A long-awaited study published online on September 19, 2012 finally shows the long term effects of Roundup® Ready genetically modified corn on rats. The news is not good.
The rats were fed a diet consisting of 11% Roundup-tolerant genetically modified corn, cultivated both with and without Roundup®, and with Roundup® alone. In the two years of the study, females consistently developed breast tumors 2-3 times more frequently, and died earlier than controls. In male rats, liver damage and kidney disease 2-5 times more frequently (depending on the treatment group. For all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the recorded damage was to the kidneys.
One in 10 American adults now has some form of chronic kidney disease. The incidence of chronic kidney disease doubled between 2000 and 2008.
You can read the statistics at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/kidbladd.htm
An article published on the web from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the spring of 2009 asks the question: “Cash crop or third world savior?” Genetically modified soybeans were introduced in 1996, and Roundup® Ready corn in 1998.
There is a fallacy well known in debating circles: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Rough translation – It happened after something else happened, therefore it happened because of the something else. This argument can obviously be carried to silly extremes – I got out of bed this morning, therefore there were devastating floods in South Carolina.
On the other hand, there certainly is a curious coincidence of timing in the massive explosion of cancers, kidney disease, and many other chronic diseases since the latter part of the last century.
At the very least, we can be wary. We can insist on more long-term studies of the effects of our genetic modification of crops. We can insist that our foods be labeled, so that we can make the choice whether to consume genetically modified foods. We can always simply refuse to eat corn products, if the industry refuses to label which contain GMOs.
That means not only corn tortillas and corn chips, but also spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, and almost anything else in the “food” line that is manufactured and sold in a box, jar or can.
We have the choice.