GM Crops Can Produce Herbicide Inside Your Intestines

One more reason why genetically modified crops and pesticides don't mix: The way such foods are configured at the genetic level may cause all sorts of unforeseen and deadly problems to human health, like generating herbicides in your intestines.

The problem is a huge one, for one, because herbicide tolerance is a common trait of more than 70 percent of GM crops (an amazing 18 percent produce their own pesticide), and farmers are often required to purchase pesticides like Liberty and Roundup when buying their nature-bending, Frankenstein-seeds. To add insult to injury, the FDA requires no safety tests for crops that are herbicide tolerant.

What's more, when GM crops are treated with Liberty (derived from a natural antibiotic), enzymes convert it to NAG (N-acetyl-L-glufosinate), a substance that accumulates every time a plant is sprayed. And, once NAG invades your digestive system, some portion of it may reappear as that same toxic herbicide.

Animal testing provided the first evidence of such toxicity, with more than a third of the thought-to-be dormant chemicals converted back to glufosinate or the 10 percent found in rat feces. In fact, some believe gut bacteria -- a major influence on your health -- in the colon may be responsible for this toxic switchover. Endocrine disruption at extremely low doses is another likely hazard.

Only time will tell if these ramifications to human health are enough to spur Americans into action. Until that comes, your best bet for your health is to stay away from conventionally grown, and strive to limit your food choices to organic whole foods grown or raised near you.

Network of Concerned Farmers June 3, 2006