Home > The Critic > From GM to gluten sensitivity

Well, we never saw this one coming! The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) has released a report proposing a link between genetically modified (GM) foods and gluten-related disorders. In the report, a team of experts suggests that GM foods may be an important environmental trigger for gluten sensitivity, which is affecting more and more of us.

Citing US Department of Agriculture data, Environmental Protection Act records, medical journal reviews and international research, the authors relate genetically modified foods to five conditions that may either trigger or exacerbate gluten-related disorders, including the serious autoimmune disorder, Celiac Disease:
* Intestinal permeability
* Imbalanced gut bacteria
* Immune activation and allergic response
* Impaired digestion
* Damage to the intestinal wall

Although wheat has been hybridised over the years, it is not a genetically modified organism (GMO), which can only be created by a laboratory process that inserts genetic material into plant DNA. There are nine GMO food crops currently being grown for commercial use: soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, courgettes, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya and alfalfa.

Most GMOs are engineered to tolerate a weed killer called glyphosate, containing high levels of this toxin at harvest. Corn and cotton varieties are also engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. The report focuses primarily on the effects of these two toxins.

Executive Director of the IRT, Jeffrey Smith, explains, “The Bt-toxin in corn is designed to puncture holes in insect cells, but studies show it does the same in human cells. Bt-toxin may be linked to leaky gut, which physicians consistently see in gluten-sensitive patients.”

Dr Tom O’Bryan, internationally recognised expert on gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease, says, “The introduction of GMOs is highly suspect as a candidate to explain the rapid rise in gluten-related disorders over the last 17 years.” Anecdotally, doctors report that removing GM foods as part of the treatment for gluten sensitivity, recovery is faster and more complete.

 

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