Will the FDA Tighten Up on Corn?

The guidelines issued for testing GM Corn seem to leave a lot of room for doubt, questions, and worse: blame.

There are numerous studies conducted by independent agencies (which are funded by other independent groups who, no doubt, have an agenda to service)  that have been used to illustrate that the FDA must take the results of these trials seriously and ban the use of GM seed. After all, these same GM crops are banned in Germany, France, and other parts of Europe, so they must be bad.

Maybe the testing standards of GM seed and their resulting crops should be better aligned with seeking out long-term effects of consumption and use. The FDA might benefit from revisiting and adjusting these standards if the reward is the prevention of the sorts of disease and complications that have arisen in testing done by groups funded (even in part) by Greenpeace.  If the testing standards are widened to include periods of time that will allow for long-term effects to materialize, the use of GM seed and crops may prove to be far more expensive than using non-modified seed and having to plant more of it to get the same crop yields.

The study done by biologists de Vendômois, Roullier, Cellier, and  Séralini is alarming. These scientists state

“Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.”

It would seem that, at the very least, Americans should be allowed to KNOW if what they are consuming has been made with any of these modified products : NK 603, MON 810 and MON 863. However, the FDA does not require products made with these GMOs to be labeled as such. Why aren’t we encouraged to know?

What strikes the loudest chime in all this kerfuffle is that Monsanto did thier own analysis of the GMO, but

“It is very surprising that the experimental design was elaborated and performed at the MSE-N laboratory, a Monsanto company, and that the statistical analysis of the data was carried out by Monsanto’s statistics centre. This is likely to seriously impair the independence of the expertise involved.”

And many scientists have similarly stated that “There are a number of open questions and indications that Monsanto’s conclusion is premature and the data have to undergo further investigation.”  Because

“the final report concludes that “…rats fed corn grain containing event NK 603 corn responded similarly to rats fed parental and reference control grain..” and that “… Roundup Ready NK 603 corn is equivalent to its parent control line and nontransgenic commercial corn varieties…”

The reason for this conclusion comes from the observation that the number of significant observed differences is of the same order as the number expected by chance. Therfore, the statistical analysis concludes that those differences occur randomly, are not relevant and can not be considered biologically significant. But this is not final proof that the significant effects are not related, nor that they are not important for mammalian health. Further studies have to be conducted.”

All the debate about use of GMOs, labeling, research and reporting methods, opens a new can of worms: With discussions about the health care system and mandatory health plans, one begins to question the real problem at hand. You can put that one together, right?