Davis spoke on “CBS This Morning” earlier this year about one of agribusiness’s biggest creations—the word “creation” not used lightly.
Genetically Modified Wheat – Increased Appetite, Altered Genome
“[Modern wheat is] an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ‘60s and ‘70s This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”
Increasing hankerings and padding on pounds aren’t all genetically modified wheat is capable of doing. A new GM wheat in development by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CIRO), an Australian governmental research agency, may permanently alter the genes of the humans and animals that consume it.
“Through ingestion,” says Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety, “these olecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes.” The double stranded RNAs present in this genetically modified wheat would also survive cooking, digestion, and generations of life.
GM Whole Grains Like Filtered Cigarettes
But what about all the hype over whole grains? Several health resources like the Mayo Clinic advocate ditching white wheat for less processed varieties, but Davis claims that is like replacing unfiltered with filtered cigarettes.
“That’s the logic of nutrition; it’s a deeply flawed logic.”
Instead of genetically modified wheat, Davis advocates eating “real foods” like avocados, olives, olive oil, eats, and vegetables. While Davis does tell consumers to favor food least likely to be changed by agribusiness, the CBS source, unfortunately, does not directly address variables like organic and small-scale farming versus conventionally raised and pesticide-drenched vegetables or pasture-raised versus factory-farmed meats.
GM Not the Answer to Feeding the Nation
Genetically modified foods pose a threat to people (not just consumers), animals, and the planet Pesticides for GM corn pollute our water and often contaminate organic products. Although the issue of feeding the world is a complex and emotional one, GM food—and the poisoning of entire populations of people—is not the answer.