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Studies show perils of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
by Global Good News staff writer
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29 September 2012
An accumulating body of research has been revealing evidence of detrimental side effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Dr Peter Swan, an expert in the application of Maharishi Vedic Science in agriculture, recently reviewed a number of the more troubling research findings—with the aim of presenting, later in his lecture, existing alternative methods of food cultivation that are less toxic and more health-promoting, efficient, and cost-effective.
The use of Monsanto's herbicide product Roundup is of concern, Dr Swan said, with growing evidence of toxicity of the product, as well as of maize (known as corn in the USA) and other crops genetically modified to be resistant to it ('Roundup Ready').
A report from the website for the Institute for Responsible Technology revealed the following potential hazards:
∙ In India thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats died after grazing on GM 'Bt' cotton plants—plants genetically modified to produce insecticides.
∙ Mice on a long-term diet of GM maize had fewer and smaller babies.
∙ More than half the babies of rats fed GM soy were smaller and died within three weeks.
∙ By the third generation most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to reproduce.
In September 2012 The Scientist reported research done at the University of Caen in France that showed rats fed on a diet of Monsanto's GM maize—which has been approved for consumption in the US since 2000—caused them to suffer organ damage, develop debilitating multiple tumours, and die early.
For this study the rats were divided into four feeding groups: Those fed GM Roundup-resistant maize with traces of Roundup; those fed GM maize without Roundup; those fed conventional maize and Roundup laced water; and a control group fed conventional maize and pure water.
In the two groups that were fed GM maize, 70% of the females and 50% of the males died early and had liver and kidney damage as well as large tumours. In the two groups fed conventional maize, 30% of the females and 20% of the males died early.
Dr Michael Antoniou, a molecular biologist at King's College in England who was involved with the study, has said the data is 'strong enough to withdraw the marketing approval for this variety of GM maize'. So far France, Russia, and Poland have taken steps to ban GM maize. The study caused 'a big stir around the world', Dr Swan said.
Pro-GM groups criticized the study. One criticism was that the subjects used in the study are a type of rat prone to tumours and cancers. However, Dr Antoniou pointed out that they specifically chose this variety, because it was the same one used in the pro-GM studies.
Another landmark study, publicized in the Daily Mail in London revealed high concentrations of GM food toxins in blood samples of pregnant women. Traces were found in 93% of blood samples and in 80% of samples taken from umbilical cords.
Supporters of GM food production claimed the toxins would be destroyed in the digestive system. This study clearly contradicts that claim. It seems that toxins designed to kill crop pests have found their way into the food chain and are now contaminating humans, even unborn babies, which means the next generation is already becoming contaminated.
One of the great dangers, Dr Swan pointed out, is that in North and South America millions of acres are planted with toxin-containing GM maize. Livestock around the world are fed this maize and from there the toxins enter the human physiology through the food chain.
Global Good News will continue to feature Dr Swan's lecture on issues with genetically modified organisms.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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