More studies continue to emerge that allow us to better understand genetically modified (GM) foods and the potential dangers associated with consuming them. Research from Canada (the first of its kind) has successfully identified the presence of pesticides -associated with genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal and non-pregnant women’s blood. They also found the presence of Monsanto’s Bt toxin. The study was published in the Journal Reproductive Toxicology in 2011.(1) You can read the FULL study here.
Multiple studies have outlined the toxicity of glyphosate, it’s been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Many previous studies have reported that glyphosate is directly involved in the induction of developmental retardation of fetal skeleton and significant adverse effects on the reproductive system.(2)(1) Glyphosate has also been linked to harming human placental cells as well as embryonic cells.(3)(1) It’s not just glyphosate, it’s gluphosinate, and a variety of other insecticides, including the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
The study concluded, apart from pesticides, that Monsanto’s Bt toxins are clearly detectable and appear to cross the placenta to the fetus. Some studies have linked Monsanto’s Bt toxin to cancer, damaging kidney cells, and more, especially when they are combined with Round-up.(6)
Multiple studies outline the need for further research when it comes to GMOs, before we can say they are 100 % safe for consumption.
“Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the fetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach. Thus, our present results will provide baseline data for future studies exploring a new area of research relating to nutrition, toxicology and reproduction in women. Today, obstetric-gynecological disorders that are associated with environmental chemicals are not known. Thus, knowing the actual concentration of genetically modified foods in humans constitutes a cornerstone in the advancement of research in this area.” (1)
The study used blood samples from thirty pregnant women and thirty non-pregnant women. The study also pointed out that the fetus is considered to be highly susceptible to the adverse affects of xenobiotics ( foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced.) This is why the study emphasizes that knowing more about GMOs is crucial, because environmental agents could disrupt the biological events that are required to ensure normal growth and development.
I echo the words of this study:
“The risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) crops for human nutrition and health has not been systematic. Evaluations for each GM crop or trait have been conducted using different feeding periods, animal models, and parameters. The most common results is that GM and conventional sources include similar nutritional performance and growth in animals. However, adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues have been reported. While there are currently no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods, attempts towards harmonization are on the way. More scientific effort is necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods.” (4)
It’s not the research presented in this article that has the majority of countries worldwide banning GM foods, it’s more. Multiple studies by multiple researchers, scientists, institutions and universities all around the world have contributed in bringing more awareness to the fact that we don’t know enough about GM foods to safely consume them. Don’t forget to take into account adverse affect GMOs can have on the environment.
Apart from experts conducting the research, they are also making public appearances, trying to raise more awareness. Not long ago, former Canadian Government scientist at agriculture Canada, Dr. Thierry Vrain warned us about the multiple dangers that could be associated with GMOs. Geneticist David Suzuki expressed that “human beings are part of a massive genetic experiment” when it comes to GMOs, and that we don’t know enough about them to deem them completely safe.
“By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment. The FDA has said that genetically modified organisms are not much different from regular food, so they’ll be treated the same way. The problem is, geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move in horizontally into a totally unrelated species. switching genes from one to the other without regard for the biological constraints. It’s very very bad science, we assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically, applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion” – David Suzuki (5)
Given the amount of research that has and is surfacing about GM foods, it’s clear that more research and investigation needs to be done before we deem them completely safe for human consumption. Many of the studies that are already published show that they are not safe. What is the real motivation behind GM foods? I’d also like to mention that recently, it was confirmed that DNA from genetically modified crops can be transferred into humans who eat them. Complete genes enter into the human circulation system through an unknown mechanism. (7)
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