Nutrition and health: the GM and organic debate

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23 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Nutrition and health: the GM and
organic debate


Fran
Murrell, MADGE Australia Inc.



Is there a difference between GM food and
organic produce?


Is this a battle between scientists in white
coats and manure spreading romantics?


Can
either food system really cool the
climate, feed the world and create wellbeing?


Both are the tip of the iceberg for
different farming systems


GM is an intensification of the current industrial
farming system: monoculture, patented seeds,
chemical pesticides and fertilizers


Organic is a system of farming that uses

ecological
processes, biodiversity and cycles
adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of
inputs with adverse effects” .
Overlaps with
agroecology
, permaculture and holistic
management


http://www.ifoam.org/en/organic
-
landmarks/definition
-
organic
-
agriculture


CSIRO definition of GM


“Genetic
modification is the use of modern
biotechnology techniques to change the
genes of an organism, such as a plant or
animal
.”


http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Food
-
and
-
Agriculture/
WhatIsGM.aspx





2 main traits: Herbicide tolerance (HT) and
Insect Resistance (IR).


Gene silencing being developed.

Which crops are GM?


Main crops: soy, corn, canola,
sugarbeet

and
cotton. Alfalfa.


Used for animal feed, biofuels or ingredients in
processed food.


Largest trait is HT
-

59% of GM crops in the US HT
in 2011
http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/10/default.asp



93% of soy HT in US in 2013


90% of corn in US GM. 71% stacked (HT+IR)


90% of cotton in US GM. 67% stacked (HT+IR)


What herbicides are used on GM
ht

crops?


Main herbicides are Roundup (glyphosate)
and

g
lufosinate


New GM crops developed tolerant to more
herbicides
eg

2,4
-
D and
Dicamba


Dow has developed a GM soy tolerant to 2,4
-
D, glyphosate and
glufosinate
. This has been
approved for us to eat by FSANZ in 2013
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/Pages/a1073.aspx


What is Insect Resistance?


Bacillus
thuringiensis

(or
Bt
)
engineered into
every cell of the plant to kill certain insects
that eat it


This cannot be washed off.


Soil
bt

used in organic sprays but is it the same
as
bt

in GM plants?

Organic and Bio
-
Dynamic produce


National Standard AS6000


Requires a management and biodiversity plan.
T
his used rather than ‘substances’ to deal with
pests and diseases.


Rotation
, appropriate plant/animal selection,
mixed cropping, green and animal manure,
plant so create place for natural enemy of
pests. Health of soil and water fundamental
.


http://www.daff.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/126261/national
-
standard.pdf





NO: GM, irradiation, nanotechnology,
pesticides from
synthetic chemicals,
synthetic
fertlizers,routine

use of anti
-
biotics

or growth
hormones


Audit system


In Australia the OFA is the peak body. 7
different certifying bodies in Australia


Internationally recognized system




Is this a battle between scientists in white
coats and manure spreading romantics?


Stanford study
2012

http
://
annals.org
/
article.aspx?articleid
=1355685


Looked at 237 studies out of 1000’s


Compared nutrient and contamination
(pesticide, bacterial, fungal) levels of organic
and conventional


No consistent difference seen in vitamin
content except higher levels of phosphorus in
organic



http
://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/
organic.html



No difference in protein or fat content in milk
but organic milk in some studies had
significantly higher levels of Omega 3 fatty
acids


Organic food had 30% lower risk of pesticide
contamination.


Pesticide levels of all foods within allowable
safety limits



Children eating organic had lower levels of
pesticides in urine. Health effects of this not
known


Less exposure to anti
-
biotic resistant bacteria in
organic pork and chicken. Health effects unclear


No long term studies of health outcomes of
people consuming organic
vs

conventional diet


Studies on humans between 2 days and 2 years

“Nutritional quality and safety of
organic food”.
A review
2010
Lairon

D


Meta study published by the French Agency
for Food Safety (AFSSA) in peer reviewed
journal Agronomy for Sustainable
Development.


Major findings:


Organic plant products are nutrient dense (dry
matter)


Higher levels of minerals


Contain more anti
-
oxidants


Contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids


94
-
100% organic foods contain no pesticide
residues


Organic vegetables contain about 50% less
nitrates (linked to range of health problems
including
Alzheimers

and diabetes)


Organic cereals contain similar level of
mycotoxins

as conventional ones.


http://www.agronomy
-
journal.org/articles/agro/abs/2010/01/a8202/a8202.
html


“Organic food
-
A summary of the
multiple health benefits” Andre
Leu


Current toxicological models are inadequate, fail
to look at synergy, low doses, women and
children more exposed


Most chemicals not tested for safety, residue
levels too high,


Report by US President’s Cancer Council (Reuben,
for The president’s Cancer Panel 2010) said
environmental toxins,
esp

chemicals, main cause
of cancer and children especially vulnerable.

WHO and Questions on GM foods


GM
foods undergo a safety assessment that
looks at: a) direct health effects (toxicity) b)
allergenicity

c) components thought to have
nutritional or toxic properties d) stability of
inserted gene e) nutritional effects f)
unintended effects


No effects on population from GM foods has
been shown (but no post market surveillance)


http
://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/


National Academy of Sciences: Safety
of GE
foods.

2004


Basis
of current safety assessments is to compare
GM with non
-
GM food in a proximate
analysis=compositional
comparison
.


Agronomic comparison is
superficial.


Animal
feeding trials.


Post
market surveillance
useful but not
done
.


Agronomic comparison is superficial.


http
://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309092094



How have GM foods
been approved?



The basic assumption is that GM crops are
‘Substantially equivalent’ to non
-
GM crops.


SE = key concept to regulators worldwide and is
laid out in CODEX


Criticized by Royal Society of Canada in Expert
Panel Report as ‘scientifically unjustifiable’


No regulatory agency requires long term feeding
trials. Most 90 days or less. Reproductive and
multi
-
generational feeding trials not required

Food and Drug Administration US


Voluntary

programme

for pre
-
market review of GM foods.
At end of process FDA sends letter to company
eg


Letter sent March 25
th

2013 for GM corn that expresses 3
bt

proteins and can be sprayed with the herbicide
glufosinate

“Based
on the safety and nutritional assessment Pioneer has
conducted, it is our understanding that Pioneer has concluded
that food and feed derived from event 4114 corn are not
materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant
parameters from corn
-
derived food and feed currently on the
market, and that event 4114 corn
does not raise issues that
would require premarket review or approval by FDA
.”


http
://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/Biotechnology/Submissio
ns/ucm347763.
htm


How are GM foods approved in
Australia?


FSANZ’s says it is “…the responsibility of the
companies that have developed GM foods to
demonstrate the safety of that food..”


FSANZ does no independent testing of GM food


FSANZ requires no animal feeding trials.


FSANZ
bases approval of GM on company studies
and has dismissed peer
-
reviewed science
showing harm from
GM


http://www.madge.org.au/sites/default/files/articlefiles/FED
-
UP
-
WITH
-
FSANZ
-
OCT2012.
pdf



P
igs fed a combined GM soy and maize diet
Carman 2013


Male pigs 4 times more likely to have severe
stomach inflammation


Female pigs 25% heavier uterus on average

Response to Carman et al 2013


Dismissed by FSANZ as not proving
inflammation present and not proving uterine
weight increase due to GM diet. No references
cited


http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/Pages/Detailed
-
commentary
-
.
aspx



Dr

Judy Carman has responded to critics on
the GMO
Carman site
http://gmojudycarman.org/category/critics
-
answered
/


Two year study on GM corn NK603
and associated herbicide Roundup
Seralini

et al 2013



Dr

Michael Antoniou , molecular biologist at
King’s College, London:


“It shows an extraordinary number of
tumours

developing earlier and more aggressively (in
the GM/Roundup fed rats)

particularly in
female animals. I am shocked by the extreme
negative health impacts.”


http://safefoodfoundation.org/wp
-
content/uploads/2012/09/SFF
-
press
-
release
-
for
-
website.pdf


FSANZ’s approval of NK603 GM corn


Approved in 2002. Not grown here but can be
imported as animal feed or ingredient in
processed food


9
-
day acute toxicity trial. Mice given single dose
of purified GM protein


Assumed that as GM protein not similar to known
allergens would not be allergenic


Although GM corn had differences in fatty acids
and amino acids assumed “compositionally
equivalent to unmodified corn varieties.”

Response to
Seralini

2012


FSANZ, EFSA,
Health Canada,
German Federal
Institute for Risk Assessment reviewed and
rejected the study’s findings


http
://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/seralini/Pages/
default.aspx



The EU plans a 2 year carcinogenicity study on
NK603 GM corn. EFSA guidelines validate
Seralini

http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1495
6:eu
-
plans
-
2
-
year
-
carcinogenicity
-
study
-
on
-
nk603
-
maize

http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1500
2:seralini
-
validated
-
by
-
new
-
efsa
-
guidelines
-
on
-
long
-
term
-
gmo
-
experiments



Seralini

website responds to critics
http
://gmoseralini.org/category/critics
-
answered
/


FDA and EFSA difference of opinion


Unlike FDA EFSA decided GM
maizes

98140 and 3272 not
enough evidence of safety (not found unsafe)


“The
difference between the competent authorities will be
how much they rely on a priori assumptions about safety or
assumptions about the value of the tests. Again, this isn’t
science it is a
value judgment
made by small groups of
scientists or officials. Their
decisions

are then
sometimes
used as surrogates for evidence of safety and their status
as evidence of authority
.”



http://grist.org/food/the
-
gm
-
safety
-
dance
-
whats
-
rule
-
and
-
whats
-
real
/





India


India’s supreme court’s scientific panel recommended ban on HT
crops and trials.


Based on “the examination/study of the safety dossiers, it is
apparent that there are major gaps in the regulatory system
.”


“(N)
ew

regulatory body should have area
-
wise
subcommittees/expert groups in the following fields: health
(human and animal), environment and ecology, agro
-
economics and
socio
-
economics, molecular biology, soil science and microbiology,
plant biology and regulatory toxicology, among other
specializations
.”


BUT India already growing GM cotton and imports GM crops.


http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1498
6:indefinite
-
moratorium
-
on
-
gm
-
field
-
trials
-
recommended
-
in
-
india



“GM is safe”


GMO
answers


http://
gmoanswers.com

new site set up by biotech
industry
BASF
, Bayer
CropScience
, Dow
AgroSciences
,
DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta.



CropLife



peak body of the pesticide industry


http
://biotechbenefits.croplife.org/impact_areas/safety
-
health
-
benefits
/



GMO
Pundit


600 studies showing
safety
http
://gmopundit.blogspot.com.au/p/450
-
published
-
safety
-
assessments.html



ISAAA International Service for the Acquisition of
Agri
-
Biotech Applications. Funders include
Bayer
CropScience

Ag,
CropLife

International, Monsanto, United
State
Department for
Agriculture, USAID


http
://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/3
/



PG Economics


http
://www.pgeconomics.co.uk/who
-
we
-
are.php


GM testing restricted by patents


GM companies control who can research GM.


In 2009 24 scientists submitted a statement to
EPA protesting
“as a result of restricted access,
no truly independent research can be legally
conducted on many critical questions
regarding the
technology
.”


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do
-
seed
-
companies
-
control
-
gm
-
crop
-
research


Scientific evidence of harm from
glyphosate (Roundup)


Roundup and birth defects: is the public being
kept in the dark
?


Industry
has known from its own studies since the 1980s that glyphosate
causes malformations in experimental animals at high doses


Industry has known since 1993 that these effects also occur at lower and
mid doses


The German government has known since at least 1998 that glyphosate
causes malformations


The EU Commission’s expert scientific review panel knew in 1999 that
glyphosate causes malformations


The EU Commission has known since 2002 that glyphosate causes
malformations. This was the year it signed off on the current approval of
glyphosate.


http
://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/roundup
-
and
-
birth
-
defects
-
is
-
the
-
public
-
being
-
kept
-
in
-
the
-
dark#
sthash.d2PMoMhP.dpuf


GMO Evidence
-

Roundup



Prof Andres Carrasco: Glyphosate Causes Birth Defects
in Chickens, Frogs


This study, by a team led by Prof Andres Carrasco
at

Buenos Aires University , found that glyphosate
and Roundup cause birth defects in frog and chicken
embryos at extremely low
dose
Gilles
-
Eric Seralini:
Glyphosate is Toxic to Human Placental JEG3 Cells



Dr
Cattani: Roundup Causes Infertility in Rats


A new study from Brazil shows that Roundup disrupts
male reproductive function in rats at low doses.




Gilles
-
Eric Seralini: Glyphosate is an Endocrine Disruptor in
Human Cells


According to the data and the literature in this study,
Glyphosate
-
based herbicides present DNA damages and
CMR effects on human cells and in vivo
.


Dr Benedetti: Soybean Workers Suffer DNA Damage from
Glyphosate


A new peer
-
reviewed study has found DNA damage and
elevated cell death of blood cells in soybean workers
exposed to fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides in Brazil.


Dr. Thongprakaisang: Glyphosate Induces Growth in Human
Breast Cancer Cells



Dr
. Hans
-
Wolfgang Hoppe: Glyphosate Found in
Human Urine Across Europe


People in 18 countries across Europe have been
found to have traces of the weed killer glyphosate
in their urine,
Samsel
and Seneff: Glyphosate
Enhances Damaging Effects of Environmental Toxins


This study shows that glyphosate, the active
ingredient of roundup, enhances the
damaging

effects of other food borne chemical
residues and environmental toxins
.


Dr. Krüger: Roundup Suppresses Growth of
Beneficial Gut Bacteria




Crop, soil and water effects


Dr. Don Huber: Glyphosate Associated with Increase in
Cereal
Diseases



Prof Robert J. Kremer: Glyphosate Increases
Rhizosphere
Bacteria



Dr Ozturk: Glyphosate Inhibits Ferric Reductase


Could
Lead to Iron Deficiency


Iron (Fe) deficiency is increasingly being observed in
cropping systems with frequent glyphosate
applications.
..glyphosate
interferes with root uptake
of Fe
..


Dr Traavik: Low Levels of Roundup Toxic to Aquatic
Invertebrate Daphnia Magna


Rotterdam bans Roundup


Dutch City of Rotterdam Bans Monsanto
Glyphosate Roundup Herbicide



http://www.globalresearch.ca/dutch
-
city
-
of
-
rotterdam
-
bans
-
monsantos
-
glyphosate
-
roundup
-
herbicide/
5344109



Can either food system really cool the
climate, feed the world and create wellbeing?


CropLife

International


Benefits of GM crops:


Between 1996 and 2011 produced 473 million
kg saving in pesticide use (which reduces CO2
emissions)


Drought tolerance will be useful in future


HT GM crops reduce need for
ploughing

so
allow soil to sequester carbon


http://
biotechbenefits.croplife.org
/
impact_areas
/environmental
-
benefits/



S
uperpests


Brazil has lost 10 billion Real of crops
to
caterpillars. Blamed on expansion of GM
maize.
Bt

maize kills armyworms that feed on
the caterpillars
.
http
://
www.gmwatch.org
/
index.php?option
=
com_content&view
=
article&id
=1499
7:brazilian
-
farmers
-
lose
-
10
-
billion
-
real
-
as
-
caterpillars
-
devour
-
gm
-
and
-
other
-
crops


Rootworm in corn are developing resistance to
bt

toxin
in the
US
http
://www.motherjones.com/tom
-
philpott/2012/08/monsanto
-
superweeds
-
and
-
superinsects
-
compounding
-
drought
-
damage
-
corn
-
country



Superweeds


In 2012 49% of US farmers surveyed had
glyphosate resistant weeds on farm. Up from
37% in 2011
http
://
www.motherjones.com
/tom
-
philpott
/2013/02/report
-
spread
-
monsantos
-
superweeds
-
speeds
-
12
-
0


GM crops resistant to 2,4
-
D and
dicamba

awaiting approval


Use of herbicides increased 239 million kg
betw

1996 and 2011. Insecticide reduced by
56 million kg
(Benbrook 2012)
http://
www.enveurope.com
/content/24/1/24/abstract

Argentina


Birth defects in Argentina in
Ituzaingó

near GM
soy fields. Roundup and
Endosulfan

sprayed.
Cancer rates 41 times the national average
http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/sofia
-
gatica



Watch “Argentina’s Bad Seeds” on Al Jazeera


Open letter to the Pope from Argentinian rural
group on the damage caused to people, food and
country by GM monoculture for export


https://www.facebook.com/AfricanCentreforBiosafety/posts/
553207478055918



People report illnesses improve on
GM
-
free diet


Caitlin
Shetterly’s

headaches
, nausea, rashes, and
fatigue diagnosed by allergist as GMO
corn
allergy
http://
www.elle.com
/beauty/health
-
fitness/allergy
-
to
-
genetically
-
modified
-
corn


“Moms Across America” PANDA, allergies,


Rachel Linden was sick for ten years with asthma,
seasonal allergies, food allergies, infections and
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
. Institute of Responsible
Technonology
. Says people reporting allergies,
autism, diabetes,

arthritis, colitis
Crohn’s

disease,
celiac,
improve on non
-
GM diet


http://
www.madge.org.au
/madge
-
digest
-
no
-
133
-
aprilmay
-
2013#two


Cool the climate while feeding us all


IAASTD


UN report Agriculture at the Crossroads


Agroecology

can double yields in 10 years “
while
mitigating climate change and alleviating rural
poverty
.”
http://
www.twnside.org.sg
/title2/
susagri
/2011/susagri150.
htm


La Via
Campesina


Permaculture


SRI
-

triples yield
http
://
independentsciencenews.org
/un
-
sustainable
-
farming/how
-
millions
-
of
-
farmers
-
are
-
advancing
-
agriculture
-
for
-
themselves/