Confirmed: DNA From Genetically Modified Crops Can Be Transferred Into Humans Who Eat Them


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DNAIn a new study published in the peer reviewed Public Library of Science (PLOS), researchers emphasize that there is sufficient evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments carry complete genes that can enter into the human circulation system through an unknown mechanism. (0) I wonder if the scientists at these biotech corporations have already identified this method? In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA.  The study was based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies. PLOS is an open access, well respected peer-reviewed scientific journal that covers primary research from disciplines within science and medicine.  It’s great to see this study published in it, confirming what many have been suspecting for years.

When it comes to genetically modified crops and foods, we really have no idea of what the long term effects will be on the public. The very first commercial sale of genetically modified foods was only twenty years ago in the year 1994. There is no possible way that our health authorities can test all possible combinations on a large enough population, over a long enough period of time to be able to say with certainty that they are harmless. Geneticist David Suzuki recently expressed his concern, saying that human beings are part of a “massive genetic experiment” over many years, as thousands of people continue to consume GMO’s, and it makes sense.

Advances in genome science over the past few years have revealed that organisms can share their genes. Prior to this, it had been thought that genes were shared only between individual members of a species through reproduction. Geneticists usually followed the inheritance of genes in what they would call a ‘vertical’ fashion, such as breeding a male and female -you follow their offspring and continue down the road from there. Today, scientists recognize that genes are shared not only among the individual members of a species, but also among members of different species.

“Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.” (0)

It’s not like a human being mates with an apple, banana or a carrot plant and exchanges genes. What biotechnology and biotech corporations like Monsanto have done, is they have allowed for the transfer of genes from one to the other without any regard for the biological limitations, or constraints. The problem with this is that it is based on very bad science. The conditions and biological ‘rules’ that apply to vertical gene transfer, at least those that we are aware of, do not necessarily apply to horizontal gene transfer. Biotech science today is based on the assumption that the principles governing the inheritance of genes are the same when we move genes horizontally as they are when they are moved vertically. It just goes to show that GMO’s should be subjected to much more experimentation and rigorous research before we continue to consume them.

How can our governing health authorities approve these as safe? It’s almost as if they told us they were safe, and we just believed them without questioning it. We seem to be a very gullible race, but things are changing and more are starting to question the world around them.

“One small mutation in a human being can determine so much, the point is when you move a gene, one gene, one tiny gene out of an organism into a different one you  completely change its context. There is no way to predict how it’s going to behave and what the outcome will be. We think that we design these life forms, but it’s like taking the Toronto orchestra prepared to play a Beethoven symphony and then you take some random drummers from “here” and flip them in with the Toronto symphony  and you say play music. What comes out is going to be something very very different. Publicists say that there is good intention behind GMOs, but the fact of the matter is it’s driven by money.” – David Suzuki

I personally believe the intentions go beyond money, but that’s another story.

It’s also pretty clear that DNA from food can and does end up in animal tissues and the milk products that people eat. (4)(5)

There are studies that show when humans or animals digest genetically modified foods, the artificially created genes transfer into and alter the character of the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. Researchers report that microbes found in the small bowel of people with ilestomy are capable of acquiring and harboring DNA sequences from GM plants.(1) Genetically modified crops have infiltrated animal feed since 1996, and it’s normal for them to have a complete GM diet. Studies have linked GMO animal feed to  severe stomach inflammation and enlarged uteri in pigs.

It’s also important to note that gene transfer among genetically engineered agricultural crops and surrounding native species has given rise to a highly resistant species called super weeds. According to the world health organization, gene transfer and the movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species may have an effect on food safety and food security. “This risk is real, as was shown when traces of maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products from human consumption in the United States.” (3)

The truth is, genetic engineers have never taken the reality of gene transfer into consideration when they produce these things and introduce them into the environment. As a result, we are now starting to see the consequences of genes that are engineered, particularly how they spread and alter other organisms in various environments. Watrud et al (2004) found that the herbicide-resistance transgene spread via pollen to an area up to 21 km beyond the control area perimeter and had pollinated wild creeping bentgrass.(2)

Prior to this year, governments concluded that transfer of DNA from GM crops/foods is unlikely to occur. Now we can see that they are wrong, or perhaps they had knowledge of this already? Regardless of the fact that DNA from GM foods can be transferred to humans and animals, very little is still known today and what is known does not look good. There are studies linking GMO’s and pesticides to various ailments. We’ve presented and written about them on our website numerous times, this is another article to add to the growing amount of evidence to suggest we need to halt the production of GMO’s until we conclusively know that they are safe for human consumption.

It’s not a mystery why most countries around the world have completely banned GMO’s.

 SOURCES:

(0) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069805

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14730317

(2) http://natureinstitute.org/nontarget/reports/bentgrass_001.php

(3) http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

(4) http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gmanimal#.UsxuFPbXFGH

http://www.mindfully.org/GE/2004/Transgenes-Human-Gut1feb04.htm

Lipton, H Bruce, The Biology of Belief. United States: Hay House INC. 2006


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More From 'Awareness'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. antoon soetens

    for people with insight.

    if the bio-computers of crops are unprecedented:
    – you cannot crops genetically modify without harming
    – you cannot make the crops more usable or better.
    their theory is nonsense,

    Reply
  2. You can address all of your GMO concerns with the “experts” here! http://gmoanswers.com/ask

    Reply
    • yes thats right get your questions answered by The Council for Biotechnology Information at gmoanswers.com. Sure they are independent and impartial “experts” that dont have an agenda. lol (sarcasm)

      The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) is a North American industry organisation dedicated to promoting biotechnology in agriculture. CBI “is a non-profit 501c6 organization that communicates science-based information about the benefits and safety of agricultural biotechnology and its contributions to sustainable development.” For more on these “Big 6″ Biotech Corporations, see the SourceWatch article here. For more on these corporations’ collective influence on the U.S. regulatory and political processes, see Pesticide Action Network North America’s (PANNA’s) resource website, “Undue Influence.” CBI has offices in Washington, D.C., Mexico City, and Saskatoon.[1]

      CBI’s internet domain name, http://www.whybiotech.com, was registered on March 3, 2000. Previously available information showed that this had been done by Jim Lemke from the Minneapolis-based Hanley Wood Integrated Marketing.[2] Information available as of 2012 shows the registrar as Network Solutions, LLC and the administrative contact as Snow Hudgins of the well-known Washington DC-based lobbying, communications and public affairs firm Powell Tate.[3]

      The following “Big 6″ Biotech Corporations are listed as members of CBI as of July 2012:[4]

      BASF
      Bayer
      Dow
      DuPont
      Monsanto
      Syngenta

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Council_for_Biotechnology_Information

      lol yup

      Reply
      • I’m one of the many experts that contribute to that page. We receive no compensation, we are happy to volunteer our time. There needs to be a place for honest and verifiable answers to peoples’ questions and concerns, and thanks to the big companies to provide that. It’s about time they did something.

        I answer questions there because I hate to see the lies and distortion from anti-GM. I like to teach how biotech works, because once someone takes the time to understand it, it is not scary at all. Like all technology, it has strengths and limitations, but can be a good part of a plan for sustainable agriculture going forward.

        Reply
    • antoon soetens

      Scott,
      I can not send my response to this committee, it´s only for Americans.
      I would never deal with this issue.
      everything is variable and nothing is known.
      scientists make the same mistake with health treatment.
      I am a researcher and inventor, I have another solution for health
      I let react nature with nature: osmosis effect, and I deal with sumptuous results.
      In the treatment of the plants one has to do the same.
      more http://www.logicalwayhealing.com

      Reply
  3. Jeff K

    This write up is ridiculous and disingenuous. The PLOS study cited suggests that genetic material from plants can get into the bloodstream of a human who consumed them. Your conclusions and speculations are problematic for two reasons. First, genetic material in the bloodstream does not constitute “horizontal gene transfer” as DNA in the blood is a long way from entering cells, entering cell nuclei and being integrated into the human genome. Only if the genetic material is somehow getting integrated into the nuclear DNA of human cells could it have any effect on the host organism (human). It is interesting that large DNA sequences are preserved as far as the bloodstream but there is no reason to think that this has any influence on human cells that the material subsequently contacts. Second, even if, by some inexplicable mechanism, the DNA from consumed plants affects human cells once it enters the bloodstream, there is no reason to think that artifical DNA sequences would be more dangerous than natural DNA sequences. In fact, I would posit that the opposite is true: natural DNA would have a greater chance of having any sort of effect on the host organism since (if some inexplicable mechanism of influence does exist) it would have had to evolve over time.

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Jeff, taking genes from one organism and moving it to another is exactly what GMOs do! That constitutes horizontal gene transfer, and the study confirmed that genes are transferred. Please read the article more carefully next time before commenting, I never specifically said that the study concluded and outline the consequences of these gene transfers. As far as being integrated into the human genome, I don’t think you can say it’s a long way from doing that, fact of the matter is we don’t know, and given all of the evidence available, it is safe to conclude that these GMOs are causing mutations! Which would mean they ARE getting into our genetic material and integrated into our DNA of human cells! It’s evidence like this that has caused most of the world to ban GMOs! We can’t just look at one study, you have to look at hundreds, make connections and draw logical potential conclusions.

      Again the study concluded that genetic material is passed into humans, and again coupled with all of the other research done, GMOs have the potential to cause various ailments, including cancer.

      As far as “no reason to think that artificial DNA sequences would be more dangerous, I definitely disagree, and your conclusion there confuses me and I don’t see how you can come to that….but we all have our opinions.

      As far as my conclusions and speculations, they come straight from the study, and other studies that suggests we need to know more about these things before consuming them, I think that’s quite clear.

      Don’t take my word for it, here it is from an actual Geneticist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mBF1OOPdTo (which I also put in the article :))

      Again, there is more than enough evidence to support the halt of these products, at least until we know they are safe 100 percent!

      Thanks for reading.

      Much love

  4. The levels of plant DNA found in cell-free plasma were low enough to be accounted for by contamination errors of laboratory equipment. Rich Lusk found that similar levels and distributions of plant DNA could be found in sources that should show none whatsoever if brand new laboratory equipment could be trusted to be perfectly clean. – http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=69577

    Reply
  5. “taking genes from one organism and moving it to another is exactly what GMOs do! That constitutes horizontal gene transfer, and the study confirmed that genes are transferred.

    As far as being integrated into the human genome, I don’t think you can say it’s a long way from doing that,”
    You seem to be misunderstanding genetic modification here. GM plants have had genes integrated into the sequence of their DNA by injection into the cell, whether by a needle, a microscopic projectile or a modified virus (the latter two are more common for modifying whole samples, whereas direct needle use is more relevant to IVF of egg cells for example). Normally genetic material outside a cell is not permitted into a cell, unless a virus comes along and forces its RNA into that cell. There is then another process needed on top of that for foreign RNA to actually be incorporated into the host cell’s nucleus, using reverse transcriptase. Only some viruses do this, and they are known as retroviruses.

    “fact of the matter is we don’t know, and given all of the evidence available, it is safe to conclude that these GMOs are causing mutations!”
    No, it’s not safe to conclude that. Please don’t use argument from ignorance.

    “Please read the article more carefully next time before commenting”
    The same can be said to you, since the article has a single comment, made 5 months ago by Rich Lusk at the University of Michigan, explaining how these results can be more simply explained by laboratory contamination errors, and how similar measurements have been obtained in samples that had no reason to be exposed to random plant DNA.

    Please study some basic genetics before commenting on it.

    Reply
    • BobG

      This actually happened, here’s something you GM industry lobbyists can take a bite of:

      L-triptophan, 37 deaths and 1,500 people crippled after consuming a Genetically Engineered amino acid medicine:

      ”in 1989 that 37 people had died and 1500 had become crippled, perhaps permanently, after eating a commercially marketed amino acid, L-tryptophan, that had been manufactured with genetically engineered bacteria by the Showa Denko company.

      Victims did not simply drop over dead after taking one dose, which would have made the cause of their illness easy to trace, but the effects were a slow deterioration of their minds and bodies after eating the amino acid on several occasions. So the cause of the new epidemic was inherently difficult to trace to its source.

      Fortunately, the epidemic took place near the famed diagnostic Mayo clinic and other excellent medical facilities in Minnesota and the source was quickly traced after only some 37 deaths and 1500 cripplings, and was taken off the market.”

      ”Showa Denko destroyed the evidence that could have been used to determine the scientific cause of the problem. They destroyed the genetically engineered bacterial stocks, along with any potentially surviving specks that investigators might have recovered from the walls or the equiptment in their facilities. As a result of this, we scientists may never be able to learn exactly what happened.”

      Full article: http://responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/health-risks/L-tryptophan/cripplings

      Reply
    • I concur! 😀

      Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      I def think it’s safe to conclude that, most countries and governments around the world have concluded potential dangers. Studies have linked GMOs to cancer (mutations) and other ailments that involve tweaking of our DNA. There is a tremendous amount of evidence to make those conclusions!

      Fact of the matter is with all of these studies showing the potential dangers of GMOs, they should not be approved safe! There is so much we don’t know!

      As far as one person suggesting they can be more simply explained by lab contamination errors…if that was the case it would not be approved to be published, and potential flaws like that would be published in the research! I think that assumption is completely ridiculous! As far as the study you cited in your last comment, it’s tough, because there is a lot of fraud out there.

      There are studies on a variety of subjects that completely contradict each other!

      As far as studying basic genetics, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mBF1OOPdTo…… I feel your comments are here purposely to try and discredit the article and study, kind of like blackwater…a group hired by Monsanto to do such things!

      Fact of the matter is, the study found what it found, among many other studies. I think it’s important to look at studies like these not not instantly dismiss them and try to discredit them….

      And again your comment on “studying basic genetics” is a “stab” at me, if you know what I mean…it adds nothing to the topic or subject, the fact of the matter is we have a lot of unknowns when taking these substances into our body, and we already know that they can have potential negative effects on human health, that’s been demonstrated time and time again.

      Gene transfer into our bodies from these crops is real, and this isn’t the only study that suggests/shows it! Again, based on the number of ailments linked to GMOs, that is sufficient evidence that cells are permeated, or at least can be! We don’t know, and it’s not safe to assume that they don’t just as much as it is do assume that they do. Yes a virus can do it, and possibly many other things. There are a lot of unknowns at that is the point…at the same time there are many ‘knowns,’ and nothing seems to be positive so far that we KNOW with regards to GMOs.

      Again, that’s why they are banned all over the world!

      • Biowonk

        Of course. because just as we have seen in the U.S.with reproductive rights, same-sex marriage rights, intelligent design and allowance of climate change evidence, politicians and policy maker *always* go by weight of scientific evidence.

        Please explain exactly how fragments of *only* GE foods are able to relax the chromoosome in order to draw away from the histone and exactly what enzymes are also carried in order for the GE fragment to cut and paste into our genome?

        We are mammals; not yeast. This blog and your utterly untenable defenses just proves how little you know about genetics and gene uptake and even more how little you care about telling the truth.

        Reply
        • - Collective Evolution

          *please* explain exactly how fragments of only GE foods are able to relax the chromoosome in order to draw away from the histone..etc..* – I do not see how I have to explain something I never said. Did you read the article Biowonk ?

          • Biowonk

            ” Biotech science today is based on the assumption that the principles governing the inheritance of genes are the same when we move genes horizontally as they are when they are moved vertically.”

            Don’t lie You are implying that DNA fragments from GE foodcrops are taken up in to the human consumer’s genome in order to frighten people who rely on such arguments from ignorance.

            You also cite Carey’s study that was discredited as having no actual statistical significance in the inflammation of the pigs’ stomach lining. And that paper had to be published in a “pay-for-play” journal because no reputable publication would accept it.

            Reply
      • What evidence; where is it??? There is none.Yes; I do work for Monsanto and I love my employers. Of course I am half vegetable too. Why do you make up this conspiracy bs? If you want to write fiction you should label it as such. There is nothing wrong with GMO`s….. yet; says Science; look it up; I did.

        Reply
  6. Thom Foote

    Oh boy! I will actually be able to have corns on my feet, cauliflower ears, rosy cheeks and flaxen hair.

    Reply
    • antoon soetens

      Thom you´re right.

      The imagination of scientists has no limits, more they have never seen the beginning and the end of one gene, even they know not one property. ( there´re many billions genes)
      But the bad thing is, the scientific genocide continues because scientists do not eat their own products.

      If I start an investigation:
      I check which elements are known (100%), which elements are changeable and which are not. In the biological system, nothing is 100% known, no 1 property is known, sometimes one has a view of the structure of a molecule or classification,(vertical or horizontal) but they do not know where the end and the beginning and the complexity is without limits because everything is moving in all directions and under the influence of many unknown magnetism.
      conclusion. I will not internally intervene that unprecedented biological system or edit components.
      I am looking for another solution, ex. an external treatment with another biological product according to the osmosis effect.
      the biological system selects the appropriate products and with this method I, achieve incredible results in the health treatment.

      Reply
      • Biowonk

        “scientists do not eat their own products.”
        More hyperbolic rhetoric based on no supportable evidence.

        Reply
    • antoon soetens

      Thom you´re right,

      The imagination of the scientists knows no bounds, more they have never seen the beginning and end of 1 gen, more they know not 1 property.
      But the bad thing is, the scientific genocide goes on because the scientists do not eat their own products.

      Reply
  7. MrSnrub

    I have a simple question. If this is true, that our bodies take in and incorporate plant DNA into our own, how does the body know if the plant has been genetically modified? Wouldn’t all plant DNA (conventional, organic, GMO, etc) get incorporated into our genome? Why stop there, what about animal DNA? We eat tons of animals, wouldn’t we see all kinds of strange gene mixing and shuffling with all the different animals that we eat?

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Good question, genetic material is transferred regardless if it is GMO or not. And yes, animals too, I mention that in the article, animal feed has caused a lot of problems for animals here and there, and many people eat these animals as well.

      • MrSnrub

        So our genome must be completely full of plant and animal DNA, correct? When you say “transferred” you are actually talking about base pairs getting inserted into one of our chromosomes, right? What makes the DNA of the GMO plants inherently bad? Wouldn’t any foreign DNA be bad for our genome?

        Reply
        • - Collective Evolution

          It’s transferred into the human circulation system.

          • MrSnrub

            OK…then more honest questions. If the DNA is just transferred into the human circulation system then what’s the big deal? If it’s not getting into our genome then why does it matter? We eat tons of stuff with DNA, so according to you, there should be tons of DNA in our system. Is the DNA from GMO food worse then “normal” plant or animal DNA? Is there something inherently bad with it, if so then what is so bad about the DNA from GMO foods?

            I’m not trying to be stupid here, I’m just honestly curious as to why this is bad.

            Arjun, below you said “Gene transfer into our bodies from these crops is real” but then above you said it just gets into our circulation system. Which one is it?

            Reply
        • FM

          No! It “just” ends up in our blood – not in our genome!

          Reply
  8. Genetic modification is not novel. Humans have been altering the genetic makeup of plants for millennia, keeping seeds from the best crops and planting them in following years, breeding and crossbreeding varieties to make them taste sweeter, grow bigger, last longer. In this way we’ve transformed the wild tomato, Lycopersicon, from a fruit the size of a marble to today’s giant, juicy beefsteaks. From a weedy plant called teosinte with an “ear” barely an inch long has come our foot-long (0.3-meter-long) ears of sweet white and yellow corn. In just the past few decades plant breeders have used traditional techniques to produce varieties of wheat and rice plants with higher grain yields. They have also created hundreds of new crop variants using irradiation and mutagenic chemicals. Whether biotech foods will deliver on their promise of eliminating world hunger and bettering the lives of all remains to be seen. Their potential is enormous, yet they carry risks—and we may pay for accidents or errors in judgment in ways we cannot yet imagine. But the biggest mistake of all would be to blindly reject or endorse this new technology. If we analyze carefully how, where, and why we introduce genetically altered products, and if we test them thoroughly and judge them wisely, we can weigh their risks against their benefits to those who need them most.

    Reply
    • antoon soetens

      Thomas “But the biggest mistake of all would be to blindly reject or endorse this new technology.”

      This new technology is not according to a natural process and harms health and plant. (illogical invention)
      The technology which exist for millennia is a natural process or natural procedure (ex. crossbreeding,…) and don´t harm health.

      Reply
  9. Doug B.

    Cherry-picking at its finest. If you took the time to read the rest of what you sourced, you would come away with a very different opinion on GM foods. these are the exact links you used in this article.

    http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gmanimal#.UtBcfoMTHFr

    “On the basis of these assessments, there is no reason to suppose that GM feed presents any more risk to farmed livestock than conventional feed. GM feed, which is very unlikely to contain viable GMOs, is digested by animals in the same way as conventional feed. Food from animals fed on authorised GM crops is considered to be as safe as food from animals fed on non-GM crops.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/14730317/

    “The transgene did not survive passage through the intact gastrointestinal tract of human subjects fed GM soya.”
    “As this low level of epsps in the intestinal microflora did not increase after consumption of the meal containing GM soya, we conclude that gene transfer did not occur during the feeding experiment.”

    http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

    “Gene transfer. Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged by a recent FAO/WHO expert panel.”
    “GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous use of risk assessments based on the Codex principles and, where appropriate, including post market monitoring, should form the basis for evaluating the safety of GM foods.”

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Doug, I presented studies within the article that show GM feed does effect some farmed livestock, here is one:

      http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

      You might want to read these also:

      http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf
      http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gmanimal#.UtGsnvbXFGH

      As far as transgene not surviving, that is through the gastrointestinal tract…with GM SOYA. It is a specific study, and an older one published in 2004! The one I site is from 2013 and confirms that Gene transfer DOES occur. Just because gene transfer did not occur with soya, does not it mean it won’t, and never can…and that example is specific for soya.

      As far as your last link, it is very hard to give any credibility to the world health organization, in my opinion, given the fact that the creators of it are also major shareholders of the major biotech corporations like Monsanto!

      The risk assessment set by the WHO is VERY poor, as for their statement “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of conspumption” .. that is a lie!

      There have been numerous studies that show how GMOs can be potentially harmful to human health! It’s overwhelming :) The fact that these principles come from Codex Alimentarius is even more ridiculous.

      Within the past 2 years alone, a significant amount of research directly contradicts your last source, that is exactly why a majority of countries worldwide have completely banned GMOs!:) Thanks for reading and sharing. There is def a lot of info out there, but I don’t think anyone can really deny that GMOs should be subject to much more rigorous research before they are approved safe for human and animal consumption.

      Much Love

      • Doug B.

        My point is that you are picking pieces of information out of reputable sources and using them to somehow prove your assumption. These were YOUR sources, yet when looking at the actual body of work on the websites they say something completely different than what is presented in this article. That is cherry-picking and it is incredibly dishonest and downright deceptive.

        Regarding the rest:

        Other governments banning GMOs is not insignificant. However, government’s policies are not always rooted in rationality. Isn’t that a tenet of the anti-GMO movement? Marijuana is banned almost worldwide despite its potential palliative health benefits. Cigarettes are not. Homosexuality is banned in more countries than GMOs are.

        I don’t believe that GMOs are impugnable. They need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, which they are prior to approval. There are resources that allow anyone to see the report involved in approving a specific GM trait. There are also non-industry research available, many of them completely independent from the GE seed industry. Links following.

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309092094
        http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/
        http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/gm-foods-platform/browse-information-by/oecd-unique-identifier/en/

        My larger point is that this is a complex issue that is being framed in a very uncomplex, black and white way. genetically modified food is not the panacea some claim. It is also not the thread that is going to unravel humanity.

        Reply
        • - Collective Evolution

          I am in no way picking pieces from information and using them to prove my assumption. What exactly is it that you think I assume, and how am I using this study to ‘prove’ my assumption. Could you please provide a specific example for your claim. The actual body of work doesn’t say anything different, it’s pretty simple. genetic material is transferred.

          • You’re implying that this article is proof that GMO’s are bad, even though the article argues the contrary. You selectively picked the information that felt ‘right’ to you, and ignored the rest. That is cherry picking, and no further explanation is needed to prove your cognitive bias. You would get the same results if it were organic crops anyway (funny how organic crops do not get tested at all).

            Reply
            • - Collective Evolution

              I am implying that we do not know enough about GMOs to deem them as safe. I did not pick information :) Just presenting new studies that continually emerge, trying to keep peeps up to date:) ! Yes, as mentioned in the article, genetic material from all foods :) Natural or not.

        • antoon soetens

          Doug B,

          In an investigation one must follow the logic:
          Is the biological system known from a cereal crop or any cereal: no
          therefore one cannot edit this biological system, without causing damage.
          the damage cannot be estimated, as a consequence, that product cannot be regarded as food.
          as it will harm human health,
          please stop manipulations

          Reply
  10. Glad to have some critical readers above. I read the PLoS paper and this article, and as stated above, it is cherry picking and then overstepping the data.

    The paper simply says that chloroplast DNA from plants can be found in the blood at ~1ppm. No excitement there, and we eat a lot more chloroplast DNA in every bite relative to nuclear DNA, where a gm trait is a tiny fraction.

    Most of all, the same Bt DNA that would move to the bloodstream is the same Bt gene used in organic cultivation. Also the EPSPS gene used for glyphosate resistance comes from a natural bacterial source that is probably consumed all the time.

    More fear mongering, distortion of real science and flawed thinking throughout.

    Reply
    • Neil

      Kevin, I completely agree! Nobody who is reading and believing this article could have ever taken genetics.

      Reply
      • - Collective Evolution

        The genetics explained in this article is pretty basic I’d say, nothing complicated! You don’t need to have a super duper ‘whatever’ in genetics to understand it at this level:)

    • - Collective Evolution

      No fear mongering, just presenting the case that it is clear we don t know enough about these foods to deem them as completely safe:)

      • Jason

        But, by the same exact logic, we don’t know enough about non-GMO foods to deem them as completely safe.

        You keep talking around the issue, but the original paper has nothing at all to do with GMOs, it just shows that plant DNA is in our blood–why in the world would you be worried about a gene from cauliflower getting into your blood if you ate it in a GMO non-cauliflower plant, but not worried about it if you ate the same gene from an actual cauliflower? It’s totally irrational.

        So, I guess if we follow your logic, we should stop eating all veggies until we have long term studies on their safety? Trying to misuse this article to support your preconceived ideas about GMOs is just petty fear mongering.

        Reply
      • Biowonk

        “We don’t know enough”, “no long-term studies”, “unintended consequences.” These are all the easily mobile goalposts used by opponents to a specific scientific application. Unless you actually get a result that validates your claims- a result that isn’t demonstrated to be based on a wholly fraudulent methodology, that is- you will continue to use it as it alleviates you from any obligation for concrete and verifiable evidence.

        Obviously, you cannot be expected to present evidence that doesn’t exist “yet.”

        And what food is “completely safe?” So-called “organic” and “traditional” crops also trigger allergic reactions and have proven detrimental health effects if eaten in too large a quantity.

        We have had 3 outbreaks of Salmonella (2006, 2009, 2011) from contaminated organic spinach and one outbreak of HepA from an organic berry blend. And that is just the U.S. There have been other outbreaks from organic produce sources in Europe. Where are your calls for pulling these items from grocery shelves and farmers’ market stalls? We have actual evidence of organic foods being a health hazard in which 100s of people were sickened in each case and a few even died.

        So, why are you targeting GE foodcrops exclusively if you are so concerned with food safety?

        Reply
        • Mccumsey

          Using biological contamination in organic food is irrelevant argument because it happens in both industries. You have ignored the studies on animals to indicate harm. Also, many people claim that this technology HAS harmed them and that their health improved when removing GMO’s from their diet. Many illnesses have increased 200- 300% in correlation with the introduction of GMO’s. The science is flawed but supports a powerful industry. We don’t need this technology as other more reliable and safer methods exist…it is failing miserably world wide. My question is: Why do we need it so badly?? We don’t. I don’t want it and I avoid it…many other people also do not want it. Why do you want to “force” it on us?

          Reply
  11. szeitler

    The only people who try to defend GMOs are those who PROFIT from them. Pro-GMOers, where are the independent long-term studies (2+ years) showing that CROSS-SPECIES GMOs do no harm? List ONE! There are NONE, although Americans are eating them (unlabeled) for breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s even unlabeled in most infant formula! Mothers are unknowingly feeding GMO formula to their babies. GMOs are CROSS-SPECIES genetic modifications which would NEVER occur in nature. It is NOT hybridization. If GMOs are so great, why don’t they want Americans to know that they’re eating and drinking cross-species, genetically modified products? The GMO/pesticide industry is spending millions ($46 million just in California) to keep their products from being labeled. When pro-GMOers ramble about how there aren’t any documented cases of health issues related to GMOs, how can there be? People have had no clue that they’ve been consuming them. It’s been a secret. Maybe they’ve desperately tried to keep it a secret because they know about the studies showing GMOs to cause infertility, tumors, organ damage… The giant pesticide/GMO corporations feel there is no need for long-term testing. The corrupt FDA with Michael Taylor (current food safety czar/former VP of Monsanto) does no independent testing. 90 day studies are done by the same corporations that profit off of them (conflict of interest!). 90 day testing is all that is required in the United States to have these lab-created, unnatural, pesticide drenched “foods” unleashed into the US food supply. The GMO experiment began in 1997 with the Flavr Savr tomato. It was a tomato containing FISH genes. Although FDA documents show that these tomatoes were causing stomach lesions in mice, they were still approved. As people wake up to the truth (which they now are), they’ll be avoiding GMOs like the plague. Notice the “Non-GMO Project Verified” labels popping up in grocery stores? Organic sections are expanding. Demand is growing as people opt out of the toxic GMO experiment. To those of you who are pretending that GMOs are safe to try to protect your disgusting industry, keep eating them, please!!

    Reply
    • Charles Rader

      [The GMO experiment began in 1997 with the Flavr Savr tomato. It was a tomato containing FISH genes.]

      That statement is simply false. The “new” gene in the Flavr Savr tomato was a direction reversed gene found in other tomatoes.

      The fish gene to which you are referring comes (via many layers of anti-GMO propaganda) from an experiment performed by DNA Planf Technologies Inc. They wanted to see if a gene from a cold water fish, specifying a protein that inhibited water from freezing, would protect tomatoes from frost. The experiment was not successful and the tomatoes were never made part of the food supply, but the silly images of tomatoes with fins or fish with leaves have never left the anti-GMO propaganda posters.

      Reply
      • szeitler

        Charles,
        My post should have stated that the tomato was genetically modified with BACTERIA (bacterial protein) per Dr. Belinda Martineau, former member of the Michelmore Lab at the UC Davis Genome Center, University of California.
        It’s interesting that she was a developer of this GMO tomato, and yet she is one of the many scientists (currently 297) who have signed on to the statement that THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ON GMO SAFETY. Dr. Martineau was quoted as stating, “I wholeheartedly support this thorough, thoughtful and professional statement describing the lack of scientific consensus on the safety of genetically engineered (GM) crops and other GM organisms (also referred to as GMOs). Society’s debate over how best to utilize the powerful technology of genetic engineering is clearly not over. For its supporters to assume it is, is little more than wishful thinking.” 10/30/13

        Reply
        • Charles Rader

          seitzler, what Dr. Martineau says and what you say she says are quite different. It is possible that you are confused by the use of the bacterium A. tumafaciens as a vector to transfer genes, which is not the same as using a gene which has the recipe for a bacterial protein.

          As for Dr. Martineau expressing doubts about some aspects of the GMO testing and development process, yes she has. She has clearly earned the right to speak out about this. But when she does, she says clearly and precisely what she would like to be different. She has not, ever, called for banning GMO food. She has certainly never misrepresented the genetic modification of the Flavr Savr tomato, as you have now done twice.

          And it’s not even obvious to my why you are misstating this. When people (such as the author of this article) who are not completely irrational express doubts about GMO safety, they don’t seem to be based on whether the novel gene is from a fish, a bacteria, or an antisense gene from the same crop species. So getting it wrong doesn’t even strengthen your case.

          I’ve lost track of which poster made the statement about the fish genes in Flavr Savr tomato. Was it you? If so, please let me remind you that fish are not bacteria.

          Reply
          • szeitler

            Charles,
            Actually, it appears as though YOU are misrepresenting the Flavr Savr tomato. I made an error which I corrected, but you continue to deny what the molecular geneticist who helped commercialize the Flavr Savr tomato, Dr. Belinda Martineau, states, “… They also were accompanied by point-of-purchase brochures that succinctly explained how they had been genetically engineered, gave an 800 number so people could call to learn more, and even conveyed how much of the BACTERIAL PROTEIN ENGINEERED INTO THEM was present in the edible fruit.” 10/27/11
            Between you and Dr. Martineau, I find her to be a much more credible source. And when you dig up the Flavr Savr studies to review your untruth, make sure to look up the FDA documents and memos regarding the stomach lesions which the mice developed from eating them. The documents were released due to a lawsuit filed by attorney Steven R. Druker and can be found online. The FDA’s records reveal it declared genetically engineered foods to be safe in the face of disagreement from its own experts–all the while claiming a broad scientific consensus supported its stance. Internal reports and memoranda disclosed that agency scientists repeatedly cautioned that foods produced through recombinant DNA technology entail different risks than do their conventionally produced counterparts and that this input was consistently disregarded by the bureaucrats who crafted the agency’s current policy, which treats bioengineered foods the same as natural ones.
            And per your statement, “As for Dr. Martineau expressing doubts about some aspects of the GMO testing and development process, yes she has. She has clearly earned the right to speak out about this. But when she does, she says clearly and precisely what she would like to be different. She has not, ever, called for banning GMO food.”
            -You must be confused because I had never mentioned BANNING GMOs, let alone implied in any way that Dr. Martineau did, so why you would state this is baffling. What she has wonderfully called for is this (and I quote): “The current situation I’ve “recognized to be the truth”, i.e. commercialization of products of a powerful technology with THE POTENTIAL FOR MYRIAD UNINTENDED SIDE EFFECTS YET WITH INADEQUATE REGULATION AND RESEARCH, is not conducive to inspiring public confidence in crop genetic engineering. The fact that GE food products are also not labeled in the U.S. only makes the situation worse. If the potential of this technology for solving important global agricultural problems is to be realized, it must be utilized more carefully and transparently; pre-market regulation and labeling should be mandatory.”
            And finally, per your statement, “And it’s not even obvious to my why you are misstating this. When people (such as the author of this article) who are not completely irrational express doubts about GMO safety, they don’t seem to be based on whether the novel gene is from a fish, a bacteria, or an antisense gene from the same crop species. So getting it wrong doesn’t even strengthen your case.”
            -This may be news to you, but it’s a moot point if the tomato has been modified by a fish or bacteria or a cow or a pig. Maybe your problem is that you don’t understand what is the real issue. GMO “foods” are under-tested, genetically modified creations which would NEVER occur in nature, and most Americans are unknowingly consuming them every day. We care about the tomatoes/GMOs giving us stomach lesions, cancer, making us infertile, organ damage, allergies… If GMOs do no harm, it should have to be proven before entering our food supply. If it can’t be proven, then it shouldn’t be force fed to our entire country without, at the very least, being labeled and allowing people to give their consent to participate in the experiment.. Currently, Americans have NO choice.

            Reply
    • Peter

      I have been reading more of the posts and have been reflecting. Quite a lot of content in the post.

      Firstly, if the FDA only requires a 90-day trial, it would be the FDA that you should be directing your displeasure to. No business on this planet would perform a trial longer than required. It is simply not business.

      Secondly, if you want truly long term trials, you are really looking at 10+ years. These tend to be observational studies. 2+ years simply isn’t long term. These trials take time and as its name suggests – observational, not your RCT.

      Thirdly, if there was potentially marketing potential in packaging in whatever manner, a business would do it. Logic therefore dictates your comment on the money spent on packaging and labelling is simply invalid.

      One simply has to face the fact that there are a lot more people on this planet. Food production has to change. Furthermore, as I have said in a previous post, there are so many confounding factors for any anecdotal evidence to be used, namely more sedentary lifestyles these days, population aging…etc. science is evaluation of hypotheses with evidence.

      Reply
      • szeitler

        Issue 1:
        GMOs have taken over the US food supply because the giant pesticide/GMO corporations have corrupted the US government, so my displeasure is aimed at both.
        A prime example of the corruption is Michael Taylor. He was a former Monsanto attorney and Monsanto’s Vice President of Consumer Affairs. He then was appointed by Obama to be the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner of Foods. He has allowed the approval of unlabeled GMOs with no independent studies required, only the industry conducted 90-day tests. Might there be a conflict of interest? Another fine example is Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) who worked with Monsanto to author the Monsanto Protection Act last year. He snuck the rider into an unrelated bill with no debate, and it was signed into law by Obama last March. It barred US federal courts from being able to prevent the sale or planting of GMO crops even if they failed to meet federal safety standards or were discovered to be harmful to humans or the environment. Any thoughts as to the need for this? If Monsanto believes their creations do no harm, then why sneak in this rider? Monsanto first started contributing to Senator Blunt back in 2008 with a $10,000 contribution. At that point, Blunt was serving in the House of Representatives. In 2010, when Blunt successfully ran for the Senate, Monsanto upped its contribution to $44,250. And in 2012, the GMO seed/pesticide giant enriched Senator Blunt’s campaign war chest by $64,250. He obviously rewarded them for their generosity.

        Issue 2:
        Regarding the lack of long-term studies, you mentioned that two years is not long enough (the life-span of a rat), but an independent, two year study is a significant improvement to the mere 90 day, industry conducted studies. I would love to see a ten year study, even if it’s observational, but at this point, I can’t imagine the FDA controlled by Monsanto requiring this. And even if they did, it’s not going to happen because if you inform study candidates as to the potential risks of eating and drinking GMOs, no one in their right mind would volunteer. Maybe some GMO supporters and their families would like to step up as volunteers and provide evidence that GMOs do no harm. They should be sure to eat a lot of the BT corn. It is sold in Walmart when in season. Since it was genetically modified to produce its own pesticide internally and is now failing to kill the western corn worm, farmers are having to give their crops an extra dousing of RoundUp. And now it seems as though the “Agent Orange” soy and corn resistant to the 2, 4-D herbicide are in line to be approved. I’d love to see how healthy the they are in 10 years.

        Issue 3:
        What does marketing potential have to do with GMO labeling? I could care less about a corporation’s marketing potential of their products. I care about my health and the health of my family. I have a right to know what I am truly buying. If it’s GMO, it is not natural. 64 countries currently ban or label GMOs including China and Russia. Why don’t Americans have a right to know? If a GMO label represents a skull and crossbones, so be it. If it doesn’t, then why not flaunt the evidence showing that it’s not and convince Americans that it does no harm? So far, I’ve not found any and none has been presented.

        Finally, the fact that “there are a lot more people on this planet” does not justify keeping Americans in the dark about the GMOs. If YOU believe that GMOs are “safe”, then eat them. I’ve, by far, not been convinced. Maybe after viewing the 10 year study, I may change my mind, but shouldn’t proper studies have been conducted before unleashing GMOs into our food supply in the first place?

        Reply
        • Peter

          Let’s stick with your format for ease of reading.

          Issue 1

          If you feel that the governing bodies are not performing to their standards, the fault is with them.

          Issue 2

          Observational studies are as their names imply. These studies simply collect data from subjects who are continuing with whatever it is that they are doing. The investigators would identify groups of subjects that are comparable and allow the results to be generalizable for the study. The subjects are not recruited into any trail so to speak. Randomized controlled trails do that.

          One would have to agree that a rat is a bit different to a person, thus a 2-year duration is not really applicable to humans. These trails take time. The link between smoking and lung cancer was not discovered for a long time.

          Issue 3

          I understand why anyone would want the labeling to be as detailed and relevant to them as possible. My point was that if there was a marketing potential and if these companies were not required to make those statements, they probably won’t. It is down to the regulation bodies to reinforce that. You have in fact pointed that out and many countries require food companies to provide the information.

          Issue 4

          None of my comments were about if GMOs are “safe”. I was simply responding to some of the comments made. I have also made another post about the science behind genetic materials. In fact, you can see that Arjun, the article author, and I had quite a nice discussion about it. We both appreciated where our points stand.

          Reply
    • Agree. Well said

      Reply
  12. J.C. O'Day

    loved your article and loved the vibrant debate that followed.

    Reply
  13. Daniel Demaret

    A very interesting report, and I like PLOS.

    I do hope I am not re-iterating any comment already written here.

    The article seems to insinuate that we get GMO DNA into our DNA, which is not what the report says.

    The report says , interestingly enough, that there is some cfDNA in our bloodstream, but does not conclude where it comes from. It refers in turn to another report where they have found some GMO DNA in the stomach – unsurprisingly.

    The next step might be to see what kind of DNA they have found and where it comes from.
    Strictly speaking, since animal and plant DNA differ quite a bit, one should first see if one can find evidence that we can get DNA from the bloodstream into our own DNA, firstly from normal animals, i e if we are in danger of becoming pigs if we eat pigs, if we are in danger of growing feathers when we eat chicken, etc.
    If this proves to be the case, then one might start a study to see if we can become vegetables.
    It is a long haul, but I am sure we will see progress within the next hundred years or so :)

    Reply
    • Alexandre Jacquot

      Very interesting , it reminds me of when I listened Dr. Luigi Gratton , or w/e its written forgot.

      There was a question about soya and female hormone in it , he replied, when you see a man gets woman breast on him , call me.

      Reply
  14. bcharlesd

    I find much of this sifting through GM crop studies for bits of decay to be prodigiously useless. And as far as the studies themselves go – no one on either side of this debate will EVER trust a study that does not support their beliefs or bottom line. I read that this study or that study was discredited on a constant basis. Why are we doing studies?

    So, let’s step out of the tree branches, back away from the trees and take a peek at the forest…All of these GM crops ultimately wind up in processed foods, animal feed or your vehicle’s gas tank. Does anyone want to make a case for HFCS as a product that is good for humanity–if so, go for it! Does anyone want to argue that the vast array of fast food restaurants that blight the landscape of this country — utilizing a TON of these garbage GM crops –are nourishing a single person? Go ahead, make a case for the Chicken McNugget. Does anyone want to make a case for the efficacy of CAFO’s, where all of the GM animal feed is ultimately consumed–If so, dazzle me! And does anyone want to debate the sheer insanity of utilizing an inordinate amount of fossil fuels (herbicides, fertilizer, farm equipment, irrigation, transport, processing) to grow…fuel? And don’t get me started on subsidies or the “Farm” bill.

    Also, does anyone want to persuade me that the environmental effects of GM crops are not disastrous and nearing a point where the entire technology will collapse under the sheer weight of its own failure to deliver the results that were promised? I mean who cares if there is a growing dead zone at Mississippi delta, at least I can get a cheeseburger for $0.99. We are truly the stupidest species on this planet.

    At age 35 (I am 42 now), I would pass intestinal mucous at least three times per day in my stool. Often times, this occurred with tremendous urgency. I also battled intestinal distress – the likes of which I had never experienced in my prior 34 years on the planet. At age 36, I had my first colonoscopy and gastroenterology work-up. They could not explain my issues and my colonoscopy was clear. At age 37, I developed Lichen planus and added a dermatologist to my growing collection of “ists”. I started taking steroids. I received no answers from any one of these “ists” as to how I should heal myself from these calamities.

    For a decade prior, beginning around 1996, I would have a morning smoothie that consisted of a cup of soy milk, berries, protein powder and ice. I drank a lot of soy milk over the years. I am guessing I drank a lot of glyphosate and Bt toxin also. In addition, I ate the typical western diet. By the time I was 38, I felt like I was going to drop dead from intestinal distress about once a day.

    It was at this time I learned of GM technology and the horrifying state of our food – food I was devouring on a daily basis. So, I stopped eating everything I was eating and switched to a mainly organic diet. I no longer ate fast food, I cooked my own burgers and made my own olive-oil & sea salt potato fries, I no longer ate CAFO meat, I bought only grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and free-range organic fowl, I no longer ate conventionally grown fruits or vegetables, I only bought organic or local. I stopped drinking f*cking soy milk, I switched to organic rice milk in my morning smoothie. Within one year, I was totally fine. I had no intestinal distress of any kind whatsoever. My Lichen planus was gone. I had my life back.

    You can show me study after study that proves GM technology is safe for humans. You can tell me that the studies that show GM technology is dangerous have all been discredited. You can argue all day long the GM crops are “substantially equivalent” to organic crops. But you are “substantially mistaken” if you think I will ever allow this most destructive of technologies back into my body or the bodies of my children. I have a mountain of evidence-based experiments carried out on myself to prove the efficacy of my claims.

    Reply
    • SFM

      Amen and well said.

      Reply
  15. Peter

    Fairly interesting read in terms of the article and the comments. I must however admit that I have not read all the comments as there are plenty. I do therefore apologize in advance should my comments be “old news”.

    Firstly, presuming that we all agree that cfDNA are indeed absorbed into our blood stream, genetic materials would still need to enter cells. The capillaries are simply not structures which would allow macromolecules, like DNA, through. Furthermore, any absorbed cfDNA would need to be incorporated into our own chromosomes. These would then need to be recognized by DNA transcriptase and be turned into RNA. These RNAs would subsequently produce proteins which affect the body. The original article did not include any of the latter stages of the above paragraph as it was not their intended aim. The author article has not discussed or considered any of the above issues. One would have to make several big assumptions to consider the cfDNA to be able to make an impact.

    Secondly, why should GMO DNAs enter the blood stream (and cells; presuming it does happen – baring in mind that there is no proof of it) and non-GMO DNAs not do to? The answer to the question is by logic that they both should enter our blood stream. The next question is then what is the difference in terms of impact on the body since they are both foreign DNAs.

    Thirdly, it is difficult to use anecdotal findings in everyday life to evaluate any hypothesis. There could be so many confounding factors which are simply not taken into consideration (e.g. pollution, simple change in lifestyle and diet through time, population aging…etc.).

    Every research finding needs to be critically analyzed and put into context. Taking findings out of context is simply inappropriate. One must keep an open mind with any scientific finding.

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      I am aware that the genetics entering into our blood stream would probably still need to enter cells. But the main point of the article I was trying to get across is that they do indeed enter into the blood stream, through an unknown mechanism. The fact that this happens, lends to the possibility of more infiltration into the body and its cells. Fact is, we don’t know. And we should know before we deem them as safe. I did not discuss those issues because they are still unknown, not known. I don’t think it’s far fetched to consider the possibility of DNA from these crops to make an impact…it’s a completely different species, horizontal gene transfer, we basically know nothing about it :)

      I also never said non GMO DNAs don’t :) Both enter into the blood stream, both or foreign but one is artificial, with many more studies than the ones presented in this article that should be cause for concern.

      After looking at so many studies, I think it’s clear that GMOs are a no go, we just don’t know enough about them yet. I know many people out there disagree with me.

      Thanks for reading Peter:) And thanks for your comments! Much Love

      • Peter

        Thank you to your respond. Wasn’t expecting any replies. Ha ha. I guess I was merely trying to point out that there are still quite a few requirements for the cfDNA to necessarily take effects in our bodies. These would be interesting areas for further research and are simply areas of speculation until then.

        My second point, I guess, is just to provoke some thinking. One would imagine logically that non-artificial cross-species transfer of genetic materials into their genomes should have significant effects provided the DNAs are transcribed into proteins. Once again, quite a few conditions to be fulfilled here.

        I think, ultimately, there is a plethora of food and a wide range of produce out there that it should not be difficult to satisfy your desires.

        Overall, other than my first point, it really was all just generic things that I wanted to talk about after reading and having a little reflection, I guess.

        Reply
        • Ena Valikov DVM

          The most salient clinical conclusion is articulated in the journal article ” Conclusion

          The analysis of all the publicly available circulating cell-free DNA sequencing data of over 1000 human subjects confirms our hypothesis that the presence of foreign DNA in human plasma is not unusual. It shows large variation from subject to subject following strikingly well a log-normal distribution with the highest concentration in patients with inflammation (Kawasaki disease, IBD). These findings could lead to a revision of our view of degradation and absorption mechanisms of nucleic acids in the human body.” There is no requirement for DNA to enter cells to cause debilitating inflammation.

          Reply
          • Peter

            Once again, simply because there is a pattern, it does not imply that there is a causality link. E.g. the majority of convicted criminals have eaten bread in the 30 days prior to their conviction. This does not mean that bread causes people to commit crimes. Any pattern identified must be analyzed and put into context. Simply naming a pattern serves no purpose at all.

            Reply
  16. Ryan

    What’s up with the Bruce Lipton reference? I didn’t see any in-text citation? He’s a brilliant dude!

    Reply
  17. Charles Rader

    There’s an interesting intellectual phenomenon on display in this article. The new information it contains, whether reliable or not, is that genes from our food can be detected in our blood. There is no indication that such genes function in our blood. There is no indication that any genes in our blood function differently from other non-gene DNA, or that any gene functions differently from any other gene. Anyone reading only that far, whether skeptically or with complete confidence, would have no reason to even think of genetically modified food.

    But then there’s this huge jump in the direction of expressing fear of GMO food. Why is this not a fear of any and all food? In what way would DNA fragments or even whole genes in blood be more troubling if they started out in a genetically modified food? The article gives no hint as to why GMO food might be different. It leaves us to fill in the gap.

    OK, I’ll try. I guess we’re supposed to think that the genes in a GMO food are different, or may be different, in some way that will matter in the blood, and therefore we have no idea how the difference will manifest itself.

    But this idea is wrong in two separate ways.

    First, almost all the genes in transgenic food have been present in our foods anyway, from other sources. For example, almost all GMO food uses a promoting gene from the cauliflower mosaic virus. But that promoter is present in the natural genome of cauliflower and its many relatives like cabbage and broccoli. We’ve been eating it for centuries. Even the whole viral genome of the cauliflower mosaic virus is present in the plants because the virus often infects the plants without diminishing their marketability. This promoter gene in a GMO food is not a new gene, just a gene naturally present in cabbage, but moved to a different location on another chromosome. By the time this gene gets through digestion into the blood, why would it make any difference where it came from.

    Second, and probably more important, is the difference between genes as chemical substances and genes as carriers of information. All genes are essentially the same as chemical substances. They are different as information. This is like the difference between English texts in the form of ink on paper, and English texts in the form of meaning. I think most of us would not doubt that a piece of newspaper used as tinder to start a fire, or as a means of wrapping fish, would function in the same way whether the printing on the paper was a news story about President Obama, or a list of daily closing stock prices, etc. The natural way that genes function differently from one another is when they are part of a chromosome of a living cell which can interpret their meaning. There’s nothing in blood that can “understand” DNA.

    Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Not a fear, just an acknowledgement that we clearly don’t know enough about GMOs to safely consume them. GMO food might be different because studies show they are harmful, and we are dealing with artificial genes here. Natural, pesticide, organic, GMO food is natural from the Earth, and has been proven to be safe for thousands of years. GMOs on the other hand are very very young, to young for us to see the full effects.

      I echo the words of multiple studies, that we need to know more about them, and what we know so far doesn’t look good.

      • LWess

        Arjun, what exactly are “artificial genes”? For millions of years, viruses, bacteria, parasites are transferring genes from one species to another. Our ability to digest starch (already starting in our mouth) and women’s ability to tolerate the fetus instead of aborting it, was transferred to us by viruses that are now integrated in our genome. Grafting, a more than 2,000 years old cultivation technology used for improving grapes, fruit etc. leads to the transfer of genes between the two plants (you can graft apples on pear trees, cherries on plum trees etc.). That’s resulting in GMOs, genetic engineering introduced by the Greeks (maybe even before by the Mesopotamians)! If you breed a hybrid (hybrid seeds are common in organic gardening and most of the vegetables in a health food store are hybrids), each time 50,000 genes are shuffled and mixed at random! And the farmers have to buy them each year anew, they can’t set seeds aside for the next season; well, technically, they could, but the results would be meager. Therefore they have to buy new ones each season. That’s sort of a terminator technology! And organic farmers are not complaining. Personally, I prefer plants where scientists have introduced a few genes in a very targeted manner (and have tested them for 12 years as required by law) over conventional plants bred by radiation breeding (>75% of all commercially available plant varieties have been derived that way) where you damage seeds by radioactivity and sort out what seems to match your desired traits. Can you imagine, those plants are put on the market without any further testing and without the faintest knowledge what else has been damaged in the genome of these plants? Is this “natural”?

        Reply
        • Jason

          This is a great comment. Thanks for taking the time to engage in this debate. Unfortunately, if you read many of the other comments (including a bunch of mine above) it’s pretty clear that Arjun, though he seems like a nice guy, doesn’t really understand the science underlying GMOs, the evidence that they are safe or the legal regulations that govern their study and commercial production.

          The sad thing is that he (and many other people in this debate) don’t take the time to learn the science, they just use their own ignorance as justification for fear and dishonest hyperbole.

          Arjun, don’t you see the pattern? Over and over scientifically educated people keep trying to explain that you are misunderstanding and misrepresenting the biology of genetic modification and the associated risks. You keep making incorrect statements about GMOs and clearly haven’t taken the time to educate yourself about the real biological facts people keep bringing to your attention. It’s cheap to say things like “That’s the whole point :) GMOs aren’t safe, I think that’s quite clear,to me it is anyway”. That’s a false statement, and if you really think of yourself as a journalist you should confine your discussion to facts, not vague innuendo with emoticons.

          Reply
          • szeitler

            The claims about GMOs being safe are nonsense. If you feel as though Arjun doesn’t understand the biology of genetic modification and the associated risks, lets look at Belinda Martineau, Ph.D., molecular geneticist and one of the developers of the first commercialized GMO. She seems to agree with Arjun that GMOs haven’t been proven safe. She has stated, “The current situation I’ve “recognized to be the truth”, i.e. commercialization of products of a powerful technology with the POTENTIAL FOR MYRIAD UNINTENDED SIDE EFFECTS YET WITH INADEQUATE REGULATION AND RESEARCH, is not conducive to inspiring public confidence in crop genetic engineering.”

            She has also stated, “There are also risks associated with the fact that genetic engineers have no control over where in a plant’s DNA their gene will land and they often land in another gene, mutating that gene. Unexpected changes can occur in GM plants as a result of such unintended insertions–and other possible mutations.”

            And,

            “There are many imprecise aspects of genetic engineering, many related to our very incomplete knowledge about genetics and genomics. That is why regulation of every product of this technology should be required and why they should be labeled.”

            In addition, she has also signed onto ESSNER’s statement – “No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety”. The statement includes: “As scientists, physicians, academics, and experts from disciplines relevant to the scientific, legal, social and safety assessment aspects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) we strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is “over”. We feel compelled to issue this statement because the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist. The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigour and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Science and society do not proceed on the basis of a constructed consensus, as current knowledge is always open to well-founded challenge and disagreement. We endorse the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed public discussion on GM product safety and urge GM proponents to do the same.”

            So Jason, regarding your comment, “it’s pretty clear that Arjun, though he seems like a nice guy, doesn’t really understand the science underlying GMOs, the evidence that they are safe or the legal regulations that govern their study and commercial production,”, it appears as though you are actually the one who doesn’t understand.

            Reply
            • Jason

              Thanks for such a perfect reply–you are making my case for me by arguing this issue like a lawyer, not a scientist.

              Your cherry picking of information makes it pretty clear the truth doesn’t matter to you. First of all, even if you were factually accurate in what you said it wouldn’t really matter–Belinda Marteneau is just one scientist. You claim she is “one of the developers of the first commercial GMO” which is true, but literally thousands of scientists worked on that project, do you care about any of their opinions, or are you just going to talk about the one person you claim agrees with you? For every handful of scientists you can find who oppose GMOs you can find literally thousands who support their responsible use. You could do the same thing with global warming, evolution, vaccines, or any other controversial scientific issue. Finding a few scientists to support your belief and ignoring the rest is intellectually dishonest–science is built on doubt and skepticism and there are many good scientists who challenge accepted opinion, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a broad consensus on the issue and a huge amount of good published research showing GMOs are safe to eat–and there is the fact that literally billions and billions of servings of GMO food have been eaten with no documented health effects (other than the effects of eating processed foods, which I imagine we would both agree is not a great thing).

              BUT GUESS WHAT? (since you like all caps) BELINDA MARTENAU SUPPORTS THE USE OF GMOS!!! That’s right, here’s a quote from her online bio: “She (Belinda) still hopes that this expensive technological tool (genetic modification) might help solve otherwise intractable agricultural problems in sustainable, equitable, and transparent ways. She also believes that each new product of this technology, as with any similarly powerful technology, should be regulated on a case-by-case basis.” Which is pretty much exactly what I’ve said several times in this discussion. It is so, so dishonest of you to misuse and mischaracterize Dr. Martenau’s work to support your agenda.

              It took me about 5 minutes to find this information on Dr. Martenau. Clearly you are either being totally dishonest, or you are simply too lazy to actually do a little bit of research.

              And as far as your/her claim that there are unintended consequences: “There are also risks associated with the fact that genetic engineers have no control over where in a plant’s DNA their gene will land and they often land in another gene, mutating that gene. Unexpected changes can occur in GM plants as a result of such unintended insertions–and other possible mutations.” This is factually true, current genetic modification techniques do generally result in random gene insertions (although, this is changing rapidly, google ‘zinc finger modification’).

              However, you don’t seem to understand how research works and you are wrong to suggest that these unintended effects are not tested for. I know, because I am literally doing those kind of tests right now. I’m working with GMOs (with zero biotech funding, fyi) and am currently conducting a trial of over 100 separate genetic lines in order to screen for the possibility of non-target (unintended) effects from genetic modification. That’s what scientists do all the time. And when those effects are discovered, the plants are destroyed and they don’t make it to market. Also as many other people have pointed out in this thread, the same kind of unpredictable, non-target effects occur all the time in conventional breeding–we’ve accidentally made many toxic vegetable varieties the old fashioned way. So I’m not sure why you would use this argument to oppose modern genetic modification but not against against radiation modification or conventional breeding?

            • szeitler

              Jason, If you argued like a scientist, you’d provide facts and not vague, meaningless generalities. That’s what industry shills do because they have no facts to support their claims. I have a degree in health science not law, but more importantly, I am a mom. The issue here is that you continue to falsely claim that GMOs are safe. Maybe they are a safe bet for making money for the GMO/pesticide industry and their stockholders, but they have not been proven safe for human consumption.

              1. RE: “Your cherry picking of information makes it pretty clear the truth doesn’t matter to you. First of all, even if you were factually accurate in what you said it wouldn’t really matter–Belinda Marteneau is just one scientist. You claim she is “one of the developers of the first commercial GMO” which is true, but literally thousands of scientists worked on that project, do you care about any of their opinions, or are you just going to talk about the one person you claim agrees with you? For every handful of scientists you can find who oppose GMOs you can find literally thousands who support their responsible use.”

              * I’m providing specific facts. Is that what you call cherry picking? Name some scientists who claim GMOs do no harm and are in no way funded by the GMO/pesticide industry. Names and affiliations please – not broad, meaningless generalizations which is all that you have provided so far. And regarding the truth, that is what motivates me. My main goal in researching GMOs is to protect my family. What is your goal in defending GMOs? Feeding the world? Profits? Well, we know you’re not going to feed the world as GMOs are failing and causing an increase in pesticide use and the increase in yields are minimal at best, so it must be for profits. As for Belinda Martineau, why would she come up with such a contrary view to your claims that GMOs are safe? What would be her motives? Is it that you find that she has no idea what she’s talking about? Let’s look at her credentials – Belinda Martineau earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard College and her doctorate in genetics from U.C. Berkeley. Prior to joining Calgene, Inc. in 1988 she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago. She is the author of First Fruit: The Creation of the Flavr SavrTM Tomato and the Birth of Biotech Food and a Principal Editor at U.C. Davis.

              2. RE: “You could do the same thing with global warming, evolution, vaccines, or any other controversial scientific issue. Finding a few scientists to support your belief and ignoring the rest is intellectually dishonest–science is built on doubt and skepticism and there are many good scientists who challenge accepted opinion, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a broad consensus on the issue and a huge amount of good published research showing GMOs are safe to eat–“

              *You’re talking about intellectual honesty? The GMO/pesticide corporations who hold patents on the GMOs and profit off of them are the funders of the SHORT studies which you claim show GMOs to be safe to eat, so their validity is questionable at best. How do I know this? Because with the patents that they hold, they don’t allow any true independent testing. Can you cite any studies longer than a few months showing a GMO is safe for humans to eat? After all, Americans are not eating GMOs for just a short period in their lives. They’re unknowingly eating GMOs for their entire lifetime, every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including our babies and children). Where are the credible studies showing GMOs do no harm? Jason, since you’re an expert, I’m sure you can easily list several, right?

              3.RE: “and there is the fact that literally billions and billions of servings of GMO food have been eaten with no documented health effects”

              *How do you expect to have any credibility and make such and absurd comment? How can there be any documented health effects of GMOs when no one knows that they are eating them? They’re NOT labeled. The industry which you defend had spent $46 million just in California on a deceptive campaign to prevent the labeling of GMOs. They obviously don’t want people to know what they’re really eating, and based on the pathetic 90 day studies they conduct themselves to get their products approved, it’s understandable.

              4.RE: BUT GUESS WHAT? (since you like all caps) BELINDA MARTENAU SUPPORTS THE USE OF GMOS!!! That’s right, here’s a quote from her online bio: “She (Belinda) still hopes that this expensive technological tool (genetic modification) might help solve otherwise intractable agricultural problems in sustainable, equitable, and transparent ways. She also believes that each new product of this technology, as with any similarly powerful technology, should be regulated on a case-by-case basis.” Which is pretty much exactly what I’ve said several times in this discussion. It is so, so dishonest of you to misuse and mischaracterize Dr. Martenau’s work to support your agenda.

              * Your condescending tone towards Arjun was a bit rude, so caps seemed appropriate. That’s great that you’ve discovered that Belinda Martineau supports the use of GMOs – she helped develop the first commercialized GMO as we established – SHE’S ONE OF YOU – which I knew, but so glad you had the revelation. The best part is that, as a GMO supporter, EVEN SHE DOESN’T BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN SAFE and feels as though there is no transparency and the regulatory process in inadequate. Now if you would have taken the time to read all of the quotes that I posted from her, one specifies, “There are many imprecise aspects of genetic engineering, many related to our very incomplete knowledge about genetics and genomics. That is why regulation of every product of this technology should be required and why they should be labeled.” Clearly this states that she is for regulation and labeling – not doing away with them, so you are the misleading one in stating that I’ve been dishonest, misusing and mischaracterizing Dr. Martineau’s work. I’m sure it’s annoying to you that a GMO supporting scientist would proclaim that there is no scientific consensus on GMO safety and there are major problems with GMO science and regulations. Even so, that’s no excuse to make false accusations Jason.

              5.RE: It took me about 5 minutes to find this information on Dr. Martenau. Clearly you are either being totally dishonest, or you are simply too lazy to actually do a little bit of research.

              *Jason, It took me 2 minutes to find the information. This may come as news to you, but speed does not equate to dishonesty or laziness. Slowness on the other hand can indicate dementia, Alzheimer’s, low IQ… 5 minutes is a bit slow.

              I started my research about four years ago when, by chance, I discovered that I was unknowingly feeding my infant son GMO baby formula. Most infant formula in the US, if not organic, contains unlabeled, lab-created, cross-species GMOs. Upon researching the (lack of) science behind GMOs, I became outraged. The more I researched, the more corruption between the GMO/pesticide industry and the US government I uncovered.

              6. And as far as your/her claim that there are unintended consequences: “There are also risks associated with the fact that genetic engineers have no control over where in a plant’s DNA their gene will land and they often land in another gene, mutating that gene. Unexpected changes can occur in GM plants as a result of such unintended insertions–and other possible mutations.” This is factually true, current genetic modification techniques do generally result in random gene insertions (although, this is changing rapidly, google ‘zinc finger modification’).
              However, you don’t seem to understand how research works and you are wrong to suggest that these unintended effects are not tested for. I know, because I am literally doing those kind of tests right now. I’m working with GMOs (with zero biotech funding, fyi) and am currently conducting a trial of over 100 separate genetic lines in order to screen for the possibility of non-target (unintended) effects from genetic modification. That’s what scientists do all the time. And when those effects are discovered, the plants are destroyed and they don’t make it to market. Also as many other people have pointed out in this thread, the same kind of unpredictable, non-target effects occur all the time in conventional breeding–we’ve accidentally made many toxic vegetable varieties the old fashioned way. So I’m not sure why you would use this argument to oppose modern genetic modification but not against against radiation modification or conventional breeding?

              *Where do you get your funding? I find it highly unlikely that there is no link to the GMO/pesticide industry, and based on your comments, I question your honesty. Regarding my argument, this article is about lab-created, cross-species GMOs, not radiation modification or conventional breeding, but if I had a choice, I’d pick conventional breeding which could occur in nature rather than lab-created, cross-species GMOs which would never occur in nature and most of which are genetically modified to withstand dousings of toxic pesticides.

              Jason, It appears that we will obviously never agree, but I’d like to thank you and your other GMO/pesticide industry posters for giving me the additional motivation to get out and educate other parents about GMOs, the lies that the GMO/pesticide industry are spewing and the governmental corruption that has allowed our food supply to be made unsafe.
              Enjoy your GMOs!

            • Jason

              My mom taught me that when people start calling names in arguments and making angry emotional statements it’s basically a declaration that they have lost. I’m pretty sure that if you had facts on your side you’d stick to them, but using loaded emotional language like “I’m a mom” and calling me “an industry shill” is a pretty weak way to engage in the debate. But I’ll play along for a bit because I care about this issue.

              For the record, I am a dad, and I’m happy to feed my daughter GMO food because I’m also a scientist and I’m trained to understand scientific evidence and evaluate risk. Also, for the record, I am in no way an industry shill–I work at an academic institution and I have never received a dime of funding from any biotech company. The work I do with GMOs is purely voluntary. Myself and about 8 other scientists (all academics and all volunteering on this research) are working on a project that we will never receive any patents or profits from because we believe in the potential of genetic modification to improve agriculture and address environmental damage from food production. I know it doesn’t fit the anti-GMO narrative, because every time I read comments written by folks like you, you assert, wrongly, that everyone who works on GMOs is an industry shill driven by money.

              You also ask me to “Name some scientists who claim GMOs do no harm and are in no way funded by the GMO/pesticide industry.” That’s a silly question. Of course GMOs are funded by the GMO industry? I’m not even sure what you are asking here? But organic food is funded by the organic food industry…all food for sale at the store is brought to you by corporations that are trying to make a profit.

              You also keep asserting that “GMOs haven’t been proven safe” and you are right. However, they never will be–that’s not how science or logic work. You simply cannot prove something is safe, period. No food on the grocery store shelves has ever been proven safe–and frankly none of them really are, nearly every food causes allergies in some people, many contain low levels of toxic chemicals (made by the plants and animals themselves, not added to them) and none of them go through very rigorous testing procedures before being sold–in fact GMOs are tested way, way more than other foods before making it to market. I’m not going to list a bunch of studies for you, because frankly I doubt you would understand them and because they only take a few minutes to find using google (maybe even less for somebody with your lightening fast research skills).

              The fact is that epidemiologists and public health researchers are really, really good at picking up patterns of disease and harm in the population–if a dozen people get food poisoning it usually only takes a few days to determine the source. Since many, many people have been eating GMOs for decades now, that I’m fairly certain any significant impacts would have been easily detected. And you can’t hide behind “we can’t test for effects because we don’t even know we are eating them”. It’s really easy to figure out if GMOs are in your foods, you can buy a simple test kit for about $50 and check yourself if you know your way around a lab. It’s really easy for health science researchers to know what foods on the market contain GMOs (the answer is nearly all of them, at least the processed foods). I know because I’ve done these tests–and it will probably scare you to learn that a lot of foods sold as “GMO free” really aren’t, there is always some contamination. So you really can’t avoid them no matter what you do unless you live off the grid and grow all your own food.

              As far as Dr. Martenau, you are the one who cited her as an expert. The risks she mentioned and you quoted are real, but you are blowing them way out of proportion (the risks are really to the modified organism, which may be harmed, not to the people who might hypothetically eat it) and they are discussed in any college-level biology class that teaches genetic modification and are routinely tested for by scientists working with GMO crops. I’m pretty sure Dr. Martenau and I are on the same page with GMOs–I believe they have incredible potential, but that there should be robust study of any new types of modification and sensible data-driven government regulation to reduce risks to the public. But I think that same regulations should apply to all foods, not just GMOs.

              As far as labeling goes, it will probably surprise you to learn that I support labeling of GMO foods for a few reasons. First, I think a democratic society should always seek to give people as much information as possible and second I think that labeling GMOs will help demystify them–once people realize how common they are in food and how frequently they have been eating them for years, I suspect a lot of fear will disappear and we can all move on. And yes, I agree with you that there is a lot of corruption between government and corporations and a lot of shady business practices by companies like Monsanto (suing small farmers…). I don’t like that stuff, but I don’t think you have to condemn the science because you don’t like the behavior of lawyers and politicians. That seems like the equivalent of saying “I hate the big music companies because they just keep pushing crappy music on the public and suing fans who download music, so I’m not going to listen to any music anymore”. Maybe we can all be mature enough to draw reasonable distinctions between artists/scienctists and the ruthless corporate jerks that seek to profit from their work?

              I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve written in this discussion, but I encourage you to take a look at the other comments in this thread. I’ve taken a lot of time to explain the potential of GMOs to reduce environmental harm from agriculture, increase food yields (so we can reduce hunger and cut down less forests for farmland) increase nutrition, and improve air and water quality. There is a lot of good information from people with scientific backgrounds and there is also a lot of fear-driven, ignorant hand waving by folks who clearly don’t understand science very well.

        • - Collective Evolution

          Genetically modified ones. I know gene transfer has happened for millions of years, but that was without GMOs….That’s the whole point :) GMOs aren’t safe, I think that’s quite clear,to me it is anyway.

          • LWess

            I give up here, Arjun. That is not reasoning, that is repeating statements that do not make sense. The basic fact is: there is no such thing as an artificial gene. GMO and conventional breeding result in the same effect – they are changing the genome – and you are unable to discriminate between the two once you have the final product. The only difference is: one technology is fast and targeted, the other is slow and untargeted. Unintended Side effects are more likely and more common in conventional breeding technologies like radiation breeding. There are examples for plants (celery, potatoes) where conventional breeding resulted in toxic varieties which had to be drawn from the market. I do not know of a single GMO that had these side effects.

            Reply
      • Daniel Williams

        Well to be honest, you’re completely wrong there. The majority of studies on GMOs show them to be entirely safe. By comparison, there have only been a very small number of people claiming to know things that ‘don’t look good’, and they all seem to coincidentally come from incredibly unreliable sources.

        I personally think that before scaremongering you ought to do some serious research into the matter, because it’s fairly clear from this article and your subsequent comment that you are actually woefully uninformed on what a GMO even is. Everything Charles said makes perfect sense, and your response was just a painfully diplomatic attempt at completely ignoring him.

        Reply
        • anonymous

          By a majority, do you mean to include the 13 week garbage study monsanto put out to conclude their products are “safe and nutritious”? Those studies have one, nothing to do with nutrition; and two, their study used 10 mice prone to cancer, and omit the other 10 they started with. Hmm, sounds just like the seralini paper, only this didnt get retracted, it was used to certify that monsanto products are fine for human consumption. Thirteen weeks is not enough time. Try multiple generations and then come back and tell me everything is fine.

          I think you need to criticize the pro GMO studies honestly and objectively. If you had, you would see the Monsanto study is very similar to the seralini study. Stop cheerleading.

          Reply
        • Well to be honest, Daniel, you’re completely wrong there. The stakes are very high and scientists should not plunge unaware into an abyss that has no good outcome for not only human life, but for all life on Earth. Scientists have been making such leaps of faith in much the same way as immigrants who brought some of their familiar plants with them, Infesting their new lands with plants that became weeds, brought plant diseases and invasive animals, such as the rabbits brought to Australia or the starlings brought to North America.

          Such leaps of faith allowed wartime atomic physicists to experiment with atomic bombs when they were not sure that it could be contained, or the CERN cyclotron experimenting with black holes.

          You might say that Paul Revere was scaremongering as he spread an alarm that the British were coming. Perhaps we SHOULD be a little bit scared about tampering with things of which we really understand very little.

          Dandelions were thought to be a useful healing herb and were brought to North America for very good reasons. Now they are a weed that people feel inclined to kill…with herbicides such as 2,4-D. Getting rid of weeds has been a high priority and thus, the custodial staff at my daughter’s elementary thought nothing amiss about applying the weed-killer to the school playgrounds. As a result, three of the children got Burkitt’s Lymphoma, two of them died. My daughter was the lucky one, but it certainly disrupted our family, the impact spilling over into the lives of many. Many others have no clue why their children got Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It started with people not having the wisdom to not trespass on the laws of nature.

          Reply
          • Dr.B.N.Viswanath

            research about GMO’s is incomplete it has not undergone test of time as our natural foods…… Rachel Carsons book Sielent spring throws light on pesticide poisoning as early 60’s and to know the effect of GMO’s pl. read the book GM roulette by Jeffry Smith it will throw some light on what happens if GM food is consumed regularly and experiments show by taking small mammels as test animals……… one can draw their own conclusion

            Reply
        • Aaron

          I am as liberal as they come. And I make fun of conservatives who twist “science” to support their disbelief in global climate change. But I also hang my head in shame how politics and lack of basic science education has allowed my fellow liberals to twist “science” to support their bias against Monsanto and other big Ag into demonizing all of GMO. You are right, the vast, vast majority of scientific evidence supports the claim that GMO is safe. But the anti-GMO movement is not interested in the science, they are interested in the anti-GMO cause.

          Reply
          • - Collective Evolution

            Disagree there, I believe the bast and majority of scientific evidence supports the fact that GMO’s need to be studied further before concluding they are safe.

        • szeitler

          The rambling continues. Daniel and Charles, where are the studies? Give them to me. Alleviate my fears about GMOs. Make me want to throw a GMO party. I am the mother of a young son. I discovered that I had unknowingly been feeding my baby GMO infant formula. As you know in the US, GMOs are not labeled, so I had no way of knowing. Why the secret? If GMOs are great and are going to feed the world, why not slap a huge “GMO” sticker on all genetically modified products bragging about it instead of spending millions to block labeling? 64 countries either ban or label GMOs, but in the US, our government and corporations profiting off of GMOs have decided that we don’t need to know. I find this outrageous.

          I have a degree in Health Science and started to attempt to hunt down the studies that showed me that GMOs did no harm. What I found was a joke. The studies that have been published are nonsense. Show me a relevant study demonstrating that GMOs are fit for human and animal consumption (not conducted or funded in any way by the pesticide/GMO industry) – please!

          Reply
          • Jill

            Here is a review of many peer-reviewed studies showing that Living Modified Organisms (LMO, the scientific term) cause no harm to people. However there are some real consequences that are ignored when it comes to this debate. We, as in humans, aren’t going to die from consuming these foods. The real issue is we are changing the environment by using harsh pesticides that kill off everything that isn’t resistant. Monarch butterflies should be much more worried about these modified food products.

            http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/10/massive-review-reveals-consensus-on-gmo-safety.html

            Reply
  18. Josh Ochocki

    Whether you agree with the author or not, this particular article is irresponsibly written. The author chose to cherry pick evidence from the sources he cites. For instance, he states that reference #1 says “Researchers report that microbes found in the small bowel of people with ilestomy are capable of acquiring and harboring DNA sequences from GM plants.”
    While that quote is taken directly from the article, it means nothing in the context of the rest of the article. Because later, that same article states “we conclude that gene transfer did not occur during the feeding experiment.”
    Cherry picking evidence to fit your conclusions is reprehensible.

    Reply
    • Sometimes well often times…it is necessary to pick the cherries that other scientists have chosen to only report, but shy from concluding. That’s the nature of the human mind: some scientists ignore the crack in the cosmic egg. They lack the curiosity or the framework within which to consider a new paradigm. In fact, if the author of this article is correct this should serve as a warning to scientists, scientific enterprises, and an unscientific consumer to take notice and take precautions to avoid becoming a footnote to life in the universe. After all, stupidity is a terminal infirmity and forced to share a precious planet with those who don’t have the wisdom required to recognize their real ignorance puts even wise men and women at risk.

      Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Not sure about that, I think it definitely fits in with the context of the article Josh :) I think this is far from cherry picking, but the main point is, as most researchers outline in the papers is the fact that we don’t know enough of about them, they can indeed potentially be harmful…thanks for reading.

  19. What a fine deception to sow the seeds of the depopulation of the planet in the food we purchase! The infertility genes rampant in GMO can avoid the messiness of genocidal executions and pogroms. We will even pay for the disposal of the corpses. Just eat the food you are provided and you will have no children or your children will become mutants who will have no children. The “recommendation” on the Georgia Guidestones to maintain the human population below 500 million can be accomplished in a few generations without anyone realizing that having a family is no longer possible. Human family will be reserved for those who are smart enough to avoid the genocide gene. Grow your own or die to the future of family.
    This also portends an escape of infertility genes into wild populations of flowering plants. Sexual reproduction through the making of seeds and fruit is an important source of food for humanity. In fact, infertility genes in the pollen of GMO plants can enter the gene pool of another species and render it incapable of reproduction. Earth will once more become a barren planet.

    Sometimes wisdom trumps knowledge, especially when arrogance covers for a real ignorance. Legends of Atlantis suggest this embedded character flaw in the human gene pool. The arrogance of flawed knowledge is in stark contrast to deep wisdom. Technocrats cannot see their ignorance, believing themselves smarter than everyone else, leading us unaware to a deafening silence, our irrelevance to the Universe.

    Reply
    • Plant infertility genes do not make humans infertile. In fact, it attacks the plants ribosomes during seed germination.
      In humans it would just be a junk protein without any function, that would get sorted out over time

      Reply
  20. Prof. Professor

    “Cherry picking” is always used to sort out undeveloped cherries or rotten cherries from ripe ones that you can enjoy without getting a stomach ache. Just FYI in case you’ve never picked cherries. 😉

    Much research is narrowly conducted under narrow conditions (as they must be). Just because an article quotes a reference for it’s facts, doesn’t mean that it must also make the same “conclusion” (see “cherry picking” comment above). Even still, one of the sources of this article (see article reference “(0)”) contains 51 citations and concludes by entitling it’s research as “Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood”. Now that’s a good cherry!

    It is said that one cannot compare apples to oranges, but one can recognize they both come from a common source (trees) … and one can then compare those trees for a wider-view conclusion about good cherries.

    – Prof. Professor (doctorate in DNA, graduate of GMO, more with ETC)

    Reply
    • So what’s your point? The citation format may not be exact, but that doesn’t diminish the message.

      Reply
  21. Jason

    Arjun,

    I think you need to take a biology class. It’s pretty clear from the article and your responses to people that you really don’t understand the science. And to write an article like this, that will scare people, without understanding your subject is pretty irresponsible.

    First, for full disclosure, I’m a plant scientist who has worked with GMOs, but I’ve never received a dime of funding from any biotech company. As several other people have pointed out, the genes inserted into GMO plants aren’t “artificial” as you write, in fact they are simply moved from one plant to another (or a non plant to a plant…) so if you eat a diversity of foods you are probably encountering all of these genes anyway–e.g. if you eat cauliflower with your dinner you are getting the same promoter gene in your diet that you would if you ate another food modified with a gene taken from cauliflower. Furthermore, all our food is contaminated by lots of other organisms, soil microbes, insect parts, fungus growing on leaves…and we eat all that DNA in every mouthful as well (and a lot more if we eat raw food).

    Second, it appears that you may be unfamiliar with what actually happens with genes in living organisms. The DNA has to be translated into RNA and then transcribed into a protein in order to have any function in the organism. All of the machinery for doing so is located within individual cells, not in the open blood stream. So, while finding intact DNA in the blood stream is an interesting, unexpected finding, in no way does the research you discuss suggest that these genes are being read and used by humans, only that the DNA is floating around. And again, it’s the same chunk of DNA in your blood, weather it came from plant A, or was moved to plant B by a scientist–so it’s probably in your blood weather you eat GMOs or not. But it’s almost certainly not doing anything in your blood–it’s pretty easy to test for the presence of foreign proteins (which would be there if we were transcribing foreign DNA) and if there was any evidence that we were making plant proteins after eating plants we would have found it long ago–this point has nothing to do with GMOs by the way, if humans were making and using plant proteins it would be huge science news weather the plants were GM or not. But it doesn’t happen, because there are huge biochemical barriers to actually reading the DNA of other species (and because the DNA never gets into the intercellular spaces where it could be read).

    Finally, you fail to mention the actual position of the authors of this study. You don’t actually include their perspective at all, but rather quote a bunch of activists with a clear agenda. The authors themselves have said (in other, more accurate, stories I’ve read about this paper) that they see no reason why their research should implicate GMOs any more than any other plants in our diet and that interpreting it as you have is irresponsible and ignorant.

    Also, I don’t have time for a full refutation, but most of the studies you mention that show harm for GMOs have been thoroughly debunked by follow up research–and it’s really, really cheap to cherry pick a few findings when there are literally hundreds more studies showing the opposite. I could go find 25 peer-reviewed articles that show global climate change is false, they are there–but there are 13,000 showing the opposite result. But, just like conservatives who want to dismiss climate change, you are ignoring the totality of the data and only talking about the few outlier papers that support what you want to believe.

    Reply
    • How do you explain the DNA of twins becoming isolated in specific regions of the body? For example Lydia Fairchild was almost sent to jail for welfare fraud after her DNA test came back as NOT being the biological mother of her children. After further investigation, it was found Lydia had a twin that naturally aborted within the womb, and that twins DNA stayed in the ovaries. This enabled Lydias children to utilize Lydias dead twin’s DNA rather than her own.

      Reply
      • Jason

        I’m not sure how that’s relevant? I don’t mean to dismiss your question, it’s an interesting topic, but it has nothing to do with genetic modification or this article.

        Lydia Fairchild (I think we read the same story about her, very interesting) is a ‘genetic mosaic’ which means that she contains functioning cells from more than one individual. However, that occurred because there were originally two human embryos in her mother’s womb–these embryos at some point fused and became one fetus, which lead to one human being. (apparently this is more common than previously suspected).

        This situation is totally, totally different from what Arjun is suggesting–the DNA of another species being integrated into our genome and functioning. In the Fairchild case, there were living cells that connected to each other and began working together. It wasn’t only the twins DNA that stayed in the ovaries, it was whole living cells. It’s not like one set of cells took up the DNA from the other set–the two sets of cells merged and began working together, so some of Linda’s cells come from each twin–this is only possible because the cells were extremely similar genetically and thus biochemically compatible. That’s a totally different thing than the possibility of a cell taking up DNA from an unrelated organism and actually integrating it into it’s own genome and then transcribing it to RNA and translating into a protein.

        Those two steps, transcription and translation, both require very specific biochemical machinery (mostly RNA polymerase and ribosomes) which recognize regions of DNA/RNA and ‘read’ them. These ‘machines’ (RNA pol. and ribosomes) are very specific to individual species–so, while our own cells could recognize and read other human DNA, they probably couldn’t do so with plant DNA–I say probably because nothing is really absolute in biology and of course some organisms like viruses and bacteria have figured out how to hack our biochemistry. But in order to do so, those viruses and bacteria have had to evolve DNA sequences that are very similar to our own, so they are recognized. Plants have never evolved anything like this, because they have no need to hack our biochemistry. So, DNA from plants, even if it’s fully intact in our bloodstream, probably won’t be read by our cells. (Another problem, that I mentioned elsewhere, is that all the machinery for DNA transcription is located within cell nuclei, not free floating in the bloodstream–so the plant DNA would have to enter the nucleus, which is a very, very difficult thing to do as evolution has designed nuclear envelopes to have highly specific permeability).

        But, the bottom line is that even if all of this were to occur it wouldn’t be a big deal. If our cells could somehow take up plant DNA and transcribe and translate it into functional proteins, then the result would just be the production of a functional plant protein in our body–but we eat functional plant proteins all the time and many natural food fans think they are the key to health–they are called “enzymes” and raw foodists are constantly talking about how good they are for us. So, I don’t see why it would be a big deal if we were somehow making our own plant enzymes?

        The suggestion of Arjun and others is that somehow DNA from unmodified plants would be fine, but that the “artificial” (I still have no idea what this means?) genes from modified plants would be a problem. But, honestly, that’s just nonsense–genes are genes, and a gene for producing beta carotene from a carrot is the same gene when a scientist inserts it into a rice genome (golden rice) and the enzyme the gene produces is the same as is the end product, beta carotene. There is no biochemical difference between the two genes (one in a wild carrot and the other in a GMO rice plant) both function the same and both would have the same effect if we ate them and somehow began using the DNA–we would make our own beta carotene! This would be great, if it worked, because right now our bodies can’t make beta carotene and thus we have to eat it–many people don’t get enough of it and consequently are blind or dead. So, I imagine that if it were possible for humans to ‘use’ genes from plants, evolution would have long ago done so in order to give us the ability to make all the necessary chemicals (vitamins) that we currently cannot make and thus have to eat. The fact that this hasn’t occurred in millions of years of human evolution seems like pretty strong evidence that it’s not biochemically possible (or at least extremely unlikely).

        Reply
    • - Collective Evolution

      Jason, Many scientists and geneticists would disagree with you, and they have verified backgrounds.

      I think you re-enforce my point, “probablies” are not enough! We do not know enough and that is the main point of the article. The genes are artificial….again, probablies won’t work.

      I am not that DNA has to be transferred into RNA etc……also, the fact that it enters into the blood stream alone should be cause for concern. We do not know that they are not infiltrating the “machinery” as you call it, and given the fact that a number of studies have linked GMOs to diseases like cancer, and others that require cell mutation…I think that’s a red flag, don’t you?

      As far as your last point, the author cites a large majority of studies that clearly state further studies are warranted..I don’t just look at the source, I look at the sources within the source!

      I think it’s clear, and again, Your opening statement makes me believe you’ve written from a place of being insulted….You don’t need to be a biology expert to understand something so simple and clear, I believe anyway.

      We don’t know enough, GMOs are VERY young, and many studies indicate further study is warranted, some indicate we shouldn’t be eating them at all!

      • Jason

        Arjun, again you are totally missing my central point: THE GENES ARE NOT ARTIFICIAL. I don’t know why you keep saying that. Scientists simply take a gene that is present in one species and move it to another–it’s not more artificial in one plant than the other. If you are worried about eating that gene and the effect it might have on you, then you shouldn’t eat anything with genes–that includes plants, animals, fungus…everything we eat–it’s all full of genes that might do unexpected damage to us, right?

        And furthermore, this study says absolutely nothing about GMOs–it just talks about chloroplast genes from ordinary plants. If you use this study as a dietary guide then any precautionary principle you want to apply to GMOs should also be applied to every vegetable we eat (especially the new ones like pink grapefruit that were developed with conventional breeding techniques and we don’t have a long track record with). Pink grapefruit has only been around for a couple generations (not long enough to know it has no lasting effects) and to my knowledge nobody has ever done a study on weather genes from pink grapefruit survive our digestive process and if so how they affect our physiology–should we stop eating them until that study is done?

        I agree with you that we need to study GMOs more, which is why I and thousands of other scientists are doing so right now. There are so many studies coming out all the time. The vast, vast majority of them find no risks from growing or eating them. For you to cite a few scientists and a few studies and just ignore all the rest that contradicts you is very dishonest. Yes, there are several dozen scientists (maybe a few hundred) who oppose GMOs, but there are literally millions that support their use. For example: the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Scientists, the National Science Foundation, the British Medical Association…the list goes on and on and all these groups represent millions of scientists who all agree GMOs are safe.

        There are probably more scientists who think Obama is a Kenyan muslim who caused 9-11 than think GMOs are dangerous to eat. Even the authors of the paper you are discussing say that GMOs are safe and their work has no relation to GMO controversies–but you are either misunderstanding or misrepresenting their work in a way that is just serves to scare people.

        But here’s the thing–the real disservice you are doing is that you are blunting public support for an important technology that could improve human nutrition and reduce disease, reduce pesticide use, and increase agricultural yields so we can use less of the earth to grow our food. That’s a real shame and I hope you will consider the moral implications of your writing.

        Reply
        • - Collective Evolution

          That didn’t see to be your central point in your last comment. I am referring to GM crops, which renders them as some type of ‘artificial’ in my mind. As far as moving genes from one species from another in a horizontal fashion, we know very little, we just assume the same biological rules apply which is a dangerous thing to assume.

          GMO vegetables and fruit are not the same as conventional ones, that’s why there should be cause for concern. As far as the natural foods you refer to, I think we can safely consume them as we have been for a very long time…GMOs…not even 20 years!

          As far as the vast majority of them finding no risks at all, I’d have to disagree with you there. There are many scientists who agree they are not safe, in fact hundreds and hundreds have come together all over the world! That’s why they are banned in many countries, and the list is growing.

          Thanks for reading.

          • Nick

            Arjun, I have to reply up here because I can’t below – The fact that you are “skipping over” comments written at great effort by an informed person who is trying to share the best understanding humans have is deeply concerning.

            I am studying for a PhD in molecular biology, and I too understand the technologies involved. One of the most basic tenets of fairness is that like things must be treated alike. You say “We have not been eating GMOs for long enough to know their danger,” yet completely ignore Jasons valid point that new plant varieties are brought out constantly. Like things must be treated alike; each of these is a new variety of plant, which has never before existed, which humans have not been consuming for long enough to understand the risks of. In fact, the biggest difference between a cross-bred plant displaying traits we desire and a GMO plant carrying a specific gene introduced for a specific reason is that we don’t know anywhere near as much about the side effects of the cross-bred plant.

            I would also like to reinforce Jason’s point: IF it was possible for genes from GMOs to transfer into humans, to integrate into our genomes or even be expressed (acted upon as instructions by our machinery), then that exact thing would have happened a long, long time ago by one of the – literally – trillions of genes that – literally – billions of organisms that humans and other mammals have eaten over the, and i’m going to be generous here, last 1-200 years that we have “good” medical records for. There is nothing magical or artificial about genes introduced by recombinant DNA technology. It is cutting and pasting of small, specific fragments. After the fragment has been pasted in place, it is in every way the same as the rest of the DNA, so there is absolutely no reason to think, fear, suppose or hypothesise that it may move in a different way to the DNA that was put there without the use of a restriction enzyme in a tube. You say we “assume” that horizontal DNA transfer follows the same rules as vertical DNA transfer – that’s not an assumption. That’s the state of the art in scientific knowledge, the product of decades of research into introns, transposons, plasmids, phage, retroviruses, sites acted upon by homologous or site-specific recombination, and every other known mobile DNA element.

            Arjun, it is only fair that like things be treated alike. There is absolutely no reason to think that GMOs have the magical ability to send their genes into action in humans when no other plant does – especially when, by definition, we know what plants the genes we’re moving come from (else we wouldn’t be able to purify them in the first place to do the cut and paste).

            Reply
            • - Collective Evolution

              We do not skip at all, we have thousands of articles on our page, with thousands of comments, we don’t have time to answer them all let alone see them all.

              We have numerous professors, PhD,s and more that agree with us, and actually carry out these studies. Again we are dealing with GMOs entering our system, not natural foods from nature. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that GMOs do have the ability (as well as non GMOs) to alter our genome. Especially the studies that link GMOs to cancer and numerous other ailments…..

          • HawaiianNeal

            It’s really pretty simple. Just show me the before and after DNA sequences that have mutated in an organism due to “ingestion”. The next biggest point that seems to be missed is that ‘natural’ foods are RANDOMLY mutated. Granted this type of mutation is vertical not horizontal, but vertical mutations have caused MANY more severe issues than horizontal.

            Reply
          • Jason

            Ok, Arjun in the interest of dialogue (rather than just talking past each other) I’m going to respond to what you said in some detail:

            “That didn’t seen to be your central point in your last comment.”

            It wasn’t. It was the central point of another comment I wrote on this article which read: “You keep talking around the issue, but the original paper has nothing at all to do with GMOs, it just shows that plant DNA is in our blood–why in the world would you be worried about a gene from cauliflower getting into your blood if you ate it in a GMO non-cauliflower plant, but not worried about it if you ate the same gene from an actual cauliflower? It’s totally irrational.” I apologize for confusing the flow of the comments, I thought this was in the same string.

            “I am referring to GM crops, which renders them as some type of ‘artificial’ in my mind. As far as moving genes from one species from another in a horizontal fashion, we know very little, we just assume the same biological rules apply which is a dangerous think to assume.”

            This doesn’t make a lot of sense–in what sense are they artificial? The DNA is the same thing in both kinds of plants and the result is the same–the production of a protein that confers a particular trait. If that protein is not toxic in the original plant, it won’t be toxic in the GM plant, so there is no good reason to be afraid of it. And we do know a tremendous amount about what biological “rules” apply–the evidence for this is the fact that genetic modification works–if we knew very little about it, we wouldn’t be able to successfully manipulate plant genetics.

            “As far as the natural foods you refer to, I think we can safely consume them as we have been for a very long time…GMOs…not even 20 years!”

            This is factually false–there are new varieties of conventionally bred plants entering the market all the time. Many of these non-GMO plants are cross bred with toxic wild relatives (common in tomatoes, for example) in order to increase pest resistance–which means adding new genes that make new proteins which produce new, potentially toxic chemicals. These new plants are sold in stores and widely eaten with little or no scientific study. If you want to be precautionary about GMOs that’s fine, but the only justification for not applying the same principle to conventional breeding techniques is scientific ignorance–there is no good reason to be afraid of one and not the other as both methods result in plants that contain new genes, new proteins and new potential for allergenicity and toxicity.

            “As far as the vast majority of them finding no risks at all, I’d have to disagree with you there.”

            There simply isn’t room for disagreement here–this is a factual statement, not an opinion. The vast majority of scientists and scientific organizations do support the use of GM technology and the overwhelming majority of studies agree that they are totally safe. I know there is a lot of ‘noise’ about a few studies that seem to show scary results, but they are truly the outliers–and if you understand statistics it’s not surprising that there are a few false-positive results, they are called ‘type one errors’ it doesn’t necessarily mean the papers are bad science, just anomalous results that can’t be replicated because they were statistical flukes, not real findings.

            “That’s why they are banned in many countries, and the list is growing.”

            This is also not really true. The list of countries growing GMOs has increased consistently for many years and nearly everybody on earth eats them (the only people who don’t eat GMOs are those who are not connected to global trade, like Amazon tribes). There are a few examples of countries banning GMOs, but not many. For example, the EU currently bans the planting of most GMOs, but not the eating of them–and European food is just as full of GMOs as American food. The reason the EU regulates them has more to do with protecting domestic agriculture (because the big biotech companies are mostly American) not because they think they are dangerous. The “bans” you hear about in the media are generally very specific, local regulations for particular GM varieties, not blanket bans of all GMOs. GM crops have been the fastest adopted technology in the history of agriculture and have been growing at about 6% a year recently. The planting of GMOs is increasing all over the world–2012 was the first year that more GMO crops were grown in developing countries than in developed ones–and in 2012 both Cuba and Sudan started growing GMOs and no country stopped. Here’s a link to a report that summarizes this: http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/16/

            I want to add however, that I am not saying that GMO technology is only good or could never be dangerous. It’s a very powerful technique that it could easily be used to create toxic/dangerous plants and like any technology there are potential risks that should be studied and monitored. But it’s just a technique and all GMOs are not the same thing. Consequently, blanket opposition to all GMOs is really short-sighted. Genetic modifications should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The GMO foods that we actually eat have been shown over and over again to be safe.

            Activist groups love to talk about things like Franken-fish-tomatoes, but that’s really nonsense–these plants only existed in lab studies and were never commercially grown or part of the food system. Nearly all GMO crops currently grown (>99.9%) have one of two modifications (or both): herbicide (Roundup) tolerance, or pesticide (Bt toxin) production. These are both very benign modifications.

            Roundup is a very low toxicity herbicide that breaks down quickly into water and carbon dioxide when exposed to sunlight. So farmers growing roundup ready crops can use a safer herbicide that causes less environmental damage–and if any herbicide remains on the food we eat, I’d much rather have it be Roundup than some of the other widely used commercial herbicides.

            Bt toxin sounds scary, but it really isn’t–it’s a compound produced by soil bacteria that kills insects. It has no affect on us because the pH of our digestive systems is different than insects and in our pH environment the toxin is not chemically active. Some people just don’t like the idea of eating Bt toxin, and that’s fine–but if so, you shouldn’t eat organic food either, because Bt toxin is heavily used in organic agriculture. The difference is that for organic agriculture they grow bacteria in vats, harvest the Bt toxin and spray it all over the plants. In the GM plants the Bt toxin is directly made by the plant. Either way, the same chemical is present in your food.

            Reply
            • - Collective Evolution

              Artificial in the sense that it is genetically modified, it may not fit the exact description of artificial but like I said, that’s why “I” call it artificial.

              My point about the 20 year point, was the fact that GMOs haven’t been around long enough for us to safely consume them. I honestly can’t keep going back and forth with you, as I am sure you cannot either. I am skimming through your comments and another think I’d like to reply to is the fact that you say roundup is very low toxicity.

              It’s been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s , birth defects and more! The EPA also recently raised the allowable concentrations of it within the past few years.

              Basically, there is a large consensus about GMOs. As far as a few countries banning them, there are quite a few! Again, I’d love to reply to your whole post as I’ve done to many people regarding this article. But I think we’ve both made our points clear, thanks for commenting the dialogue is always great! :) What I did with your previous post was take each one of your points and reply to them, it took me quite a while and I would do the same with this one…. I just don’t want to keep going back and forth :)

  22. Suzanne

    I read this article the morning after the Academy Awards and had this thought to inform the public about GMO’s. Make film to show what is happening to our foods. Many people are visual learners however, all could benefit from seeing and hearing about this GMO information.

    Reply
    • Louis Luetzgendorff

      Now it is becoming more and more obvious why so many people have been able to become breatharians, i.e. feeding entirely on light, air and water: they obtained chlorophyll genes from eating green plants, just like the article says. So, folks, here’s a recipe to end your fears: Eat grass for a while, meditate, let the genes do their work, and you’re free from food, i.e. free from meat, GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, fluorine, gluten and all the other unhealthy stuff in our food. Plus you will make Monsanto and the other big food and ag corporations go bankrupt. Then drink Emoto energized water, enjoy the fresh mountain air and the clear light. You won’t need any more. Sure, there is still chemtrails, water and air pollution, electromagnetism, HAARP, radiation etc., but the poisoned food of our times will no longer bother you.

      Reply
  23. Bruce
    Reply

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