GMO Paper on Roundup Has Been Withdrawn

December 09, 2013

GMO Paper on Roundup Has Been Withdrawn 

Reference:  Nature Magazine,    

This is an important development.  The Author Giles-Eric Seralini published a blockbusting paper on the effects of GMO corn on lab rats.  His allegations were that GMO produced corn caused all sorts of cancers in rats.  This article has set of a firestorm of angst and anxiety around the world. The way GMO (genetically modified foods) modification works is that genes are artificially inserted into the plant through genetic engineering to make the plants resistant to the pesticide Roundup.  You can use the same process for any other desired outcome as well. Considering that Monsanto produces Roundup, and Monsanto has many seeds that it has patented, and sold at great profit around the world, there is no love for Monsanto, Roundup or the whole GMO process.  

But a not-for-profit group has genetically engineered rice to contain Vitamin A making so-called “golden rice”.  Lack of Vitamin A leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.  Golden rice would fix that.  In the case of Golden Rice, the seeds are being given away and not patentd.  Poor farmers in Southeast Asia will benefit. You can imagine the firestorm that came out over deformed, cancer ridden rats.  A whole industry of resisting GMO foods was born.  But many scientists around the world complained that the paper didn’t make sense.  Why were the rats in Seralini’s lab getting cancer when exposed to GMO corn, when other labs couldn’t reproduce those findings?  

The editors of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology wrote Seralini a letter, askng him to retract.  They cited methodological issues.  He refused. They withdrew the paper and expunged all the data from their database.  Now, he is threatening to sue.  But the rug has been pulled. This mainstay of GMO resistance has been debunked. Given that we have had a recent fractious debate about GMO food labeling in Washington State and in California, with very narrow victories for those who want to hide GMO content, this issue will no doubt continue to cause controversy.  

The question remains, are GMO foods dangerous?  Do they help us feed the world?  Does their use have unintended consequences?  Or is their main benefit the modification of foods that become the property of the seed company instead of the farmer? My belief is that we must use the scientific process to develop our food supply. This precious planet is already busting at the seams with population pressure.  By itself, genetically modifying foods should not be an in inherent evil.  But if the use of Roundup changes our groundwater, and feminizes our men and causes more breast cancer in our women, then we have concerns and issues.  The scientific process needs to be played out not just on the simple food, but the consequences of the massive use of chemicals, the nutrients in food, the long term medical effects…..I fear the rush to judgment leaves us vulnerable. 

 WWW. What will work for me.  I think Seralini’s paper was somewhat shallow and naïve.  But I sure would like to know if my food is made with genetically modified soybeans or corn.  I would like the choice.  Wisconsin’s groundwater is already at 2 parts per billion Roundup .  That is likely the cause of much “xeno-estrogen” effect – lowering my testosterone.  What do we do when it gets to three? To Four? To 10?  You need to follow this issue.   My plea to you is that you become an informed reader, thinker and listener.  Let’s give good science a chance to create good outcomes, on all sides.

This column was written by John E Whitcomb, MD,Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI.