Most animal feeding studies on GMOs are short-term – too short to show long-term (chronic) effects such as organ failure, cancer, or reproductive problems. But when longer term independent studies that have been carried out, they have produced some particularly damning evidence concerning the prevalence of such sicknesses.
Humans ingesting products coming from animals fed GM foods are opening themselves to these toxins entering the gut and reproductive systems. Millions of humans and animals are therefore at risk so long as GM animal feeds are allowed to remain on the market.
The seriousness of this situation is emphasised by the fact that all large-scale commercial (non organic) farms producing dairy foods, eggs, pig and chicken meat, are purchasing GM maize and soya as the main ingredient for feeding their animals.
Government And Supermarkets Ignoring Health Threats
Supermarkets have not labelled these foods as containing GM residues and governments have made no attempt to enforce such a law. Even if they did, it is very doubtful that consumers would recognise the significance of this information; who is educating them of the dangers?
Industry and regulators often dismiss findings of toxicity in animal feeding trials on GMOs by claiming they are “not biologically significant” or “not biologically relevant”. However, these terms have never been properly defined in the context of animal feeding trials with GMOs and are scientifically meaningless.
Are consumers to act as the ultimate guinea-pigs, through unknowingly offering themselves as 'laboratory experiments' to provide hard evidence of possibly fatal sickness?
As with GM foods directly consumed by humans, the GM feeds being ingested by animals, whose residues pass through to humans, are simply one step further along the same chain. One is no 'safer' than the other. Recent studies have demonstrated that the immune system, kidneys, liver and reproductive organs are highly susceptible to even small doses of GMO. Recent research has revealed that there is no 'safe level'.
Irresponsible European Union
The European Food Standards Agency, which acts as main advisor to the European Council on food matters, has itself acknowledged the fact that rats fed Bt maize had significantly decreased kidney size as well as local inflammation. Also that GM maize-fed animals showed abnormal blood protein levels, indicative of disturbed liver metabolism. Yet the FSA went on to approve these products. This demonstrates a fundamental lack of responsibility.
The work carried out by Professor Seralini from the Caen laboratory in France, is the most thorough examination yet made on this issue. The deeply concerning results show massive tumours erupting in mice fed very low concentrations of GM maize based animal feed. Professor Seralini's tests also exposed the strong link that exists between GM feed toxicity and the glyphosate pesticide (Roundup) used in the on-farm growing of these plants.
The study was conducted over a two year period, while the GM industry's studies are typically carried out over a ninety day period. Far too short a time to cover the significant internal affects of GM residues on human cells and tissues.
Alarming New Evidence
Alarming evidence of the ubiquitous presence of the glyphosate pesticide in our food has been revealed by the discovery that large numbers of men and women already carry significant accumulations of this toxic chemical in their urine.
When put together, the dangers inherent in GM animal feed coupled with the glyphosate residues that are present in it, demonstrate an overwhelming case for a ban to be put in place at once. The burden of toxicity endured by both humans and animals has its limits. GM toxins building up inexorably in human tissues, could push natural immunity defences over this limit.
Governments have an absolute duty to act once made aware of a substantial danger to the citizens in their care. The 'precautionary principle' enshrined in the European Union's avowed position concerning imports of foods, has not been born out in practice. The EU and governments, have been found culpable of appeasing corporate agricultural pressures looking to gain marketing advantages in Europe.
Such appeasement has been supported, for example, by Copa Cogeca, the largest farming union in Europe, with a strong bias towards supporting clients seeking larger market penetration. The UK's National Farmers Union takes a similar position.
It is not possible to offer the excuse that farmers cannot afford non GM animal feeds. If there is a price differential between GM and non GM animal feeds, adjustments can be made. The main one being to support the commencement of a transition period, starting immediately, that accustoms farmers to growing more of their animal-feed requirements on-farm, rather than importing foreign GM produce. This would lead to considerable financial savings for farmers and would simultaneously improve the health and welfare of the animals in their care.
Time and again, matters of environmental, animal and human health are forced to take a back seat, while big business is accorded special privileges, by-passing critical controls.
Time For A Complete GM Animal Feed Ban
It is time for action. There can be no more prevarication. Citizens are unknowingly ingesting foods that can kill. Yet even nations that have banned GM plants and seeds have failed to ban GM animal feeds. This is a scandal at the highest level.
Some European nations still actively support all types of GMO. The UK is amongst them. The UK government continues to press forward with trials of genetically modified wheat at its Rothamstead Research Station, as well as recently voting (in the European Parliament) in favor of allowing new strains of GM crops to enter the European market. It, and other countries taking a similar position, are either blind to the potentially disastrous repercussions - or are engaged in deliberate acts of genocide.
Consumers have a major role to play in ensuring that governments act on their obligations. No mother or father is going to knowingly allow their children to eat foods that contain the residues from GM animal feeds once it is clear that there are very real dangers attached.
It is clear. Tell your members of parliament, and be prepared to be told 'there's no evidence'
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, a writer, philosopher and international activist. He is the author of two acclaimed books: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life. You can read more on www.julianrose.info