By October 30, 2012 4 Comments Read More →

GMO Pharmacy: The Pervasiveness of GMOs in Medicines and Supplements

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The concern over eating genetically-modified foods is growing as more people learn about the harmful effects of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Although not readily publicized by the mainstream media, GMOs have been linked to various health complications such as tumors, organ failure, DNA damage, immune system disturbances, and infertility, among others. Simultaneously, GM contamination of conventional and organic foods is increasing.

The toxic hand of GMOs does not stop in our food supply. GMOs are used in various prescription medications and vaccines, and GMOs in vitamins and supplements is also common. There are numerous examples.

GMO methods are being used to create edible vaccines, as, for example, a way of incorporating swine flu virus into corn, allowing mass vaccinations. A large share of insulin medications is produced by genetic engineering. Companies are producing pharmaceutical proteins (including antibodies) in GM plants, as, for example, in the US, where rice has been engineered to produce the alpha-antitrypsin protein used to treat liver disease and hemorrhages.

This same process is being used in the production of additives and vitamins:

“Genetically modified organisms are being used to produce flavors, binders, enzymes, food additives and vitamins. Genetic engineers identify an organism that produces a particular additive, then they genetically alter it. It is then placed in an incubator of sorts, where the organism grows and multiplies. After it has reached maximum growth, the vitamin is isolated and extracted.” – Source:

Today, GMO corn is used in most major brands of vitamin C supplements. “Ninety-nine percent of the vitamin C used commercially in supplements in the U.S. is derived from genetically engineered corn.” (source: GM soy derivatives are common in Vitamin E. Corn oil and/or soybean oil can be often found in gel-tablet supplements. GM wheat derivatives are also common in over-the-counter supplements. GMO’ed food additives are added to all types of vitamin-fortified foods.

“GM microorganisms are used to make vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), xanthan (a thickener), citric acid, and enzymes used in cheeses, breads and baked goods, alcoholic beverages, and juice.” – Source: Organic Consumers Association

Although GMOs in vitamins and supplements are not revealed on labels, it is likely that most generic and brand-name supplements are, already, GMO products.

Fortunately, there are organic companies out there that are committed to offering GMO-free vitamins, such as NutriGold and NOW Foods. The Non-GMO Shopping Guide offers a comprehensive list of vitamins and supplements from companies enrolled in the Non-GMO Project Standard:


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  • poest

    I haven’t heard of any, not one, case of harm caused by a GMO. Maybe the author can name one bona fide case that has made the news and a law trial. Rennet, used to make cheese, and insulin are GMO derived!

  • Hello!

    Do you know if there are any pharmaceutical manufacturers that do not use GMOs anywhere on the planet?. I have Addisons and must take prednisone or hydrocortisone daily–I would like to avoid GMOS.

  • mrwidemouth

    It is important to note the definition of Non-GMO or GMO Free which actually means that a certain portion of GMO is allowed in the food item. Just like Non-fat or fat free yogurt still has fat. You would need to have terms like GMO Negative or IP – Identity Preserved. Non-GMO doesn’t mean a thing and I would never trust low end producers like NOW Foods – I would never buy any serious supplement from them.

  • Thanks for the shopping guide to help us navigate this difficult situation that they engineered us in to. Vaccines have damaged our genes and biofilm has coated our intestines to the point where we need vitamin supplements. Just the case of Vitamin B-2 illustrates that unless it is in its active phosphorylated form, the genetic damage may not let us convert a lesser form to usefulness regardless of how many bottles we consume. Even if we take extra B-2, the biofilm in our guts may prevent it from ever being absorbed. And then the source of B-2 is typically from Bacillus subtilis a sewage organism modified to overexpress the chemical. I say: chemical, because it can’t really be ‘natural’ can it? International press coverage over supposed Anthrax in postal letters while its Bacillus cousins of subtilis and thuringiensis (Bt) are permanent parts of the biosphere and food supply. Doesn’t make sense does it?

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