Following is a synopsis of the inherent risks of GMO crops:
Long before most of us had ever heard of the term “GMO,” countless animal studies found serious health risks as well as specific disease processes associated with GMO food consumption—ranging from infertility, insulin disorders, blood disorders and intestinal damage, to stillbirths, tumors and early death. Source: http://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-risks/
Yet nearly two decades after genetic engineered crops have been on the shelves of your grocery store, no independent human testing has been performed to assess the potential health risks of GMOs. Why? The ag-bio companies won’t let it happen.
Emily Waltz explained it in her article published in Nature Biotechnology: “the crop industry’s strong-arm tactics and close-fisted attitude to sharing seeds is holding back independent research and undermining public acceptance of transgenic crops.” Source: http://www.emilywaltz.com/Biotech_crop_research_restrictions_Oct_2009.pdf
Scientific American magazine agreed: “Agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.” Scientists must literally ask these corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research/
Not surprisingly, no such permission has been granted in the last twenty years, except for studies that are crafted to put GMOs in a positive context.
In 2011, the scientific journal Science Direct published a study that documented significant conflict of interest in “research” done on the health risks and nutritional assessment of genetically modified products. “Where there was a conflict of interest, 100% of the studies (41 out of 41) made a favorable GM safety finding.” Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919210001302
Over 90% of genetic modification is devoted to the increased use of herbicides and pesticides (which coincidentally, the “ag-bio” corporations also manufacture for a very profitable closed loop). The top two genetically modified traits are:
• To enable the GMO plant to produce its own internal pesticide to kill or deter insects;
• To enable the GMO plant to remain alive when repeatedly sprayed with weedkillers.
(The third most common GMO plant is engineered to produce industrial chemicals and drugs.)
Unfortunately, after years of weedkiller use, weeds have been developing resistance. This requires farmers to spray their fields more often, which made the already resistant weeds become even more resistant—do a quick internet search using the term “super weed” to learn more about this epidemic. Source: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/article_f01139be-ace0-502b-944a-0c534b70511c.html
Once weeds evolved resistance to standard weedkillers, the ag-bio corporations began genetically modifying crops to tolerate even stronger weedkillers using 2,4-D—the key ingredient in “Agent Orange”—a deadly defoliant used during the Viet Nam war.
When you consider the impact of pesticides, and the frequency by which they are being found in streams, groundwater, surface water, soils, air, and even rain, the parallel between GMO crops and the use of pesticides is saturating our environment with a significant health risk. Source: http://gmo-awareness.com/resources/glyphosate/
Because the use of pesticides has increased dramatically since the advent of genetically engineered crops, GMOs deliver a double dose of chemicals to your dinner table—those manufactured inside the plant, and those sprayed onto the plant. (Or triple, if you count how much these sprayed chemicals leach into soil and groundwater…). Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X20121002
A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in early 2012 explains it best: “Insecticidal Bt toxins such as those produced in genetically engineered plants can be detrimental to human cells. Researchers at the University of Caen (France) showed that toxins produced in, for example, the genetically engineered maize MON810, can significantly impact the viability of human cells.” Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.2712/abstract
One of the biggest assurances that pro-GMO manufacturers and scientists continue to make is how “safe” genetically engineered crops are. One of their primary arguments behind this assurance is that “new genes introduced in GM food are harmless, since all genes are broken up and rendered inert during digestion.”
Unfortunately, multiple studies are disproving this marketing claim. The first study done in the U.K. indicated a clear potential for release of genetically altered DNA in human digestive tracts. Source: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scp/out03_en.html
A second study in China showed that ingested plant microRNA — such as the genetically modified bits containing the internal pesticide — not only survive digestion, but influence human cell function. Source: http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/full/cr2011158a.html
A third study in Norway found “pieces of genetically modified DNA in large enough segments to be identified in blood, muscle tissue and liver.” Source: http://sciencenordic.com/growing-fatter-gm-diet
The fourth study done in New Zealand found that the DNA in genetically engineered wheat was able to withstand digestion (even after cooking) and circulate throughout the body, where it amplified and “altered gene expression in the animal.” Source: http://www.sott.net/article/252745-GM-wheat-may-permanently-alter-human-genome-spark-early-death
The most recent study by Hungarian scientists analyzed over 1,000 human samples from four independent studies to find evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation, and through an unknown mechanism, enter the human circulation system. Source: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069805
Want more? View a list of 65 Health Risks associated with GMOs, as documented in the movie Genetic Roulette:
If consuming GMOs have proven to be harmful to animals, if GMOs are saturating our environment (and our dinner plate) with pesticides, if the modified DNA of GMOs is surviving digestion and influencing human cell function, it’s time we just said NO to GMOs.