Studies Link GMO Foods to Organ DisruptionBy Eddie Sage on 19 December 2011 in blog, Health, News with 1 Comment
A new paper demonstrates that consuming genetically modified (GM) food leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice. Researchers reviewed data from 19 studies and found that parameters including blood and urine biochemistry and organ weights were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals.
The kidneys of males were the most affected, experiencing 43.5 percent of all the changes. The livers of females followed at more than 30 percent. Other organs may have been affected too, including the heart and spleen, and blood cells.
According to the Institute for Responsible Technology:
“The GM soybean and corn varieties used in the feeding trials ‘constitute 83 percent of the commercialized GMOs’ that are currently consumed by billions of people. While the findings may have serious ramifications for the human population, the authors demonstrate how a multitude of GMO-related health problems could easily pass undetected through the superficial and largely incompetent safety assessments that are used around the world.”
Further, the biotechnology firm Monsanto is only an FDA approval away from its latest monstrosity — soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats. That FDA approval is expected this year.
Monsanto plans to include GM soybean oil in every product it can — baked goods, baking mixes, breakfast cereals, cheeses, frozen dairy desserts, pasta, gravies and sauces, fruit juices, snack foods, candy, soups, and more.
According to Forbes:
“Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google’s first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is ‘Monsanto evil.’ Readers … voted Monsanto the world’s most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote.”
Scientists have also introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows in a process that they say will cause the cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk. They believe that this could provide an alternative to formula milk for babies.
Critics of GM technology questioned the safety of milk from genetically modified animals, and also its potential effect on the cattle’s health.
According to the Telegraph:
“The researchers used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows … [T]he researchers said they were able to create cows that produced milk containing a human protein called lysozyme.”
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
In the latest review of genetically modified organisms (GMO) -- an analysis of 19 animal studies -- it was revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the liver and kidneys faring the worst.
The studies involved animals fed GM soy and corn, which comprise more than 80 percent of all GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and exist in virtually every processed food sold in the United States.
Clearly the danger posed by GM crops is no longer theoretical, yet because GM foods are patented inventions that are protected under copyright and proprietary information laws, the corporations controlling the seeds only allow them to be studied under very limited conditions.
Rarely (if ever) do they permit them to be studied for safety by anyone but the USDA (who hasn't yet seen the need to conduct rigorous long-term studies), and rarely are they studied beyond 30 or 90 days.
The GM Foods You're Eating Have Only Been Studied for 90 Days – at Most!
As Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology states:
"Only two studies reviewed in this new publication were over 90 days—both were non-industry research."
In order to obtain the raw data from the 90-day studies, the researchers had to take court actions and make official requests, and the results suggested that the beginnings of chronic disease may have been starting in the animals' liver and kidneys. What would have occurred in six months, a year or five years down the line remains unknown, as the studies have never been done.
The researchers noted:
"The 90-day-long tests are insufficient to evaluate chronic toxicity, and the signs highlighted in the kidneys and livers could be the onset of chronic diseases. However, no minimal length for the tests is yet obligatory for any of the GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and this is socially unacceptable in terms of consumer health protection."
Further, when the data was reviewed in its entirety, the researchers found serious cause for concern that appeared to be overlooked by regulatory authorities:
"Some of these tests used controversial protocols which are discussed and statistically significant results that were considered as not being biologically meaningful by regulatory authorities, thus raising the question of their interpretations."
Given the obvious organ disruption that occurred in animals fed GM corn and soy for just 30-90 days, it is downright terrifying to think about what might happen to humans who eat these foods for a lifetime. The researchers state outright what the regulatory agencies have failed to acknowledge:
"We can conclude, from the regulatory tests performed today, that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species, especially since there is growing evidence of concern.
This is why we propose to improve the protocol of the 90-day studies to 2-year studies with mature rats."
Why You Need to Think Twice Before Eating GMOs
There's very convincing evidence that genetically modified foods spell nothing but trouble for your health. As Smith discusses in this interview, scientists have discovered a number of health problems related to genetically modified foods in general, however, these studies have been repeatedly ignored by both the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the only human feeding study ever published on genetically modified foods, seven volunteers ate Roundup-ready soybeans. These are soybeans that have herbicide-resistant genes inserted into them in order to survive being sprayed with otherwise deadly doses of Roundup herbicide.
In three of the seven volunteers, the gene inserted into the soy transferred into the DNA of their intestinal bacteria, and continued to function long after they stopped eating the GM soy!
There are serious medical implications to this finding.
However, the GM-friendly UK government, who funded the study, chose not to fund any follow up research to see if GM corn -- which is engineered to produce an insecticide called BT toxin -- might also transfer and continue to create insecticide inside your intestines.
These kinds of studies are sorely needed, and fast, because as of right now, about 85 percent of the corn grown in the US is genetically engineered to either produce an insecticide, or to survive the application of herbicide. And about 91-93 percent of all soybeans are genetically engineered to survive massive doses of Roundup herbicide.
What this means is that nearly ALL foods you buy that contain either corn or soy, in any form, will contain GMO unless it's certified organic by the USDA.
In this interview, Smith also mentions an Italian study where they fed BT corn to mice. As a result, the mice expressed a wide variety of immune responses commonly associated with diseases such as:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Various types of cancer
In addition, Smith has documented at least 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds. Among them:
Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
Beware of New GMO Products: Omega-3 Soybean Oil
GM crops have already invaded our food supply, and more GM –foods are in the pipeline, but you'd never know it because GM foods are unlabeled.
One of the latest creations from GM giant Monsanto is a genetically modified soybean that produces omega-3 fats. " Stearidonic acid (SDA) soybean oil, as the new product is called, is only one FDA approval away from becoming a reality, but although omega-3 fats are clearly healthy, omega-3 from GM soybean oil most likely certainly is not.
Not only do you need to get animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet for the most benefits, but also soybean oil is not a food you want to consume, especially if it has been manipulated to contain omega-3 fats. GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies, as well as has the potential to cause infertility in future generations, It's also one of the polyunsaturated vegetable oils you need to cut down on in your diet if you want better health.
Unfortunately, as Forbes reported;"Monsanto plans to include SDA soybean oil in just about everything: "baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and grains, cheeses, dairy product analogs, fats and oils, fish products, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, gravies and sauces, meat products,
… milk products, nuts and nut products, poultry products, processed fruit juices, processed vegetable products, puddings and fillings, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup mixes, at levels that will provide 375 milligrams (mg) of SDA per serving."
It's unclear whether the new SDA soybean oil will be listed on labels, but if you see "stearidonic acid (SDA) soybean oil" on a label, now you'll know what it is so you can avoid it.
The Latest Creation: GM "Breast Milk" From Cows
Researchers are also trying to produce "human" breast milk using genetically modified cows.
Scientists used cloning technology to introduce human genes into dairy cows to produce milk they say has the same properties as human breast milk and could provide an alternative to formula or human breast milk for babies in about 10 years.
Producing GM food for babies is alarming, as the process of moving genes around carries unpredictable risks. One study that looked at the insertion of a single gene into a human cell found that up to 5 percent of the genes had significantly changed their level of output.
This means that hundreds or thousands of genes could change their levels of protein expression when a single gene is inserted -- and even one change can be dangerous. As The Telegraph reported, already there were signs of trouble with the GM "human" cow milk studies:
" … During two experiments by the Chinese researchers, which resulted in 42 transgenic calves being born, just 26 of the animals survived after ten died shortly after birth, most with gastrointestinal disease, and a further six died within six months of birth."
Do You Know … You're Probably Eating GMOs?
I've gone on record saying that due to the amount of GM crops now grown in the United States (over 90 percent of all corn is GM corn and over 95 percent all soy is GM soy) EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label is filled with GM components.
So you're eating GM foods, and you have been for the last decade, whether you knew it or not. You can thank Congress for this, and the USDA and Monsanto. What ultimate impact these GM foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects.
As was recently stated in the NY Times:
"A majority of our foods already contain GMOs and there's little reason to think more isn't on the way. It seems our "regulators" are using us and the environment as guinea pigs, rather than demanding conclusive tests. And without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever."
Are You Ready to Avoid GMOs?
If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Sealto be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
If you're feeling more ambitious, you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure from the Institute of Responsible Technology in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GM seeds and avoid non-organic processed foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GM ingredients.
Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race, so everything you can do to avoid them is a step in the right direction for humankind.