Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are GMOs Increasing the Incidence of Gluten Sensitivities?

Jeffrey Smith and Tom Malterre, MS, CN Discuss GMOs and Gluten from Whole Life Nutrition on Vimeo.

I had the honor of interviewing author and GMO expert, Jeffrey Smith, at the recent Seeds of Doubt Conference in LA. We had a lively discussion on how the consumption of genetically engineered foods may be contributing to the rise in gluten sensitivities. Jeffrey shared some amazing facts on how GM foods increase leaky gut, decrease nutrient content, cause bacterial imbalances, interfere with normal digestion, and increase allergenic response.

Topics of discussion included:

1. Bt toxin found in GM Bt Corn (non-organic corn chips, tortillas, cornstarch, etc.) and Cotton (cottonseed oil in processed foods) crops can poke holes in the intestines of animals and humans leading to a leaky gut. Bt Toxin has now been found in the blood of 93% of pregnant women and 80% of their offspring in a recent study in Quebec.

2. Roundup use has increased 527 million pounds since 1996 mainly due to the introduction of Roundup-ready GM crops (soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, corn). Roundup is a potent mineral chelator and antibiotic. Mineral deficiencies such as manganese, zinc, iron, magnesium, iodine, cobalt (think vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin) have been found in plants and the animals who eat them. The use of Roundup contributes to intestinal imbalances of bacterium in animals and in the soil leading to an increased susceptibility to disease for both animals and plants. Recent research is pointing to bacterial imbalances in people with Celiac Disease; and mineral insufficiencies are commonly associated with immune imbalances.

3. An increase in allergies and allergenic reactions have been documented with the use of GM crops.

For more information on genetically modified foods and your health please watch Jeffrey's latest movie, Genetic Roulette (available online), or visit his site, The Institute for Responsible Technology.

If you are interested in understanding more of the underlying factors associated with this explosion of food sensitivities and allergies we're seeing then check out our new book, Nourishing Meals. We cover everything from GMOs to environmental toxicity and leaky gut syndrome.

You might also like:
Preserving the Genius of Life ~ A Call to Action
The Elimination and Detoxification Diet
How to Make Lacto-Fermented Vegetables

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Thank you for this. You have described my situation and shed light where there wasn't any. I am new to this information so I am sorry if my question is really basic, but I was wondering... if I am not eating organic vegetables is this effecting me or is it that I need to simply avoid corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets etc which are GMO products? I happen to live overseas in a developing country and organic food is not available. I am pretty sure too they do not regulate the pesticides they use. Am I in danger of the issues you spoke about in this article if I continue to eat a lot of produce form here?

  2. Just talk to a long-time Kansas wheat farmer and you'll know the answer is defintively "YES". I know one that's been framing for over 60 years and she's become Celiac later in life, developed cancer and knows several others in her small community that have become Celiac later life. She says the plants and kernals don't even look like the wheat she knew as a kid/young adult.

  3. Oh Ali and Tom, you are so on the ball. My gratitude for your research is immense; thank you. I began volunteering with the GMO-free Project of Tucson a year ago, after being diagnosed with Celiac disease.

    The two are most definitely tied. I have completely cut out gluten, GMOs, and recently began eating only local, organic produce. My skin erupted in blisters in this large-scale detox, so I try to sweat out toxins regularly.

    Do you know of others who have gone through a painful withdrawal process after cutting out the big G's? It is hard, but I know it will pay off.

  4. Thank you for this video. It made many connections for me, particularly since I am in my 50's and had never had any type of allergy prior to age 50 but suddenly became gluten and soy intolerant and even allergic to gluten. I'm also blessed to have herbal tools, with combinations of herbs that have helped heal and rebuild my gut. I can now tolerate gluten in organic, whole form if I don't overdo it, but find I MUST avoid GMOs at all costs. I'm truly concerned for the future. As a mental health therapist, I also see so many autistic and ADD/ADHD kids, including my own grandson, and wish I could convince them of the importance of changing diet. Ensuring an organic, GMO free diet is the most critical thing I think a mother can do for her children to allow them to become productive, functional adults. Thank you Tom, for all the work you do to help get the word out on these issues.

  5. This topic is a fascinating and timely one. Since GMOs are ubiquitous in the US and relatively rare in Europe, woudln't we expect to see a dramatically higher rate of gluten issues here as compared to Europe? I'd love a sense of why that hasn't yet been seen as expected, especially since our wheat seems to have a higher gluten content.
    Thanks again for your valuable insights!

  6. Tom, this is fantastic -- and thanks for the heads-up on watching Genetic Roulette for free today!

  7. Wow, I am shocked by this information. Thank you so much for it. I have suffered and still do from leaky gut with multiple food sensitivies and now realize that I could be making myself sick by eating the foods that I don't react to that are GMO. Gosh it just gets worse, how does one know if a food is GMO?


  8. I have just ordered your latest cookbook and look forward to trying it out after reading all the incredible reviews. I am so tired of the same old foods that I eat each day on a restrictive diet and by what I read, your cookbook will give us much needed healthy variety!

    thank you


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