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Genetically Modified Foods- Part II

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Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994; to date, most genetic modification of foods primarily focus on cash crops such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. Genetically modified livestock have also been experimentally developed.

The dairy industry increases milk production with the biweekly injection of a rBGH. Once injected into the cow, rBGH stimulates the production of another hormone, called Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) affects cell growth and is responsible for the quick growth of infants and calves.

While the IGF-1 hormone already exists in humans, it is usually bound to protein.Persons against the use of genetically modified foods fear that residues of added hormones in milk and meat disrupt normal hormone function in humans, especially developing children. IGF-1 in cow's milk is  biologically active in humans and the "cow-source" IGF has been associated with breast, prostate and colon cancers; IGF-1 promotes cell division, so it may behave as a cancer-accelerator. The FDA maintains that toxicity studies show IGF-1 is inactive when ingested by rats and is rendered obsolete under conditions used to process milk into infant formula. There are no clinical trial studies to support this.

There are over 40 plant varieties that have been genetically modified and now being sold including tomatoes and cantalopes (modified ripening characteristics), soybeans and sugarbeets that are resistant to herbicides, corn and cotton plants resistance to insect pests. Most vegetable oils and breakfast cereals come from genetically-modified ingredients since raw ingredients  are pooled into one processing stream from many different sources.   Shouldn't genetically modified foods  be labeled ?

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