photo: Peter Blanchard/Creative Commons
If you're worried about potential health problems with genetically modified crops, pay attention: A new paper published in Environmental Sciences Europe (h/t Institute for Responsible Technology reviews 19 studies of mammals fed GM soybean and corn as well as raw data from another one on rats and finds some disturbing results. From the abstract of the paper:
Several convergent data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects in the above-mentioned experiments. This was confirmed by our meta-analysis of all the in vivo studies published, which revealed that the kidneys were particularly affected, concentrating 43.5% of all disrupted parameters in males, whereas the liver was more specifically disrupted in females (30.8% of all disrupted parameters).
The paper also finds that, "other organs may be affected too, such as the heart and spleen, or blood cells."
The takeaway from all this, based on the author's conclusions, is that current testing programs for GM crops and health are simply not long enough to determine the long term effect of consumption of them on health in general and the kidneys and liver in specific. Potential chronic toxicity cannot be adequately determined by 90 day tests.
The authors state:
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. We are suggesting that the studies should be improved and prolonged, as well as being made compulsory, and that the sexual hormones should be assessed too, and moreover, reproductive and multigenerational studies ought to be conducted too.
Which seems a more than reasonable conclusion and suggestion. As would be requiring that food made from GM crops be labelled as such--but that would go entirely against the culture of corporate opacity that is the hallmark of Monsanto and other companies marketing GM crops and the associated pesticides.
By the way, the GM crops examined in these studies comprise some 80% of all GM crops cultivated in the world.
For some greater analysis of the study: GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 19 Studies
Read the original research: Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements
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