"This stuff is truly Pandora's Box."

“This stuff is truly Pandora’s Box.”

When I received that comment from HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., it was attached to an article with this headline: “GM Carrots Could Cut Osteoporosis Risk.”

“GM,” of course, is “genetically modified,” and in this case a gene present in carrots that facilitates transport of calcium has been modified to increase the body’s absorption of calcium.

The NutraIngredients-USA article that Dr. Spreen sent includes this amusing quote from UK Professor Susan Fairweather-Tait: “People are being told to eat more modestly to prevent weight gain, and many diets now no longer contain everything we need.”

That’s a good one! People are being told to eat more modestly, and so they’re actually doing what they’re told? I’d like to see ANY evidence backing up that claim! And for those who actually are eating more modestly, if they’re cutting back on calories but also reducing their intake of high-quality nutrients, they aren’t doing themselves any favors.

But Prof. Fairweather-Tait isn’t finished – she adds, “There has been great resistance to genetic engineering, but gradually we are moving away from the spectre of ‘Frankenstein food’ and starting to appreciate the health benefits it may bring.”

“WE” are moving away? Speak for yourself, professor. From what I’ve seen, more and more people are realizing the potential risks associated with GM foods and are questioning the need for this technology.

For instance: Why modify the genetics of a carrot when there’s already a safe and easy way to ensure better absorption of calcium? An ample intake of magnesium and phosphorus has been shown to facilitate calcium absorption. Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and figs all contain good amounts of these two important minerals.

And you get that absorption boost at no risk.

But what exactly IS the risk of eating GM foods? The full answer to that question won’t be available for many years, but one of the most obvious problems is that when you set anything in nature on a different course, things change.

I’ll give Dr. Spreen the last word on this one: “Whistle-blowers in the GM industry all say the same thing: one genetic modification ALWAYS causes more than just the desired change (and that’s if you only modify one thing!).”

“GM Carrots Could Cut Osteoporosis Risk” Stephen Daniells, NutraIngredients-USA, 1/16/08, nutraingredients-usa.com