Change Brings Improved Behavior, Healthier, More Focused Students
"Before the Appleton
Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods with wholesome,
nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons
violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change
in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were
no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug
violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years,
and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results."
Jeffrey M. Smith, Author of Seeds
article below clearly demonstrates the importance of a healthy school diet
for our children. Diet is being shown to clearly influence both behavior
and mood. A healthy diet fosters calmer, healthier, more focused behavior.
Studies like the one below demonstrate that excessive amounts of fast food
can lead to severe behavior changes, and suggest that avoiding genetically
modified foods may be a very healthy option. Links at the bottom of the article
provide lots more information on this topic for those interested.
humorous videos also reveal important health-related information. First, "Store
Wars" is hilarious! This incredibly well done, five-minute spoof
on the movie Star Wars is available here.
Have fun watching Cuke Skywalker battle Darth Tater and lots more. A second
fun one is a spoof on the Matrix called "The Meatrix," available
at www.themeatrix.com. A little humor
goes a long way in delivering a great message. Spread the humor and spread
the news by forwarding this great information to your friends and family.
Have a great day, and may the force be with you!
- Organic Consumers Association
Should Remove GE-Tainted Foods from Their Cafeterias
for Responsible Technology
Newsletter on GM Foods, Spilling the Beans
By Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception
the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods
with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control.
There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time.
After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly.
There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts,
or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven
years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar
a science class at Appleton found support for their new diet by conducting
a cruel and unusual experiment with three mice. They fed them the junk food
that kids in other high schools eat everyday. The mice freaked out. Their
behavior was totally different than the three mice in the neighboring cage.
The neighboring mice had good karma; they were fed nutritious whole foods
and behaved like mice. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube,
played with each other, and acted very mouse-like.
food mice, on the other hand, destroyed their cardboard tube, were no longer
nocturnal, stopped playing with each other, fought often, and two mice eventually
killed the third and ate it. After the three month experiment, the students
rehabilitated the two surviving junk food mice with a diet of whole foods.
After about three weeks, the mice came around.
Frigo repeats this experiment every year in her second grade class in Cudahy,
Wisconsin, but mercifully, for only four days. Even on the first day of
junk food, the mice's behavior "changes drastically." They become
lazy, antisocial, and nervous. And it still takes the mice about two to
three weeks on unprocessed foods to return to normal. One year, the second
graders tried to do the experiment again a few months later with the same
mice, but this time the animals refused to eat the junk food.
Across the ocean in Holland, a student fed one group of mice genetically
modified (GM) corn and soy, and another group the non-GM variety. The GM
mice stopped playing with each other and withdrew into their own parts of
the cage. When the student tried to pick them up, unlike their well-behaved
neighbors, the GM mice scampered around in apparent fear and tried to climb
the walls. One mouse in the GM group was found dead at the end of the
to note that the junk food fed to the mice in the Wisconsin experiments also
contained genetically modified ingredients. And although the Appleton school
lunch program did not specifically attempt to remove GM foods, it happened
anyway. That's because GM foods such as soy and corn and their derivatives
are largely found in processed foods. So when the school switched to unprocessed
alternatives, almost all ingredients derived from GM crops were taken out
Does this mean that GM foods negatively affect the behavior of humans or
animals? It would certainly be irresponsible to say so on the basis of a
single student mice experiment and the results at Appleton. On the other
hand, it is equally irresponsible to say that it doesn't.
We are just
beginning to understand the influence of food on behavior. A study in Science
in December 2002 concluded that "food molecules act like hormones, regulating
body functioning and triggering cell division. The molecules can cause mental
imbalances ranging from attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder to serious
mental illness." The problem is we do not know which food molecules have
problem is that the composition of GM foods can change radically without our
knowledge. Genetically modified foods have genes inserted into their DNA.
But genes are not Legos; they don't just snap into place. Gene insertion
creates unpredicted, irreversible changes. In one study, for example, a gene
chip monitored the DNA before and after a single foreign gene was inserted.
As much as 5 percent of the DNA's genes changed the amount of protein they
were producing. Not only is that huge in itself, but these changes can
multiply through complex interactions down the line.
In spite of the potential for dramatic changes in the composition of GM
foods, they are typically measured for only a small number of known nutrient
levels. But even if we could identify all the changed compounds, at this
point we wouldn¹t know which might be responsible for the antisocial
of mice or humans. Likewise, we are only beginning to identify the medicinal
compounds in food. We now know, for example, that the pigment in blueberries
may revive the brain¹s neural communication system, and the antioxidant
found in grape skins may fight cancer and reduce heart disease. But what
about other valuable compounds we don¹t know about that might change or
disappear in GM varieties?
GM soy. In July 1999, years after it was on the market, independent researchers
published a study showing that it contains 12-14 percent less cancer-fighting
phytoestrogens. What else has changed that we don¹t know about? [Monsanto
responded with its own study, which concluded that soy¹s phytoestrogen
levels vary too much to even carry out a statistical analysis. They failed
to disclose, however, that the laboratory that conducted Monsanto¹s experiment
had been instructed to use an obsolete method to detect phytoestrogens results.]
In 1996, Monsanto published a paper in the Journal of Nutrition that
concluded in the title, "The composition of glyphosate-tolerant soybean
seeds is equivalent to that of conventional soybeans." The study only
compared a small number of nutrients and a close look at their charts
revealed significant differences in the fat, ash, and carbohydrate content.
In addition, GM soy meal contained 27 percent more trypsin inhibitor, a
well-known soy allergen. The study also used questionable methods. Nutrient
comparisons are routinely conducted on plants grown in identical conditions
so that variables such as weather and soil can be ruled out. Otherwise,
differences in plant composition could be easily missed. In Monsanto's
study, soybeans were planted in widely varying climates and geography.
of their trials was a side-by-side comparison between GM and non-GM soy, for
some reason the results were left out of the paper altogether. Years later,
a medical writer found the missing data in the archives of the Journal of
Nutrition and made them public. No wonder the scientists left them out. The
GM soy showed significantly lower levels of protein, a fatty acid, and phenylalanine,
an essential amino acid. Also, toasted GM soy meal contained nearly twice
the amount of a lectin that may block the body's ability to assimilate
other nutrients. Furthermore, the toasted GM soy contained as much as seven
times the amount of trypsin inhibitor, indicating that the allergen may survive
cooking more in the GM variety. (This might explain the 50 percent jump
in soy allergies in the UK, just after GM soy was introduced.)
We don't know
all the changes that occur with genetic engineering, but certainly GM crops
are not the same. Ask the animals. Eyewitness reports from all over North
America describe how several types of animals, when given a choice, avoided
eating GM food. These included cows, pigs, elk, deer, raccoons, squirrels,
rats, and mice. In fact, the Dutch student mentioned above first determined
that his mice had a two-to-one preference for non-GM before forcing half of
them to eat only the engineered variety.
in GM food will likely have a much larger impact on children. They are three
to four times more susceptible to allergies. Also, they convert more of
the food into body-building material. Altered nutrients or added toxins can
result in developmental problems. For this reason, animal nutrition studies
are typically conducted on young, developing animals. After the feeding trial,
organs are weighed and often studied under magnification. If scientists used
mature animals instead of young ones, even severe nutritional problems might
not be detected. The Monsanto study used mature animals instead of young ones.
They also diluted their GM soy with non-GM protein ten- or twelve-fold before
feeding the animals. And they never weighed the organs or examined them
under a microscope. The study, which is the only major animal feeding study
on GM soy ever published, is dismissed by critics as rigged to avoid finding
Unfortunately, there is a much bigger experiment going on one which we are
all a part of. We're being fed GM foods daily, without knowing the impact
of these foods on our health, our behavior, or our
children. Thousands of schools around the world, particularly in Europe,
have decided not to let their kids be used as guinea pigs. They have banned
The impact of changes in the composition of GM foods is only one of several
reasons why these foods may be dangerous. Other reasons may be far worse
epidemic of obesity and diabetes and with the results in Appleton, parents
and schools are waking up to the critical role that diet plays. When making
changes in what kids eat, removing GM foods should be a priority.
Note: For an inspiring video showing the dramatic results from a change in school diet, click here.
The above article may be used as a stand-alone opinion piece, or as part of
a monthly series about genetically modified foods by Jeffrey Smith. Publishers
and webmasters may offer the series to your readers at no charge, by emailing
a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals may read the column
each month, by subscribing to a free newsletter at
http://www.seedsofdeception.com. The website also describes how to avoid
eating GM foods. For a powerful, engaging, ten-page summary of Jeffrey's book
on GM foods, Seeds of Deception, click
here. For lots more, see our information-packed Health
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