GMO Pharmacy: The Pervasiveness of GMOs in Medicines and Supplements
Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
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: www.hemphealer.com
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: www.life-enhancement.com) 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: nongmoshoppingguide.com
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