Will Bisin Make GMOs Look Good?

by Green Deane

in Blog

I have long criticized what I call chemists in the kitchen. They brought us such things as cancer-causing additives, artery-damaging trans-fats, insulin-skewing high fructose corn syrup, and untested Genetically Modified Organisms as food. That is not a good track record. These well-intended tinkerers have announced another success soon to be added to the food chain,  Bisin a “natural” substance that inhibits bacterial growth in food.

With a treatment of Bisin a sandwich can stay fresh on the shelf for a year, an open bottle of wine could remain good for years  (that it remains open only a matter of hours in my home makes that benefit seem irrelevant.) Fresh salad dressing could stay fresh for years…. you get the picture, food that will not rot.

Not only that but listen to the spin from the discoverer, microbiologist Dan O’Sullivan of the University of Minnesota:

(Bisin) seems to be much better than anything which has gone before,” O’Sullivan said. “It doesn’t compromise nutrient quality. We are not adding a chemical: We are adding a natural ingredient.”

To which I would say cyanide is a natural ingredient but…. As a “natural” product Bisin does not have to be pharmaceutically tested and could be in food within a year. It might be wonderful. But, what’s the possible down side?

If Bisin limits bacteria growth might it have the potential to severely compromise our internal flora? Gut bacteria is critically essential to good health. Basically it digests our food and makes up 80% of our immune system. Compromised gut bacteria can lead to a host of illnesses ranging from food intolerances to weight gain to immune diseases. We literally cannot survive without our “internal garden.” Antibiotics already upset that delicate function. A food additive that intentionally kills off bacteria could severely influence our health.  Consider: Bisin has already been shown to kill off the bacteria found in yogurt, which makes up a portion of our intestinal flora. What if Bisin makes our gut a bacterial no man’s land?

More so, the problems could manifest themselves immediately or take decades. We now know that what a newborn is fed can influence their gut bacteria and health for life, that you can predict an increase in certain illnesses as adults based upon gut bacteria as an infant. Is Bisin another trans-fat time bomb, a “safe” substance that will be consumed and take its toll for half a century before being removed?

While I have not read of said I can hear a counter argument getting dressed in the wings: The bacteria won’t survive the acidic stomach to make it to intestines, home sweet home zero for our bacteria. They said the same thing about specific elements in GMOs. They were wrong.

I don’t know if Bisin will slip quietly into the food supply or cause a firestorm but it should be something we should watch. One of the many reasons to forage is to have healthy gut bacteria. Hygiene in modern societies, while getting rid of infectious diseases, has has increased diseases related to impaired internal flora. That wild food we consume is more than just chemically free and un-engineered. It can also contain good bacteria that affects our fundamental health by improving our internal garden. The chemists in the kitchen may have just discovered another potential threat to our health, a threat they will enthusiastically add to the food chain untested as food.

We are, again, guinea pigs.

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