Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria that are engineered for a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural production to scientific research. The types of potential hazards posed by GMO’s vary according to the type of organism being modified and its intended application. Most of the concern surrounding GMO’s relates to their potential for negative effects on the environment and human health. Because GMO’s that could directly effect human health are primarily products that can enter the human food supply, this website focuses on genetically modified food. To date, the only types of products that have been approved for human consumption in the U.S. are genetically modified plants.
by Arjun Walia
Over the past few years, a number of countries have completely banned GMOs and the pesticides that go along with them, and they are doing so for a reason.
The latest country to consider a complete ban is Russia after top government scientists recommended at least a 10-year ban.
The truth is, we don’t know enough about GMOs to deem them safe for human consumption. Believe it or not the very first commercial sale of them was only twenty years ago. There is no possible way that our health authorities can test all possible combinations on a large enough population, over a long enough period of time to be able to say with absolute certainty that they are harmless.
There are a multitude of credible scientific studies that clearly demonstrate why GMOs should not be consumed, and more are emerging every year. There are also a number of scientists all around the world who oppose them.
By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment.The FDA has said that genetically modified organisms are not much different from regular food, so they’ll be treated in the same way. The problem is this, geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it horizontally into a totally unrelated species. Now David Suzuki doesn’t normally mate with a carrot and exchange genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other without regard to the biological constraints. It’s very very bad science, we assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically, applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion – Geneticist David Suzuki
If anybody ever tells you that we know with one hundred percent certainty that GMOs are totally safe to eat, they haven’t done their research. There is no reason GM foods should be approved safe for consumption, we just don’t know enough about them. We could easily feed the planet through organic, GMO-free methods, so there is absolutely no reason we need GM foods around.
Below I’ve presented just a bit of information to get you started on your research.
1. Multiple Toxins From GMOs Detected In Maternal and Fetal Blood
Research from Canada (the first of its kind) has successfully identified the presence of pesticides -associated with genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal and non-pregnant women’s blood. They also found the presence of Monsanto’s Bt toxin. The study was published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology in 2011.
Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the fetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach. Thus, our present results will provide baseline data for future studies exploring a new area of research relating to nutrition, toxicology and reproduction in women. Today, obstetric-gynecological disorders that are associated with environmental chemicals are not known. Thus, knowing the actual concentration of genetically modified foods in humans constitutes a cornerstone in the advancement of research in this area.”
The study used blood samples from thirty pregnant women and thirty non-pregnant women. The study also pointed out that the fetus is considered to be highly susceptible to the adverse affects of xenobiotics (foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced.) This is why the study emphasizes that knowing more about GMOs is crucial, because environmental agents could disrupt the biological events that are required to ensure normal growth and development.
2. DNA From Genetically Modified Crops Can Be Transferred Into Humans Who Eat Them
In a new study published in the peer reviewed Public Library of Science (PLOS), researchers emphasize that there is sufficient evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments carry complete genes that can enter into the human circulation system through an unknown mechanism.
In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The study was based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies. PLOS is an open access, well respected peer-reviewed scientific journal that covers primary research from disciplines within science and medicine. It’s great to see this study published in it, confirming what many have been suspected for years.
Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.
This still doesn’t mean that GMOs can enter into our cells, but given the fact GMOs have been linked to cancer (later in this article) it is safe to assume it is indeed a possibility. The bottom line is that we don’t know, and this study demonstrates another cause for concern.
3. New Study Links GMOs To Gluten Disorders That Affect 18 Million Americans
This study was recently released by the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), and uses data from the US department of Agriculture, US Environmental Protection Agency, medical journal reviews as well as other independent research. The authors relate GM foods to five conditions that may either trigger or exacerbate gluten-related disorders, including the autoimmune disorder, Celiac Disease:
- Intestinal permeability
- Imbalanced gut bacteria
- Immune activation and allergic response
- Impaired digestion
- Damage to the intestinal wall
The Institute for Responsible technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about GMO foods and crops. The institute reports and investigates on the impact GM foods can have on health, environment, agriculture and more.
4. Study Links Genetically Modified Corn to Rat Tumors
In November 2012, The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’ by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University.
It was a very significant study, which obviously looks bad for the big biotech companies like Monsanto, being the first and only long-term study under controlled conditions examining the possible effects of a diet of GMO maize treated with Monsanto roundup herbicide.
This study has since been retracted, which is odd, because the journal it was published in is a very well known, reputable peer reviewed scientific journal. In order for a study to be published here it has to go through a rigorous review process.
It’s also important to note that hundreds of scientists from around the world have condemned the retraction of the study. This study was done by experts, and a correlation between GMOs and these tumors can’t be denied, something happened.
The multiple criticisms of the study have also been answered by the team of researchers that conducted the study.
5. Glyphosate Induces Human Breast Cancer Cells Growth via Estrogen Receptors
A study is published in the US National Library of Medicine (4) and will soon be published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Several recent studies showed glyphosate’s potential to be an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system in mammals. These disruptors can cause developmental disorders, birth defects and cancer tumors.
Glyphosate exerted proliferative effects only in human hormone-dependent breast cancer. We found that glyphosate exhibited a weaker estrogenic activity than estradiol.
Furthermore, this study demonstrated the additive estrogenic effects of glyphosate and genisein which implied that the use of contaminated soybean products as dietary supplements may pose a risk of breast cancer because of their potential additive estrogenicity.
Researchers also determined that Monsanto’s roundup is considered an “xenoestrogen,” which is a foreign estrogen that mimics real estrogen in our bodies. This can cause a number of problems that include an increased risk of various cancers, early onset of puberty, thyroid issues, infertility and more.
All genetically modified foods that have been approved are considered by the government to be as safe as their traditional counterparts and are generally unregulated. However, there are several types of potential health effects that could result from the insertion of a novel gene into an organism. Health effects of primary concern to safety assessors are production of new allergens, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, and antibiotic resistance.
Make sure to read the rest of the article Naturalblaze.