Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Genetically modified food proven to cause organ and endocrine damage

Finally, actual physical proof that genetically modified food causes organ damage. In an elegant recent French data analysis, three GM corn strains were shown to cause damage to rats fed the corn for 90 days. I won't go into too many specifics, the article in the International Journal of Biological Sciences can be read in full here. But for those of you not willing to wade through the medical terms and experimental facts, figures and graphs I will sum up as best I can.

  • Rats were fed three genetically modified corn strains (interestingly two of them were developed by Monsanto, my most hated large agro-conglomerate).
  • All three of these GM crops have genes in them that either tolerate mass exposure to the herbicide Roundup (therefore having Roundup residue in them) or manufacture their own pesticides. To quote the article "Therefore, all these three GM maize contain novel pesticide residues that will be present in food and feed."
  • Detrimental health effects were different for male and females, which is not surprising as pesticides and herbicides can interfere with endocrine functions.
  • "Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted."
The authors stress that this study was only conducted over a 90 day period and long term studies are necessary. If you think about it, we've all been eating GM food since they were introduced in the early 1990s. What really scares me is children who are exposed to GM food from infancy. Unless you buy organic the cereals, french fries, corn chips and cookies your kids are eating are mostly likely made from GM grains.

Even baby formula made from cow's milk is manufactured from cow's most likely fed GM corn. One more reason to buy organic! I shudder to think what this is doing to their little endocrine systems. I am lucky that we can afford organic formula and now milk. But, a lot of parents either can't afford it or don't think it's necessary.

The most interesting fact about this study is it wasn't conducted by the French authors. These data were actually collected by Monsanto or on behalf of Monsanto. The authors actually had to go to court to obtain the results as stated in this paragraph below:

"The raw biochemical data, necessary to allow a statistical re-evaluation, should be made publically available according to European Union Directive CE/2001/18 but unfortunately this is not always the case in practice. On this occasion, the data we required for this analysis were obtained either through court actions (lost by Monsanto) to obtain the MON 863 feeding study material (June 2005), or by courtesy of governments or Greenpeace lawyers. We thank the Swedish Board of Agriculture, May 30, 2006 for making public the NK 603 data upon request from Greenpeace Denmark and lawyers from Greenpeace Germany, November 8, 2006 for MON 810 material. This allowed us to conduct for the first time a precise and direct side-by-side comparison of these data from the three feeding trials with these GMOs."

12 comments:

  1. Wow. Why in the world would this be suppressed, when it makes such a difference in our health? I eat organic whenever I can, stay away from corn products in the first place, but GMO food is ubiquitous in the environment we live in! Thanks for this information, I hope it continues to be heard by others so that GMOs can be phased out. I know Big Money talks, but we are dying from this stuff!

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  2. After doing tons of personal research, and watching the wonderful documentary Food Inc. last August, my husband and I have switched to all organic foods. We just can't believe how many people do not understand what is going on with our food system and where all of our foods come from. Bravo for posting this article, maybe now more people will be more conscious about what they put in their mouths everyday.

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  3. Uhmmm. I need to redouble efforts to get a better garden in this year. Thanks for posting this info.

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  4. We are gradually moving to more and more organic foods and other products in our household. Findings like these are the main reason. Thanks for the information Kate.
    Judy

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  5. Ho hum, you can't really figure what to eat these days. We have to careful sometimes in buying food products especially veggies and fruits. I'm glad to know that most people nowadays are getting more aware of organic food.

    Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for Dad.

    AL

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  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing! We just watched Food Inc. in my high school Human Geography class and are having discussions about cattle raising methods, GMOs, and the situation of farmers who have to deal with big seed companies like Monsanto. I will pass this information along to my teacher!

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  7. Pity you didn't have StumbleUpon or Share, I would have done both. This is a serious issue and needs to be spread far and wide. Best I could do was refer and link on Tomus.

    AV

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  8. DJan: the info is suppressed because you are right: Big Money talks. Luckily people fight back.

    Mallory: and bravo to you for already deciding to eat better!

    Lynn: you CAN do a garden this spring! And to think that you guys get TWO growing seasons down there, you're so lucky!

    SQ: I'm so glad you're moving towards more organic! your body will thank you!

    AL: so glad to hear your dad is better, I was thinking of you all last week.

    Green Gal: I am so happy to hear that your school is showing you movies like Food Inc. thanks for passing this info on to your teacher!

    AV: I tried to add the Stumble thing to my site, couldn't figure it out, I'll have my geek husband look at it later when he's home. I'm better with animals than computers :) Thanks for putting the link on your site though, I hope the word does spread far and wide!

    thanks for reading everyone and taking this issue seriously, if the world fights back we can make a difference!

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  9. I mean really, just the words "genetically modified" should raise all kinds of red flags. This is something everyone should be made aware of.

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  10. Bravo Kate. We live in an area that is planted with GM corn crops which are thankfully regularly attacked by 'les faucheurs volontaires.' These are people who work alongside José Bové, controversial French activist, and hit the fields by night. Thank God they are there to keep the public eye on the ball.
    But it's ok for us - we can either afford to buy organic food, or are sufficiently educated/militant to prefer to pay for good food rather than lots of shiny new objects. What do the 'others' with tight budgets do when they are hit by mass marketing campaigns about feeding 'healthy' fruit and veges to their families cheaply? It's scandalous! One by one we can all get on board. But when will we find some more socially responsible food companies who are willing to stick their necks on the line and advertise only natural??? There's a whole basic population out there getting bad information that they don't have the strength or the education to question. And they need to be fed. So we fight in their names too...

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  11. Lisa: you are right, it should raise serious red flags!

    Ange: I wish I lived near you so I could see what this Jose Bove does to the fields, it sounds pretty cool! Bravo for him and his followers!!

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