs? Unfortunately, right now it may be a difficult situation. Over 80 percent of your local grocery store’s items contain some type of GMO, and food companies in the United States are not required to label foods that have been altered.

There are a few foods you can reduce or eliminate completely to lower your chance of consuming GMOs. Most of the corn and soybeans in the U.S. are genetically modified, so removing these items from your diet can lower the risk of unwittingly eating GMOs. Other foods to look out for are sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, canola, and even animal products like milk, eggs and meats. By eating organic, you can mostly avoid GMOs, although there is always a chance of cross contamination.

In the accompanying audio segment, Dr. Gene I. Ridley joins Lisa to share more information about GMOs, including what they are and why they are dangerous to your health.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.

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