Study uncovers GMO cover up

For some time now, various groups from credible food safety organizations to others that border on conspiracy theorists questioned the validity of research and testing methods used for measuring the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods. I am not much for sensationalism and stretching the facts until they are distorted beyond recognition, which is a common flaw on both sides of the debate. But two recent events caught even my attention. First, a leading researcher on genetically modified seeds told FDA that the approval process for genetically modified seeds is moving too quickly. Dr. Don Huber, a former University of Purdue soil chemist, is concerned about calls from veterinarians who report farm animals with serious digestive trouble and abnormal births as result of GM feed. Secondly, a peer-reviewed study showed genetically modified crops may lead to kidney abnormalities in male mammals and liver abnormalities in female mammals, but the research was cut off too early to reach any conclusions.

Despite what you may hear, the study is very credible, it’s peer-reviewed and it’s a meta-analysis of as many as 19 studies. So, why are we just hearing about this now? The researchers obtained the data from two sources—requests and court actions—both of which take time to cut through the bureaucratic and political red tape.Their persistence paid off.

The study results were gender specific, female mammals showed signs of liver abnormalities (30.8%) and male mammals were more prone to changes in kidney function (43.5%) after eating GM seed. The researchers aren’t sure if the abnormalities were caused by the GM seed or the glycophosphates (the herbicide commonly known as Round-Up, that is sprayed on GM crops), which is why they are calling for better and longer term studies.

The scientists call into question a common practice of testing foods for only 90-days, which may have skewed the results and led to a bias. All of the 19 study results are based on 90-day trials, with the data extrapolated and presented as if the study lasted two years. The conflict they say is that herbicides and pesticides are tested for 2-years, which is usually enough time to identify side effects, however tests for GMO crops (sprayed with herbicides) only last for 90-days, which is not nearly long enough to paint a conclusive picture.

According to the study results, “The 90-day-long tests are insufficient to evaluate chronic toxicity, and the signs highlighted in the kidneys and livers could be the onset of chronic diseases. However, no minimal length for the tests is yet obligatory for any of the GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and this is socially unacceptable in terms of consumer health protection. We are suggesting that the studies should be improved and prolonged, as well as being made compulsory, and that the sexual hormones should be assessed too, and moreover, reproductive and multigenerational studies ought to be conducted too.”

In shorthand, the researchers are calling for longer studies, up to two years, with gender studies. The challenge may be that FDA does not call for studies beyond the 90-day cut off. For the sake of human health, it is time for federal officials to pay attention to this recent study and it’s time for American shoppers to call for GMO labeling. When Dr. Huber raised the question of why are GM seeds being approved without adequate testing>…his credibility was questioned and is motives were put under the spotlight. This is the type of bullying that cannot be tolerated any longer. When scientists like Huber come forward, it’s time for transparency in the laboratory and at the store.