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Is GMO Wheat Causing Gluten Problems?

One of the questions I have been pondering for a long time:  Is GMO Wheat Causing Our Gluten Problems?  I did some research and found this wonderful article by Jane Anderson, the About.com Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity expert. 

According to Jane, the short answer is NO!  You cannot blame GMO wheat for the rising gluten problems. But she does say ….

Hybridized Wheat May Be To Blame, Though

That doesn’t mean wheat hasn’t changed over the last half-dozen decades, though — it has, as the result of a process called hybridization. And some scientists (although not all) say those changes could be one cause of an increased inability to tolerate gluten.

In hybridization, scientists don’t tinker directly with the plant’s genome. Instead, they choose particular strains of a plant with desirable characteristics, and breed them to reinforce those characteristics. When this is done repeatedly, successive generations of a particular plant can look very different from the plant’s ancestors.

That’s what’s happened with modern wheat, which is shorter, browner and far higher-yielding than wheat crops were 100 years ago. Dwarf wheat and semi-dwarf wheat crops have replaced their taller cousins, and these wheat strains require less time and less fertilizer to produce a robust crop of wheat berries.

Jane continues her article by talking about Dr William Davis’s book,  Wheat Belly:

“Small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to wheat protein versus no immune response at all,” Davis writes. Modern wheat has been bred to contain more gluten, he says.

What is interesting, and something most people don’t think about, is realizing how much wheat products most Americans consume.  Bread, buns, pastries etc. have become the staples of diet over the last years.  According to Donald D. Kasarda, the U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist who authored the 2013 study on wheat also points out that so many of our processed foods are filled with extra gluten!

You can read his reports:

You can find Dr William Davis’s book on Wheat Belly (plus a few more on the subject here: