Jeffrey Smith’s claim of rampant GMO/gluten allergies rebuked by Celiac Disease Foundation

| December 5, 2013
Celiac Disease Foundation plant geneticist challenge report linking GMOs to celiac disease gluten sensitivity strict xxl
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The Celiac Disease Foundation has challenged a recent report from the Institute for Responsible Technology—an organization founded by anti-GMO crusader and former yogic instructor Jeffrey Smith—that claimed that the rise of gluten allergies and sensitivities can be tied to the consumption of genetically modified foods.

“There has been no scientific evidence put forward for a GMO/celiac disease link that is supported by the CFD Medical Advisory Board,” says Marilyn Geller, CDF’s CEO. There is no GM wheat on the market, so any gluten that is consumed comes from conventionally bred wheat.

Plant geneticist Dr. Wayne Parrot, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia, says that Smith’s claims are based on a “handful of deeply flawed” studies and makes no reference to the 2000 plus studies from international, independent scientists that found that GMOs do not cause any adverse health effects.

Smith and his colleagues claim that corn genetically modified to produce the Bt protein—which they say “pokes holes” in the digestive tracts of bollworms to kill them—can also damage human intestinal cells. This may be true if a naked human cell is exposed to pure Bt protein in a petri dish, Parrot says, but this is also true of “just about any” protein and is “very unrealistic to anything that could happen” in the human body.

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Smith also cites studies claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round Up herbicide, kills beneficial intestinal microbes and causes “leaky gut,” a syndrome that affects the intestinal walls and allows contents of the intestines to enter the bloodstream. According to Parrot, for this to be the case levels of glyphosate residues in the food supply would have to be “thousands of times higher” than exist.

The report’s authors say that there is insufficient research to prove that GMO consumption causes gluten sensitivity as no study has ever been conducted on human subjects but Smith still maintains that doctors have begun to prescribe GMO-free diets for gluten-sensitive patients.

CDF’s Geller notes that patients with celiac disease see their symptoms resolve on gluten-free diets, but reiterates that cutting out GMOs would not make a difference in gluten sensitivity-related symptoms as no current GMO products contains gluten

Read the full, original story here: Celiac Disease Foundation, plant geneticist, challenge report linking GMOs to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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