Decade-Long Feeding Study Reveals Significant Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods

By Dr. Mercola –

Scientists in Norway have released  results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period,  and the verdict is in: If you want to avoid obesity, then avoid eating  genetically engineered (GE) corn, corn-based products, and animals that are fed  a diet of GE grain.

As reported by Cornucopia.org1,  the project also looked at the effects on organ changes, and researchers found  significant changes that affected weight gain, eating behaviors, and immune  function.

How Genetically Engineered Corn and Soy Can Wreak Havoc on Your  Health

According to the featured article2:

“The results show a positive link  between GE corn and obesity. Animals fed a GE corn diet got fatter quicker and  retained the weight compared to animals fed a non-GE grain diet. The studies  were performed on rats, mice, pigs and salmon, achieving the same results.

… Researchers found distinct changes  to the intestines of animals fed GMOs compared to those fed non-GMOs. This  confirms other studies done by US researchers. Significant changes occurred in  the digestive systems of the test animals’ major organs including the liver,  kidneys, pancreas, genitals and more.”

Their findings (which were  published July 11, 2012 in Norway by, an online news source  devoted to Norwegian and international research3)  showed that animals fed genetically engineered Bt corn ate more, got fatter,  and were less able to digest proteins due to alterations in the micro-structure  of their intestines. They also suffered immune system alterations. The impaired  ability to digest proteins may be of particular concern as this can have  far-reaching implications for your health. If your body cannot digest proteins,  your body will be less able to produce amino acids, which are necessary building  blocks for proper cell growth and function.

As noted by

“This not only may relate to a rise in  obesity, but to increases in many modern diseases. These diseases include  diabetes, digestive disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, autism  spectrum disorders (ASD) (ADD), autoimmune diseases, sexual dysfunction,  sterility, asthma, COPD and many more.

…[Lead author] Professor Krogdahl  explains: “It has often been claimed that the new genes in genetically modified  foods can’t do any damage because all genes are broken down beyond recognition  in the gut. Our results show the contrary; that genes can be taken up across  the intestinal wall, is transferred to the blood and is left in the blood,  muscle and liver in large chunks so that they can be easily recognized… The  biological impact of this gene transfer is unknown.”

Bt Toxin Found in Blood of  Women and Fetuses

This is not the first time  scientists have revealed significant biological impacts and related health  problems as a result of eating a diet of genetically engineered foods. More  often than not, unless the research is tainted by industry ties, studies into  the effects of genetically engineered foods demonstrate that it is anything but  safe. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that simple logic will tell  you it’s probably not wise to consume a plant designed to produce its own pesticide,  for example.

So-called “Bt corn” is  equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces Bt-toxin—a pesticide  that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. This  pesticide-producing corn entered the food supply in the late 1990′s, and over  the past decade, the horror stories have started piling up.

Monsanto and the US Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) swore that the toxin would only affect insects munching  on the crop. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the  human digestive system and would not have any impact on animals and  humans. The biotech companies have doggedly insisted that Bt-toxin doesn’t bind  or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans.

The featured research proves  all such claims false.

Prior findings have already shown  that Bt corn is anything but innocuous to the human system. Just last year,  doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood4 of:

  • 93  percent of pregnant women tested
  • 80  percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and
  • 67  percent of non-pregnant women

Bt-toxin  breaks open the stomach of insects. Could it similarly be damaging the  integrity of your digestive tract?

If  Bt-toxins can damage the intestinal walls of newborns and young children, the  passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the digestive tract  could be devastating to their future health. Scientists speculate that it may  lead to autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Furthermore, since the  blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain  causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists  are convinced that this one mechanism for autism.

If Bt  genes are colonizing the bacteria living in the digestive tract of North  Americans, we might expect to see an increase in gastrointestinal problems,  autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders since the  advent of Bt crops in 1996, and that’s exactly what’s being reported. For  example, between 1997 and 2002 the number of  hospitalizations related to allergic reactions to food increased by a whopping  265 percent. One out of 17 children now has some form of food  allergy and allergy rates are rising.

Genetically Engineered Foods  Trigger Adverse Immune System Responses

There’s  plenty of evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically modified  Bt crops like corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals andtriggers  immune system responses. For example, in government-sponsored research in Italy5,  mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses, such as:

  • Elevated  IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and  infections
  • An  increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory  responses. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated  are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from  arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer
  • Elevated  T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in  children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue  diseases.

Rats fed  another of Monsanto’s Bt corn varieties called MON 863, also experienced an  activation of their immune systems, showing higher numbers of basophils,  lymphocytes, and white blood cells6.  These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease  states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.

USDA Clears Roundup Ready Sugar  Beets

So-called  “Roundup Ready” crops are another type of genetically engineered crops. While  Bt crops contain a gene that produces a pesticide inside the plant itself,  Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand otherwise lethal topical doses of  glyphosate—a broad spectrum herbicide, and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s  herbicide Roundup as well as hundreds of other products.

This  way, the crop survives while all weeds are theoretically eliminated from the  field. I say ‘theoretically’ because the overuse of the herbicide has led to  the rapid development of glyphosate-resistant superweeds. It’s estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40  U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant, and the superweeds are showing no  signs of stopping.

Roundup  Ready crops have also been linked to serious health problems—particularly  relating to fertility  and birth defects—as has glyphosate itself, which is why the latest news regarding the deregulation of Roundup  Ready sugar beets is all the more disappointing.

A number  of organizations challenged the USDA approval of Roundup Ready (RR) sugar beets  in 2008, arguing that the beets would contaminate related organic and non-GE  crops such as table beets and chard. Further, they said that the  pesticide-resistant beets would increase  pesticide impacts on the environment and worsen the current epidemic of  pesticide-resistant superweeds.

A  lawsuit was filed against the USDA in 2009 for failure to complete an  Environmental Impact Study. A federal judge agreed, temporarily suspending all  planting of RR sugar beets. The suspension was later overridden by the USDA,  ostensibly to prevent a sugar shortage. After a number of additional legal  twists and turns, the USDA has now announced its decision to deregulate Monsanto’s  Roundup Ready genetically modified sugar beets7.  According to a July 19 press release by the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)8:

“After completing both a thorough environmental impact statement  and plant pest risk assessment, holding three public meetings and considering  and analyzing thousands of comments regarding its analyses, APHIS has  determined that, from the standpoint of plant pest risk, Roundup Ready  sugarbeets are as safe as traditionally bred sugarbeets.”

GM Companies Threaten Food Security  and Sovereignty

A  landmark speech delivered during the 2011  SEMEAR conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on how genetically modified (GM) seed  companies threaten food security and food sovereignty has resulted in a call to  action by an unlikely source who is a key player in the soy industry. Pierre  Patriat, President of APROSMAT, the association of seed  producers of Mato Grosso, Brazil, does not oppose genetically engineered (GE) crops,  but he does recognize the unprecedented threat to food security that GM seeds  pose.

Saying  that the GM industry is rapidly taking away Brazilian farmers’ freedom of  choice, he asked for “immediate mobilization and action on the part of  concerned industry members, government, lawmakers, farmers, and civil society  to avert the threat to food sovereignty posed by the GM industry’s control of  markets through their patented seeds,” according to a recent report by GM Watch9.

In his  speech, which I recommend reading in its entirety to learn more, Patriat wisely  says:

“… [T]oday, people  think everything can be resolved through the seed. If soybean rust occurs they  say, “Just wait, this can be resolved with genetic engineering!” A  problem with nematodes? – “We’ll change the seed directly!” They want  to solve all problems that way… But as long as we have alternative solutions  we don’t need genetic engineering to get rid of all problems.

Today we have a big problem with nematodes for a simple reason, not least  because of the lack of a medium-term agricultural policy. There is a solution  known to every agronomist: Crop rotation! That is how weeds and pests are  weakened. It is so simple! Another way is soil management and measures to  correct the soil – fundamental things nobody pays attention to anymore because  everything has to be resolved through the seed.

No one does rotation any more – everyone does succession [planting same crop in  succession]. These are problems that are not resolved by biotechnology. The man  who is going to spend 150-200 Brazilian dollars per hectare would do much  better to invest it in the [quality of the] land. The profitability in the  medium term will be much better for sure. This does not mean that constant seed  improvement will not bring solutions. But we ought to cooperate and define the  base for new regulations, so that everyone may collaborate harmoniously without  abusing their economic power.

Because today there are no brakes on the abuse of economic power over seed, and  even worse, this affects the sovereignty of a country, because it is a matter  of food security and food security is national security.”

The  issue of food sovereignty is certainly not restricted to Brazil. It’s becoming  a serious threat to every nation on this planet as genetically engineered crops  spread. These seeds are owned by private companies, and it’s imperative to  understand that once a country allows GE crops to monopolize their agricultural  sector, it becomes completely beholden to and dependent upon a corporation for  the ability to grow food and feed its citizens.


Ireland has given a green light to GM potato trials. How long are our crops safe from this danger?




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