GM—Genetic Molestation.

The reaction against genetically modified crops is not mere romanticism. Most GMO crops/seeds are linked to pesticides and pesticides, by their nature, are life-threatening. The companies selling these seeds are the same companies selling farmers herbicides and pesticides. The overall process is feudal with a twist: reducing independent farmers to a form of serfdom—using expensive, untested technolgies as the mechanism.

What is greatly needed is independent research and some of that is already available, no matter how much money companies like Monsanto throw at “bought” research.

The following post in the Food Freedom Blog is a useful reference. It, in turn references the work of GILLES-ERIC SERALINI who summarizes the current situation as follows: {DG}

99% of the GM Foods distributed in the world are plants which produce or tolerate pesticides. Four plants represent 98% of GM Foods (soy, corn, cotton and colza). 97% of those plants are grown on the American continent (US, Argentina and Canada). The research focuses on plants that produce their own insecticide and on those that are tolerant to herbicides. Those plants are only adapted to the industrial and western countries, they don’t resist drought or frost. They are not adapted to the climate in poor countries and anyway, there is no market in those countries. The sowing of GM Foods is expensive and those plants are patented. They just make the farmer’s life easier, for intensive practices giving him less work.

But the European Commission’s General Bureau for Agriculture believes that in the end the production is no better. What is more some of those plants grow back again even with herbicides, so in the long run farmers will have to use more and more of those products. They will probably become more and more dependent on the market of the pesticides.

Now we can see huge companies organise and buy farms and smallholdings. Not only are the pesticides very expensive, but they also poison the farmers who use them. One farmer in six is the victim of pesticide problem. This is how we use science to serve the main agricultural industry, which produces and uses pesticides.

We fight to free the world from those intensive methods, which eventually exploit mankind and earth. We fight to foster alternative methods using integrated systems including biological fighting, ecological culture, diversified methods which many times turned out to be very efficient, like the traditional Chinese agriculture which is able to feed close populations and reduce the use of pesticides.’

Also interesting is the following (qv):


Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage

By Rady Ananda

In what is being described as the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers have linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto’s GM maize.

Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities. The data used for this approval, ironically, is the same data that independent researchers studied to make the organ damage link.

The Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and Universities of Caen and Rouen obtained Monsanto’s confidential raw data of its 2002 feeding trials on rats after a European court made it public in 2005.

The data “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system,” reported Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen.

Although different levels of adverse impact on vital organs were noticed between the three GMOs, the 2009 research shows specific effects associated with consumption of each, differentiated by sex and dose.

Their December 2009 study appears in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (IJBS). This latest study conforms with a 2007 analysis by CRIIGEN on Mon 863, published in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, using the same data.

Monsanto rejected the 2007 conclusions, stating:

“The analyses conducted by these authors are not consistent with what has been traditionally accepted for use by regulatory toxicologists for analysis of rat toxicology data.”

[Also see Doull J, Gaylor D, Greim HA, et al. “Report of an expert panel on the reanalysis by Séralini et al. (2007) of a 90-day study conducted by Monsanto in support of the safety of a genetically modified corn variety (MON 863).” Food Chem Toxicol. 2007; 45:2073-2085.]

In an email to me, Séralini explained that their study goes beyond Monsanto’s analysis by exploring the sex-differentiated health effects on mammals, which Doull, et al. ignored:

“Our study contradicts Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects significant health effects in mammals that are different in males and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose. This is a very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of Monsanto crude statistical data.”

Other problems with Monsanto’s conclusions

When testing for drug or pesticide safety, the standard protocol uses three mammalian species. The subject studies only used rats, yet won GMO approval in more than a dozen nations.

Chronic problems are rarely discovered in 90 days; most often such tests run for up to two years. Tests “lasting longer than three months give more chances to reveal metabolic, nervous, immune, hormonal or cancer diseases,” wrote Seralini, et al. in their Doull rebuttal. [See “How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects can be Neglected for GMOs, Pesticides or Chemicals.” IJBS; 2009; 5(5):438-443.]

Further, Monsanto’s analysis compared unrelated feeding groups, muddying the results. The June 2009 rebuttal explains, “In order to isolate the effect of the GM transformation process from other variables, it is only valid to compare the GMO … with its isogenic non-GM equivalent.”

The researchers conclude that the raw data from all three GMO studies reveal novel pesticide residues will be present in food and feed and may pose grave health risks to those consuming them.

They have called for “an immediate ban on the import and cultivation of these GMOs and strongly recommend additional long-term (up to two years) and multi-generational animal feeding studies on at least three species to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.”

Human health, of course, is of primary import to us, but ecological effects are also in play. Ninety-nine percent of GMO crops either tolerate or produce insecticide. This may be the reason we see bee colony collapse disorder and massive butterfly deaths. If GMOs are wiping out Earth’s pollinators, they are far more disastrous than the threat they pose to humans and other mammals.

Further Reading

Health Risks of GM Foods, Jeffrey M. Smith

Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops, Union of Concerned Scientists

Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years, The Organic Center

Published in the March issue of Z Magazine.


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