Friday, September 21, 2012

Ceres in Gemini, Food Issues in the Media, and Unprecedented GM Feeding Trials Produce Horrifying (Though Unsurprising) Results

Asteroid of grains, cereals, and the fertility of the Earth, Ceres, is finishing its transit of Mercury-ruled Gemini, and information about food that could sway public opinion is potent. Ceres moves into Cancer September 26 but retrogrades back into Gemini December 4 until April 5, 2013.

An unprecedented animal feeding trial has found that lab rats fed genetically modified corn as well as glyphosate residue - the primary ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup - developed high incidences of tumours, multiple organ damage, and premature death.

The results of the GM feeding trial were published September 19, 2012 in the scientific journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology." The peer-reviewed study was conducted by a team of scientists led by biologist and endocrinologist Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen in France.

The trial studied the long-term effects of exposure to NK603 GM corn (Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety) and glyphosate - individually and combined - on the health of rats over two years. 

The study found that even exposure to levels considered "safe" resulted in severe negative health effects in the animals:

Of the rats fed GM corn or glyphosate residue, 50% of males and 70% of females died prematurely. This was compared to 30% and 20% respectively in the control group. Female rats developed fatal mammary tumours and pituitary disorders. Males developed liver damage, kidney and skin tumours and had problems with their digestive systems. Rats fed GM corn or Roundup residues developed 2-3 times more tumours than the control group.

The study found that ingestion of GM corn and glyphosate caused similar damage in the rats whether consumed separately or together. Even the lowest doses of GM corn and glyphosate were associated with severe health problems.

Previous studies have produced similar findings, but this was the first ever feeding trial done over the course of the entire lifespan of a laboratory rat - two years.

Yes, folks. Despite the fact that lab rats live only two years, no genetically modified animal feeding trials have been done up to this point for longer than 90 days. Genetically modified seeds/foods have been rushed onto the market in Canada and the United States without any longer-term studies on potential effects. The majority of the tumours that developed on the rats were detected after 18 months, which means that prior GM testing done over 90 days would not have discovered them.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn (NK603 variety) has been genetically modified to withstand its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. You'll recall that Monsanto is the corporation that has also brought us such wondrous improvements to the human condition as: Agent Orange, DDT, saccharin, PCBs, bovine growth hormones, and Aspartame. Monsanto has bullied and sued farmers around the world over the use of its patented seeds. The corporation is directly responsible for suicides among hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers who went into debt to buy Monsanto seeds with the promise of magical yields that did not materialize.

The growth and sale of genetically modified corn, including Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety, were approved in Canada in 2001. People have been unknowingly ingesting genetically modified material in their corn products since then.

According to Patricia Reimer, a Manitoba organic inspector I spoke to for a story last year about genetically modified alfalfa, corn has become widely contaminated by genetically modified strains. There is no separation of GM and non-GM corn, soybeans, or canola in the food system, outside the organic system. What this means is that unless you are eating certified organic corn, soy, or canola, there is a high likelihood that you are eating at least some genetically modified material. Even organic products cannot be guaranteed 100% GM-free at this point.

Genetically modified sweet corn has now come onto grocery shelves in Canada and the U.S. in order to test the waters. Corn is also used in corn syrup - a product used in many processed foods.

Roundup is currently the world's most popular and widely-used herbicide, and its global usage is set to double by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts of San Jose, California. 

How's that for a horrifying Pluto in Capricorn era fact?


mike said...

I had already suspected the worst about GM food and Roundup, and now you confirm it. Thanks for the link to the study and for your reporting this on your blog! We humans seem determined to despoil our environment and, thus, all creatures including ourselves. It's metaphorically like the big, red, emergency button that reads "Do Not Push Under Any Circumstance", yet there will always be those that have to see what will happen if the button is activated.

Willow said...

The primary fault lies with the corporations producing/marketing this and the governments green lighting it. It's criminal.

This is the insanity of my life, though:

I write this article and post it.

And on the same day, my Dad is buying Roundup to have foxtail sprayed on the oats field.

I mean, Roundup is the GO TO herbicide. I'm not exaggerating. Almost every non-organic farmer in North America is using it.

Ruth said...

I am a pessimist but the results from these tests are WORSE than expected.

Have you read Margaret Atwood lately? Oryx and Crake/Year of the Flood. Increasingly she's looking prophetic.

Melissa said...

Have you been reading the report on the US export of Brown Rice/BR syrup grown in Indiana and Louisiana said to contain excessive amounts of arsenic. Korea has put a ban on this –as the internet reports.