Part II – Dr. Michael Wald
Dr. Michael Wald, aka, the Blood Detective, is the director of nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, P.C. Dr. Wald has appeared numerous times on Fox Five News, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 Westchester News & ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. He is double-board certified in nutrition; is a certified dietician-nutritionist (CDN); a certified nutritional specialist (CNS); a certified clinical nutritionist (CCN); he holds a postgraduate degree in chiropractic (DC) from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic; a master’s degree (MS) from the University of Bridgeport. He earned an MD degree from the University of Health Sciences School of Medicine, Antigua; and was past Director of Education for the International & American Association of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN) – the largest nutrition organization in the United States. Dr. Wald has published over a dozen books, writes regular health articles, lectures across the United States and internationally, and has developed the Blood Detective software program that allows him to interpret massive amounts of blood lab results finding problems and creating healing solutions for his patients. He has also developed a nutritional product line that is being used nationally by health care providers and the public. His newest books due for publication in 2013 are entitled, The Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets, Frankenfoods: Genetically Modified Foods…Your Questions Answered and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Well Without Gluten.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello we are back I’m Caryn Hartglass, you’re listening to It’s All About Food, thank you! So I hope you enjoyed that last half hour I did, sometimes I like to mix it up a little bit and get a little philosophical, a little food for thought there, things to digest, that you don’t normally think about. And now we’re going to talk about nutrition because people can’t ever get enough of it I think, at least people are always asking me questions. So I’m going to bring on my next guest, Dr. Michael Wald, aka the Blood Detective, he is the director of nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, Dr. Wald has appeared numerous times on Fox 5 news, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 Westchester News, and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. He is double board certified in nutrition, is a certified dietitian, nutritionist, a certified nutritional specialist, and a certified clinical nutritionist, he holds a post-graduate degree in chiropractic from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, a Master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport, and he earned an MD degree from the University of Health Sciences School of Medicine Antigua and was past director of education for the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists, the largest nutrition organization in the United States. He’s published over a dozen books, writes regular health articles, lectures across the US and internationally, and has developed the blood detective software program that allows him to interpret massive amounts of blood lab results finding problems and creating healing solutions for his patients. He’s also developed a nutritional product line that is being used nationally by health care providers and the public. His newest books due for publication in 2013 are entitled the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets, Frankenfoods and Genetically Modified Foods: Your Questions Answered, and A Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live well Without Gluten. Welcome to It’s All about Food, Dr. Wald.
Dr. Wald: Hi it’s seems like it’s all about my Bio I apologize about that.
Caryn Hartglass: What do you mean?
Dr. Wald: It’s pretty long.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh no it’s good I like people to know who I’m talking to and to just give a quick taste before we jump into the details.
Dr. Wald: That’s great.
Caryn Hartglass: And you know I’d like to know more about who I’m talking to so, it was all, it’s all good as I always say, it’s all good. Ok so the thing is for a very long time most medical doctors have known very little about nutrition. And that has led us down, I could even say, a deadly path almost. In some instances, it’s so important for those of us who are interested in health, and for those who are interested in healing, to include nutrition as one of those tools, and it looks like you’ve done your job and learned a lot about nutrition.
Dr. Wald: I’ve done my best over time there’s no doubt about it. I think the point to make here is that
everyone needs to be concerned about nutrition and the latest information on genetically modified foods changes the whole landscape of food and nutrition, upside down.
Caryn Hartglass: Well that’s interesting and I want to hear a lot more about it because a lot of times when we talk about the genetically modified food, we don’t talk about the health aspect, we talk about what it may be, may or may not be doing to the environment, but there’s so little information, the companies that promote genetically modified foods haven’t really done the testing on humans especially, so we don’t really know.
Dr. Wald: Absolutely right, that point that you bring up, that there really has not been much human testing, particularly in long turn studies, you say it’s a matter of fact, but that’s a point that seems to be completely ignored by I think, the companies that produce genetically modified seeds such as Monsanto, and also the FDA and other geneticists and scientists that seem to be just perfectly fine with using the, I’d say its population and the world at large, as the testing ground before careful specific scientific studies have been done, so you’re absolutely right, I don’t think this study’s been there, which I suppose, that makes me of the position that I do not believe personally that a person should be consuming genetically modified foods, at least not until proper studies have been done.
Caryn Hartglass: I agree with you but I’ve heard many of the arguments and one of the arguments is there’s this grey area where foods have been hybridized or changed at the genetic level, not genetically modified in the engineer term that we use today, but have been modified genetically over time through nature, through variety of different techniques, over hundreds of years and we may or may not be suffering from some of that, those foods were never tested and some of them have adapted to, some of them maybe we haven’t and we might be seeing some repercussions from that, but a lot of the scientists way that we’ve been eating foods that have been morphed in one way or another for many many years, why would genetically modified foods be considered any different.
Dr. Wald: That’s great the way you put that question and that was a question I was asked on Fox News recently as well, I think this is the answer in a nutshell is that the production of genetically modified foods, the whole science behind producing those foods, is not anything whatsoever like natural selection which is basically what you meant where we have nature, through a period of time, and we have various foods reacting to the environment, some of them live, some of them don’t, some of them have their genetic materials altered to adapt to the environment, and that’s what’s called natural selection, which occurs over the course of hundreds of thousands of millions of years, since the beginning of time, there were plants, foods were available on this planet. So the big controversy at least had to put out there, is that, “then how could genetically modified foods in a laboratory be any different”. well a couple of reasons I think, well for one, in nature, we don’t have, salmon for example having sex with tomatoes, so we just don’t have that kind of, that wouldn’t happen in natural selection, so we’re producing a DNA strains and foods that are unlike anything we’ve adapted to or have had the opportunities to slowly adapt to or over the course of evolution. Even that doesn’t necessarily make it bad I’ll admit, but there’s another point, the method, one of the methods used toenetically modify foods to produce GMO foods, as they’re called, is using a gene gun, which is used as the ballistic method, where basically, genes are blasted into DNA, so for example, if scientists want, and I’m making this up completely, if scientists want, let’s say, tomatoes to have more resistance to frost, they might blast those tomatoes with salmon genes because cold water fish do well in cold, and they blast these desired genes into the food, in this case the tomato, and they hope that those genetic characteristics that they want actually show up, and they change the sequence of the genes. Now here’s something you don’t here too much about potential danger, which simply have not been proven, or disproven in either way, but we know they could theoretically happen, is that when you blast these genes into a DNA sequence, that’s genetics, you change the entire sequence of the genetic code. So lets say you’re adding 2 genes, which is a common number of genes you might add, let’s say from the salmon to the tomato, if you have a sequence of blocks if you can visualize that in your mind, in a row, but you add 2 more blocks, everything else is altered in sequence because of those simple small insertions, and that can change how, change how the DNA of that food, let’s say in this case the tomato, expresses. So genes in humans or in plants, they express certain traits, and if you over-express certain DNA and Genes, that is what causes many kinds of cancer, and if you under express certain genes, that can create other health problems, and these who have done over and under expression of genes which can result from these haphazard methods of genetic modification are known to sometimes produce these, totally unpredictable side effects, so that’s one concern. I don’t know if you wanted to comment on that before I continue.
Caryn Hartglass: Please continue.
Dr. Wald: And in addition to that we have to use a real life example, we have corn, most of the corn, not all, but most of the corn in the United States, is what’s called BT corn, which basically means it’s a pesticide factory corn literally produces pesticide. So any corn that anyone eats here that is not GMO free, “organic” with quotations around it, are consuming corn that has been genetically modified to be a drug factory. Now, the problem with that is that pesticides are potentially toxic, and the proper studies have simply not been done to suggest that the amount of consumption that the average human being consumes in terms of corn that were not that safe, safe in a long term, there’s been a few animal studies and a couple of human studies that suggest concern. They’re not definitive by any means but they certainly open up the question of more study to be done, but unfortunately those days are over as far as GM corn is concerned, genetically modified corn, the corn is out there, and once your put these foods out there, particularly corn which is involved in pollination across pollination, you can’t take that out of the environment, that’s finished.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s a very sad sad situation, now the thing is you probably know as when I read your bio you got this program to interpret massive amount of blood lab results, but part of the problem is that people who have a myriad of health problems these days, it can be really difficult to target what is the cause and many of, many times it’s not even one thing that’s the cause, it’s lots of things that are problematic so, I imagine it would be really hard to test whether genetically modified foods are problematic or not.
Dr. Wald: Again, that’s a very accurate statement, and let’s assume for a minute, it certainly is problematic, no one is arguing with that, not impossible, but problematic and even if it was problematic, which I believe it is, that certainly of course doesn’t mean we don’t want to make attempts for public safety reasons to do proper studies, particularly when there have been some studies in humans that show potential issues, now when we look at genetically modified foods, we’ve been consuming them in one form or another for about 15 years, and there was a geneticist who criticized what’s called, what’s known as the French study of genetically modified foods which showed all these problems.
Caryn Hartglass: I remember I was so excited when that came out.
Dr. Wald: And as you know, there was one individual who said, well listen “If we’ve been consuming these foods for 10 or 15 years, why aren’t we dropping like flies?”, and when I was asked this question on Fox recently, I said, “Well, we are”. The instance of chronic generative diseases is on the rise, the so called infectious diseases and food poisoning, instances have increased, maybe it’s not food poisoning, maybe it’s GMO foods. We just do not know but because of an increase of a variety of different cancers, diabetes, etc etc, it cannot be ruled out that the cause of that is not some ingredient in our diet that we’re all eating all the time, and have been for about a decade or more, which fits exactly with the introduction of GMO foods.
Caryn Hartglass: Well here’s the real sad part, the main reason we have GMO foods is because it’s a product that can be sold and can be patented and can be profited from, and if these companies that were producing genetically modified food really were altruistic, and really meant what they say to the public, how they want to feed the hungry, and how they want to create enough food for the growing population around the world, they would be investing in very different techniques, in distribution and in farming techniques and in getting the water to the crops and fertilizing the soil, but instead, genetically modified foods encourage us to use the worst possible agricultural techniques, mono-cropping and using pesticides and herbicides, and if anybody really looked into what this was all about, it’s all about profit unfortunately.
Dr. Wald: Yeah and I think your point is well taken, and there’s another simpler issue I think too, and that is, and you said it, food distribution. There are many, many of the sites like Stop Hunger Now for example, one of the bigger organizations committed to resolving the hunger crisis on the planet, even they say on their own website that it is not a shortage of food that is the cause of world hunger, it’s the problems with distribution of the food, they estimate that the for the average individual on the planet, there’s four and a half pounds of food already for them. So the pro-GMO people are taking, I think, an unethical sort of stance by claiming those that are against genetically modified foods somehow don’t want to help solve world hunger, because genetically modified foods, they claim, that’s a whole other conversation, will increase the yields, and help world hunger, when it’s not an issue with a lack of food, but distribution of food, so I think when I hear arguments like that, and I want to be open-minded and not biased to this whole situation, but when I hear untruth like that, it certainly brings up some doubt in my mind. You know, a couple of months ago, when I was researching for my book Frankenfoods: Genetically Modified Foods, I watched quite a lot of videos, and happened to come across a Dr. Oz video show where he was interviewing a woman from Monsanto, or a geneticist I believe from Monsanto, and he asked her, “Well what about the concern of safety and cancer in humans and the need for more study”, and I knew in a moment after she gave her answer, that there was really an ethical problem here, that I suspected before, it just really hit me home when she said, we do not need any more studies, human beings have been eating this food, and the process of the genetic modification of food is identical and equivalent, and she might not have said identical, but she said equivalent to natural selection of foods, which any respectful geneticist knows is completely untrue. So when you hear that plus this is, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but this is something I’ve never seen before on that same show, or it may have been a different show, there were 2 different individuals that are, one of them was the author of Seeds of Deception, one of the better books out there on genetically modified foods, they had that gentleman and someone else on the stage and they said “We’re going to do something on the show that we’ve never done before, we’re going to interview these 2 gentlemen and we’re going to have them leave the stage, and then we’re going to have a representative from Monsanto come on the stage”. It amazes me and as you know, having done media, that what happened is Oz wanted the ratings and he called these people up and then the powers at Monsanto said “Listen, we’re not going first, we want to go second”, and they insisted on separating them like children in a playground that were fighting, which is really sad to me when we can’t get to the issues and we have to play those kinds of games. The individuals that were against the GMO were very well spoken and I think 100% accurate in the issues that they brought up, and some of the concerns I have, I just let you know of, some of the statements made by the Monsanto person were just shocking to me, that was the turning point in my thinking that there’s a lot more to this issue than meets the eye.
Caryn Hartglass: Now, what we need are more doctors like yourself who are familiar with nutrition and are speaking out about gluten, I mean GMOs, gluten is a whole another conversation, and unfortunately many doctors just don’t know enough. When you treat patients, have you ever thought that genetically modified foods were affecting any of them, even though it’s kind of hard to know for sure?
Dr. Wald: Sure, well you know, it’s my job to maintain what I call, and I certainly didn’t make this term up, a holistic-mindedness, it is true that medicine and medical physicians can be very very narrow -minded, of course that’s a generalization it’s not true in every case of course, but the same is also true for holistically minded people too. I wanted to be very sure that I wasn’t simply jumping on the bandwagon and saying that GMOs were bad without good reason. Now to answer your question, I’ve been aware of GMO technologies for a while ever since back in, I believe it was the 80′s, the first GMO supplement tryptophan caused several dozen deaths, I believe about 80 deaths of people due to bacterial contamination. It was purported but more recent evidence that’s available through the freedom of information act suggest that those foods, first of all, they definitely were genetically modified, and that looks like that was the issue and toxic byproducts produced by the genetically modified process caused a condition known as Eosinophilia–myalgia syndrome, now you said something earlier which relates to this. You said well, isn’t it problematic to figure out if genetically modified foods are the cause, how can you do that? Well eating them, etc, it’s not different than gluten by the way but here’s one thing, this is why it is difficult, with tryptophan, people developed symptoms very suddenly, there were acute symptoms, and it was easy to link it to tryptophan, and they linked it to all tryptophan on the market, even tryptophan under many different brands, which was confusing at first since they realized only one Japanese manufacture made all the tryptophan and they were genetically modifying it, and when they changed the process is when this problem happened. Now, that was an acute reaction. Assuming for a moment that genetically modified foods are causing problems in human beings over the course of years and decades, which by the way is how most problematic foods cause disease. The genesis of the disease is over months to years to decades and that’s not unusual, which is why we use animals, unfortunately who had shorter life spans, to see things before the scientists themselves are dead, the point is because the consumption of GMO, over the past ten to fifteen years. It doesn’t have acute toxins, it may have a slow build-up of health problems, which makes this a difficult issue, but not an impossible one. There are studies done all the time about problematic nutrients and all kinds of influences on human health, and that’s why we use human studies. We are left with extrapolating most of our information from animal studies, and that was what was done in the French study and the study had issues, I admit, just like most scientific studies have issues, and I just find it convenient that when the powers that be want to disavow a study’s credibility, they nitpick at problems, well if you did that with most studies, this is quoting the American Medical Association themself, that 80% of procedures and practices in medicine, they don’t even have proper studies, and this is what forms medical healthcare.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s pretty scary isn’t it?
Dr. Wald: Yes, it’s quite scary.
Caryn Hartglass: Ok, so what are some of the solutions you recommend for your patients.
Dr. Wald: Well the first thing I think is that people have to be aware of what GMO foods might be, if they choose to avoid them. So I’ll name some of the foods now if you’d like, but also on my website I have longer lists and a lot, I mean dozens of pages of information on this, a bit more detail, but things like honey and soybeans, virtually all soy is genetically modified, sugarcane, corn as I mentioned, genetically modified to produce a pesticide, canola oil, potatoes, flax, papaya, squash, tobacco. You can think of meat because cows are fed genetically modified foods.
Caryn Hartglass: Well most of the soy grown in this country is fed to animals.
Dr. Wald: Exactly, exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: But what about, there is organic soil, and we know that’s not genetically modified.
Dr. Wald: Right, let’s speak about that for a minute. I produce a number of products as you mentioned, one of them is a health bar that I wanted to have it say genetically, you know, GMO free. So of course I have to look into all these labeling laws, and I found a few things out. First of all, the labeling of products, in terms of GMO-free or not, is voluntary by the manufacturer. If I call up the manufacturer of my health bar and say “I want you to put GMO-free on my bar”, they’re going to do it, and guess what, it might not be GMO free, so this is a huge problem. Now you say organic, now, by definition it’s true that if something says organic, it’s not supposed to contain something artificially produced like GMO foods. But because of cross-contamination, etc, which is problematic, and comes up all the time as an issue, a person could never really know. And then you have certain farms that may have a combination of GMO-free and not GMO-free, and they actually have some technology on the farms where they can do testing to see the content of the DNA protein in genetically modified foods, and I’m not so sure I trust the average farmer to interpret that and do it correctly, etc etc. The point is, there’s a lot really based on chance. On my website, I do distinguish at least what’s purported to be GMO-free, so for example, if something says 100% organic, it’s not supposed to contain GMO. But even 100% organic foods, forget GMO for a minute, doesn’t mean that they’re fully organic and they never did. When something is said to be 100% organic, there is a legal limit of a certain amount of chemical pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide that might be in those foods. Maybe it’s in the farm next door when they spray and that’s in the air, etc etc. We’ve really created a very very problematic situation but what can people do? Of course, get educated. Number 2: avoid foods that certainly we know are genetically modified, and do our best to choose foods that are not, if we feel so strongly about it. The other thing too is that improving one’s overall health and wellbeing and choosing foods that are not genetically modified, I do believe is a smart thing to do. I have three kids and we do not eat genetically modified foods where we can help it. I taught my kids not to be overly crazy, if you go to a friend’s house or a party and they have corn or there’s some tomato, because I don’t want to create too much craziness but it’s balanced with a certain amount of education.
Caryn Hartglass: Dr. Wald, we just have a minute left so I just want to ask you, what is the website you’ve been referring to?
Caryn Hartglass: Ok, thank you very much and thank you for all of your work and what you’re doing, we need more people out there fighting this good fight like you, and I just wanted to say that there’s in Washington State, they’re going to be fighting to get products, GMO products, labeled, and we need to support that in any way we can because just like in all the other states that have tried to get products labeled, Monsanto and other companies have come in and put a lot of money in to win those fights.
Dr. Wald: Absolutely, thank you very much.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you so much for joining me in It’s All About Food.
Trascribed by Brandon Chung, July 22, 2013