‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Thursday, 20 September 2012

GM Crops and Human Health

A French study, led by Prof Seralini and colleagues, examined the effect of GM maize and herbicide fed to rats, and found an increase in premature deaths and tumours, particularly mammary tumours and damage to liver and kidneys. This study has though been criticsed for using the 'wrong type of rat' and small rodent numbers in the work. 200 rats were used in their research. See BBC - French GM-fed rat study triggers furore by Jonathan Amos

Some of the rats were fed GM maize sprayed with Roundup, Some were fed the GM maize without herbicide present, while the third group was given traces of Roundup in drinking water without the GM crop - at level considered safe for human consumption. There was a fourth control group without either the Roundup or GM maize. Significantly, the study lasted for two years instead of the standard 90 day trials. The results found that those rats that hed been fed on the herbicide-tolerant GM maize, or given the water with Roundup, died at an earlier age than those rats that had been fed the standard diet.

This research has though been criticsed by others. But although the research may not have been perfect, it does raise some serious questions about use of GM crops, particularly I would suggest when we consider the length of the study and the rise in cancers in the modern western world.