The Great GMO Cover-up, Part 2

no problemsCompanies Hide Dangers; Attack Scientists

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Biotech companies point to stacks of industry studies as proof that their genetically engineered foods are safe. But their “proof,” it turns out, is just “Tobacco Science”— research carefully designed to hide dangers.[1] [2]  Independent studies, on the other hand, feature GMO-fed animals suffering from organ damage, tumors, endocrine and immune system dysfunction, and premature death.[3]

You Don’t Want to Eat This GMO Corn

A former Monsanto scientist admitted that when his colleagues discovered that their GMO corn damaged the health of rats, they rewrote the study to hide the effects.[4] He raised the question that if a small amount of corn fed over just a few weeks could cause this harm to rats, what would happen to the people of South Africa, for example, who eat corn three times a day over a lifetime?[5]

Don’t ask Monsanto; according to them, rats eating their GMO corn do just fine.[6] But when a European team reanalyzed Monsanto’s data, they realized that the company had ignored repeated signs of toxicity of the liver and kidneys. [7] [8] And when that same team, led by Professor G. E. Seralini, PhD, conducted the first long-term study on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn, they were shocked.[9] [10]

What started as signs of toxicity in Monsanto’s 90-day trial emerged as full blown organ damage over the span of two years.  In addition, the rats that ate GMO corn also had hormone problems, developed massive tumors, and died earlier.

Industry Defamation, Distortion and Forgery

When Seralini’s results were published, the biotech industry’s worldwide spin machine, consisting of front groups and credentialed GMO-promoters-in-high-places, leapt into action. They have a rich history of distorting or denying every adverse finding against GMOs and attacking the scientists who dare to report them.[11] Under their influence, researchers have been fired, censured, denied tenure, denied funding, and even threatened. Seralini was no stranger to this treatment. He not only won a defamation case in court, his attacker was convicted of forgery in his efforts to discredit Seralini’s work.[12]

Seralini’s long-term study was particularly incriminating. It was—and remains—the most in-depth animal feeding trial on GMOs. Moreover, its unique design suggested that both Monsanto’s GMO corn and their Roundup herbicide that is sprayed on the corn—individually and together—may create serious, life-threatening effects.[13]

The PR talking points, dutifully repeated by GMO advocates, avoided mention of most of the health problems. Instead, they focused on the large number of tumors found in up to 80% of the rats. It was obvious, they claimed, that Seralini used the wrong rats! That high tumor rate was to be expected over a two-year period with that type of rat, they said. But Seralini’s critics were at a loss to explain why four times as many GMO-fed males had palpable tumors than his control group that ate non-GMO corn.

Contaminated Feed Sickens Control Groups

An extraordinary follow-up study provided the answer. Seralini’s team tested the standard animal feed used in rat experiments around the world. It turns out that all feeds were contaminated with GMOs, Roundup, and other toxins. Since many of these toxins are classified as carcinogens (e.g. Roundup is a “Probable Human Carcinogen”), it was no wonder why this type of rat regularly develops so many tumors. Seralini, however, had prepared his own uncontaminated rat food. That’s why the tumor rate in the control group was so low.

Not only did this shoot down the industry’s rat-breed argument, it created a huge problem for the biotech industry. Their studies consistently use the contaminated feed. In other words, when they test the effects of feeding rats GMOs and Roundup, they are measured against control groups that also eat GMOs and Roundup.

Secret Recipes for Tobacco Science

When researchers discover that their GMO-fed rats still have significant health problems compared to their (contaminated) control group, they simply “replace” their controls with even sicker animals. They do this by searching the scientific literature to find rat studies where the control group suffered as much as their own GMO-fed group. These older studies might have used feed contaminated with DDT, mercury, lead, or any number of toxins.  Nonetheless, the biotech industry uses them to make the claim that their GMO-fed animals have no significant differences compared to these “historical controls.”[14] [15] [16]

Corporate scientists also[17]:

  • Use short feeding studies in order to purposely miss long-term impacts
  • Feed older, more-stable animals instead of the more sensitive young growing ones
  • Use too few animals
  • Omit incriminating data
  • Employ obsolete, insensitive detection methods; and even
  • Dismiss animal deaths and serious conditions

These GMO companies have bad science down to a science.

“A former Monsanto scientist admitted to us that when three of his colleagues safety tested milk from cows treated with the company’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, they found so much cancer promoting hormone (IGF-1), the scientists refused to drink milk thereafter unless it was organic. One bought his own cow![18]

The FDA Ignores Rigged Research[19]

To get their genetically modified bovine growth hormone approved for dairy cows, Monsanto needed to claim that pasteurization destroys bovine growth hormone, rendering it harmless. But pasteurization hardly makes a dent. In order to create the appearance of destruction, researchers spiked milk with a huge amount of powdered hormone and then pasteurized the mixture 120 times longer than normal. Only under these bizarre conditions were they able to destroy 90% of the hormone, leading FDA scientists to dutifully report that 90% of the hormone was destroyed during pasteurization.

 

[1] For an expose of how industry research is designed to avoid finding problems, read about “rigged research” in Genetic Roulette as a link to a PDF on IRT.  Due to the enormous pressure to not discover negative results, few studies are done, most of which are poorly designed.  When grants for independent research into biotech crops are given, biotech companies will refuse to provide their GM seeds.  When problems with GM crops are revealed in industry studies, they are misrepresented or hidden.  Key data are omitted, and inappropriate statistics are used.  Assumptions are based on other assumptions, none of which are appropriate. Animals with wide variation in weight are used, and the length of the studies are kept short so that long-term impacts are sure to be missed. Jeffrey M. Smith, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Part 3: Industry Studies are Not Competent to Identify Most of the Unpredicted Side Effects, Pages 193-237, 2007, Yes! Books.

[2] Monsanto scientists rewrite their animal feeding studies to hide the negative effects, in addition to using animals of varied weights to hide food-related changes, keeping feeding studies too short to show negative impact, using too few animals, never weighing the animal organs, and diluting genetically modified ingredients Jeffrey M. Smith, Monsanto: the world’s poster child for corporate manipulate and deceit – Part 5 of 10, a 10-part series.  Huffington Post. Jul 2010.

[3] See peer-reviewed studies that show that GM foods can be toxic, allergenic, or have unintended nutritional changes. Side effects of consuming GM corn include severe organ damage, increased rates of large tumors, and mortality. Summarized in Fagan, J., Antoniou M., Robinson C. 2014. GMO Myths and Truths. Earth Open Source Section 3.1

[4] From personal conversations between Jeffrey Smith and a former Monsanto scientist who asked not to be named.

[5] No post-marketing surveillance has evaluated the reaction of consumers in South Africa, or anywhere in the world, to eating a diet containing GMOs. A report from a veterinarian about a South African client raises the alarm about what might be happening in that country, where corn is a staple. See Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives, by Jeffrey M. Smith.

[6] See Seralini’s point-by-point response to criticisms of his long-term rat study, showing that consumption of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and Roundup, individually and together, were associated with tumors hormonal imbalance, organ damage, and premature death.

[7] Seralini’s discussion on why Monsanto’s study needed to be reanalyzed:  Monsanto’s study was too short to detect tumors that began four months into feeding. Their industry scientists ignored signs of toxicity in the liver and kidneys, claiming they were of “no biological significance.” However, when the duration of the feeding trial was extended by European researchers, the signs of toxicity developed into serious organ damage.

[8] Seralini reviewed 19 studies of mammals fed GM soybean and corn after they were modified to tolerate or produce a pesticide. The data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects. Seralini EG, Mesnage, R, Clair E, Gress S, Genetically modified crops Safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe. Mar 2011.

[9] Seralini’s two-year feeding study of GM corn that discovered tumor growth and organ damage in rats fed GM corn and glyphosate. Seralini EG, Mesnage, R, Clair E, Gress S, Republished study:  long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe. Jun 2014.

[10] Chronic exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide at ultra-low doses can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations. This 2015 study re-analyzed the liver and kidney tissues in the rats fed small doses of Roundup during Seralini’s 2012 study. Using a transcriptome microarray analysis, researchers confirmed beyond doubt that the animals suffered serious liver and kidney damage. It concludes: “Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations.”

[11] Scientists who speak out about their discovered dangers of consuming GM food find themselves ostracized from their scientific communities.  Dr. Pusztai was fired and targeted by a smear campaign; Dr. Ermakova was verbally attacked, vilified, and had a paper set fire on her desk; Dr. Carrasco had his research ridiculed and was personally threatened; Dr. Carman has been repeatedly attacked and has had a defamatory letter about her circulated to government officials. Excerpt from If You Find Problems with Genetically Modified Foods: Watch Out by Jeffrey M. Smith.

[12] The High Court of Paris indicted Marc Fellous, former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, for forgery and the use of forgery, in a defamation trial that he lost to Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini. Seralini’s team wins defamation and forgery court cases on GMO and pesticide research.  GMO Seralini. Nov 2015.

[13] Seralini’s two-year feeding study of GM corn that discovered tumor growth and organ damage in rats fed GM corn and glyphosate. Seralini EG, Mesnage, R, Clair E, Gress S, Republished study:  long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe. Jun 2014.

[14] See, for example, Samsel, A, Seneff, S, Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: cancer and related pathologies. JBPC. 2015. The study is based in large part on the secret studies on glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup—submitted by Monsanto to the Environmental Protection Agency. Anthony Samsel, with the help of his U.S. Senator, was able to obtain the sealed documents, but is not allowed to share them. He can, however, reference the data in his own research and publications. In this study, he reveals how Monsanto used “historical controls” from unrelated studies to negate the adverse findings in their glyphosate animal feeding studies. The authors also describe how historical controls might include studies that used feed contaminated with toxins, or even feed that was fortified with choline chloride, which can skew findings.

[15] For an expose of how industry research is designed to avoid finding problems, read about “rigged research” in Genetic Roulette as a link to a PDF on IRT.  Due to the enormous pressure to not discover negative results, few studies are done, most of which are poorly designed.  When grants for independent research into biotech crops are given, biotech companies will refuse to provide their GM seeds.  When problems with GM crops are revealed in industry studies, they are misrepresented or hidden.  Key data are omitted, and inappropriate statistics are used.  Assumptions are based on other assumptions, none of which are appropriate. Animals with wide variation in weight are used, and the length of the studies are kept short so that long-term impacts are sure to be missed. Jeffrey M. Smith, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Part 3: Industry Studies are Not Competent to Identify Most of the Unpredicted Side Effects, Pages 193-237, 2007, Yes! Books.

[16] See Seralini’s point-by-point response to criticisms of his long-term rat study, showing that consumption of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and Roundup, individually and together, were associated with tumors hormonal imbalance, organ damage, and premature death.

[17] For an expose of how industry research is designed to avoid finding problems, read about “rigged research” in Genetic Roulette as a link to a PDF on IRT.  Due to the enormous pressure to not discover negative results, few studies are done, most of which are poorly designed.  When grants for independent research into biotech crops are given, biotech companies will refuse to provide their GM seeds.  When problems with GM crops are revealed in industry studies, they are misrepresented or hidden.  Key data are omitted, and inappropriate statistics are used.  Assumptions are based on other assumptions, none of which are appropriate. Animals with wide variation in weight are used, and the length of the studies are kept short so that long-term impacts are sure to be missed. Jeffrey M. Smith, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Part 3: Industry Studies are Not Competent to Identify Most of the Unpredicted Side Effects, Pages 193-237, 2007, Yes! Books.

[18] From personal conversations between Jeffrey Smith and a former Monsanto scientist who asked not to be named.

[19] Read the case study on Monsanto’s genetically modified bovine growth hormone in a Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. Jeffrey M. Smith, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Part 3: Industry Studies are Not Competent to Identify Most of the Unpredicted Side Effects, Pages 230, 2007, Yes! Books.