Why is our food making us sick?

Written by: Rebecca Baird, August 4, 2010

In March of 2009 Russian authorities “suspended imports from three U.S. poultry processing plants due to drug residue findings, possibly from antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs.” (Combs, 2009) Tyson Foods, Peco Foods, and Sanderson Farms were not able to export their poultry to Russia because of these drug residue findings. Russia also stated on January 21, 2010 that they have “banned imports from US suppliers on concerns related to the use of chlorine in treating the meat; a practice routinely used in the United States to kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning.” (Poultry Med, 2010) The Russian government introduced new laws “strictly limiting the amount of chlorine that can be used in the processing of poultry, effectively banning all imports from the United States.” (Financial, 2010)

According to an article by Christine Lepisto, owner of Chemical Safety Consulting, many European countries are having a great deal of difficulty with United States approved foods. She cites 7 U.S. approved foods which have been banned by the European Union, but there may be many more on the horizon as the European community becomes aware of toxins which are present in U.S. imports. Some of these banned foods include genetically modified foods, such as soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, potatoes, and tomatoes. According to an article in Healing Daily, “In 1999, front-page headline stories in the British press revealed Rowett Institute scientist Dr. Arpad Pusztai’s explosive research findings that genetically engineered potatoes, spliced with DNA from the snowdrop plant and a commonly used viral promoter, the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMv), are poisonous to mammals. Genetically engineered-snowdrop potatoes, found to be significantly different in chemical composition from regular potatoes, damaged the vital organs and immune systems of lab rats which were fed the genetically engineered potatoes.”  This is just one instance of the dangers of genetically modified foods.

A quote from the USDA states that, “United States consumers eat many products derived from these crops—including some cornmeal, oils, sugars, and other food products—largely unaware of their GE (genetically engineered) content. Despite the rapid increase in the adoption of GE corn, soybean, and cotton varieties by U.S. farmers, questions remain regarding the health impact of agricultural biotechnology.”

As for the use of chlorine in our foods and water supply, according to a resolution, dated September 8, 1998, by the city and county of San Francisco, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found dioxin (a toxic byproduct of chlorine) to be 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT.” The findings went on the explain that dioxin is an endocrine disrupting chemical affecting thyroid and steroid hormones and almost every hormone system examined has been shown to be altered by dioxin in some cell type tissue, is linked to endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects (including fetal death), decreased fertility, testicular atrophy and reproductive dysfunction in both women and men. Dioxin exposure is significant…over 90% of human exposure to dioxin occurs through diet. Studies have shown that significant amounts of dioxin have been found in the breast milk of women primarily from industrialized countries.

The simple solution to this problem is to only eat organic foods, filter your water carefully, and never use bleach for anything. The problem is that some of our “organic” foods are contaminated just because the water used to irrigate crops is chlorinated. It is no wonder that the European Union has banned many U.S. products because of the levels of chlorine, insecticides, and antibiotics found in the foods.

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