What Are The Effects of GMO?

• June 15, 2013 • Comments (2)
Photo: Gen News - www.genengnews.com -

Photo: Gen News – www.genengnews.com –

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), Epigenetic and Cancer

We must always remember that the choices that Nature makes will always be better than any made by the best scientists.

Before I talk about GMO it’s necessary to briefly describe what Epigenetic is.

Epigenetic is the science that studies the changes that influence the Phenotype without altering the Genotype.  This means that a gene of our DNA can perform or act differently because of variable factors such as nutrition, medicines, and especially chemical pollutants. As an example, let’s say that a gene, which normally produces an enzyme necessary for digestion, because of a prolonged diet, rich in damaging substances, may begin to produce a protein that causes cancer to the colon.

These changes are inherited but reversible.  A child will inherit these changes.  However I look at them more like predispositions; meaning that if there’s a correct diet, without frequent ingestion of medicines and avoiding living in contact with highly contaminated places, it is possible to reduce the risk of being affected by any pathology or dysfunction.  And during the generations to come we will be able to invert that epigenetic change.

I will now discuss about GMO since it increases epigenetic changes.

Although GMO have been approved and commercialised for many years, there isn’t enough scientific research or evidence, which excludes the damages to living organisms, both humans and animals.  In fact there are no animal feeding tests in place to guarantee the food safety. However, results of experiments on animals are now emerging to verify the effects on health and epigenetic changes.


Photo: Gennaro Ambrosino

Some cases in brief:

–   GM peas that cause allergic reactions in cats.

–   GM corn that causes an increase in white blood cells in mice.

–   ‘The Roundup Ready’ corn that after long periods causes structural and functional changes in some internal organs of the mouse, high death rate and very reduced growth levels.

–   The ‘mon863’ corn that causes changes in the blood composition of the mouse.

–   The different genes in the GMO, when eaten by sheep, get transferred into the intestinal bacteria.

–   GM potatoes and tomatoes that cause injuries and hemorrhage to the intestinal walls of mice and cats.

According to international laws, seeds which are not included into an official register, can’t be sold.

The problem is that the registered seeds are generally those produced by big multinational companies that select them carefully and very often modify them creating GMO.  Today more than 90% of cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, melons and peppers seeds are hybrid and less than 3% are varieties older than 35 years.

During the years, various laws have been created to support the disappearance of the seeds that farmers have selected for generations in a natural way; those seeds, if cultivated each in their own environment, are naturally resistant to parasites and chemical fertilisers.

The GMO varieties are produced to support industrial farming and a large organised distribution.  Vegetables must be able to overcome mechanic harvesting, mechanised packaging, long refrigerated trips; they have to be immune to parasites, they have to have an homogeneous maturation, to allow a simultaneous harvest; they rely on both chemical fertilisers and anti-parasites treatments.  They must have a good appearance but they often lack in good taste.

Therefore it’s about optimisation, in order to have as much produce as possible, at the expense of taste, aroma and variety for each species.

To give an example, for the farming industry is not important to have a large variety of potatoes but rather a unique potato variety that for various aspects like resistance to parasites, growth dimension and rate, that allows plenty of harvesting, while sparing on the use of work machines and other necessary materials for production.

A return to rural biodiversity in the fields is desirable not only to get the tastes and aromas back (of which the modern world has a poor experience), and for the recovery of colors and forms that make eating a pleasurable and dignifying experience, but also to support local farming.

Anyway it’s also important to say that our immune system accepts the products of our land and soil better than others, because our genes, inherited from our ancestors throughout many centuries, have been accustomed to our traditional food; so we might have risks of allergies and intolerance if we eat something which doesn’t belong to our own nature…let alone eating GMO!

Over the last years in some European countries, a law has been modified to allow the registration and sale of seeds belonging to naturally inherited varieties; however this is only for personal use and not for selling the products.

It’s not the best, but it would already be a benefit to have the chance to get to a local farmer to have some quality food of one’s own tradition.

However the registration of a variety is a very lengthy and expensive bureaucratic process, inaccessible to the majority of farmers and impractical for farmers’ varieties.  Therefore each country should create a national list for local varieties, make the registration free of charge and allow the free exchange and trade of plants and seeds between farmers, according to the necessities of a small farm.

It’s true that our genetic heritage changes over the centuries, but Nature is able on its own to select, to assure biodiversity, so that human beings and food can renew and progress together.  Let’s remind ourselves that the choices made by Nature will always be more correct and better than those made by the best scientists.


Photo: Gennaro Ambrosino




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Gennaro Capuano

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Dr Gennaro Capuano is a Biologist and Specialist in Science of Nutrition. He graduated in Biological Science and specialized in Science of Nutrition. He works in a Centre of Diabetology and has a private studio where his patients can have the best personalised dietetic protocols, among which a proteic diet protocol much used, which encountered great success and results in the Southern of Italy: "Dieta NutriProteica" of the Dr.Capuano. He worked in Spain and has a relationship with the Russian Federation. Married with Anna Nevskaya and father of a girl, he works and lives Naples (Italy). To contact him: gennarocapuano@libero.it WebSite: www.nutrizionediete.wordpress.com FaceBook Page: www.facebook.com/Capuano/Studio/Nutrizionistico

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Comments (2)

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  1. Giulio says:

    Though I find myself instinctively agreeing with many of the points you raise, I think there is a philosophical problem with speaking about humans as separate from nature and of nature as something that is “done” to us. We are made up of the same stuff as the Earth and, as far as we know and as far as science can determine, there is no separation. Therefore are we not also part of nature? Is not this dualism, seeing us as separate from nature, part of the very problem that seems to be causing what to our anthropomorphic perception looks like destruction? Is not the real question, what is consciousness and what is will and why does it seem to be at odds with the harmonious functioning of humans on this planet?

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