GM GE Dangerous, Contradicting Corporate Claims
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Archive, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Science Shows GM/GE Dangerous, Contradicting Corporate Claims
BIOTECH GENES JUMP SPECIES BARRIER; MORE CAUTION NEEDED
Now that scientific research is actually being conducted on genetically modified foods, we are learning that such foods are dangerous. This latest study could checkmate the corporate lobbyists who tried to get GM crops and foods in place worldwide without scientific evidence.
From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods:
The recent discovery that genes from genetically altered crops may spread into other plants, wildlife and humans is further evidence that the U.S. government must take a more cautious approach to the novel science of genetically engineered foods.
A three-year study at the University of Jena in Germany, reported on Sunday in British papers, reveals that bees that eat genetically modified rape seed may take on engineered genes from these plants, which are used in the production of canola oil. The experiment indicates that all kinds of bacteria may be at risk of becoming contaminated by genes used in genetic engineering.
This study confirms that the genetic engineering industry, the USDA and other governing agencies have been much too quick to approve these novel foods and force them on the American people, says Craig Winters, Executive Director of The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods.
There are many unanswered questions about genetic engineering, which is a very young science. Nobody knows the long-term health and environmental impacts of these foods, he adds. At the very least, genetically manipulated foods need to be labeled so people can make up their own minds about whether they will consume them or not.
In the study, Professor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz of the University of Jenas Bee Institute released bees onto a crop of genetically altered rape and later removed the pollen they gathered. He fed the pollen to young bees, and found that some of the bees had taken up modified genes in the bacteria in their digestive tract.
The study reveals that novel genes from genetically engineered crops and food may cause changes to take place in the intestinal tracts of people and animals. If so, some scientists say, the role bacteria play in fighting disease, aiding digestion and other important health functions may be compromised.
From the original news report:
Genes from genetically modified crops can spread from plants into other forms of wildlife, new research shows. The research, which is the result of a three-year study at the University of Jena in Germany, supports environmentalists’ warnings and raises the possibility that people who eat GM foods may also be affected.
Beatrix Tappesser from the Ecology Institute in Freiburg said: “This is very alarming because it shows that the cross-over of genes takes place on a greater scale than we had previously assumed.
“The results indicate that we must assume that changes take place in the intestinal tubes of people and animals. The crossover of microorganisms takes place and people’s make up in terms of micro-organisms in their intestinal tract is changed. This can therefore have health consequences.”
The research – which has found that bees take up engineered genes from oilseed rape – will dramatically increase pressure on farmers and ministers to destroy the GM crop accidentally sown over a few thousands of acres of Britain.
The new research about GM genes infecting other forms of life seriously undermines assertions by the biotech industry and GM supporters that the genes cannot spread and is being taken “very seriously” by the German health ministry.
Professor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz of Jena’s authoritative Bee Institute released the insects onto a crop of genetically modified rape and removed the pollen they gathered when they returned to the hive. He fed the pollen to young bees, and when he analysed the bacteria in their guts found that they had taken up the same modified genes.
He told the German television station ZDF: “They had obviously taken up these genes. They were in the bacteria in the intestinal tract of the bees and seemed to have come from the genes of the original plant and to have been taken up into their own genetic make-up.”
Ulrike Riedel of the German Health Ministry said that the experiment should be taken “very seriously”. She added: “This kind of study is a good reason why we should not assume that everything is OK.”
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