First the basic facts are as follows.
Some of our foods are selectively bred, this has gone on for millenia and gives us corn (which once resembled a grass) varieties of cabbage, apples, tangelos.
Health problems have been reported in farmers exposed to the GE products, in farmers after feeding it to their animals, and in animal studies. All of this has problems, For starters, after the fact reports are not studies, and they don't prove anything although certainly they suggest a problem that needs further investigation. Since GE food doesn't require pre-market safety testing animal studies are not required. A 3rd party would have to do animal studies out of interest, and as a general rule, many environmental groups oppose animal testing. Human studies cannot be done due to ethical concerns and the impossibility of finding a control group of people who consume no GE products at all. Studies do exist, many are from Europe where GMO's are currently banned or required to be labeled.
The FDA does require data showing that the products are equivalent, however in the case of genetically engineered corn, the study was done by DuPont (the makers of roundup) . The control group was "commercially available seeds" Dupont and the FDA both know that corn is considered a high risk or "promiscuous" in the botanical world. Monsanto has sued organic farmers for illegally using their patent simply because the farmer was downwind of a GMO farm. It is simply beyond my comprehension how this qualified as a control group without a DNA test on the seeds to ensure that they were in fact, NON GMO seeds. They grew the roundup ready test corn without roundup. Furthermore, the study only addressed the basic nutritional components of corn. It didn't even touch on the fact that this corn is engineered to produce a protein that dissolves the digestive system of the caterpillar that eats corn.
But Monsanto is not the only company that manufactures GE corn. When another company, Starlink, introduced it's GE corn, it was approved at first only as animal feed, then only later for human consumption, however when 51 people reported illnesses, 28 of them allergic reactions, Starlink's corn was investigate by the EPA and recalled in 2000.
It is so hard to imagine how the government can vote against labeling. The arguments that GE products are safe and that labels are unnecessary make absolutely no sense when you look at the fact that they did recall Starlink's corn, a competitor to Monsanto. It gives me great pause that our legislators do not believe that there is enough risk in Monsanto's GE foods even to warrant giving us the choice to eat the product or not, while they are willing to recall a product made by their competitor.
Several animal studies have shown that Monsanto GE foods are toxic. Animals fed GE products had reproductive problems, higher offspring death rates, kidney and liver damage, and mammary tumors (breast cancer). While these studies were mostly done in Europe, and our FDA requires US studies, it is clear that more research needs to be done on the safety of these products, it is clear that consumers we deserve the right to choose for ourselves if we wish to ingest these products.
For the complete PDF of my talk today, including clickable links to the animal studies, sign up for my balanced bliss newsletter on the side bar.
Want to avoid GMO's in your diet? Shop your local farmers market and speak to the farmers, avoid all processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and high risk crops (corn, soy, canola, cotton (the oils are edible) and sugarbeets.
US FDA website (abstract on DuPont’s safety study of GE corn)
Non GMO project standards Public document
EPA report on Starlink Corn
David VS Monsanto documentary film
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