Sept 19, 2012 | Sayer Ji
In an alarming new study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, researchers from The Committee for Research & Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) reported on the results of a 2 year feeding study in rats given either NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone, at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the United States.
The authors of the study pointed out that currently, no regulatory authority requires mandatory chronic animal feeding studies to be performed for edible GMOs and formulated pesticides, and the only 90 day feeding trials were conducted by the biotech industry.
This study, therefore, was performed in light of this need, and the results were an unprecedented confirmation of the cancer-causing effects of GM food and agrichemicals, reported as follows:
In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences. [emphasis added]Below is an image of tumors induced through the experiment. More can be found at the journal website.
The results of this new study are doubly concerning. Not only has the consumption of a genetically modified food crop (NK603 maize, which is approved in the US for human consumption) now been shown to cause tumor growth and accelerated mortality, but so has the primary herbicide these plants have been engineered to withstand exposure to: Roundup. GMO plants actually incorporate glyphosate directly into themselves, with the herbicide residues and their metabolites persisting there, making dual exposure to transgenes and herbicide inevitable, and the synergistic amplification of their toxicities likely. Keep in mind, the study used levels of glyphosate "well below officially set safety limits," which nonetheless induced "severe hormone-dependnet mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances."
It is a shameful fact of history that Roundup herbicide was once marketed by its creator and original patent holder, Monsanto, as being "safe as table salt." Now, an accumulating body of research shows that glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, is genotoxic and endocrine disrupting -- both hallmark characteristic of many carcinogens -- at concentrations several orders of magnitude concentration lower than agricultural application. In fact, Monsanto has gone to great lengths to deny the emerging Roundup-Cancer link by pouring money into contract research companies like Exponent, who deny its well established harms.
This newest study provides clear and convincing evidence that GMO agriculture is contributing to cancer in exposed populations. The timing of this new study -- two weeks before Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) -- is all the more fitting, considering that "In female animals, the largest tumors were in total 5 times more frequent in males after 2 years, with 93% being mammary tumors." They also "...observed a strikingly marked induction of mammary tumors by R[oundup] alone...even at the very lowest dose administered." The annual pinkwashing campaign focuses on equating "prevention" with "early detection" by exposing women's bodies to breast cancer-causing x-rays, rather than to identify and remove the preventable causes, e.g. chemical exposure, carcinogenic foods, of breast cancer.
The precautionary principle requires that if there is indication in a non-human study that a substance is toxic to those who are forced to ingest it, inhale it, or otherwise be exposed to it, the burden of proving it safe must be on those manufacturing, marketing it and/or releasing it into the environment.
For too long has America -- albeit, unbeknownst to most of the population -- been engaged in a mass chemical and feeding experiment, without the protection of informed consent, or even the right to know what it is eating through truthful labeling of GMOs. Please help to spread this information far and wide, and to further garnish support for California's Proposition 37 (Just Label It), which could turn the tide against GM agriculture's systemic destruction of the biosphere, and by implication, our health.