There is very little published research on the health effects of
GMOs. In 2000, a reviewer found precisely 6 (six) papers investigating
One of these was the famous paper by Arpad Pusztai, who found that
GM potatoes carrying the Bt insecticide caused marked adverse changes
in the guts of rats. Pusztai was crucified by the scientific community
for going public with his results, instead of quietly and slowly
publishing them in peer reviewed journals. The scientific response
to Pusztai's work should have been to try to reproduce it in other
labs, but instead we were treated to an hysterical chorus of condemnation.
This was a political rather than a scientific response.
The GM community of scientists evidently feel no need to soil their
hands with actual experiments, because they have the doctrine of
"Substantial Equivalence" to shelter behind. This ill
defined teaching states that since GM and natural foods look pretty
much the same, they must have the same nutritional and medical value,
so why bother to spend time and money looking for differences? It
is amazing that "scientists" can swallow such factitious
rubbish when it suits them. Similarly, the New Scientist carried
an editorial a few years back, reasserting the untruth that there
is no difference between genetic manipulation and classical plant
Despite the paucity of research, there are some known adverse health
effects of GMOs. A molecule associated with Brazil nut allergy was
found in Soya that had been injected with a Brazil nut gene. It
had to be withdrawn. In a second case, an allergenic molecule was
found in Bt corn. It was banned from the human food chain, and designated
as animal feed. However, some Arfur Daley type must have had other
ideas, because it later turned up in taco snacks.
There are other health concerns, namely that Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMOs) are tagged with antibiotics to act as a marker
that the modification has been installed. The minute traces of antibiotics
in GM foods may add to the problems of bacterial resistance and
human allergy to antibiotics.
In an audit, York Nutritional Laboratories have noticed a significant
surge in cases of people with IgG based intolerance to soya products.
This raises the question of whether their findings reflect a change
in the quantity of soya consumed over that time, or a change in
the quality of the soya.
In the final analysis, we will only be able to tell whether there
are health risks from GM foods when we compare the health of GM-eating
populations with that of groups who do not eat GM (that's us). However,
if we do not get clear labelling and complete separation of GM foods,
we will never be able to find the GM free control group. So our
demands for labelling are not just in the name of civil liberty
- they are also for the sake of medical knowledge. And our demand
for the banning of GMO's as a commercial crop in the environment
(as opposed to GMOs in hermetically sealed systems producing insulin
and other useful products) is not just for the sake of the butterflies
and bees - it is for the sake of our children.