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I am interested to know about existing research on the effect of GMO's in the American food chain-- including Nutrasweet.- on diabetes.

I appreciated this TED talk about diabetes. I sought medical help for many years,not understanding why I could not lose weight, When I was finally diagnosed with diabetes, I discovered it was indeed a disease of blame. When my blood sugar levels became uncontrollable, a physician told me I was undoubtedly eating candy bars. I was not.
As I have done my own research on genetically modified food products, I have wondered if the" diabetic epidemic" can be linked on a timeline with the introduction of GMO's into the American food chain. I have sworn off Nutrasweet and artificial sweeteners, but have not had the happy effects experienced by another woman who immediately lost 90 pounds after doing the same. The unlabeled presence of genetically modified food products in the American food chain continues because the federal government and lobbying US corporations are dedicated to their promotion and potential for profit. There is a great bulk of information available online which points to conspiracy by biotech corporations and US government agencies to cover-up any research which demonstrates negative health effects associated with GMO's in the environment or in the food chain.
It would be impossible, in this short commentary, to cover all of the objections to GMO's by international agencies or other nations across the globe, but I would welcome knowing if anyone has specifically linked obesity and diabetes to the introduction of these unnatural products.

  • Jul 8 2013: Nutrasweet is not a is an artificial sweetener. I think your first step here should be to learn more about each. For all the information online that you may find that is anti-GMOs, you will find studies and opinions from scientists which express that transgenic foods are safe and in some ways beneficial. (The private sector's use of this technology may be a different story altogether though.
  • Jul 13 2013: I believe its the uncontrolled behaviour of gmo companies which must be investigated more fully. Who knows if gmo food causes certain problems? That is the question to ask, this means 20 years of testing to find out to be sure not this uncontrolled expansion and dictatorial behaviour from corporations like monsanto.
    • Aug 8 2013: I agree Frank. A big problem are the food companies who add ingredients to foods which harm alot of people. Yes, many people over-eat and make bad choices for their own bodies, but if there's to be a change, it has to start with the food companies and what they're putting in the food we eat. If the bad stuff is not available in the grocery stores, people won't be able to eat it.
  • Jul 13 2013: Nutrasweet is not a GMO. The rest of your question is, thus, invalid and unworthy of answer.
    • Aug 2 2013: Bryan, Maybe Nutrasweet is not a GMO - but there are claims that it contributes to weight gain. So maybe the question of research and the effect of Nutrasweet is valid and worthy of an answer.
  • Aug 8 2013: Peter Attia's video was wonderful and an eye opener. I knew something different was going on with my body when..despite eating right, being active, and have great muscle tone, great skin, shiny hair...I was still plump. The way I eat, I really should be slim, but the truth is, I'm not. Getting down to the metabolic questions, is what I'm going to do and I'm almost certain, that's where the problem lies. I don't just want to shed the extra pounds, but I want to be at my healthiest from the molecular level.
  • Aug 2 2013: There is a constant positive correlation between the distance of North America vs. Europe and the incidence of diabetes in the USA. Both are increasing. So, which causes the other? Does diabetes cause North America and Europe to inch away from each other or does the increasing physical distance between these land masses cause diabetes?
  • Aug 2 2013: That's like saying asking about the dietary effects of fish, including broccoli, is "valid". Broccoli is not a fish.
  • Jul 10 2013: Thanks Gunther. I welcome the debate, though I remain unconvinced by some of your arguments and feel that one of the great problems in GMO research is that it is split and parked on the far sides of either anti or pro biotech. No wonder it has become a polarized debate, which hearkens back to the TED TALK and the need for the type of objective research collaboration which starts from a fresh perspective. American research is by far the most pro biotech research trotted out over the globe and with its proliferation, it serves first corporate goals for success. Have you read "Seeds of Deception"? I am going to see if I can get a copy of the articles in the May 2013 issue of Nature--which I have read in the past--through my university library. the journal is certainly respectable. you may be interested in reviewing commentary in Nature in 1999 which questioned the introduction of GM products based on substantial equivalence. SEE: Beyond ‘substantial equivalence’
    Showing that a genetically modified food is chemically similar to its natural
    counterpart is not adequate evidence that it is safe for human consumption.
    My original question was sponsored because " I have wondered if the" diabetic epidemic" can be linked on a timeline with the introduction of GMO's into the American food chain. So, I would ask you that question, wondering if you know if any research has been done in this arena. Thanks Deb
    • Jul 10 2013: Hi Deb,

      It has become a polarized debate because the anti-GMO side relies on propaganda and sensationalism.

      Anyway, I am neither for nor against biotech. I just think that there's many ways to attack problems, if GMOs might offer a solution, then welcome. That does not mean that we should not try other methods.

      A timeline would not suffice to establish a connection between GMOs and diabetes epidemics. Many thing happen with time, and we could therefore establish "connections" (false ones) between almost anything and any epidemics. A friend of mine made the exercise, and he was able to blame anything, from yogurt to organic food, for anything else, which proves that timelines are not a very good indicator of a causal relationship. In order to establish a connection between GMOs and diabetes, we would need some specifics. Each GMO is very different. We can't expect a GMO that introduces carotene into rice to have the same properties as a GMO that introduces a defence against some pest, or a GMO that made some crop produce lots of sugar. GMOs are not created equal. Therefore, it does not make sense to think that each and every GMO could be linked to diabetes. In any event, no studies that I know about the safety of different GMOs has found a connection with diabetes.

      Best in your pursuits and I hope that you'll find good ways of dealing with your diabetes.
      • Jul 10 2013: I want to thank you for the opportunity to engage in some debate. One of my complaints in my own higher education environment is that lively debate has been lost in classroom environments, to the detriment of learners and faculty. So thanks for your best wishes, but also for responding to my comments. We both gave time over to the process, and I feel I have new things to consider and am grateful for the interchange. Thanks Gunther, and all my best to you
        Deb Jenkins
  • Jul 9 2013: thanks for your comment Celeste. While I do realize that Nutrasweet is an artificial sweetener, its manufacture has also been associated with the use of GMO's. There are, as may be expected, differing opinions on the safety of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners-- and differing opinions on the safety of GMO's. Monsanto produced Nutrasweet from 1985 to roughly, 2000. Monsanto is one of the most aggressive biotech corporations in the world.
    Here is some information I gleaned from Natural News online. (the link is listed below the quote)
    "The manufacturers of the most prevalent sweetener in the world have a secret, and it`s not a sweet one. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in thousands of products worldwide, has been found to be created using genetically modified (GM) bacteria. What`s even more shocking is how long this information has been known. A 1999 article by The Independent was the first to expose the abominable process in which aspartame was created. Ironically, the discovery was made around the same time as rich leaders around the globe met at the G8 Summit to discuss the safety of GM foods".

    Learn more:
    • Jul 9 2013: Deb,

      The way aspartame is produced has no influence on whether aspartame is safe or not for you. Aspartame remains the very same molecule whichever way it is produced. Molecules don't acquire magical dangerous properties for being produced through technologies involving genetically modified organisms. There's nothing shocking and nothing abominable about producing aspartame using genetically modified bacteria. If that's the kind of misinformation you've got from "Natural News Online" then that's far from being a trustable source. These "news" look like sensationalist rants from a nauseating dishonest and scientifically illiterate snake-oil salesman.

      I understand that having such a problem like diabetes and having a hard time with it, you would try and find something to blame for it, but blaming GMOs, and then reading from sensationalist press won't do you any good, will leave you worried for the wrong reasons, and will not fix any of your problems. Don't waste your time and feelings swimming in anti-GMO misinformation.
      • Jul 9 2013: Thanks for your response Gunnar. I appreciate that many of the anti-GMO sources are often laced with sensationalism and not well grounded in scientific research, however, there are other scientific opinions about GMO's which do not support them as harmless. Biotech corporations issue information regarding their own research findings which only is in support of further development of GMO's. AS someone who lives in an agricultural community, I have been included in conversations with farmers who have experienced drift of patented GM seed into their fields which has caused contamination of their own seed. Why do you think the FDA does not label foods which are derived from GMO sources? Of course in the American food chain, GM wheat and corn are not separated or distinguished one from the other at grain elevators. I think it is just as big a mistake to accept the results of profit-making corporate research as that of conspiracy theorists. Monsanto, for example, a primary biotech corporation, has a long history of deception when it comes to their culpability in creating human health crises which was demonstrated in the famous Anniston Alabama case--among others. The corporation has also been convicted of bribery of Indonesian officials in exchange for support of GM cotton and cooking their books. I recall reading a statement issued at a Monsanto press conference which said that the company's ultimate goal was to hold a patent on every seed in the world. The argument of most biotech pro GMO corporations is that all objections to their products are based on anti-science. They welcome, however, no research except their own. And, of course, this was part of the problem expressed in this TEDMED talk-- unexamined information can lead to embracing false premises.
      • Jul 9 2013: I agree with the labeling of GMOs. As does most of the civilized world, with the exception of the US. Japan won't even mildly consider allowing any potentially contaminated wheat to be imported from the US. It is an outrage that GMO does not have to be labeled. Despite any conflicting reports on the safety versus lack of safety, we should be allowed to make those decisions for ourselves by having all the information available to us. Secondly, aspartame is a poison. It turns to formaldehyde at 87 degrees F. Which means upon entry to our bodies. In general, processed food is directly linked to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have to begin to take control of our own health and stop letting the medical community who has not so much as taken a course on basic nutrition to make these decisions for us. Educate yourself! Take back your health. Question everything, just as Dr. Attia eludes. Challenge all conventional knowledge and hold discovery to the highest standards, including ethical standards. Why would Monsanto not want to disclose their products as GMO in nature? That raises the reddest of flags.
        • Jul 9 2013: Thanks KellyAnn. As you can undoubtedly discern by my comments, I have grave concerns about the introduction of GMO's into the environment and food chain. I find that few Americans, even in my agricultural community, have any knowledge of depth about the issue. The most readily available information for farmers comes from literature by biotech vendors. Many of the websites which promote GMO's online can be tied to corporations, who sometimes make the sites appear as if they are citizen launches. If you have not read "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey M. Smith, you might find the information he presents interesting and appalling. Thanks again for the feedback-- and yes,the color of Monsanto's flag is bright, crimson red.
        • Jul 13 2013: Labeling foods as containing GMOs or free from GMOs requires building standards for what "containing GMO" and "free from GMO" should/could mean. That in itself means increased costs to produce food, since, not only GMO producing companies would be affected, but anybody wanting to claim "free GMO" labels would have to pay for the proper analyses.

          Why would a company not want their products to be labeled as GMO containing? Because some people have made it their mission to misinform the general public. To produce sensationalist and scientifically illiterate rants against GMOs that the public tends to buy for lack of a proper education. Thus, labelling, instead of being a means towards better informed citizens, becomes a means for illiteracy and misinformation to rule the food market, and to damage the economy.
    • Jul 9 2013: Deb,

      You missed my point entirely, and you further revealed that you are reading mere propaganda to inform yourself about GMOs.

      My point was that aspartame is aspartame however produced. This is scientifically undeniable. So, if aspartame is good or bad for you depends on the properties of aspartame alone, not on whether GMOs were involved in producing them.

      For your later points, I am a scientist, and no, there's nothing in the scientific literature indicating that edible GMOs would be any more dangerous than any other edible products. The issue of early May 2013 of Nature, an important scientific journal, contains many articles talking about the huge problem that the misinformation is causing to the progress of these technologies. I'm actually happy to hear that your agricultural community has not fell victim of the misinformation that you are reading and watching. Unfortunately, any search on the internet puts the sensationalists at the very top, which means that by mere chance, most people will end misinformed.

      "Seeds of deception" is pure sensationalism too.

      Truly, don't get your information from such places. If you want to understand GMOs read from scientific sources. Often just knowing what a gene is would help you understand why some anti-GMO claims are nonsense. Other times, learning that aspartame is a two amino-acid molecule and that it thus cannot contain even DNA would help you understand that whether it's produced one way or another has no bearing on whether it's good or bad for your health. Other times you will read articles blaming some insecticide for the death of some insects, and then blame GMOs as if the GMOs were the insecticides themselves (this is one of the most common problems with anti-GMO propaganda). If people can't distinguish between an insecticide and GMO, then they don't know what they are talking about.

      Truly, be careful with the misinformation. It will be of no help to you at all.