Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Effects of Genetically Modified (GM) foods

A recent study providing more evidence of what nations smarter than us intuitively suspected - genetically modified food is bad for us.  Of course, when we hire people to represent us that have a vested interests that conflict with our health, the outcome shouldn't surprise, right?  Oh well, on to the study...

"... in the three GM maize varieties that formed the basis of this investigation, new side effects linked to the consumption of these cereals were revealed, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity." [conclusions]
What exactly is hepatorenal toxicity?  I'm not sure exactly but hepatorenal refers to the kidneys and the liver and toxicity refers to poison/toxic - doesn't sound good in any case.  Turns out Greenpeace knew this two years ago though.

They modify these foods, for example, by attaching the desired DNA to a virus [you know, like E. Coli] and letting it infect and change the host.  They do this for various reasons, for example, to inject pesticides into corn so that it's immune to it when they spray the crops.  Sound gross?  Well, you're eating it.  Around 75% of processed foods in the U.S. contained GMO ingredients in 2003 according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America[1].

The first commercial GMO was allowed into the food supply system in 1994, now 15 short years later, they're in well over 75% of processed food.  That's a lot considering the effects are only now being uncovered.  As well as the study above there are links to infertility.  Anecdotally, there has been a 500% increase  in hospital admissions for food allergies since 1990.

Equally frustrating is the fact that farmers (e.g. Nelson Farm) are being forced to buy it and grow it by Monsanto (the former major producer of Agent Orange and DDT fame).  The Roundup that "Roundup Ready Seed" is engineered to be immune to appears to be a decendant of those poisons.

What can you do?

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