Imagine yourself, for a moment, as a happily committed dog owner pouring food into a bowl for your inexplicably excited animal companion. You’ve been told this meal is top of the line, made with love and “real” ingredients facilitating long, happy lives for canines everywhere. Now fast forward, say, a month into the future-your dog is unconscious on a vet table undergoing an examination. You’ve noticed a change in appetite, maybe the pooch can’t hold anything down or it’s clear some digestive chaos is at work. The veterinarian diagnosis is acute intestinal distress, followed up with a noticeably detailed doggy diet inquiry. You list the dog food brand and all the doctor can say is “choose another food, probably one without soy or corn.” You do so and your dogs’ condition improves; the pet of the repeat visitor beside you, however, perished from the same condition-they likely didn’t change the food.
Such a scenario plagues dog owners across multiple American states, as well as the vets tasked with their treatment. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, vet offices are bombarded with inexplicably sickly pets and worried owners demanding concrete answers. Unfortunately, veterinarians are as lost as their patients, admitted with anything from asthma and skin problems to leaky gut syndrome. Interestingly, these symptoms greatly overlap with escalating human health issues, particularly children-3 million of which suffer any variety of severe food sensitivities. This clear pattern of escalation began just a few decades ago, correlating with the introduction of the American GM (Genetically Modified) food market. Human and pet doctors alike often prescribe specific diets designed to avoid popularly modified ingredients, like soy, and with promising results. The exact cause of the food sensitivity in pets and their owners still, however, remains an invalidated mystery.
According to the Dogington Post, 88% of corn and 93% of soybean crop used in pet foods is genetically modified. Corn and soy, Dr.FoxVet.com reports, see extensive use in dog foods, having no place in the meals of strictly carnivorous felines. Corn has been known to cause bladder inflammation in cats and epilepsy in dogs, such conditions normally improve after a diet shift.
Compassionate dog owners willing to go the extra mile for their friends’ health remain challenged by the FDA’s complete and irresponsible lack of GM regulation. The Food and Drug Administration requires little to no testing to determine GM safety, and if you call Monsanto they’ll either vouch for their product or refuse to comment. Subsequently, dog owners should simply avoid foods with corn, unidentified meat meals, and “nutrient empty fillers”-in short, and for what it’s worth-check the label!
Several studies backed up by follow-up studies suggest the toxic, disease-addled consequences of ingesting GM foods. Studies using rats to test three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn induced liver and kidney damage in test animals, as well as cancerous tumors. Animals exposed to the corporations NK603 Roundup pesticide in food and water rapidly developed cancer and died before trials ended. Results were even gender specific, females developed kidney, pituitary, and mammary gland tumors while males died of chronic liver and kidney failure. The levels given to the rats, disturbingly, were comparable to human exposure levels in America after Monsanto pushed to implement its product. The blood of human mothers tested positive for Monsanto’s Bt toxin in another study, as did their children, some were pregnant when tests were conducted.
Exactly what in the genetic modification process influences such ghastly manifestations is a subject of heated, and rather narrow, debate. IRT reports that the process creates new novel proteins which may or may not cause illness, as well as RNA variations. These proteins and enzymes are not digested with the food you eat, going on instead to influence gene expression. The novel, unprecedented nature of these proteins can, theoretically, cause random and rather spontaneous mutations which then produce disease.
In the detailed review of animal safety studies, Dona and Arvanitoyannis (2009) stated “The results of most of the rather few studies conducted with GM foods indicated that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters the significance of which remains unknown.” Simplified, the study concludes that GM foods may manifest effects and/or changes to what eats them. Immune system and biochemical (DNA, proteins, etc) centers for the body are often affected, though exactly how and to what end remains unknown due to the lack of research permitted.
The GMO label movement is relevant not only to humans but to the animals they care for. If we learn nothing else from caring for a pet it’s empathy, empathy for the animal, and eventually empathy for others. Corporations like Monsanto quietly manipulating governments for annual profit gains do not have the public in mind, and never will. The power of the private sector, vastly expanding by the day across several markets, cares not for the boy who rescued the local stray pooch and gave it a home. Americans must take clear, unclouded, sharp notice at what is going on right under their noses. GMO’s hurt not only the human population, not only the environment but the variety of domesticated lifeforms we need and have always needed. They are as toxic and corrosive as the corporate minds which so aggressively push for their implementation, adults in this country truly do lack sovereignty: of mind and diet, and it needs to stop.
I’m Just Sayin!
By Isiah Holmes