A controversial study published in September 2012 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology continues to stir a fair bit of controversy about genetically modified foods and cancer. Considering the abundance of genetically modified foods in the average North American diet, I hope that I have your attention.
In this 2 year study carried out at Caen University in France, rats fed a diet of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn were found to be more likely to develop tumors, organ failure and die prematurely.
The lead author, a biologist by the name of Gilles-Eric Seralini said that GM animal studies typically end after a few months because the companies behind GM foods don’t want to know the long-term consequences of their products. This shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us who have lived with big tobacco and the producers of hydrogenated oils.
Not surprisingly, the study came under rapid and heavy attack from Monsanto (the makers of GM corn) and other critics. They ask why North Americans aren’t “dropping like flies” given that we’ve been consuming Roundup Ready corn for the last 10 years. They also complain that the study size was too small, the design inadequate and that the rats used were a special strain susceptible to cancer.
Whether this was a quality study or not, the question remains whether GM foods pose a long-term risk for cancer and given the preponderance of GM foods in our diets, we should start exploring the issue very carefully taking what industry and government say with a grain of GM-free salt.
Now, for those of you who are not sure just how much GM food you are eating, consider what Michael Pollan tells us in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This is that despite eating more wheat than corn, we in North America have become “true corn people.” He supports this by showing just how much processed corn we eat in the form of high fructose corn syrup and meat (fed mostly corn).
My hope for our health is that 2013 brings some well designed and bias free long term studies into GM foods. Given our daily exposure to so many toxins and carcinogens, I also hope that new studies explore how adding herbicides and pesticides to our food alters our ability to detoxify and stay healthy. Remember too, that a lack of scientific evidence doesn’t necessarily mean that GM foods don’t cause cancer.
Here is a list of ingredients where GM corn can hide:
- corn starch (in many processed foods and beer too),
- maltodextrin (in processed foods like chips and cookies),
- ethanol (in alcohol),
- sorbitol, mannitol (and other artificial sweeteners),
- xanthan gum (a preservative),
- citric acid (a preservative),
- MSG (monosodium glutamate),
- corn oils (often used for frying in food industry)
- red meat (corn fed cattle)
- farmed fish (corn fed)
- chicken (corn fed)
My New Year’s commitment for you: READ THOSE LABELS CAREFULLY
*** Minding your GM-free bodies; Embodying your GM-free minds ***