May 3, 2008

Monsanto GMOs: My Questions about Monsanto’s GMOs and Autism

Watching The World According to Monsanto, I was struck by the section of the film about Árpád Pusztai’s research that showed that rats fed GMO potatoes developed gut problems and an immune response. The section is as follows:

Árpád Pusztai, world renowned scientist lost his job when he warned about GE (genetically engineered or genetically modified) foods.

1998 Aberdeen, Scotland

Árpád Pusztai worked for the Rowett Institute in Scotland. At the Ministry of Agriculture’s request, he lead a study on genetically modified potatoes with a budget of over two million Euros and a staff of 30 researchers, to prepare the arrival of GMOs in Great Britain.

"We were all enthusiastic about it… I was enthusiastic about it… The ministry thought that if we did this study, looking at all aspects, then it would be an endorsement of GM and when they introduce it, they will say that the foremost laboratory in Europe… nutritional laboratory… had looked at them and found them all right."

Árpád Pusztai specializes in lectins, these proteins function as an insecticide protecting plants against aphids. Rowett scientists had created potatoes that were resistant to aphids, and into which they introduced a snowdrop gene which produces the lectin in question. Beforehand they verified that in their naturally occurring state, lectins themselves do not pose a health risk.

The genetically modified potatoes were tested on rats.

"It had a twofold effect. First it started to increase a proliferative response in the gut… and that you don’t like… because this is possibly… I am not saying it is cancerous… but what it does… it can have an adjuvant effect on any chemical… any chemically induced tumor.

The other thing is that the immune system was certainly… got into high gear. And that was… we don’t know whether that is good or bad. But it certainly did recognize the GM potatoes as alien. And we were convinced that this insertion is causing the problem and not the trans gene. As I said, the trans gene when we did it in isolation, even at 800 fold concentration, didn’t do any harm.

It was a very important point because the American FDA is going on by mutual Technology. And what we did say and what we did publish actually corroborated and confirmed that it was not the trans gene that was the problem, but it was the technology."

When Pusztai was interviewed by the BBC, with permission from his bosses, he stated:

"As a scientist actively working on the field, I find that it is very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs."

The day after the statement was broadcast, Pusztai was fired and the team was dismantled.

While watching this, I put together a few things:

1. Dr. Pusztai’s finding, that GM potatoes triggered gut problems and an immune response.
2. The additional section of the documentary which discussed the migration of trans genes (genes that have been genetically modified and inserted into cells that then become a part of the DNA) from GM corn sold in the US to native corn grown in rural southern Mexico.
3. A comment that David Kirby made in his column that reported on the March 11th CDC conference call that discussed the Hanna Poling mitochondrial disorder and its link to autism.

Kirby wrote:

"Some researchers believe that the modern American diet is largely to blame for an increase in the number of children whose underlying mitochondrial dysfunction is "triggered" into autism by febrile infections.

The answer, they hypothesize, is corn.

The American diet has become extraordinarily dependent on corn oil and corn syrup used in processing, these experts contend. They say that corn oil and syrup are inflammatory, whereas fish oil is anti-inflammatory. Could our diet be a factor in making this mutated gene become more pathogenic?"

In an email conversation with Mr. Kirby while he was researching that conference call, he wrote to me that:

"One of the top scientists I spoke with today said the increase in autism in America was due to consumption of corn"

His comments in the article about the theoretical corn/inflammation link to autism were straight from a high level scientist involved with the CDC and on that conference call.

Putting all these together, my questions are these:

||Could not just over exposure to corn be the problem, but exposure to genetically modified corn, presumably that used the same problematic technology as Dr. Pusztai’s believed was to blame for the gut inflammation and immune response in his rats that were eating genetically modified potatoes?||

||And what exactly does the CDC believe to be the relationship between the American diet, overconsumption of corn products, inflammation and autism?||

||And if they believe, or even suspect, that inflammation is at play in the bodies of children with autism, why have they not stated this publicly and encouraged research and treatment along these lines?||

||And if they believe there might be a link, then why are they not investigating and promoting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that removes corn products?||

Most vaccine induced regressions happen after a child's first birthday, around 18 months to age two, after they have begun eating processed foods; and we have no way of knowing if those were GMO foods unless we only bought foods that were labeled organic.

||Was there an inflammatory/autoimmune response already going on in our children, due to the gm foods they were consuming, that set them up for vaccine injuries because they had taken in one adjuvant too many?||

Remember Dr. Pusztai's words, "it can have an adjuvant effect on any chemical"

The standard contraindication for vaccination is the illness of the child because their immune system is not properly regulated to safely accept the vaccine. Parents are taught not to vaccinate when their child has a cold or the flu or any other viral illness. But if our kids had dis regulated immune systems at the time of vaccination due to GM food derived immune system over stimulation, we would have no way of knowing, and would be presumably be putting our kids at risk for further immune system damage by vaccinating at a time of immune activation.

Corn is a problem for many of our kids. Because genetically modified food products are not labeled, we have no way of figuring out if our kids are having problems with corn, or GM corn. Or if one causes a bigger problem than the other. In fact we have no way of knowing at all what GM foods might be doing to our children.

Chandler drank milk by the truck load before he regressed, it was probably Bovine Growth Hormone milk, which is found to have inflammatory effects on the cows and because of the illness of the cows puss is in the milk, as well as the antibiotics that were given to the cows to counter the infections. To say nothing of the hormone itself which also may be in the milk.

||So is the very good response that my own son had to the GFCF/SCD Diet, which removes grains, dairy and processed foods, and encourages eating only organic foods, due in part to the fact that he is no longer eating pro-inflammatory genetically modified foods?||

The way most of the interventions that help our kids are discovered are by happy accidents, we find something that helps them, then spend 5 years trying to figure out exactly why it works for them.

||What if the SCD diet worked not just because it was removing complex carbohydrates that feed yeast, but also because it was removing foods that were having an adjuvant effect on him?||

His belly went from puffy (suggesting gut inflammation) to flat in about three weeks.

There has not been any discussion that I know of surrounding the potential role of GM foods and autism in our community. I am assuming because, like me, none of us knew our kids were eating them. It is certainly an important discussion to be had as many of our kids on GFCF diets will continue to eat processed foods with genetically modified ingredients. The most immediate treatment question that jumps to mind is:

||Are poor responders to the GFCF diet still getting so many processed GM foods that gut inflammation and autoimmune responses remains high and negates much of the good the diet may do them?||

But bottom line for me, the biggest question I have is:




These plants are being engineered so that they can be doused in Roundup herbicide and so that they produce their own pesticides, and we already have evidence that bug and weed killers are implicated in autism and mitochondrial disorders, which HHS and Julie Gerberding herself say are at play in vaccine injuries that produce autism 'symptoms'.


rico said...

You're a smart cookie going for this angle. I never thought about the GM food part until recently and I definitely have not been paying attention to Monsanto, so this is real eye-opening stuff.

Corn does is not a surprise suspect as the very first thing that helped my son was to take away corn syrup and all corn products. We were seeing the stimming, strange spaciness, and all the rest of the behavior at 18mo and could see him going downhill, so we went for GFCF first and got all sorts of conflicting results. It just did not work, so we gave it up. A little later we noticed him having a Brach's caramel (corn syrup, modified corn starch, etc) and within minutes, running around like a madman smahing into stone stairs and not noticing a thing, spinning like crazy, and later having horrible BM's. Well, being scientists my wife and I, we could at least put two and two together and tried removing corn, since it had shown as moderatly bad on his IGG test and was a known inflammatory substance. All of the really "autistic" stims stopped cold within days, although he basically flatlined on language.

Fast forward two years and he went SCD and things moved forward quickly after really not progressing much, with bigger jumps from IVIG to cut down on inflammation. Inflammation control was the key for him, and everything trickled down from that, we found.

His favorite snacks when 12-18 months - cheetos, quite possibly the worst corn product imaginable. So we had "primed" him for a regression with corn inflammation, then possibly tipped him over the edge with vaccinations. His regression was stopped from really spiralling down, we think, as before we cut out corn things were really going downhill with his behaviors and health.

Sometimes now he steals cheetos from some kid at school and we can tell not only by the telltate orange stains, but also by the drunken stupor, lost ability to control bowels and spinning that comes that evening. Anything with corn syrup will do the same thing and most any corn product, although cheetos are still the undisputed king of regressions.

erin said...

yes, thank you Ginger!

Although I do not know what to eat or feed my kids, I appreciate all of your research!

Sorry to sound so negative, but I kinda feelwe're screwed. is it just me?

Ginger Taylor said...


I like that. I think that will be my new catch phrase.

We aren't completely screwed yet. At least not for now.

Two years from now who knows.

Ginger Taylor said...


Thanks for your comments. I am really interested in finding out how many other peoples experiences fit in to this fledgling theory.

Tell a friend!

Anonymous said...

Well, needless to say this has been the "Monsanto, eye-opener, weekend extravaganza" in every sense of the word.

"Un frickin believable" is an absolute understatement.

Thanks Ginger for the links and research. Keep up the good work.

God's Best to You,


Thing1Thing2Mom said...

WOW! Up late watching this and feel a bit overwhelmed, not to mention freaked out!

I have to share a recent experience with my 17 month old son who has received zero vaccines. He has never been able to tolerate dairy products aside from a little cheese here and there. But more interesting, given your theory, I recently purchased a GF/CF cereal from which is made from corn flour, you know the Cheerios style ones; we had been eating one made from rice flour. Upon the introduction of the corn flour cereal my son developed diarrhea, a very bloated tummy and became quite pale. It took about a week for me to figure out what changed in his diet and once I discontinued the cereal he recovered fully within a few days.

Come to think of it, I think he was right at 15 months when this occurred. Thank the good Lord he didn’t receive vaccines at this time.

The only other processed corn flour products that my children eat are corn pasta and Mexican style chips but of course they don’t get those daily, as with the cereal.

Ginger, I find your theory very interesting given my unvaccinated son’s experience. I think we might be going back to an SCD lifestyle or at least 100% organic with no processed foods containing any form of corn.


MDMOM said...

Wow, Ginger! Great detective work. We have had a similar experience with SCD getting rid of the belly bloat, that was unaffected by GFCF. Tortilla chips was his favorite food on the GFCF. High fructose corn syrup is used to sweeten everything. Soy is also mostly GMO. FYI - organic doesn't guarantee non-GMO. Look for "non-GMO" on the package.

If you want to be totally freaked out, check out Morgellon's Disease, a skin condition caused by GMO crops. I thought it was a hoax, but a dear friend's brother had it before he died a few months ago. Here's the link:

Jim said...

Re: Morgellon's Disease

::eyes bulging at the thought:: This sounds very much like some horror movie. When will their be a horror movie? When Monsanto is finally overthrown? Might happen with CORN prices what they are at now - Monsanto must be making a killing - and that has got to make politicians and other mad.

I'd love to see that - a horror flick that says "This story based on actual events." And then has two screens of references to articles in non-mainstream med journal (of course non-mainstream)

It was interesting reading the description of the disease - sensory problems, immune problems, depression.. Things kind of similar to things that happen in autism. The fibers are strange - perhaps the immune system going awry somehow.

I was *amazed* when I did a pubmed search for it (to satisfy my hoax-ometer), and came up with an actual article (PMID 16489838)

It said this was first described *300 years ago*. I wonder what caused it then?

Ginger Taylor said...

This disease TOTALLY freaked me out too.

Amazing that you found out that it is at least 300 years old. Did they have any speculation back in the day as to what was causing it?

When I have time I will look in to this more.

*Baby Remethy Wishlist* said...

I searched and ended up here at your site because I was thinking along the exact same lines..

In a nuthshell?

I have the same questions as you..