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Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Biology, Culture, Education, Genetics, GMO, Science, Society | 52 comments

A Survey of Long Term GM Food Studies

One of the complaints I hear most is “there are no GM food studies done by independents, it’s all company sponsored”.  The other one I hear a lot is “there are no long term studies”.

Both of these claims are total BS.  Here’s what I found after less than 30 minutes of diligent googling.  I have a link to the article (most of them are paywalled), but I have a portion of the abstract also showing.

First, the long-term studies:

Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review

We examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations). We referenced the 90-day studies on GM feed for which long-term or multigenerational study data were available. Many parameters have been examined using biochemical analyses, histological examination of specific organs, hematology and the detection of transgenic DNA. The statistical findings and methods have been considered from each study. Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance. If required, a 90-day feeding study performed in rodents, according to the OECD Test Guideline, is generally considered sufficient in order to evaluate the health effects of GM feed. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed. (my emphasis)

This is a paywalled article, so I have no idea what studies that they were referring to, but there’s 24 right there.  Half of which are multi-generation… not just multi-year. Here are some more…

Organic and Genetically Modified Soybean Diets: Consequences in Growth and in Hematological Indicators of Aged Rats

This was a really neat article.  It compared organic soybeans with GM soybeans and a control soybean.

There was an organic soy group (OG), a genetically modified soy group (GG), and a control group (CG). All animals received water and diet ad libitum for 455 days. At the end of this period, the weight of the GG group was the same as that of the OG, and both were higher than CG. Protein intake was similar for the OG and GG, which  were significantly lower (p<0.0005) than the CG. The growth rate (GR) of the rats, albumin levels, and total levels of serum protein were comparable for all groups.  Hematocrit (p<0.04) and hemoglobin (p<0.03) for the OG and GG were less than the CG. Although the OG and GG demonstrated reduced hematocrit and hemoglobin, both types of soy were utilized in a way similar to casein. This result suggests that the protein quality of soy is parallel to the standard protein casein in terms of growth promotion but not hematological indicators.

Histochemical and morpho-metrical study of mouse intestine epithelium after a long term diet containing genetically modified soybean

In this study, we investigated the duodenum and colon of mice fed on genetically modified (GM) soybean during their whole life span (1–24 months) by focusing our attention on the histological and ultrastructural characteristics of the epithelium, the histochemical pattern of goblet cell mucins, and the growth profile of the coliform population. Our results demonstrate that controls and GM-soybean fed mice are similarly affected by ageing. Moreover, the GM soybean-containing diet does not induce structural alterations in duodenal and colonic epithelium or in coliform population, even after a long term intake. On the other hand, the histochemical approach revealed significant diet-related changes in mucin amounts in the duodenum. In particular, the percentage of villous area occupied by acidic and sulpho-mucin granules decreased from controls to GM-fed animals, whereas neutral mucins did not change.

A three generation study with geneticallymodified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation

Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the effects of transgenic corn on the rats that were fed through three generations with either GM corn or its conventional counterpart. Tissue samples of stomach, duodenum, liver and kidney were obtained for histopathological examinations. The average diameter of glomeruli, thickness of renal cortex and glomerular volume were calculated and number of affected animals/number of examined animals for liver and kidney histopathology were determined. Amounts of urea, urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid, total protein, albumin and globulin were determined; enzyme activities of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyltransferase, creatine kinase and amylase were measured in serum samples. No statistically significant differences were found in relative organ weights of rats within groups but there were some minimal histopathological changes in liver and kidney. Changes in creatinine, total protein and globulin levels were also determined in biochemical analysis.

A longterm trial with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) fed geneticallymodified soy; focusing general health and performance before, during and after the parr–smolt transformation

A seven-month feeding trial with geneticallymodified (GM) Roundup Ready® (RRS®) soybeans was conducted on Atlantic salmon (initial weight 40 g) going through the parr–smolt transformation. The maternal near-isogenic soybean line was used as a non-modified control (non-GM), and the two diets were compositionally similar in all analysed nutrients. The performance and health of the fish were assessed by growth, body composition, organ development, haematological parameters, clinical plasma chemistry and lysozyme levels, with samples collected both in the freshwater- and seawater stages. Intestinal indices exhibited some differences between the groups, with the mid-intestine being consistently smaller in the GM fed fish throughout the experiment, while the distal intestine was different at one sampling point, shortly after seawater transfer. Plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) levels were higher in the GM group overall in the experiment, although the magnitude of the difference was larger around the time of seawater transfer compared to later samplings. Despite differences at individual sampling points, there were no differences in total growth during the trial. All other measured parameters showed no diet related differences. Seawater transfer caused changes in gill Na+K+-ATPase activity and plasma chloride ion concentration, as well as in haematological parameters (red blood cell count, RBC, haematocrit, Hct, haemoglobin, Hb) and plasma glucose concentration. However, both diet groups responded similarly regarding these parameters. Our overall conclusion is that the observed effects of feeding Atlantic salmon with GM soy at a 25% inclusion level were minor, and lack of consistency with previous studies suggests that they might be caused by variations in the soy strains rather than the genetic modification per se.

Long term feeding of Bt-corn – a ten-generation study with quails

A ten-generation experiment with growing and laying quails were carried out to test diets with 40 (starter) or 50% (grower, layer) isogenic or transgenic (Bt 176) corn. Feeding of diets containing genetically-modified corn did not significantly influence health and performance of quails nor did it affect DNA-transfer and quality of meat and eggs of quails compared with the isogenic counterpart.

Ten blasted generations.  Wow. I could never do this (I hate birds).

Effects of long-term feeding of genetically modified corn (event MON810) on the performance of lactating dairy cows

A long-term study over 25 months was conducted to evaluate the effects of genetically modified corn on performance of lactating dairy cows. Thirty-six dairy cows were assigned to two feeding groups and fed with diets based on whole-crop silage, kernels and whole-crop cobs from Bt-corn (Bt-MON810) or its isogenic not genetically modified counterpart (CON) as main components. The study included two consecutive lactations. There were no differences in the chemical composition and estimated net energy content of Bt-MON810 and CON corn components and diets. CON feed samples were negative for the presence of Cry1Ab protein, while in Bt-MON810 feed samples the Cry1Ab protein was detected. Cows fed Bt-MON810 corn had a daily Cry1Ab protein intake of 6.0 mg in the first lactation and 6.1 mg in the second lactation of the trial. Dry matter intake (DMI) was 18.8 and 20.7 kg/cow per day in the first and the second lactation of the trial, with no treatment differences. Similarly, milk yield (23.8 and 29.0 kg/cow per day in the first and the second lactation of the trial) was not affected by dietary treatment. There were no consistent effects of feeding MON810 or its isogenic CON on milk composition or body condition. Thus, the present long-term study demonstrated the compositional and nutritional equivalence of Bt-MON810 and its isogenic CON.

Long-term feeding of geneticallymodifiedcorn (MON810) — Fate of cry1Ab DNA and recombinant protein during the metabolism of the dairy cow

The objective of this study was to investigate the fate of transgenic cry1Ab DNA and the encoded Cry1Ab protein during the metabolic degradation of dietary feed components in dairy cows and a potential transfer to blood, milk, feces or urine. A 25-month long-term feeding trial was conducted on thirty-six Simmentaler cows allocated in two groups fed diets containing either geneticallymodifiedcorn (MON810, N = 18) or the near-isogenic corn variety (N = 18). The nutrients and energy contents of both maize varieties were comparable, ensuring equivalent feed conditions. Due to infertility or other production associated diseases, nine cows per group had to be culled and were replaced by heifers. Feed samples were collected weekly, whereas samples for feces, blood and milk were collected monthly, urine samples were taken bimonthly. All samples were analyzed for cry1Ab DNA by means of end-point PCR (feces, blood, urine) and quantitative real-time PCR (feed, milk). A sensitive and highly specific ELISA, optimized to quantify immunoreactive fragments of the Cry1Ab protein, was used to determine the recombinant protein in the collected samples. Non-transgenic feed samples were free of recombinant DNA and protein within the limit of detection, while in transgenic feed samples both, a 206 bp fragment of cry1Ab and immunoreactive fragments of the Cry1Ab protein were present. In contrast, all blood, milk and urine samples were free of recombinant DNA and protein. The cry1Ab gene was not detected in any fecal sample, whereas immunoreactive fragments of the Cry1Ab protein were detected in feces from all cows fed transgenic feed. Milk of dairy cows fed geneticallymodifiedcorn for 25 months should be classified not different from milk of cows fed non-transgenic corn.

Now, I didn’t include the studies that were about the long-term ecological impacts of GM organisms.  Again, there were many that cropped up in my search box, so that’s been done too.

The thing about long term studies is that… well… they take a long time.  Then one must spend a lot of time analyzing the results.

There is a long term study going on right now.  It has been for the last 20+ years.  In America, we have a lot of GM foods.  In Europe, there is almost no GM foods.  Shockingly, Americans have not been dying of GM food poisoning, increased cancer rates (cancer.org reports that over the last 20 years cancer rates in the US have fallen), or allergy deaths (one product had a major allergen issue and it was pulled very quickly).

Now, as for the other bit, “there are no independent studies”.  The website biofortified has provided a list of them, including the funding agency.  Now, these papers cover things from spread of GM DNA to how crops affect biodiversity.  Here’s the link…

to all 126 of them.  They go all the way back to at least 1998.  My understanding is that this list is not being actively updated.  There is another list called GENERA, with over 400 peer-reviewed research papers that all show the safety and value of GM food.  No, I haven’t read them all.

I hope this helps someone.

 

NOTE: This link goes to my critical review of the Seralini paper (which has been retracted by the publisher).

  • http://www.www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    I’ve obtained every study you linked and put them in a publically accessible Google Drive folder. Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B_W2c-uzSPBvam84TWhLXzFYUXc/edit

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      You are the bomb!

      Of course, now I have to go read them all and report on them. Sigh. Heck, by now, I ought to be able to publish a review paper of my own. How cool would that be?

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      Niiice!!! Now I’ll link to that in the translation of this articule!!! Thanks a lot!

  • Copyleft

    This is interesting, but I doubt scientific facts will have much of an impact at this stage. GM foods have already morphed into a political/religious issue, where people are making judgments based on emotion and are utterly indifferent to facts.

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      That’s true, but much like creationism, the anti-GM crowd are doing everything that they can to suppress the actual evidence and make it an emotional issue instead of a rational one.

      I see so many parallels to the creationism arguments here. Cherry-picking data, non-peer-reviewed articles, complete fabrications and quotemines of what actual scientists say. It’s really depressing. I can only handle so much of the straight stuff before I get frustrated and quit… then I get back into it the next day.

  • http://im-skeptical.myopenid.com/ im_skeptical

    I haven’t read much about this, but I understand that some people are concerned not so much about the GM foods themselves, but the fact that that they are produced with greater use of the herbicides and pesticides to which they are designed to be tolerant.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

      There is an incredibly LOWER use of pesticides on Bt crops. This has been demonstrated well in corn and cotton (do a quick PubMed or check NAS/NRC GM crops book, 2010, figs 2-2 and 2-7). Increased herbicide use is a problem, but will be replaced by use of multiple stacked resistances and lower levels of application, along with new technologies to sensitize weeds. The herbicide issue will always be part of ag, GMO or not. At least glyphosate is quite innocuous compared to other heriloom herbicides.

      • http://www.facebook.com/irishgrlk Kay Ryan

        But an incredibly HIGHER use of herbicides on “Round-Up-Ready” crops. Glyphosate is “innocuous?” What planet are YOU living on?

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Yes, glyphosate is as innocuous a herbicide as you can get.

          U.S. EPA ReRegistration Decision Fact Sheet for Glyphosate (EPA-738-F-93-011) 1993.
          No effect on humans from eating maximally sprayed glyphosate fields with a maximal residue over the lifespan of the human.

          Giesy, John P.; Dobson, Stuart; Solomon, Keith R. (2000). “Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment for Roundup® Herbicide”. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 167: 35–120. doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-1156-3_2. ISBN 978-0-387-95102-7.

          Practically non-toxic to slightly toxic for amphibians and fish (compare to other herbicides).

          Andréa, Mara Mercedes de; Peres, Terezinha Bonanho; Luchini, Luiz Carlos; Bazarin, Sheila; Papini, Solange; Matallo, Marcus Barifouse; Savoy, Vera Lucia Tedeschi (2003). “Influence of repeated applications of glyphosate on its persistence and soil bioactivity”. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira 38 (11): 1329. doi:10.1590/S0100-204X2003001100012.

          Glyphosate is bound to the soil and deactivated quickly (although repeated treatments reduce the ability of the soil to bind the compound).

          In conclusion, living on planet Earth, glyphosate is an excellent herbicide. It kills very specific plants, in a very specific way (that has little to no impact on any animal species). Because of genetic engineering, we can make crops resistant to glyphosate. Which means that we are using less chemical to do the same job and we’re using a chemical that is safer for everyone and everything else.

          Is it perfect? No, of course, not. It’s a compound designed to kill things. So, please suggest an alternative method that has as little impact on the environment, kills weeds as effectively, and doesn’t use manual labor.

        • detribe

          But the point is herbicedes are also used with non-Round Up Ready crops, and they generally are more toxic, get into ground water more, and have higher environmental impact than Round Up

  • BethAnnErickson

    Fascinating post, fascinating subject.

    After my husband’s heart attack, we’ve adopted a low fat, plant based diet to manage his blood numbers. Works like a charm. BUT all the docs we work with… every single one of them… will NOT vilify GM foods, much to the chagrin of many of our fellow patients. “Eat the carrots, don’t worry if they’re organic,” is the mantra. They keep referencing these studies, but it’s amazing how when even presented with evidence, many people will not listen.

    So, my family and I eat plain food, non organic, what you get at a regular store and we’re quite the mavericks in our group.

    Thanks for the great information. I’m bookmarking it. :)

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      Thanks. I hope to get to those research reports from Ed soon. Stay tuned.

    • http://www.facebook.com/irishgrlk Kay Ryan

      BethAnnErickson, MDs know shockingly NOTHING about nutrition — NOTHING about food. They are not taught in medical school, and they don’t learn it after medical school. If you rely on any MD for nutritional information, then you are sadly and unfortunately as uninformed as they are.

      • BethAnnErickson

        Thanks for your comment, Kay. I agree, most docs know shockingly little about nutrition.

  • Pingback: A Survey of Long Term GM Food Studies | CookingPlanet

  • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

    I just finished translating this article into Spanish!!! Thanks a lot!!

  • Paulo Andrade

    Terrific post. Criigen considered Snell´s paper trash (as expected) For two main reasons: it was published just before Séalini submitted his infamous paper and it did not mention any of Séralini´s own misleading papers.

    On NK603 and the largest “long term study” ever, including anima nobili, pelase access http://genpeace.blogspot.com.br/2012/10/the-largest-experiment-with-human.html (were I linked the new info found here and in your excellent comments)

  • DSRho

    I’ve never really understood why people are concerned about the health effects of GMOs. All food has genes, and the targeted genes in GMOs have nothing to do with animal metabolism. So, the fear of health effects from GMOs has always seemed like scientifically illiterate b.s. to me.

    THAT SAID, I oppose many GMOs on the grounds that they’re used to facilitate increased usage of herbicides, pesticides, and the like. I want less toxic chemicals in my diet and the environment, thank you very much.

    • Kevin Folta

      DSRho, if you want fewer chemicals in your food you should like GM technology. Bt in corn means fewer insecticide sprays. Worse, these are usually applied when the ears are on the stalks. Bt corn and cotton cut insectide use by 50-70% (Nat’l Acad Sci 2010). Herbicides are applied early, right after emergence on soy, canola and corn. The herbicide is glyphosate, it is long gone by the time the crop is yielding. Plus, glyphosate it not so toxic. Check it out, I think you’d be surprised.

      • DSRho

        Yes I know Kevin. I’m on your side on this issue. Read more carefully.

        • Kevin Folta

          I understood… no problem. GM uses less insecticide. More herbicide, but glyphosate, which is reasonably wimpy stuff.

          • DSRho

            Close but leaving out the conclusion: some GMOs are better for the environment, others are worse, and it’s a mistaketo paint them all with the same brush.

  • Pingback: Allergic to Science-Proteins and Allergens in Our Genetically Engineered Food | Florida State Tribune

  • Tim Anderson

    The idea that one strain of GMO’d plant might become an Irish potato disaster seems dangerous to me, especially if it’s corn. The real problem I have with GMO’s is the fascist level of personal freedom lost with their contracts. Monsanto is the biggest abuser of the 4th amendment I’ve ever seen (well except for the US govt.). Once you use Monsanto corn for instance, you’re required to allow them all access to your field for eternity, so they can see if you’re using their corn. They have a right to your records to see if you used pesticide, or herbicide. If a farmer who plants Monsanto corn contaminates another farm across the road, it’s not Monsanto who gets sued, their immune, it’s the farmer who planted the GMO crop who has to pay damages. I find that as disturbing as the potential health and food preparation risks.

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      There’s an interesting article on biofortified from a farmer who approves of these practices and explains why. Biofortified appears to be down right now or I’d give you a link.

      Honestly though, we accept that when we purchase digital copies of software or a book, that we don’t own the book or the software and the owner/publisher can revoke our right to it whenever we want. Technically, if Microsoft came to your door and said, “You still have Windows 98 running on a computer. Delete it.” Legally you would have to.

      Anyway, the people I’m seeing argue against all these practices are not conventional farmers. They are either organic farmers (which shouldn’t be involved anyway) or non-farmers (which shouldn’t be involved anyway).

      I’m not a huge fan of Monsanto’s practices. Don’t get me wrong. But then, I’m not a fan of a lot of business practices (or government practices for that matter). But no one asked me and I don’t have standing to get involved in a court case.

      If a farmer wants to get involved with Monsanto, then that’s the freedom to do so. If there wasn’t a business benefit to it, then they wouldn’t do it. There obviously is a business benefit (higher yield, less spraying, less loss due to pests, etc).

      • RockIslandLine

        “Honestly though, we accept that when we purchase digital copies of
        software or a book, that we don’t own the book or the software and the
        owner/publisher can revoke our right to it whenever we want.
        Technically, if Microsoft came to your door and said, “You still have
        Windows 98 running on a computer. Delete it.” Legally you would have
        to.”

        We do not accept that. Corporations try to force it anyway.

  • TheOne

    Not very helpful actually. 3 years isnt a long time and where is your paper trail to prove these studies arent funded by people with interests in pushing GMO foods on us? What are these studies really saying? Because they say so? Actually it was helpful in showing we really dont know and are relying on infant tests done on animals that may or may not translate to actual human results. I look at this country over run with self-induced issues (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, behavioral issues to name a few) and wonder how people are deluded to think we are doing better…

  • Pingback: Notorious Séralini GMO Cancer Rat Study Retracted, Ugly Legal Battle Looms | Truth About Trade & Technology

  • Pingback: Séralini threatens lawwuit in wake of retraction of infamous GMO Cancer Rat Study | Today Health Channel

  • TJtruthandjustice

    Long-term studies on HUMANS = ZERO.

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us.aspx#.Uqs8BOLWv5A

      Except for the fact that the US has been eating and using GM crops for the last 20 years.

      BTW: You do know that kind of research is illegal right?

      • TJtruthandjustice

        That’s not true at all. Human trials are done all the time. Within the past twenty years, autoimmune disorders have skyrocketed. Since GMO products are unregulated and unlabeled and unstudied, we’ll never know if there is a correlation, but any independent-thinking, reasonable person should certainly have questions about it.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Different kind of trials. Go ahead, see if you can find a cohort of humans willing to eat nothing but corn for two years. It’s not nutritionally safe and therefore will not happen. There’s a reason rats and other animals are used in these studies.

          Unstudied? really? I guess that shows just how “skeptical” you are.

          Skepticism isn’t disagreement with a subject. Skepticism is be agnostic on a subject UNTIL EVIDENCE IS IN. There are well over 400 studies in the GENERA database (with author affiliations, so you can stop with the conspiracy theories). There is nothing in any of those studies that would indicate that GM herbicide resistance or pesticides can even get into human’s (or any animal’s) body. There’s no evidence that these toxins are harmful to humans.

          Even the (now retracted) Seralini study showed that GM-fed animals died at a lower rate than non-GM-fed animals.

          I would also encourage you to examine, in detail, the proponents of the various labeling laws and who supplied them with funds. In both big cases (California and Washington), the money was supplied by organic food farmers and farming organizations. In both cases, the labeling ONLY appeared in grocery stores. A bag of chips in the grocery store, label required. Exact same bag of chips in the deli next door? no label required.

          That’s not a law to protect and inform citizens. That’s a law designed to promote one industry at the expense of another industry. Economic competition by legislation as it were.

          But don’t take my word for any of this. In my writings I’ve given dozens of links to peer-reviewed research. Go read them for yourself. They would certainly be more scientific than the Daily Mail.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            The Daily Mail article referred to a study published in a scientific journal, as I previously pointed out. I’d encourage YOU to look at the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA. If you aren’t skeptical about THAT, you aren’t a skeptic, but something else entirely. I’d also encourage you to look at the recent research review out of MIT looking at the negative consequences of the widespread use of RoundUp herbicide. Manufactured by Monsanto, RoundUp goes hand-in-hand with Monsanto GMOs. The study is cited in the following article that was published by Prevention Magazine, which I assume you will use to discount the research. Shooting the messenger is a common tactic used by PR people on a mission.

            ____________________________________________________________

            The Latest Science On Roundup: It’s not doing your gut any favors

            By Leah Zerbe, Prevention

            America’s favorite weed killer could be the driving force behind some of modern society’s most common health ailments, according to new research examining more than 300 studies. The new review looked at research investigating glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular herbicide Roundup.

            Once called “safer than aspirin,” glyphosate’s reputation for safety
            isn’t holding up to the scrutiny of independent research. More and more non-industry-funded scientists are finding links between the chemical and all sorts of problems, including cell death, birth defects, miscarriage, low sperm counts, DNA damage, and more recently, destruction of gut bacteria.

            Here’s the quick backstory: Since chemical companies invented genetically engineered seeds designed to withstand heavy sprayings
            of glyphosate, global use of Roundup and related weed killers has jumped to nearly 900 million pounds applied annually. Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, meaning once sprayed, it travels up inside of the plants that people and animals eat. As more farm fields converted to GMO crops, federal regulators quietly increased the levels of Roundup allowed in your food, something that could be particularly tragic for your gut.

            Citing recent studies, review coauthor Stephanie Seneff, PhD, senior
            research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, explains how glyphosate acts as a potent bacteria-killer in the gut, wiping out delicate beneficial microflora that help protect us from disease.

            Harmful pathogens like Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, and E. coli are able to survive glyphosate in the gut, but the “good guys” in your digestive tract, protective microorganisms, bacillus and lactobacillus, for instance, are killed off.

            Even the developer of Roundup—Monsanto—seems to know this. About 10 years ago, the company registered a patent for glyphosate’s use as an antimicrobial agent.

            Eating food laced with Roundup could be setting us up for some major
            health problems, some researchers suggest, citing that power to kill gut
            flora. “When you disturb something in nature, there aren’t any voids,” explains retired pathologist and veteran glyphosate researcher Don Huber, PhD, professor emeritus at Purdue University. “You take the good guys out and the bad guys rule. And that’s what’s happening.”

            This nightmare in your digestive tract can spark other problems,
            including “leaky gut,” where the protective lining of the gut is compromised, allowing for toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This causes the body to send off an immune response to attack the wayward bacteria, potentially sparking autoimmune diseases.

            But there’s more to the glyphosate-gut conundrum “The most important piece of the story is the disruption of serotonin in the gut,” says Seneff. She says glyphosate can disrupt the gut’s ability to create tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter linked to happiness and well-being. Low serotonin levels have been linked to suicide, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other ailments.

            Not only is glyphosate hampering tryptophan production in your gut,
            but it’s also lowering levels in plants, causing even more deficiency,
            Seneff says.

            Other scientists say the latest research could help frame new
            studies. “It is a very broad, comprehensive, thoroughly researched
            paper, and is an important paper in many respects because it suggests
            many testable hypotheses,” says Warren Porter, PhD, professor of
            environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “It is
            also consistent with some new state-of-the-art work we have been doing on domestic animals.”

            While the latest review study is valid, it also makes big leaps in
            terms of connecting the dots, according to some researchers who say the new ideas presented in the analysis will need to be tested in future
            studies. “As a thought piece to stimulate thinking, it serves a useful
            function, but should not be used as ‘proof’ of problem,” explains
            Charles Benbrook, research professor at Washington State University’s
            Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

            Not willing to be a human guinea pig as the science of glyphosate
            safety plays out? Here’s how to make sure your meals aren’t laced with
            the common chemical:

            • Choose organic. Roundup and other chemical pesticides and fertilizers are banned for use in organic agriculture. Instead, organic farmers focus on building healthy soil to support the growth of healthy plants. To find local sustainable farmers, search LocalHarvest.org.

            • Demand GMO labeling. Since most GMOs currently approved—and ones in the development pipeline—are designed to tolerate chemicals sprayings (the same companies sell the seeds and the chemicals), labeling GMOs can help us make more informed choices as consumers.

            • Eat fewer processed foods. The main glyphosate-laden foods that wind up in the food supply are corn, soy, and canola. Since these ingredients readily wind up in about 80 percent of processed foods, eating more whole foods (or choosing organic processed foods) can help lower your exposure to the chemical.

            Published May 2013, Prevention | Updated May 2013

            http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/crazy-new-research-roundup-weed-killer

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            The revolving door at Monsanto (whatever that is) has nothing to do with the science. You see, science is self-correcting. I note that you didn’t address the issues I raised.

            I do find it interesting how you think someone in MIT’s AI laboratory is more knowledgeable about gut bacteria than all the researchers who actually do experiments with gut bacteria and GM foods.

            I also find it interesting how Dr. Huber isn’t interested in doing any actual science…. in fact, he specifically avoids it. http://www.biofortified.org/2013/11/dr-huber-turns-down-my-generous-offer/

            Finally, you do understand that organic farmers SPRAY Bt toxin on their crops right? You haven’t acknowledged that yet. I want to make sure you’re aware of it.

            As usual, it appears that the anti-GMO craze (which didn’t exist even 10 years ago, when GMOs had already been around for decade) is REALLY an attempt to increase the market share for organic farmers.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            Yes, I’m aware that BT toxin is used as an insecticide, on the EXTERIOR of plants, where it can be washed off. It isn’t INFUSED INTERNALLY IN EVERY SINGLE CELL of the plant as with GMO crops. Any reasonable, unbiased person would immediately know the difference. The MIT study is a meta-analysis of studies of Roundup that you claim don’t exist. You refer to Dr. Huber, but he wasn’t even involved in the study that I cited, but simply provided commentary for the Prevention article. You clearly seem to be more of a spin-meister than someone who is honestly interested in the search for truth on this issue. Do you now or have you ever worked for the GMO industry in any capacity? Have you ever profited from GMOs?

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            And yet, it’s still SPRAYED and covers the ground and isn’t as controllable, which means that the actual human dangerous versions may be present. But you don’t care that the TOXIN is very, very different from the DNA. Because those genes aren’t expressed in the FRUIT of the plants, now are they? Which means, even if the toxin was harmful to humans (it isn’t), then humans still wouldn’t be eating it.

            Round-up is a non-toxic HERBICIDE. It literally cannot have any effect on humans. The commercially important enzyme that glyphosate inhibits, EPSPS, is found only in plants and micro-organisms. EPSPS is not present in animals, which instead obtain aromatic amino acids from their diet.

            Let me ask, is any of the studies references from Seralini?

            Again, you link (and paste) a popular article. Have you read the meta analysis? Have you read this article?

            And the answer to your last two questions are both “No”.

            You really need to read something other than anti-GMO websites.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            The MIT study was published in Entropy, a peer-reviewed publication and received broad coverage in numerous US media outlets. You apparently lack an understanding of the importance of flora for human gut health. You are a shill, plain and simple.
            _______________________

            Heavy use of herbicide Roundup linked to health dangers-U.S. study

            By Carey Gillam

            April 25 (Reuters) – Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

            The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

            Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

            “Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.

            We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.

            Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals.

            The EPA is conducting a standard registration review of glyphosate and has set a deadline of 2015 for determining if glyphosate use should be limited. The study is among many comments submitted to the agency.

            Monsanto is the developer of both Roundup herbicide and a suite of crops that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with the Roundup weed killer.

            These biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres in the United States annually. Farmers like them because they can spray Roundup weed killer directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops.

            Roundup is also popularly used on lawns, gardens and golf courses.

            Monsanto and other leading industry experts have said for years that glyphosate is proven safe, and has a less damaging impact on the environment than other commonly used chemicals.

            Jerry Steiner, Monsanto’s executive vice president of sustainability, reiterated that in a recent interview when questioned about the study.

            “We are very confident in the long track record that glyphosate has. It has been very, very extensively studied,” he said.

            Of the more than two dozen top herbicides on the market, glyphosate is the most popular. In 2007, as much as 185 million pounds of glyphosate was used by U.S. farmers, double the amount used six years ago, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            If I’m a shill, then I want more money.

            I think we’re done. Run along.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            You have a blatant pro-GMO bias and all of your arguments begin with a conclusion (GMOs are safe) and work backwards. Hey, might as well get paid for what you do anyway!

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            They aren’t my conclusions. They are the conclusions of the researchers who actually do this work. I agree with them because every research paper that I’ve read that is against GM has some significant unanswered issues and the research papers that support the conclusion that GMOs are safe don’t have those issues.

            You can whine and yell at me all you want. It doesn’t change the simple fact that the vast majority of research shows that there is no danger to GM crops.

            It also doesn’t change the fact that anti-GMO legislation is a product of the organic food industry.

            If you don’t want to eat GM food, then don’t buy anything but organic (realizing that the manure used in organic commercial farms comes from cows that have eaten GM soy and corn). It’s that simple.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            No, what you do is highlight the research that fits your conclusion and reject the research that doesn’t. That’s not science. It’s spin. I don’t know if you’re an academic or a scientist or whatever, but I’d take the word of the recent peer-reviewed MIT research about Round-Up over your prognostications any day of the week.

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            All the while ignoring the problems with that study because it supports your point of view. Fair enough. You’re doing the same thing you vilify me for.

          • TJtruthandjustice

            You haven’t pointed out any problems with the study. Here’s the deal. My opinion is that in the face of the obvious and numerous conflicts of interest between FDA regulators, federal lawmakers, and Monsanto, the rational response is to be MISTRUSTFUL of the regulatory process. For over a decade, public health advocates have been arguing that Tricolsan is bad for the environment and for human health, with industry shills reassuring us all the while, pointing to their corporate-sponsored studies showing that it’s a perfectly acceptable anti-bacterial agent, and with federal regulators looking the other way. Finally, years later, the FDA is yielding to public pressure and has proposed a ban on many uses of Tricolsan. The use of Round-Up is growing exponentially in the U.S. How much damage to the environment and to human health will we suffer due to the efforts of profit-driven corporations and their lackies and legislative whores?

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            The problem is that you are applying your anger to EVERYTHING.

            The FDA has nothing to do with research papers. Federal lawmakers have nothing to do with research papers. Monsanto publishes some, but you are free to look at the authors statements of CoI (conflict of interest) and see who employs the scientists.

            You are simply letting anger over one thing cloud your judgement on an entire issue. What you are doing is roughly equivalent to being worried about snakes, therefore you napalm the entire forest.

            If you want to look at a study done by a AI researcher, that’s fine. I can’t stop you. I can only continue to point out that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of research papers out right now that show that there are zero problems with GM food. The GENERA database at biofortified has them.

            I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. You can continue to cherry pick your data or you can read them all and make an informed decision.

  • TJtruthandjustice

    Why do you describe yourself as a “skeptic”? The entire pro-GMO argument is based on the claim that the toxins implanted in GMO crops are destroyed in the gut and rendered harmless. This has been proven to be false:
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    GM food toxins found in the blood of 93% of unborn babies

    Daily Mail, May 20, 2011

    Toxins implanted into GM food crops to kill pests are reaching the bloodstreams of women and unborn babies, alarming research has revealed.

    A landmark study found 93 per cent of blood samples taken from pregnant women and 80 percent from umbilical cords tested positive for traces of the chemicals.

    Millions of acres in North and South America are planted with GM corn containing the toxins, which is fed in vast quantities to farm livestock around the world – including Britain.

    However, it is now clear the toxins designed to kill crop pests are reaching humans and babies in the womb – apparently through food.

    It is not known what, if any, harm this causes but there is speculation it could lead to allergies, miscarriage, abnormalities or even cancer.

    To date the industry has always argued that if these toxins were eaten by animals or humans they would be destroyed in the gut and pass out of the body, thus causing no harm.

    Food safety authorities in Britain and Europe have accepted these assurances on the basis that GM crops are effectively no different to those produced using conventional methods.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-93-unborn-babies.html

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      When was the daily mail ever considered a peer-reviewed research journal? Let me know that and we’ll talk.

      You know what I don’t see in that article? An actual link (or even a title) to said study. Yes, I’m skeptical of this claim, with no backup, no evidence, not even a link to the study.

      Especially considering that hundreds of studies haven’t found anything.

      Oh, and just so you know, organic farmers use Bt toxin as well… except they spray it on crops. Which means it’s actually on the fruit, unlike GM crops which the gene isn’t turned on in the fruit.

      Oh, and just so you know, Bt is not toxic to humans. Actually a form of Bt toxin can be dangerous to humans, but the GM varieties can’t because they can’t produce the version that is toxic… unlike Bt toxin sprayed on organic crops, which could potentially have the dangerous version because of uncontrolled bacterial strains in the production process.

      Daily Mail… wow

      • TJtruthandjustice

        Apparently, you are quick to defend GMOs, but also don’t read very carefully. It’s all very clearly included in the article. This is independent, peer-reviewed research published in Reproductive Toxicology:

        “The new study was carried out by independent doctors at the Department
        of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital
        Centre in Quebec, Canada. They took blood samples from 30 pregnant women and 39 other women who were not having a baby. They were looking for residues of the pesticides associated with the cultivation of GM food. These include so-called Bt toxins, which are implanted using GM techniques into corn and some other crops.

        Traces of Bt toxin were found in the blood of 93 per cent of the pregnant
        mothers – 28 out of 30. It was also found in 80 per cent of the umbilical cords – 24 out of 30.

        In the non-pregnant group, traces were found in the blood of 69 per cent – 27 out of 39. It is thought the toxin is getting into the human body as a result of eating meat, milk and eggs from farm livestock fed GM corn.

        The Canadian team told the scientific journal Reproductive Toxicology: ‘This is the first study to highlight the presence of pesticides associated with genetically modified foods in maternal, foetal and non-pregnant women’s blood.’

        They said the Bt toxin was ‘clearly detectable and appears to cross the placenta to the foetus’.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Sigh… what year? What’s the title? Who are the authors?

          reproductive toxicology runs from 1987 to present.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Fine, I scanned through the majority of the journals in that year and found it. Have you read it? More importantly, have you read the responses to it? This, apparently, is akin to the Seralini study. Here (I highlighted some important areas for you)

          A recently published paper in Reproductive Toxicology by authors Aris
          and Leblanc reported the potential for maternal and fetal exposure to
          certain pesticides associated with genetically modified foods (PAGMF)
          [1] . The authors conclude among other things that both maternal and
          fetal exposure to the glufosinate metabolite
          3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) results from the approved
          agricultural uses of glufosinate in Canada, as evidenced by detectable
          levels of 3-MPPA in serum samples obtained from pregnant women and their
          fetuses.
          The authors also suggest that given the biological and
          toxicological effects of this metabolite, which they state are similar
          to those of the parent compound, more studies are needed to better
          understand the potential impact of 3-MPPA on the fetus. Glufosinate
          residues were also reported, but only in plasma of non-pregnant women.

          Bayer CropScience (BCS), as the primary registrant of the active
          ingredient glufosinate-ammonium, has several issues with the
          publication. We find a number of incorrect statements in the paper in
          addition to possible analytical inadequacies and implausibilities which
          we believe should be clarified.

          To begin, BCS would like to point out that the metabolite 3-MPPA is not a
          significant residue in glufosinate-tolerant crops; the (−) isomer of
          N-acetylglufosinate (NAG) is the major metabolite in
          glufosinate-tolerant crops (1998 JMPR residue review) [2]
          . Of note,
          there is a complete regulatory toxicology dossier available for NAG
          which includes rat and rabbit teratology studies; there is no evidence
          of teratogenicity in either species (1999 JMPR toxicity review, and EU
          DAR) [3,4] .

          3-MPPA is a major residue in conventional crops, and a significant body
          of guideline toxicity studies is available for 3-MPPA which have been
          recently reviewed in the EU re-registration process according to
          Directive 91/414/EEC
          . BCS challenges the assertion that 3-MPPA has
          similar biological and toxicological effects to glufosinate based on
          this existing significant body of data which apparently was not known by
          the authors. 3-MPPA does not inhibit glutamine synthetase and therefore
          by definition cannot have similar biological properties (Koecher and
          Dickerhof) [5] and (ENV/JM/MONO(2002)14) [6]
          . In the 2002EU Draft
          Assessment Report (DAR), the Rapporteur Member State concluded that
          there were no teratogenic effects in either the rat or rabbit teratology
          studies for 3-MPPA. The 2005 EFSA Scientific Report [7] stated that
          toxicity studies carried out on NAG and 3-MPPA indicate that these
          metabolites are of lower toxicity than glufosinate.

          More importantly, BCS has reason to doubt the accuracy of the reported
          serum levels for 3-MPPA. Aris and Leblanc analyzed their samples
          according to the method described by Motojyuku et al. [8] who reported
          that a peak derived from endogenous plasma components interfered with
          analysis of 3-MPPA.
          Although Aris and Leblanc reported 3-MPPA in every
          sample of maternal and fetal cord blood and most samples of non-pregnant
          women, insufficient detail is provided in the publication to understand
          if and how the problem of interference was addressed. Therefore, BCS
          believes that the reported 3-MPPA could be due to an artifact of the
          analysis. Additional description and detail from the authors, including
          validation of the method with chromatograms and spectra, would be needed
          to prove that 3-MPPA was indeed found in serum.

          Further examination of putative 3-MPPA concentrations in the plasma
          raises additional concerns. It is known that glufosinate and its
          metabolites are rapidly cleared from the body (EU DAR) [4] . Assuming
          100% of the food consumed had 3-MPPA residues at the maximum allowable
          residue levels (MRL) and 5% of the residues are absorbed, the women
          would need to consume extreme amounts of food to achieve the reported
          levels. For example, one of the highest Canadian MRLs for a human
          consumable item is lentils (a non-GMO crop) at 6mg/kg. Back calculating
          from the highest plasma concentration (417ng/mL 3-MPPA equivalent to
          494ng/mL glufosinate) would require the women to consume more than 6kg
          of lentils per day!
          In the same vein, apples (0.1mg/kg MRL, also a
          non-GMO crop) would require consumption of more than 370kg/day or corn
          grain (0.2mg/kg, a GMO crop) would require consumption of more than
          185kg/day.

          BCS also questions the reported glufosinate serum findings. Glufosinate
          residues were only reported in non-pregnant women. The authors
          attributed the absence of glufosinate in maternal and fetal cord blood
          to hemodilution. If one compares the mean putative 3-MPPA concentrations
          and considers them normative for hemodilution, the relative value for
          glufosinate in pregnant women should be well above the detection limit
          (the authors acknowledge there was no significant difference between
          3-MPPA concentrations in pregnant and non-pregnant women). Even though
          the reported glufosinate concentrations are lower than claimed for
          3-MPPA, the plasma levels are high relative to normal food consumption,
          as for the metabolite.

          BCS believes that the data and rationales provided in this article are
          sufficient to question the accuracy and credibility of the authors’
          findings and conclusions related to glufosinate and the metabolite
          3-MPPA.

  • Pingback: The Evidence on GMO Safety | Ramez Naam

  • Pit Boss

    Any long-term studies on humans? No? Then this article was a waste of space.

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      I guess 20 years of eating them as a entire culture doesn’t count. Oh wait…

  • Peter

    It’s undeniable that in terms of nutrition and environmental impact there’s no comparison between biological and gmo, mostly because of the agricultural practices adjacent to the production. Furthermore gmo technology prevents the farmer from adapting the seed to its local condition through seed saving, therefore reducing the adaptability of the plant overtime and the overall food diversity. Regardless of being detrimental or not for our health, why not label it? Let the people decide what they put in their mouths and what sort of practices they want to support.

  • Veritas101

    Long-term studies huh? None of these studies have been conducted on humans, correct? Let alone conducted on humans for 3-5 generations, correct?

    Humans and said animals are not the same. While I am still skeptical of the GMOs, I think we still need to look at this thing more holistically.

    Why not cross breed heartier strains with strains which are tastier/healthier? Instead of pesticides, use the many green pesticides already known to exist – stinging nettle, wormwood, summer tansy extracts already work.

    And, most important, **Over Population** That’s right, over population is our main culprit. Of course, one can point to Global Warming as well. Both are in effect here. Global Warming is not something we can change immediately, neither is Over Population.

    But to think developing GM foods to combat the above is a positive solution is just absurd. Why? So we can add *more* people and ultimately *more* pollution? If we are looking to save this beautiful planet and save humanity, then we need to start from scratch.