BY SYDNEY SINGER – While debate rages over the health impacts of GMO foods, the food supply may already be contaminated with genetically modified microorganisms designed to produce drugs, including hormones, causing a host of metabolic diseases.
Obesity, type 2 diabetes and the health problems associated with eating gluten and wheat might actually be caused by consuming genetically modified Baker’s yeast (scientific name Saccharomyces cerevisiae) which was developed to produce human insulin and which has escaped from production facilities around the world.
For decades, human insulin for diabetic medication has been produced in genetically modified Baker’s yeast by Novo Nordisk, a GMO pharmaceutical company which is a sister company to Novozymes, a producer of genetically engineered food enzymes. Despite efforts to avoid environmental release of GMO yeast, accidental spills have been reported over the years by Novo Nordisk.
Besides accidental releases, air emissions from the fermentation and recovery plants also contain GMOs, according to Novo Nordisk. “The discharge to the air is below the limit value of 100,000 GMOs/m3 air as specified in the gene technology approvals.” It goes on to admit, “GMOs are also discharged into the waste water. The discharge is below the limit value of 10,000 GMOs/ml waste water as specified in the gene technology approvals.” (http://www.novonordisk.com/old/press/environmental/er97/site/start.html)
What happens if these GE yeast enter the environment? Novo Nordisk, which does their own environmental disaster management and assessment, says its experience is that there is nothing to worry about. “Very few accidental releases have actually occurred. We conduct investigations for GMOs in the environment around the factories on a regular basis, and we have never found any GMOs,” says Niels Bagge, Ph.D in molecular microbiology at Novo Nordisk. “Based on many years of experience it is our assessment that our genetically modified cells do not survive in nature. The cells are very weak and not fit to survive in the environment with scarce nutrients and competition from naturally occurring microorganisms.” http://www.novonordisk.com/images/science/Bioethics/Downloads/Bioethics-Genetech-UK-07-Feb-2014.pdf
Of course, since there is no third party verification, one cannot be certain if these GE yeast cells and their spores have not become established in the environment or the food chain.
Why use Baker’s yeast for GE pharmaceutical production, when it is the same yeast used in the food supply? It’s because the genetics of Baker’s yeast have been worked out by geneticists, and its genome is easy to manipulate, adding new genes with ease. Just ferment the yeast, and it synthesizes whatever you designed it to produce.
What could this cause if GE Baker’s yeast that produces insulin gets into the intestines of humans, producing insulin in the gut? It could cause hyperinsulinemia, as excessive amounts of insulin are absorbed. The symptoms of hyperinsulinemia include obesity and type 2 diabetes, as the excessive insulin causes cells to produce fat and absorb water.
Could this be a cause of the worldwide epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes? How much genetically modified yeast is needed in the intestines to cause a problem? The research into these questions is not being done.
When Novo Nordisk is finished using its yeast to ferment human insulin, the yeast is heat inactivated and fed to pigs. It is not mentioned in their procedure whether they test for yeast spores, which are heat stable. The pigs are noted to get fat on the slurry, which would happen with hyperinsulinemia.
The fact that GE yeast can enter the intestines and produce physiological effects is being exploited by medical science. GE yeast is already under study as a way to deliver drugs and vaccines when taken orally. The yeast gets through the stomach and into the intestines, where it can impact the body by releasing the products it was modified to produce. See, for example, Vaccines based on whole recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. FEMS Yeast Res. 2010 Dec;10(8):1060-9 and Genetically modified yeasts as a new oral drug delivery system: from in vitro to in vivo validation of the concept in http://www.formatex.org/microbio/pdf/Pages378-390.pdf
The current concern with gluten containing foods may actually be a related GE yeast contamination of these foods. Gluten exposure in sensitive individuals causes brain fatigue, neurological problems, joint aches, headaches, mood swings, and digestive problems, all of which can be explained by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) resulting from having too much insulin. So hyperinsulinemia from GE yeast in wheat products may be an alternative cause of these symptoms.
In addition to producing human insulin, genetically engineered yeast has been created to produce human growth hormone. If these yeast get into the intestines, excessive growth hormone might be absorbed into your bloodstream, and over time this can lead to excessive body growth, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, excessive snoring from enlarged throat, impaired vision, headaches, fatigue, menstrual disorders, high blood pressure, and – diabetes!
In addition to Baker’s yeast, some companies, such as Eli Lilly, produce these human hormones in the bacteria E. coli, which is a common bacterium of the intestinal tract. Eli Lilly has also admitted to numerous accidental releases of their GMO. Since these microorganisms in the digestive tract are eliminated in the feces, they could get onto peoples’ hands and be spread through contact, such as handshaking, making obesity and diabetes potentially contagious conditions.
People who are experiencing health issues that could be attributed to excessive insulin or growth hormone could try eliminating yeast from their diets.
In the meantime, get ready for more GMO’s. Since 2013, Novozymes has entered into a partnership with Monsanto, called the BioAg Alliance, to develop new GMO products. Novozymes will be responsible for production and supply of the microbial solutions to Monsanto, while Monsanto will lead field testing, registration and commercialization of all alliance products.
Novozymes has been in the farming business for some time. Yeast slurry from GE yeast production facilities at Novozymes are heat inactivated, treated with lime, and sold as NovoGro, considered an organic fertilizer! “Started in the production plant in Kalundborg, Denmark, in the 1970s, Novozymes’ NovoGro® organic fertilizer has successfully made its way to the US, China, and Brazil. Novozymes has worked closely together with farmers across the globe for more than 20 years supplying them with free biomass to fertilize their fields.” So this is organic fertilizer made from GMOs and spread in the soil throughout the world. http://www.biotimes.com/en/articles/2011/September/Pages/Spreading-sustainability-in-Brazil.aspx
This leads to concerns that antibiotic resistant genes in the GE yeast, once applied to the soil, could spread to other microorganisms, causing antibiotic resistance, a problem in modern farming. Some studies suggest this possibility. See Antibiotic resistance gene spread due to manure application on agricultural fields. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Jun;14(3):236-43.
However, Novozymes has conducted its own research into this possibility, and assures everyone that this is not happening. Using inactivated microbial biomass as fertilizer: the fate of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment. Res Microbiol. 2001 Nov;152(9):823-33.
But if it does happen, rest assured that there will be a new product developed to treat the problem.
For more information on various culture caused disease, see our website www.KillerCulture.com.