GMOs in Food and Agriculture
GMO DNA could cross-transfer into genes of plants, animals and humans; there is scientific evidence that it could jump species: GM DNA can persist in plant debris and soil residues long after the GMO crop has been cultivated, plus the GM transgene for glyphosate tolerance was found in human digestive systems after eating GMO soy; scientists also found that the GM genes transferred to bacteria in the human gut, according to a June 2010 report by the Institute of Science in Society. In fact, said the report, due to its inherent design to be able to “jump” into genomes, genetically engineered DNA may actually be more successfully transferred into other organisms. Source: Institute of Science in Society, June 2010.
European researchers at the University of Caen studied data on 90-day feeding trials on rats. They concluded that three varieties of GMO corn — Mon 810, Mon 863, and NK 603 — which were approved for consumption by U.S., European, and other food safety authorities — are linked to organ damage in mammals, including “adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system.”
Source: de Vendômois J.S., et al., A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health, International Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 5, December 2009.
Genetically engineered (GE) agriculture—which now controls 80 – 90 percent of all corn and soybean production in the U.S.—has increased the usage of herbicides by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008 compared to conventional agriculture. Based on USDA data, 46 percent of the total increase occurred in just two years, in 2007 and 2008. “The drastic increase in pesticide use with GE crops is due primarily to the rapid emergence of weeds resistant to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide).” Source: Benbrook, C., Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years, The Organic Center, November 2009.
Biotech seed prices will increase 42 percent in 2010 over earlier seed varieties—a much higher premium over conventional seed (63.5%) than the premium paid for organic seed (33.4% in 2010). Source: Benbrook, C., The Magnitude and Impacts of the Biotech and Organic Seed Price Premiums, Critical Issue Report, The Organic Center, December 2009.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, in May 2009, called for a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) foods, stating: “Avoid GM foods when possible . . . Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food . . . There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation . . . The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”
Source: Genetically Modified Foods, American Academy of Environmental Medicine Position Paper, May 2009.
Research by a team of scientists in Mexico has again found transgenes from Bt corn in local varieties of maize in Mexico. The first paper reporting the presence of transgenes in traditional varieties of Mexican corn was published in Nature in 2001. Source: Modified Genes Spread to Local Maize, NatureNews, November 12, 2008.
According to results from a long-term feeding study with mice, researchers in Austria concluded that consumption of a genetically modified corn developed by Monsanto (NK603 x MON810) may lead to lower fertility and body weight and impaired gene expression. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed but was released on Nov. 11, 2008, by the Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth. Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth.
Italian researchers found significant disturbances in the immune system of young and old mice fed GM maize (MON810), and elevated levels of a cell type known to be associated with asthma and food allergies in children. Source: Finamore A., et. al., "Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice," Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry, November 16, 2008.
Currently there are nine European countries that have completely banned the planting and use of GMOs.