So, allow me to share what I have learned:
GMO sugar beets
About seven or eight years ago, Atlanta radio station (WABE 90.1 FM) ran a story about a farmer who grew sugar beets. Monsanto (an agrochemical and agricultural company) was pressuring the farmer to switch to buying their genetically engineered sugar beet seeds. I wondered why a company would even want to genetically modify a sugar beet. While researching the Farmers section of Monsanto’s website, I discovered a lot.
The word cultivation means to “pull up weeds” — this enables food crops to grow without competing simultaneously with weeds to grab its nutrients. Monsanto changed the genes in some of their sugar beets, making them resistant to Monsanto’s popular weed killer, Roundup. If the farmer grew Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets, he could spray the whole crop with Roundup and kill the weeds without forfeiting the growth of the sugar beets. Each company wins – the farmer doesn’t have to pull up weeds and Monsanto receives earnings from both the seeds and Roundup.
Monsanto sells Roundup to the general public — they publicize that Roundup can kill unsightly weeds growing inside driveway cracks because of its capability to destroy the entire weed down to its roots.
For more information, watch the video, The Health Dangers of Roundup (Glyphosate) Herbicide, by Jeffrey Smith & Stephanie Seneff
GMO wheat and potatoes
Monsanto also developed another major genetic modification — a bacterial gene called Bt Toxin. They are added to wheat and russet potatoes, and generally used for baking or making French Fries. I watched a promotional film by Monsanto that showed a beetle eating the leaves of a Bt potato plant — the beetle was shown later hanging upside down and dying from intestinal problems.
A number of my patients grew up in Germany, which bans all GMO foods. Many patients confessed to getting stomach cramps whenever they ate American bread, but never experienced problems when digesting German bread. Generally, American flour is higher in gluten (a natural wheat protein) than German wheat flour, but American GMO wheat also contains Bt Toxin. Whole Foods, a popular natural and organic food store, makes their own bread, attesting that all of their breads are organic. Their breads contain gluten (as all wheat does), but contains no Bt Toxin. Some patients have explained that they can tolerate organic bread but not GMO bread.
I think it is conceivable that many Americans who think they are gluten intolerant may actually be just GMO Bt Toxin intolerant. When possible, try to buy organic wheat bread that contains no added GMO Bt toxin. Avoiding wheat is another way to circumvent exposure to Bt toxin but even most non-organic russet potatoes still contain a lot of Bt Toxin.