GM crops: fertility and health

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops
    Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety

    Advocates Call for Immediate Ban of All GM Foods and GM Crops

    IMMEDIATE RELEASE (November 13, 2008)

    (Los Angeles, CA.) - A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

    Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said, there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

    In the study, Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials over 20 weeks with laboratory mice fed a diet containing 33% of a GM variety (NK 603 x MON 810), or a closely related non-GE variety used in many countries. Statistically significant litter size and pup weight decreases were found in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

    The corn is genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

    A book by author Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette, distributed to members of congress last year, documents 65 serious health risks of GM products, including similar fertility problems with GM soy and GM corn: Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce. Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells. The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning. Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties. Additionally, over the last two months, investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.

    The principle GM crops are soy, corn, cottonseed and canola. GM sugar from sugar beets will also be introduced before year’s end.

    Mr. Smith, who is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology says, “GM foods are likely responsible for several negative health trends in the US. The government must impose an immediate ban on these dangerous crops.” He says, “Consumers don’t need to wait for governmental action. They can download a free Non-GMO Shopping Guide at”

    Monsanto press offices in the UK and USA were unable to provide a comment on the findings for journalists yesterday.

    The Institute for Responsible Technology’s Campaign for Healthier Eating in America mobilizes citizens, organizations, businesses, and the media, to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of genetically modified foods.

    The Institute educates people about the documented health risks of GMOs and provides them with healthier non-GMO product choices.

    The Institute also informs policy makers and the public around the world about the impacts of GMOs on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, and the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.


    Institute For Responsible Technology
    Media Contact: NJ Jaeger
    Expert Contact: Jeffrey M. Smith
    Phone: +1-310-377-0915

    Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
    Corporate Communication: Univ.-Doz. Ingrid Kiefer
    Tel: +43 50 555-25000; E-Mail:


    Austrian Study:
    Institute for Responsible Technology:
    Non-GMO Shopping Guide:
    Genetic Roulette:
  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    By Andrew Grice, Political Editor The Independant
    Monday, 17 November 2008

    Oil seed rape growing in Perthshire. GM trials have been conducted on a number of crops. Now more secret and secure trials are planned

    Ministers are drawing up plans for genetically-modified crops to be grown in secret and more secure locations to prevent trials being wrecked by saboteurs.

    They may ask the police to target opponents of GM crops in the way that they have cracked down on animal rights protesters. Another option is for the controversial crops to be grown at a secure government site such as Porton Down near Salisbury, which carries out military research and includes a science park where they could be securely developed away from the public.

    The Independent disclosed in June that the Government wants a new public debate on whether GM foods could hold the answer to global food shortages and rising prices. Gordon Brown is moving cautiously, saying he will be guided by scientific experts, because of strong public opposition to previous trials – notably from young mothers.

    However, no experiments are currently underway in Britain after 400 potato plants were destroyed on a farm run by the University of Leeds in June. Almost all of the 54 GM crop trials which have been conducted since 2000 have been targeted by opponents and vandalised.

    Under current rules, scientists must disclose the location of trials on a government website, thereby making it easy for anti-GM protesters to find them. Ministers are now ready to scrap that rule. A review of the security arrangements has also been ordered by Hilary Benn, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary and Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary.

    Mr Benn said: "We need to see if they [GM foods] have a contribution to make and we won't know the answer about their environmental impact unless we run controlled experiments. It's important to go with the science."

    A government source added: "We need to review the security arrangements. The rules are a charter for people who want to stop the experiments. A lot of information has to be put in the public domain and that makes it very easy for people to trash them."

    Lord Mandelson backs the Cabinet's decision that GM policy must depend on science but is anxious to prevent Britain's biotechnology industry falling behind its overseas competitors.

    He was a supporter of GM foods in his previous job as a European commissioner, where he tried to change the EU's cautious approach to GM licensing. In a speech last year, he argued: "Safe biotechnology has a crucial role to play in agriculture and agricultural trade both in Europe and the developing world."

    Lord Mandelson urged governments, the Commission and the biotech industry to do a better job of setting out the issues. "While technology determines what is possible, consumer demand determines what is economically viable. Public fears may be misplaced, but they cannot and should not be dismissed," he said.

    Leeds University plans to make one final attempt to conduct its field trial. It will ask the Government to foot an estimated £100,000 bill for installing fences, security cameras and guards on its farm so that the trial is not sabotaged by opponents.

    Professor Tim Benton, research dean at its Faculty of Biological Science, said yesterday: "We need to find a way to do crop trials in a safe way and to minimise the environmental risk. We cannot carry on for the next 20 or 30 years saying it's too scary, the public is too frightened, it is politically too dangerous. There is absolutely no way we can move towards a world with food security without using GM technology. The amount of food we need could double because the population is growing, climate change will reduce yields and we will take land out of food production for biofuels."

    Ministers, who have been lobbied by the biotechnology industry to improve security at trial sites, are drawing a parallel between anti-GM protesters and opponents of experiments on animals. The law was changed in 2005 to give police new powers to prosecute activists after Huntingdon Life Sciences was targeted and attacked by animal rights extremists.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/16/2008]
  3. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I think they know exactly what they are doing. They want to curb population growth.