In the early nineties a study was held in which mice were fed with GMO tomatoes. Well, the mice actually refused to eat the tomatoes and they were forced against their will. Some of the mice developed gastric lesions and seven of 40 died within two weeks. Scientists from the FDA (U.S Food And Drug Administration) examined the results of the study and concluded, that this doesnt prove GMO products are completely safe. Some scientists from FDA warned that GMO foods can generally lead to unpredictable allergies, accumulation of toxins, diseases resistant to antibiotics, as well as feeding problems on cellular level.
Internal memoranda of FDA, submitted for public review during a trial, shows that scientists beg government administration that they should require long-term tests for proving the safety by the highly evasive side effects. The administration has its own defenders in politics, including an ex-lawyer of Monsanto. The warnings of the scientists were neglected. FDA didnt require safety tests. Despite that, FDA accepted that if manufacturers of GMO foods claim that their foods are safe there isnt any basis for further questions asked. The GMO tomato was approved during 1994!
According to a report of the AASCI (American Academy of Sciences), the current system of full approval of GMO foods by FDA can miss involuntary changes in their composition. AASCI said that the process of attaching genes could lead to unpredictable changes in the organism of the gene host. The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), which published its discoveries a few days earlier, identifies a long list of potentially dangerous side effects of GMO foods, which until this moment werent taken into account. ICMR now calls for complete overhaul of the existing provisions.
Most critics believe that safety tests conducted by the biotechnological industry often are perfunctory and escape the real problems. Unfortunately, scientists who raise voice against such studies, as well as those that found unquestioned proof about the danger of GMO foods, are a subject of threats, dismissions, and withdrawals of status and research funds. For instance, one study conducted in the UK and subsidized by the government shows that rats fed with GMO potatoes develop tumor cells, suffered from damaged immune system, partial atrophy of the liver, as well as delay in brain development, liver and testes. When the leader of this scientific study claims his concerns in front of the public view, he was rapidly fired after 35 years of serving, as well as intimidated with a court trial.
Americans consume GMO foods every day. Despite the fact that the GMO tomato was pulled out of the market, millions of acres of soy, corn, coleseed and cotton grow with artificial genes. The new genes allow the cultures to survive the application of herbicides, to self defend, creating their own pesticides, or both. While there are only a few studies about the safety of consuming GMO animals, there are tons of proof about this plague of GMO cultures and more studies are coming on their way. Rats fed with GMO corn developed blood cell differentiation anomalies. Those fed with soy developed liver cell differentiation anomalies, and the lungs of those fed with coleseed became heavier. Pigs fed with gene-modified corn developed pseudo-pregnancy or infertility. Cows fed with gene modified corn in Germany mysteriously died. In chickens, after feeding them with GMO corn, the number of deaths is twice bigger than the periods feeding them with non-modified food.
After the entry of GMO soy at the UK market, the soy allergies bumped with over 50%. We cannot be sure without further tests that genetic engineering is in the foundations of the problem, but on the other hand there are lots of ways that genetic changes can lead to exacerbation of allergies. If soy is enriched with a gene of Brazilian almond, people who are allergic to almond will react similar to the soy. The soy, which is consumed in the United States, has a bacteria gene. This gene develops a protein, which was never a part of human food supply and can cause allergies.
Parts of this gene are similar to those causing allergies from dust mites and shrimp. According to recommendations of WHO (World Health Organization), this fact should lead to a complete rejection of GMO foods. The sequence of the genes, incorporated into the soy, inexplicably changes after a certain time. The protein, which is created under those conditions, probably is different from the first one but had never been tested. It is possible that it could be allergenic or toxic. The process of attaching artificial genes has changed the genetic structure of the soy, messing up its genetic code. This mutation can lead to different genetic expressions or even worse occurrence of potentially dangerous protein.
The most common allergen in soy is called trypsin inhibitor. The GMO soy contains significantly higher amounts of it as opposed to the organic one. The only study conducted with human beings shows how the genes attach to the bacteria of intestinal flora. This leads to several dangerous consequences. Firstly, this means that bacteria in our digestive system, armed with this artificial gene, probably could create a new gene inside us. If its allergenic or toxic, even if we stop consuming gene-modified soy, it can continue having an impact on us forever.
The same study proves that the activator, which scientists attach to the new gene for including it into the chain, also transfers to the bacteria of intestinal flora. The tests on the activator show that it can trigger genes in the bacteria as well. This could lead to overproduction of allergens, toxins, carcinogens, as well as deadly bacteria. Scientists also believe that activators can trigger non-active viruses coded in DNA leading to mutations.
Unfortunately, the genetic transfer is not limited only to gastrointestinal bacteria. Preliminary results show that genes have attached to rats internal organs, just about after one meal with GMO food. This is just a small part of the problems, which could be triggered around only one GMO culture. The list with other cultures and potential dangers could be even longer. Take for instance the corn enriched with genes, which self-produces pesticides. We consume these pesticides and there is lots of proof they are not as harmless as biotechnological corporations would want them to be. Preliminary results show that 39 Filipinos, living next to a corn farm cropped with pesticide corn, had developed skin, gastrointestinal and lung problems during its pollination. Blood samples show that there is an immune reaction against the pesticide. Imagine what would happen if this gene gets to our intestinal flora literally turning us into pesticide factories.
GMO corn and most of the gene modified cultures are enriched with genes resistant to antibiotics. ICMR, AMA-ASSN (American Medical Association), WHO and other world organizations already stated their concerns that these genes could attach to pathogenic bacteria in our digestive system. Their concerns are connected with the possible appearance of new, super diseases which might stay unaffected by antibiotics. In their defense, biotechnological corporations claim that during digestion there is no way of incarnation of this transfer. The described above study on human trials was published in February 2004 and shatters such groundless theories.
Officially, nobody observes the consequences of GMO foods on human beings. If these foods really lead to serious health problems amongst Americans, it could take years for the real reason to be found. There is one clear and body chilling example an epidemic during the eighties. A brand new disease took place, caused by the supplement called L-Tryptophan, deprived by genetic modification and containing trails of harmful chemicals. The disease killed almost 100 individuals and ailed another 6,000. The only reason doctors couldnt identify the disease were the symptoms: rapid development, acute and very rare. Even then it was almost omitted from the eyes of doctors.
The studies show that the more people learn about GMO foods, the less they trust them. In Europe, Japan and other regions, media are much more honest about the dangers of gene modifications. Respectively, consumers demand non-modified foods and manufacturers dont have a choice. In the United States most of the people think that they have never consumed GMO foods - despite the fact that they do it on a daily basis. Due to their negligence, complacent consumers helped at most to the biotechnological industry. As a result, millions of Americans were exposed to risks and the most vulnerable were children. Maybe the published studies in other parts of the world will awake consumers and authorities, which will result in pulling GMO foods out of the market.
Tsvetan Petrov is a health writer, passionate blogger and owner of the Get Holistic Health website.
For more information about GMO foods take a look at the website Institute For Responsible Technology