By Hwaa Irfan
Sometimes common sense is not enough to deter the wrong. Driven by profit-making, the agro-pharmaceutical industry, bankers and investors have reaped millions from ignoring the conditions that maintain environmental health. In so doing that mentality has naturally transferred to human health, disregarding all the alarms that have called by real agriculturalists, environmentalists, health experts and scientists. Evidence abounds pertaining to the presence of GM crops in the environment acting invasively to the point that they cross fertilize and take over none GM crops. Now, the fight begins as there is now direct evidence of the negative impact of GM crops on humans.
The source is bt toxin. Bt toxin is a by-product of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. As a pesticide its effect is when absorbed by the gut where it becomes active binding to receptors thus killing the insect. We are told that bt toxin is harmless to humans for years as bt toxin only affects insects.
By means of genetic engineering the gene from bt toxin has been transferred to bacteria in plants, and as logic goes making the plant insect resistant. We keep being told this despite the evidence of the affect on non GM crops. For 50 years we keep being told that it is a natural insecticide so that we will not resist the biotechnological application and the generations of GM crops that transpires from such technology.
The culprit here is cry1Ab toxin a derivative of Bacillus thuringiensis that is widely used in Monsanto’s Bt MON810 or Yieldgard. GM corn has become a fact of life with the U.S as the world’s largest producer of GM corn exporting that corn followed by the European Union, and banned by Austria, Hungary, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Bulgaria. Most of the crops from the U.S. colony/state of Hawaii are GM crops. Sixty –three percent of the GM corn planted in the U.S. in 2009 contained bt toxin which has been found floating on 23 percent of U.S. streams 6 months after harvesting.
Now (study published Feb, 2011) scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected Cry1Ab in the blood of women. The study analyzed the blood of 30 pregnant women, and 39 non-pregnant women. CryAb1 toxin was detected in both groups as well as the foetuses of women from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. They had no connection with pesticides or family members in contact with the production or use of pesticides, but they all consumed a typical Canadian diet of soybeans, corn and potatoes. Ninety-three percent of pregnant women testes positive , and 80 percent of foetuses tested positive. Amongst non-pregnant women the percentage was 69%
They were all consuming typical Canadian diet that included GM foods such as soybeans, corn and potatoes. Blood samples were taken before delivery for pregnant women and at tubal ligation for non-pregnant women. Umbilical cord blood sampling was done after birth.
It is an extremely difficult position to be a scientist with a conscious. Dr. Arpad Pusztai is one such person, who is independent and not paid to give specific results. In 2004 Pusztai was asked to examine a Monsanto 1,139 report on the pesticide MON863. Pusztai was obliged to sign a “declaration of secrecy before looking at the report. This “I spy” stuff is the nature of Gm crops, because it affects not only the companies, but the nations that grow the crops, hence why real evidence is hard to come by. It is not about food security, but financial rewards at any cost, and is why Africa has been considered a good marketplace to sell and grow such crops.
Pusztai had to give an affidavit at the Indian Supreme Court on the the bt aubergines/eggplants trials. In the introduction to his affidavit, he apologized for the lack of evidence due to being prevented from access to necessary data by India’s GM regulatory body, GEAC.
Pusztai spoke on the evidence that is available, which that bt toxins are harmful to the digestive system referring to a series of studies on bt Cry1Ac toxin that cause:
– Binds not only to the guts of insects, but also that of mammals – A. Pusztai and S.Bardocz: GMO in animal nutrition: potential benefits and risks. In: “Biology of Nutrition in Growing Animals” (ed. Mosenthin, R. Zentek, J.and Zebrowska, T.) 2006 Elsevier Limited, pp. 513-540)
– Cell death – Cell Death and Differentiation 12, 1407-1416 (2005); X. Zhang, M. Candas, N.B. Griko, R. Taussig and L.A. Bulla, Jr: A mechanism of cell death involving adenylyl cyclase/ PKA signalling pathway is induced by the Cry1Ab toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis.
– Compromises the immune system – Bernstein, I.L., Bernstein, J.A., Miller, M., Tierzieva, S., Bernstein, D.I., Lummus, Z., Selgrade, M.K., Doerfler, D.L. and Seligy, V.L. (1999)
– Problems with kidney and liver – Seralini et al. 2007
– Structural changes in small intestines – Fares, N.H. and El-Sayed, A.K. (1998)
What Affects the Environment Affects Us!
It is with alarm that one learns of the shrinking population of honey bees (Apis mellifera) globally. How this has been ascertained one is far from aware, but the affect is what is makes us humans sit up, and that is the drop in food production. A few ‘i’s’ need to be dotted and ‘t’s’ crossed on this one, but it generally believed by the scientific and environmental communities that the reason is Bt Cry1Ab toxin. Being an insecticide, this should not be too surprising, and one factor that should have been seriously considered when inventing such a life form. Toxic to butterflies, and ladybird larvae for example, the toxicity of Cry1Ab has gone beyond the so-called targeted insects that are pests to crops.
Man has clearly gone beyond himself when it comes to creating life, a task best reserved for God Who is more aware of the inter-relatedness of all things. To those countries which value their natural resources, a serious reconsideration needs to go hand-in-hand with planning their future food supply, and to those countries which value their consumers more, if not their health, it is a worthy investment to discontinue GM crops the affect of which might take a while to realize fully!
“Bacillus thuringiensis.” http://www.bt.ucsd.edu/
“Bee Learning Behaviour Affected By Consumption of Bt Cry1Ab Toxin.” http://www.moraybeedinosaurs.co.uk/archives/Bt.htm
Pusztai, A. “Bt Crops Affidavit.” http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/btcropsaffidavit.htm
Sharma, D. “Toxin from GM crops found in human blood: Study.” http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/toxin-from-gm-crops-found-in-human-blood/1/137728.html
Aziz, A and Leblanc, S. “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670