Potential Health Hazards of GM Foods

Over the course of developing genetically modified foods, some of the major biotech companies seem to be trying to rush up having GM crops more commercially available even with a severe lack of adequate testing.

With the field of genetic modification and genetic engineering a relatively new technology, most of the scientists haven’t yet been able to come up with a suitable number of standard tests that would really help erase the doubts on the safety of GM crops and foods for human consumption.

With the lack of substantial safety testing of GM foods, it is possible that such foods may pose some potential health hazards to consumers. And the threat has been brought about by careless introduction of GM crops for commercial use despite the lack of extensive safety testing. Most of the health hazards have been discovered way after the GM crops have already been approved for public use. Here are some evidences of those potential hazards.

Scientists at the Russian Academy of Science reported between 2005 and 2006 that a study made on feeding female rats with glyphosate-tolerant GM soybeans resulted in the the birth of an excessive number of severely stunted pups with more than half of the litter dying within a span of three weeks. The surviving pups were later on found to be completely sterile. (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GM_Soya_Fed_Rats.php)

Between 2005 and 2006, there has been a report of mass deaths of sheep grazing on Bt cotton, a GM crop. Villages in the Warangal district in Andra Pradesh, India reported that thousands of sheep has died after grazing on post harvest Bt cotton. Findings of the alarming deaths strongly suggested that the sheep may have died out of severe toxicity. (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/MDSGBTC.php)

Hundreds of farm workers and cotton handlers in Madhya Pradesh, India were reported to have suffered from allergy symptoms after exposure to Bt cotton. A similar incident happened in a town in Tuka, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat in southern Philippines in 2003 where thirty-two people suddenly suffered from several ailments including headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties and stomach aches when 30 hectares of the land in the area was planted with Bt maize. Some of those who suffered were unaware that Bt maize was being planted in their area. (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMBanLongOverdue.php)

These are just a few of the various circumstances where GM crops were found to pose as a potential health hazard not only for consumers but for the whole environment as well. Commercialization of such GM crops without undergoing a stricter regulatory process may soon result in more and more risks that may affect humans in one way or the other. Such hazards continue to put a stain into the success of the so-called plants of the future, the GM crops.

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