In a study published in Food Chemical Toxicology, scientists at the University of Caen, Institute of Biology, in France found severe effects of Round-up tolerant genetically modified (GM) corn, even when the pesticide Round-Up was not used.
The study was done on rats to determine whether there are any health effects of eating genetically-modified corn. The rats were studied for two years. In both males and females, the death rate was two to three times higher in those eating the genetically-modified corn, compared to the controls.
Females developed large mammary tumors more often than controls and experienced pituitary gland abnormalities. The pituitary gland is found in the brain and aids hormonal balancing. The scientists also found that hormone balance was negatively affected by eating genetically-modified corn without Roundup and with Roundup alike.
Males experienced liver damage and premature death of liver cells that were 2.5 to 5.5 times higher than controls. Males eating the genetically-modified corn also suffered from severe kidney damage. There were four times more tumors in rats that ate either genetically-modified corn or Roundup-sprayed GM corn.
Scientists link the hormonal effects and tumors to the known endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup but also to metabolic effects related to the overexpression of the genes used in the genetic-engineered corn.
While I’m never a fan of animal tests, I thought it was important to share this study with you, particularly because GM corn (among other food) was unleashed on an unsuspecting public and is now in widespread use in our food supply. GM corn is found in most prepared and packaged foods in various forms including as corn starch, corn, and corn syrup (high-fructose corn syrup).
Considering the commercial stakes and the threat to GM-food giant Monsanto’s seeming attempts at food totalitarianism, it is no surprise to me that the scientists came under attack for their study.
For me, the important message that comes out of the study is the importance of eating organic and avoiding genetically-modified foods at any cost. We simply don’t know enough about the long-term effects of eating food that has been artificially tampered with using the genes from other species. GM foods should never have been “grandfathered-through” as “generally-recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA, Health Canada, and other organizations, when there was insufficient research on their safety.
For more information about genetically-modified foods, read the excellent books by Jeffrey M. Smith Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. I’ll discuss more of the problems linked with GMOs in upcoming blogs.