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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 13, 2010

SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

International Journal of Biological Sciences, Abstract, 2009 - We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified maize, which are present in food and feed in the world. . . Approximately 60 different biochemical parameters were classified per organ and measured in serum and urine after 5 and 14 weeks of feeding. GM maize-fed rats were compared first to their respective isogenic or parental non-GM equivalent control groups. This was followed by comparison to six reference groups, which had consumed various other non-GM maize varieties. . . Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.

Wikipedia
- A 2008 review published by the Royal Society of Medicine noted that GM foods have been eaten by millions of people worldwide for over 15 years, with no reports of ill effects. Similarly a 2004 report from the US National Academies of Sciences stated: "To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population." A 2004 review of feeding trials in the Italian Journal of Animal Science found no differences among animals eating genetically modified plants. A 2005 review in Archives of Animal Nutrition concluded that first-generation genetically modified foods had been found to be similar in nutrition and safety to non-GM foods, but noted that second-generation foods with "significant changes in constituents" would be more difficult to test, and would require further animal studies. However, a 2009 review in Nutrition Reviews found that although most studies concluded that GM foods do not differ in nutrition or cause any detectable toxic effects in animals, some studies did report adverse changes at a cellular level caused by some GM foods, concluding that "More scientific effort and investigation is needed to ensure that consumption of GM foods is not likely to provoke any form of health problem".

Physorg, 2005 - A recent Russian study says 55.6 percent of the offspring of female rats fed genetically engineered soy flour died within three weeks. The female rats reportedly received 5-7 grams of the Roundup Ready variety of soybeans, beginning two weeks before conception and continuing through nursing. By comparison, scientists said only 9 percent of the offspring of rats fed non-GM soy died.

Furthermore, Russian researchers said offspring from the GM-fed group were significantly stunted -- 36 percent weighed less than 20 grams after two weeks, compared with only 6.7 percent from the control group.

The study was conducted by Dr. Irina Ermakova of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology in Moscow, a part of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The study was presented during the recent conference of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine in Tucson, Ariz.

The AAEM board issued a statement saying: "We recognize this study is preliminary in nature. It hasn't yet been peer reviewed and the methodology has not been spelled out in detail. But given the magnitude of the findings and the implications for human health, we urge the National Institutes of Health to immediately replicate the research."

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7 Comments:

Blogger Lars said...

I strongly doubt the results of this study. As mentioned in one of the linked stories, it is perhaps the presence of one of the pesticides that causes the problems with the animals. To control for such an effect the authors should use controlled crops grown in both the presence and absence of pesticides.

With that said, I do not support the use of genetically modified crops. This is prinicipally because I do not believe corporations should have intellectual property rights over the seeds and crops used to feed us. More dangerous still is their engineering of plants to prevent them from producing fertile seeds that can be reused by farmers. This is a horrible idea. Widespread adoption of sterile crops could lead to a disaster if soemthing happens to the companies stocks of viable seeds and a majority of farmers/agribusiness operations cannot replant their crops. Lastly, it further increases the use of isogenic crops which if susceptible to disease could cause a disaster if some emerging plant pathogen appears on the scene. Genetic diversity in our food supply is a good thing. Those plants that survive some emerging pathogen could then be used to repopulate farms.

January 13, 2010 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also doubt it Lars, mainly because the authors published the same thing in 2007 and were thoroughly discredited by every national scientific body in the world. Now that may be a conspiracy but I'm not prone to believe that. I believe that the most obvious answer is usually the right one - i.e. this is just more green propaganda. The ends justify the means according to them... I'm just not sure that starvation justifies anything. Why won't they stick to seals and whales and leave the farming to the farmers?

January 13, 2010 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is a 2005 study (Ermakova) recent? Was it ever published in a journal?

January 13, 2010 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Rady Ananda said...

Other problems with Monsanto’s conclusions

When testing for drug or pesticide safety, the standard protocol is to use three mammalian species. The subject studies only used rats, yet won GMO approval in more than a dozen nations.

Chronic problems are rarely discovered in 90 days; most often such tests run for up to two years. Tests “lasting longer than three months give more chances to reveal metabolic, nervous, immune, hormonal or cancer diseases,” wrote Seralini, et al. in their Doull rebuttal. [See “How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects can be Neglected for GMOs, Pesticides or Chemicals.” IJBS; 2009; 5(5):438-443.]

Further, Monsanto’s analysis compared unrelated feeding groups, muddying the results. The June 2009 rebuttal explains, “In order to isolate the effect of the GM transformation process from other variables, it is only valid to compare the GMO … with its isogenic non-GM equivalent.”

The researchers conclude that the raw data from all three GMO studies reveal novel pesticide residues will be present in food and feed and may pose grave health risks to those consuming them.

They have called for “an immediate ban on the import and cultivation of these GMOs and strongly recommend additional long-term (up to two years) and multi-generational animal feeding studies on at least three species to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.”

Human health, of course, is of primary import to us, but ecological effects are also in play. Ninety-nine percent of GMO crops either tolerate or produce insecticide. This may be the reason we seebee colony collapse disorder and massive butterfly deaths. If GMOs are wiping out Earth’s pollinators, they are far more disastrous than the threat they pose to humans and other mammals.

Rady Ananda

January 14, 2010 9:18 AM  
Anonymous growing my own said...

Guess what, anon 10:33? The thing that's been discredited is the poison seed co., aka Monsanto, and Norman Borlaug's bullshit aka the green revolution. Whilst farmers by the tens of thousands in India commit suicide after being driven off their land by Borlaug/Rockefeller foundation's ploy to control the food supply, Monsanto and their lackeys dispense media spin via self-financed pseudoscience which mostly consist of unsubstantiated assertions from bozos like you.

January 14, 2010 10:05 AM  
Anonymous I ain't Linda Lovelace and I ain't swallowing it. said...

If Monsanto's artificial concoctions are so safe, why have they used the FDA, the USDA, and the justice (sic) system attempting to force their products down our throats? Why do they object to a consumer knowing their ingredients are in a foodstuff? Why did they spend years and millions in an unsuccessful attempt to forcefeed us RBGH?

January 14, 2010 10:38 AM  
Anonymous dirtball said...

I don't know much, but it looks to me like we're seeing the results of this huge uncontrolled gmo study (we've been consuming a lot of gmo foods since about the mid '90s): huge and unexplained increases in autism, diabetes, immune disorders, asthma, obesity, allergies.

February 2, 2010 1:04 AM  

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