November 17, 2014

Research fieldIt seems as though there is a new study everyday suggesting a new cause for autism. Environmental toxins, genetics, and even C-sections have been linked to the diagnosis. Now, a booklet published by bestselling author, filmmaker and director of the Institute for Responsible Technology ( Jeffrey M. Smith is claiming a link between foods containing GMO’s and the rise in autism over the past two decades.

The booklet, titled Are Genetically Altered Foods Promoting Autism? shares the disturbing results of GMO-laden food on livestock and lab animals. Dr. Don Huber, Phd., professor emeritus from Purdue University, lectured on the subject in Germany back in October 2011.

GMO’s are foods that are genetically altered to make them resistant to weed killers. Unfortunately, this also makes them more likely to contain higher concentrations of these substances when they are processed and go to market. Some GMO corn varieties have also been shown to produce an insect-killing poison called Bacillus thuringiensis, which is also present in foods derived from these plants.

Dr. Huber visited several research facilities and farmers to see how the GMO foods were affecting the animals. Researchers reported that lab rats who were not fed GMO foods were docile, while those who had ingested the GMO foods were not. These rats were observed to be antisocial, irritable and aggressive. He found similar results with livestock. Farmers reported that pigs fed with GMO-laden feed were more aggressive, antisocial, and even cannibalistic. The behaviors diminished when the farmers switched to non-GMO feed.

These findings have been replicated by other studies, including a Dutch study from over a decade ago, and a 2006 Russian study citing anxiety and aggression in rats fed GMO-laden soy. The rats in the GMO group also displayed higher rates of infertility, and over 50% of the offspring from GMO-fed rats died within three weeks of birth.

A 1999 study published in the Lancet found that rats who were fed GMO-laden potatoes for ten days displayed significant alternations in the lining of their stomach and intestines. There have been butchers who claim that the intestinal linings of animals fed GMOs are weaker, and many U.S. sausage makers have been forced to import intestinal sausage casings from New Zealand, where livestock are not fed GMO-laden foods.

Dr. Huber expressed concern that these symptoms are very similar to those reported in children who are diagnosed with autism. There is also much evidence that gastrointestinal issues are common in children with autism, and many have been shown to benefit from special diets.

Other scientists have expressed concerns about GMO’s and the rate of autism. Autism Daily Newscast published an article in June with the dire prediction that half of all children will have autism by 2025 if nothing changes. Studies posted on Monsanto’s website continue to maintain that GMO are harmless.

Jeffery Smith’s booklet on GMO’s and autism can be downloaded here.

About the author 

Laurel Joss

Laurel Joss is a freelance writer with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked as an RDI® Program Certified Consultant and has published articles in Autism Spectrum Quarterly and on her blog She is a mother to two children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. You can also follow her on and

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