Our canine and feline animal companions are like canaries down in the mines, alerting us to possible dangers in the environments we share. Since they consume some of the same dietary ingredients from the same food chain that we share with them, the following concerns about genetically modified (GMO) food ingredients that seem to be contributing to a variety of veterinary medical conditions, —and which improve when GMOs are excluded from their diets—should also alert us all as consumers of such genetically altered, biologically anomalous foods.
Two widely used ingredients in many manufactured dog and cat foods contain corn and soy. These ingredients have no place in cat food because cats are strict ‘obligate’ carnivores. Corn can cause cystitis—bladder inflammation—in cats, even epilepsy in dogs and soy causes gas and indigestion in many dogs and cats, possibly also contributing to usually fatal bloat in dogs. The high cereal content in pet foods contributes to dogs and cats developing stones or calculi in their lower urinary tracts, often resulting in blockage requiring emergency surgery because the animals cannot urinate.
These diet-related problems have been known for decades, but it was not until the mid 1990s that I began to suspect diet may play a role in a “cluster” (see below) of health problems not seen as nearly as often when dogs and cats were being fed conventional corn and soy. Yet they usually got better when corn and soy were removed from their diets. It was in the mid- 1990s that more and more genetically engineered corn and soy were being used in pet foods and fed to farmed animals and I began to receive more and more letters from cat and dog owners whose animals were suffering from this cluster of health problems.
I do not run a private veterinary practice but work as a veterinary consultant and author of the nationally syndicated newspaper column “Animal Doctor” which I have been doing for over 40 years. This has given me a wide-angled and historical perspective that I would never have realized running a conventional veterinary clinic, the thousands of letters that I receive from across the U.S. keeping me informed about new and emerging health problems and veterinarians’ responses to same. People often wrote to me when veterinary treatments for this cluster of ailments failed, often with harmful side-effects from prescribed remedies, especially with steroids, and problems with various manufactured prescription diets.
These animals were suffering from what attending veterinarians were diagnosing and treating as allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis and other skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, recurrent diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, along with abnormalities in liver, pancreatic and immune system functions.
I am not saying that every animal with the above ‘cluster’ of health problems got better after GM ingredients were no longer fed to them, because it is quite possible that simply improving their diets by providing better quality ingredients made the difference for some. But when we look at the feeding trials under controlled laboratory conditions in test animals given GM foods, it is indeed striking that very similar adverse effects were reported in these test animals as were found in companion animals fed GM-containing pet foods.
In the absence of costly feeding trials of pet foods on dogs and cats, there can be no absolute certainty that GMO food ingredients alone are responsible for these health problems. But to claim that GMOs (of which there is no real need in agriculture) are harmless is to disregard the precautionary principle. This must be applied in the light of controlled feeding trials in laboratory animals who developed a multitude of health problems and organ damage associated with GMOs in their diets. From the perspective of the precautionary principle no GMOs should be included in pet foods..
As I began to connect the dots linking this cluster of health problems with what the animals were eating, and before I had the evidence based medicine of recovery following removal of genetically modified (GM) corn and soy from their diets, I considered other possible factors. Causes or co-factors which might contribute to this cluster of common companion animal illnesses include: adverse vaccine reactions (vaccinosis); genetic factors, especially in pure breeds and their hybrids; agrichemical and food animal drug residues contaminating pet food ingredients. In my assessment, while any of these co-factors might be involved, there had not been any significant change in this ‘background’ because there had been no significant changes to my knowledge in vaccination protocols, animals’ genetic background or in the commonly used farmed animal drugs or in agrichemicals with two exceptions, the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) and the insecticidal toxin Bt..
As I document below, what is particularly significant is the discovery that genetic material (RNA) in the foods we eat and give to our animals can affect critical gene functions at the cellular level ( including that of embryos) because they are absorbed into the body and are not destroyed by digestive processes. Biologically novel RNA from GMOs, never present heretofore in the food chain, as well as anomalous phytochemicals and agrichemical residues in genetically engineered crops, could be harbingers of a host of diet-related or aggravated health problems in consumers, human and non-human, especially in those with genetically associated susceptibilities, yet to be identified.
It is surely no coincidence that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, in Oct. 2008, an 18% increase in allergies in children under the age of 18 years, between 1997-2007. This ties in with the time-frame of when GMOs were first introduced into the food chain and then subsequently in greater amounts. Some 3 million children now suffer from food/ digestive allergies or intolerance, their symptoms including vomiting, skin rashes, and breathing problems. They take longer to outgrow milk and egg allergies, and show a doubling of adverse reactions to peanuts.
Dogs and cats, like the proverbial canaries down the mine shafts, have become our sentinels alerting us to health hazards in the home-environments we share and in the products and by-products of the same agribusiness food industry which feeds most of us and them. In my professional opinion there is sufficient proof from evidence based medicine that dietary ingredients derived from GM crops are not safe for companion animals, and by extension, for human consumers either.
In the creation of GM crops like corn and soy bean, novel proteins are created that can cause allergies and assault the immune system creating illness, especially to the offspring of mothers fed such foods, and to their young fed diets containing GM ingredients. The genetic modification of such food crops can also alter their nutrient content, lowering phytonutrients, may elevate potential toxins, and also create novel RNA variations. The latter are not destroyed by digestion and so called micro RNA has been found in mammalian tissues where they can exert influences on gene expression and therefore affect health across generations, ( Zhang et al, 2011). These kinds of problems are in part due to the inherent genetic instability of GM plants that can result in spontaneous and unpredictable mutations, (Wilson et al 2006).
Controlled laboratory animal studies, like those summarized by Pusztai et al (2003), Domingo (2007) Smith (2007) and Fox (2011), are too often dismissed as not being relevant to real-life conditions, and if there were adverse health consequences, they would be readily diagnosed since GM crops and foods are now being grown and consumed globally. But a simple diagnosis pinpointing GM factors is not easily made because of all the many variables in food constituents and environmental and other disease co-factors.
One of the biggest challenges today in addressing human and animal health and various complex disease problems is in the accurate identification of causal factors responsible for illness. This is essential if effective government regulation, oversight and preventive measures are to be implemented, and where feasible, appropriate treatments.
Possible causal factors in some of the health problems commonly occurring in companion animals include thousands of chemicals and synthetic organic compounds derived from various industrial and agricultural sources and which variously enter the environment, and what is eaten, drunk and inhaled.
Recent toxicological advances have identified certain effects of these substances on the body, such as endocrine (hormonal) and metabolic (obesogenic and diabetogenic) disruption, as well as causing cancer, mutations and birth defects, notably herbicides like glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, compounds like the phthalates and Bisphenol A in plastics and food containers, the omnipresent flame-retardant bromide compounds (PBDEs), and dioxins and PCBs.
Now when it comes to making a risk assessment of genetically modified (GM)/ genetically engineered food ingredients, primarily derived from herbicide resistant crops (and therefore containing herbicide residues as well as endogenously produced insecticide like Bt), supporters of such biotechnology are quick to point out that because so many chemical compounds already contaminate our environment, bodies and food, you just can’t prove that GM crops and food are harmful.
However, in their detailed review of animal safety studies of GM foods, Dona & Arvanitoyannis (2009) conclude that “The results of most of the rather few studies conducted with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters the significance of which remains unknown. The above results indicate that many GM foods have some common toxic effects. Therefore, further studies should be conducted in order to elucidate the mechanism dominating this action. Small amounts of ingested DNA may not be broken down under digestive processes and there is a possibility that this DNA may either enter the bloodstream or be excreted, especially in individuals with abnormal digestion as a result of chronic gastrointestinal disease or with immunodeficiency.”
In a study analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn - Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603, approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities, caused liver, kidney and other internal organ damage when fed to rats. Researchers J.S.de Vendomois and co-workers (2009) summarized these findings as follows:
“Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”
The insecticidal toxin Bt (from the inserted genes of Bacillus thuringiensis) in many varieties of GM corn may create allergies and illness, and which, like other inclusions in GM food crops, especially novel proteins, has not been adequately tested for consumer safety and potential health risks, especially prenatally, epigenetically and across generations. Altered DNA from GM foods can be incorporated by gut bacteria and may alter their behavior and ecology in the digestive tract. Likewise the bacterial incorporation of genetic material from antibiotic resistance genes used to identify some varieties of GM food crops could have serious health implications, (see Smith 2007 and Traavik & Heinemann, 2007).
Bt-toxin from genetically engineered corn sources has been found in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women. (Specifically, the toxin was identified in 93% of 30 pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of 39 non-pregnant women.)
Bt-toxins, which have been shown to damage human kidney cells, may cause leaky gut syndrome in newborns, the passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the intestines leading to food allergies and autoimmune diseases. Also, since the blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists are convinced that this is the apparent mechanism for autism
Many of the pathological, physiological, anatomical and developmental changes documented in laboratory animals fed GM foods may be eventually identified by veterinary pathologists and immunologists doing detailed forensic and toxicological studies of diseased, dying and dead companion animals. But currently such research, to the best of my knowledge, is neither being conducted nor funded. So I advise both consumers and pet care-givers to avoid all foods derived from GM crops because the findings of evidence-based medicine support the growing consensus that such foods are unsafe and not fit for man or beast.
The discovery that food ingredients can influence gene expression, causing their activation or suppression, has opened up a new field of research called nutrigenomics. The protective effects of certain foods and diets against various cancers are associated with such activation and suppression processes. In a second generation of chickens fed organically grown feed compared with those fed the same diet but of conventionally grown ingredients, the organically fed birds had more activated genes responsible for cholesterol regulation and immunological processes, (A.de Greef et al 2009).
In sum, animals are changed by what they eat, and this discovery raises serious questions when it comes to feeding animals (and ourselves) genetically engineered foods containing novel proteins and DNA. Prof. Jack A. Heinemann (2009) states: ”There is substantial literature that reports the detection of DNA and protein unique to GM plants within animals and animal products. Based on studies, it is not possible to conclude that animals and derived products are free of GM material when they have been exposed to GM plants through i) feeding, ii) proximity to other animals on GM feed, or iii) subsequent processing. The most consistent finding in the literature is that—- there is compelling evidence that animals provided with feed containing GM ingredients can react in a way that is unique to an exposure to GM plants. This is revealed through metabolic, physiological or immunological responses in exposed animals. In the absence of appropriate testing, we can’t assume that raising an animal on GM feed will not affect the final product – even if there is no detectable residue from the GM material”.
Environmental changes can trigger harmless micro-organisms to mutate, proliferate and even evolve into more harmful varieties (pathogens). Environmental changes associated with the planting of herbicide resistant, genetically modified (GM) corn, soybean, sugar beet, and alfalfa, and with the repeated applications of the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) affecting soil microorganisms, crop nutrient uptake and disease resistance, may have created a new pathogen. According to Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University, this harmful organism, hitherto unknown to science, found in abundance in GM soybean meal, and corn products, is linked to infertility, abortions and other health problems in a wide variety of livestock, and causes Sudden Death Syndrome in soy and Goss’ wilt in corn. For details see posting on my website www.drfoxvet.com, and interview with Dr Huber in Acres USA magazine, May 2011.
I E-mailed the following letter to the editor of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on June 5th, 2017:
The AVMA Board of Directors, under the advisement of the AVMA Food Safety Advisory Committee, has accepted the sophistry of industrial agriculture’s creation of genetically engineered crops and their incorporation into the food chain for humans, farmed and companion animals.(1). The AVMA asserts there is a “broad scientific consensus that approved GMO and GE crops and foods are safe for human and animal consumption.” The safety data reviewed by the AVMA’s food Safety Advisory Committee was most reliably provided by the agribiotechnology industry itself. That this new policy position “addresses a gap within AVMA position statements” reveals a significant gap in considering peer-reviewed animal studies on the adverse effects of GMOs and associated herbicide ( glyphosate) residues.(2). These studies at least call for applying the precautionary principle to GMO crops and foods which are not substantially equivalent to conventional crops and foods as advocates claim.
Another review of animal safety studies of GM (genetically modified) foods concludes that “The results of most of the rather few studies conducted with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters the significance of which remains unknown”.(3).
Yet another critical review found that “Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted.— We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”(4).
One advocate of GMOs states: “Recent findings show that genetic material in plant foods may survive digestion, circulate through our bodies and modulate our gene expression. These findings could alter our understanding of nutrition, genetic regulation and open up new vistas for engineering foods”. (5). This could be a beneficial avenue toward medicinal foods in the realm of nutrigenomics but not until the risks and costs of creating GMOs and GE foods and the documented nutrigenic diseases associated with some of them as already documented in several controlled laboratory animal studies. (6).
Yet another analysis of toxicity studies asserts: ”There is substantial literature that reports the detection of DNA and protein unique to GM plants within animals and animal products. Based on studies, it is not possible to conclude that animals and derived products are free of GM material when they have been exposed to GM plants through i) feeding, ii) proximity to other animals on GM feed, or iii) subsequent processing. The most consistent finding in the literature is that—- there is compelling evidence that animals provided with feed containing GM ingredients can react in a way that is unique to an exposure to GM plants.” (7)
Research continues in this under-funded but critical food (and environment) safety issue and present findings that question the veracity of the food industry’s contracted animal safety tests that lead to their gaining government approval. ( 8-12). In my opinion it is misleading to consumers and pet owners in particular for the AVMA to unconditionally support GMO and GE foods and to imply that it is unnecessary to label foods containing GMO or GE ingredients. Considering the state of the science and evident lack of scientific consensus outside of the agribusiness circle, such labeling should be more than discretionary, simply up to the food provider/manufacturer, but resected as a right of all consumers to be informed.
I would join the Board of Directors of the AVMA and “support safety of GMO and GE crops”, as per the ambiguously stated title of this journal announcement, but this does not mean that they are safe. I would support more caution and third-party, long-term, generational safety testing to support any claims as to the safety of these new crops and foods.
Michael W. Fox BVetMed, PhD, DSc, MRCVS
Golden Valley Minnesota.
I received the following surprisingly rapid and detailed response a mere three days later on June 8th, 2017, rejecting my letter primarily because the research studies that I cited were allegedly flawed. Clearly this was the established response of the agribiotechnology industry to discredit any and all research studies on the safety of GMOs and GE foods, and to disinform in order to defuse public concern over GMOs and GE foods.
Dear Dr. Fox,
Thank you for your recent letter to the editor. The JAVMA encourages publication of a wide variety of opinions. However, we ask that letter writers back up their opinions with reliable scientific citations. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case for your letter. For example, the two critical reviews you cite (Domingo  and Dona and Arvanitoyannis )—both essentially calling for more research—are 10 and 8 years old and, therefore, do not take into account the large number of studies that have been published in the interim. The report by de Vendomois et al (2009) has been widely discounted because of questionable statistical methods and the fact that the authors do not address the biological relevance of their statistically significant findings. The editors of Entropy published an expression of concern for the report by Samsel and Seneff (2013) to make readers aware that the approach to collating literature citations for the article was likely not systematic and may not reflect the spectrum of opinions on the issues. The article by Seralini (2012) was retracted by Food and Chemical Toxicology because the results were inconclusive and did not reach the threshold of publication (although, admittedly, the article was later republished by a different journal). The report by Judy et al (2013) has been criticized because the authors did not actually evaluate stomach inflammation, instead using only visual scoring of the stomach lining. And, the report by Tudisco et al (2015) is currently under investigation by the journal and university because of potential image duplication and data fabrication (a separate article from this research group has been retracted).
Given these concerns, I am afraid that we will not be able to proceed with publication of your letter.
Kurt J. Matushek, DVM, MS, DACVS
Editor-in-Chief| Publications Division
American Veterinary Medical Association
o: 847.285.6768 | www.avma.org
Following the rejection of this letter I sent it on to some old colleagues in the field to ask them for their comments and more recent documentation of the adverse health consequences of GMOs and GE foods and associated glyphosate residues in animals’ food.
Don M. Huber Professor Emeritus, Purdue University, sent me:
Josephs Dissertation, ethics of GMO regulation-17.pdf
9 MB View Download
One of my contacts in the U.K., Ian Panton, sent me an interview with molecular scientist Prof. Michael Antoniou of Kings College, London University England:
Notably Ulrich E. Loening (2015) “reviews the many criticisms of the publication by Seralini et al (2012) which has led to so much controversy, was retracted and then republished in this journal. Seralini et al found that a GM maize and its associated herbicide Roundup resulted in numerous chronic abnormalities in rats. The vehemence of the critics is not matched by their evidence; it is often based on entrenched assumptions and on mis-representing published material. The arguments have challenged normal healthy scientific dialogue, and appear to be driven by other motives. A further interpretation of Seralini et al’s results on tumour formation is suggested. The probability that Seralini et al’s results are significant is sufficient to justify further study”. (Loening, U.E. (2015) A challenge to scientific integrity: a critique of the critics of the GMO rat study conducted by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al. (2012). Environ Sci Eur, 27, 4221)..
In secret internal Monsanto documents released by legal firms in the U.S. it was made clear how Monsanto successfully pressured Wallace Hayes, Editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal to retract the famous Séralini study, which discovered the damage caused by GM maize NK603 and low doses of Roundup herbicide on rats. Monsanto Secret Documents Show Massive Attack on Seralini Study:http://sustainablepulse.com/2017/08/01/monsanto-secret-documents-show-massive-attack-on-seralini-study/#.WYCOGIR97IU
Dr. Jonathan Latham with The Center for Media and Democracy posted
Wednesday, July 26,2017: The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy today are releasing a trove of rediscovered and newly digitized chemical industry and regulatory agency documents stretching back to the 1920’s exposing decades of collusion between industry and regulators over hazardous pesticides and other chemicals. The documents are available at PoisonPapers.org.
The position taken by the AVMA is in alignment with agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical corporate interests, as per their close financial support from and alliance with drug and pet food industries; and most notably their endorsement (along with the American Medical Association) of FDA approval of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) in 1994. This was prohibited for use by the dairy industries by the governments of Canada, the U.K. and the European Union for reasons documented in my book Killer Foods taken from my testimony before an FDA panel that went on to approve this product for use by dairy farmers in the U.S.
But the question of animal and human consumer safety of GMOs and GE foods is only part of the issue when one considers the well documented social, economic, environmental and ecological impact of this branch of corporate industrial agriculture, from contributing to the demise of the Monarch butterfly, genetic contamination of conventional, organic and landrace crop varieties and the evolution of “superweeds” to the economic annihilation of more sustainable farming practices and the suicides of Indian farmers. These are salient aspects of the One Health paradigm which the AVMA purports to advocate and could take a leadership role to help corporate and other vested interests especially in the global agribusiness sector apply both sound science and bioethics to their products, practices and services.
Clearly the discrediting of other scientists whose work I cited in my letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association has been well orchestrated to influence the professional position and opinion of organized veterinary medicine in the Unites States of America as a way to gain broader public acceptance, legislative and political endorsement and support being long established by the technocracy and its corporate investors.
Industrial agriculture creates consumer and companion animal health risks. More than one major pet food recall occurs every year because of the ways in which farmed animals are raised and processed, resulting in Salmonella, E.coli and other bacterial contamination, and because of how GM crops are grown and processed, leading to aflatoxin contamination and other toxic molds associated with Roundup and other herbicide applications on these crops.
There are GM corn and soy-free, and organically certified pet foods now available on the market, and websites providing recipes for home-prepared diets for companion animals (www.Secure.balanceit.com www.dogcathomeprepareddiet.com and www.feline-nutrition.org) which many informed cat and dog care givers are now providing for their animals. This enlightened consumer action is an integral part of the long overdue revolution in agriculture to promote more ecologically sound, sustainable and humane farming practices, a healthier environment, and more healthful, wholesome and affordable food for all.
Pet food manufacturers that have USDA Certified Organic ingredients, and especially those that use no corn, soy, canola, cotton by-products (oil & cake) or sugar beet, — which can be GM, or GM contaminated by adjacent fields of GM crops and from cross-contamination during processing— or imported rice (which can be contaminated with GM rice) could legitimately claim “No GM Ingredients” on their packaging.
I feel very strongly that this is a pivotal issue in the health/ food revolution, where there is no place for GM food ingredients in what we consume and feed to companion, and also to farmed -food animals. I have communicated these concerns to several responsible pet food manufacturers who are not unaware of what Hippocrates advised, — to let our food be our medicine and our medicine our food.
My contention that a number of health problems in companion animals can be prevented and alleviated by feeding them GMO-free diets parallels that of a Danish commercial pig producer ( www.gmfreecymru.org April 12, 2012, “GM soy linked to health damage in pigs-a Danish Dossier”). This pig producer, Ib Borup Pedersen carefully documented how the health of his 450-sow based operation dramatically improved, along with profit-margins, once he eliminated GM-soy from the animals’ feed, a finding that has triggered a Danish government investigative research study. Notable health issues that were corrected included chronic debilitating and often fatal diarrhea and reliance on antibiotic treatments; sows dying from bloat, gastric ulcers, loss of appetite; having smaller litters, less milk, with higher piglet mortalities, many being born with developmental defects. Roundup herbicide residues and possible aflatoxin and other mold contaminants of animals’ GMO laced feed may be the major factors implicated in these feed-related health and productivity issues.( See also Ken Roseboro’s report (www.non-gmoreport.com April 28th 2014 “Farmers report better animal health with non-GMO feed”.
Kruger et al (2012) have shown that glyphosate can selectively kill beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus that help limit the growth of toxic fungi (Fusarium spp.), and Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism poisoning in cattle and other animals), thus putting farmed animals and consumers at risk.
For further reading see:
Fox, M.W. Killer Foods: What Scientists Do To Make Better is Not Always Best. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Healing Animals and the Vision of One Health.Amazon.com 2011 and Fox, M.W., Hodgkins E., and Smart M. Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food Sanger CA Quill Driver Books 2009.
Smith, J.M. Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Fairfield. Iowa Yes! Books 2007.
Aris, A and S. Leblanc, S. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Reprod. Toxicol. Available online 18 February 2011.
de Greef, A. et al. Effects of organically and conventionally produced diets on jejunal gene expression in chickens. Brit. J. Nutrition 103:696-702 2009
de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 5:706-726, 2009
Dona A. and Arvanitoyannis,I.S., Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 49: 164-175, 2009 Available from http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm Also visit www.criigen.org/SiteEn/index
Domingo, J. L. Toxicity Studies of Genetically Modified Plants: A Review of the Published Literature. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 47:8, 721 – 733, 2007
Ewen, S.W.B. and A. Pusztai (1999). Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine. Lancet 354:1353-1354.
Fares, N.H., and A. K. El-Sayed (1998). Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes. Nat Toxins. 6:219-33.
Fox, M.W. Healing Animals and the Vision of One Health. Tallevast, FL One Health Vision Press/Amazon.com 2011
Heinemann, J. A. Report on animals exposed to GM ingredients in animal feed
Prepared for the Commerce Commission of New Zealand
24 July 2009 (Prof Heinemann’s study is available here: http://bit.ly/4HcJuJ
Or via the Commerce Commission web site, at the bottom of the following page:
Kilic, A. and M. T. Akay (2008). A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol 46(3): 1164–1170.
Kruger M. et al, Chronic botulism of cattle: a multifactorial disease. What is the role of the herbicide glyphosate? University of Leipzig, 2012. Kopie von Glyphosat und chronischer Botulismus.pdf (3717k bytes
Malatesta, M., et al. (2002). Ultrastructural morphometrical and immunocytochemical analyses of hepatocyte nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Cell Structure and Function
Malatesta, M., et al. (2003). Fine structural analyses of pancreatic acinar cell nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. European Journal of Histochemistry 47:385-388
Mesnage R., Clair E., Gress S., Then C., Székács A., Séralini G.-E., 2012, Cytotoxicity on human cells of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac Bt insecticidal toxins alone or with a glyphosate-based herbicide, Journal of Applied Toxicology http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.2712/abstract
Pusztai A., Bardocz, S., and Ewen, S. W. B.. Genetically Modified Foods: Potential Human Health Effects. In: Food Safety: Contaminants and Toxins (ed) D’Mello JPF CAB International, Wallingford Oxon, UK, pp 347–372, 2003
Seralino G-E., et al Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe 23:10-19, 2011
Smith, J.M. Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Fairfield. Iowa Yes! Books 2007.
Traavik T and J. Heinemann, Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research: Still No Answers to Ageing Questions, TWN Biotechnology & Biosafety Series 7, 2007
Wilson A.K, J.R.Latham, and R.A.Steinbrecher, ‘Transformation-induced mutations in transgenic plants: Analysis and biosafety implications. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, 23: 209-226, 2006.
Zhang, L. et. al., Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA. Cell Research, doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158, 2011
A wholly different correlation with the onset of health problems in cats and dogs assocated with the increasing inclusion of GMOs in pet foods comes from the entomological research on Monarch butterflies. A dramatic decline of 81% in numbers of this migratory species between 1999 and 2010 associated with the planting of ever more acres of Roundup-ready corn and soybean and the use of Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide (currently used by 94 % of soybean and 72 % of corn producers), eliminating the insects’ milkweed life-source was reported by K. Oberhauser & J. Pleasants (Insect Conservation & Diveristy, on line publ. March 2012).
The presence of this herbicide in GM soy and corn may kill gut bacteria, and GMO transgenes may transfer to gut flora altering function to the detriment of consumers, human and non-human alike. The capacity of GMOs to cause harm—dysbiosis, allergies and immune system dysfunction—may well be enhanced by animals being raised in relatively sterile home environments and fed heat-processed foods so that they do not acquire a healthy and diverse population of intestinal bacteria. This is why some pet food manufacturers are including probiotics in their dry cat and dog foods. Antibiotic residues in pet foods, and the widespread use of such drugs to treat various skin, ear and other often diet-related health problems, ( many of which could have been prevented with a more wholesome diet and probiotics), are additional factors to consider in adopting a more holistic and integrated approach to both animal and human health and disease prevention.
To be more specific, bacteria obtained from the environment play a pivotal role in the development of a competent immune system, more regulatory T-lymphocytes that drive the immune response being found in the intestinal tissues of farm-reared versus isolation-reared piglets. (Veterinary Record “Immunological benefits of growing up on farms” Vol. 170: p.168, 2012 Lewis, M.C. et al “Direct environmental evidence that early-life farm environment influences regulation of immune response”. Full report in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038. 2011.01258.x)).These observations are supported by other research showing that mice treated with a broad range of oral antibiotics to diminish or deplete their intestinal bacteria had elevated levels of antibodies known to be important in allergies and asthma (IgE class antibodies). The elevated antibodies in turn increased the levels of basophils, immune cells that play a role in inflammation, both allergic and otherwise. Commensal intestinal bacteria apparently limit this proliferative capacity. (See Hill, D.A.et al Commensal bacteria–derived signals regulate basophil hematopoiesis and allergic inflammation.Nature Medicine (2012) doi:10.1038/nm.2657 Published online 25 March 2012).
These findings apply to humans and other animals who have high levels of IgE for genetic and other reasons. One reason could be some of the components in their food from GMOs. Those with elevated levels of IgE are highly susceptible to eczma and infections, antibodies that neutralize IgE being now used to treat asthma.
Another study on mice has shown that bacteria in early life may inhibit the production of NKT cells (natural killer cells that detect antigens [prevalent in novel-protein-containing GMO containing foods] in the lungs and colon that produce large amounts of inflammatory cytokines). This is done by the bacteria blocking a stimulator skin protein called CXCL16, high levels of which are associated with autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma. (See Torsten Olszak et al “Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function”. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1219328 Published Online March 22 2012).
According to K. D. Hirschi, in his review article New Foods for Thought
(Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Mar;17(3):123-5. Epub 2012 Jan 20.)
“Recent findings show that genetic material in plant foods may survive digestion, circulate through our bodies and modulate our gene expression. These findings could alter our understanding of nutrition, genetic regulation and open up new vistas for engineering foods”. Dr. Hirsch touts the potential future health benefits of genetically engineered ‘designer’ nutrients based on the research findings of of L.Zhang et al (Exogenous plant MIR 168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1:Evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA. Cell Res. 2011, 22: 197-126).
Another problem with glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, is that it is a chelating agent which traps essential micronutrient ions such as iron, zinc, boron, manganese and magnesium to make them unavailable to plants so that they, and all who consume those plants contaminated with Roundup, can suffer from deficiency diseases. Herbicide residues in the gut may therefore chelate minerals and lead to nutrient deficiency diseases. Low magnesium levels are widespread in the human population and are associated with osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and other health problems, compounded by manganese deficiency, excess potassium from crop fertilizers (“potash”), and excessive dietary calcium.
NOTE: Bt corn (maize) was developed by transferring cry1Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) into corn. It is to be found in the most common GM corn - Monsanto’s Bt MON810 (marketed with the trade name YieldGard) - a corn genetically engineered to resist corn borers by producing its own insecticide, the Cry1Ab toxin. Global production of Bt corn takes place on many millions of hectares worldwide and many different types of foods contain Bt corn. In the European Union, seven countries - Austria, Hungary, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Bulgaria have banned Mon810.
Oct 4, 2017, The Bioscience Resource Project, Ithaca, New York, USA
Summary: The chief benefit claimed for GMO pesticidal Bt crops is that, unlike conventional pesticides, their toxicity is limited to a few insect species. Our new peer-reviewed analysis systematically compares GMO and ancestral Bt proteins and shows that many of the elements contributing to this narrow toxicity have been removed by GMO developers in the process of inserting Bt toxins into crops. Thus, developers have made GMO pesticides that, in the words of one Monsanto patent, are “super toxins”. We additionally conclude that references to any GMO Bt toxins being “natural” are incorrect and scientifically unsupportable.
New Publication Title: The Distinct Properties of Natural and GM Cry Insecticidal Proteins
Authors: Jonathan R. Latham, Madeleine Love & Angelika Hilbeck (2017), in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, 33:1, 62-96,
Bt toxins are a diverse family of protein toxins produced in nature by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a gut pathogen of many species. Naturally occurring toxins (also known as Cry toxins) of B. thuringiensis are believed to all have very limited toxicity ranges. These toxins exist in nature as crystals packaged around DNA. Through a complex sequence of unpacking and protein processing steps these molecules are converted to active toxins and kill their targets by creating holes in the membranes of the gut lining of their victims.
Commercially, GMO pesticidal corn, cotton, and soybeans are widely grown around the world. GMO Bt crop varieties constitutively synthesize these Bt toxins and can contain numerous different Bt transgenes (1), each with somewhat different pest control properties. For this publication, we reviewed biosafety application documents for 23 globally traded Bt pesticidal GM crop events as well as peer-reviewed research and patents. We sought to compare GM proteins with natural ones. Our analysis is the first to explore the chemical and functional differences between GMO Bt toxins and natural ones.
Our review describes numerous differences between naturally occurring and GM Bt proteins. Some are intentionally introduced but others are inadvertent in origin. First, all GMO Bt toxins are soluble proteins rather than crystalline structures; many GMO Bt toxins are truncated proteins; parts of natural Bt toxins are often combined to make hybrid GMO molecules that don’t exist in nature; GMO Bt toxins often have added to them synthetic or unrelated protein molecules; GMO Bt toxins may be mutated to replace specific amino acids. Sixth and not least, all GMO Bt proteins are further altered inside plant cells. GMO crop plants themselves thus cause changes to the nature of Bt toxins.
Surprising as it may seem, these changes are poorly taken into account in GMO risk assessment. For example, GMO regulators frequently refer to the “history of safe use” of specific natural Bt toxins. Regulators also controversially allow most tests of safety to be on surrogate toxins, rather than GMO crops themselves (2). Our next question was therefore to determine whether these physical changes enhanced Bt protein toxicity, which would imply real world food and biosafety implications.
In the publication, we identify clear theoretical reasons, and sometimes direct evidence, to suppose that each of the six types of changes noted above enhances Bt toxin activity. For example, Ciba-Geigy measured their Bt-176 toxins to be 5-10 times more toxicologically active when inserted into plants. Monsanto patented a series of novel Bt toxins with up to 7.9-fold enhanced activity and called it these “super toxins” having “the combined advantages of increased insecticidal activity and concomitant broad spectrum activity.” The most powerful of these is now found in commercial MON863 corn. Additionally, there are theoretical reasons to expect all GMO Bt toxins to have broader spectrums of activity. Natural Bt toxins are large, insoluble, and non-toxic precursors requiring unusual chemical conditions to become active toxins, but thanks to the processing undergone by all GMO Bt proteins these are far closer to the toxicologically active form having bypassed key specificity requirements.
Apparently ignored by GMO biosafety regulators, Bt developers have been commercialising pesticide-containing GM crops with increased and broadened toxicity, undermining the chief safety advantage of Bt toxins over conventional pesticides.
“We are raising important questions here. This publication reveals compelling scientific reasons to be concerned about the toxicological consequences of GM Bt toxins in food and in the environment. But it also reveals the complex interplay between corporations which carefully select the data they share with regulators and, on the part of regulators, a willingness to ignore the science if it threatens to derail a GMO approval.” says Jonathan Latham, Executive Director of The Bioscience Resource Project.
“Naturalness is a key claim about pesticidal GM crops. But it is constructed to justify the omission of actual testing of the GMO. “O” stands for organism, after all, but what we observe in the use of surrogate proteins for risk assessment is the reduction of biology to chemistry.“–Angelika Hilbeck of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
The publication is available open access from:
Citation: Jonathan R. Latham, Madeleine Love & Angelika Hilbeck (2017) The distinct properties of natural and GM cry insecticidal proteins, Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, 33:1, 62-96, DOI: 10.1080⁄02648725.2017.1357295.
Published Jan 21st 2013 in Independent Science News:
Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene In Commercial GMO Crops
by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson
Synopsis: A scientific paper published in late 2012 shows that US and EU GMO regulators have for many years been inadvertently approving transgenic events containing an unsuspected viral gene. As a result, 54 different transgenic events commercialized internationally contain a substantial segment of the multifunctional Gene VI from Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) within them. Among these are some of the most widely grown GMOs, including Roundup Ready Soybean (40-3-2) and MON810 Maize. The oversight occurred because regulators failed to appreciate that Gene VI overlaps the commonly used CaMV 35S gene regulatory sequence.
The authors of the paper, working for the European Food Safety Authority, concluded that functions of Gene VI were potential sources of harmful consequences. They further concluded that, if expressed, the fragments of Gene VI are substantial enough for them to be functional (Podevin and du Jardin (2012) GM Crops and Food 3: 1-5). This discovery has multiple ramifications for biotechnology. Foremost, there is the immediate question of GMO safety and whether the 54 events should be recalled, but secondly, the failure implicates regulators and the industry in a circle of mutual incompetence and complacency.
The discovery will also strengthen the argument for GMO labeling: if regulators and industry cannot protect the public then why should they not be allowed to protect themselves?
Sustainable Pulse, Apr 6 2014
In the first ever testing on glyphosate herbicide in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have found “high” levels in 3 out of the 10 samples tested. The shocking results point to glyphosate levels building up in women’s bodies over a period of time, which has until now been refuted by both global regulatory authorities and the biotech industry.
The levels found in the breast milk testing of 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides. They are however less than the 700 ug/l maximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in the U.S., which was decided upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the now seemingly false premise that glyphosate was not bio-accumulative.
The following research papers answer a critical question that I have raised, namely what harms may result from the effects of glyphosate, a chelating agent and herbicide, on the microbiome gut bacterial population, the symbiotic balance and biodiversity of which is being recognized as a critical factor related to nutrient uptake and neurological, immunological and other functions.
Seneff, S. , Swanson, N. and Li, C. (2015) Aluminum and Glyphosate Can Synergistically Induce Pineal Gland Pathology: Connection to Gut Dysbiosis and Neurological Disease. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 42-70. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.61005.
This is the summary of their findings: Many neurological diseases, including autism, depression, dementia, anxiety disorder and Parkinson’s disease, are associated with abnormal sleep patterns, which are directly linked to pineal gland dysfunction. The pineal gland is highly susceptible to environmental toxicants. Two pervasive substances in modern industrialized nations are aluminum and glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup?. In this paper, we show how these two toxicants work synergistically to induce neurological damage. Glyphosate disrupts gut bacteria, leading to an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile. Its toxic product, p-cresol, is linked to autism in both human and mouse models. p-Cresol enhances uptake of aluminum via transferrin. Anemia, a result of both aluminum disruption of heme and impaired heme synthesis by glyphosate, leads to hypoxia, which induces increased pineal gland transferrin synthesis. Premature birth is associated with hypoxic stress and with substantial increased risk to the subsequent development of autism, linking hypoxia to autism. Glyphosate chelates aluminum, allowing ingested aluminum to bypass the gut barrier. This leads to anemia-induced hypoxia, promoting neurotoxicity and damaging the pineal gland. Both glyphosate and aluminum disrupt cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved in melatonin metabolism. Furthermore, melatonin is derived from tryptophan, whose synthesis in plants and microbes is blocked by glyphosate. We also demonstrate a plausible role for vitamin D3 dysbiosis in impaired gut function and impaired serotonin synthesis. This paper proposes that impaired sulfate supply to the brain mediates the damage induced by the synergistic action of aluminum and glyphosate on the pineal gland and related midbrain nuclei.
In their analysis of the effects of glyphosate, A. Samsel and S. Seneff (Glyphosate Suppression of Cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by gut microbiome: Pathways to modern diseases, Entropy 15: 1-48 2013) note that chronic ingestion of food containing this herbicide causes kidney and liver dysfunction, increases cancer risk and shortens the life-span of rats. It disrupts gut bacterial synthesis of tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and phenylalanine and plays a significant role in gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They conclude that these effects of glyphosate is an example of “exogenous semiotic entropy.”
The approval process for glyphosate herbicide is disputed because the commercial formulations contain co-formulants, which are more toxic than glyphosate alone.
The authors below measured the endocrine disruptive effects of co-formulants of six glyphosate herbicides. They did this by measuring the activity of aromatase, a key enzyme for the balance of sex hormones, in human placental cells, using a method validated by the OECD to assess endocrine disruptors.
The aromatase activity was significantly decreased both by the co-formulants alone and by the formulations, from doses 800 times lower than the agricultural dilution, while glyphosate alone only showed such an effect from one-third of the agricultural dilution.
This new study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, demonstrates for the first time that the endocrine-disrupting effects of glyphosate-based herbicides are not only attributable to glyphosate, the declared active ingredient, but above all to the co-formulants.
This research questions the definition of the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for pesticides, because the ADI is calculated based on toxicity testing of only the declared active ingredient. Yet glyphosate is never used alone, but only with its co-formulants. Therefore the researchers recommend that the acceptable daily intake of pesticides should be calculated from toxicity tests on the commercial formulations.
Nicolas Defarge et al 2016 Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: DOI:10.3390/ijerph13030264
The pseudo-scientific terms “substantial equivalence” and “generally regarded as safe” have been coined by the biotechnology food industry to assuage regulators and concerned consumers over the lack of scientific safety tests prior to government approval of GMOs which are by their very nature in no way substantially similar to conventional crops and foods. To claim any such equivalence is biologically absurd science fiction. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require GMO testing so how can they be generally regarded as safe? Genetically engineered foods are in 80% of packaged human foods and many beverages. Genetically engineered foods, derived from GMOs, have never been proven safe for human consumption but have been on the market for the last two decades. For a list of hidden GMO ingredients and tips for avoiding GMOs, go to www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com .
As I have written earlier, agricultural biotechnology may well boomerang and pave the way for a rapid transition to sustainable, humane, socially just organic food production systems once there is greater consumer awareness and labeling of GMO ingredients. The recovery of agri-culture, corporate ethics and food industry transparency and accountability go hand in hand!
The fruits of human ingenuity, from the discovery of fire and pyrotechnology, chemical and mechanical engineering to splitting atoms, splicing genes, nanotechnology and information technology are epochal landmarks in our evolution, with momentous consequences. When potential risks and documented harms are determined to be greater than the benefits, then any sane, civil society would say no to any such fruits. GMOs,—the latest fruit agricultural biotechnology—is rotten at the core, biologically alien, aberrant, bioethically abhorrent, and never before present in our fields, foods, beverages and bodies. Genetically engineered crops have adverse impacts on wildlife, the environment, (both terrestrial and aquatic); on species and genetic diversity, as well as on animal and human health and permanently contaminating conventional and organic crops, creating ‘superweeds’ in the process. These risks and documented harms call for a global prohibition of GMOs in agriculture ( and also in agriforestry and aquaculture), giving no more than 3 years to complete a 50% phase-out and another 2 years to have done with it and begin the task of seed decontamination, preservation and propagation. This is because no other prior product of human ingenuity is such an invasive, disruptive and pervasive threat to the integrity and sanctity of life itself.
Scientists have determined that all life forms studied so far are genetically programmed and epigenetically sensitized to their environments, biochemically and physiologically (including immunologically and behaviorally) to survive and multiply within the constraints and opportunities of their habitats/ecological niche. They are incorporated into an inclusively cooperative and exclusively competitive matrix which sustains them as they help sustain the whole through dynamic, co-evolving interdependencies with other species. Generally, the more complex the species and its community, the more complex are its relationships at the micro and macro-levels of reciprocal, symbiotic sustenance and regeneration.
Basing human behavior and politics on these insights of the biosciences, and framing our lives, economy and industries accordingly, would make the creation of GMOs a criminal offense. But that will never be, nor the envisioned techno-utopia, unless we re-define what it means to be human. Can we do this from the perspective of a global, parasitic infestation? Equipped biotechnologies capable of either helping heal the world or reducing it to a toxic, post-industrial consumed wasteland depleted of natural biodiversity and all regenerative potential, except for increasingly diseased life forms and dysfunctional relationships between surviving species, the choice is ours.
California’s Nov 2012 Proposition 37, which would force food manufacturers to label products containing GMOs for the first time in the U.S., was squashed by big bucks, labeling opponents raising an estimated $46 million, about five times more than pro-label advocates. Opposition from Monsanto came to the tune of $7,105,582.00; DuPont’s $4,900,000.00; PepsiCo Inc’s $2,145,400.00; Syngenta Corp.’s $2,000,000.00; Dow Agroscience’s $2,000,000.00; Bayer CropScience’s $2,000,000.00; BASF plant Science’s $2,000,000.00; Kraft Foods Global Inc’s $1,950,000.00; Coca-Cola Co’s $ $1,465,500.00; Nestle USA’s $1,315,600.00 Minnesota based companies General Mills Inc., Hormel foods Corp., Cargill Inc., Land O’Lakes Inc and Fairbault Foods Inc contributed a total of $ 1,910,016.90 according to reporter Mike Hughlett (Star Tribune, Oct 28,2012). Still there is no law prohibiting a “NO GMOs” ingredients label, and of course the USDA Organic Certification label gives some guarantee of a reasonable degree of GMO-free ingredients.
Adjuvants of the POE-15 family (polyethoxylated tallowamine), which are in Roundup and other widely marketed herbicide formulations, have now been revealed as actively toxic to human cells, and must be regulated as such.(1). According to this research, such adjuvants may increase the toxicity of glyphosate, (2), the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. In a press release of these findings, the researchers state: “The complete formulations must be tested in long-term toxicity studies and the results taken into account in regulatory assessments. The regulatory authorisation process for pesticides released into the environment and sold in stores must urgently be revised. Moreover, since the toxic confidential adjuvants are in general use in pesticide formulations, we fear according to these discoveries that the toxicity of all pesticides has been very significantly underestimated”.
This study was conducted in the University of Caen with the structural support of CRIIGEN in the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER www.ensser.org).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +33 (0)231565684 (France). www.criigen.org
(1) Mesnage R., Bernay B., Séralini G-E. (2013, in press). Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity. Toxicology http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2012.09.006
(2) Séralini G. E., et al. (2012). Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (11): 4221-4231
Cry1Ab (the protein produced in common Bt corn and soy) induced microcytic hypochromic anemia in mice by B.P.Mezzomo et al (2013), even at the lowest tested dose of 27 mg/Kg, and this toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet. These data, as well as increased bioavailability of these MCA in the environment, reinforce the need for more research, especially given that little is known about spore crystals’ adverse effects on non-target species. Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases, these researchers at the Institute of Biological Sciences in Brazil not only found that Bt damages red blood cells but also suppressed bone marrow proliferation creating abnormal lymphocyte patterns seen in some kinds of leukemia.
Mezzomo, B.P. et al Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thurigienesis as spore-crystal strains CrylAa, CrylAc or Cry2Aa in Swiss mice. J. Hematol & Thromboembolic Dis.2013, 11.
A groundbreaking new study  shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified (GM) crops.
GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant.
 Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards (2013). A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet. Journal of Organic Systems 8 (1): 38-54. Open access full text: http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf
FOR ONE OF FEW REPORTS CONCERNING THE HARMS TO FARMED ANIMALS FED GMOs CONTAINING HIGH RESIDUES OF GLYPHOSATE, WHICH CHELATES/BINDS ESSENTIAL MINERAL NUTRIENTS—CREATING YET ANOTHER “AGRICOLOGENIC” DISEASE, SEE:
Animal Health issues related to glyphosate and Roundup Ready …
Contact Us; Literature . News / press releases. … An Open Letter from Dr Art Dunham DVM, … Jeremy Schefers DVM,
See also America’s Two-Headed Pig by Leah Dunham & Arthur Dunham, A Word Press Publication, 2013….
As predicted two decades ago, ‘weeds’ have developed resistance to glyphosate and are now a serious invasive issue for crop producers. In Oct.2014 the Environmental Protection Agency approved Dow Agriscience’s new herbicide Enlist Duo, which is a combination of Agent Orange (2,4-D) and glyphosate. This will be coupled with seeds of genetically engineered corn, soy and other commodity crop varieties resistant to both of these herbicides. This insanity ignores evidence that 2,4-D has been linked with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease and reproductive problems. This approval will mean an increase in the estimated 300 million pounds of glyphosate and 50 million pounds of 2,4-D already being put on the land annually in the U.S.. Meanwhile, Monsanto is awaiting approval of its Roundup Ready Xtend Crop system which introduces soybeans and cotton engineered to tolerate a combination of the herbicides dicamba and glyphosate. Dicamba is noted for its high solubility and consequent water contamination as well as causing developmental abnormalities especially in aquatic organisms.
Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, recently designated a possible carcinogen, is actually absorbed by GM (genetically modified) crops genetically engineered to be resistant to this herbicide. Most corn, soy, sugar beet, cotton, and canola produced in the U.S. is GM, as is much imported rice. Glyphosate is also used to dessicate wheat and other crops before harvesting My concerns about this herbicide, among others, getting into the food chain and in what we consume ourselves, feed to farmed and laboratory and zoo animals, and to our dogs and cats have been recently confirmed. Research scientist Dr.Anthony Samsel, Deerfield, NH has shared some of his findings prior to his scientific report being published. Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC ) the accepted EPA method of analysis, he found levels of glyphosate ranging from 0.022 - 0.30 mg/kg in cat and dog foods. Brands evaluated, all of which tested positive, were in manufactured cat and dog foods from several manufacturers: Purina Cat Chow Complete, Purina Dog Chow Complete, Purina Beyond Natural-Simply Nine, Rachel Ray Zero Grain, Rachel Ray Nutrish Super Premium, Iams Proactive Health, 9 Lives Indoor Complete, Friskies Indoor Delights.
Dr. Samsel informs me that the pet food industry “adds NaNO2 (sodium nitrite) to some pet foods as a preservative. — This is very common and in the presence of glyphosate is deadly. Glyphosate reacts continuously over time with NO2 and produces N-Nitrosoglyphosate which is a nasty carcinogen along with phosphonic acids AMPA and MAMPA. —-Another scary scenario is Nitrite formation (NO2) from nitric oxide (NO) which is the end product in cells of animals e.g. like macrophages and result of Nitrous acid formation which reacts with glyphosate resulting in N-Nitrosoglyphosate. This is another reason why this stuff needs to be immediately pulled from the market”.
(Title of the peer-reviewed research article by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff including these findings will be published in September in a special issue of The Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry is: Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Diseases IV: Cancer and Related Pathologies. There is a site which was launched by the GMO Free News to help raise money for such research: Crowd Sourcing Campaign: Glyphosate #GMO Laboratory Research
RoundUp Ready seeds produce corn, soy, and canola plants which are generously sprayed with chemicals. RoundUp, a combination of glyphosate and surfactants, seeps into the tissues of the food so that it cannot be washed off. In a paper published by the FDA, on page 6, they state:
Residue Chemistry Branch has determined that the metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is formed on plants in amounts that can range as high as 28 percent of the total residue on the plant. Since the extent of glyphosate metabolism was not adequately addressed in the rat metabolism study, the possibility exists that the AMPA metabolite could pose a hazard to humans that was not evaluated by testing the parent compound, glyphosate.
In a genotoxicity study by F. Manas et al, RoundUp’s metabolite, AMPA, was found to significantly effect human genes, leading to sections of the chromosomes being deleted, added or rearranged. The study noted in its summary: “Very scarce data are available about AMPA potential genotoxicity.” Keep in mind that these researchers had not looked at the health effects of glyphosate or its metabolite, AMPA, on the brain or on reproductive health.
Pregnant goats fed with genetically engineered (GE) soybeans have offspring who grow more slowly and are shorter, according to a new Italian study (Tudisco et al., 2015). Publishing in the journal of Small Ruminant Research, the researchers were testing the results of supplementing the feed of female goats with Roundup Ready GE soybeans. Roundup Ready soybeans are engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup and are sold by agribusiness giant Monsanto. They are some of the most widely grown soybeans in the world.
The reduced growth of the goat kids was attributed by the researchers to their observation that the milk of the GE-fed mothers was significantly less nutritious and contained less of the IgG antibodies important for early growth.
“The differences in the composition of the colostrum between the mothers fed the GE soy and the non-GE soy were particularly striking. The colostrum from the GE-fed mothers contained only 2⁄3 of the fat, 1⁄3 of the protein and close to half of the IgG of the mothers fed the non-GM soy.”
Tudisco R., S. Calabrò, M.I. Cutrignelli, G. Moniello, M. Grossi, V. Mastellone, P. Lombardi, M.E. Peroa, F. Infascelli (2015) Genetically modified soybean in a goat diet: Influence on kid performance. Small Ruminant Research126: 67–74.
*Consultant veterinarian and syndicated newspaper columnist.
Michael W. Fox, BVetMed, PhD, DSc, M.R.C.V.S.
AVMA Honor Roll Member.