Sunday, December 02, 2007

Genetically Modified Foods: Are they safe?

Here is a summary evaluation of GM foods.
See full article here
  • Some rats died within a few weeks after eating GM tomatoes
  • Rats' ability to digest was decreased after eating GM corn.
  • Allergen content increased when soybeans were genetically modified.
  • The toxin level of GM cotton is unpredictable.
  • Rats had meager weight gain when fed GM soybeans.
  • GM peas seem to have no harmful effects on animals but that doesn't mean they are safe for humans. (anyone willing to be a guinea pig?)
  • Toxins were found in mice after eating GM potatoes.
  • Allergies are a major concern with GM food, especially if ingredients are not labeled in packaged food.
  • There are no reliable ways to test GM foods for allergies.
  • We need more and better testing methods before making GM foods available for human consumption.
About the author: Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D., received his degree in Chemistry in Budapest, Hungary and his B.Sc. in Physiology and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of London in England. Over his nearly 50-year career, he worked at universities and research institutes in Budapest; London; Chicago, U.S.; and Aberdeen, Scotland (Rowett Research Institute). He has published close to 300 primary peer-reviewed papers and wrote or edited 12 scientific books. In the last 30 years he pioneered research into the effects of dietary lectins (carbohydrate-reactive proteins), including those transgenically expressed in GM crop plants, on the gastrointestinal tract. Since his contract was not renewed with Rowett as a result of disagreements, Dr. Pusztai has been lecturing on his GM potato research all over the world and acting as a consultant to groups starting up research into the health effects of GM food.


Hammer said...

All the food we consume is GM. It has been for 40,000 years. Haven't they heard of Mendel?

Lexcen said...

Hammer, I guess you haven't heard of the meat and veg gene (all in one)created and patented by scientists. Mendel studied beans and inheritance of genes. Knowing that all life forms have evolved from a common ancestor and have DNA, doesn't automatically imply that transgenic processes are OK. Genetic engineering is a blind process where the outcomes are unpredictable and of no real concern to the scientists that practice gene splicing. You might think it's ok to have bean genes in your pork or pork genes in your beans but in fact this is science that is floundering in the dark as to the consequences of the processes. I wouldn't even begin to compare evolution with genetic engineering because evolution occurs slowly over millions of years and there is room for nature to bury her mistakes. What's humanities excuse?

Hammer said...

Ahh I see what you are getting at.

Back in the 80's they were working on putting beef genes in tomatoes.

You're right, they could open up a big can of worms if one of these experiments contaminates our food supply.

If they are going to do these studies it needs to be for a specific purpose.

The most sucessful ones so far have improved insect and drought resistance but I'm almost sure they used other plant genes.