Skip to main content

GMO Food Allergies


Could your allergies be caused by genetically modified foods?

In the last twenty years, there has been an epidemic increase in allergies, asthma, auto-immune disorders, ADHD, and autism, Today, it is estimated that 20% of American children have allergies, and that there has been a:

*400% increase in food allergies
*300% increase in asthma, with a 56% increase in asthma deaths, and a
*400% increase in ADHD and between a 1,500 and 6,000% increase in autism.

What could be responsible for this increase in allergies and auto-immune disorders?

Very good research has it that it is caused by the genetically modified foods we are eating.

Just as an example of what genetically modified foods are doing to people's health, I give you my own experience:

About a year ago I started breaking out in severe hives all over daily. I am a very "allergic" person, and have lots of allergies, but very rarely in my life have I ever had such bad allergies that it made me break out in hives! At least, I had always known exactly what I was allergic to, and easily able to avoid those items. (Like Sulfa or mangoes, for example, both easily avoided.)

For several months, I was unable to figure out what new perpetrator was causing the hives. It seemed like anytime I ingested ANYTHING, I would break out in hives. Or was it from a new cleaning product, laundry soap, or body wash? Why was I suddenly breaking out in hives every day? I had to get to the bottom of it - it was miserable.

I had noticed over the past year or so that anytime I fried anything in cooking oil, my lungs would freeze up, and I could not breathe. Breathing the fumes of the oil would cause a severe coughing and asthma attack so bad that I would need a nebulizer treatment. I would have to open all the doors and windows, and turn the fans and the air cleaner on at full speed, to get the fumes out of the house, and it would take me at least an hour to get over it.

I could not figure this out. Why would I suddenly get sick from cooking oil? I have been cooking with oil all my life.

Well, as I discovered, cooking oils now contain genetically modified corn, soy, or canola (rape seed) oils. It turns out that I am terribly allergic to the genetically modified ingredients of the oil. Whether to the corn, canola, or soy, I am not sure, but perhaps to all of them!

As a side note: genetically modified rape seed is poisonous to humans and animals!

To my surprise, I discovered that my sister was having the same problem of constantly breaking out in hives. After extensive allergy testing, her doctor told her it was from genetically modified corn. It has been proven that the tendency for allergies is inherited. So, anytime she (or I) eat anything with genetically modified corn or corn derivatives in it, we break out in hives.

GMO corn and derivatives are in practically everything, as you will see from the lists at the end of this article. This makes it extremely difficult to avoid it. Soy products are also very hard to avoid, as a great many processed foods contain it.

As to finding a cooking oil that is safe, I have switched to pure, virgin olive oil, which has helped considerably. It is said that those olive oils made in Spain or Greece are safer than those made in Italy. Pure, natural coconut oil is also safe, and has many other added health benefits. Simply switching to other types of oils that do not contain corn may not solve the problem. Oils containing canola (rape seed), or soy products, which are probably also genetically modified, may cause allergy problems, too.

According to my friend "Joe the Bohemian": (quote) "Any oil that is refined or high in Omega 6 (polyunsaturated) fats will contribute towards an inflammatory reaction--asthma, rashes, hives, any other type of allergic reaction. I have had asthma myself and only use extra virgin olive oil. The only other oil good for cooking is Coconut Oil, saturated yes, but very healthful because its molecules are medium-chain triglycerides that are quickly metabolized and not stored as fat. Omega 9 (monounsaturated) oils like peanut and canola oils are highly refined unless you get special brands at a health food store that are cold (expeller) pressed. To control inflammation (asthma, allergies, etc) you need to have lots of Omega 3 fats to balance out the Omega 6's which predominate in the modern processed diet. Molecularly distilled fish oil free of contaminants is the best source of Omega 3's. Most fish are contaminated with mercury, PCB's, etc. Also, herbs like oregano, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cloves, etc fight inflammation. Also you might consider taking a silymarin (milk thistle) supplement which boosts your liver's detox capabilities." (unquote)

Since it is almost impossible to avoid GMO food products, I now have to take Claritin (allergy pill) daily to keep from constantly breaking out in hives. The hives are very irksome, because if I don't take the Claritin, I break out immediately, which is proof that I have still not been able to eliminate the offending genetically engineered foods from my diet!

If you have never had hives, they are very uncomfortable, and it's hard to make them go away. You break out in a rash all over your body and it itches and burns something terrible! They are no fun!

Hives can be the precursor of a full-blown anaphylactic reaction, like what people who are allergic to bees get. It can close off your airways and you can actually die from it, which is why people who have severe allergies have to carry epinephrine shots around with them.

If you happen to be allergic to GMO food products, then what are you going to be able to eat?

Corn or its derivatives, for example, are in almost all food products in one way or another. Soy and its derivatives are in just about everything, also.

Grim Reaper Corn Maze

Grim Reaper Corn Maze

Genetically Modified Food Issues - Educational Video Part 1

What exactly are GMO foods?

In 1996, scientists began using genetic modification techniques on seeds, due to growing concern over the spraying of industrial pesticides. It was thought that the plants could be made more tolerant to pesticides, or could produce their own pesticides.

Today, many foods such as soy, corn, cotton, canola, yellow squash, potatoes, and Hawaiian papaya are the product of genetically modified plants.

Genetic engineering is done by invading a cell with foreign DNA. The altered cell is then cloned into a plant. These processes create massive collateral damage, causing mutations throughout the plant`s DNA. Genetic engineering also transfers genes across natural species barriers, causing unnatural and as yet unknown alterations in the expression of genetic material. The inserted gene is often rearranged, and the GM protein produced by the gene may have unintended properties or effects. This altered DNA material may be transferred from the food into our body`s cells or into the DNA of bacteria inside us.

91% of all soy,
At least 60% of all corn, and
75% of processed foods contain unlabeled, genetically engineered, chemical toxins that have never been proven safe.

Scroll to Continue

The primary reason companies genetically engineer plants is to make them tolerant to their brand of herbicide or pesticide. The four major GM plants, soy, corn, canola, and cotton and now, sugar beets, are designed to survive an otherwise deadly dose of weed killer. Therefore, these crops are contaminated with much higher residues of toxic herbicides.

Basically, Monsanto created GMOs to withstand enormous amounts of their cash crop, Roundup!

Roundup is a veritable poison cocktail, its main ingredient being glyphosphate, which is toxic enough on its own. Further analysis of its ingredients has revealed that some of its inert ingredients, which are not even mentioned on the label, especially a compound called POEA, a detergent, is even more toxic than the glyphosphate itself, and can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells! It was found that these pesticide mixtures can cause cell damage and even death at the residual levels found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.

The second GM trait is a built-in pesticide. GM corn varieties are engineered to produce the pesticidal protein called Bt-toxin. A gene from the soil bacterium called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis, a pesticide spray which has been used by farmers for many years) is inserted into the DNA of cotton or corn, where it secretes the insect-killing Bt-toxin in every cell.

Though the spray used by farmers is said to be "harmless", people exposed to the spray develop allergic-type symptoms, and mice that ingested Bt had powerful immune responses, sterility, and abnormal and excessive cell growth, Recent research indicates that a growing number of human and livestock illnesses are linked to Bt crops.

The Bt in GM crops is designed to be more toxic than the natural spray, and is thousands of times more concentrated. People working in GM cotton fields reported severe allergic reactions just from touching it.

Genetic engineering also can alter the genetic codes of the DNA in organisms by splicing in other genes from other forms of life, including other plant forms, insects, bacteria and even viruses. This creates mutant organisms and dangerously mutating genes.

GMOs produce massive changes in the natural functioning of a plant's DNA. Native genes can be mutated, deleted, or permanently turned on or off. The inserted gene can become truncated, fragmented, mixed with other genes, inverted or multiplied, and the GM protein it produces may have unintended characteristics that may be very harmful.

GMO's also pose other health risks. When a transgene functions in a new cell, it may produce different proteins than the ones intended. They may be harmful, but there's no way to know without scientific testing. Bt-toxin is the pesticidal protein that is produced by the cells of genetically modified plants.

Imagine what might happen if the genetically engineered DNA which produces pesticides were able to insert itself into human cells, and the damage that this could cause.

A study done recently found that the genetic material inserted into engineered soy transfers into the DNA of intestinal bacteria and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have the GM proteins inside of us, residing in the intestinal bacteria in our digestive systems. This could create super diseases resistant to antibiotics, and the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn could turn our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories - especially since animal studies have shown that DNA in food can travel into organs throughout the body, even into fetuses.

Other independent studies that involved feeding animals with genetically modified feed, showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially precancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, sterility, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality.

When sheep grazed on Bt cotton plants after harvest, within a week 1 in 4 died. Farmers in Europe and Asia say that cows, water buffaloes, chickens and horses died from eating Bt corn varieties. About two dozen US farmers report that Bt corn varieties caused widespread sterility in pigs and cows..

After GM soy was introduced in the UK, soy allergies increased by 50%. In the 1980s, in the US, a soy-based food supplement called L-tryptophan killed 100 people, and caused sickness and disability in another 5-10,000 people. The source of the contaminants was almost certainly the genetic engineering process used in its production.

In conclusion, genetically modified plants have had foreign genes forced into their DNA, and the inserted genes come from bacteria and viruses that are not naturally a part of the human food supply. This transgenetic process can cause the production of new and previously unknown proteins, which are unrecognizable by the cells of the human body, and which may have unforeseen reactions and negative consequences, the implications of which are not yet fully understood nor researched.

And GMO's have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.

It is hardly surprising that there has been such an epidemic of allergies, asthma, ADHD, auto-immune disorders, and other new types of serious illnesses since the introduction of genetically modified foods into our food supply.

Knowledge of the full extent of the destruction and unknown reactions in our bodies and cells, caused by these unnaturally altered and alien foods, will only be more fully understood sometime in the future, after more studies are completed.

To make things even worse, planting GMO crops may be devastating our food supply. Plants that are resistant to herbicides may cross with weeds, creating super-weeds which could choke out other food crops. Organic, natural food crops are easily contaminated with GMO crops by wind or insect cross-pollination, and these natural crops, especially corn and soy, are almost entirely contaminated by GMO traits now. This is ruining our natural food supply.

Also, most genetically modified plants only produce seeds that are sterile. And that could completely annihilate the world's food supply. The world's farmers are not able to save seeds back each year for the next year's planting. They are forced to return to the seed companies (Monsanto) each spring for more seeds. If the previous year's crop has failed, this is financially impossible for them to do, and these unfortunate farmers are forced out of business.

This is why it is so important to plant only heirloom seeds and plants.

(Read more about heirloom seeds here: The Importance of Planting & Preserving Genetically True Seeds - )

In the meantime, the best thing to do is to avoid GMO's, if possible.

Why do genetically modified foods cause allergies?

As a result of the genetic engineering process, new proteins are produced by the new genetic creation.  These proteins are "novel" proteins, never before known, and are unrecognized by the human immune system.  When first ingested, they cause "sensitization", and production of IgE antibodies to the protein.  When the new protein is ingested again, an allergic reaction of inflammation is immediately launched by the immune system.  Some of these allergic reactions can be very severe, especially in the case of young children, who are more susceptible, and who may have more severe reactions, sometimes life-threatening.

The testing that is currently done on GMO foods is done by the laboratories that produce the seeds themselves.  So it is unlikely they will say the products are dangerous, as it would be against their own interests. 

Also, the testing itself is deficient, in that most times, they are testing the new protein that is produced by the new genetic mixture, in a petrie dish.  They are not testing the result of the protein that is made by the new plant itself, which does not take into account further genetic mutations.  One of the mutations that may happen, is that the proteins synthesized by the plant itself may result in a different antigenic protein wall structure, which can have a different allergenic effect in the human immune system.


What products may contain genetically modified ingredients?

Primary Suspects: Ingredients and Products to Check

Soybeans: Soy flour, soy oil, lecithin, soy protein isolates and concentrates. Products that may contain genetically engineered soy derivatives: vitamin E, tofu dogs, cereals, veggie burgers and sausages, tamari, soy sauce, chips, ice cream, frozen yogurt, infant formula, sauces, protein powder, margarine, soy cheeses, crackers, breads, cookies, chocolates, candies, fried foods, shampoo, bubble bath, cosmetics, enriched flours and pastas.

Corn: Corn flour, corn starch, corn oil, corn sweeteners, syrups. Products that may contain genetically engineered corn derivatives: vitamin C, tofu dogs, chips, candies, ice cream, infant formula, salad dressings, tomato sauces, breads, cookies, cereals, baking powder, alcohol, vanilla, margarine, soy sauce, tamari, soda, fried foods, powdered sugar, enriched flours and pastas.

Canola: Oil. Products that may contain genetically engineered canola derivatives: chips, salad dressings, cookies, margarine, soaps, detergents, soy cheeses, fried foods.

Cotton: Oil, fabric. Products that may contain genetically engineered cotton or its derivatives: clothes, linens, chips, peanut butter, crackers, cookies.

Potatoes: Right now the only potato that has been genetically engineered is the Burbank Russet, but you still have to look out for potato starch and flour.

Products that may contain genetically engineered potatoes or derivatives: unspecified processed or restaurant potato products (fries, mashed, baked, mixes, etc.), chips, Passover products, vegetable pies, soups. Fast-food chains appear to have responded to consumer concerns and requested genetically natural potatoes.

Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, whey. You have to ask several questions when you are looking at dairy products. Have the cows been treated with rBGH? What kind of feed have they been given? If they are not being fed organic grains, chances are quite likely that they will be eating genetically engineered animal feed. What does this do to their milk products? No one knows.

Animal Products: Because animal feed often contains genetically engineered organisms, all animal products, or by-products may be affected.


Corn's Role in Ethanol and Its Impact on the Allergy Epidemic:  Today, corn is not only grown for food but also grown to meet biodiesel and ethanol demand. To address this soaring demand, corn has recently been engineered to produce its own insecticidal toxins to achieve greater crop yields. The toxins that are now engineered into corn are designed to cause gut paralysis and death in the insects that consume this corn.

GMO Corn is used in thousands of other products:

Industrial Uses: Adhesives, Cardboard, Construction Materials, Detergents, Paper, Textiles, Plasterboard Adhesives, Animal Feed, Bookbinding, Laminated Building Products, Enzymes, Leather Tanning, Lubricating Agents, Metal Plating Antibiotics, Enzymes, Coatings, Insecticides, Organic Solvents, Plasticizers, Shampoo

Food & Drug Uses:  Antibiotics, Aspirin, Baked Goods, Candies, Condiments, Mixes & Instant Preparations, Processed Meats, Puddings Baby Food, Bologna and Hot Dogs, Chewing Gum, Cookies & Crackers, Dessert Mixes, Fruit Drinks, Canned Foods, Cereals, Medicinal Syrups, Pickles, Salad Dressings, Seasoning Mixes, Brownies & Baked Goods, Canned Fruits, Cheese Spreads, Cured Meats (such as bacon), Dessert Mixes, Intravenous Solutions, Jams & Jellies, Soda Fountain Preparations, Marshmallows, Soups, High Fructose Corn Syrups, Corn Starches

Other Products: Carbonated Beverages, Fruit Fillings, Cereals, Frostings, Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, Pancakes, Pastries, Relishes & Sauces, Syrups & Dessert Toppings

OMG, the stuff is in EVERYTHING! What does NOT contain corn?

Tires: Tire manufacturers began using corn starch decades ago to dust the molds in which tires are made. Now a tire company has produced a new line of tires that uses micro-droplets of corn starch as a tire ingredient to reduce tire weight and rolling resistance. The new tires require less energy to produce and their lower rolling resistance is expected to reduce fuel consumption and noise.

Plastics and textiles: Corn-based polylactic acid (PLA) is being used to replace oil-based ingredients in a wide variety of plastic and textile products. This helps solve the world's growing waste-disposal problems, because PLA is a renewable, biodegradable resource.

Fabrics:  PLA can be made into fibers for woven and non-woven fabrics. It can be blended with cotton, wool, and silk.

Some PLA-based plastics and textiles include: Bedding, Film wrap for tapes and CDs, Carpeting, Foam packaging ,Clothing, Fresh food packaging, Cord and rope Mattresses Cups, Serving utensils, Industrial chemicals, solvents, and organic acids.

Do genetically modified foods cause other health problems?

 It is suspected that genetically modified foods may cause a myriad of health problems, mostly auto-immune diseases, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, ADHD, autism, cancers, asthma, sterility, and many others. 

The Health Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods - Part 1

The Health Dangers of genetically modified food - Part 2

The Health Dangers of Genetically Modified Food - Part 3

Learn to avoid GMO's - Buy this book!

Where to go for more information about GMO's:


GMO Trilogy - Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals:
Genetically Engineered (2of3) 59 min - Nov 30, 2007

Your Eating What? With Jeffrey Smith (part 1)

Greenpeace - The dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms

BAD SEED: The Truth About Our Food

Monsanto's Genetic Conspiracy
(with intro by Dennis Kucinich)

Franken Foods!

GM food and you

When Food Kills! 44:50 Its every parents worst nightmare. One moment their child is perfectly healthy. The next, they've stopped breathing and are turning blue.

GMO Rice in Kansas


Allergy Kids - Universal Food Allergy Awareness

Blog of Robyn O'Brien (founder of AllergyKids)

GMO Food For Thought - Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crops

Why We Need A Global Moratorium

Heads Monsanto Wins, Tails We Lose; The Genetically Modified Food Gamble

Potential Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods

Suppressed report shows cancer link to GM potatoes

Genetically Modified Food: The Impending Disaster

Louis J. Pribyl, "Biotechnology Draft Document, 2/27/92," March 6, 1992,

Potential Health Hazards of GM Foods

Feds Ignore Evidence that Biotech Corn Can Produce Allergies

"GM Food: The Risk Assessment of Immune Hypersensitivity Reactions Covers More Than Allergenicity"

Bio-Tech Info - Health Risks

Health Hazards of Genetically-Manipulated Foods

A Corn Crisis: The Story of StarLink Bioengineered Corn

We wish we knew... the true dangers of Emily's food allergy

Learn more about genetically engineered foods:


Renee L Moles on July 15, 2013:

Of course the FDA will not do anything about GMO foods because they have stock in corn. And that corn is GMO produced. A few of the top member's even own some crops. The more they can produce the richer they become. Its all about the almighty dollar people! They also have contracts with pharmaceutical companies and are making a fortune. That is why we have so many toxic drugs they call medicine. They do not care who they poison in the process.

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on December 12, 2012:

:( I'm sorry - I know what it's like! GMO's alter your health forever.

MelissaBV11 on December 12, 2012:

I have corn GMO allergies too! Thank you!

back40 on October 11, 2011:

I have experienced these GMO allergies also. I am learning to use only natural, unprocessed foods (no corn) and am cooking "from scratch". I have found that reading labels doesn't help much, because of cross-contamination in the factories (this also includes many packaged "health foods"). Keeping a food diary is essential, as well as bringing your own foods to social gatherings and restaurants (talk to the manager - he will be eager to avoid an allergic reaction in his restaurant). I usually order some tea with lemon slices and bring a stevia packet for sweetener.

I was very angry when I first realized just how restricted my diet would I am grateful that I can only eat REAL foods (and I usually don't require antihistamines). So try the new "G.M.O." diet (God-made-only), and see if it works for you.

IMPORTANT: You may also be allergic to any number of "natural" foods. Consult your healthcare practitioner first if you have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to ANY food.

Lamme on November 08, 2010:

Great article! Thanks for sharing what many people are not even aware of.

Lynda Gary on March 20, 2010:

very informative. well written and researched.

Madame X on March 17, 2010:

Excellent article Magic! I found I would start sniffling whenever I drank milk from cows treated with those hormones. So I started to buy milk that specifically stated it didn't have that and the problem cleared up. Thanks for all the sources.

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on January 07, 2010:

Esther: Thanks for reading. Taking a Claritin once daily helps with the allergies. It is almost impossible to avoid the GMO's that our food contains. Hope I helped and hope you feel better - it is miserable to be allergic to everything you eat.

The bad thing is that once you eat a GMO food and are allergic to it, it causes a paradoxical reaction in your immune system which can then cause you to become allergic to EVERYTHING!!!

Esther on January 05, 2010:

I developed food allergies recently - particularly to corn -that I strongly believe are linked to GMO corn and gross overusage in our food supply. I really, really hope and pray that this problem gets a lot of exposure in the media and very quickly to prevent all the illnesses it is causing.

apricotmousse on December 24, 2009:

It is very seldom that I read the whole article but yours is different, I read it from top to bottom. Very nice hub and the information you have provided were really substantial. Thanks for sharing!

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on December 13, 2009:

Thanks for reading, and I am glad you liked the article. So many are unaware of what is in our food, and the danger that GM crops pose to our food supply and to our health, to our very DNA and the survival of both humans and animals.

This criminal practice must be stopped before it is too late.

I was heartened by the decision of a federal court on Dec. 4, 2009, that found Bayer Inc. responsible for the contamination of the rice crops of 2 farmers in Iowa. There are over 1000 more lawsuits against Bayer in the dockets, so hopefully this is a sign that we are winning.

Bayer must pay $2 million US dollars to the 2 farmers.


Bayer Admits GMO Contamination is Out of Control

kartika damon from Fairfield, Iowa on November 14, 2009:

Excellent article! I have been aware of this for many years and worked for Mother's for Natural Law 12 years ago - they were a non-profit working to raise awareness on the issue and was written about in New Age Magazine - you are right on describing the hideous effects of this technology!

Micky Dee on November 10, 2009:

Very good!

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on November 06, 2009:

Thanks for reading, alekhouse. I was upset about the Canola Oil, too, as it was marketed as being so "healthy". And upset that I can't use my Crisco vegetable oil anymore, either - it has soy in it.

I didn't realize they had anything about Canola oil on Snopes, guess I'll have to go look. But genetically-modified rape seed is poisonous to both animals and humans. They don't care - they have swept testing results under the rug and are selling it to us anyway. Shameless and criminal! Don't use it! They say that even normal rape seed crops are now contaminated by gmo rape seed. Rape seed oil is not digestible, and is used in manufacturing , and is not for human consumption whatsoever, nor is it good for animal feed either.

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on November 06, 2009:

This is a really good hub with lots of important information. The Canola Oil thing really got to me. I went to Snopes to read more about it and got a little freaked out, cause I've been using Canola oil for quite some time for all my baking in my bed and breakfast. Although, I use Olive oil more often, for salads and sauteing, etc.

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on November 06, 2009:

You are more than welcome, Laura! Thanks for reading. Hopefully this will help many people to realize what is being done to our food sources and to act against the genetic modification of our food. GMO foods could wipe out our natural food sources, wildlife, and indeed, the human race. Perhaps that is what is intended. We must stop it.

Nemingha on November 05, 2009:

You may feel as though you have only scratched the surface, but what you have done is very comprehensive and informative. I was never in favor of genetically modified foods and I believe there will be more health repercussions to come.

Laura Cole from Michigan on November 05, 2009:

I find your hub to be very informative Magic! Wonderful information you have shared. thank you so much for referring me to it. Laura

MagicStarER (author) from Western Kentucky on November 05, 2009:

Thank you very much, Kristie! I just uploaded a few seconds ago - you are really fast! :) It seems I've barely scratched the surface of this subject. Hope it answers some questions. If anyone has more, please feel free to ask, I will try to come up with the answer.

KristieRaburn from California on November 05, 2009:

Nicely done article! Lots of good information here. I really like what you have done.

Related Articles