Customer Review

124 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What not to eat - at breatkfast, lunch, or dinner!, April 4, 2006
This review is from: Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating (Paperback)
Having read a number of articles and books on genetically engineered foods, I found this book to be very comprehensive and very well written. I highly recommend it if you are interested in your health.

As a biologist who has worked with DNA, and respect it, I place great value on Smith's easy to understand explanation on the genetic engineering process on DNA. Smith has also carefully researched FDA reports and quoted several people in his analysis of GMOs and their impact on society. With methodological precision, his research reveals the close ties of the U.S. government with biotechnology industry in several aspects of GMO production. Even more disturbing is the influence of biotechnology companies such as Monsanto, Novartis, Dow, and DuPont having on the government - they gave more than 3.5 million dollars (from 1995-2000) towards campaign contributions, with 3/4 going to Republicans.

His research also reveals the impact of the genetically modifed amino acid L-tryptophan in 1989-1990 that debilitated thousands of people with EMS, a disease that produces severe muscle pain, and even death. Forty people died from taking this L-tryptophan. This product was never labled that it was genetically modified and the Japanese manufacturer - Showa Denko KK did not use the proper filtration level to remove the impurities. Subsequent from these health risks, the product was removed from shelves.

My favorite quotes from this book came from George Wald, Nobel Laureate in Medicine. He said for genetic engineeering - "The results will be essentially new organisms, self-perpetuating and hence permanent. Once created, they cannot be recalled" and "Up to now, living organisms have evolved very slowly and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism, or their neighbors." Those are powerful words and cannot be forgotten.

Read this book. It will change your life. You owe it to yourself and your family.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2006 8:39:46 AM PST
aurora leigh says:
L-tryptophan is a natural alternative to taking psychiatric drugs that more often than not have harmful long term and even permanent side effects. I find it timely and telling that just as these drugs were becoming so popular, L-tryptophan was taken off the market in the US because of one company's unethical mistake. Books by Julia Ross, M.A., Eric R. Braverman, M.D., and Joan Mathews Larson, P.H.D. are all informative guides to the healing properties of amino acids.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2007 3:47:55 PM PDT
I think you missed the point. The point is not that L-tryptophan is bad, the point is that the genetically modified version of it proved to be very dangerous, making many people sick. L-tryptophan is still available per prescription and I'm sure is useful to some people. I agree the author of this comment could have made it clearer.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2007 5:16:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 19, 2007 5:19:00 PM PDT
East Oak says:
I am an EMS (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome) survivor from having taken the poisoned L-tryptophan for insomnia in 1989. Our children were three and four years old at the time - it almost killed me. (I am dependent on regular IV therapy through complementary medicine, and have never used steroids; thanks to a wise physician whom we traveled to see 1000 miles from our home.)

I have known of other EMS survivors blaming the l-tryptophan itself, rather than the toxic impurities left in the product. To me this is ludicrous, as the fault lies entirely with the ShowaDenko company in Japan. Unadulterated l-tryptophan is essential to life, and I agree with both comments here that it has its use therapeutically as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2008 6:59:03 PM PST
The blame for this incident can certainly be placed with ShowaDenko, but we must be clear: the problem was inadequate filtration, not genetic modification. There were 60 different contaminants found in the L-tryptophan due to the changes in the filtering process.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2010 10:02:48 PM PST
Please note: the L-tryptophan itself was not "modified" in anyway, the *source* of the amino acid (a bacterium) was genetically modified to product this amino acid in vast quantities for isolation/purification and subsequent sale. It was these purification/filtration procedures which were inadequate to remove the harmful impurities/contaminants. As you say, the L-tryptophan itself was not dangerous, rather, it was the impurities from the purification process of the source (i.e. the genetically modified bacteria) that proved to be hazardous to human health.
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