A new research review shows that a diet of genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans leads to organ problems in rats and mice. Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and his research team reviewed data from 19 different animal studies with results indicating liver and kidney organ disruption as “GMO diet effects.” The kidneys were more affected in males and the liver was more specifically disrupted in females. Here is the end of the published conclusion:

“We can conclude, from the regulatory tests performed today, that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species…”

Current industry trials limit studies to 90-days. This is shocking considering how long it may take the human body to show the effects of any diet. Gilles-Eric Séralini urges regulators to require much longer term, multi-generational studies, to “provide evidence of carcinogenic, developmental, hormonal, neural, and reproductive potential dysfunctions, as it does for pesticides or drugs.” In addition, studies need to be done on other mammals.

“…Short studies could easily miss many serious effects of GMOs. It is well established that some pesticides and drugs, for example, can create effects that are passed on through generations, only showing up decades later. In the case of the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), ‘induced female genital cancers among other problems in the second generation…’”

-Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology

The Gilles-Eric Séralini review specifically looked at genetically modified corn and soybeans, two top GM crops. One would think that with these types of study results that regulators would be a wee bit more concerned about approving other GM crops . But no, in the last year the FDA has deregulated GM sugar beets and allowed GM alfalfa. In addition, they may possibly approve fast-growing GM salmon and a new type of GM non-browning apples in the near future. Worst of all? Because labeling is not required on GM foods like it is in other countries, American consumers have no idea if the foods they are buying are loaded with genetically altered foods.

At this time, our main ways of fighting back are as follows:

  • Buy certified organic produce (organic certified produce cannot be genetically altered according to USDA guidelines)
  • Stay away from all foods containing non-organic corn and soy since it is virtually guaranteed it will be GM
  • Tell your local farmers NOT to use GM crops
  • Get involved. Write to your government representatives and make sure they know you do not support GM crops
  • Tell others. I am always shocked to learn how many people don’t even know what “genetically modified” means and that tons of popular foods contain GM ingredients.
  • Post articles showing the risks of GMOs on your FB page, twitter, etc. where they are likely to be read by all different types of friends/followers thereby increasing awareness.

Every time you shop, you are making your voice heard through your wallet. If everyone demands non-GMO products and shops accordingly, food companies and regulators will be forced to listen.

Environmental Sciences Europe
Institute for Responsible Technology

Image: fishhawk via Flickr