Guest: Dr. Kathy Gruver
Guest Bio: Dr. Kathy Gruver is host of the TV series; The Alternative Medicine Cabinet. She educates physicians and challenges patients to take control of their health. Offering alternatives to Western medicine, prescriptions and surgery and encouraging the balanced combination of ancient and modern. Involved in natural health for 22 years, educated at Harvard Medical and the National Institutes of Health, earning a PhD. She educates about mind/body medicine, being your own best advocate, massage, reiki, healthy pregnancy, nutrition, homeopathy and so much more. Her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet was selected as a winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards and finalist for the IndyExcellence Awards. She has written two additional books, Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker and the newly released, Conquer your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques.
Health Professional Radio
Neal Howard: Hello, you are listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host, Neal Howard. Our guest is Dr Kathy Gruver, Ph.D., licensed massage therapist, author and lecturer. She’s here with us today to discuss GMOs. How are you doing today, Kathy?
Dr. Kathy Gruver: I’m doing fabulous. How about you?
Neal: I’m doing really well. It’s great to have you here with us today on Health Professional Radio. What exactly are GMOs?
Kathy: GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms, and it’s referring right now to the huge amount of crops and food that we’re seeing infiltrate our food supply. And the issue with GMOs is … a lot of people say, “Well, how is that any different from cross-breeding, or selective breeding?” GMOs are different, they’re very different. This is putting a gene from something else that doesn’t belong into it, into it.
So, you might be putting a flounder gene into a tomato. That’s pretty gross, that’s not natural. I don’t see many flounder mating with tomatoes. [laughs] It’s something that is not going to occur in nature, it’s not making a [indecipherable 01:01], or a snoodle. It’s really messing with the genetics of the food that we’re eating.
Neal: Why would GMOs even be an issue? Why would they be in existence?
Kathy: They’re in existence because we’re always trying to make things more efficient, we’re always trying to make things more cost-effective. And one of the reasons GMOs started is, with our crops, they have [indecipherable 01:24] a long ways, or they have to be on a vine for a certain amount of time before they can be picked for their ripeness. So GMOs, that is a way to try to manipulate that food into becoming cheaper and available quicker.
So with the whole flounder and the tomato thing, that was started because the tomatoes, if it got cold at all, would die on the vine, they couldn’t handle that frost. So, they were mixed with the flounder gene in order to make them last on the vine through colder weather. Unfortunately, or fortunately for us, they tasted terrible, no one liked their texture. So, they didn’t last in the market for very long. But right now, everything that’s on the market that’s genetically modified is to withstand herbicide, fungicide and pesticide. So, more pesticide has been sprayed, there’s bacterium in there, there’s antibiotic put in there.
So right now, we’re being inundated with a lot of stuff in our food that we don’t even know what it’s doing to us.
Neal: With all of these chemicals that – many of which you say we don’t even know what they’re doing – could some of these alter brain chemistry, thus causing stress, negative affirmations and things of that nature?
Kathy: Well, we don’t know truly what they’re doing to us. These have never been tested, and, again because we’re all biologically individual–
Neal: They’ve never been tested?
Kathy: … what it’s doing to me … right.
Neal: You said they’ve never been tested?
Kathy: Right. [laughs] Therein lies the problem. We have no clue what these are doing to us. That’s what scares me about it. And the tests that we have seen done aren’t looking very good. We’re seeing increased tumours in mice. We know that increased pesticide use contributes to things like ADD, it’s … an endocrine disruptor, so it could be messing with our hormones. It’s not looking good, and right now we’re the largest experiment ever, because these things are in our food supply and not only have they not been tested, Neal, they don’t have been to be labelled. So, you’re probably eating them and you don’t even know.
Neal: If I’m hearing you correctly, as far as GMOs go, it seems like the entire population is one big guinea pig if they haven’t even tested them – and if they are testing, they’re not looking for anything specific or long-term. They’re just saying, “Well, it tastes good, it’s got a great texture and it looks fresh. Eat it.” Is that basically what’s going on here?
Kathy: Yeah, pretty much. And it’s really unfortunate because also we don’t know … these are really hard to test in humans because we have so many other things coming into our bodies. So, with rats, it’s easy – give them 100 percent GMO food and you give the other rats un-GMO food and you see what happens to them in differences. It’s a little harder with humans because we’re also … we’re drinking things, we’re eating things. We’re not in a controlled cage in somebody’s lab …
Kathy: … where everything else can be controlled for. So, if they had tested on animals, it’s, “No, no, no. It’s perfectly safe.” Well, we’re human beings with different make-up and different DNA and different things coming into our bodies. And one of my favourite movies as a kid was ’The Incredible Shrinking Woman’ with Lily Tomlin.
Kathy: And remember what happened to her from all the different chemicals – one day, she got one chemical too much and she got [indecipherable 0:04:26]. It was a perfect illustration of what’s happening in our environment right now. We’re inundated with so many chemicals and so many things we don’t know what they’re doing. Some day we’re gonna wake up and we probably won’t shrink, but who knows what effect that will have on us?
Neal: Now, a scary thought is that once my grandkids’ physiology is used to nothing but GMOs, they may not have the alternative to eat healthier.
Kathy: Well, it’s actually a [inaudible 04:42] problem – we don’t evolve fast enough to get used to GMOs. Our bodies eat real food – that’s like taking dish detergent and putting it in your gas tank and saying, “Geez, why won’t this run?” We need to put gas in the tank. And food is our fuel. We need real food as is found in nature as much as we can.
You know, messing with [inaudible 05:14] products – and maybe these are going into processed and packaged foods. Not a lot of the foods and vegetables we’re getting from the produce [inaudible 05:20]. This is corn, soy and cotton that’s going into our most highly processed foods. So, high-fructose corn syrup, soy solids, into our sodas and chips and [inaudible 05:34].
Neal: Now, talking about genetically modified organisms, you mentioned animal genes with vegetable or fruit genes. Is that the norm, or do they mix vegetable gene with vegetable, animal with – is it always some type of animal gene with a vegetable or fruit?
Kathy: No. In fact, that’s one of the exceptions to the rule, because typically what they’re doing is to make these crops resistant to something like roundup. So, they’re mixing the gene of a soya [sp] bacterium that they found was resistant to roundup. They’re injecting that into the corn or the soy. So, they’re basically bursting into the gene.
And, you can’t just put the genes next to each other and say, “Okay, mix.” You have to force that usually with something like a gene gun which forces it in there and damages the DNA, or, you can use a virus or a bacteria. So, you’re opening up the gene with a virus. You’re putting a bacteria in, and then you’re putting an antibiotic marker to see what happens to it.
So, this is one of the things they think might be contributing to some of our antibiotic resistance. And ultimately, we don’t know what putting these viruses and these bacteria in our bodies is going to do to us in long-term. So, we’re kind of getting it from all sides here – we don’t know ultimately what this is gonna do, as I mentioned before.
Neal: You’re talking about resistance to antibiotics – our immune systems are becoming resistant just like the crops are resistant to roundup, yeah?
Kathy: Yeah, absolutely. We’re getting little doses of antibiotics in our meat and in some of our crops. Then, when we go to the hospital, when we truly need antibiotics, the bacteria in our body or the virus has gone, “Yeah, I don’t know. That doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve had that already.” [laughs]
Kathy: They evolve quicker than we do.
Neal: With all the research and talk about GMOs, what – when you’re with your healthcare professional and you’re talking about what’s going on with you, and you bring up your diet, how do you break into a conversation about cutting out or reducing GMOs in your diet? It seems like a daunting task.
Kathy: It is a daunting task. I don’t know anybody that has sat down with their general practitioner and had that conversation. In fact, I got a letter from one woman who expressed that her daughter was having these horrible, horrible allergies – all these stomach cramps, [indecipherable 0:07:52] having these lesions on her face. And when she said to her doctor, “Well, this is a diet thing,” they tested her for some general allergies, and then said, “No, it’s all in her head. She’s fine,” because nothing showed up on her test.
Kathy: And, through her own very diligent detective work, she discovered that her daughter had a severe allergy to genetically modified soy. And that is in so many things. It’s in make-up, it’s in baby formula, it’s in so many things. And the second they were able to get her daughter clean off GMO foods, this problem went away, the lesions cleared up. She has a severe allergy to that. And who knows how many other people are having some weird syndrome or symptom, but their doctor says, “Uh- uh.”
And it’s related to that. It takes a huge amount of detective work to figure that out. And that’s what we’re gonna be facing really soon, I think.
Neal: We’ve got this huge, expansive healthcare system here in the United States and the UK and other developed countries. If everyone knows that we’re eating GMOs and everyone knows that they’re not being adequately tested, wouldn’t it seem to make a little bit of sense that as soon as a doctor has a patient, the first thing they want to look for is, “Okay, what have you been eating?” It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that we’ve got an infrastructure in place to do intensive research over years and years and years.
Neal: But yet, we’re not doing that.
Kathy: I have yet to have any conversation with clients of mine who have had a nutrition conversation with their doctor. It doesn’t seem to happen. Unless you show up in their office with type two diabetes and they may say, “Hey, you better watch your diet,” or heart disease …
Neal: … or your cholesterol …
Kathy: …. or high blood pressure … yeah, cholesterol. Where they say, “You better watch your diet.” But they’re also not giving you suggestions. They’re just saying, “Watch your diet.” So, you’re not gonna hear, “Cut down on artificial sweetener. Avoid GMOs…”
We need to educate ourselves about GMOs. We need to get politically active about GMOs. And we have the right to know what’s in our food and we don’t have that right now. So, I encourage you to vote with every swipe of the barcode.
So, if you don’t want that in your food supply, you need to make that known by what you buy in the supermarket. And tell your Congressman and tell your Senate and tell your government that you want to have this labelled. And, at the very least, we need to know what’s in them so we can make an informed choice.
Neal: Start voting with our wallets, yeah?
Neal: Absolutely. Our guest has been Dr Kathy Gruver, Ph.D., licensed massage therapist, alternative medicine practitioner and author. Three of her books – one of which being, ’The Alternative Medicine Cabinet,’ the other, ’Body-Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker’, and also, her latest book released, ’Conquer Your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques,’ talking a lot about GMOs, some of the pitfalls, and a lot of information that many of us probably didn’t even realise what was going on with the food that we eat on a daily basis.
It’s been great having you here with us on Health Professional Radio today, Dr Gruver.
Kathy: Thanks for having me, Neal. I appreciate it.
Neal: Transcripts of this programme are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au.