Why step outdoors when you can eat a science experiment to get your vitamin D?
Scientists have recently reported on the development of a biofortified tomato to supply consumers with vitamin D. This is the latest in a growing number of GMO foods that are in the pipeline, including a GMO apple that doesn’t brown and a GMO salmon that grows faster. This is the very opposite of what we should be doing. GMOs have been associated with a number of human health issues, and they have not been tested for long-term safety. Worst of all, due to the sham labeling law passed by Congress, you likely won’t even know the tomatoes you’re buying are genetically modified. In our view, the real answer to nutritious food lies in regenerative agriculture, nourishing the soil to create nourishing food.
The scientists developing the vitamin D-fortified tomato note that vitamin D insufficiency is a global health problem and underpins higher cancer risk, neurocognitive decline, and all-cause mortality. This is, of course, correct and something we at ANH-USA have noted for some time. According to large government surveys, over 95 percent of Americans do not get enough vitamin D.
The solutions, however, seem pretty obvious, and far less complicated than genetically engineering tomatoes to increase vitamin D levels. People could spend more time in the sun, as all life requires the sun to survive. Sunbathing has been unjustly demonized in recent years, causing people to apply ever more powerful sunscreens that not only can contain dangerous chemicals, but block ultraviolet light from the sun that helps us synthesize vitamin D. A 2014 study found that women who avoided sun exposure were two times more likely to die from all causes compared to women with the highest sun exposure, who had increased life expectancy of 2-3 years. Sun exposure is, in fact, the most important source of vitamin D for most people. There are free apps for your smartphone that can help you track your time in the sun so you get the benefits of sunlight without burning.
Vitamin D supplements are also available in a wide range of potencies at very affordable prices.
Consuming GMO foods is not without risk. We’ve reported on research showing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.
Unfortunately, if and when this GMO tomato comes to market, it will be extremely difficult to distinguish it from other tomatoes due to the GMO labeling law approved by Congress a number of years ago. Recall that this law allows companies to hide the GMO content of their food in scannable QR codes, so you would need to use your smartphone to scan the code to know if it contained GMOs or not. It also won’t say “GMO,” instead the term “bioengineered” is used. This is straight out of an Orwellian playbook. Many Americans know the term “GMO” and can connect it to the labeling debate—so the government decides to use a different term that sounds more innocuous. If the government was actually concerned with communicating information clearly to consumers, they would simply use the term “GMO” and not other terminology with which Americans may not be familiar.
This, unfortunately, is characteristic of our health system. Rather than aiding Americans in taking control of their health to overcome chronic disease with diet, lifestyle modifications, and sensible supplementation, the government hands Big Pharma monopolies on expensive and dangerous medications. We reported recently on a case in point, the diabetes drug Ozempic being used for weight loss, even though it needs to be taken indefinitely to keep weight off. Rather than advise Americans to get some sunshine and vitamin D, we develop a Franken-tomato artificially fortified with it.
It is our poor diet and food grown in nutrient depleted soil, in addition to our exposure to chemical toxins and pollutants, that has helped create an epidemic of chronic disease. Our healthcare system is overburdened trying to address these chronic ailments with pharmaceutical drugs that are dangerous, expensive, and often don’t work. At the same time, our food system relies on dangerous chemicals that degrade human health and prioritizes subsidizing mono crops like corn and wheat with low nutritional value. We need to shift to a regenerative approach to human health as well as agriculture. This means reducing toxic inputs into our soil, water and air, and increasing the availability of nutrient-dense foods. Healthy food can support a regenerative approach to healthcare where diet, proper supplementation, and the avoidance of toxins and pollutants address key sources of our chronic disease epidemic. Until we make this transition, we will continue to pay more and more for healthcare that doesn’t optimize our health.