Sunday, September 23, 2012


WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS - In what is bound to stoke the debate over the labeling of genetically modified foods, scientists in France have published a controversial study reporting that rats fed corn that was engineered to withstand spraying with the herbicide Roundup developed health problems, including tumors and trouble with their livers and kidneys. The study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was embraced by opponents of genetically altered foods, including backers of Proposition 37, which if approved by California voters in November would require most foods with genetically modified ingredients to bear a label. But the report was sharply criticized by geneticists, who cited its small size and other methodological problems. The research was led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, a professor at the University of Caen in France and founder of the nonprofit Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering. It is the latest in a series of papers by his group to report abnormalities linked to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The authors studied 200 rats clustered into groups of 10. Some groups ate chow containing various quantities of Monsanto Co.'s Roundup-resistant corn; others ate the same chow and were fed Roundup in drinking water with it. Still other rats received chow made from conventional corn, with various levels of Roundup. During the two-year study, the scientists found that up to 50% of the male rats and 70% of females that ate genetically modified corn, Roundup or both died prematurely. That compared to a 30% (male) and 20% (female) mortality rate among control rats that ate conventional corn without Roundup. The scientists also reported greater numbers - and earlier development - of mammary tumors in female rats exposed to genetically modified corn, Roundup or both than were found in control animals. The authors also reported organ abnormalities, including 2.5 to 5 times higher rates of liver problems in animals exposed to genetically modified corn, Roundup or both. The findings “present an overwhelming case for further research” as well as for labeling and reform of regulations about genetically modified food, Seralini said in a news conference that was organized by Britain's Sustainable Food Trust, a nonprofit group that campaigns for changes in the food supply.

In a study that prompted sharp criticism from other experts, French scientists said that rats fed on Monsanto's genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage. Scientists found that the rats fed on a diet containing the herbicide-tolerant GM maize, or given water containing Roundup considered safe in drinking water and GM crops in the US, died sooner than the rats fed just the standard diet. The researchers also described late-developing, large mammary tumours and severe liver and kidney damage. The tumours, although not metastasizing (spreading to other parts of the body) were said to be big enough (as big as ping-pong balls) to impede organ function in the affected rats. When man “plays God” by manipulating the DNA of crops with genetic engineering techniques, lots of unfavorable unwanted results may occur.

In new fields of research, scientists almost invariably promise beneficial, often sensational, future results. However, the past track record of such promises shows counterproductive, often devastating, consequences.  For example, genetically-modified (GM) food was advertised as the solution to world hunger, but it ended up causing hunger-deaths of hundreds of farmers in Maharashtra, India. These farmers were captivated by promises of pest-resistant seeds and high yields, but when the pests developed resistance to the seeds, the yields failed utterly. Moreover, as the GM seeds are designed to not give seeds for the next sowing, the farmers had no chance of a yield in the next season either. Afflicted by poverty, hunger and hopelessness, multitudes of them committed suicide. Alarmed by the possible adverse consequences of GM food, the European Union has outright banned their use and concerned NGOs worldwide are striving for similar curbs.

Śrīpad Chaitanya Charan das :
“The Spiritual Scientist”
“What is wrong with creating life?”
Posted on October 15, 2011

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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