Friday, February 27

Hmmm, Could GM Crops Be Detrimental To Human Health?  

There is lots of debate about the safety of GM crops to the end user, i.e., the eater of the GM food, and there's plenty of evidence that GM crops have environmental effects on things like insects and other similar plant crops. But up to now, I hadn't heard that there was any effect on people living around GM farms. Unfortunately for Monsanto (who is refuting this claim), there are now sick villagers in the Philippines and scientists there think the GM corn is to blame.

"Scientists investigating a spate of illnesses among people living close to GM maize fields in the Philippines believe that the crop may have triggered fevers, respiratory illnesses and skin reactions.

If preliminary results are confirmed, it would be one of the first recorded cases of serious health problems associated with GM crops, and could damage the reputation of the biotech agriculture industry, which is rapidly expanding in developing countries.

The scientists' findings were immediately challenged by Monsanto, the world's leading GM company, and by the Philippine government.

The concern surrounds an unnamed village in northern Mindanao, where 39 people living near a field of Bt maize - which contains a pesticide in the gene - started suffering last autumn when the crop was producing pollen.

Doctors thought they had an infectious disease, but when four families left the village and recovered, and then showed the same symptoms on return, an environmental cause was suspected.

Terje Traavik, scientific director of the Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology, was asked to investigate. Blood tests showed the villagers had developed antibodies to the maize's inbuilt pesticide. "

Read the rest here: Scientists suspect health threat from GM maize

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