New Books

Seeds of Deception

By Jeffrey M.Smith

An excellent revewiev of the hazards of genetic engineering and the political collusion and obfuscation of facts that enabled this unsafe technology to be commercialized.


Seeds of destruction

By F. William Engdahl

Reveals the sinister reasons why the genetically engineered foods, not needed for feeding mankind, have been launched in spite of serious safety deficiencies and highly incomplete knowledge of its environmental consequeces.


Capitol Reflections

This is an exciting and creative political thriller, which focuses on the negative effects of genetically engineered foods. It is written by a competent physician and White House insider.


Most important news

Below you find some of the most important news in recent years.

New campaign against GE foods in Europe

GM foods and crops were virtually excluded from the European Union in the 1990s by scientific objections and consumer concerns. But now they are once again being strongly promoted in Europe by the biotechnology industry, putting our health and environment at risk. This has inspired the launching of the BanGMOfood campaign. They have produced some excellent information materials, see BanGMOfoods. We welcome this campaign, because the EU-commission has shown a worrisome trend towards increasing lenience to the biotech industry in spite of the strong evidence about the hazards of GMO foods.

Recent research proves - gene technology is inherently unsafe

Gene technology is based on the belief that genes are carriers of single traits. So it was believed that you can transfer traits by transferring single genes. But in June 2007 a worldwide consensus was reached among leading scientists that this is definitely wrong.

The effects of every gene is determined by the total situation in the cell. When genes are transferred to a foreign environment, their effects is therefore inevitably unpredictable. Unexpected substances may appear, which may be harmful.

A very important consequence of this conclusion is that the present method for assessing the safety of GE foods is highly insufficient. It is not designed for detecting unexpected harmful substances. All GE foods on the market have to be withdrawn for this reason.


37 persons killed and 1500 permanently disabled by a highly poisonous substance

New evidence indicate that genetic engineering was the cause

After eating a food supplement produced by genetically engineered bacteria, 37 persons were killed 1500 people were permanently disabled in the US in a disease called eosonophil myalgia syndrome (EMS). It was caused by one or more extremely poisonous substances that unexpectdedly appeared in this food supplement.

The biotech lobby maintained that reduced filtration of impurities was the cause. But new evidence found by the american attorney William Crist proves that many fell ill before the reduction of filtration.

Our analysis, against the background of the new evidence, concludes that it is extremely unlikely that anything else than genetic engineering caused the appearance of the poison.

This accident confirms the predictions of molecular biologists that GE can cause the appearance of dangerous unexpected substances. This has occurred also in other instances.

This unexpected poison would not have been discovered even if the present methods for safety assessment of GE foods had been used. This means that all GE foods on the market are unsafe. It is only a matter of time before another lethal unexpected poison appears in a GE food.


Organic farming could feed the world

No need for genetic engineering and industrial agriculture

A study in the University of Michigan has found that organic farming can yield at least as much as industrial agriculture and may even yield 80% more.

The lead author of the study, Professor Ivette Perfecto said:

"The idea that people would go hungry if farming went organic is “ridiculous.”

“Corporate interest in agriculture and the way agriculture research has been conducted in land grant institutions, with a lot of influence by the chemical companies and pesticide companies as well as fertilizer companies—all have been playing an important role in convincing the public that you need to have these inputs to produce food,” she said."


GE food agriculture for feeding the world increases the risk for mass starvation

Two important factors that increase the risk for world hunger if GE foods are used to a large extent have so far not been considered in the debate:

    1. GE crops are likely to fail due to the extreme weather caused by Global warming

    Experience shows that GE crops are generally significantly more delicate than conventional crops. Reports of GE crops failures and disturbances in productivity are common.

    This increased sensitivity increases the risk for GE crop failures due to the extreme weather conditions caused by Global Warming.

    2. Imminent oil shortage predicted to bring about hunger crisis

    Recently an increasing number of experts have been warning that oil and gas shortage may occur much earlier than believed so far, perhaps even within a few years.

    GE foods are prodcuced using large scale, agricultural food production which is heavily dependent on oil. With oil shortage it will collapse.

Even if Food Biotechnology had been safe in every way, for this reason alone it is a dangerous way to go. This is especially so as the Biotech Corporation now are rapidly expanding the use of industrial heavily oil dependent GE-food production in the world. When oil shortage comes, it will expose millions, if not hundreds of millions to hunger and death from starvation.


Cows ate GE maize and died - the same gene as in GE maize for humans

Twelve dairy cows died in Hesse, Germany after being fed Syngenta's Bt 176 GE maize; and other cows had to be slaughtered due to mysterious illnesses.

A chief suspect for the death of the cows is the toxic Bt protein contained in the Bt 176 Maize. Syngenta says that the same toxic protein is found in Bt 11-Maize intended for human food.

Studies conducted in Japan in 2003 clearly showed that undigested Bt toxin is present in calf stomach, intestine and dung after being fed Bt 11 maize; and these results have been replicated in further experiments in pigs. This supports the suspiscion that it was the Bt-toxin that killed the cows.

The fact that Syngenta has not withdrawn its Bt-Maize in spite of this indicates a serious lack of responsibility. It indicates that it is dangerous to let the biotech corporations make the safety assessment of their products (as is the practice today, see "Inadequate safety assessment of GE foods") and not independent institutes.

Source: Greenpeace Germany, Henning Strodthoff and Christoph Then, December 2003, quoted in GENET-news Dec 2003


Over 50% of newborn rats died within 3 weeks when mothers were fed with GE soya

36% were severely stunted

More than half the offspring of rats, fed with RoundUp Ready Soy died in the the first three weeks of life. This was six times as many as with normal diet. Of those who survived, six times many as those eating normal diet, had underweight.

"The morphology and biochemical structures of rats are very similar to those of humans, and this makes the results very disturbing" according to the scientists who did the research.


Virus genes from GE foods can end up among your own genes

Genes (DNA) from the cells, including the meat, of chicken who had eaten only genetically engineered Bt corn contained pieces of DNA from this food. This DNA contains virus genes that are suspected to be cancerogenic or otherwise pathogenic. This means that if you eat GE foods, virus genes that may be harmful, can end up in your cells.


Liver changes from GE food

Liver changes were found in mice fed on Genetically Engineered Soy Beans. Ultramicroscopic study revealed significant changes in the cell nucleus.

This abnormality in the liver cells indicates that GE foods may cause serious disturbances in cellular function that may affect health.


Mass death of Sheep from grazing GE cotton field

At least 1 820 sheep were reported dead after grazing on post-harvest Bt cotton crops; the symptoms and post-mortem findings strongly suggest they died from severe toxicity.

This was uncovered in a preliminary investigation conducted by civil society organisations in just four villages in India. The actual problem is likely to be much greater.

This is the second instance of GE-plants killing animals feeding upon it. In both this case, and that of cows killed as described above, the plants were genetically manipulated with a gene producing the insect toxin of Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt).

The sheep suffered severe blackish diarrhoea. A study has found that Bt-toxin in GM potatoes can cause inflammation of the intestines (Fares NH and El-Sayed AK. Natural Toxins:1998: 6: 219-33. JC & MWH). This could explain the diarrhoea in the sheep.

The serious thing about this is that the same toxin-producing gene is found in some GE-foods intended for human consumption, including GE-maize (for example Syngenta Bt11 Maize) and GE-potatoes (recently offered to Russia).


Considerable increase of gastrointestinal disorders in the US

- GM foods a possible cause

There has been a great increase of gastrointestinal disorders of unknown origin in the US between 1994 when GE foods were introduced. In Sweden, where no GE foods are allowed as food, there has been no significant change during the same period.

Several mechanisms could contribute.

One is the use of Bt Maize and other GE foods containing the Bt toxin which is harmful to the intestines(see also the story above about Sheep killed when grazing Bt GE cotton fields).

Another possibility is a certain DNA sequence in GE foods, the socalled CpG sequence, that causes inflammation.


GE soy may cause long time allergy problems

. The inserted gene in the soy contains an allergenic sequence common to shrimps protein. It is suspected that it may cause persistent allergy problems because it is taken up by intestinal bacteria who can continue producing the allergenic protein.

In the UK there was a 50% increase of GE soy allergy after the introduction of Monsantos RR soy. The connection could not be definitely proven, considering the mentioned allergen in RR soy, scientists find it likely that it was the cause.

GE Maize approved as human food caused harmful effects in mice livers and kidneys.

The research on NK603 maize from Monsanto was independently assessed by the independent french research institute CRIIGEN. In a report, released in June 2007, they pointed out that there were 60 significant differences between rats that were fed the GE maize and those fed normal maize (all for 90 days). The first group showed differences in their kidney, brain, heart and liver measurements, as well as significant weight differences. CRIIGEN concluded that the results indicate a negative effect of the maize and called for more research.


Animals Avoid GE Food

Experimental and anecdotal evidence shows that animals seek to avoid GE food and do not thrive if forced to consume such food.

In a study, the mortality rate was twice as high among the chickens eating GE maize as compared with those fed commercial non-GE hybrid maize.

An anonymous scientist reported: "Generally, the reports are concerned with Bt maize. Many farmers feed maize to their cattle just as it grows, without mixing in other feedstuffs. Typical reports are that the farmer buys a new shipment of maize, which his cattle either refuse to eat or eat with reduced consumption. Upon making enquiries, he discovers that the maize is a genetically modified variety. When he replaces it with a non-modified maize, the cattle start eating again. There have been dozens of such reports over the last two years."


GE crops causing agricultural crisis in Argentina

Argentina has suffered an environmental crisis with 'superweeds' overrunning the countryside and farmers reporting health problems, experts warn.

Since 1997, genetically-modified soya has been planted over almost half the country's arable land. Now farmers are having to use more and more herbicides to control the resistant weeds, damaging the soil's fertility for generations.

A study, detailed in the respected journal New Scientist, has found that over-use of weedkillers is rendering the soil 'inert' - and directly affecting human health.


FDA suppressed report on harmful effects of GE food

The safety of the first GE product intended for human food, the GE-tomato Flavrsavr, was studied very extensively and the result was used as a showcase of the safety of GE food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA stated that the "proven safety of FlavrSavr" demonstrated that GE-foods in general are safe, and decided consequently not to demand as rigorous safety examinations for other GE-foods. In stead a very liberal procedure based on the principle of "substantial equivalence" was established, which did not require any careful testing of toxic or other harmful substances.

This decision was completely unscientific, as it is a well established fact that every case of genetic engineering has unique effects, so it is not justified to draw a general conclusion from a special case.

Moreover, several years later it was discovered that, in one of the "safety showcase" reports, it was found that the GE-tomato Flavrsavr caused lesions in the stomachs of mice. However, this finding was suppressed by FDA.

It was also discovered that, prior to FDA's decision to allow GE foods to be used as human food, FDA's own scientific experts expressed serious concerns concerning the safety of GE foods. They warned that genetic engineering is different than traditional breeding techniques and may have different risks.

The liberal safety assessment procedure established by FDA in 1994 has been applied on all GE foods in the market today and it is still applied in spite of extensive and serious critisism from a large number of scientific experts.


Leading Scientist sacked after presidential intervention

Dr Arpad Pusztai, a world renowned nutrition expert, expressed doubts about the safety of GE foods on BBC TV "World In Action broadcast" in August 1998. Because he was a leading expert, this was a great sensation. So Pusztai's critisim was aired all over the world.

But a few days later again, all over the world, the story was aired that he was an old man (68) who had confused his results, making wrong conclusions. This was however a lie. Now it has been revealed that Blair was forced by President Clinton to sack him and to create a suitable excuse to disregard Pusztais opinion.


GE patents invalid - the beginning of the end of genetic engineering

35 groups of world leading experts have arrived at a consensus that demolishes the very basis of Gene technology - the belief that genes are carried of isolated traits.

Extensive research has definitely established that the one-gene-one-trait theory is wrong. Genes are not carriers of isolated traits. This makes patenting of genes impossible and existing patents will be challenged, shattering the economic basis of gene technology.


Non-Target effects underscore the hazardous unpredictability of genetic engineering

Non-target effects are effects of genetic engineering that occur along with the specifially "desired effect", for example the production of Bt-toxin. They are totally unpredictable, are little understood and may occur anywhere in the organism and may have completely unforeseeable consequences to the organism and the environment.

These effects are very well documented but have got little attention. The Nature Institute in New York has recently unveiled a website dedicated to a Non-target effects. Their conclusion is that for this reason only, genetic enginering is inherently unsafe. They write "Once it [the target effect phenomenon] is known, the frequently heard claim that genetic manipulation of organisms is a "precise science" without dramatic risks will either be voiced no more or will be recognized as dishonest."

For more, see Understanding the Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation. at the Nature Institute website

These are only a few selected news items among the increasing number of disquieting facts presented at this website.

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible
Application of Science and Technology
- A Global Network -

"Genetically Engineered Food - Safety Problems"
Published by PSRAST

Siteguide   Starting points   Student section   Website search   Site Map   Home page   

News   Introductory articles   Health hazards    Environmental hazards   

Global issues   Safety issues   Alternatives to GE   FAQ   

About us   What You can do   Membership   E-mail   How to sponsor us