By: Dr. Mercola
July 3, 2012
The authors of the report GMO Myths and Truthsii took a science-based approach to evaluating the available research, and came to the conclusion that most of the scientific evidence regarding safety and increase yield potential do not support the claims made at all. In fact, the evidence demonstrates that the claims for genetically engineered foods are not just wildly overblown; they simply aren’t true…
The featured article summarizes the evidence presented, which shows that genetically engineered (GE) crops:
- Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GE crops
- Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
- Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
- Do not increase yield potential
- Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
- Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
- Have mixed economic effects
- Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
- Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
- Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
- Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on
The authors of this critical report include Michael Antoniou, PhD, who heads the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College at London School of Medicine in the UK. He’s a 28-year veteran of genetic engineering technology who has himself invented a number of gene expression biotechnologies; as well as John Fagan, PhD, a leading authority on food sustainability, biosafety, and GMO testing.
If you want to get an in-depth understanding of genetically engineered foods, I highly recommend reading their reportiii, which covers the ins-and-outs of genetic engineering and the disturbing findings of a large number of scientific studies.
Three Sources of Adverse Health Effects from Genetically Engineered Foods
- The genetically modified (GM) gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops – may be toxic or allergenic
- The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value
- Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism (GMO) may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops
I’ve already written quite extensively on all three of these. You can locate all previous articles written on genetically engineered foods on my dedicated GMO page. To give you an example of these adverse health effects, when Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt corn was approved, Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assured everyone that only insects would be hurt by the Bt toxin produced by these plants. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact at all.
They were proven wrong when doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the toxin circulating in the blood stream of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant womenv. Shockingly, the toxin was identified in 93 percent of pregnant women, 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67 percent of non-pregnant women tested.
The Bt crop varieties were first introduced to the market in 1996, and since then, many of the disorders that have subsequently been linked to Bt crops have risen exponentially. The fact that the toxin is flowing through our blood supply and passes through the placenta is a potent indicator that the Bt crop varieties cannot be considered harmless at all. For example, government-sponsored research in Italyvi showed a wide range of immune responses in mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn.