Section 6: GM crops may increase environmental toxins and bioaccumulate toxins in the food chain
6.1 Glufosinate-tolerant crops may produce herbicide “inside” our intestines
1. Some crops are engineered to withstand glufosinate-based herbicide.
2. The crops transform the herbicide into a compound regarded as nontoxic, called NAG, which remains in the plant.
3. Once humans or animals consume NAG, gut bacteria can revert some NAG back into toxic herbicide.
4. The herbicide has known toxic effects, acts as an antibiotic and may kill off or disturb gut micro-flora.
5. If the herbicide-tolerant gene transfers to gut bacteria, it could magnify the problems.
6.2 Herbicide-tolerant crops increase herbicide use and residues in food
1. Herbicide-tolerant crops increase the use of their associated herbicides.
2. Increased herbicide residues in crops can promote the toxic effects of these chemicals on humans, animals and their offspring.
3. Increased herbicide use can also alter nutrient content, such as flavonoids, making GM crops less nutritious.
4. The accelerated emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds has resulted in the increased use of even more toxic varieties of herbicides.
6.3 Tiny amounts of herbicide may act as endocrine disruptors
1. Certain chemicals may disrupt endocrine function at extremely low concentrations.
2. Research on Roundup suggests it may be such a chemical, disrupting endocrine activity related to human sex hormone production, but more research on this and other herbicides is needed.
3. The increased use of Liberty and Roundup, due to GM crops, may expose the population through food and water to these low-dose effects.
6.4 GM crops may accumulate environmental toxins or concentrate toxins in milk and meat of GM-fed animals
1. FDA scientists warned that GM crops may concentrate toxins, such as heavy metals and herbicides, from the environment.
2. There is evidence of heavy metals in GM soybean oil.
3. FDA scientists also said that toxins in GM feed might concentrate in milk or meat.
4. GM DNA fragments were found in milk.
5. While very little research has been done on this, small amounts of Roundup may be retained in the body of animals and affect sperm quality.
6. The overuse of Roundup and Liberty herbicides on GM crops magnifies these types of risks.
6.5 Disease-resistant crops may promote new plant viruses, which carry risks for humans
1. Virus-resistant transgenes protect crops from one target virus, but may increase susceptibility to other plant viruses.
2. Infected plants put humans at risk due to increased pesticide use.
3. They may also lead to increased consumption of potentially harmful viral proteins.