Dangers of genetically engineered foods

Dangers of genetically engineered foods

By Sylvia Ubal

Artificially engineered foods containing genes derived from pigs, fish, insects, viruses and bacteria are popping up on supermarket shelves, starting with tomatoes, corn, soybeans, dairy products, yeast and oils, then spreading to replace hundreds of varieties. traditional fruits and vegetables. Governments allow their sale without warning the public, although many genetic scientists claim that these foods will permanently harm health.

Scientific facts have shown that an immediate ban on GMOs is necessary around the world. Artificially engineered foods containing genes derived from pigs, fish, insects, viruses, and bacteria are popping up on supermarket shelves, starting with tomatoes, corn, soybeans, dairy products, yeast and oils, then spreading to replace hundreds of varieties. traditional fruits and vegetables. Governments allow their sale without warning the public, although many genetic scientists claim that these foods will permanently harm health.

It is also clear that without the direct intervention of man, natural processes would follow a much slower course and, precisely, in the face of increasing natural catastrophes in both hemispheres, the question arises about the responsibility of homo sapiens. Not only soils that took millions of years to develop were sometimes destroyed in less than a decade, but the advances of 12,000 years of agricultural science are also in danger from GMOs. The increasing vulnerability, the risks to ecosystems and the human being, the emergence of new diseases and the increase in natural disasters in number and intensity, require systematic reflection, which goes beyond the goal of this article.

In summary, the potential risks of GMOs and some proven negative effects force all of humanity, sovereign nations and citizen organizations, to defend their genuine interests: their right to life, to a healthy environment, to a future without fear and world cultural, environmental and genetic heritage. Only legislation based on the aforementioned principles will allow young people to face the world with less anguish and with a human security that guarantees well-being to all, without distinction and without privileges. In the hands of each of us is the ethical responsibility to collaborate in this desirable future.

Monsanto's hypocrisy

The Roundup label warns that: "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in any way that is inconsistent with its labeling. Do not use this product in a way that may come into contact with workers or others, either directly or by drift. Only protected operators should remain in the area during application.

The small airplanes and helicopter sprayers that disperse chemical herbicides in Colombia, often flying too high to accurately target crops, are subjected to the frequent crosswinds that characterize the ecology of the rainforest. These winds can easily blow or "drift" the herbicide to untargeted areas, causing the destruction of other crops, tropical forests, or bodies of water.

In April 2009, a recent work by the Argentine agronomist, geneticist and historian, director of the CMP Training Institute, Alberto Lapolla related the dengue epidemic and the appearance of yellow fever with the increase in transgenic soybean crops in the country. carried out by Monsanto, which called it "soyization."

We found that the industrial production of milk in the United States and Mexico uses a transgenic bovine growth hormone called rBGH, owned by Monsanto (Bovine Somato-Tropina) with fatal consequences for those who consume these dairy products. The transgenic hormone causes the level of another hormone called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) to rise in the milk. Recent studies show that abnormally high levels of this second hormone are associated with the development of breast, prostate and colon cancer
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Monsanto Terminator Trees and Seed

Genetically modified sterile trees cannot contain transgenes, however they have raised concerns about their threat to health and biodiversity.

Transgenic trees have been extensively investigated in large plots with little caution about the spread of transgenes. Studies on the dispersal of pollen and seeds from trees have shown that gene flow can be measured in kilometers. It is clear that transgenes from GM trees cannot be stopped once they have been introduced into the environment. For that reason, enormous efforts have been put into developing the necessary genetic modifications - commonly referred to as Terminator techniques - to prevent flowering or pollen production.

Trees that neither flower nor bear fruit will not provide food for a multitude of insects, birds and mammals that feed on pollen, nectar, seeds and fruits, which will inevitably have enormous impacts on biodiversity.

The elimination toxins used to create sterile trees are themselves an additional hazard. Ribonuclease barnase was found to be toxic to the kidneys of rats. Barnase was cytotoxic in mouse and human cell lines.

Monsanto also owns the genetic technology of the so-called Terminator Seed, sterile seed. It also has among its assets growth hormone to "improve" the production of milk and beef, among others.

Cows that receive this injection have a significant increase in the frequency of 16 diseases, including mastitis and pregnancy problems. Cows suffer a lot and, in addition, the milk contains traces of antibiotics, pus and blood, due to the continuous diseases and treatments to which they are subjected. Although the use of this artificial hormone is prohibited in Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, its commercial use was approved in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and eight other countries on other continents, based on studies that Monsanto itself provided to US regulatory agencies. (http // / layout / set / print / content / view / full / 28876 /)

In the biological field Scientists from Michigan State University have verified that plants resistant to certain viruses can mutate, sometimes violently, causing unknown pests. Researchers from Oregon documented that (GMO), for example Klebsiella planticola, kills essential nutrients in the soil that facilitate the biological fixation of nitrogen from the air, as is the case with the bacteria Rhizobium melitoli.

There are laboratories that have investigated that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) programmed to produce their own pesticide or resistance to certain herbicides, caused resistance in weeds, which would force the use of increasingly powerful pesticides in the future. In both cases, "super pests" or "super insects" can arise, difficult to be controlled with existing pesticides, but, above all, very violent for the natural environment.

Cornell University found and confirmed that Bt-engineered wheat poisoned the Monarch butterfly in its larval stage in laboratory tests. There is also a potential danger of creating insects resistant to agrochemicals that could destroy the natural environment and, therefore, also affect the biodiversity of wildlife and the food chain. The cultivation of seeds modified with Bt 176 was prohibited; for putting many species of protected insects at risk. Essential insects for plant pollination. A possible relationship was discovered between human consumption of Bt176 and resistance to certain antibiotics, losing their efficacy.

The University of Nebraska found that soy, genetically manipulated with the Brazil nut, increased allergies in different foods. This condition was detected in 8% of children in the United States. It manifests itself, from mild symptoms, to sudden death.

On May 22, 2005, the English newspaper The Independent reported the existence of a secret report from the biotechnology company Monsanto about its genetically modified corn Mon 863. According to the 1,139-page report, rats fed this corn for thirteen weeks had abnormal counts. high levels of white cells and lymphocytes in the blood, which increase in cases of cancer, poisoning or infection; low reticulocyte numbers (indicative of anemia); weight loss in the kidneys (indicating problems with blood pressure); necrosis of the liver; high blood sugar levels (possibly diabetes); and other adverse symptoms.

Unfortunately, control of world food is being given to a few multinational companies, who are food dictators, and far from being a means to fight hunger, food problems are increasing. Countries that have massively adopted the use of transgenic crops are clear examples of unsustainable agriculture.

The solution to hunger and malnutrition passes through the development of sustainable and fair technologies, access to food and the use of techniques such as ecological agriculture and livestock. The GMO industry uses its commercial power and political influence to divert the financial resources required for real solutions.

We defend the application of the precautionary principle and therefore oppose any release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the environment.


Monsanto pharmaceuticals also have a disturbing history for human health. The flagship product of the pharmaceutical company Searle, a Monsanto subsidiary, is the artificial sweetener "aspartame," sold under the trade names Nutrasweet and Equal. In 1981, four years before Monsanto bought Searle, an advisory committee to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) made up of independent scientists confirmed reports that aspartame could induce brain tumors.

Despite the great potential that molecular biology has to understand nature and develop medical research, this cannot be used as a justification for turning the environment into a gigantic experiment with commercial interests.

Instead of technologies devised for the continual enrichment of a few, we can base our technology on the hope of greater harmony between our human communities and the material world. Our health, our food, and the future of life on Earth are really at stake.

Sylvia Ubal, International Barometer

Video: Lets Discuss GMO Effects on the Environment. GMO Answers (May 2021).