Genetically Modified Foods and the Threat to Public Health

Paul L. Reller L.Ac. / Last Updated: August 03, 2017

Sections

Information Resources / Additional Information and Links to Scientific Studies

  • Research in 2012 at the University of Caen, in France, and the University of Verona, in Italy, found that long-term health effects on laboratory animals fed genetically modified corn developed to be unaffected by the herbicide Roundup were alarming, with cancers, pituitary dysfunction, sex hormone imbalances, liver and kidney disease occurring at much higher rates than in controls: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637
  • In 2015, in response to an enormous research project by the World Health Organization that showed that glyphosate herbicides were a significant cause of cancers, hidden in a report that showed that processed meats were a category 1 carcinogen, the state of California finally decided to list glyphosate herbicides as a significant cancer risk: http://www.mintpressnews.com/monsanto-stunned-california-confirms-roundup-will-be-labeled-cancer-causing/209513/
  • Research in 2007 at the Aquaculture Protein Centre in Norway noted that farmed salmon fed Roundup-ready genetically modified soy exhibited significantly more moderate inflammatory disease than those fed normal soy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17298562
  • Research in 2009 at the University of Caen, in France, found that reportedly inert chemicals used in the herbicide Roundup were in fact toxic, causing hormonal disruption and cellular damage even at the normal low residual levels affecting the exposed population. These previously ignored, supposedly inert, chemicals amplified the toxic effects of the glyphosate: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=weed-whacking-herbicide-p
  • A 2009 article in Scientific American outlined the published findings and concerns at that time of the harm to public health from glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate conjugate molecules and metabolites, where over 100 million pounds of the chemical were already being sprayed on food crops in the U.S by 2009. This widespread health threat was of course downplayed by the manufacturer, Monsanto, but we can clearly see the implications, which have not only been confirmed, but amplified since 2009: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/
  • In 2014, a meta-review of published research linking glyphosate herbicides such as RoundUp, as well as phenoxy herbicides, other organophosphates, and over 80 active chemicals in pesticides and herbicides to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma and other cancers was published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Lyon Cedex, France: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762670
  • In 2014, Kevin Broderick of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, released a report showing that since 1996 the enormous rise in glyphosate herbicides has come from multiple sources, with an amazing increase in farm runoff, lawn and garden use, fish farming and other aquatic management, and even an enormous use to counter wetland grass growth (phragmites) to supposedly "restore" wetlands, in this case badly damaged by enormous radioactivity from nuclear power plant water. This EPA scientist notes that while the European Drinking Water Directive limits any contamination by any pesticide to no greater than 0.1 milligram per liter, that the U.S. regulations were manipulated to allow the contamination by organochlorides such as glyphosate to the level of 700 milligrams per liter! Numerous studies in the U.S. by 2000 showed that the detectable level of glyphosates after farm use and during harvest season in drinking water sources exceeded 0.1 milligrams per liter in 31 to 73 percent of samples. This report highlights the history of legal manipulation and dangers of the enormous rise in glyphosates and AMPA metabolites of glyphosates in our water, and the obvious manipulation of our environmental protections prior to this enormous rise from multiple sources of RoundUp and other glyphosate herbicides: http://www.unplugsalem.org/glyphosate_stop_pseg_spraying%5B1%5D.htm
  • In 2015, the World Health Organization released a revised rating of RoundUp glyphosate herbicide at a 2A probable cancer risk based on current scientific studies, as reported here in the journal Nature. Immediately, Monsanto threatened to sue the WHO and exerted significant influence on the media to downplay this cancer risk, but the U.S. EPA stated that they would consider this meta-review by the IARC and review the safety of these herbicides, now ubiquitous in Big Agriculture: http://www.nature.com/news/widely-used-herbicide-linked-to-cancer-1.17181
  • Research in 2013, by Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Anthony Samsel, explains how the explosive growth in glyphosate herbicides, or Roundup, correlates with the astounding rise in gluten intolerance and celiac disease, and why this has occurred. Glyphosates negatively impact the human gut Biome, the liver detoxification pathway, disruption in the hormone Vitamin D and Vitamin metabolism, and contribute to deficiencies of iron and copper, tyrosine, tryptophan, methionine, and selenomethionine. Gluten may not be the real problem with the rise in gluten-related pathologies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/
  • Research in 2012 at the University of Alto Vale do Rio de Peixe, in Brazil, found that even subacute exposure levels of glyphosate herbicide Roundup produced harmful alterations in liver enzymes, lipid peroxidation and various blood chemistry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23554553
  • Research in 2015 at King's College UK, the University of Caen in Frrance, and the University of Verona in Italy, by experts in the field of genetic biology, found that normal low level accumulation of glyphosate herbicide and metabolites was found to be associated with altering the genetic expression of thousands of gene clusters in the liver and kidney of laboratory animals, with clear toxicity from the expected environmental dose, and clear implication in many types of human disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26302742
  • A 2014 study at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and the Federal University of Sao Paolo, in Brazil, shows that glyphosate, the main chemical in RoundUp and other organophosphate herbicides that are ubiquitous in the environment in the last decade with the massive promotion of Monsanto GMO crops matched to glyphosate herbicides, causes significant dysfunction in the thyroid metabolism, and in fact can mimic hypothyroidism. This study showed that glyphosate could inhibit conversion of T4 to T3 thyroid hormone, via mechanisms affecting the liver and the pituitary deiodinase enzymes (DIO): http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/endo-meetings.2014.ED.2.SAT-0361
  • Research in 2011 at Giresun University, in Turkey, found that mice exposed to glyphosate herbicide Roundup showed significantly elevated liver enzymes, BUN, aldehyde toxicity, and increased glutathione stress, all of which were countered with a dose-dependent extract of Gingko biloba: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21859351
  • Research in 2013 by Anthony Samsel, and independent scientist and consultant, with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, showed that glyphosate in Roundup herbicide disrupts that P450 detoxification metabolism of the liver, potentially interfering with active dosages of pharmaceutical medications, as well as impacting the general health: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416
  • Research in 2012 at the University of Caen, France, found that toxicity of 3 common herbicide formulations were more toxic than glyphosate alone, indicating that the long-term toxicity of Roundup has been underestimated, since it is applied with these adjunct chemicals that increase toxicity. Endocrine disrupting effects of these chemicals if they reach the cell interior were demonstrated: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23000283
  • Research in 2007 at the University of Caen, France, found that glyphosate herbicide Roundup to be an endocrine disruptor, and 2-4 times more toxic to embryonic cell lines, showing that long-term exposure to Roundup glyphosate could be a factor in subfertility: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17486286
  • Research in 2012 at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, showed that the glyphosate herbicide Roundup was toxic to epithelial DNA of laboratory animals at the level experienced from exposure to concentrations used in aerial spraying of crops: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331240
  • Research in 2014, at the University of Lodz, Department of Environmental Pollution Biophysics, found that glyphosates, used in Roundup herbicide, could cause considerable damage to human erythrocytes, or red blood cells: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24581382
  • A 2104 study of kidney toxicity that has reached an "epidemic" level in rural Sri Lanka after widespread introduction of glyphosate herbicides matched to GMO rice, by experts at the Rajarata University in Anuradhaprua, Sri Lanka, working with experts at the California State University in Long Beach, in the United States, showed that a combination of the accumulation in water of glyphosate metabolites and heavy minerals from the chelation by glyphosates was heavily contributing to both kidney toxicity and dysfunction, with now numerous laboratory animal studies showing that this occurs. The key to this research is that these accumulations occur in drinking water despite the insistence from Monsanto-financed studies that were too quickly adopted to gain approval: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945589/
  • A 2015 study at the University of Exeter, in the UK, showed that normal low-level accumulation of glyphosate in the environmental waters produced significant toxicity for the fish population, affecting genetic expression, organ function and generated by oxidative stress and the stress responses to toxicity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636363
  • A 2015 article in Business Insider outlines the settlement of $47 million to over 2100 U.S. Air Force personnel for harm to health from exposure of just the residue left on planes that dumped the herbicide Agent Orange on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, with nearly 50 years of denial of liability for this Monsanto product. This healthcare settlement is on top of enormous sums spent on veterans disability related to the herbicide dioxin combination, which makes up 1 in 6 disability claims paid out by the VA: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-government-to-pay-at-least-47-million-to-veterans-over-agent-orange-claims-2015-6
  • Testimony from U.S. servicemen regarding the effects of Agent Orange: http://www.pennlive.com/projects/2014/agent-orange/
  • An open letter from a number of concerned researchers regarding the intimidation of university researchers regarding genetically modified food crops was published in the online journal Independent Science News, outlining evidence that the reputations and livelihood of independent University researchers are consistently threatened when they publish scientific study that threatens large AgriBusiness corporate profits: http://independentsciencenews.org/health/seralini-and-science-nk603-rat-study-roundup/
  • A 2013 study at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, Institute of Biological Sciences, found that contrary to past evidence that Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin, a biopesticide used worldwide, either was harmless of exerted a mild anticancer effect in the body, the insertion of this bacterial toxin gene into food crops is proven to negatively affect blood cells and marrow and poses a risk of causing or contributing to leukemia. This study demonstrated that reports that the Bt toxin could not be active in the pH of the human gut, only insects, was false, and that the Bt toxin negatively affected the blood cell membranes, potentially causing anemia, immune dysfunction, and leukemia. The Bt toxin is also similar in structure to the toxin ricin, alarming some scientists: http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf
  • A 2010 article in the journal Scientific American presents the proof that genetic modifications are already widely spreading in the plant life from cross-transfer of the engineered genes, contrary to the assurances from Monsanto and their affiliates. Not only are other crops acquiring these genes, but wild species as well, which is very alarming to many scientists and a broad percentage of the public: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=genetically-modified-crop
  • A 2015 paper explaining the basic problems with GMO technology, including the cross-transfer of genes, which is confusing enough that many are easily convinced of oversimplified explanations that it just does not occur, is provided from experts at Harvard University. The main concern is the potential for decreased genetic diversity, monocropping, and the occurrence of devastating disease to a whole crop of staple foods around the world, though, which appears to be just laughed off nonchalantly, until it happens and a lot of starvation and economic upheaval occurs: http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/challenging-evolution-how-gmos-can-influence-genetic-diversity/
  • A 2000 paper from the Institute of Science in Society, which unfortunately is now stuck with the acronym ISIS, explains how engineered genes can transfer horizontally in a number of ways, not just 'vertically' by breeding within related species: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/horizontal.php
  • A 2009 paper by undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Mapping Controversies outlines the salient concerns regarding the negative impact of Roundup Ready GMO crops: http://web.mit.edu/demoscience/Monsanto/impact.html
  • A 2015 paper in the MIT Technology Review cheerily introduces the new RNA interference technology being developed by Monsanto to do an array of genetic engineering feats by just spraying engineered genes onto plants or into the standing water that bees and insects drink - of course, they assure us that there is no possibility of any adverse effects: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/540136/the-next-great-gmo-debate/
  • A 2013 study by researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. and Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., found that organochlorine pesticides are highly associated with endometriosis, and pesticides that were banned 50 years ago, such as Mirex and beta HCH, still show up in higher tissue concentrations in young women with endometriosis than controls. These chemicals exert hormonal effects, do not break down easily in the environment, and are bioaccumulative, and were banned when significant risks to the reproductive system, kidneys, liver, thyroid, and gastrointestinal system were revealed, as well as the ability to cause cancer: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1306648/
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports on one banned organochlorine pesticide, Mirex, manufactured by Allied Chemical Corporation between 1962 and 1978 to kill fire ants, and also used as a common fire retardant material in plastics, paint, rubber, electrical components, and other products, noting that this chemical was banned due to adverse health risks for the reproductive system and other organs, but persists in the environment and bioaccumulates in human tissues: http://www.epa.gov/pbt/pubs/mirex.htm
  • A 2012 report from an expert panel of the European Food Safety Authority found that 5 strains of the Bt (Bacillus thurengiensis) endotoxin used as a pesticide still was not supported by published scientific study to demonstrate safety in key areas, such as the potential for genetic transfer, and half-life in the soil, and so safety for human and animal health, and environmental health, was not proven: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2540.pdf
  • A U.S. EPA summary of their regulation of Bt GMO crops and concerns, including resistance acquired by crop pests and types of Bt GMO crops that are proven harmful to human health being used against regulations in commercial foods: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/pips/regofbtcrops.htm
  • A 2014 article in Wired magazine documents the alarming acquiring of Bt GMO resistance in the corn rootworm in 3 states so far, after just a year or two or allowed study, and the implications for dire consequences in the future, as the natural soil Biome and balance is upset, farmers will have to add the cost of pesticides onto already expensive GMO seeds marketed to avoid pesticides, and the public will have to deal with the negative health effects of both the GMO triggered health problems and the health problems of chemical pesticides: http://www.wired.com/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/
  • A 2016 list of recent studies concerning the array of potential risks and harm from excessive use of glyphosate herbicides and GMO crops provides an increasingly complex array of devastating effects for public health and the environment that are finally being taken seriously: http://www.gmofreepa.org/compelling-peer-reviewed-studies/
  • A 2016 review of all published scientific information regarding the Bt toxin genetic modification and human health effects, by experts at the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunity, at the National University Autonoma, in Mexico, states that while the gene inserted into foods is not toxic, various studies show the potential in mammals, including humans, of stimulating allergic immune reactions that may become pathological: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26537666
  • A 2013 paper on agricultural fungicides, by experts at the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, shows that while fungicide use was decreased from 1999 to 2004 due to the widespread sudden adoption of Monsanto Roundup Ready and Bt GMO crops, that since 2005, the use of fungicides and pesticides have increased substantially yearly, and are expected to continue to increase due to the rise of resistance adaptation, harm to soil health, and other factors related to GMO crops. The environmental and human health concerns are great and prompting enough concern in the industry as synthetic fungicide overuse creates toxic and resistance problems, that the industry is starting to adopt herbal fungicide technology on a large scale: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174793/
  • A 2016 report on the negative health effects of pesticides and fungicides shows that while these chemicals present relatively low acute toxicity, the effects of low level accumulative toxicity to humans is considerable, with varied effects, causing us to have ignored the increase in synthetic fungicide use as a cause of many chronic health problems that have been increasing in incidence with the rise of fungicide and pesticide use: http://extension.psu.edu/pests/pesticide-education/applicators/fact-sheets/pesticide-safety/potential-health-effects-of-pesticides