Food Safety blood

Published on May 17th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Toxin from GM Crops Found in Human Blood, Canadian Scientists Find

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When you let the GMO industry police itself and evaluate the safety of its own products, you are bound to get something different than if you had (or let) independent scientists do so. I’ve covered the scientific limitations of GMO studies commissioned or conducted by the GMO industry before, as well as 13 scientific studies that have identified a link between GMOs and organ disruption. News is out now that may be even more disturbing.

“Fresh doubts have arisen about the safety of genetically modified crops, with a new study reporting presence of Bt toxin, used widely in GM crops, in human blood for the first time,” India Today recently reported.

Many genetically modified crops include genes of bacteria in order to make them resistant to pests. While these genes make the crops toxic to pests, the claim is that they do no harm to humans or the environment. BT toxin, inserted into some GM crops, is one such toxin that scientists and GM companies have claimed is harmless since it breaks down in the gut of humans. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada shows that insecticidal proteins of GM crops may not actually break down as claimed. Here’s more form India Today:

Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women.

They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation. The research paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. The study covered 30 pregnant women and 39 women who had come for tubectomy at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec.

None of them had worked or lived with a spouse working in contact with pesticides.

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.

Cry1Ab toxin was detected in 93 per cent and 80 per cent of maternal and fetal blood samples, respectively and in 69 per cent of tested blood samples from non-pregnant women. Earlier studies had found trace amounts of the Cry1Ab toxin in gastrointestinal contents of livestock fed on GM corn. This gave rise to fears that the toxins may not be effectively eliminated in humans and there may be a high risk of exposure through consumption of contaminated meat.

The implications seem pretty clear: toxins added into crops through genetic modification in order to repel pests are also making their way into the bodies, blood, and foetus of humans.

And, really, what do we know about the long-term effects of such toxins? Very little. Of course, to GMO companies and supporters, that means GMOs are safe. But that is  going against the very important precautionary principle of science, as David Suzuki has noted.

More on GMOs.

Related Stories:

  1. GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 13 Scientific Studies
  2. THE GMO Video
  3. USDA Favors Monsanto over Organic Industry, Consumers
  4. Can Genetically Modified Foods Be Organic?
  5. Greenwashing Genetically Modified Crops

Photo via Magdalena O!

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • http://Web CR Masterson

    The photo with the article is not ok. What lab person would have blood on their hands. I appreciate the article, but really… the photo detracts, de-legitimizes the fine article.

  • http://Web Kat Martos

    I agree the photo is inappropriate…..you wrote such an important article……a real photo of a lab worker w/ a tube of blood would lend more credibility to professional scientists & health care providers…..when you are up against big money you need everything possible supporting your point. Thanks for your research & article.

  • http://Web shaun

    you guys havent heard of the expression “blood on their hands”, in this case it would be the GMO scientists, thus holding a vile, of blood, with blood on their hands…….
    New study “GMO ingestion prevent common sense and artistic expression” , i think i have my findings already.

  • http://Web joe (Schwartez)

    The lab pic is fake… so i would conclude this article here is written arbitrarily, the article appearantely make sense though.

  • Pingback: Canadian scientists finding toxin from GMO crops in human blood samples « Vermont For Evolution

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