Genetically modified crops seemed like a valid solution by many to “end world hunger”, by providing populations with fruits and vegetables that has been genetically modified to grow faster and bigger all year round. However recent tests carried out by French scientists and researchers whose work was later reviewed and published by Environmental Sciences Europe; found that genetically modified (GM) crops could pose more of a threat to our health than originally thought. http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10
After reviewing 19 cases of mammals who were given a GM soybean and maize diet, researchers found that there were significant changes to the animal’s organs, especially the liver. These changes include the weight of the organs as well as changes at the microscopic level, The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.
“Other organs may be affected too, such as the heart and spleen, or blood cells,” stated the paper. In fact some of the animals fed genetically modified organisms had altered body weights in at least one gender, which is “a very good predictor of side effects in various organs.”
The GM soybean and corn varieties used in the feeding trials “constitute 83% of the commercialized GMOs” that are currently consumed by billions of people. While the findings may have serious ramifications for the human population, the authors demonstrate how a multitude of GMO-related health problems could easily pass undetected through the superficial and largely incompetent safety assessments that are used around the world.
Almost all GM crops are described as “pesticide plants” for their ability to not only produce their own insecticide called Bt-toxin, but they are also immune to large doses of weed killers such as Roundup. The toxins that become native to these plants are also found inside the corn and soybeans that we consume on a daily basis. And while it seems difficult (with the lack of additional testing and studies) to find out the true culprit of what is actually causing the change to the organs, the added pesticides or the genetically altered DNA of the plants, there certainly seems to be a lack of research regarding GM crops and the human populations in which they could seriously effect.
“Even if authorities wanted to conduct epidemiological studies on GMOs, the authors acknowledge that they “are not feasible in America, since there is no organized traceability of GMOs anywhere on the continent.” Labeling of GMOs urgently needed to allow such studies to proceed, the authors claim:
“The traceability of products from animals fed on GMOs is also crucial. The reason for this is because they can develop chronic diseases which are not utterly known today…. Labeling animals fed on GMOs is therefore necessary because some pesticide residues linked to GMOs could pass into the food chain.”
“New experiments,” they concluded, “should be systematically performed to protect the health of billions of people that could consume directly or indirectly these transformed products.”
Title: GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 19 Studies
Publication: Institute for Responsible Technology, April 7th 2011
Author: Jeffery Smith
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Taylor Falbisaner, Sonoma State University