Church socials and luncheons, Wednesday night meals, pot luck (or blessing) dinners—all staples of the fellowship of believers throughout the ages. It sounds innocent enough—and in intent, these are wonderful traditions—until you realize that since 1994, unless we have carefully selected our food sources, we’re poisoning each other.
Too harsh? Well, as I said, this is not the intent. The tradition of breaking of bread amongst believers goes back to the days of Moses. (See Exodus 24:5, Leviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-34; 19:5-8; 22:29-30). And this practice of joining fellow believers in a fellowship meal had some pretty strict limitations. Many believe that these limitations were not only rooted in spiritual benefits but in health benefits as well.
According to Wikipedia, “Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato.“ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food)
And per Responsible Technology.org, “Since 1996, GM plants such as soybeans and corn have had genes from bacteria and viruses forced into their DNA.” (http://responsibletechnology.org/media/docs/Health-RisksBrochure-Spring2013-1.pdf)
Over the past 20 years, the debate as to the safety of Genetically Modified (GM) foods has grown. There are legitimate questions:
- Why do this?
- What testing has been done to ensure that genetically-engineered (GE) foods are safe for consumption?
- Who benefits from these foods?
I can’t answer all of these for various reasons. But I can point you to places where people have dedicated years of study, time, and research. And I can point out the obvious: What we’re dealing with is Food from Man vs. Food from God.
God created food: Genesis 1-2, particularly Genesis 1:29, 2:9. He did this to provide food for His people: Genesis 9:3
Now let’s look at the questions posed above:
Why Do This
Again, according to Wikipedia (same link as above), “Food biotechnology is a branch of food science in which modern biotechnological techniques are applied to improve food production or food itself.“
In deference of time and space, I’ll leave a few links for you to discover how effective this purpose is (you might be surprised), but what hit me was the statement that Man thinks what God has created needs improvement!
What Testing Has Been Done
According to a June 2001 article by Dr. Arpad Pusztai, not much.
Genetically modified (GM) crops and food are being grown and consumed by the public, even though:
- there is little scientific study about their health risks
- safety test technology is inadequate to assess potential harm
- they can carry unpredictable toxins
- they may increase the risk of allergenic reactions
What has been discovered since then is something to seriously consider.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified (GM) food. They state, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food.” These include:
- Immune problems
- Accelerated aging
- Faulty insulin regulation
- Changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
(http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html — position paper submitted by Amy Dean, D.O. and Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine on May 8, 2009)
The old maxim, “follow the money” appears to apply.
There is an award-winning movie you can rent on Amazon.com called Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives by Jeffrey M. Smith. In this movie, several doctors and researchers have been interviewed with pretty interesting stuff to say about what GMOs do to the body, what foods are included, and what happens when GM foods are removed from our tables. It also addresses who actually benefits from this technology. To cover production and continued research costs, it’s available to be “rented” from Amazon.com for $2.99 or purchased for $14.99. Permission is available for group showings.
You can also access a one-hour abridged version of the movie here:
So, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this is an issue that we as Christians need to be aware of. In short, God knew what He was doing when He created our food. Man, on the other hand, has proven that yet again, his arrogance and self-centered purposes, has created problems that God never intended for His beloved.
When we lift up our fellow believers in prayer for healing, let us also consider these issues: God’s food heals. Man’s modifications harm.
Buying organic food is a valid option, but I’ll include several additional options in a future post. For now, just ask yourself where your priorities are. And who are you going to follow? God’s design and purposes? Or man’s?
So please understand why, as long as church folks keep buying GM foods off the shelves of our local grocers to contribute to our congregational meals, I will not be breaking bread with you. I wish I could! But, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15b)