GMO: friend or foe

admin's picture

I prefer to err on the side of caution, but who, as a layman, can judge how much caution is really adequate?
On the one hand there's this:
"This study was just routine," said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

And if this isn't shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths—a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.

On the other hand there's that:

Below is a (non-comprehensive) bibliography of 57 publications regarding the safety of GM food crops. The first 12 are published in peer-reviewed journals and I have supplied excerpts from the abstracts. These definitely report experimental data to back up their results. Eight more are meeting abstracts reporting data or are agricultural extension reports which also appear to be reporting data.

The rest of the bibliography is to show that the problem of the safety of GM foods has been considered by a large group of diverse organizations - many of which do not have a direct financial interest in GM foods. The consensus of these independent reviews of the data is that there is nothing about the making of GM crops that makes them inherently more dangerous than crops produced by conventional breeding.

I do take issue with this paragraph;

The only practical way to test this is food is to use the model currently in place -- the company developing the product must pay for testing it and the data must be reviewed by an independent regulatory authority. This is the only feasible way. When asked for another feasible model the activists are suddenly silent.

I'm going to see if I can find out if the businesses get to choose who does the testing; that'd be a pretty big conflict of interest right there.


Testing for corruption

Incisive question, NJT. If the industry uses the same model as the pharmaceutical industry (and it sounds so far like it does) then the manufacturing companies definitely get to choose who does the testing. And, yes, it is rife with corruption as you (and no doubt the designers of it) would expect.

McJ's picture

I say FOE!

GMO - I say FOE!
I'm with you NJT - preferring to err on the side of caution. I'm currently in the process of cutting out gluten, sugar and GMO foods from my diet (very difficult to do in North America because the only way you know for sure is if the label specifically states that it is not GMO). I avoid corn, soy, canola oil and most dairy products. We buy range beef from a local rancher and I am looking for a reasonably priced organic source for the rest of our meats (it's very expensive to buy organic meats in the stores here). I also plant a large garden (been busy with that lately smiling ) and have numerous fruit trees. I do lots of preserving, freezing etc. of food. It's a daunting task to eat a 'natural' diet and cost prohibitive in many cases. It seems near impossible however, I figure moving in that direction has got to be a good thing. smiling
"Just last year the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reviewed the available research and issued a memorandum recommending that all doctors prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients because they are causally linked in animal feeding studies to:

* Infertility
* Immune system problems
* Gastrointestinal problems
* Organ damage
* Dysfunctional regulation of cholesterol and insulin
* Accelerated aging

They came to this conclusion and issued this recommendation based on scientific evidence, not on individuals who are trying to deny or hide the fact that problems exist.

The AAEM is the same organization that identified the Gulf War syndrome, chemical sensitivity and food allergies, and about a dozen other environmental health threats. They are on the frontlines, and the organization is designed to look for and investigate the sources causing health problems in the United States."


"The challenge with science that many people fail to appreciate is that it has become progressively easier for many well funded multinational corporations to manipulate and distort the entire process to make it appear as though science is applied, when in fact it’s only superficially being implemented due to massive conflict of interest.

In recent times we’ve seen researchers being exposed for creating entirely fraudulent research; studies are ghostwritten and researchers are paid to put their names on work they’ve had no part in; journalists are paid to write articles that are nothing more than thinly disguised advertising, and the list of scientific deception goes on.

All of this deceptive maneuvering gives industry the appearance of being science based, when in fact they’re oftentimes far from it."

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer traveling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

admin's picture

Thanks for the quote McJ

I get Mercola's newsletter too. Sometimes it's hard to discern the truth from the opposing arguments. But over time the patterns emerge. This makes me want to begin conducting my own experiments. Rats and hamsters are fun!
I wonder how hard it would be sourcing the material.

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