The California organization “Right to Know” is reporting today, September 19, 2012, that the first ever peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of GMO foods has been released. GMO stands for genetically-modified organism. That study links genetically-engineered corn to mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage.
The study was published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology. If you have the scientific knowledge and terminology to read it, you can find the complete study HERE. It is long and very detailed.
There have been other studies done in the past on GMO foods which were usually 90-day studies. These studies linked GMO foods to allergies, liver and kidney problems. The release of this long-term animal study gives even further evidence of abnormalities resulting from GMO corn.
Advocates of GMO foods claim that these genetic crop modifications have allowed farmers to be more productive than ever, which equates to more people being fed. The GMO crops need less tilling, which reduces soil erosion, and use less pesticides. Crops are even being developed that will survive droughts, heat waves and other natural disasters, thus ensuring the food supply.
GMOs and GMO foods have been around for almost 20 years. Why, then, is this only the first long-term study? An article in Scientific American suggests that claims on both sides may be somewhat inaccurate due to a lack of independent research. Scientific American claims that agritech companies (those that produce GMO foods) have given themselves veto power over independent research; in other words, they control access to existing research.
To be accepted among scientific professionals, studies must be “peer-reviewed,” meaning that other experts in that particular field of study get to review the work and put their stamp of approval on it. According to Scientific American, not all of the GMO food studies make it to a peer review panel. The ones that do make it are usually the ones favorable to the GMOs.
That fact makes this independent, peer-reviewed study very significant. California has a question on their ballot in the upcoming election, Proposition 37, which asks if consumers should have the right to have these products labeled so they can make conscientious buying decisions. Currently, GMOs are not required to state that they are, in fact, GMOs on food packaging.
So what do you think? Should there be labeling on GMO foods to clearly indicate that the food you are purchasing comes from scientifically-altered crops? Is Scientific American maybe off in their analysis of the existing research and it truly is reliable? Are you comfortable with the whole GMO process? Please leave a comment below.