Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives (2012) DVD review


I was provided a viewing link free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives is an award-winning documentary about GMOs, and was released in 2012.  This film is directed by Jeffrey Smith and narrated by Lisa Oz.  Jeffrey Smith is the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, as well as the author of several best selling books on the topic of GMOs.

My family tries to follow a healthy lifestyle, from what we put on our skin to what we eat, so I was very interested to see this film.  I have to admit, I was nervous to watch this documentary, because although we try to eat fresh, healthy foods, we have not been as careful about GMOs and staying current on this issue.

I had a basic understanding of genetically modified organisms, but this documentary explains things thoroughly, in terms that are easy to understand.  The film begins by talking about how GMOs have been around since the mid 1990’s, and there has been a noticeable increase in chronic diseases since that time.  Genetic Roulette attempts to make a connection between GMOs and higher incidences of illness.  In addition, the documentary suggests the same for animals that consume GMO foods, including livestock, lab animals, and even pets.  Genetic Roulette features interviews of people including mothers, scientists, doctors, and farmers, as they all share their experiences and how GMOs have impacted their lives.

I think many of us can relate to the increased incidences in the types of chronic illnesses that are mentioned in the Genetic Roulette documentary.  For example, allergies have increased quite a bit recently.  When I was a child, allergies were not as common, and now I have a daughter with a severe peanut allergy who has many classmates with food allergies.  I have noticed that my parent’s generation is often surprised when they hear about things like how many kids in my daughter’s preschool class have food allergies and how classrooms are frequently made nut-free (or accommodate other food allergies).  And the rates of infertility have risen quite a bit – chances are, you probably know someone who is struggling with infertility.  The documentary also suggests that autism could be a result of GMO’s, as animals given GMO feed exhibit the same kinds of behavior as autistic children.  Just a few decades ago, autism was more or less unheard of, and now I know many children who are autistic.  It is a scary thought that GMOs could possibly be linked to so many issues, especially since many have been increasing at a rather alarming rate.

Monsanto is the chemical company behind the production of GMO seeds.  Genetic Roulette points out that this is the same company that told the general public that DDT and Agent Orange were safe.  In the 1940’s, there was even an ad that touted “DDT is good for me”!  This documentary discusses what are thought to be many sneaky tactics that Monsanto has used to get their products through to the consumer without proper testing.  According to this film, Monsanto has a lot of political and monetary power.  Not only that, it is questionable if there are even any benefits to GMO crops!

Whether or not you are a believer in the dangers of GMOs, this documentary may have you questioning the foods that you choose.  I do know people who do not have concerns about GMOs, but I think many people can agree with the end of the DVD, which encourages consumers to demand proper food labeling.  If there is nothing wrong with GMOs, then why is there such an opposition to food labeling?

Throughout the world, there are many countries that have banned GMOs or required food labeling for consumers.  Some of the countries that require labeling are China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, and Chile.  Currently, several U.S. states are making moves to enact food labeling of GMOs.  For instance, just after this film came out in 2013, California voters rejected Prop 37, which would have made GMO food labeling mandatory.  It was a close vote, and had it passed, California would have been the first U.S. state to pass this legislation.  Now there are other movements in the works to try to get legislation passed.

Until food labeling hopefully becomes mandatory, you can look online for lists of products that are free of GMOs.  You can also find some products that are already labeled as non-GMO through the Non GMO Project.

As scary as this documentary is, there is hope that switching to a non-GMO diet can reverse the effects of consuming GMO foods.  People who stopped eating GMO foods have showed improvement with a variety of health issues.  Farmers that switched dying livestock to non-GMO foods were able to save their animals.  There is some reassurance that conditions brought on by GMOs could be reversed.

I am glad I had the chance to watch Genetic Roulette, as this film was eye-opening for me.  This was a nice format to learn about GMOs, as it was all presented clearly, and I don’t necessarily have the time to sit down and read a book on the same subject.  I like to be an educated, informed consumer, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about GMOs.

You can check out Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives at:

I was provided a viewing link free of charge in exchange for an honest review.







  1. 1
    Janet W. says:

    Very interesting! I think this would be very eye-opening for me, as well.

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