Are GMO’s making us sick?

Genetically modified seeds

Genetically modified (GM) seeds have been created in a laboratory. In genetic engineering, the ‘genes’ responsible for a specific characteristic (called traits) are taken from one organism and forced into the DNA of another organism. Scientists are not sure what impacts these new crops might have on our bodies or on the environment over time. It is just too soon to tell as the science is too new and not enough independent research is being done.

What’s happening to our seeds?

Seeds can be categorised into three groups:

  1. Those that are farmers’ varieties have been selected and bred naturally over time with open pollination, some call them heirloom as they have been passed down for generations.
  2. Hybrid seeds that are specially bred in labs to get better yields. (tomato A with tomato B)

hybrid seed

3.  GM’s that are artificially made in laboratories using genetic engineering techniques.


Dangers of GM food

In America 80% of food contains GMO’s. I am unclear on the percentages in South Africa as I can’t find facts.

While there isn’t really enough studies to prove GMO’s are the direct cause of cancer, ADHD, allergies, gluten intolerance and auto immune diseases, these conditions are on the rise with no real cause identified. There is research tha you can find in books like “Seeds of destruction” by Jeff Smith

Independent research

Rats fed GM potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains, damaged immune systems, and showed structural changes in their white blood cells making them more vulnerable to infection and disease  Thymus and spleen damage showed up; enlarged tissues, including the pancreas and intestines; and there were cases of liver atrophy as well as significant proliferation of stomach and intestines cells that could be a sign of greater future risk of cancer. Equally alarming, results showed up after 10 days of testing, and they persisted after 110 days that’s the human equivalent of 10 years.

Consider corn varieties engineered to produce a pesticidal protein called Bt-toxin. Farmers use it in spray form. People exposed to the spray develop allergic-type symptoms, mice ingesting Bt had powerful immune responses and abnormal and excessive cell growth, and a growing number of human and livestock illnesses are linked to Bt crops.

Results of animals fed GM foods –  Independent studies showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially precancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality as well.

Farmers have reported their pigs and cows fed GM corn became sterile, 71 shepherds said 25% of their sheep fed Bt cotton plants died, and other reports showed the same effects on cows, chickens, water buffaloes and horses. After GM soy was introduced in the UK, allergies from the product skyrocketed by 50%, and in the US in the 1980s, a GM food supplement killed dozens and left five to ten thousand others sick or disabled.

All type GM foods, not just crops, carry risks. Milk, for example, from cows injected with Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone (rbGH), has much higher levels of the hormone IGF-1 that risks breast, prostate, colon, lung and other cancers. The milk also has lower nutritional value. GM food additives also pose health risks, and their use has proliferated in processed foods.

There is a lot more research available online if you want to find out more.

What can you do?

Eat less processed and packaged foods. Look at the labels to make sure there is no GMO’s. Buy organic produce where the farmers use heirloom or open pollinated seed. Food to watch out for are potatoes, corn, soya, all milk products, vegetable oils however I am not sure which vegetable and fruit variety seeds available in South Africa have been genetically modified so again – try buy organic.

Source: African centre for biosafety.,,

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Yet, experts believe that nearly 1 in 100 people may have this autoimmune ailment, which is triggered by exposure to the protein gluten in wheat and similar proteins in rye and barley. People with celiac disease, or CD, have a genetic predisposition to the illness. Some researchers believe that CD sufferers also have an intestinal wall abnormality which allows gluten fragments to reach underlying cells, where they trigger an autoimmune reaction. As in any autoimmune disease, the body senses an invader, and launches an attack to drive it out. In CD, these attacks destroy cells in the small intestine’s absorptive villi, finger-like projections that absorb nutrients from food. Eventually, CD sufferers’ villi are totally flattened and cannot absorb nutrients. This dramatic chain of events is not the same as gluten intolerance, which causes other symptoms but does not involve an all-out autoimmune response. Children with CD often have digestive symptoms, such as abdominal pain, weight loss and diarrhea. Those diagnosed as adults commonly have fatigue and “head fog,” and are more likely to have anemia, arthritis, depression, bone loss, infertility, joint pain, seizures, even hand or foot numbness. What an array of symptoms! No wonder diagnosing CD is tricky business.

If you have symptoms that match up with the signs of CD, tell your doctor. A simple blood test can check for an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase, which is released from damaged cells in the intestine. If that test is positive, doctors will study an intestinal tissue sample to confirm the structural symptoms. Those diagnosed with CD must stop eating wheat, barley and rye forever, without exception. While that prescription is clear, it is not easy to follow. Our food supply relies heavily on these grains, and cross-contamination of foods that are supposed to be “safe” can wreak havoc. So can other misinformation about the disease.

(*extract from Deepak Chopra, MD’s blog)

With Specialised Kinesiology, we balance around the IMR (Immune Mismatch Response)

Spirituality vs Religion

Spirituality is any practice, as selected by the individual as suitable for him/her, to help quiet the mind (left brain monkey chatter), open the heart (awareness of the right brain and higher superconscious mind), to connect with something greater than one’s normal sense of self as separate from others. This connection can be called God, Source, The Field, Universe, etc. Fleeting moments of joy, happiness, peace and calm are indications of accessing this connection. Spirituality is not a goal oriented endeavour, but a daily journey into your own being. Trying too hard, will only make you give up. Simply take time (even 5 minutes as a start), do it every day and become quiet. You’ll notice the difference in your life very quickly.

Religion is born out of moments of radical insight, but then later, devolves into systems of dogma, rules, regulations and beliefs, that turn the original insight into an event to worship, rather than an experience to recreate. The religious experience is everyone’s birthright, but paradoxically, we brace ourselves against the experience through strict rules, rigid practice and specific beliefs, often far removed from the insight, teachings, or intent of the originator of the specific religion. Religion often leads to holding back the inner force of the soul yearning to break through, and we tragically refer to religious text and tradition to justify this denial of our inner being. Many people find sense of community and belonging in specific religions, often also deep meaning and purpose for their lives, which is an important part of our sense of wellbeing, but we have to be very careful not to judge others of different (or no specific) religions or beliefs, as that is contrary to all religions’ philosophy of tolerance, of ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’, not change your neighbour as yourself, and then love him/her!

My advice: steer clear of spiritual wellness interventions with any particular religious content. The workplace has people from all cultures, creeds and religions. To favour one religion over another, will only lead to discontent, unhappiness and a sure failure of your program – the last thing you want! Rather focus on program content that uses the universal principles found in all and no, religions, such as love and kindness towards all others (not only the select few in our inner circles, that believe as we do!), understanding of others’ ways, contact with nature, exploring all the many ways to connect to your Source (meditation and art of prayer classes for example), ways to move from left brain rational thinking, to right brain soul connection, using progressive deep relaxation practices, starting with simple 2-3 minute breathing exercises, to 30 minute practice of being quiet and still. Even your physical wellness interventions can lead to more awareness and tuning in to soul through the body: e.g. yoga, tai ‘chi, dances like Nia technique, Biodanza, bellydancing, any movement done to mood music – freely moving like the leaves and branches of a tree, to feel your inner being and emotions expressed through your body.

The physical state of health (health or illness) is only the tip of the iceberg. The true origin of dis-ease or health, lies beneath the surface. Even lifestyle & behaviour lie close to the surface. That is why it’s so difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle! We try to do it with willpower. It doesn’t work. The real level we have to work on is the level of thoughts, emotions and beliefs. This level also connects us to our soul or spiritual level, and ultimately to our Source of Wellbeing, Inner Being, God or our concept of something bigger and greater than our physical separate sense of self or ego. When we allow the Grace of God into our lives, to change our old, stuck brain patterns and belief systems, to help us  reprogam our subconscious mind for health, wealth and happiness, it is through this power alone that we can heal from the inside out.

Extract from Dr Arien van der Merwe, medical doctor, health coach, specialist health & wellness service provider and author..(

Tune in and connect


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