As time goes on, more people are starting to question GMO crops. The industry has tried to convince us that those who question these “technologies” are simply anti-science and fear something they do not understand. Nevertheless, the truth is, a growing number of people have become aware of the independent studies showing that GMO’s are toxic, leading to the rising number of people questioning GMO seeds. The first and probably most damaging study was a French study led by Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini. The study was so groundbreaking because it was the first life long safety study conducted on any GMO crop and it found that the rats that ate the Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize developed massive breast tumors, kidney and liver damage and hormonal imbalances, which led to a drastic increase in premature deaths. Of course, the biotech industry then used its power and influence to get the scientific journal to pull the study because it was “inconclusive”. However, inconclusiveness is not an ethically acceptable reason to pull a study according to the Committee of Publication Ethics, to which the publication was a member of. Around this time, industry-paid shills were pushing the idea that the if findings of Séralini. et al were accurate, we would see similar systemic disease in livestock and they claimed this was not the case. And with that, they declared Séralini a fraud. However, their assertion about not seeing systemic ailments in livestock fed GM crops is not correct.
And once again, Séralini is the man bringing this to light.
In January, Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Science published a paper written by Séralini about renown German farmer Gottfried Glöckner’s experience using the Bt176 GM maize to feed his cows from 1997 to 2002. The paper is not a scientific paper (but the scientific findings in it came from Séralini’s pathology report on the cows that is briefly discussed below) and meant to provide a historical and sociological context to what happened to the farm. The opening paragraph explains:
Gottfried Glöckner was one of the first farmers to defend and promote agricultural biotechnology, believing that it would improve his crop yields and milk production. He was an experienced manager of a conventional dairy farm (80 ha; the maximum cultivated area for GM Bt maize reached 10 ha in 2001) in Weidenhof, Wölfersheim, Hessen, Germany. He also produced conventional crops. He grew the first GM crop as soon as it was commercialized in Europe for food and feed. This was the GM maize Bt176, which produced an insecticidal Bt toxin that had never been tested on mammals – an omission that was not known at the time. He used the engineered plant for the first and longest-term feeding of dairy cows with an agricultural GMO in history, from 1997 to 2002
There are two things that jump out from reading this. The first being Glöckner believed that GMO crops were every bit the innovation the biotech industry claimed they were and started growing the maize as soon as he legally could. This was clearly not a guy who was strong armed or persuaded into planting GMO, he legitimately thought GMO would revolutionize farming. The second thing that pops out is that the biotech industry never tested the Bt toxin on mammals despite marketing their corn that produces the toxin to dairy farmers as feed for their cows! This fact alone should really be enough to show everyone what this industry is about and just how much trust we should give them…
However, Glöckner really started to question his trust of the bt corn in 2001 when “unusual and important health problems arose in the cows in 2001, when the GM maize was reaching its maximum level of 40% in the diet” At this point Gottfried, who has a Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences, started collecting information that led him to believe the GMO maize was the culprit. The farm had always paid a veterinarian to regularly inspect the cows making it easy to compile detailed blood, urine and milk analysis of his cows. The Séralini paper states that Gottfried’s investigation ended in early 2002 when “the proportion of healthy cows in the herd decreased to only 40% in 2002, coinciding with the progressive increase in the percentage of the GMO in the diet.” The paper goes on to explain:
At that time up to 10% of deaths were preceded by a long-lasting paresis syndrome, without hypocalcemia or fever, but with biochemical signs of kidney failure, as well as mucosal and epithelial problems. No microbial origins for the diseases were found, but the specific Bt DNA was detected in milk (Glöckner and Séralini, 2016). The presence of the GMO in the diet was during the described period the only intended management change on the farm.
Moreover, Séralini’s site gmoseralini.org wrote an article summarizing his paper that that adds the farm had “no cases of serious disease on the farm since Glöckner took it over in 1986.”
In February 2002 Glöckner wrote to Syngenta, the developer of Bt176 maize, to inform them that there was a link to GMO diet and the diseased cows. Despite the fact that the farm had zero issue with diseases for 11 years before introducing the GMO crops and that there was nothing else that changed on the farm, Syngenta told them they did not believe the GMO diet caused the disease. The biotech giant did not give any other explanation to what could have caused all the disease.
Probably because there is really no other explanation…
Additionally, Syngenta claimed to not find any trace of the bt toxin in the feed despite this GMO being specifically designed to produce high levels of the toxin to fight insects. Additionally, the seed tested positive for the toxin when tested in 2002 by an official lab and the cow’s milk had the specific Bt DNA in it.
Moreover, even though they made multiple claims that their product was not responsible for the disease, Syngenta paid about half the farms lost revenue from 2001. Additionally, Syngenta offered to pay half the total loses trying to avoid a trial. However, Glöckner refused the offer, opting for trial which started in December 2005. The farm finally lost the case on a technicality (the farmer’s ex wife did not sign everything she was supposed to) in 2009.
The one bright side was that after the court case, the veterinary’s complete data for each cow and Glöckner’s testimony were given to Séralini to conduct the first ever analysis of the data. The article on gmoseralini.org summarizes the findings (the full pathology report can be found here) as this:
New scientific data on Bt toxins and a thorough study of the records show that this GMO Bt maize is most probably toxic over the long term.
This study reveals once again the urgent need for specific labelling of the identity and quantity of GMOs, especially in food and feed. Long-term testing of GM food and the pesticides they are designed to contain must be carried out and made public. This is now more essential than ever.
Anyone who has read a few articles on this site regarding GMO’s, Monsanto, or the biotech industry, knows I am very confident that the public is waking up to the dangers of GMO’s and because of this, Monsanto et al will soon lose its stranglehold over the food supply. However, to achieve a world free from toxic seeds sprayed with massive amounts of equally dangerous chemical herbicides, we must spread the word about the independent scientist and their studies that prove without a doubt: GMO’s are not the safe innovative “technology” that the biotech industry wants us to believe.