This may begin to sound like the plot from a TV show. In our last two "episodes", we saw that Genetically Engineered (GE) foods are becoming a large portion of the world's food supply. Plants are DNA-modified so they can survive being coated with herbicides, like glyphosate, and also so they kill bugs. Chemical companies, like Monsanto, hold the patents and license Roundup Ready seeds and herbicides to farmers. Last time, we looked at how USDA data tracking glyphosate usage correlates with 99% precision to CDC data showing the rise of dementia and autism. But that was just a correlation; a reason to get our attention. In this post, I'd like to tell you what happened when a 90 day study to assert GE food safety, was allowed to run longer. The results are alarming and shed new light on the decision process pasture based farmers go through related to GE (GMO) feed.
Monsanto's own 90 day study showed liver and kidney toxicity
In 2004, Monsanto presented the results of their study that fed Roundup Ready corn (NK603 maize) to rats. The study lasted the customary 90 days (that's important) and concluded that NK603 maize was "safe and nutritious". Independent researcher, Professor Gilles Eric Séralini, obtained Monsanto's raw data and assembled a team to re-analyze. They discovered that Monsanto's raw data showed clear signs of liver and kidney toxicity in the rats fed GE corn and published this finding in 2009.
Séralini re-ran the study, only with more measurements and longer
Because of their discovery, Séralini designed a new toxicity experiment, purposely similar to Monsanto's, but lasting two years and broader in scope. It is often referred to as the the CRIIGEN study. They measured a greater number of health impacts, more often, and also isolated the effects of the GE corn and the herbicide itself. This was the very first study to distinguish the effects in this manner. Séralini's scientists tested three groups of rats. One group was fed GE corn + glyphosate. A second was fed GE corn alone, without glyphosate, and a third was fed a diet of non-GE corn. The amount of GE and glyphosate exposure was at levels permitted in both drinking water and crops in the US.
GE corn and glyphosate doubled or tripled mortality rate
The two-year study found, "all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly." In this case "treated" means fed GE (or GMO) corn or corn + glyphosate. This difference was visible. Treated rats developed large tumors, the first appearing 4-7 months into the study. By the beginning of the 24th month, 50-80% of treated female rats had developed tumors, with up to 3 tumours per animal. These photos are from the study. The letters at the bottom of each image mean GMO (corn) and R(oundup).
Was Séralini's experiment a badly designed cancer study?
Critics of the study correctly say that this was not a properly designed cancer study. In actuality, Séralini’s study was never intended to be a carcinogenicity study. It was always meant to be a chronic toxicity study and was properly implemented as such. It just happened to be the first study connecting GE corn and glyphosate to cancer, a result that wasn't anticipated. The results clearly called for a carcinogenicity study to be conducted. They also indicated that 90-day studies on GE foods are not long enough. Longer term testing is not currently required anywhere in the world. Was the study invalid because the rats were prone to tumors? Critics of the CRIIGEN study also claim the particular strain of rat that Séralini used, known as Sprague-Dawley (SD), is naturally prone to developing tumors. The theory goes that the tumors could have been "spontaneous", making the findings meaningless.
There are some problems with the spontaneous tumors theory. First, SD rats are the standard choice for long-term carcinogenicity and toxicology studies. The National Toxicology Program in the US uses the same SD rats Séralini used. No other researchers have been challenged over their use of SD rats. In fact, SD rats are used precicely because they are about as prone to tumors as humans.
Secondly, Monsanto used SD rats for their 90 day study (section 2.1). Séralini would have been criticized if he had not used the standard rat for a toxicity study and the same kind of rat as Monsanto.
And lastly, Séralini correctly compared his rats with tumors to a non-treated control group. The treated SD rats died 2-3 times more than the SD rats in the control group. Any predisposition to developing tumors is a moot point since SD rats were used for all three groups. To argue that the CRIIGEN study doesn't prove GE foods and glyphosate are harmful, we must accept that Monsanto didn't prove they are safe.
- Monsanto's original 90 day study showed liver and kidney toxicity.
- The CRIIGEN study was designed to be similar to Monsanto's but to run longer and measure more.
- Rats fed GE corn and/or glyphosate in the CRIIGEN study began developing tumors 4-7 months into the study and died 2-3 times more than the control rats. The tumors were not evident yet at 90 days.
- Since the two year CRIIGEN study was set up to be so similar to Monsanto's study, one cannot object to the method without simultaneously accepting that Monsanto's 90-day study didn't prove safety.
For an ocean of additional evidence, see gmoevidence.com. Tune in next time for evidence showing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) covered up concerns from its own scientists about GE foods. Thanks for spreading the word by sharing this post on social media!
Jeff Apthorp writes about optimizing health and performance on WellnessRepair.com. A 30 year veteran broadcaster in Christian radio, Jeff relentlessly researches the work of doctors, nutritionists and scientists that are successfully reversing, supposedly irreversible, diseases - with nutrient dense, real food!