GMO’s and Science: Scientists are reporting suppression of scientific data and are calling for a law mandating transparency of study results
Monsanto/Bayer was recently caught paying academics and “buying” fake scientific studies that say their Roundup pesticide and GMO’s are safe: https://sustainablepulse.com/2019/08/09/monsantos-campaign-against-u-s-right-to-know-uncovered/
“The Monsanto Papers tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate.” -Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-seen-in-disclosed-emails.html
But Monsanto/Bayer is not the only agricultural company suppressing scientific data, and they aren’t just hiding data on pesticides. Companies are also suppressing scientific data on GMOs. They do this because while patenting seeds and creating agricultural monopolies is harmful to the environment, the food supply, and small farmers, it’s made these corporations rich. The New York Times was recently attacked by them for publishing exhaustive data showing genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/business/gmo-promise-falls-short.html?referer=
Independent scientists around the world have been calling for scientific transparency and sharing how their own studies and careers have been attacked simply because their peer-reviewed research showed GMOs to be harmful.
This is the law scientists want: Due to rampant corruption, the pharmaceutical industry is now required by law to produce a public registry of all privately and publicly funded clinical trials. This ensures transparency of scientific results.
Scientists want this same law applied to the agribusiness industry.
Science would advance quicker and public health would be safeguarded if the agribusiness industry had to produce a public registry of all clinical trials.
Here are several scientist’s stories and studies on GMO’s that were attacked by Monsanto/Bayer and others:
Dr. Michael Antoniou is one of the most respected geneticists in the world. He is Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious universities in the UK.
In 2017 he released a peer-reviewed study which found that a Monsanto/Bayer genetically modified corn, NK 603, was not substantially equivalent to a non-GMO counterpart, which is contrary to claims of GMO proponents. Here is the study: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep37855
The study found “over 150 different proteins whose levels were different between the GMO NK603 and its non-GMO counterpart. More than 50 small molecule metabolites were also significantly different in their amounts. They indicate that there were changes in the protein profile that were reflective of an imbalance in energy metabolism and oxidative stress. In terms of metabolite changes, the most pronounced were increased levels of two polyamines. These polyamines, putrescine and especially cadaverine, can be toxic in certain contexts when consumed in large amounts.
He stated: “The bottom line of the paper is that once you do a compositional analysis properly, the GMO corn doesn’t stand up to claims of substantial equivalence. This questions the validity of a key step in the GMO corn’s approval process. A more detailed safety evaluation should have been conducted for this corn.”
“-when you take a look at the GMO transformation process—whether inserting genes or using newer methods, such as gene editing—and place these methods in the context of new genetics, which tells us that no gene or its protein product works in isolation, then you can expect problems from these genetic engineering procedures. Genes and their protein products work together in a highly complex, interactive, and integrated network. From the holistic perspective of gene organization, control, and function, the GMO transformation process is technically and conceptually flawed. It’s inevitable that there will be problems; it’s just a matter of degree. This is what basic science tells us.”
Here’s an interview with Dr. Michael Antoniou discussing his studies in detail and how he was attacked for it by GMO corporate interests: https://non-gmoreport.com/articles/scientists-ground-breaking-research-uncovers-new-risks-gmos-glyphosate/
University of Minnesota entomology Professor Ken Ostlie: The New York Times reported on how Syngenta shut down his work. Dr. Ostlie said he had permission from three companies in 2007 to compare how well their insect resistant GMO corn varieties fared against the rootworms found in his state. But in 2008, Syngenta withdrew its permission and the study had to stop.
“The company just decided it was not in its best interest to let it continue,” Dr. Ostlie said. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/20crop.html
Monsanto/Bayer tried to block this Austrian Government Funded research showing GMO corn causes infertility.
A study commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management found time related negative reproductive effects in mice fed GMO corn.
The study, one of the few long-term feeding studies that has been conducted to date, was presented by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zentek, Professor for Veterinary Medicine at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study, at a recent scientific seminar in Vienna, Austria. The seminar was hosted by AGES, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety.
The Study: http://www.herbogeminis.com/IMG/pdf/biological_effects_in_mice.pdf
Note: The EU Commission criticized some of the study’s methodology and said the results were inconclusive. The Austrian Government stood by this study and Monsanto’s GMO maize is banned in Austria. The EU Commission has repeatedly pressured Austria to repeal their ban on GMOs. Austria has continued the ban. http://greenbiotech.eu/eu-gm-crops/austria/
A team led by Allison Snow, a plant ecologist at Ohio State University in Columbus, had uncovered preliminary evidence that a transgene that confers insect resistance can increase the number of seeds produced by wild sunflowers. This could allow the wild plants to proliferate as “superweeds.” After she she uncovered this evidence, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dow AgroSciences “blocked a follow-up study by refusing to allow the team access to either the transgene or the seeds from the earlier study.” “It is very frustrating,” Snow told Nature. “We want to do good science. But this is keeping us from answering questions we want to ask.” https://www.nature.com/articles/419655a
Dr. Caius Rommens developed GMO potatoes for the biotech firm Simplot but has now renounced his GMO work and written a book about his experiences. Dr. Rommens says his GMO potatoes, which he calls “Pandora’s Potatoes”, pose health risks.
These GMO potatoes are marketed as “bruise-resistant and healthier to eat” than regular potatoes because they contain lower than average levels of a natural amino acid that forms carcinogenic acrylamide during cooking. Dr. Rommens says the GMO potatoes are not truly bruise-resistant but bruise-concealing. The concealed bruises can accumulate toxins and pathogens and their lack of discoloration means that processors and consumers cannot identify and remove the problematic damaged tissue.
Dr. Rommens says these toxins and pathogens may pose health risks to consumers. He adds that claims that the GMO potatoes are safer than non-GMO potatoes due to reduced acrylamide levels has no solid scientific basis. In addition, mechanisms by which the GMO process causes DNA damage can change the plant’s composition in unintended ways, resulting in the production of novel toxins or allergens.
Note: These GMO Potatoes have been commercialized in the US under names such as Innate, Hibernate, and White Russet.
In another case, university scientists working on a GMO corn variety found that it was decimating beneficial ladybugs. According to an article in Nature Biotechnology,
“When the researchers presented their results to Pioneer, the company forbade them from publicizing the data. “The company came back and said ‘you are under no circumstances able to publicize this data in any way’,” says a scientist associated with the project, who asked to remain anonymous. The research agreement gave Pioneer the right to prevent publication of their results.” https://usrtk.org/gmo-science-is-for-sale-2/
GMO corn pollen has already been proven to kill Monarch butterfly larvae: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1999/04/toxic-pollen-bt-corn-can-kill-monarch-butterflies
Italy’s National Institute of Research on Food and Nutrition published a report in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry documenting significant disturbances in the immune system of young and old mice that have been fed Monsanto/Bayer’s GMO corn “MON 810.”
This strain of GMO is on the market and in the food supply around the world- cultivation was banned in Italy after this study came out. The study was publicly funded and the institute resisted pressure from Monsanto/Bayer and published it.
The Study: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf802059w?prevSearch=MON810+immune+system&searchHistoryKey=
This study found that Monsanto/Bayer’s GMO Corn MON810 damaged the intestines of rats.
“Rats fed GM Bt corn MON810 for only 90 days suffered serious damage to the surface mucous membranes of the jejunum (part of the small intestine).
The type of corn fed to the rats was “MON810: Ajeeb YG”, a type developed by Monsanto/Bayer for the Egyptian market. The study, conducted by Marwa Ibrahim, MD and Ebtsam Okasha of the Faculty of Medicine at Tanta University, Egypt, was published in the journal “Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology.”
Ibrahim and Okasha noted that there were no obvious signs of ill health or altered behaviour in the GMO-fed rats. This is perhaps not surprising, given the relatively short 90-day duration of this feeding study. Nonetheless, the animals were sick, as revealed by the histopathological examination of the gut tissues. The researchers concluded that “consumption of GMO-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological [microscopic] structure”.
MON810: Ajeeb YG was put on the market in Egypt in 2008.
The Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27769625
As the Monsanto Papers release has shown, conflicts of interest within government regulatory agencies also need to be examined.
In 2005, the USDA overrode a federal judge’s orders and moved to allow farmers to plant Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets before an environmental impact study was even completed.
Then in 2011, the USDA announced that the GMO industry could conduct its own environmental impact studies, or pay other researchers to. https://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-04-19-usda-to-let-monsanto-do-own-environmental-impact-studies-on-gmos/
The phenomenon of corporate professional trolling online also needs to be addressed. The Monsanto Papers revealed that Monsanto/Bayer used third-parties to hire an army of paid internet trolls to post positive comments on websites and social media about Monsanto/Bayer, its chemicals and GMOs, and downplay the potential safety risks of its products.
“Monsanto even started the aptly-named “Let Nothing Go” program to leave nothing, not even facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto/Bayer, its chemicals, and GMOs. Monsanto/Bayer also quietly funnels money to “think tanks” such as the “Genetic Literacy Project” and the “American Council on Science and Health,” organizations intended to shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto/Bayer and other chemical & GMO producers.” https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/monsanto-paid-internet-trolls/
Anybody can read the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Court Filing on the paid trolls here: https://usrtk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/MDLLetNothingGomotion.pdf
TL/DR: Agricultural corporations are covering up studies on GMOs. A big step in the right direction is to pass a law that the agribusiness industry be required to produce a public registry of all clinical trials- just like the pharmaceutical industry already has to.
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