GMO broccoli

GMOs and Feeding People

GMO broccoliYou’d think this would be a no-brainer. We have technology that can help us solve one of the most heartbreaking and devastating things known to mankind. Yet, the anti-GMO crowd turns its collective back on a means to fight starvation and nutritional deficiencies.

Technology Solving Health Problems

Gluten-Free Wheat

Despite the anti-GMO rhetoric, research continues with GMO foods. Some exciting developments are in the offing. I have a personal stake in what may come of research by the Kansas Wheat Commission.

The commission is providing funding to identify the DNA sequence of wheat, i.e., gluten, that triggers gluten intolerance in celiac disease patients and those with food sensitivities.

Celiac disease causes the body to produce antibodies specific to gluten. Once ingested, the body attacks the small intestine where most food is absorbed. This condition leads to a myriad of nutritional deficiencies—and their associated consequences—as damage impairs nutritional uptake.

If researchers can identify the specific protein fragments involved, it is the first step toward improving health outcomes in these individuals. Imagine having to vet every single thing you eat or drink for gluten. You can’t just pick up anything at the grocery store, the gas station, any restaurant, or even any friends/family’s home. Welcome to my world.

Reducing Cholesterol

On another front, imagine buying a product that could reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels. You can if you live in England. There, you can buy enriched broccoli under the name Beneforte.

Human trials with the product showed a 6 percent reduction in LDL. It does this by increasing levels of a naturally-occurring chemical (Ooo-ooo, chemicals!) called glucoraphanin in the broccoli. High LDL levels are a risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Nutritional Deficiencies

There are other examples of research that has led to significant discoveries. Scientists have developed potatoes and apples with reduced bruising and browning. There is also rice with higher levels of vitamin A to combat these nutritional deficiencies.

Science is providing the solutions to fundamental health problems. Yet, the anti-GMO crowd continues its baseless crusade. Instead, we have the likes of the Food Babe calling out chemicals as bad. Hey, sweetheart, we’re all made of chemicals.

A Modern-Day Solution

It’s important to take GMOs in the proper context. It is not witchcraft. It is not disgusting or unnatural. It’s science evolving and finding solutions. It’s the 21st century means of solving our problems.

And the problems we face in the future are not all about the sobering issues of our day. They also involve ones that touch our hearts. Next time, I’ll discuss the GMO solution that may be the Achilles heal for the anti-GMO movement. Chris DR
photo credit: Broccoli via photopin (license)

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