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Genetically Modified Corn Safe or Toxic?
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/Genetically-Modified-Corn-Safe-Or-Toxic.aspx ^ | Amanda Kimble-Evans

Posted on 03/29/2010 5:32:00 AM PDT by truthfinder9

Pick up a box of cereal or other packaged food at the grocery store, and chances are you’re looking at a genetically modified product. The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit organization that seeks sustainable alternatives to harmful methods of food production technologies, estimates that more than 70 percent of the processed foods in U.S. grocery stores contain some genetically modified ingredients — mostly corn or soy. But, in most cases, these modified foods have received only limited testing.

For example, take the three genetically modified corn varieties already being sold by Monsanto that are the subject of new analysis by French scientists. Two of the varieties have been genetically modified to contain unique proteins designed to kill insects that eat them, and the third variety was engineered to tolerate Roundup, Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide. Foods containing this “modified” corn are now being eaten by people all around the world, but the French researchers contend that Monsanto’s studies do not prove the corns are safe to consume.

Under current U.S. law, corporations are not required to make industry-conducted studies public. But, in this case, thanks to a lawsuit and the involvement of European governments and Greenpeace attorneys, these studies were released for independent analysis by scientists not being paid by Monsanto.

The researchers, affiliated with the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (an independent, nonprofit association dedicated to studying the impacts of genetically modified organisms), published their detailed critique of the Monsanto studies in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (2009; 5:706-726). They concluded that the data — which Monsanto claimed proved the corn varieties were safe to eat — actually suggest potential kidney and liver problems resulting from consumption of all three modified corn varieties, as well as negative effects in the heart, adrenal glands and spleen. The findings confirm a 2007 report from the same researchers on a single variety of modified corn.

An Apple is an Apple is a Genetically Modified Apple The new report also concludes that the Monsanto rat-feeding studies were so small and so brief that they clearly lack sufficient statistical power to prove the corn varieties are safe. So, why did governments grant permission to farmers to grow this genetically modified corn? Back in 1992, the industry persuaded the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rule that their crops are “substantially equivalent” to traditionally bred crops. This assumption — that genetically modified foods pose no particular risk — has led to our current system of weak regulatory oversight.

According to the nonprofit Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, a project designed to facilitate dialogue about the pros and cons of genetic modification, “No single statute and no single federal agency govern the regulation of agricultural biotechnology products.” And, compared with the battery of tests demanded of chemical pesticides (evaluation of chronic exposure, carcinogenicity, etc.), the testing requirements for genetically altered crops amount to little more than a polite suggestion

“The corporations can pretty much submit whatever they want to the FDA,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists. “Some have done animal testing, some have not. The United States does not require more than acute toxicity tests where one high dose is fed to the animals once. Even in Europe, where standards are higher, tests of only 90 days are the longest that are required, which is inadequate.”

While the FDA is charged with ensuring finished products containing the modifed proteins are safe to eat, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates the pesticidal protein engineered into the corns. The agency can grant exemptions to even a minimal request for testing, which they did for two of these corn varieties — varieties that produce their own pesticides and that show signs of toxicity in the new feeding studies. The new study from France concludes that the public is consuming modified corn varieties which “contain novel pesticide residues” that may pose grave health risks.

“Roundup residues present in one genetically modified corn are much higher than those found to cause toxicity in human embryonic cells and endocrine disruption,” says Gilles-Eric Seralini, one of the study’s researchers. To learn more, read Roundup Kills More Than Weeds.

Confidential Science In allowing industry to drive the regulation of the technology from which it profits, we are now faced with a reality in which never-before-consumed foods are considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof has been dumped on a scientific community that has to beg and litigate to gain access to what the genetic modification giants call “trade secrets.”

The only solution to this situation is for scientists who work in this field and concerned citizens to demand that the government stop allowing corporate gene giants to have their way. We need laws that require corporations to make their studies public and provide seeds to independent scientists. And, we need laws that require the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients, so consumers can make informed choices.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: agriculture; corn; genetics; gmfood; health; innovation; landofplenty; starvation
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1 posted on 03/29/2010 5:32:00 AM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9

daminozide.


2 posted on 03/29/2010 5:34:20 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)
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To: truthfinder9

Just as long as they don’t breed wheat gluten into the corn and potatoes I don’t really care.


3 posted on 03/29/2010 5:37:17 AM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: truthfinder9

Not this Cr*p again. This stuff has been on the market for a long time. Virtually EVERYONE in the US has eaten large amounts of it over that time. What use is additional clinical trials testing maybe 200 people. This is just another attack by Greenpeace and the other radical nutjob groups on American industry.


4 posted on 03/29/2010 5:43:18 AM PDT by Hacklehead (Liberalism is the art of taking what works, breaking it, and then blaming conservatives.)
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To: truthfinder9

All corn is generically modified. There is no, zero, nada corn that is not genetically modified.

For ages the Hopi have had corn genetically modified to thrive in different parts of the same field.


5 posted on 03/29/2010 5:46:15 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Ostracize Democrats. There can be no Democrat friends.)
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To: Hacklehead

that’s why they all voted for obama.


6 posted on 03/29/2010 5:49:41 AM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9
The regulatory pathway for introducing GM food is so arduous that mountains of data are required. The author is wrong in its assessment of data needs.

Its easy to be a chicken little about GM foods but humans have been modifying food for tens of thousands of years.

7 posted on 03/29/2010 5:50:11 AM PDT by corkoman
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To: bert

Not with weed killer - they didn’t combine plants with weed killer.


8 posted on 03/29/2010 5:53:53 AM PDT by BobMV
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To: truthfinder9
we are now faced with a reality in which never-before-consumed foods are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Wow, innocent until proven guilty, there is a concept we need to get rid of.....................

Again, the seriousness of the charge proves they are guilty.

9 posted on 03/29/2010 5:54:23 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: corkoman

People have been cross-breeding foods and animals for thousands of years, not molecularly altering genes. Both are genetics, albeit different kinds of genetics.


10 posted on 03/29/2010 5:54:58 AM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9
Wow, I haven't had to post this poster in, hell, 8 years or so,...

PWposter.starvingchildren.lg.C.jpg
11 posted on 03/29/2010 5:55:14 AM PDT by davidlachnicht ("IF WE ARE ALL TO BE TARGETS, THEN WE ALL MUST BE SOLDIERS.")
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To: corkoman

“Roundup residues present in one genetically modified corn are much higher than those found to cause toxicity in human embryonic cells and endocrine disruption,” says Gilles-Eric Seralini, one of the study’s researchers.

This is weed killer. This is a new thing in the world.


12 posted on 03/29/2010 5:55:15 AM PDT by BobMV
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To: truthfinder9

So that’s why Ethanol sucks!


13 posted on 03/29/2010 5:56:00 AM PDT by davidlachnicht ("IF WE ARE ALL TO BE TARGETS, THEN WE ALL MUST BE SOLDIERS.")
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To: truthfinder9
has led to our current system of weak regulatory oversight.

Liberals constantly believe that more regulation with solve problems.............
14 posted on 03/29/2010 5:57:02 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: PeterPrinciple

And let’s be honest, a lot of these chemicals get approved because of big money donations to politicians on both sides of the aisle...


15 posted on 03/29/2010 5:58:48 AM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: bert; Hacklehead
a1) Yes, humans have modified harvest crops for centuries consciously, and far longer by chance.

b1) Yes, GreenPeace and some silly Enviro-groups have been targeting Monsanto for quite some time now.

a2) HOWEVER, humans have not been modifying crops to make them toxic to insects through protein modification, modification that has been shown in LONGER tests than those done by Monsanto to have Hepatotoxity.

b2) Just because enviro-whackjobs target Monsanto doesn't mean that that makes the target hysop white! Snakes eat rats, but that doesn't mean the rat is kosher to cuddle with.

I am a fund manager, and thus I am no bleeding heart liberal. However that doesn't mean that I will be all kissy-@$$ on Monsanto just because some Tofu eaters wag a bony finger at it. Monsanto has done some interesting things, ranging from safety tests that are just funny, to some lobby efforts that are exceedingly questionable (like using their lobbying power, both parties, to try and push through Bovine Somatotropin in milk. Bovine Somatotoprin is a sythentic compound used to boost milk production, with the hormone really improving milk yields. The issue is that it has been tied with various types of cancers. Now, I have no problem if people want to drink milk from cows that were given the hormone, as much as I would not like for someone to say that I should not drink organic milk. However, when organic farmers started labeling their milk as sythentic hormone free, Monsanto started massive lobbying to make states BAN producers who made hormone-free milk from saying their milk was hormone free!!!!!!!!! Something about consumers not being properly informed!)

I'm sure the Enviros have villified Monsanto quite a bit, but then again Monsanto is not some 12 yr old flower girl being picked on by neighborhood bullies.

16 posted on 03/29/2010 6:10:23 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: BobMV
The weed killer was applied by a farmer (if in fact it was actually present). The fact that the corn tolerates a particular herbicide doesn't create the herbicide any more than the fact that your lawn tolerates certain herbicides creates those herbicides.

In any event, color me skeptical about the claim of glyphosate residue in the kernels. Glyphosate is applied very early in the growth cycle, maybe two months before formation of the ear. Most likely, somebody decided what they wanted the results of this "test" to be and then applied enough herbicide directly to the ear to achieve that result.

17 posted on 03/29/2010 6:13:50 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: truthfinder9

Let’s just go back to manual low-tech farming with plows pulled by oxen and let half the world starve....just think of the benefits to the planet.


18 posted on 03/29/2010 6:32:04 AM PDT by pb929
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To: spetznaz

I am currently reading Anticancer, A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber. It is very interesting. He discusses these same issues using scientific and medical data. All of his information is footnoted so you can investigate for yourself. He is a cancer survivor based on diet alteration. He started his exploration after his diagnoses, based on his research that indicated higher cancer rates after WWII and diet alteration after WWII.


19 posted on 03/29/2010 6:41:40 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: truthfinder9
And let’s be honest, a lot of these chemicals get approved because of big money donations to politicians on both sides of the aisle...

Did I miss something, I thought this article was about genetic modification which has been going on through the ages. Without the increased production of this capitalistic activity, Malthus would be right, population would have outstripped food production and you would not be experiencing the “prosperity” we currently have.

Am I concerned about this? Yes, but look at the alternative path. Problems are never completely solved. Yes, we have lost genetic diversity, probably food nutrition is not what is should be, but we do have QUANTITY.

A conservative knows there are trade offs and we do not live in a perfect world.

20 posted on 03/29/2010 6:43:58 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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