Study Found Toxin from GM Crops is Showing up in Human Blood
Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 31 2011
A new study is causing fresh doubts about the safety of genetically modified crops. The research found Bt toxin, which is present in many GM crops, in human blood.
Bt toxin makes crops toxic to pests, but it has been claimed that the toxin poses no danger to the environment and human health; the argument was that the protein breaks down in the human gut. But the presence of the toxin in human blood shows that this does not happen.
India Today reports:
“Scientists ... have detected the insecticidal protein ... circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation.”
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt toxin from genetically modified (GM) crops, has for the first time been detected in human and fetal blood samples. It appears the toxin is quite prevalent, as upon testing 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a typical Canadian diet (which included foods such as GM soy, corn and potatoes), researchers found Bt toxin in:
- 93 percent of maternal blood samples
- 80 percent of fetal blood samples
- 69 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
Writing in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, the researchers noted:
"This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF [pesticides associated with genetically modified foods] in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities."
This GM insecticide toxin is already showing up in fetal blood, which means it could have an untold impact on future generations.
Bt Toxin is a Built-In Pesticide
Upwards of 85 percent of U.S. corn crops contain a special gene added that allows them to produce an insecticide. This way, when bugs attempt to eat the corn they're killed right away (specifically their stomach is split open) because the plant contains an invisible, built-in pesticide shield.
The particular gene added to most corn crops is a type of Bt-toxin -- produced from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Genetic engineers remove the gene that produces the Bt in bacteria and insert it into the DNA of corn (and cotton) plants.
They claim that Bt-toxin is quickly destroyed in human stomachs -- and even if it survived, it won't cause reactions in humans or mammals ...
But studies are now showing that this is not the case, as Bt toxin is readily passing into the human bloodstream and animal studies have already shown that Bt-toxin does cause health effects in animals, including potentially humans. As Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, wrote:
"Mice fed natural Bt-toxin showed significant immune responses and caused them to become sensitive to other formerly harmless compounds. This suggests that Bt-toxin might make a person allergic to a wide range of substances.
Farm workers and others have also had reactions to natural Bt-toxin, and authorities acknowledge that "People with compromised immune systems or preexisting allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Bt."
In fact, when natural Bt was sprayed over areas around Vancouver and Washington State to fight gypsy moths, about 500 people reported reactions—mostly allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six people had to go to the emergency room.
… The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is probably more dangerous than in its natural spray form. In the plants, the toxin is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray, it doesn't wash off the plants like the spray does, nd it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version.
In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others."
GM Insecticide Poisons Also Showing Up in Waterways
Given that Bt toxin has now been confirmed in the human bloodstream, it should come as no surprise that it has also infiltrated the environment. According to one study, 50 of the 217 streams, ditches and drains near cornfields that researchers tested were found tocontain Cry1Ab above six nanograms per liter.
The protein is getting into the waterways via corn stalks, leaves, husks and cobs that blow into the water -- a phenomenon that's incredibly common since farmers often leave such material in fields to help minimize soil erosion.
Eighty-six percent of the streams tested contained various corn material with the potential to transmit Bt-toxin into the water. Further, because the study was conducted six months after crops were harvested, it indicates that the GM protein lingers in the environment. Now that this GM toxin is showing up in waterways, it has the potential to devastate aquatic life and continue to spread, uncontrolled and unrestricted, across the entire United States and world.
GM Foods May be Leaving GM Proteins in Your Body
In case it's not clear, I want to reiterate that this new study in Reproductive Technology has confirmed that if you eat GM foods that contain the insecticidal Bt toxin, it appears likely that it will be transferred to your bloodstream.
As I mentioned earlier, as of right now about 85 percent of the corn grown in the United States is genetically engineered to either produce an insecticide, or to survive the application of herbicide. And about 91-93 percent of all soybeans are genetically engineered to survive massive doses of Roundup herbicide.
What this means is that nearly ALL foods you buy that contain either corn or soy, in any form, will contain GM components unless it'scertified organic by the USDA.
There's very convincing evidence that eating these genetically modified foods spells nothing but trouble for your health. As Smith discusses in this interview, scientists have discovered a number of health problems related to genetically modified foods in general, however these studies have been repeatedly ignored by both the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the only human feeding study ever published on genetically modified foods, seven volunteers ate Roundup-ready soybeans. These are soybeans that have herbicide-resistant genes inserted into them in order to survive being sprayed with otherwise deadly doses of Roundup herbicide.
In three of the seven volunteers, the gene inserted into the soy transferred into the DNA of their intestinal bacteria, and continued to function long after they stopped eating the GM soy.
However, the GM-friendly UK government, who funded the study, chose not to fund any follow up research to see if GM corn -- which contains the BT toxin -- might also transfer and continue to create insecticide inside your intestines. Now the evidence has come through nonetheless, as the study in Reproductive Technology shows that it does transfer, at least to your bloodstream (and the bloodstream of your baby if you're pregnant).
This is extremely concerning, as in this interview Smith also mentions an Italian study where they fed BT corn to mice. As a result, the mice expressed a wide variety of immune responses commonly associated with diseases such as:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Various types of cancer
Lou Gehrig's disease
I've gone on record saying that due to the amount of GM crops now grown in the United States, EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label is filled with GM components. So you're eating GM foods, and you have been for the last decade, whether you knew it or not. You can thank Congress for this, and the USDA and Monsanto. What ultimate impact these GM foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects.
How to Say "No" to GMOs
If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
If you're feeling more ambitious, you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure from the Institute of Responsible Technology in bulk and give it to your family and friends. When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GM seeds and avoid non-organic processed foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GM ingredients.
(Send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org, Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)
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