WORSE than Genetic Modification

Recall that Clearfield wheat, the semi-dwarf strain of wheat now grain on nearly one million acres in the Pacific northwest of the U.S., is the product of chemical mutagenesis, the purposeful induction of mutations using chemicals. In the case of Clearfield, the industrial compound sodium azide was used to induce mutations. The mutation for an altered form of the acetohydroxyacid synthetase gene was provoked and selected, making this strain of wheat resistant to the herbicide Beyond, or imizamox, allowing the farmer to spray the herbicide freely, killing weeds (and soil microbiota) but not the wheat. The chemical giant, BASF, holds the patent for both the seeds of Clearfield wheat, as well as the Beyond.

In their marketing, BASF advises farmers that Clearfield wheat is the product of “enhanced traditional breeding methods.” Enhanced traditional breeding methods?

Earth Open Source has published a document titled GMO Myths and Truth authored by Michael Antoniou,PhD, Claire Robinson, MPhil, and John Fagan, PhD. Antoniou and Fagan have backgrounds in genetics and molecular biology. (The full document can be accessed here.)

An important quote from their document:

Radiation-induced mutation breeding is potentially even more mutagenic than GM [genetic modification], and at least as destructive to gene expression, and crops produced by this method should be regulated at least as strictly as GM crops.”

Did you catch that? “Radiation-induced mutation breeding is potentially even more mutagenic than GM”? And “at least as destructive to gene expression”?

In other words, genetic modification is an improvement over the techniques of mutagenesis. While neither is controllable or predictable, the purposeful induction of mutations, whether via chemical means, or gamma radiation or high-dose x-ray, is crude, unpredictable, and uncontrollable–far WORSE than genetic modification.

Imagine I expose the developing fetus in a chimpanzee mother’s womb to gamma rays to induce mutations. I’m hoping to create a super-chimpanzee with a bigger brain and the ability to clean my house, change diapers, and wash the windows. Maybe after 100 attempts I get a smarter chimp with a bigger brain . . . but with deformed external features like cleft palate and spine abnormalities, internal biochemical and immune abnormalities that require, for instance, constant use of antibiotics, etc. In short, is is not the simple bearer of the one desired trait; it is a collection of mutations, many undesirable.

While no genetically-modified wheat has yet made it to market (as the Wheat Lobby likes to point out), the mutated forms of wheat created via the techniques of mutagenesis have been sold for years. Yes: The products of the mutagenesis are already on the market and have been for years. The world is in an uproar over the potential dangers of genetically-modified food, but the products of mutational processes that are worse than genetic-modification are already reality . . . and the public has been eating them.

How’d that little mutated muffin taste with your coffee this morning?

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Jim

    It is so amazing the deception allowed in the marketplace today. Why can’t our government break away from ties with “big business” and put a clamp on the deception. Mutating genes is the same as purposeful genetic alteration done with gene splicing/manipulation. The end-point is the same regardless of the path. So why do companies like BASF think everyone is so stupid. Sometimes I think that the world needs to get back to “small business” , small farms etc… and cut the monetarily detached mindset of “big-business” executives. Corporate greed sitting atop a nice building in a shiny office without common sense or decency. Short-sighted individuals inbred with selfish mentality.

    • Jim,

      Well said!
      Remember how we all just use to be able to “believe” what we were told with regards to what was healthy.. and what was not? Remember doctors would pay a house call if you were sick?
      We no longer live in a world where you can just “believe” what you’re told.. we have to be our own best advocate and do our own homework.
      My husband and I are well into our 2nd month of being Wheat free thanks to Dr. Davis’s book “Wheat Belly”. My own research of elimination of wheat has proven to address a few health issues which I no longer experience. I am a strong believer and have brought at least 5 other’s into this new and chemical cleansing way of life.
      Pounds and inches are still melting off.. what a problem to have!!

    • Patti

      @ Jim – our government can’t cut ties with big business because our government has become big business. It’s all one big political conglomerate, unable to separate the parts.

      • Janet

        True, but a large reason for this is people are voting for people who don’t want their taxes spent on anything, let alone science or even discount any good results from it. I have been watching closely since G W BushCO. So these politicians (who have trained you since Reagan, to hate government but work like demons to get into it) take money away from the very areas we would want our taxes used for–protecting us and our children, and that is certainly not done with made-up wars and tax cuts (both off the budget) for the richest among us who then pull up their gates and deny the rest of us the use of what our government is.- The government is YOU and ME, not some amorphous I-don’t-know-how-they-got-there institution and the “profit” of the government is the services and programs YOU and I pay for. You and I vote for ’em and we have choices.. They populate the institutions and programs with their own kind. Sick chickens? Well, when the Bush administration cuts inspectors down to a nubbin and then refuses to fund these programs enough to make a difference you will get sick chickens and e-coli burgers. We should be protected. We should demand this. Not hate the government that YOU vote for so don’t be surprised at the results. If you don’t vote–well, you know what I could say. The mess we have didn’t suddenly appear–erosion of what our government should be has been going on–mostly through, let’s be honest: Republicans, for several decades. Now they refuse to do anything, but help the corporations who fund them. Listen to Romney this weekend: half the population of this country means nothing to him. He cares little, by his own admission. I, who work and pay into my “entitlements”, are a “moocher” to him. This is his belief of the government you and I have built. But he is working hard to get into it and would he and his party care if there are enough inspectors to protect us “moochers” and our children from sick chickens? (This is the truth–if you don’t see that then you haven’t been paying attention.) Then YOUR government (which is you and me) is forced to get the information they need to protect us by allowing the corporations to fund the studies and we know where that has led us. We have a right wing supreme court that not only opened the flood gates to unlimited money spent on elections, but also foreign money flowing in. Also, we have been rendered powerless by a recent 5-4 decision to even sue a large corporation for injury -we can only get “mediation” now in many cases. (Monsanto and BSAF must be loving that) It is a mess, but one of our own making by not voting intelligently. I don’t really know how to change it. Not buying the crap, voting for those who want to protect us and not throw us off a cliff, telling the grocery stores I will be buying grass-fed meat and won’t be strolling down the inner aisles, emailing and writing the monsters like Monsanto and tell them we are on to them. I am afraid it may come down to one-at-a-time truth telling which will build to a large movement eventually. Patti, you and I and Rong and the rest of us can do that along with demanding better politicians and checking their voting records and where they get their money. Yes, both parties are tainted, but one way more than the other. There are places to get that info easy. God bless you all. We are FREE and off the Monsanto-BSAF-Cargil-BIG AG- grid–a good beginning. Soon many of us will be kicking BIG PHARMA to the curb. We are a movement.

        • Hillary

          This forum is populated with people from many different backgrounds and vastly different life experiences, so it would really be nice if we kept politics out of the discussions. When politics enter, good people who can otherwise get along fine, often start bitter, sometimes hate-filled, arguments that detract from the real topics at hand. I’ve seen politics destroy other forums and I really wouldn’t want to see it here.

        • Janet,

          Ok, gonna have to agree with Hillary… I completely understand what you are saying… and hot dogs are loaded with all kinds of crud, so don’t eat them! I may be small minded but as I said in my first post, just by sharing my experience I’ve gotten at least 5 friends and family interested enough to read Wheat Belly.. so perhaps in keeping it simple and being a loud voice by example, the large companies will change, someday. Perhaps when shelves are overloaded with bread over time.. something will change, eventually.. Sure, starting big and waving your arms will get attention but I personally believe that if we just live our wheat less lives and continue to share the truth.. somewhere something’s gonna give. Lets leave the political platform where it belongs.. out of the kitchen..! Just sayin……….! I believe in miracles..

        • Murray

          As an observer from Canada, it seems both the major US political parties are culpable in coming to the current situation. The McGovern commission, after all, was the source of the disastrous government campaign against dietary fat. All administrations have touted the food pyramid since its inception. One thing that is as certain as death and taxes is that government will botch nutritional advice. I am grateful US medicine has had the flexibility to allow clinics such as Dr. Davis’s to use CT scans and NMR lipid analyses to discover the reality of nutritional effects on health. In Canada, those sorts of discoveries could not happen, as we are unable to get NMR analyses (at all) or CT scans other than in situations deemed cost effective by bureaucrats.

  2. Jeff D

    This is like that person you meet who seems very friendly and likeable. Then the more you get to know her, the less you like her. This parade of “horribles” about wheat just doesn’t stop.

  3. Stephanie

    I am reading your book and have read many other articles on the topic over the last several days. Today, for the first time, I thought to question if the same concerns relate to wheat grown in Canada. I guess at first I just naturally assumed the process and manipulations would be the same. In searching for the answer, I came across an article by the “Canadian Wheat Board”, the article mentions you by name, and of course, they are not a fan. :) I’m hoping you will comment. Do we have the same problem here in Canada with wheat as you describe in your book? I’m just trying to understand. Thanks so much.

    • Rong

      The book points out that 95% + of all wheat grown in the world is the same semi-dwarf strain developed decades ago. To compete in the market place growers can’t use old types of wheat that produce 10% yield of the new semi-dwarf strain.

      What is discussed above is a research project to make it in worse for human consumption but better for producers and chemical manufacturers. That las bit is an editorial comment of my own thinking.

        • Dr. Davis

          Very entertaining, Stephanie!

          I have asked people like this to name a time and place in front of a camera for a debate. I have yet to receive an invitation.

          It has been like debating children, the defenses have been so anemic. Is that the best they can do?

        • Thank you for that link…I would say as a fellow Canadian..the CWB is scared skinny of Dr. Davis and sorry but I trust the good doctor…I have already done the experiment…50 yrs with Wheat…and 1.5 years without…I like the the latter better :)

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, you are subject to same forms of wheat and the same extreme degree of manipulation of the message.

      You will find that virtually all of the answers to your questions in the book, as well as the discussion on this blog. The objections offered by the Canadian Wheat Board are, in a word, silly.

      • Neicee

        Yes, and just today it was all over various homepages the govn’t is looking into the amount of arsenic commercially grown rice may have in it? Since they’re still in the beginning stages of this investigation we’ll just have to keep vigilant and wait to see what happens. Then, the story broke from a Milwaukee paper, th JSOnline about the number of students that absolutely have staged a boycott of their cafeteria in a high school in Wisconsin because of the new guidelines they’ve put into place. The world is all about ready to throw up their arms and tell them D.C. we need to find our own path to health because those that want to direct us have got it all wrong!!

  4. steve

    I remember the big halabalu when GMO foods were first introduced into the market place, the health advocates, were especially vocal when they new that it hadn’t be tested for the safety of human consuption. Flip forward about 35 years, and the results are evident with all kinds of cancers, heart disease. diabetes, obesity, the likes never before witness in the history of mankind. The warnings about GMO foods and the chemical alterations, have been told by the health advocates, but to little or no reduction in the harmful substance, being used. The big companies, sent out their spin doctors, that everything in moderation, would not harm peoples health. Thanks doc for your timelylog and book *Wheat Bellies*, who knew it was and is making such an impact on the human beings that it touches.


    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, and I fear, Steve, that it will get MUCH worse before it gets better.

      In the meantime, you and I can choose to NOT play this game!

  5. Dorian

    I have a friend who swears he has problems from wheat, with a few exceptions — wheat products when he travels to France (do they use a non-dwarf wheat in France?), and some pastries here in San Francisco at a French shop (La Boulange). He tells me he thinks that double-rise bread makes the difference. Has anyone had a similar experience with some wheat products w.r.t. either non-dwarf wheat or double-rise bread?

    • Catherine

      @Dorian: I tend to feel the same way about Belgium – the wheat fields over here look nothing like the pictures Dr Davis has posted on occasion – they seem ‘natural’ wild and tall. We do indulge in some croissants or rolls from our local bakery from time to time but refrain from all processed foods as they are full of wheat we can’t trace, cornstarch and the like, industrial bread of course. What I found I don’t tolerate well is yeast… But I do bake with almond and coconut flour.

  6. tonys wife from long island

    Hi I have been wheat free since August 1. I am also type 2. I’m frustrated because I haven’t lost any weight after my initial 7 pounds. I am even taking the recommendedn kelp and selenium daily. I have lost 2 1/2 inches from my hips and 1 1/2 from my waist. Pants that didn’t fit six months ago actually have room in them. I hardly eat much dairy at all. My question is why is the scale not moving? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

    • Dr. Davis

      Given the marked reduction in hips and waist, I would just wait it out, Tonys wife.

      The majority of people who experience this effect do indeed enjoy long-term weight loss. I am not sure why some people experience it this way.

  7. Mary

    I would like to ask Dr. Davis (or someone else) whether there is still the old strain of wheat seed available?

  8. Brian

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    My wife and I have been doing Wheat Belly for almost a month. I lost 15 pounds so fast I was in disbelief. My wife lost 10. 

    Having been fat my whole life I felt delivered. I could imagine my becoming a motivational speaker for you!

    I knew my weight loss would slow down at some point, but instead it slammed into a wall. I have plateaued something fierce, and I am terribly worried.

    Do you have any suggestions for someone like me? I believe in this. I want to finally win.

    Can you please offer Any suggestions? Thank you and God bless you.


    Sent from my iPhone

    • Dr. Davis

      Many potential issues, Brian. I will again be covering these issues in an upcoming post.

      In the meantime, consider:

      1) Limiting “net” carbs to 15 grams per meal or less.

      2) Eliminating dairy to avoid the insulin-stimulating effect of whey.

      3) Supplementing iodine, e.g., 500 mcg per day, to ensure sufficient iodine for your thyroid.

      That addresses many of the most common issues.

  9. Antje

    Hi, I have been so happy,when I discovered the wheat belly book. Finely, ( I thought ) I can have bread again. I got realy into baking my own almond bread and coconut bread. After five weeks of having bread for breakfast again, I got a bick shock, when I stepped on my scale. Without changing anythink else, I have put on two percent bodyfat! The same thing happened to my husband. He is concidering going back onto “wheat toast” again. I don’t like the idea at all. I would like to hear, if anybody else had this experience.

  10. Tyson

    I’ve had some experience with stalled weight loss on a wheat free diet. If you are not losing weight try these 2 additional things:

    1. Cut out dairy.
    2. Cut out all snacking between meals.

  11. Thought brown rice was a better choice and now its being reported that there are high levels of arsenic being found in rice. I think grain free is sounding really good!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it sure cuts WAY down on many of the landmines in health, the foods most changed by the efforts of agribusiness.

      • Neicee

        More news this morning outlined a developing story out of France where they have linked GMO corn to tumor growth and cancer. This was shown on a dozen websites.

        The other was in Newsmax.com under their health column where marjarine that has an ingredient call diacetyl has links to Alzheimers Disease.

        There is nothing other than meat, veggies, and some fruits that haven’t been made unedible by pseudo science so that they can gain more per acre and profits.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, I fear the list is getting shorter.

          But NOT if you grow your own cucumbers, green peppers, and basil. Even better, have your own chickens and goats!

  12. Boundless

    However realized, these random mutations may eventually create a product that causes genetic changes in humans. This could be a long-term effect (not noticed for years) and be irreversible. By the time it is discovered, it will be too late.

    We’re sort of lucky that the hazards of current techno treats appear to be largely reversible.

    So here’s how the actual zombie apocalypse will go down … oversize mutant humans, with damaged brains and bodies deformed by frankenfoods, will be staggering around, insatiably ravenous for bagels. In fits of jealous rage, which they don’t themselves understand, they will attack anyone who looks thin and healthy.

      • Cranberry

        I believe it is already happening. A few years back, I’d been having severe fatigue issues and pain. I felt like I was dying but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, treating me like some sort of headcase. At one point my body sent me a very brief yet strange dream showing me a seed of grain which turned into a DNA strand with transcription problems. It scared me a bit but I didn’t understand and was somewhat trying to talk myself out of what it could mean more than into what it could mean. When I recently saw some changes in my mother from applying wheat belly principles, and read Wheat Belly myself, I finally understood what my body had been attempting to tell me in that dream. One month wheat free & the biggest improvements have been massive reduction in joint and muscle pain, normal bowel movements rather than diarhea, radical improvement in appetite control, and the elimination of a 20 year long scalp itch that was driving me bonkers.

        • Cranberry

          Furthermore, one savvy doc said ‘you can’t fight chemistry’. I’ve twice tested negative for “Celiac” and am convinced that rather than being “weak” or “sensitive” my body is ingenius (like a high performance machine versus a dump truck) and it’s the “wheat” (and those ok messing with the food supply in such insidious & nefarious ways that are messed up! I hope my DNA will resolve it’s transcription problems if I avoid such grains and things.

          • Dr. Davis

            Yes: The wisdom of the body, Cranberry!

            If we could listen to our own internal signals, including those that tell us how to distinguish what is food and what is not, well, we be a heck of a lot better off. But then there’d be no need for this blog!

  13. Boundless

    > While no genetically-modified wheat has yet made it to market (as the Wheat Lobby likes to point out), …

    The newer readership may need reminding that “GMO” may not mean what the reader quite reasonably assumes it means. We might assume it means any genetic modification that is more aggressive than seasonal natural selection of naturally occurring random genetic drift. Big Food, however, narrowly defines it to be explicit gene insertion (which is actually a far more predictable and controllable mutation process than what they really did).

    Their accelerated radio-mutation, chemo-mutation and hybridizations must have produced, in the majority, deformed monsters, non-thrivers, survivors that simply didn’t look like wheat (morphology), or seeds that were rapidly poisonous. They selected for morphology, yield, pest/disease/drought/chem resistance, and probably tested for protein. Presumably they tossed out the stuff that was quickly fatal to the lab rodents. But the resulting repli-plant only looks like wheat. One reader here says it’s now genetically more similar to goatgrass, which is even further from being a human food than einkorn.

    > … the mutated forms of wheat created via the techniques of mutagenesis have been sold for years.

    They either failed to test for long term food safety, or did, but misinterpreted or suppressed the results. Has anyone seen their lab results? Me neither. They may also have tested, but with bungled bias – against the previous strains, instead of against a low-carb grain-free diet.

    > Yes: The products of the mutagenesis are already on the market and have been for years.

    I conjecture that the “genetic distance” between modern so-called triticum and pre-1960 legacy strains is far greater than the genetic distance between, say, tomato and deadly nightshade, or morel and death cap mushrooms. Can any biologists confirm or dismiss?

    > The world is in an uproar over the potential dangers of genetically-modified food, but the products of mutational processes that are worse than genetic-modification are already reality . . .

    When the the food activists, whose outrage is today quasi-religious, finally discover what has actually been going on, they are going to go ballistic. As I’ve said before, the victims discovering this blog have so far been astonishingly restrained, given that they are being recklessly or intentionally maimed by a toxin sold as an essential nutrient, backed by incompetent or complicit official advice.

    • Dr. Davis

      Priceless, Boundless, priceless.

      You, too, have come to appreciate the enormity of this mess they have created. I couldn’t agree more: The mess is WORSE than that created by genetic modification efforts, yet all the public scrutiny and outrage is focused on GM and not on the products already on the market that are WORSE.

  14. dl

    I believe I am wheat intolerant and feel sooo much better not eating wheat based foods. I was fascinated reading about the mutation of wheat. It solidifies, in my mind, why I am intolerant, there is a real reason. It takes about three days of giving up the carbs to not be interested in them any longer. I also am a firm believer in the blood type link as it just makes sense to me that your blood type and chemistry reacts to the various foods you like and don’t like. Those foods I naturally do not like are typically on my avoid list (like organ meats)… that said, if I find a food I can’t STOP eating, (bet you can’t eat one) like donuts, those are also on my avoid list, too. My Beneficial foods are all ones I luv to eat.
    I am ‘O’ blood type and I KNOW that by giving up wheat, I have no lower track distress nor acid reflux and sinus/ear problems from giving up dairy products. Those people that have the huge stomach that hang over the belt are typically “O” blood type
    It would be interesting to see what the blood types are for those people who have success with the wheat-free plan and those who are not having success on the wheat free plan.