Monsanto claims genetically modified (GMO) food is safe for consumption. Of course, a company that controls 90 percent of the U.S. seed market for soybeans and 80 percent for corn and cotton is going to defend GMO food. Monsanto is developing soybeans with extra amounts of omega-3 oils with the Solae Company, according to its website. Research published in the International Journal of Biological Science suggests the GMO food causes damage to the heart, kidney, and liver. The study looked at consumption of Monsanto corn in lab rats’ organs after 90 days. The pesticide residue, according to the study, is what causes damage.
Although the researchers admitted their study can’t be applied to all GMO crops, a Fast Company article quoted a line from the study that is hard to forget:
“Our analysis highlights that [sic] the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which [sic] to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.”
The International Journal of Biological Science article pointed out an obvious fact for anyone concerned about food safety: Studies on the safety of GMO crops are crucial considerations, “since public health is concerned and their discussion may critically influence the decision to release in particular some agricultural GMOs or not, and also to another extent the economic feasibility of this kind of project.”
The Fast Company article asks the following question: Is this the beginning of the end of Monsanto’s hold over agriculture? The article concludes that it is “probably not,” however, it suggests that the studies on GMO corn crops might give a “much needed boost” to local organic farms that “sell their wares for higher prices but can promise crops that won’t kill your liver.”
In the meantime, pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate GMO food is not a bad idea. Change.org has an online petition to the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, urging the FDA to “immediately investigate and at least temporarily rescind approval for all three varieties of corn while research continues.”
This is the fifth part in a series about Monsanto and other large agrichemical companies.