Question
Asked 26th May, 2013

GMO crops. Is there any peer reviewed scientific evidence that questions their safety?

The popular media and a lot of groups with apparently "green" agendas are opposed to the use of GMO crops and often cite safety concerns as an argument to stop their production/development/use. However, is there really a difference between selectively breeding for pest resistance and genetically modifying a crop to be pest resistant and does this really present the consumer with food safety issues?

Most recent answer

9th Apr, 2014
Christopher Lange
State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University
As I noted in January, the problem is the refusal of the GMO companies to release the information as to what proteins and or polypeptides are produced in their products due to the gene insertion. This creates a situation of caveat emptor which has no place being in our food supply. Until the necessary information is released to allow the public to make informed choices, no one should eat GMO foods and they should not be allowed into the food suply. The problem is one of the GMO companies' making; they have only to release full details of what the added sequences make to let the public (or public interest groups) find out what dangers may lurk in those sequences (if any).
3 Recommendations

Popular Answers (1)

31st May, 2013
Alexander J. Stein
European Commission
Disregarding links to obscure website and the general media, it seems only two papers that did studies with GMOs have been cited so far in response to this question.
On the Pusztai paper there is e.g. a discussion at Academics Review, where also many other GMO-related questions are covered and backed up with sources from the literature: http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-1/1-1-pusztais-flawed-claims/
On the Seralini paper there is e.g. a discussion by David Tribe at GMO Pundit, where many Letters to the Editor and other references are linked that respond to the study: http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-grande-scientific-discussion-of.html
The website of David Tribe has a lot more info and also a comprehensive discussion and supportive references regarding the safety assessments of GM food: http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2007/06/150-published-safety-assessments-on-gm.html
A much longer list of published studies (currently 600) covering risk assessment and GMOs, as well as a lot more info, can be found at Biofortified.org: http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/
Then there is also an overview of studies on GMOs funded by the EU over 25 years that concludes that "there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms:" http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-10-1688_en.htm
And there is a literature review from last year on the "Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials" that concludes that "GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed." http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.048
This means there is a handful of papers that suggest negative findings (but that have been heavily criticized by many other scientists in the field) and then there are hundreds of studies from all around the world that do not support concerns about the safety of GM food.
If the popular media and activist groups cite safety concerns as an argument to stop GMOs, they do so based on a very small selection of carefully cherry-picked (and otherwise disputed) papers out of a trove of other papers that contradict their position. (If they bother with evidence at all.)
46 Recommendations

All Answers (160)

26th May, 2013
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
University of Gothenburg
A very interesting question David. I don't know of such evidence, but I'll certainly follow this discussion and see if some peer reviewed scientific evidence will actually be quoted, not just some crap fundamentalist propaganda like the links Rabab El Eit supplied above.
5 Recommendations
27th May, 2013
Tomasz Maciej Stępkowski
International Instiute of Molecular Mechanisms and Machines PAN
This is more an economy than biology problem now. GMO as a tool could be used for modifications with low impact on the environment or very dangerous. You will struggle to find scientific peer review evidence for a destructive role of GMO as a technique but how it used is another matter....crops that are resistant to chemicals like herbicides or pesticides are a good examples. The genetic modification in those plants is not a concern but the use of extensive amounts of chemicals in some GMO farms is a serious concern as well for the environment as for human health. Monopoly companies like Monsato sell cheap crops resistant to herbicides that are easy to cultivate and so the farmers are pushed to use them in order to compete on the market. GMO is neither bad or wrong it is just another tool. What we do with it is what matters. You can use phage derived protein to fight pathogen bacteria in the plant :
that is not dangerous for the environment
or use roundup resistant GMO that because of the extensive chemical usage during their cultivation is a seriuos concern:
5 Recommendations
27th May, 2013
Raul Llera-Herrera
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
In addition to the first reference given by Rabab, you can also follow this next reference, and equally important, the shocking criticisms of the inaccuracy of the experimental design and data interpretation/analysis:
4 Recommendations
28th May, 2013
Vinod Kumar
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research
Not aware of any such evidence with strong credibility.
1 Recommendation
29th May, 2013
Michela Raponi
Beatson Institute for Cancer Research
Watching a documentary on GMO I came across this name: Aprad Pusztai
There is lot of controversy about his study on GMO potatoes
He was fired probably because of this, but he managed to publish a letter in LANCET:
I have not read it yet but I think it might partially answer your question
2 Recommendations
29th May, 2013
Detlef Bartsch
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz
May I draw your attention to a series of literature reviews in the frame of a Swiss national research program? The take home message - valid also for other countries - is: Regulated GM crops are not riskier than their non-GM counterparts. Although problems like the development of insect resistance in targeted pests or selection of herbicide tolerant weeds are observable, these effects are related to an unwise or unmanaged (over-) use of the new technology. For more reading see:
1 Recommendation
30th May, 2013
Samarthia Thankappan
The University of York
31st May, 2013
Alexander J. Stein
European Commission
Disregarding links to obscure website and the general media, it seems only two papers that did studies with GMOs have been cited so far in response to this question.
On the Pusztai paper there is e.g. a discussion at Academics Review, where also many other GMO-related questions are covered and backed up with sources from the literature: http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-1/1-1-pusztais-flawed-claims/
On the Seralini paper there is e.g. a discussion by David Tribe at GMO Pundit, where many Letters to the Editor and other references are linked that respond to the study: http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-grande-scientific-discussion-of.html
The website of David Tribe has a lot more info and also a comprehensive discussion and supportive references regarding the safety assessments of GM food: http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2007/06/150-published-safety-assessments-on-gm.html
A much longer list of published studies (currently 600) covering risk assessment and GMOs, as well as a lot more info, can be found at Biofortified.org: http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/
Then there is also an overview of studies on GMOs funded by the EU over 25 years that concludes that "there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms:" http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-10-1688_en.htm
And there is a literature review from last year on the "Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials" that concludes that "GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed." http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.048
This means there is a handful of papers that suggest negative findings (but that have been heavily criticized by many other scientists in the field) and then there are hundreds of studies from all around the world that do not support concerns about the safety of GM food.
If the popular media and activist groups cite safety concerns as an argument to stop GMOs, they do so based on a very small selection of carefully cherry-picked (and otherwise disputed) papers out of a trove of other papers that contradict their position. (If they bother with evidence at all.)
46 Recommendations
31st May, 2013
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
University of Gothenburg
Thank you Alexander for was looks like a very comprehensive summary of the state-of-the-art in the area, with several links to the sources. I think this will be genuinely helpful for people like me who are curious about the question without having the overview of all the data which are out there.
31st May, 2013
Alexander J. Stein
European Commission
There is not only one company that's developing GM crops: there are the big ones such as Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, Dow or BASF, then there are smaller ones such as Okanagan or Del Monte, there are private and public entities in countries such as India, China, Brazil, Indonesia or South Africa that develop and market GM crops, there are international agricultural research institutes that work under a humanitarian mandate and that develop GM crops, etc. While market concentration is of concern, this situation does perhaps not amount to a monopoly - which indeed would be an economic problem and not a safety issue. (And in many countries there are competition authorities that investigate market concentrations and take action when needed.) If anything, public opposition to GMOs scares away potential competitors and prevents them from entering such a market, i.e. it strengthens the very concentration it opposes.
Herbicides are use not only on GM crops but in all kinds of systems and by all kinds of farmers (and even hobby gardeners or in road maintenance). But regardless, are there herbicides that are not "chemical"? And if so, don't they also wipe out wild flora (commonly called "weeds" if it grows in a farmer's field)? What about non-chemical weed control (e.g. mechanical or even hand weeding, or weed burning), doesn't this also wipe out wild plants that happen to grow where those in control of the land do not want them to grow?
1 Recommendation
31st May, 2013
Susan Kirk
Freelance journalist
Alexander most of your cited work seems to come from David Tribe? I see he is also part of Academics Review as well as Biofortified dot org.
This link is not working http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.048 but from the title it doesn't appear to be about the safety of GM food rather, its 'nutritional' value.
While I have not read the EU report, I will, it appears that it is funded and driven by the European Biotechnologies, Agriculture and Food whom, has a mandate to ‘Building the Bio-Economy by 2020’. Further and I quote:
"The Bio-Economy, as defined by the OECD, refers to economic activities relating to the invention, development, production and use of biological products and processes. Allied with significant advances in the life sciences and biotechnologies, the concept of the Bio-Economy will enhance Europe’s competitiveness, increase the efficiency of resource utilisation, reduce the environmental footprint of production processes and products, and stimulate the creation of knowledge-based jobs."
In regard to your comment about market concentrations, monopolies/duopolies are a very big concern. I give you an example in Australia where we have two supermarket chains that have driven small business into the ground under the watchful eyes of the regulator.
So while you may argue that the concerns for GM food are related to economy rather than concern for safety or the environment and that we can trust in government regulation to protect us. I would argue that the two are linked and are part of the drivers of gm technology.
I give you examples of other areas where corporatisation is driving policy in other areas related to human health. Our health authorities here lament about the role that food companies play in lobbying government and the big role they play in determining our nutrition. They cite added salt and sugar as one way that food companies are killing people (obesity), as well as alcohol and tobacco.
This by Dr Alex Wodak Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney: "Working with the food industry to try and reduce obesity sounds logical. But whether the food industry has the capacity to put the public interest first is very doubtful. Based on past experience, I am not hopeful. It is worth trying. But if after a year or so the food industry has shown that it pursues its own interests before the interests of the community, then the government will have to act without the food industry."
This was said by Dr Kaye Mehta a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders Public Health and a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University.
"On the matter of marketing energy-dense nutrient poor foods to children, and its relationship with childhood obesity, it is disappointing to see the continued reliance on ‘soft strategies’ (industry self-regulation) with the promise of government regulations in 4 years time, if this is not effective. We have already had many years of industry self-regulation, during which Australian children have been exposed to unacceptably high levels of ‘junk’ food marketing, and childhood obesity has escalated. Surely NOW IS THE TIME FOR STRONGER ACTION."
So as the food industry pursues its drive to profit itself and its stakeholders, can we really trust other corporate funded gm research to NOT do the same?
Coming back to GM. In Australia it appears we no longer have the funds to cover the cost of Gene Regulation Technology and are looking to determine a cost recovery program for this important regulator. So who will fund this independent statutory body? Monsanto, Dupont? or the food industry?
I'm not really opposed to the technology per se. I hope it turns out to be all it is expected to be. I do have concerns that it IS driven by corporate greed. Lets not put the horse before the cart and lets do the unbiased long term chronic toxicity testing first on human cells.
6 Recommendations
2nd Jun, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
The safety of GMO's may have many implications.
The impact on humans, animals, plants and trees that have evolved over long periods. For example, "Arborgen" genetically modified trees with built in pesticides. are being tested in the US as we speak.
What are the environmental impacts of plants with seeds that do not reproduce on there own. What could happen to our native forests and flora. What could be the impact on biodiversity as opposed to the mono-culturing of GMO"S.
What are the possible social impacts of worldwide Corporate owned patents on a basic fundamental human right, such as farming your own food source.
1 Recommendation
2nd Jun, 2013
Marcin Lukaszewicz
University of Wroclaw
Food safety and ecological issues are very important. However many raised concerns are not specific to GMO and should be approached in a more holistic perspective :)
Good example are forests cited by Richard Grenier. We have results from few hundred years of forest management which lead to ecologic catastrophe resulting from introduction of foreign trees http://www.fondazione-delbianco.org/seminari/progetti_prof/progview.asp?id=1317.
Thus, I would be less concerned by "Arborgen" GM trees which do not reproduce, than cross pollination or invasion by great number of foreign species planted in our gardens http://fwcb.cfans.umn.edu/courses/nresexotics3002/Slideshow/ENR3002pdfs/Mack2005.pdf, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11252-007-0030-y
2 Recommendations
2nd Jun, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
Good point Marcin.
As a species , some of our greatest achievements stem for our ingenuity . A genuine concern I have from a holistic perspective is the cycle of life involves not only life and growth, but as well as decomposition and re-assimilation into the web of life, from which the cycle renews. When we fabricate insect and fungal resistant foods or trees, we are also ingesting these. We are also preventing the decomposition and assimilation of organic matter into the web of life.We are now seeing the impact on the overuse of antibiotics into our food sources, causing resistant strains of bacteria, Are we going down a similar path with GMO"s, whereas insects are capable of resisting various forms of insecticides, and have shown to adapt to are chemical war fare. If so, where does it end and to what avail?
3 Recommendations
2nd Jun, 2013
Alexander J. Stein
European Commission
The original topic/question of this post had been “GMO crops. Is there any peer reviewed scientific evidence that questions their safety?” In response to this question I listed some sources with aggregated information on the scientific evidence on the safety of GMOs. What this evidence suggests is that there is no reason to question the safety of GMOs per se. While there are a few studies that have come to more cautionary conclusions, the findings of these studies are not confirmed by the vast majority of other studies, and those few studies are heavily criticised by other scientists in the field for all sorts of shortcomings that compromise the reliability of the results.
Simply because one scientist (amongst others) has put an effort into compiling some this information doesn’t mean he actually carried out the 600 studies or he wrote and signed the dozens of statements and letters to the editor in which these few other studies are criticised (http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-grande-scientific-discussion-of.html). Exactly because there are so many studies out there, none of the sources I listed refer to the work by a single individual but I linked to reviews and lists with studies that were done by many, many scientists and labs the world over. Neither do any of the sources I linked make claims out of thin air, but the statements are generally supported by references (to work by others), i.e. the veracity of the points can be checked. Discarding all this evidence because of one individual who helped aggregate some of the information amounts to shooting the messenger.
About the link that doesn’t work, apparently there was a problem at the journal’s website – earlier I couldn’t access it, either. The full reference is: Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, Ricroch AE. 2012. Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50: 1134-1148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.048 – The title states that the review is about health impacts, and it is unclear why the one finding that “GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts” should invalidate the other that “GM plants... can be safely used in food and feed.”
Judging based on appearances is always tricky: The EU report summarizes the results of GMO safety studies that had been funded by the European Commission, i.e. public money. The EU has funded GMO safety studies since 1982, which were carried out by hundreds of independent research groups, and once in 2001 and then again in 2010 it had concluded that there is no evidence that questions the safety of GMOs. If then, in 2012 – after 30 years of GMO safety research – the Commission proposes a strategy for a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe (http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/news-events/news/20120213_en.htm), in which GM crops only play a minor role, this comes AFTER it ascertained that GMOs are as safe as other plants and organisms. That is, if anything, the bioeconomy strategy is a result of the work done in the preceding decades.
However, it is of course valid to look at the funding and the driving forces behind a report or a study and to be cautious when there are possible conflicts of interest. While the findings of such work do not need to be wrong, greater scrutiny may be justified. This applies to all studies, though, i.e. those that find no evidence that questions the safety of GMOs and those that do. In this context one could argue that there are some question marks surrounding the work by Séralini and colleagues. For instance, (i) a study that produces sensational findings probably promotes the commercial success of a book and a movie about that very same study and therefore benefits the author financially: “Séralini has promoted the cancer results as the study’s major finding, through a tightly orchestrated media offensive that began last month and included the release of a book and a film about the work.” http://www.nature.com/news/hyped-gm-maize-study-faces-growing-scrutiny-1.11566 or “Séralini’s paper was a whopping media success... it also served as great PR for a book and movie Séralini launched the same week.” http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/gm-corn-and-cancer-seralini-affair/ (ii) There also seem to be commercial ties between Séralini et al. and a company that sells a “protectant” against glyphosate – the substance that Séralini et al. incriminated in their study.
http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2013/01/seralinis-connections-to-quack-science.html (iii) On the other hand, if Séralini claims that his funding sources are irrelevant to his scientific credibility – and even sues other scientists for libel who suggest that the funding he received from Greenpeace represents a conflict of interest http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/19/greenpeace-financed-scientist – then the assumption of such absolute integrity and independence should be applied to “both” sides.
Regarding the independence of the research on GMO safety (neither funded by the biotech industry, nor the organic industry, nor advocacy or lobby groups), there is the aforementioned EU research, but also an estimated 1/3 of the 600 studies on risk assessment and GMOs in the GENERA database were independently funded. http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/ Then there is also public research going on within individual EU countries. For instance the German Ministry of Education and Research supported a website (http://www.gmo-safety.eu/) to disseminate the findings of research projects that were funded by the German government, which are compiled in a database http://www.gmo-safety.eu/database.html And in a previous reply Detlef Bartsch provided links to literature reviews that were done in the context of a Swiss national research programme (and the Swiss, which are not part of the EU, are generally deemed to be critical of the technology). Furthermore there are statements on GMOs by national scientific bodies and international organisations, such as the Australian Academy of Science http://www.science.org.au/policy/gene-tech.html or the World Health Organization http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/ – even the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences had organised a “Study Week” and published the proceedings: http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/publications/scriptavaria/transgenic.html
In addition to being researched, GMOs generally also have to be approved by independent regulators before they can be used for food and feed. For instance, in the EU the risk assessment is done by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the risk management is the task of the European Commission, and the authorisation of the organisms is initially the responsibility of the 27 Member States (whose representatives convene in a committee or the Council of Ministers). While so far EFSA has issued favourable opinions on GMOs (see Answer 4: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/faqs/faqgmo.htm), this simply means it deems the organisms that it assesses so far to be safe. (Simply to “prove” its independence, a public authority can hardly reject a safe product.) The independence of the Authority can be gauged better by the criticism it has drawn from industry in other areas (where the science is not as clear or where the literature is less comprehensive): EFSA health claims standards are ‘too high’ http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Business-News/EFSA-health-claims-standards-are-too-high, EFSA refutes Danone health claims criticism http://www.nutraingredients.com/Regulation/EFSA-refutes-Danone-health-claims-criticism, Probiotic health claims ruled unproven http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/oct/19/efsa-rules-probiotic-health-claims-unproven, Food and drink sector hot topic http://www.eversheds.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Food/Nutrition_and_health_claims_regulation_will_Article_13_5_help_food_businesses,
While GM trees are usually less of a topic in people’s minds, research has been done on them and their potential impact on native forests and flora, too: http://www.gmo-safety.eu/press/1298.genetically-modified-trees-risk-environment.html – in the US but also in the EU: http://www.gmo-safety.eu/basic-info/311.abundance-poplars.html. In the GMO-Safety database there is an entire category for woody plants http://www.gmo-safety.eu/database/search?topic=129 – and that only covers projects funded by the German government. But apart from research, GM trees are already under commercial cultivation, whether poplars in China since 10 years http://www.gmo-safety.eu/science/woody-plants/316.seeing-once-studying-thousand-times.html or papaya trees in the US even longer http://www.agbioforum.org/v7n12/v7n12a07-gonsalves.htm, i.e. so there is a lot of experience with the cultivation of GM trees. On the other hand, genetic engineering could bring back the extinct American chestnut: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577033-gm-species-may-soon-be-liberated-deliberately-wildwood
Questions relating to common agronomic challenges (weed control), general nutrition concerns (obesity), widespread agricultural practices (monoculture), or socially balanced intellectual property laws (patents) are all certainly also interesting and important, but they have little to do with GMOs per se and they do not affect the science and safety of GMOs, the topic of this thread: Herbicides were used long before the commercial cultivation of GMOs and they are used in all sorts of settings today that are unrelated to GMOs. Similarly, obesity has been on the rise before the introduction of GMOs and it is also a problem in countries where GM food is less prevalent. The same is true for monoculture, which has nothing to do with GMOs has there has been monoculture before GMOs and there is monoculture in countries where no GMOs are cultivated.
Finally, also the patenting of seeds is nothing new and predates GMOs by decades (in the US the Plant Patent Act has been enacted in 1930: http://www.nal.usda.gov/pgdic/Probe/v2n2/plant.html). Moreover, stewardship agreements that limit the use of farm-saved seed are also used for seed that has been developed through traditional plant breeding techniques, e.g.: http://www.midgetolerantwheat.ca/farmers/stewardship-agreement.aspx. And for instance “conventional” hybrid seed (or even more obviously seedless fruit) have an in-built mechanism that prevents farmers or gardeners from saving the seed even without resorting to patents: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/how-are-hybrid-and-open-pollinated-vegetables-different. Yet, farmers and gardeners buy these conventional seeds even though they are more expensive http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/misc/hybrid.html. Furthermore, as a quick Google search for “organic hybrid seeds” shows (https://www.google.com/search?q=organic+hybrid+seeds), plenty of hybrid seeds are also available for organic farming, and also organic seedless watermelon are available.
While none of this prevents a farmer or gardener from opting for seed that is neither protected nor hybrid, the practice of saving seeds is being abandoned by many growers – and not because of GMOs. Just like few people build their own house or make their own clothes – or, indeed, farm their own food – for good reason, farmers prefer to simply buy quality seed instead of spending time and efforts on ensuring their own seed supply and risk getting low performing or diseased seeds. In the case of GMOs this is evidenced by the ever increasing acreage that is cultivated with GMOs: http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/44/infographic/default.asp At the same time the global acreage of organic agricultural land is also increasing http://www.ifoam.org/press/press/2008/statsbook2010.php, which clearly indicates that farmers have a choice how to farm and that some are happy to serve the organic market.
Perhaps most importantly, nothing prevents society from investing in public research into GMOs and to make the resulting germplam available for free. There is nothing in GMOs as such that prevents the seed from being saved. For instance, provitamin A-rich “Golden Rice” is an example of a GMO that is being developed under a humanitarian mandate and that will be made available to smallholders without royalty payments http://www.goldenrice.org/Content1-Who/who4_IP.php. Similarly, in India insect-resistant eggplants were developed in a public-private partnership, meaning that the technology can be made available to resource-poor farmers free of charge http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2008.00290.x.
39 Recommendations
2nd Jun, 2013
Susan Kirk
Freelance journalist
One thing that still concerns me with the Seralini work. Why, if the research, is as bad as some say has the paper not been retracted?
3rd Jun, 2013
Stephen Carl Ekker
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Seems to me that the GMO 'debate' is based on a few key points: 1) general fear of technology 2) general distrust of corporate intentions 3) support from a few largely discredited papers. I truly do not know of a single paper that shows a real threat due to GMOs, and most scientists like Dr. Borlaug consider GMOs to be essential for feeding the world in the 21st century.
5 Recommendations
3rd Jun, 2013
Susan Kirk
Freelance journalist
ahahahha Stephen you add another element (4) of dare I say propaganda, feeding the world in the 21st century. Something else that has yet to be proved.
4th Jun, 2013
Stephen Carl Ekker
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
The Seralini study is truly terrible. As an editor-in-chief of a scientific journal, I read it initially and was in total disbelief that it had passed any level of reasonable peer review. The authors set themselves up for propaganda (since someone brought the word up) from the beginning - raising fundamental ethical issues about their motives. In the end, the only way that study will be totally and appropriately discredited will be for a quality version of it to be conducted with proper controls and statistical power.
Ironically, I am not a big fan of such an expensive followup study. I believe that Seralini's work is so bad that it does not deserve to be considered a viable report to pursue. We have real problems that are underfunded, and I'd prefer not to negotiate with what seemingly appears to be scientific terrorism.
Another reason I see no purpose to funding the negative followup study is that it would not convince the disbelievers. The autism / vaccination fraud work showed that people will believe what they want.
I am also sorry that members of that team are so blinded that they cannot see the fundamental flaws in that work themselves.
All of the data points to 9 billion passengers on Spaceship Earth by 2050. Where are they going to get food? Genetically developed crops are going to be a major part of that solution,
6 Recommendations
4th Jun, 2013
Emilio Montesinos
Universitat de Girona
It seems that most part of the discussion is focused on GMO plants as food.
An upcoming area of plant biotechnology is dedicated to the use of PLANTS AS BIOFACTORIES (MOLECULAR FARMING) of compounds that are difficult (or impossible) to be produced by chemical synthesis (or the industrial process is highly contaminant or costly) or that their natural source may be in danger (several animals and plants). Particullarly, we can cite as examples the production of antigens, antibodies, hormones, antimicrobial peptides, biopolymers, etc. Several research groups in Universities and Institutes, as well as Companies (e.g. SemBiosys, Ventria, and more) are dedicating strong budgets to this topic (including Europe in spite of the reticences against GMO plants).
However, we can not doubt of the contribution of plant molecular farming for the future as platforms to produce ingredients for pharmaceutical, food, agriculture, cosmetics, etc.industry.
Obviously in these cases biosafety may be an important issue and there is no available information, because most reports and research has been focused to GMO plants as food.
3 Recommendations
4th Jun, 2013
Alexander J. Stein
European Commission
It seems more work on GMOs and safety has been done than most people are aware of, whether this relates to the number of studies that cover GM food, studies on the safety of GM trees, or the work on plant molecular farming. One report on the latter topic is for instance: http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=1979 and a more recent report is: http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/fa/Actions/FA0804 But there is also a lot to be found at Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22plant+molecular+farming%22 One question regarding the eventual/possible use of such crops is whether they will be cultivated in the open at all or, rather, subjected to contained use production. (In which case there is no difference between these crops and other biotechnology applications for pharmaceutical and industrial purposes.)
3 Recommendations
5th Jun, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
Interesting article from McGill University published in Nature 10 of May 2012 -485 by V Seufert. Comparing yields of Organic farming and conventional agriculture.
My personnel opinion.
What about the economic impact alone of crops without a workforce. As we continue modernizing farming practices, the less employment will be required for tending these pre- engineered crops.
Are we not facing a major shift in the worlds economy.
A vast majority of people rely on this type of employment for there livelihood.
As unemployment rises, so does corporate profits .
How about shifting our focus on reaching sustainable practices, for our health, environment, and economy.
3 Recommendations
5th Jun, 2013
Emilio Montesinos
Universitat de Girona
Another issue in the discussion on GMO crops is that very often if not always, a given GMO species/ cultivar is compared with the non-GMO parental or equivalent under unreal cropping practices for the jnon-GMO (that is doing nothing that sounds technology advanced). However, comparison should always be done with the non-GMO parental under standard cropping conditions needed to achieve similar productivities (quality and quantity) to the GMO, being agronomically feasible (irrigation, fertilizer, and pest management with pesticides, herbicides, and so).
Thus, we compare standard technology with "new technology" in terms of productivity, inputs-costs, safety and environmental impact. In this case I'm confident that many aspects are in favour of currently approved GMOs, less insecticides (and in the future probably less fungicides), may be more or equal herbicides but less toxic or environmentally aggressive (e.g. Glyphosate instead of atrazines).
A question to the audience. In the Seralini papers, the non-GMO feed corn given to the animals was it cultivated under standard, organic production or doing nothing?. In the paper it is indicated that control corn was produced under "normal conditions" without any detail. I have publications and did some task es reviewer/editor in the field of Plant Science, and I never accept papers lacking details like these in the materials and methods. In the same paper ( the last one) since it is a long.term experiment, compared to the first paper, the equivalence in the age of the animals is as if we did a Phase III human clinical testing with aged people ( e.g. More than 80 years old).
1 Recommendation
6th Jun, 2013
Neil Wang
Putting mortality and tumoral rates aside, Seralini's results suggest kidney failure when rats are exposed to GMOs. Sampled rats were only 15 months-old and survival was still >90% in all groups. What do you think ?
6th Jun, 2013
Emilio Montesinos
Universitat de Girona
The maximum lifespan of a laboratory rat is about 1.5 to 2 years, that means 50% of rats die before this age. So, I still think that a long term study of 15 months feeding on GMO would be comparable as if we humans feed at similar rates for 60-70 years?!. The Seralini's paper only "suggests" kidney failure, but has several mistakes not only in the experimental design (as has been argued by others) but also in extrapolation and interpretation of results, that are questioned by objective scientist.
2 Recommendations
14th Jun, 2013
Ahmed Mohamed Rayan
Suez Canal University
Health Risk of Genetically Modified Foods
"Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
A body of evidence is starting to emerge from a small number of animal feeding trials into the health effects. Ewen and Pusztai (1999a) were the first to demonstrate the need to thoroughly test each GM plant product on animal models.
The effects of most GM foods in animals are reviewed and include also the reanalysis of the controversial data reported by Monsanto’s 90-Day feeding study on GM corn Mon863 (Seralini et al., 2007). As Varzakas et al. (2007) stated that member should carefully scrutinize all applications, because companies try to hide information about the health impacts of GM.
Although long –term feeding of high levels of individual “foods” to animals can result in nutritional imbalance (Varzakas, 2007) it should be stated that this is the only way that any substance can reveal its toxicity.
1. GMOs are Inherently Unsafe
There are several reasons why GM plants present unique dangers. The first is that the process of genetic engineering itself creates unpredicted alterations, irrespective of which gene is transferred. This creates mutations in and around the insertion site and elsewhere (Wilson et al., 2006).
The biotech industry confidently asserted that gene transfer from GM foods was not possible; the only human feeding study on GM foods later proved that it does take place. The genetic material in soybeans that make them herbicide tolerant transferred into the DNA of human gut bacteria and continued to function (Netherwood et al., 2004). This means that long after we stop eating a GM crop, its foreign GM proteins may be produced inside our intestines.
2 Recommendations
14th Jun, 2013
Ahmed Mohamed Rayan
Suez Canal University
An equilibrium in the number research groups suggesting, on the basis of their studies, that a number of varieties of GM products (mainly maize and soybeans) are as safe and nutritious as the respective conventional non-GM plant, and those raising still serious concerns, was currently observed. Nevertheless, it should be noted that most of these studies have been conducted by biotechnology companies responsible of commercializing these GM plants. These findings suggest a notable advance in comparison with the lack of studies published in recent years in scientific journals by those companies (Domingo and Bordonaba, 2011).
3 Recommendations
14th Jun, 2013
Arun V Panat
ASC College at Rahuri , affiliated to University of Pune
Please see following link:
Peer Reviewed Publications on the Safety of GM Foods - AgBioWorld
14th Jun, 2013
Ahmed Mohamed Rayan
Suez Canal University
Deng, P., Zhou, X., Zhou, P., Du, Z., Hou, H., Yang, D., Tan, J., Wu,X., Zhang, J., Yang, Y., Liu, J., Liu, G., Li, Y., Liu, J., Yu, L., Fang, S. and Yang, X. (2008). Edible safety requirements and assessment standards for agricultural genetically modified organisms. Food Chem. Toxicol., 46 : 1414–1436.
Domingo, J.L. and Giné Bordonaba, J. (2011). A literature review on the safety assessment of genetically modified plants. Environ. Int., 37:734-742.
FAO/WHO. (2000). Safety aspects of genetically modified foods of plant origin. Report of a joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation of Foods Derived from Biotechnology, World Health Organization, Geneva.
Holst-Jensen, A. (2008). GMO testing: Trade, labeling or safety first? Nat. Biotechnol., 26: 858–859.
Kuiper, H. A., Kleter, G. A., Konig, A., Hammes, W., Kok, E. J. and Knudsen, I. (2004). Special Issue: Safety Assessment, Detection and Traceabillity, and Society Aspects of Genetically Modified Foods. Food and Chem. Toxicol., 42: 1043-1202.
OECD. (1993). Safety evaluation of foods derived by modern biotechnology, Concepts and principles. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.
Peng, D., Chen, S., Ruan, L., Li, L.,Yu, Z. and Sun, M. (2007). Safety assessment of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis with VIP insecticidal protein gene by feeding studies. Food Chem. Toxicol., 45: 1179–1185.
Séralini, G. E., Mesnage, R., Clair, E., Gress, S., de Vendômois, J. S. and Dominique Cellier, D. (2011). Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements. Enviro, Sci, Eur., 23: 1-10.
14th Jun, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
An interesting peer reviewed article on effects of GMO"s and health.
By Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff.
Entropy - published 18 of April 2013.
Glyphosate"s suppression of Cytochrome P-450 Enzymes and Amino Acids biosynthesis by the gut microbiome.
Pathways to modern diseases.
1 Recommendation
15th Jun, 2013
Thomas Kennedy
RMIT University
Not a peer review, but altering an organisms ability to utilise its surrounding environment will convey a difference in adaptive abilities. This will mean that resources will be depleted at unnatural rates and this should be a primary concern. Secondly is this genetic trait now able to be passed naturally to another organism? If so can you convey some genetic mutation to an undesired life form which will then cause irreparable harm to the ecosystem.
Sometimes knowledge gets ahead of itself because it wishes to achieve something unnatural, which is why you should always look for traditional breeding techniques first before looking at incorporating foreign DNA, as it would hopefully cause less harm as it was already a natural process.
Having said that, the trait may have been breed out by nature for a reason.
1 Recommendation
16th Jun, 2013
Aedan Roberts
University of Technology Sydney
The statement that "GMOs are Inherently Unsafe" (Ahmed Rayan) is inherently false.
2 Recommendations
17th Jun, 2013
Ahmed Mohamed Rayan
Suez Canal University
The statement that "GMOs are inherently unsafe" is not my words but it has been taken from a wide range of Literature as I mentioned above. There are several articles revealed that GMOs have potential adverse health/toxic effects on animals.
17th Jun, 2013
Krystyna A Skibniewska
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
May be, there is something to utilize:
17th Jun, 2013
Krystyna A Skibniewska
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
May be, there is something to utilize:
1. Chavarro J.E., Toth T.L., Sadio S.M. i wsp., Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic. Hum Reprod.,2008, 23(11), 2584-90.
2. Dutton A., Klein H., Romeis J. i wsp., Uptake of Bt – toxin by herbivores feeding on transgenic maize and consequences for the predator Chrysopa carnea. Ecol. Entomol., 2002, 27, 441 – 447.
3. Ermakova I., Genetically modified soy leads to the decrease of weight and high mortality of rat pups of the first generation. Preliminary studies, Ecosinform 1 (2006): 4-9.
4. Foucard T., Malmheden Yman I., A study on severe food reactions in Sweden: is soy proteina an underestimated cause of food anaphylaxis? Allergy, 1999, 54, 261 – 265.
5. Fraser L. R., Beyret E., Milligan S. R. i wsp., Effects of estrogenic xenobiotics on human and mouse spermatozoa. Hum Reprod., 2008, 23(11), 2584-2590.
6. Gupta, A.K., Chandak, V., Agricultural biotechnology in India: Ethics, business and politics. Int. J. Biotechnol., 2005, 7(1-3), 212-227.
7. Ho M. W., GM ban long overdue. Dozens ill and five deaths in the Philippines. Sci. Soc., 2006 (a), 29, 26 – 27.
8. Malatesta M., Biggiogera M., Manuali E. i wsp., Fine structural analyses of pancreatic acinar celi nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur. J. Histochem., 2003, 47, 385 – 388.
9. Netherwood T., Martin-Orue S.M., O,Donnell A.G. i wsp., Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract. Natur. Biotechnol., 2004, 22, 204 – 209.
10. Nguyen H.T., Jehle J.A., Quantitative analysis of the seasonal and tissue – specific expression of Cry 1 Ab in transgenic maize MON 810. J. Plant Dis. Prot., 2007, 114(2),820 – 887.
11. Padgette, S.R., Taylor N.B., Nida D.L. i wsp., The composition of glyphosate-tolerant soybean seeds is equivalent to that of conventional soybeans. J. Nutrition, 1996, 126(4), 702-716.
12. Paganelli A.,Gnazzo V., Acosta H. i wsp., Glyphosate – based herbicides produce teratogenic effects on Vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signaling. Chem. Res. Toxicol., E pub. ahead of print 2010 Aug 9
13. Richard S., Moslemi S., Sipahutar H. i wsp., Differential effects of glyphosate and Roundup on human placental cells and aromatase. Lab. de Bioch. et Biol. Molec., USC – INRA, Univ. de Caen, Caen France, 2005.
14. Seralini G.E., Cellier D., de Vendomois J.S., New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol., 2007, 52, 569 – 602.
15. Séralini G. E., Clair E., Mesnage R., Gress S., Defarge N., Malatesta M., Hennequin D., de Vendômois J.S. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize; Food and Chemical Toxicology Vol. 50 ( 11), 2012, 4221–4231.
1 Recommendation
19th Jun, 2013
Eduardo V. Trumper
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
Just arrived at this discussion. So many contributions, I would greatly appreciate anyone helping me save the whole discussion so as to be able to carefully read all the answers. Is it possible to save it somewhere in Researc Gate, or make a download to my computer hard drive?
23rd Jun, 2013
Andrea Rosanoff
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Take a look at:
Heinemann J A, Mssaro M, Coray D S, Agapito-Tenfin S Z and Wen J D 2013 Sustainabiolity and innovation in staple crop production in the US Misdwest. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408
A side effect of GM corn, soy and other glypohsate resistent crops is the huge rise in use of the herbicide, glyphosate. The above article has a good section on this topic as well as comparisons of crop yields in USA and Europe since 1961 to 2010. Interesting that yield of corn in USA where GM technology has been highly used over those years did NOT surpass yield in the non-GM European sites compared.
3 Recommendations
Deleted profile
i agree with Andrea that the first-order health effects of directly consuming GMOs (as studied in the Seralini paper) may ultimately be less important than what the use of GMOs does to our agronomic practices. The use of glyphosate obviously has large environmental implications, for one.
Leaving that aside, however, the basic assumption of using these modified varieties is that we have a good understanding of the rate-limiting step in allowing our plants to grow and yield well. In some cases this is undoubtedly true, and we can then make some modification to address this rate-limiting step. Monsanto makes big bucks and we all get tomatoes. But the geneticist in me is very queasy about this assumption. You get what you screen for- which means this soil with these naive pests under this temperature.
If we relax this assumption then difficulties arise. Obviously a failure to understand the physiology of the organism will be caught in initial testing, but growth condition-specific effects may be more subtle. More, how the organism will respond to challenges that are not specifically addressed by the modification is a question mark.
Overall, it's unclear to me (not a crop scientist or even much of a gardener) whether GMOs address any problem that couldn't be addressed through existing crop diversity or altered agricultural practices. I guess I don't count unblemished potatoes as a problem?
I suppose that what troubles me most about GMO crops is that they may become the first and only line of defense, rather than just a quick fix, in trying to feed a planet. If you want to change a complex trait, like crop yield, I'd be surprised if GM could give you a better generalizable result than selection on a genetically diverse population. There are just too many parameters.
3 Recommendations
27th Jun, 2013
Fernando Lopez Anido
Rosario National University
All seed companies introduce transgenes to already elite yielding stocks obtained by traditional breeding.
28th Jun, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
Food is grown from soil, and if I'm mistaken , the soils health will provide the necessities for plants to flourish. For example Terra Preta discovered in the Brazilian amazon rain forest. Utilizing Bio-Char, soil amendments were made about 2500 years ago, by the Native tribes of the Amazon, transforming a dense sandy/clay soil void of nutrients into a dark and rich fertile soil. I believe the question of feeding the planet starts with the soil. Terra Preta has a 2 fold effect. Transforms soil quality and sequesters carbon. This reduces global warming effects by reducing the production of man made chemicals unleashed into the environment. Sustainability may be the key component in this question, as well as the unknown long term effects of producing a biological warfare.
1 Recommendation
5th Jul, 2013
Gustavo Acevedo-Hernandez
University of Guadalajara
It is interesting to see how a lot of people, even in scientific forums, support the use of the "natural" process of traditional breeding to obtain new crop varieties as opposed to the "unnatural" modifications through genetic engineering. We all should know that agriculture itself is not a natural process. Just take maize as an example: it has been so modified through "natural" breeding and selection that has become entirely dependent on man (I'm not aware of any "wild" maize, only wild relatives such as Teocinte). So, our ancestors here in Mexico created something that was not present in nature, selecting new varieties according to their needs. The difference is now we can make those changes faster, and (it is my opinion) in a more-controlled fashion.
I think we should be able to use all tools available for the genetic improvement of crops, since both traditional breeding and genetic engineering have great advantages. On the other hand, we should also use the tools we have at hand to be sure the new varieties pose no threat to human health or the environment.
2 Recommendations
6th Jul, 2013
Regina Wikinski
Universidad de Buenos Aires
I agree with Guatavo Acevedo finding great advantages to natural seleción an also genetic modification, the latter ones need studies to be sure that they are no threats to human and animal health. In these days of crisis, the new adquisition of foods science and technology fast growing which is essential to human health.
7th Jul, 2013
Stoyan Pavlov Pavlov
Medical University of Varna
Actually the highest yields (no matter in GMO or "unmodified" by genetic engineering plants) are produced with soil-free technologies like hydroponics and aeroponics. It turns out soil inhibits plant's respiration (which occurs mainly through their roots). So I would say the best approach is to use soil-free technologies (in order to save space and increase yield) together with genetic engineering to produce sorts and even species with increased nutritional qualities and durability and/or qualitatively new ingredients (like antibiotics producing potatoes, or spider-silk-milk goats, or even hydrogen producing higher order plants) in order to make new affordable and of higher quality materials ,products and fuels. Not to mention that right now we are capable of producing plants with increased potential for photosynthesis and thus capable of balancing out the increased CO2 production worldwide.
1 Recommendation
7th Jul, 2013
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
Sequestering more CO2 in plants from the atmosphere would be a great addition. This most likely means having forests that would remain untouched , cultivated as carbon sinks as an old growth forest will sequester more CO2 than plants. As we speak , the soil sequesters more CO2 than plants and atmosphere combined. Are we over complicating matters by creating an artificial system to in order to try and reproduce the same results.
1 Recommendation
7th Jul, 2013
Stoyan Pavlov Pavlov
Medical University of Varna
I do not think so. Whatever the rate is the natural mechanisms have only certain capacity which is finely integrated into mechanisms sustaining the global homeostasis. If we exceed the capacity we do not have any viable alternative (for now).
Just imagine: a small glen, that contains GMOs , whose leafs are black because of the increased numbers of chloroplasts in the cells and thus chlorophyll content, and the rate of photosynthesis is so high that actually this glen is sequestering from the atmosphere more CO2 than 1000s of acres of tropical forest. We certainly can grow such Oxygen-Plantations in small rate in selected areas under controlled conditionsAnd the plants can be modified in such way that they produce H2, which can be gathered as a fuel, or are able to sequester even toxic gases like SO2, NO2 or even heavy metals ... It certainly sounds like a SciFi, but so does a Spider silk milked from goats (and we have this now) :)
2 Recommendations
Deleted profile
All the previous participants put their emphasis in just one issue are GMO foods similar or more dangerous than the normal ones. There is another issue equally or more important than this Do all the people have equal access to seeds?; Can all of them grow their own seeds as they and their predecessor do? That is the difference, a big difference. It is sustainable the fod production when it depends from one or two owners?
1 Recommendation
11th Jul, 2013
Stoyan Pavlov Pavlov
Medical University of Varna
Yeah, Mr. Figeroa but you are talking about this controversial thing called gene patenting and licensing, which I am sure will never happen. The society will not allow it. So this is just a shift of the issue. If it was possible for the "big companies" to do that, this would have been done long time ago not only to "engineered" but also to "selected" genes, and it wasn't.
12th Jul, 2013
Ariane Toussaint
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Patenting is not necessary to "privatize" seeds as is clearly demonstrated by the present situation! I think one of the main complexity in the MGO debate is that a clear distinction between the scientific, ecological, economic and political aspects of the issue is almost never present in the discussion. Even if there is no toxicity for animals (including humans!), does that mean MGO's are safe for the environment and "politically correct" (I mean devised for the good of society and not solely for the good of big business). MGO's may be as safe as other major traditionally bread crops. All of them are in the same hands and grown the same way... That for me is the most important issue.
2 Recommendations
12th Jul, 2013
Stoyan Pavlov Pavlov
Medical University of Varna
As the technology is pretty simple, accessible and relatively easy to implement - it practically can be performed in a "home" laboratory - from this follow two things:
1. It will never be completely save - anyone can produce potentially dangerous GMO. Similarly to the fact however that right now anyone can produce toxic gas or a killer disease in their own garage (but doesn't) a good regulation is what will prevent such activity.
2. The availability of the technology and the vast amount of possibilities it gives will prevent the second danger (production for the good of the big businesses). In not so distant future there will be growth of so called "open scientific companies" - where science and technology are produced and developed, and licensed under standards similar to the different open and public standards like GPL, Creative Commons etc. Basically the behavior of Big Businesses we fear (patenting, locking and owning the certain gene and everything that caries this gene) can be countered very simply and I am certain their CEOs know that such behavior is very risky - because nothing is to stop a concurrent or even a open scientist to produce GMO (gene) with similar or even the same qualities but using genes from different species.
As it comes to the environment, I agree that we must produce these GMO under control, but the dangers to the environment are by far smaller than politicians, environmentalists etc. are suggesting.
That is why, to my opinion, there should by no ban and outlaw for the genetic engineering and genetically engineered organisms (these are the scientific terms) but a legislation and commonly accepted rules for a "good practice".
Deleted profile
Nobody is against genetic engineering, the problem is how this innovation help consumers to improve their nutrition. Also how it affects producers with scarce resources to keep their business working.
1 Recommendation
18th Jul, 2013
Molly Ann Huff
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
There is no way to make sweeping, overarching generalizations about this issue. There are, in fact, a significant number of people who are leery of genetic engineering. And the bigger problem behind the problem is this: What are ALL the consequences of our present GMO trajectory? Asking ourselves if GMO crops are nutritionally adequate and limiting risk assessment to that context compartmentalizes the effect of GMO's; humans and their personal, immediate needs assume a higher priority than other parts of the global system, thereby subordinating the integrated health and sustainability of that system to the single issue of human gratification.
There are different methods of genetic engineering, different organisms that may or may not determine the continuation of humans and/or other species, and intricate dependencies that may be disrupted by genetic engineering. Soil, mycelia, pollinators, companion plants, disease vectors and more are affected by the crops humans choose to grow. With the ability to make wholesale changes in the species we choose to perpetuate comes the responsibility to try to understand all this and more, not simply confining our research to those avenues that promise a reward for some of the organisms on Earth.
3 Recommendations
19th Jul, 2013
Eduardo V. Trumper
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
I briefly refer to a comment by Alexander Stain posted May 31 about herbicides and GMOs. (Sorry for the delay but I've just joined this discussion):
Not so fast, Alexander. Take note of what happened in Argentina with RoundUp Ready soybean. Near 100% of the 18 million hectares of soybeans are Glyphoste-resistant. Farmers practices changed for the worse, as Glyphosate begun to be applied everywhere, carelessly, even over the very fences of the crops fields. Now we have weeds whose frequency and abundance increased and pose new challenges for their management.
1 Recommendation
20th Jul, 2013
Stoyan Pavlov Pavlov
Medical University of Varna
But the latter is an issue of herbicide abuse and not an issue of GMO per se.
1 Recommendation
20th Jul, 2013
Eduardo V. Trumper
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
Yes, Stoyan, I know. I am just referring to the comment by Alexander Stein about herbicide (ab)use. Nevertheless, I keep wondering whether the issue of how technology is adopted, should be considered as linked to the technology itself. Frequently we find ourselves saying that technology is neutral. More and more, real world provides evidence that this is not always the case. Technology is developed by parties which have their own interests and agendas which are not necessarily aimed to the best interest for the target Society.
3 Recommendations
20th Jul, 2013
Eduardo V. Trumper
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
Dear Stoyan, I agree particularly with this part of your comment: "... there should ... a legislation and commonly accepted rules for a "good practice".". I think such legislation could seem to solve most of the controversies, but defining and building consensus about what "Good Practice" is, can be daunting.
1 Recommendation
24th Jul, 2013
Ariane Toussaint
Université Libre de Bruxelles
First let me apologize for mixing up my obsessive subject of interest, mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and genetically modified organisms (GMO's and not MGOs of course!). I completely agree with Molly's comment. Who can presently predict and correctly evaluate risks and consequences of the present "agribusiness" oriented "cultures" (I mean crops and mentality). We indeed tend to be human-centric forgetting our life-support system... As a microbiologist I measure how little we know about microbial populations in general and soil microbial diversity in particular. Can we yet evaluate how soils are impacted by intensive crop growing? i doubt. We also tend to forget about previous experience (even when human health related!). It took only 50 years for bacteria to manage surviving antibiotics! Bugs are "smarter" than we are.
3 Recommendations
16th Aug, 2013
Mario Cunha
Sciences Faculty, Porto University, Portugal
I recommend you to research on the topic of conflicts of interests that are really flawing opinions on GMO safety. I suggest the paper: Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products: Food policy 36(2):197-203. 2011.
3 Recommendations
28th Aug, 2013
Theodoros Kallitsis
One that I would suggest is a review published in 2007, in Journal of Food Science, 9(72):R131
29th Aug, 2013
Agnès Ricroch
AgroParisTech
We published systematics reviews on GMO safety:
Ricroch A., J. B. Bergé & M. Kuntz (2011). Evaluation of genetically engineered crops using transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling techniques. Plant Physiology, April 2011, 155, 4: 1752–1761
Kuntz M. & Ricroch A. (2012). Has time come to lower the current regulatory risk assessment for GM food and feed? ISB NEWS REPORT, February 2012, 1-4 http://www.isb.vt.edu/news/2012/Feb12.pdf
Snell C., A. Berheim, J. B. Bergé, M. Kuntz, G. Pascal, A. Paris & A. Ricroch (2012). Assessment of the Health Impact of GE Plant Diets in Long Term and Multigenerational Animal Feeding Trials: a Literature Review. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 50, 3-4, March 2012, 1134-1148
Ricroch A. (2013). Assessment of GE food safety using omics techniques and long-term animal feeding studies. New biotechnology 30 (4) 349-354 (online in 2012) http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1016/j.nbt.2012.12.001.
Kuntz M. & Ricroch A. (2013). Evaluation of genetically engineered crops using proteomics. In: Proteomics in Foods: Principles and Applications. Ed. L.M.L. Nollet & F. Toldrá
Kuntz M., Davison J., Ricroch A. (2013). What the French ban of Bt MON810 maize means for science-based risk assessment. Nature Biotechnology, 8 June. 31, 498-500 doi:10.1038/nbt.2613
8 Recommendations
31st Dec, 2013
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
From the American Academy of Environmental Medicine - an international association of physicians:
"...several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.
There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.
Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn.8 This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn.
These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth9 and disruption of the intestinal immune system.
Regarding biological gradient, one study, done by Kroghsbo, et al., has shown that rats fed transgenic Bt rice trended to a dose related response for Bt specific IgA.
Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.
In spite of this risk, the biotechnology industry claims that GM foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. However, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reviewed 12 academic studies and indicates otherwise: "The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn." However, it was further stated that this increase is largely due to traditional breeding improvements.
Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements. The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration that states: "In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."
The specific studies cited are found here:
1st Jan, 2014
Karol Szafranski
Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute
@ Eric S
I cannot find the studies cited on the AAEM website. May be, are these contained within one of the lecture videos that I can purchase for $395 each?
1 Recommendation
1st Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
Karol: That's odd. The references are all cited at the bottom - I just double-checked, but I'll post them below directly for your ease. Additionally, I have no idea what video lectures you're referring to, at $395 or otherwise.
World Health Organization. (Internet).(2002). Foods derived from modern technology: 20 questions on genetically modified foods. Available from: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/index.php
Smith, JM. Genetic Roulette. Fairfield: Yes Books.2007. p.10
Freese W, Schubert D. Safety testing and regulation of genetically engineered foods. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews. Nov 2004. 21.
Society of Toxicology. The safety of genetically modified foods produced through biotechnology. Toxicol. Sci. 2003; 71:2-8.
Hill, AB. The environment and disease: association or causation? Proceeding of the Royal Society of Medicine 1965; 58:295-300.
Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, et al. Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON 810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric. Food Chem. 2008; 56(23):11533-11539.
Malatesta M, Boraldi F, Annovi G, et al. A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modified soybean:effects on liver ageing. Histochem Cell Biol. 2008; 130:967-977.
Velimirov A, Binter C, Zentek J. Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice. Report-Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth. 2008.
Ewen S, Pustzai A. Effects of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine.Lancet. 354:1353-1354.
Kilic A, Aday M. A three generational study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2008; 46(3):1164-1170.
Kroghsbo S, Madsen C, Poulsen M, et al. Immunotoxicological studies of genetically modified rice expression PHA-E lectin or Bt toxin in Wistar rats. Toxicology. 2008; 245:24-34.
Gurain-Sherman,D. 2009. Failure to yield: evaluating the performance of genetically engineered crops. Cambridge (MA): Union of Concerned Scientists.
Lofstedt R. The precautionary principle: risk, regulation and politics. Merton College, Oxford. 2002.
1 Recommendation
1st Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
As for videos, here's a documentary from the Film Board of Canada which very clearly spells out the situation in laymen's terms. It's free online:
1 Recommendation
2nd Jan, 2014
Maggy Thenawidjaja Suhartono
Bogor Agricultural University
Data on food safety of GMO have been published in various documentations: peer reviewed journals, public journals and other form of documentations, including propoaganda of the pro and contra GMO. When addressing the food safety problems we need to be careful in our data examinationand judgement. For the sake of objectivity and considering the benefits of people in general, we need to minimize emotional judgement which usually included in GMO discussion due to the big multinational company behind the reseach and marketting or due to the history of scientific excitement because we have the technology of mixing gene from different species and made them work. Definitely data published in peer reviewed journal, especially those with high impact factor and data from International bodies such as WHO and others are more trustworthy.
1 Recommendation
2nd Jan, 2014
Carlene A Raper
University of Vermont
Well said, Maggy Suhartono. There is far too much emotionalism fueling fears of GMO crops. It seems to be directed largely against multinational companies e.g. Monsanto.
1 Recommendation
2nd Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
"too much emotionalism"?!? Well perhaps that's because Monsanto has a documented history of killing people, then hushing it up.
They produced DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange and recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. ALL horrible disasters.
The chemical company that brought us one of the deadliest chemical weapons used in modern warfare is now well on its way to controlling the world's food supply. Doesn't that BOTHER you?!?
1 Recommendation
2nd Jan, 2014
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
I agree with Eric. There is a lot at stake here. Multi Nationals account for the wealthiest persons or entities on the planet. A corporation is protected by law as being a sole entity and therefore the CEO's are not legally responsible for damages.
We have seen the same attempt at controlling water rights happening around the globe. At what point does a monopoly on resources become a human rights issue as opposed to a profitable monopoly. We need to be informed as consumers and be notified of any introduction of GMO"s in the food source the make choices.
Asbestos was also said to be safe, fluoride was also said to be safe!
2 Recommendations
2nd Jan, 2014
Carlene A Raper
University of Vermont
Richard Grenier: I agree with many of your rants about Monsanto and the monopolistic practices of comparable corporations, but these are objections to such corporations per se., not the science of genetic engineering which can provide substantial benefits to the enhancement of our food supply. Sure, as with all newly produced food substances, GMOs should be scientifically tested for safety, but not feared any more than the food substances developed via breeding and hybridization.
2 Recommendations
3rd Jan, 2014
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
What a lovely name, Carlene! Yes , I agree we need to stick to the facts. I for one feel that there are to many unknown variables regarding GMO's. The most recent and extensive international study on agriculture production from the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development seems to spell out the same rant. The study took place over 3 years, 900 participants, 110 countries, co sponsored by the World Bank, FAO, UNESCO and WHO.
It also states that increasing food production with GMO's will not solve world hunger.
2 Recommendations
3rd Jan, 2014
Christopher Lange
State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University
A major safety concern for GMO food safety is the possibility of allergic reactions to proteins and/or protein fragments included with the transfected gene of interest. Since most agribusiness companies refuse to list the entire sequence inserted, one can never be sure that the GMO food is as safe as its normal (time tested) equivalent. Since allergic sensitivities can be specific for very small subsets of the population, safety testing can miss these people. Hence the need for complete transparency in what has been inserted.
3 Recommendations
3rd Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
Carlene: I object to your dismissal of historical facts as "rants". Let's look at the literally millions of lives Monsanto's previous products have destroyed:
1. Agent Orange - According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.[15] Women had higher rates of miscarriage and stillbirths, as did livestock such as cattle, water buffalo, and pigs. York,Geoffrey; Mick, Hayley; "Last Ghost of the Vietnam War", The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2008
2. PCBs - The National Institute of Environmental Health "...found evidence of an association between employment at this plant and melanoma and brain cancer mortality."
You can see company documents showing Monsanto knowingly hid massive public exposures from the public for decades: http://www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/dirtysecrets/anniston/1.asp
3. rBGH - After an 8-year scientific review, Canada banned the use of rBGH, Monsanto's first genetically-engineered product. The main concern is high levels of IGF-1 contained in the milk of rBGH treated cows, which range from 200% to 1000% normal levels when compared to those found in normal cow's milk. It's also banned in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Consumer's Union, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine, warn of health hazards from products derived from rBGH-treated cows, primarily over the link between elevated IGF-1 levels and cancers.
The main point is that this company has a very dark history of callously poisoning people and the environment, and then using very aggressive tactics to cover up the facts. They cannot be trusted with the safety of our food.
2 Recommendations
3rd Jan, 2014
Carlene A Raper
University of Vermont
But Eric, all those complaints (not rants, if you prefer) against Monsanto do not convince me that all GMO produced foods should be avoided. Furthermore, Monsanto is not the only enterprise producing such variants. I repeat, they should be properly tested for safety. I don't object to labeling them as GMOs, any more than I object to labeling food stuffs as organic, but I don't think such labels are particularly informative. To ban all GMOs, I believe, is short sighted. Such exclusion implies they are ALL suspect no matter where or how they are produced.
4 Recommendations
3rd Jan, 2014
Christopher Lange
State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University
Carlene,
It is not that all GMO foods should be avoided, just those that refuse to release the sequences of their inserts and what proteins and/or polypeptides that these crops contain due to the modification. However, since no such information is provided, all should be avoided. This situation is one of the GMO producers making. No trials can prove their safety to the small subpopulations that may be allergic to their ingredients, so one's only defence is to avoid all GMO foods.
4 Recommendations
4th Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
Hear hear, Christopher!
Deleted profile
I've just started researching the topic of GMOs and am trying to find objective sources. Not sure if BioScience, Geoforum, Genewatch, Biotechnology, Journal of Environment and Development, Journal of Applied Ecology, Environment, Technology Review, BioWorld International, BioWorl Today, Biotech Nation, and Science are objective sources. Where are research publications that guarantee objectivity, meaning reasearch without corporate funding or any other intererence?
The sources that I just listed include studies by biologists, geneticists, ecologists, environmentalists, business persons, lawyers, doctors, etc. Enough of them raise very important questions about the safety and cultural/economic/environmental impact of GMOs. They all acknowledge that more research needs to be done on the impact of GMOs in a variety of areas and that corporations are preventing that research because of patent and intellectual property laws that allow them to withold information necessary for scientists to conduct thorought studies.
8th Jan, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
Kelly, Here's a great place to start. From the National Film Board of Canada: http://www.researchgate.net/go.Deref.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DN6_DbVdVo-k
Some other rather weighty organizations that I would say are pretty credible:
World Health Organization. (Internet).(2002). Foods derived from modern technology: 20 questions on genetically modified foods. Available from: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/index.php
Hill, AB. The environment and disease: association or causation? Proceeding of the Royal Society of Medicine 1965; 58:295-300.
Velimirov A, Binter C, Zentek J. Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice. Report-Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth. 2008.
Ewen S, Pustzai A. Effects of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine.Lancet. 354:1353-1354.
Gurain-Sherman,D. 2009. Failure to yield: evaluating the performance of genetically engineered crops. Cambridge (MA): Union of Concerned Scientists.
Freese W, Schubert D. Safety testing and regulation of genetically engineered foods. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews. Nov 2004. 21.
Society of Toxicology. The safety of genetically modified foods produced through biotechnology. Toxicol. Sci. 2003; 71:2-8.
Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, et al. Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON 810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric. Food Chem. 2008; 56(23):11533-11539.
Malatesta M, Boraldi F, Annovi G, et al. A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modified soybean:effects on liver ageing. Histochem Cell Biol. 2008; 130:967-977.
Kilic A, Aday M. A three generational study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2008; 46(3):1164-1170.
Kroghsbo S, Madsen C, Poulsen M, et al. Immunotoxicological studies of genetically modified rice expression PHA-E lectin or Bt toxin in Wistar rats. Toxicology. 2008; 245:24-34.
Lofstedt R. The precautionary principle: risk, regulation and politics. Merton College, Oxford. 2002.
8th Jan, 2014
Debmalya Barh
Institute of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB)-India and UFMG-Brazil
8th Jan, 2014
Eduardo V. Trumper
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
Richard Grenier: The link you suggested (http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/GMObrieffinal_2.pdf ) seems to be out of date. Any other option to get that material which you pointed as "a must"?
Thanks,
Eduardo Trumper
8th Jan, 2014
Debmalya Barh
Institute of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB)-India and UFMG-Brazil
8th Jan, 2014
Anatoly Belov
Carleton University
Christopher, this "No trials can prove their safety to the small subpopulations that may be allergic to their ingredients, so one's only defence is to avoid all GMO foods." could be said about anything. About any food or cosmetics, for example. There is no reason to ban everything that causes or possibly can cause even a slight allergy on few people. Don't you think that it's the matter of degree?
But now we afraid that few people theoretically can get allergy, so it is a reason to ban GMO. GMO must be 100% safe. But, in mind of public this line of reasoning works only for GMO, not everything else. For 99.99% of thing in our daily life we allow them to be not 100% safe, even drugs and toys for kids.
So, Christopher, why I should avoid GMO, but not natural products, which can naturally contain components that can cause allergy? And if it will be found that inserted compound can cause slight allergic reaction on small, insignificant, amount of people, will it a good reason to bun this product?
6 Recommendations
8th Jan, 2014
Carlene A Raper
University of Vermont
Good point, Anatoly.
1 Recommendation
8th Jan, 2014
Anatoly Belov
Carleton University
Thanks Cariene. You know I only forgot to mention peanuts. So many people live in constant paranoia of accidently getting peanut with the food. And allergic reaction could be so severe that some can die. But I never saw people who protest to bun peanuts from store shelves. Or global conspiracy theory saying that nut corporations putting nuts in our throats.
3 Recommendations
Deleted profile
Mr. Stein,
You stated: "Questions relating to common agronomic challenges (weed control), general nutrition concerns (obesity), widespread agricultural practices (monoculture), or socially balanced intellectual property laws (patents) are all certainly also interesting and important, but they have little to do with GMOs per se and they do not affect the science and safety of GMOs, the topic of this thread"
If GMOs are safe for human consumption, but they pose an ecological threat by encouraging the emergence of weeds that are resistant to herbicides, then would you still argue that GMOs "are safe"? If herbicide resistant weeds emerge, won't that mean that more herbicides and potentially more toxic pesticides might need to be used to control those weeds, thereby affecting human health?
If a handful of companies control the information for these GMOs, and deregulation makes reversing the release of these GMO extremely difficult, then doesn't deregulation give an unusually great amount of power to a few entities? Isn't food supply an exceptional commodity in terms of power? Doesn't giving this kind of power place the well-being of society in the hands of a few? Is this a "safe" endeavor for the public?
2 Recommendations
9th Jan, 2014
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
Hi Eduardo! You may the full report with the link at the bottom of this page
You may also visit there web site IAASTD and look for summary on Biotechnology and Sustainable Development!
19th Mar, 2014
Susan Rigali
So a few multinational companies OWN seed as intellectual property? Forget about the fact that GMO's are merely a bombarded infection treated with anti-biotic resistant marker genes. Sorry but 4000 years of ancestral cultivation do not add up to some greedy corporations owning human rights.
19th Mar, 2014
Stephen Carl Ekker
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
What I find exciting is that new molecular biology technologies and approaches are about to break the monopoly a few companies have on specific strains of cash crops.
We are about to have a new era of good food crops from natural breeding informed through genetic linkage of key traits. These are NOT 'genetically modified' organisms, but they ARE high tech.
I think for many people, the real issue with 'GMOs' is the idea that a food seed has intellectual property tied to its generation. I think the issue is more economic that scientific.
Once it's far easier for everyone to have access to high quality food producing seeds at a far lower price point, the issue of 'GMOs' will be separate. Then, truly negative GMO crops in terms of the environment can be replaced by less damaging seed crops.
1 Recommendation
19th Mar, 2014
Eric Smith
Polyglot Studios, KK
Stephen: Yes, intellectual property of a major food crop gives a few major corporations a very scary amount of power over the world economy, but even more frightening is the cross-phylum gene manipulation. We have literally no idea whatsoever of the long-term consequences, and, of course, once this DNA has been released, it is out there permanently in the ecosystem. And when it starts altering microbial DNA, then we are asking for serious trouble.
3 Recommendations
20th Mar, 2014
Richard Grenier
Institute of Holistic Nutrition
I suggest a great read for this topic would be The Wheel of Life report
The original question has raised many issues, and all are interconnected to food security, the environment and the economy.
This report speaks on all these terms.
On december 1999, it was disclosed that Monsanto personal banned GMO food from their canteen. When asked, Monanto told: Yes, we beleive in free choice.
It is a very disputed topic, so we all might actually be quiete unable of "seeing the trees through the forrest", and be "sure" about anything. But that´s what science is all about, no certain truths, no facts, or only a fact untill proven wrong...
I myself though, would rather not eat GMO food, just in case. I am aware there is actually almost no food without danger, be that naturally, contaminated or GMO manipulated, but I will try to avoid any of those as much I can. Any of you are welcome of eating as much as you wish. But free choice means it should be labelled, so that I can choose freely.
There was a time when Asbestos wasn´t harmfull, supposedly, and Mercurium, in the hat factories, untill the "mad hatters" surged. What about cigarretes, promoted by doctors at some time? There was a time when people beleived X-rays were pretty harmless, or Agent Orange (Monsanto again), and when DDT was sprayed all over... I just wish not to be in the group that will sadly tell: Yes, I ate GMO and got sick and am dying, please don´t eat it...

Similar questions and discussions

Two studies present evidence that 40-60% of unexposed have COVID19 immune response...
Discussion
57 replies
  • Pieter BorgerPieter Borger
A few weeks ago, I suggested that many people, in particular in Asia, may already be immune to COVID19 Virus/SARS-CoV2 because the viruses are of the same strain of SARS-CoV1 of 2003.
Two papers seem now to provide evidence of high prevalence of COVID immunity.
The abstract reads:
"Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40%–60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating “common cold” coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2."
The second paper reports similar results in science (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/370/6512/89.full.pdf)
"Using human blood samples derivedbefore the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered in 2019, we mapped 142 T cell epitopes across theSARS-CoV-2 genome to facilitate precise interrogation of the SARS-CoV-2–specific CD4+T cellrepertoire. We demonstrate a range of preexisting memory CD4+T cells that are cross-reactivewith comparable affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses..."
A major part of the people are resistant (already).

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