(NaturalNews) Sugar is exceptionally toxic and leads to heart disease, metabolic syndrome and cancer -- it can even be equated with addictive drugs like cocaine, according to prominent medical experts. Add to this the fact that genetically modified (GM) sugar beets now dominate the U.S. market, a healthy future certainly looks bleak. Not only are Americans dealing with the negative effects of consuming elephantine amounts of sugar, but now the health dangers of genetically modified organisms through Roundup Ready sugar beets are in the mix.
A hidden public health crisis
As a specialist in pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, Robert Lustig is on a mission to educate the masses about the dangers of refined sugar. "Sugar is not just an empty calorie, its effect on us is much more insidious. It has nothing to do with the calories. It's a poison by itself," declares Lustig. He is clear about the definition of sugar -- it doesn't matter whether it is high-fructose corn syrup, white or brown, from beets or cane. To Lustig; it is all the same, causing metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes and obesity along with cancer and heart disease. He believes that the American lifestyle with its high sugar consumption is killing us. "Ultimately, this is a public health crisis, and when there's a public health crisis you have to do big things and you have to do them across the board. Tobacco and alcohol are perfect examples ... I think that sugar belongs in this exact same wastebasket," said Lustig in a 60 Minutes interview. To make matters worse, refined sugar is highly addictive -- compared to cocaine by many in the health industry due to the mechanism of triggering pleasure centers in the brain when consumed.
Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is convinced that 80 percent of all cancers are driven by the effect of insulin on tumor cells. Sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance which causes the pancreas to secrete excess insulin. Researchers have found that insulin along with a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor, encourage tumor growth.
More dangers ahead with GM sugar beets
The USDA recently deemed that genetically modified sugar beets are 'safe' and deregulated the crop. Since 2008, a lawsuit has been raging between the agency and groups like the Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance and the Sierra Club about the safety of GM sugar beets. Now, thanks to the USDA, sugar from the beets can spread unhindered throughout the food supply, contaminating everything within reach. Almost 95 percent of U.S. sugar beets come from GM seeds -- an amazing feat considering they were only approved for planting in 2005. Sugar beets comprise over 50 percent of U.S. sugar production while the rest comes from sugar cane.
GM crops have been shown to increase the likelihood of cancer, changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal tract, allergic reactions, infertility and accelerated aging. GM sugar appears to be a major avenue for the development of disease when the sheer quantities the average American consumes, an astonishing 130 pounds a year, is taken into account.
Many are beginning to see the connection with a high sugar diet and disease -- prompting individuals to avoid it as much as possible. Cantley sums it up in this way: "Sugar scares me." Now, with the widespread use of genetically modified sugar beets, the hazards of sugar are even more disturbing.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.