Genetically Modified Problems

May 25, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food :: (1) Comment

Roborovski Hamsters (Hyper-tribbles)

Yesterday I read a piece at Dr. Mercola’s site about genetically modified (GM) foods and the risk of sterility. It seems that a group of researchers fed a bunch of hamsters GM soy and watched what would happen. According to Mercola, their death rates went up in the second generation and by the third generation only one female was able to reproduce. The rest had become sterile.

That’s a scary thought.

The US grows a lot of GM crops. Corn, soy, wheat, canola, alfalfa, the list goes on. And the company behind most of these crops, Monsanto, has its hands everywhere it seems. Look at Michael Taylor, the current Deputy Commissioner for Foods, at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He’s also an old lawyer for Monsanto, where he “established and led the food and drug law practice at King & Spalding and was Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Company“. (King and Spalding represents Monsanto).

According to the Huffington Post, this is really just another study showing the risks of GM foods.

Surov’s hamsters are just the latest animals to suffer from reproductive disorders after consuming GMOs. In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller (see photo) and could not reproduce.

In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.

When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue! Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes (PDF), including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.

An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer the babies they had (PDF), and the smaller the babies were.

Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry’s problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding “neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.” Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females “at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.” One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.

In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.

Scary, huh?

So, what are we feeding our kids every day?

Creative Commons License photo credit: dailylifeofmojo

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One Response to “Genetically Modified Problems”

  1. Lesa Mclean Says:

    If only I had a dollar for each time I came here… Incredible article!

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