Pregnant. Image credit:by Miky Jpeg, Flickr
A first-ever report of such findings, documenting trace levels of Bt protein (Cry1Ab) measured in a majority of (30) pregnant and (39) non-pregnant Canadian women tested, could indicate a serious health risk...or not. (More research is needed to determine if significant public health risks are indicated by this limited data.) Hopefully some informed answers will be forthcoming from FDA and USDA, and from the Canadian authorities, as well.
See the coverage in India Today (GM food is a hot political topic in India.) An excerpt from the abstract of the peer-reviewed paper and related links are presented below.Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada
by: Aziz Arisa, & Samuel Leblanc
Pesticides associated to genetically modified foods (PAGMF), are engineered to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate (GLYP) and gluphosinate (GLUF) or insecticides such as the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between maternal and fetal exposure, and to determine exposure levels of GLYP and its metabolite aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), GLUF and its metabolite 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) and Cry1Ab protein (a Bt toxin) in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Blood of thirty pregnant women (PW) and thirty-nine nonpregnant women (NPW) were studied. Serum GLYP and GLUF were detected in NPW and not detected in PW. Serum 3-MPPA and CryAb1 toxin were detected in PW, their fetuses and NPW. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.
Keywords: Pregnant women; Maternal and fetal blood; Nonpregnant women; Genetically modified foods; Glyphosate; Gluphosinate; Cry1Ab
Full abstract and paper are available for purchase at Science Direct
The authors suggest that the primary exposure route of the measured Bt was human consumption of meat (presumably from animals fed Bt corn). This statement seemingly would not preclude the possibility that some could come from from dairy products produced by animals fed Bt corn; or, by direct human consumption of Bt-corn and Bt-corn products. Obviously, more research is needed along several lines of inquiry to get at such questions.
A pair of key questions can be addressed without further research, however: 'Did FDA and USDA consider this potential human exposure route when the original go-ahead was given to commercialize Bt-corn; and, what did Bt-corn patent holders tell permitting agencies in regard to likelihood of whether such exposures would or would not occur?'
The BioSafety Information Centre has posted the full report here.
This is going to be interesting.