by Marco Torres
December 27, 2011
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate
for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and
Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such
as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
A number of scientists around the world have never been convinced
that the benefits of genetically modified (GM) corm outweigh the
agricultural giant Monsanto has claimed.
Now many of these
scientists have joined environmental groups in questioning the use
of GM corn. The latest from a study released by the International
Journal of Biological Sciences found that Monsanto's GM corn is
linked to organ damage.
According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda
"Three varieties of Monsanto's GM corn - Mon 863,
insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK
603 - were approved for consumption by US, European and several
other national food safety authorities."
“The gene flow risk that keeps me awake at night is the possibility
of hybridization between crops engineered to manufacture poisons and
related crops intended for human consumption,” says plant geneticist
Indeed, this application of GM crops seeks to turn
corn into cost-effective pharmaceutical factories and may bear the
mark of unacceptable risk.
It is currently the subject of intense
debate. An open-pollinated crop, corn is known for its
promiscuity - making it more prone to gene flow risks than other
Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a
90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after
90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The
stamp of approval may have been premature, however.
In the conclusion of the IJBS study, researchers wrote:
"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...
substances have never before been an integral part of the human or
animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who
consume them, especially over long time periods are currently
There are now hundreds of acres of GM crop field-tests planted.
Several products have moved on to clinical trials.
Some fear that transgenic varieties of corn with a competitive
advantage might gradually displace valuable genetic diversity. For
these reasons, transgenic corn is prohibited in Mexico, home to over
100 unique varieties.
Despite the ban, transgenes have been found in Mexican corn.
have in several instances confirmed that there are transgenes in
landraces of maize in Oaxaca,” says Ariel Alvarez-Morales, plant
geneticist at the Mexican Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV)
The ramifications of this will not be known for some
immediately responded to the study, stating that the
"based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do
not call into question the safety findings for these products."
The IJBS study's author Gilles-Eric Seralini
responded to the
Monsanto statement on the blog, Food Freedom,
"Our study contradicts
Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects
significant health effects in mammals that are different in males
and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose.
This is a
very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major
conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of
Monsanto crude statistical data."
Prof. Gil Seralini Runs Monsanto's numbers,
liver/kidney damage from GMOs
January 13, 2010
One of the biggest concerns regarding crop plants is that they are
engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed,
resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes from the
crops into the weeds.
These "superweeds" would then be herbicide
tolerant as well.
Other introduced genes may cross over into
non-modified crops planted next to GM crops. The possibility of
interbreeding is shown by the defense of farmers against lawsuits
filed by Monsanto. The company has filed patent infringement
lawsuits against farmers who may have harvested GM crops. Monsanto
claims that the farmers obtained Monsanto-licensed GM seeds from an
unknown source and did not pay royalties to Monsanto.
It is now known that unmodified crops are becoming cross-pollinated
around the world by GM crops planted in fields up to several miles
Agricultural biotechnology is not here to stay. Many nations around
the world are resisting GM technology and as genetic engineering
continues to evolve, transgenic methods will likely become more
dangerous and many more nations will accommodate bans in their
There will be a tipping point when all will
realize that the risks do far outweigh any benefits.