Research in Canada has identified a Bt toxin, produced by GM insect resistant crops, in the blood of women. The study also shows the toxin was passed on through fetal blood, BFA reports. The study was undertaken at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec where a team of researchers studied samples of blood from 30 pregnant women, 30 umbilical cords and 39 non-pregnant women – all women were close in age. It shows the long-term held belief that all Bt-toxin is destroyed in the gut to be untrue. (Reference: Aris A, Leblanc S. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Reprod Toxicol (2011), doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.004)
The conclusion of the research paper reveals: „To our knowledge, this is the first study to highlight the presence of pesticides associated genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal and non-pregnant women’s blood. 3MPPA [3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid] and Cry1Ab toxin [Bt toxin] are clearly detectable and appear to cross the placenta to the fetus. Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the fetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach.“ (2011)
BFA spokesperson Dr Maarten Stapper said the research proves, “not all Bt-toxin is broken down in the gut when we eat GM food or in plants when they senesce, as GM scientists and food safety authorities have us led to believe. They claim GM crops are safe as those have undergone more tests than non-GM before being released. That may be so but they are not conducting appropriate long-term and generational studies on GM effects after long-term use.”
Dr Stapper says that while over two trillion meals made with GM ingredients have been consumed across the world without any obvious health issues, he believes the long-term negative health effects of consuming GM are yet to be understood: “It is a considerable concern that there are no published studies to show GM safety in long-term soil health or generational animal feeding. Why are there no such official publications when unauthorised ones show many health problems in 2nd and 3rd generations?”
Dr Andrew Monk, Director and Standards Convenor, Biological Farmers of Australia, said that due to loose labelling laws, buying certified organic remains one of the only guarantees to consumers that food is not made with GM ingredients: “It pays to take the precautionary approach and buy certified organic. Our research shows consumers’ top reasons for choosing organic include avoiding chemicals, additives, antibiotics and GM food as well as helping the environment".
Biological Farmers of Australia