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Vidal writes: "Trial suggesting a GM maize strain causes cancer has attracted a torrent of abuse, but it cannot be swept under the carpet."

Controversy has erupted over new French scientific research claiming that genetically modified corn and the herbicide Roundup increases the chance of lab rats developing tumours and dying prematurely. (photo: Reuters)
Controversy has erupted over new French scientific research claiming that genetically modified corn and the herbicide Roundup increases the chance of lab rats developing tumours and dying prematurely. (photo: Reuters)

Study Linking Monsanto Corn to Cancer Must Be Taken Seriously by Regulators

By John Vidal, Guardian UK

29 September 12


Trial suggesting a GM maize strain causes cancer has attracted a torrent of abuse, but it cannot be swept under the carpet

rofessor Gilles-Eric Séralini, professor of molecular biology at Caen university in France, knows how to inflame the GM industry and its friends. For seven years he and his team have questioned the safety standards applied to varieties of GM maize and tried to re-analyse industry-funded studies presented to governments.

The GM industry has traditionally reacted furiously and personally. Séralini has been widely insulted and smeared and last year, in some desperation, he sued Marc Fellous, president of the French Association of Plant Biotechnology, for defamation, and won (although he was only awarded a nominal €1 in damages).

But last week, Seralini brought the whole scientific and corporate establishment crashing down on his head. In a peer-reviewed US journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, he reported the results of a €3.2m study. Fed a diet of Monsanto's Roundup-tolerant GM maize NK603 for two years, or exposed to Roundup over the same period, rats developed higher levels of cancers and died earlier than controls. Séralini suggested that the results could be explained by the endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, and overexpression of the transgene in the GMO.

This was scientific dynamite. It was the first time that maize containing these specific genes had been tested on rats over two years - nearly their full lifespan - as opposed to the 90-day trials demanded by regulators. Around a dozen long-term studies of different GM crops have failed to find similar effects. Séralini's study also looked at the toxicity of the Roundup herbicide when fed directly to rats.

If the study stood up, then the consistent arguments of the industry that its GM maize is safe might be fatally undermined, with immense political, financial and social consequences.

But barely had the paper surfaced than it was attracting heavyweight academic criticism.

Commentators variously claimed the study to be "biased", "poorly performed", "bogus", "fraudulent", "sub-standard", "sloppy agenda-based science", "inadequate" and "unsatisfactory". Séralini was said to have "sought harm" for the rats, the experiment was dismissed as "inhumane" and the research group was called "partisan". France was outed as "the most anti-science country in anti-science Europe" and vociferous GM supporters such as Mark Lynas urged people to sign a petition demanding full disclosure of the data (only a few hundred have).

Meanwhile, GM opponents were said to be the "climate skeptics of the left", Séralini and his scientists were labelled "crafty activists" and "anti-science" and the group that funded the study was accused of "polluting science communication" by asking for an embargo on the paper.

Séralini and the other authors of the study responded that they were surprised at the "violence" of their critics.

But it was a triumph for the scientific and corporate establishment which has used similar tactics to crush other scientists like Arpad Pusztai of the Rowett Institute in Scotland, who was sacked after his research suggested GM potatoes damaged the stomach lining and immune system of rats, and David Quist and Ignacio Chapela, who studied the flow of genes from illegally planted GM maize to Mexican wild maize. But now that the dust is settling, let's look at some of the criticisms and Seralini's responses.

"This is not an innocent scientific publication. The study was designed to produce exactly what was observed," said Dr Bruce Chassy, professor emeritus of food science at the University of Illinois, who has worked as a consultant for GM companies and has been a member of the US Food and Drug Administration's Food Advisory Council which is fully behind GM.

"This study appears to be without scientific merit," said Martina Newell-McGloughlin, director of the International Biotechnology Program at the University of California/Davis, which has close links to Monsanto and other GM companies.

"Although this paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal with an [Impact Factor] of about 3, there are anomalies throughout the paper that normally should have been corrected or resolved through the peer-review process," said Maurice Moloney, InsChief Executive of Rothamsted Research.

"The control group is inadequate to make any deduction," said Anthony Trewavas, prominent champion of GM food and a former member of the governing council of Britain's leading plant biotech research organisation, the John Innes Centre.

"We have to ask whether a diet with this level of maize is normal for rats. Another control with an alternative diet should have been included," said Dr Wendy Harwood, senior scientist at the John Innes Centre.

Monsanto was dismissive: "This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment."

Here are the criticisms in a nutshell and Séralini's responses:

1. The French researchers were accused of using the Sprague Dawley rat strain which is said to be prone to developing cancers. In response Séralini and his team say these are the same rats as used by Monsanto in the 90-day trials which it used to get authorisation for its maize. This strain of rat has been used in most animal feeding trials to evaluate the safety of GM foods, and their results have long been used by the biotech industry to secure approval to market GM products.

2. The sample size of rats was said to be too small. Séralini responded that six is the OECD recommended protocol for GM food safety toxicology studies and he had based his study on the toxicity part of OECD protocol no. 453. This states that for a cancer trial you need a minimum of 50 animals of each sex per test group but for a toxicity trial a minimum of 10 per sex suffices. Monsanto used 20 rats of each sex per group in its feeding trials but only analysed 10, the same number as Séralini.

3. No data was given about the rats' food intake. Seralini says the rats were allowed to eat as much food as they liked.

4. Séralini has not released the raw data from the trial. In response he says he won't release it until the data underpinning Monsanto's authorisation of NK603 in Europe is also made public.

5. His funding was provided by an anti-biotechnology organisation whose scientific board Séralini heads. But he counters that almost all GM research is funded by corporates or by pro-biotech institutions.

So where does that leave the public?

Despite the concerns over Séralini's methodological flaws, it looks as though the study will not be swept under the carpet. It is the longest study done on this variety of maize and many argue that it must be taken seriously by regulators and governments. French health and safety authorities now plan to investigate NK603 and the study's findings and the European Food Safety Agency has said it will assess the research. Séralini is now demanding that all the data be assessed by an independent international committee, arguing that experts involved in the authorisation of the maize should not be involved.

Equally, the study reopens questions about the regulation of GM crops. There has long been concern that these foods have been evaluated poorly and that the companies have taken advantage of lax regulation. The GM industry, which keeps its own research secret, has resisted investigation or any change.

In fact, there is one irony that a few scientists have pointed out but who have been drowned out in the furore. Séralini's study was not so much about the dangers of GM technology, but the toxicity of the Roundup herbicide used on the crops. Here's Ottoline Leyser, associate director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge:

"Like most of the GM debate, this work has very little to do with GM. The authors of the paper do not suggest that the effects are caused by genetic modification. They describe effects of the roundup herbicide itself and effects that they attribute to the activity of the enzyme introduced into the roundup resistant maize. There is good evidence that introducing genes into crops using GM techniques results in fewer changes to the crops than introducing them using conventional breeding." your social media marketing partner


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+95 # ER444 2012-09-29 08:31
Label the food and let the public decide what they want to eat. At the moment WE are the rats in a dangerous experiment. Why is Monsanto and our government so willing to play with our health and our lives. I know of course the answer is because of the gazillions of dollars at play, but I do not like having my grocery store being used as a laboratory!! It is totally inethical and unacceptable.
-81 # Texas Aggie 2012-09-29 10:10
Where is the danger? These genes that are introduced come from other organisms, most of which are edible. And those that aren't, are not inedible because of the gene that they donated. Are you also going to agitate for restrictions on the use of synthetic fabrics, on miniaturized components in your computer, on all the other aspects of modern life that depend on manipulating nature? Some of them are a heck of a lot more dangerous than GM ever thought of being, e.g., bleach in cleaning materials.
+36 # fliteshare 2012-09-29 11:37
It is not the gene's that are inedible, it is proteins they code for.
+60 # Lolanne 2012-09-29 13:29
Quoting Texas Aggie:
Where is the danger? These genes that are introduced come from other organisms, most of which are edible. And those that aren't, are not inedible because of the gene that they donated. Are you also going to agitate for restrictions on the use of synthetic fabrics, on miniaturized components in your computer, on all the other aspects of modern life that depend on manipulating nature? Some of them are a heck of a lot more dangerous than GM ever thought of being, e.g., bleach in cleaning materials.

The point is, Texas Aggie, you are not being forced into anything. You don't care whether you are eating GMO foods? Fine, then eat whatever you want and don't worry about it.

But ALL of us are being fed from the same general food supply and those of us who DO NOT WANT to eat GMO foods have no choice in the matter. If we do not choose to starve to death, we ARE being coerced into eating foods without knowing what is in them. If they are so innocuous, then why are Monsanto et al fighting so hard to keep us in the dark about what we're eating? MAYBE because they don't have a clue what the stuff will do to human beings, nor do they care as long as they're raking in the big bucks.

What this study says to me is that these things have not been tested adequately for safety before being unleashed, UNLABELED, on the public! And I don't like it.
+14 # jbell94521 2012-09-30 12:30
Quoting Texas Aggie:
Where is the danger? These genes that are introduced come from other organisms, most of which are edible. And those that aren't, are not inedible because of the gene that they donated. Are you also going to agitate for restrictions on the use of synthetic fabrics, on miniaturized components in your computer, on all the other aspects of modern life that depend on manipulating nature? Some of them are a heck of a lot more dangerous than GM ever thought of being, e.g., bleach in cleaning materials.

There is a larger problem that no one seems to be talking about: Because of how pollens are spread by wind, bees, and other means, once GMOs are released into the environment and outside of tightly controlled laboratory conditions there is no controlling their spread. It has been demonstrated that they contaminate the DNA of plants that did not previously contain any GMO DNA material. This is a potential disaster that cannot be undone. No corporatation has the legal, nor ethical right to do this to humanity. Monsanto and their colleagues should be stopped by whatever means necessary. The longer-term fate of much of the animal life on earth may literally be at stake.
+12 # Duster 2012-10-01 00:22
You did not read the entire article, specifcally the bit that begins "In fact, there is one irony ..." The study's principle theme was the toxicity of Roundup. The sole reason that Monsanto developed that corn strain (or engineered it) was in order TO SELL ROUNDUP. It is not a superior corn nutritionally, it is not even an economically viable crop without the US Gov. subsidy that covers the short fall between a farmer's costs and what he can sell a ton of corn for. Those costs include buying the seed from Monsanto, and the weedkiller. It is not in any sense a useful development - except to Monsanto.
0 # Agricultural Educator 2012-10-01 20:40
Actually, Monsanto's patent for glyphosate expired in 2000 so corn producers have much cheaper alternatives. Corn and soybean farmers must find the technology useful or they wouldn't be using it. There are alternatives.
+5 # Pikewich 2012-10-01 15:20
"Where is the danger? These genes that are introduced come from other organisms, most of which are edible."

"Most of which..." is a very misleading statement. One of these "edible(?)" genes are extracted from bacteria:

" Bt corn accounts for 65 percent of all corn grown in the US.

The strain of corn, engineered to kill the larvae of beetles, such as the corn rootworm, contains a gene copied from an insect-killing bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt."

The effects of ingesting this gene are unknown, and there is no guarantee the protein is broken down. It is certainly small enough to pass through digestive tissue.

So, why not label it as such and let us decide if we want to eat it or not? Is there something you wish to hide?
+6 # Carol Sterritt 2012-10-02 03:09
If our Corporate-Contr olled media was willing to explain to consumers what is really happening regarding these Frankenfoods, you might not be so dismissive. Already, scientists in Russia are stating that people are dying in the USA from a mutated plant virus that is entering people's weakened bodies and causing them to get flu-like (or pneumonia-like) diseases, and then dying from them. In some cases, the authorities here in California are stating that these deaths are the results of the Avian flu. And for thsoe of us who haven't succumbed to such a disease, we find ourselves needing over the counter preparations to help us digest our foods, or to help us deal with all the gas and boating our regular old diet is causing us. (How come our grandparents got through their whole lives without Prilosec?) People are becoming allergic to grains. I can no longer eat wheat. We need to stop these foods, before we end up facing famine and the end of our society.
+5 # Valleyboy 2012-10-02 09:21
Texas, from the Seralini et al study showing massive tumours in rats fed GM, it is the process, not the foreign objects inserted that cause the problem.

GM is based on the primitive concept that that the 30,000 genes we have each code for 1 protein. We now know there are at least 200,000 proteins, plus a whole lot of so-called "junk" DNA in the human body.

Attempting to change 1 gene with the scattergun approach the GM industry uses has all sorts of unexpected effects and usually produces toxins, hence the kidneys and liver are most effected in the studies I've seen.

+1 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-10-03 21:31
Dear Texas Agie,
The danger comes not (only) from the genes involved but from the method used to introduce them.

As an engineer I am receptive to the idea that a maize could produce the proper amount of pesticide in the right period of its maturation to protect itself instead of having to doze the field with some other stuff.

So if these geniuses were identifying the part of the plant genome that is expressed during the considered phase of the plant growth, cut the DNA cleanly between a stop and a start and inserted carefully the new gene there, I would breathe more lightly.
We would not be out of the woods, for how do you ensure that the plant produces a regulated amount of the toxic substance?

But this is not how they do: they replicate the new gene in long strands, wrap the resulting filament around a particle that they shoot though the nucleus of the target plant's cell. Then they grow the plant and check if it produces the desired compound. If it does, success, sell it and $$$ !
+2 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-10-03 21:32
But wait!
How do you know the insecticide is produced during the right phase of the plant development?
You don't.
How do you know the process inserted the gene properly between a stop and a start in the original plant's DNA?
You don't.
How do you know the genes that received the fragment were not damaged?
You don't.
How do you know they do not code now for a deformed protein?
Ever heard about prions?
About Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy?
About Kreutzfeld-Jaco b?
+46 # Barkingcarpet 2012-09-29 11:05
Ban the buggers. Mionsanto is one of the msts evil corporations on earth, and cares for littel aside from control and $ profits. They ARE the Antichrist. I refuse to be a guniea pig (or a rat) and you should too.
+52 # Barbara K 2012-09-29 08:57
Not only label the food, provide food that is not poisoned for the ones who don't want to eat poison. Better yet, outlaw the poison in our food supply. Soon other countries won't even buy our farm food because of the poisons in it, and the farmers will lose out for that reason. So just stop poisoning us. I've been ill over 2 1/2 years with the poisons on the wheat and cannot eat any grain at all. Not because of allergies, because of the poisons. Just stop poisoning us.
+26 # jlohman 2012-09-29 09:00
Yes, with enough campaign bribes we CAN sweep it under the table!
+38 # angelfish 2012-09-29 09:30
Only when THEIR children and family members begin to get sick from their noxious products, ONLY then will they act. This is DISGRACEFUL and not to be borne! WHERE are the "Mr. Smith's" in Congress who will FIGHT to protect us? Those that are there DENY Science and have their heads SO firmly embedded in their Anal Cavities as to make it impossible for them to see the light of day, let alone the truth of what Monsanto is REALLY doing to us ALL! WHY are they so against Labeling their trash? Consumers have a RIGHT to know WHAT they are ingesting and the consequences from doing so!
+18 # Eliza D 2012-09-30 06:58
Bernie Sanders is absolutely tireless on this issue. He is the Mr. Smith of Congress. Write to your representatives and hold THEIR feet to the fire concerning this outrage. I've written to mine.
-33 # Bob P 2012-09-29 09:31
Stopping all GMOs would be harmful. There are tested beneficlial products being consumed. But we want to make sure that toxic material is stopped from entering commerce. Notice that this article is about toxicity testing in Europe and meeting European legal requirements. The Monsanto product in question is perfectly legal in this country. Big corporation want government off their backs and in this car the government is deregulated. Much mor than labelling, we need more, not less, REGULATION. Hasn,t financial deregulation taught us anything?
0 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-10-03 21:36
Give me a break: the pesticide they are engineered to produce is not even FDA approved: they successfully claimed that it was produced by a living organism.
They claim that the organism is "substantially equivalent" to the natural plant (this is FDA-speak for "no need to test") and then they sue the farmers whose field was cross-pollinate d for intellectual property theft.
The gall!
+47 # 2012-09-29 09:50
The arrogance to believe we can change "Mother Nature" in a few seconds of the millions of years it took our planet to evolve is just plainly crazy. The GM is just part of the problem. It is amazing that our youth is getting used to the taste without knowing what a simple potato, orange, peach, blueberry , etc., used to taste like. Don't go to Europe and taste their fruit, because you will stop buying and eating ours.
Again, we seem to judge everything by the bottom line only.
-35 # Texas Aggie 2012-09-29 10:01
"The authors of the paper do not suggest that the effects are caused by genetic modification."

Actually, yes, they did. They also said that Roundup, which is designed to be toxic, is toxic. Pesticides of all types are supposed to be toxic. That's why the use of them, especially in the environment, should be very restricted, not encouraged.

This illustrates the inability of faith bound mentalities to think logically. They go from GM is used to make plants resistant to herbicides, to herbicides are bad, to GM is bad. Or from Monsanto has a really rotten business model and Monsanto uses GM to therefore GM is also rotten. This is Homo sapiens at work?? Where does the "sapiens" part come in?

"There is good evidence that introducing genes into crops using GM techniques results in fewer changes to the crops than introducing them using conventional breeding."

But don't tell the true believers that. They know that anything "unnatural" like grafting grapes and apples will cause the downfall of modern civilization.

FWIW, showing that a study is fatally flawed isn't "sweeping it under the rug." It's showing that the conclusions of the study don't apply to the real world.
+22 # Bob P 2012-09-29 12:11
Welcome to the club of red ratings! I'm with you until the last sentence. Incorporating toxins into the chemical content of a food is alarming and should certainly be tested. The competency of the testing is crucial. At this point neither side has a strong record of research. Encourage the testing and tough scrutiny! We need to know!!!
+19 # SOF 2012-09-29 16:15
So? Roundup has been suspected and shown to be dangerous before. This study shows that inclusion into genes of the plant can also be deadly. The new roundup resistant GM corn has resulted in much Bigger corn rootworms that are resistant to roundup now. This is based on experience of reality in corn fields -not a study or opinion. here's a link:
Even scarier? The Monsanto Rider in the Farm Bill.
+3 # Carol Sterritt 2012-10-02 03:42
But one of the problems is that in order to do the "introducing of the genes" into the food, it is necessary to use a substance that will replicate into every cell inside the organism. The favored substance for this transport is usually a virus, and it could be possible for the substance - let's say the Cauliflower mosaic virus - to mutate in such a way that it infects us. or upsets our digestion of the grain that is the end result. Notice how Americans are unable to get through their day without the help of things like Prilosec? And how many Americans now are allergic to wheat. Others are allergic and don't realize it. So they remain in pain, and lack energy, and they are trying to understand why they feel so ill, but the doctors and nurses don't realize it can be wheat or corn or rice allergy. (I can't eat wheat unless it truly is not Gm, and since most American wheat is, I have to avoid it.)
+31 # AMLLLLL 2012-09-29 10:06
Regardless of the creepy 'food' thing, the land and water are so poisoned as to toxify everything for years to come. Viet Nam is still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. We will eventually create a 'dust bowl' where ariable land used to be. The effects will not be as drastic as those in Viet Nam, but the result will be similar. Here we are, the wealthiest nation in the world, poisoning our food supply. Go figure.
+34 # Street Level 2012-09-29 10:32
I've heard arguments in favor of GMO's but what lacks in this argument is the "upside" or the name of any GE crop that's been grown to date that's been beneficial from start to finish.
I remember reports that said for all the tonnage of RoundUp applied, close to 50% has been applied in the last 3 years.
RoundUp is an insidious ecocide that cripples nutrient uptake, destroys beneficial supports and encourages the growth of pathogens. It weakens the host until it can no longer defend itself.
RoundUp was modeled after it's parent company.
+3 # Timaloha 2012-09-29 14:33
Google "Golden Rice." It was genetically modified to increase vitamin A content. Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of childhood blindness and death in poor regions of the world to the tune of appx 670,000 children per year.It was developed by a pair of scientists who refused to profit from the patent and gave it to the world for free in anticipation of its preventing millions of cases of childhood blindness and death. Alas, its distribution was blocked by anti-GMO activists, most notably Greepeace. GMO technology is NOT the enemy. Improper use and application of the technology, coupled with inadequate testing, is the problem
+16 # AMLLLLL 2012-09-29 21:09
Trouble is, Timmy, that it has been found that any genetic alteration has ancillary alterations, not predictable nor expected. All the testing (usually by the companies themselves) is based on 3 month studies rather than 3 year studies, which do reveal more accurate (and creepy) results.
-6 # Timaloha 2012-09-30 10:16
Even if that were true in all cases, which it is not,it still does not make GMO technology evil. It only reinforces my point that inadequate testing is the problem. Got a purebred dog? Then you own a GMO product.
+4 # AMLLLLL 2012-10-01 09:56
I won't have a purebred dog for that very reason.
+5 # MsAnnaNOLA 2012-10-01 09:26
Yes a former monsanto employee has been quoted as a whistlblower saying that other proteins are expressed besides the intended ones, so that Golden Rice may in fact have poisionous proteins contained in it.

None of this stuff is safety tested. In this country millions have to prove a direct link for harm to be proven and the product taken off the market. See Asbestos history. Read the "The Secret History of the War on Cancer" by Devra Davis. There are different critera for determining what is considered safe, vs what is considered harmful.

It is almost impossible to prove harm in our country and get products taken off the market. So use your common sense and don't eat unnatural food and use chemicals. There is no assurance whatsoever that these items are safe in any sense of the word.
+25 # ladypyrates 2012-09-29 10:37
Some of the comments here have asked the question "Why would they do this to us?" The more relevant issue is "why would they not?" Bayer Crop Science is part of this GMO push and they are of the same corporate family as Bayer aspirin. The parent company of Bayer was I G Farben in Germany which became the largest global corporation in the 1930s and was funded by East coast money from the US. They are the people who produced the toxic gas which was used in the Nazi gas chambers.
+6 # Timaloha 2012-09-29 10:39
The study is not an indictment of GMOs. It is an indictment of Round up.
+34 # barbie 2012-09-29 10:45
Our dog has been having horrible allergies and I found out the corn filler in her food is GMO corn, they are even poisoning our animals, and they want to hide it, they don't want it labeled, these crooks need to be put in jail for contaminating our food source and trying to get away with it
+13 # Glen 2012-09-29 11:36
What type of allergies? My cat is having reactions to something, causing sneezing and malaise. Thanks, barbie, for bringing this up.
+6 # Charlie Peters 2012-09-29 10:52
What would a California judge do with AB 118 Nunez/Arnold?

AAA said it would not pass a court test.

GMO corn food will be considered for a label in November.

GMO Corn in my food and gas stinks.

Arnold ask the fed for a waiver and the Clinton EPA agreed

Arnold-George W EPA said NO and agrees with MITT.

UN, World Bank, many Governors, Several Congressmen, Bill Clinton & Al Gore say GMO ethanol in the gas is bad policy.

+29 # Helen 2012-09-29 10:58
If our foreign enemies did anything like spreading the RoundUp toxins into our food, we'd be at war with them. Yet Monsanto and its friends are still in our FDA, poisoning our people from within, just to magnify their wealth and the huge income/wealth disparities in our country. Will the presidential debates even address this problem? Don't hold your breath. It's time for a government that really protects its people.
+27 # jlohman 2012-09-29 11:09
Folks, this is a "little fire." The big fire is the campaign bribes from the GMO manufactures to keep disclosure off the table.
+26 # Nell H 2012-09-29 11:34
Label the food with GMOs and let the consumer decide.
+27 # cordleycoit 2012-09-29 11:48
We are fighting for our lives against organized criminals remember that
-22 # diacad 2012-09-29 12:30
Those of us in the real world would face severe food shortages without GMO. Ask my Pinay wife, who comes from a third-world rice-farming family. Philippine crops tripled (at least) due to GMO.

GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left

Don't worry. Genetically modified corn isn't going to give you cancer.

In the article below, Keith Kloor debunks those anti-GMO exaggerations emanating from the elitist anti-science so-called-"left":

Keith Kloor (Slate)
Sept. 26, 2012
+5 # RODNOX 2012-10-01 21:13
its already been shown that GMO crops take more--not less water to grow-----just one more lie by their producers---and if the connection between GMOs and the BEE DIE OFF are proven that should be enough to stop GMOs
+4 # SOF 2012-10-01 21:47
Remembering the defenders of DDT and tobacco. The fight to get thalidamide banned, or seat belts in your car. It's hard to say why we have an epidemic of cancer (just one problem) when we have so many carcinogens in food and environment -not to mention radiation from all those tests (remember, that takes decades to appear) -and I won't mention the neurotoxins in products we use in our homes. The FDA accepts industry research and it is usually the only research considered. Remember little girls are being born with all their eggs for the future. Do we really want to keep on gambling with the future? Believe that opposition is just the ranting of protesters? - with a perspective that is not about the bottom line.?
+5 # djnova50 2012-09-29 17:06
I will probably get thumbs down for writing this; but, I've raised rats and have helped others raise rats. Mammary tumors are very common in rats, even without being fed corn. So, I'm not sure if rats are the ideal test subject for this. I wonder if this testing could have been done on an animal more closely related to humans if it would produce the same results.
+11 # jhainaut 2012-09-30 04:31
I've put my dog on a grain free diet and she is much better on it. I'm not sure whether it's because she's just intolerant of grain or because the grains now contain toxins. It is possible for us as well to avoid GMO's but it can be expensive. I'm forced to do that because of some food intolerances. I only eat corn if it's certified organic. I don't buy any beet sugar - only organically certified cane sugar (and there are other alternatives as well). I can't eat any dairy products so that cuts out a lot of sources of toxins as well but I think that, if you can eat dairy, you can buy certified organic as well. It's hard and it can be expensive (and it shouldn't have to be) but you can at least be more careful with the food that you buy. And I'm not sure that the GMO process itself is what is harmful but the tons of pesticides that are sprayed on these crops that are the problem.
+4 # MsAnnaNOLA 2012-10-01 09:20
Quoting jhainaut:
It is possible for us as well to avoid GMO's but it can be expensive. I'm forced to do that because of some food intolerances. I only eat corn if it's certified organic. It's hard and it can be expensive (and it shouldn't have to be) but you can at least be more careful with the food that you buy. And I'm not sure that the GMO process itself is what is harmful but the tons of pesticides that are sprayed on these crops that are the problem.

I think the problem arises when you put a gene from a totally unrelated plant or animal into a food supply. There is no idea what this will do to people or the food supply in the long term. We have contaminated the major foodstuffs of our planet. Corn, Soybean, Wheat. We may never rid ourselves of this scourge because the plants pollinate each other.

So if the soy feeding trials are correct and GMO soy causes animals to die prematurely and be infertile, what is the future for our species? Those rich enough to find alternative food sources get to live and have offspring? Think about it.

Messing with the food supply is playing with fire.

See the movie "Children of Men". Does not talk about why, but it is a world where no new people are ever born.
+4 # Holmes 2012-09-30 04:50
Reports such as this need to be fully examined. If there are problems with the GMO product or with glyphosate, they needs to be validated.

Likewise, occasionally results get reported such of this which cannot be replicated. This happened with one herbicide I was working with in the late 70's. As it was the first of a large number of then novel herbicides (The 'Fops') from several companies, the result of > 85% of a batch rats with liver cancer caused a very serious review of the new chemistry by many groups. No one was able to replicate these results. It seemed it to be the result of using a line of rats which are too prone to get cancer.

So when making big claims, big results are needed. If there is a problem in the methods used, WE must beware of these issues and avoid them as well.
Industrial corporate secrecy is not acceptable for issues of public health.
+10 # Corvette-Bob 2012-09-30 10:50
You can sell anything by advertising. I believe you could sell mercury as a health tonic if you spent enough money. Oh, I forgot the Koch brothers are spending $ 400 million for the elections so they do not need to put scrubbers on their smoke stacks which spew 50 tons of mercury per year into the atmosphere. Luckly, it mostly drifts over the south so they are poisoning their own supporters. Now over 7500 Republicans will be passing on to that big smoke stack in the sky while the minorities will be climbing over the fences so that we can pass some meaningful envirnmental laws.
+3 # Agricultural Educator 2012-09-30 20:13
The discussion surrounding GMO’s is very similar to that about pesticides. It is an understanding of the benefits that puts the risks in perspective. Medications carry risks but we know them and accept them because of their benefits and because we have a choice. Your readers have probably never been hungry because of weed, insect or disease competition in crops or inadequate crop nutrition. We no longer consider benefits and so all risks seem unacceptable.

GM maize is in use not only on large farms but on hobby and small farms as well and has improved quality, yield and ease of production and eliminated the threat of groundwater contamination attributed to some the former herbicides.

I have seen far-reaching regulatory decisions based upon marginal science; studies, reports or books that spurred public pressure to remove pesticides without adequate data to support those decisions. We do not want to force regulators to make decisions without fully understanding the possible consequences as well as the efficacy and risks of alternatives.

Finally, the cultivated varieties of produce we have available year-round is the result of traditional plant breeding, which has been going on for thousands of years. Varieties, production areas and methods, post harvest handling and shipping, not genetic engineering, all contribute to the final product on the shelf. The best way of making your voice heard is by voting with your food dollar. They listen.
+5 # Duster 2012-10-01 00:47
How is this GM crop superior? Certainly not nutritionally. It does not make more money for the farmer. He is still stuck eeking a out a living by accepting a government subsidy to grow Monsanto's corn, since he cannot sell it for what it costs him to buy the seed, plat it, buy the weed killer spread it, harvest it, and sell it to Cargill. And can't grow his own seed corn without "violating" Monsanto patents. This has been the direct cause of farmer suicides in India when they discover that they cannot afford the next season's seed. The sole beneficiary of Monsanto's GM work is Monsanto and the development of a "Roundup resistant" strain simply puts the cherry on the sundae for Monsanto. They can now sell even more Roundup.

I agree that far-reaching regulations are often based on marginal science, but the current "testing" of products by their developers is about as marginal as it is possible to get. It is a wide open door for corruption.

The system might be improved by testing being conducted by independent testing labs, in whom no GM or pharmaceutical company can own any interest.
-2 # Valleyboy 2012-10-01 07:06
Typically corporate reporting on a crucial issue - Vidal starts the article not with comments on the study or Seralini, but that he has "inflamed" the GM industry - who are of course far more inportant than the public.

He than spends a whole paragraph innocently repeating the smears of people given the neutral sounding tag of "commentators".

It isn't until right at the end that anything usefull appears - we are shown that all the smears are baseless and in fact could be applied to Monsanto's studies if concerned people actually had a voice in the corporate media!

Educational that this is the so caled flagship newspaper of left.
+8 # MsAnnaNOLA 2012-10-01 09:00
If they don't pass GMO labelling...

Do what I do.

Don't eat at all:
Dairy products that are not organic
(RgbH Don't you know another monsanto product)

Don't eat non-organic:
Yellow Squash

Watch the news for the latest GMO foods to come out. There are new ones every day. The Zucchini and Yellow Squash really surprised me.
+5 # Glen 2012-10-01 16:04
Grow your own, as is said. Heck some city folks will have to convert a bedroom into a hot house. Worth it, though.
+5 # Pikewich 2012-10-01 15:24

If it is not labeled, do not eat it if it contains a product that is potentially GMO. Buy organic instead.

If it is a corn, soy bean, canola or a host of others easily found on the internet, it is probably GMO.

Don't buy it don't eat it.

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