Genetic Modification (GMO) Not Only Effects Our Food Quality But Now Our Herbal Herb Medicine

Although this seems unnecessary, the expression is an endeavor to grasp the real meaning of what herb medicine is all about – uncontaminated natural plant biotics without corruption and reorganization. With all the genetic manipulation by corporate food giants, no current pure botanic material exists, anymore. But, as much as possible, it is to everyone’s benefit that we protect our interests before we reap the unknown consequences of changing the genetic structure of what we put in our bodies. Before it’s too late, we must commit to this quest. Unadulterated herbs and herbal formula extracts do still exist in protected environments. Agricultural scientists are discovering everywhere that hybrid contamination is growing. Scientist have determined that all, so called, 100% organic farms in the U.S. have no less than 2%+ corruption from altered foodstuffs hence disturbing the unique effect of herbal medicine. It is extremely important to source traditional herbs and traditional Chinese herbs from protected pollinated farms, free from genetically modified organism (GMO) seed.

Currently, experiments in India and Japan are being conducted with the emphasis on increasing the medicinal properties of the herbs. The key to herb medicine potency is in wide dispute. The GMO camp believes you can improve specific alkaloids in the overall herb composite. The anti-GMO herb camp holds that when you change the property ratio then you, in effect, change the medicinal value which stems from the original structure. The argument that a specific alkaloid is responsible for the medicinal impact versus the whole or synergistic effect of the herb is an ongoing disagreement that needs to be watched carefully.       

Besides the changes to the original plant structure, GM herbs are philosophically opposed to the premises of natural, alternative medicine. These moral issues warrant respect and watchful consideration prior to admit these foods into the gene pool. Input from the herb medicine & research community needs to be acquired before making these changes. Decisions by large corporate ventures are lacking, by nature, conscience in this regard. Though many execs may intend well, it would be to their benefit to attract unbiased feedback as to whether to choose GM procedures in their development. What are the consequences versus the profit?

Most Master Herbalists, specializing in Chinese Medicine, focus on food as a therapy. Here are some points to consider about the food nutrient (incl. herbal herbs) industry:

  • In the U.S. alone, between 1997 and 1999, gene-modified (GM) ingredients suddenly appeared in 2/3rds of all processed foods.”
  • Be sure to choose organic soy milk. Most soybeans in America are genetically modified. Organic soybeans are not genetically modified.
  • If the proponents of GMO are so wise then why do we still have nutrient depletion in our food products?
  • That carrot has about 57% less magnesium and 16% less calcium in it than the ones our parents ate, a banana 87% less folic acid, and spinach 59% less vitamin C!
  • While there is an increase in vitamin and mineral sales to cover the our food nutrient deficiency, more city/county public works departments are disposing by the multiple truck loads, the residual pellets to dump sites. The only real working source of nutrition comes from food that our body absorbs or supplements based on whole food sources.

Genetically modified foods can have decidedly unhealthy effects. One solid conclusion found that:

  1. More than half of the offspring of rats fed on transgenically modified soya died in the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers with normal diets. Six times as many were also severely underweight.
  2. Mothers who incorporate GM products in their diet during pregnancy could unintentionally jeopardize their unborn babies. A report by the corporate GM giant, Monsanto, revealed that rats fed a diet rich in GM corn had smaller kidneys and higher blood cell counts than those that ate a natural strain, suggesting possible damage to their immune systems.

 

The nutrient value of food has fallen drastically while the price is skyrocketing:

Minerals & Vitamins in mg/100g

1985

1996

Reduced value expressed in %

Broccoli

Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium

103
47
26

33
23
22

– 68 %
– 51 %
– 15 %

Beans

Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium
Vitamin B6

56
39
26
140

34
34
22
55

– 39 %
– 13 %
– 15 %
– 61 %

Potatoes

Calcium
Magnesium

14
27

4
18

– 71 %
– 33 %

Carrots

Calcium
Magnesium

37
21

31
9

– 16 %
– 57 %

Spinach

Calcium
Vitamin C

62
51

19
21

– 69 %
– 59 %

Apples

Vitamin C

5

1

– 80 %

Bananas

Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium
VitaminB6
Potassium

8
23
31
330
420

7
3
27
27
327

– 13 %
– 87 %
– 13 %
– 92 %
– 22%

Strawberries

Calcium
Vitamin C

21
60

18
13

– 14 %
– 78 %

        Source: 1996 Geigy Pharmaceuticals, Foodstuffs laboratory, Karlsruhe / Obertal Sanatorium.

Enhancing our immunity systems, metabolic and vascular efficiency with appropriate mineral and vitamin supplement acts preventively and helps us counteract insufficiency. But have you ever seen how emaciated our elderly become when maintained on ENSURE in nursing homes? The short thinking should only be rationalized and acknowledged to what extent?   Reliance on healthy, nutrient rich foods and herbs are the essential foundation for sustaining life.

The bottom-line is this. Greed has, unconsciously and consciously, crept into the way we develop our food supply. Whenever the food supply is managed in an impersonal basis there is high risk for exploitation. Though this development is not everywhere, it is extensive enough now that balance in the industry is fargone. This condition, may be, beyond the ability of mankind to retrieve it unless radical changes are implemented.  

Mark Hammer, C.M.H., Master Herbalist, Longevity Mountain

  1. India working on GM herbs, says Greenpeace, Joe C Mathew / Business Standard New Delhi (November 05, 2008)
  2. “50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods” By Nathan Batalion