GMO foods have not been approved by the FDA according to Bill Reese, a research analyst for an organization called the Friends of Earth. GMO food is most likely classified under the regulation “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the FDA. Reese says assertions concerning the presumed safety of GMO crops are based almost completely on evaluations by government regulators. These evaluations are based mostly on unpublished studies conducted by the company that is developing the crop and is a conflict of interest. Contrary to widely held beliefs, the Food and Drug Administration has not officially approved a single GMO crop as safe for consumption by humans.
Finding independent funding to conduct unbiased health research of genetically modified crops is difficult. Studies conducted and funded by crop developers may well be skewed to their advantage and disturbing results could be kept out summary data shown to the FDA and the public. This happened with Monsanto’s insecticide-producing GMO corn. Tests were conducted on the corn, called MON863.2, and the summarized data from a 90-day study raised concerns. This prompted requests for the release of the full study conducted by Monsanto.
Monsanto refused to release the study for an entire year and only released the records upon receiving an order from German Court. The study showed that the lab rats that were fed their corn had elevated white blood cell counts, and lower kidney weights when compared to the rats who were fed conventional corn. Requests for additional studies to find definitive evidence on whether the corn was a risk to human well-being were ignored. GMO foods have been rejected by various countries around the world, and while it has not been approved nor banned by the FDA, U.S. studies are showing the crops could be unsafe for human consumption
Listed below are excerpts of the results from a few independent studies beginning to emerge, and their results identify some of the risks associated with genetically modified crops:
Genes from Genetically Modified Organisms transfer themselves into the naturally occurring bacteria in the human body.
The genes engineered into crops transfer to themselves into bacteria in gut and mouth of humans. The only study ever conducted to test the effects of GMO’s ingested by humans found the Roundup-Ready gene from soy transferred to the bacteria found in the test subject’s gut. This is known as horizontal gene transfer. Based on these findings researchers believe that GMO crops could pick up antibiotic resistant genes and become resistant to antibiotics that we use to treat our illnesses.
Mice Fed GMO Peas suffered from Immune response.
Mice fed genetically engineered peas with a gene extracted from a bean demonstrated immune responses including lung inflammation and elevated serum antibody levels. The natural version of the same crop did not cause the same response in the test subject. This study demonstrates that carelessly transferring genes from organism to organism has consequences.
Genes engineered into Soy Causes Allergic Reaction
Brazil nut genes inserted into soybeans caused the soy to become allergenic to subjects allergic to Brazil nuts. Also, GMO soy eaten in the United States contains proteins identical to that found in dust mite and shrimp allergens.
Biologist David Schubert states that the unpredictable nature of genetic engineering techniques could lead to the generation of GMO foods that are carcinogenic, allergenic and toxic. GMO foods have not been formally approved by the FDA and is not a safe option given the lack of understanding of this technology.
By Sarah Wright