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Why there are no long term GMO studies on humans

A very common question or criticism of GMOs is that they are not properly tested, particularly on humans. The spouse and I had a discussion about this a while back and he asked why GMOs weren’t tested like drugs since they’re regulated by the FDA. I’ve read comments such as “I won’t believe GMOs are safe until they’re tested for 5 years on humans and we examine long-term impact”, so I thought we should explore this point.

The regulation of GMOs is based on the principle of “substantial equivalence”, meaning that the nutritional content of the GE crop and the non-GE crop that it originated from is the same. In the past, I’ve reviewed papers that have done comparisons between crops generated by transgenesis (the method used to make GMOs) vs crops generated by traditional cross breeding and mutagenesis. The transgenic crops had far fewer unintended consequences than the crops generated by traditional breeding methods. What remains to be demonstrated is that the protein introduced poses no greater risk to human health than non-GE crops, which is why studies on allergenicity and animal feeding studies are performed.

So “why don’t we do clinical trials on GMOs the same way we do for drugs?” Drugs are designed to cause a change in the human body: that’s the whole point behind them. Since drugs are altering something in humans, it’s important to know the side-effects that they may cause and whether or not they’re causing the anticipated effect (i.e. is it better than placebo). In contrast, GMOs are designed to be equivalent to their non-GE counterparts: they aren’t drugs or nutritional supplements. GE crops which ARE designed to impact human health, such as vitamin-A enriched rice, should be tested in humans to determine if the desired outcome is achieved (i.e that the rice actually delivers vitamin-A to the body). But such studies are not the same as looking for unknown long-term effects.

Another reason why is that there’s no plausible mechanism for harm. In the past, I’ve explained how nothing can truly ever be proven to be 100 percent safe, whether it’s water, a computer or a car. Researchers examine safety when there’s a plausible mechanism whereby harm can occur. For example, a cholesterol lowering drug may act by interfering with cholesterol synthesis in the liver, so it may make sense to see if it impacts other metabolic functions in the liver. But when it comes to the traits that are introduced into GE crops, there isn’t really a mechanism of harm: for example, the Arctic Apple is engineered to have a gene turned off, and the gene doesn’t even exist in humans, so how could that harm us? This is why most scientists wouldn’t want to spend years trying to secure grants for a long term feeding study when the likelihood of having an important discovery or contribution to the field is so low. Safety is relative, and there have been many long-term feeding studies in animals which haven’t observed any harm, suggesting that follow-up testing of GE crops in humans is unnecessary.

An additional issue is that the experimental design would be incredibly difficult. Unlike animal feeding studies, you cannot control for other dietary factors or for lifestyle of the humans in the study. In animal feeding studies, all the animals are inbred so there’s very little genetic variability. All the animals live in the same type of cage, get the same amount of food, sleep, water, etc, but none of this applies to humans. As a mental exercise, let’s imagine that we’re going to embark on a study examining the long term effects of GM crops. We’ll narrow it down to a single GM crop: Bt-Corn. Since corn derivatives are found in many processed foods, we’d have to eliminate other sources of Bt by making all the participants adhere to an organic diet. Most sweet corn in the U.S. is not of the Bt-variety, but since we want to be able to keep track of how much GE corn our participants are ingesting, we’ll have to use this type.

Then, we have to figure out the duration of our experiment: how long will these people have to eat Bt-corn to get this unknown effect? One year? Two years? Five? 10? Let’s keep it simple and say one year (although I seriously doubt that any die-hard anti-GMO activist would be satisfied with one year). Then we have to figure out who we will be feeding: will we focus on individuals of a single genetic background to eliminate other variables? Will we include children? Pregnant women? (I mention these specific categories because there’s no end to anti-GMO blog posts about the dangers of GMOs for these individuals).

Next, we’d have to grow all the corn in the same place: studies have shown that geographic and seasonal variability changes the nutritional content of crops more than whether the crop is a GMO or not (see here and here). Since we want all the participants to get the same corn for the entire duration of the study, we’d have to grow it all in a single place, process it, and all the participants would need a deep freezer to store their one year’s worth of sweet corn. Then, we have to decide how much corn they’d need to eat in order to observe this unknown effect. One ear a week? A day? Who would sign up for a study eating an ear of corn a day for a year?? And then who is going to pay for this one-year study on many people of organic food consumption plus GE-corn? If Monsanto or other seed developers pay for it, will anyone trust the data?

There are FDA guidelines for examining the impact of food additives in humans has several important points including this one:

A food or food additive generally will be considered suitable for clinical testing if the substance is unlikely to produce significant toxic effects at the levels to which the subjects of the clinical study will be exposed. This usually is determined from the results of toxicity studies in animals or by examining existing data on population exposure. However, in cases where the type of toxic response associated with the consumption of a food or food additive by experimental animals is judged to be severe, exposure of subjects in clinical studies to the additive may need to be significantly below the level found to produce no toxic effects in an appropriate species.

If the individuals who want to do long-term feeding studies in humans are looking for evidence of harm due to “long term toxic effects”, then based on the statement above from the FDA, such studies would never be cleared by an ethics panel. Other important points from the document include the fact that such studies should have different dosages and the language used for long-term studies is weeks/months, not years.

This isn’t a cop-out. If we’re looking for a harmful effect but don’t know what it is because we don’t have a reasonable mechanism whereby harm may occur, how can you design the experiment? What variables will you measure? As this document from the FDA outlines, clinical trials for drugs go through very specific phases and can be variable in duration and size. However the thing they all have in common is that they’re looking for a very specific effect (improvement of the disease or its symptoms in the patient). Doctors know exactly what to measure, and look for any possible side-effects, which end up getting listed in the package insert for the drug, even if they are not causal.

The final point is this: what is exclusive or unique about GMOs that merits such rigorous testing, yet excludes other crop modification techniques? If your argument is that GMOs are made by scientists in a lab and are consequently riskier, so are seedless watermelons. If your argument is that GMOs have genes from other species and are consequently riskier, so do sweet potatoes which have genes from bacteria naturally introduced thousands of years ago. If your argument is that we’ve had thousands of years to co-evolve with other crops but not to GMOs, then I ask you how it is that I, an individual of Iranian descent, have a passion fruit vine, which is native to South America, growing in my backyard in California? I’m pretty sure that the passion fruit and I didn’t co-evolve and adapt to one another throughout our evolutionary history. The passion fruit, the sweet potato, and the seedless watermelon did not undergo any testing, animal or human, yet many continue arguing that all GMOs regardless of trait should undergo animal and human testing.

Layla Katiraee, contributor to the Genetic Literacy Project, holds a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Toronto and is a senior scientist in product development at a biotech company in California. All opinions and views expressed are her own. Her twitter handle is: @BioChicaGMO.

This post appeared originally at Layla’s website, FrankenFoodFacts, here.

338 thoughts on “Why there are no long term GMO studies on humans”

  1. We can never let the US public find out what GMO’s and Glyphosate do to their bodies over time. Currently, they have no way of knowing what causes any ailment due to all of the variables going into them every day.

    If GMO’s are tested exclusively, they may find out that we’re causing their disease, and sales would plummet. It must not happen.

    Besides, it’s unethical to test on humans ;)

  2. The two countries other than the US that grow the most GMOs are facing a public health crisis. In Argentina, 30,000 doctors and health professionals have demanded a ban on glyphosate, the herbicide that over 80% of GM crops are grown with.

    In Brazil, after the WHO’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’, the national cancer institute blamed GM crops for placing the country in the top ranking globally for pesticide consumption and called for a massive shift to agroecological farming.

    Meanwhile, two-thirds of European countries, including all parts of the UK other than England, have rejected those GM crops already in the approvals pipeline.

  3. Agree with all points made by the article and contemplate one other teensy-weensy possible reason no “long term human feeding studies” exist — because the very idea is untenable.

    Where would you go and what experimental human subjects would you find to institutionalize as treatment and control groups for years on end? I mean, the anti-GMO cranks want 5 years, 20 years, multiple generations of uninterrupted scientific observations on a cohort of randomly selected but representative human subjects. A cohort that would have to number in the tens of thousands, by the way, to achieve statistical power sufficient to validate definitive results. Then there are the followup studies…it’s a lot of human test subjects. And could a study be valid if the human test subjects were of a different race from the elitist anti-GMO cranks? Well [sniff], I should think not.

    And then there is the touchy issue of data collection, especially given anti-GMO cranks don’t know what detrimental effects, exactly , we are to look for. “Just test ’em for everything” is not as easy as it sounds. A big problem for lab techs and analytic capability, but a bigger issue for the human subjects being relentlessly poked, prodded, biopsied, cat-scanned, endurance tested, etc. on hourly schedules over all those years. Why, just the barium enemas alone would become tedious after the first week, or so.

    And not least of all in contemplating data collection, we must anticipate ethical objections from some quarter regarding the sacrifice of human test subjects at the completion of the experiment — you know, to complete data collection via post mortem exam — weigh the organs, sample all tissues for histopath, toxicology, etc.,etc. I just think there might be a hassle over this part, call it a hunch.

    Would we have to put a fresh group of human subjects through this for every new GMO innovation? Well, of course! It’s the precautionary principle we’re satisfying here, and no compromise will be acceptable to purists.

    So, there it simply is neither feasible or ethical to perform such studies. Thus such studies do not exist. Perfect for the anti-GMO crank’s argument. We don’;t have the studies and if we did have them they would be unethical and would have to be retracted anyway (the golden rice precedent). Cute, real cute.

      • So, you’re persuaded then that demands for long term human studies are a red herring? Yay!

        Damn, I’m good at common sense reasoning but not so good, apparently, that I’m on the payroll anywhere. Everyone else is raking in the shillbucks except me, it seems. It really, really sucks to be left out. #shillbucks

        Now, Sean, are you by chance one of those True Believers under the influence of quacks and charlatans like Bonner, Oz, Food Babe and Mercola? You know, one of the fake know-it-alls who troll the internet regurgitating the talking points in futility until you finally raise the “shill card” in defeat? You need to return to the anti-GMO echo chambers and let your handlers jerk you around by the hair some more, keep you pointed in the desired direction, eh?

          • Because I don’t take orders from people with unconfirmed identities. If you’d care to prove your identity I might start listening to you. A professional profile on LinkedIn along with some correspondence from that account should do nicely. Provide the link when you’re able. Cheers.

          • In that case, using my public Facebook profile, I’d like to ask you the same thing: Why don’t you ask for the emails from all of the above listed anti-GMO nutters, Mr. Anonymous “Brad J”?

          • I’m not sure if I understand how asking for emails from anyone has anything to do with Monsanto’s leaked emails released against their will by an Anonymous hack. Explain?

          • Leaked emails, my butt. All made up. The same fantasy lies that say Monsanto employees don’t eat GE foods and have only organic in their cafeterias. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Get a real citation, or bug off.

          • So you’re basically just shifting the goalposts when you’re called out?

            What it has to do with anything is that you’re supposedly critical of the scientific claims of Monsanto et al simply because they are for-profit companies, but you seem to have absolutely no curiosity about the credibility and claims of the anti-GMO propaganda machine, despite the organic industry raking in billions of dollars a year and growing and being proven to use lies, intimidation, and deliberate misinformation to push their agenda, because Food Babe, Jeffery Smith, Mike Adams, all the rest have fooled you into thinking that they’re doing all this out of the kindness of their heart and concern for your health. I would love to see the private emails and financial statements of the above listed.

            They are hypocrites and liars, with no transparency of their own, and you apparently don’t seem to think that’s a problem simply because they’re on your side.

            Can anyone even prove the validity of the supposed “leaked” emails? How do we know it wasn’t all just made up?

          • Well when Anonymous feels motivated enough to launch a campaign against ‘the anti-gmo propaganda machine’, hack into their database, and publicly release THEIR emails, you can read those too.

            Maybe you could write them and see if they side with you.

          • But you said “Because I don’t take orders from people with unconfirmed identities. If you’d care to prove your identity I might start listening to you.”

            Implying that if someone actually asked you to with their real identity, as my linked FB page shows, that you might actually listen to them and ask for the emails from those people. So you’re backing up now and changing your mind?

            And if Anonymous or someone similiar DID actually do that, would you really trust that the “leaked” emails coming from those people were real? Especially if it showed that they were corrupt liars and deceivers who were just looking to cash in? Or would you maybe have some issues with the credibility of THAT hack, yet not this one?

            In any event, I still don’t see anything that’s “incriminating” other than your lack of detecting sarcasm and joking between people in personal emails. That you think they are seriously calling each other shills proves that they must be is absolutely hilarious. And more than a little pathetic.

          • You still have not proven your identity. I can make a facebook account with someone else’s pictures too. In fact, I can make 100’s of them. Just like disqus accounts.

          • You’re absolutely right, you’ve caught me. I created my Facebook profile over 10 years ago and populated it with fake pictures of myself and family and friends and events just so that I could come “anonymously” argue with you on Disqus.

            You’re a fucking retard and a coward.

          • Well, I can’t see any history, just a couple photos that could have come from anywhere really. That doesn’t tell me much about you. If the account’s legit, then it shouldn’t really matter that I reported it as a fake spam account. Cheers.

          • Really, a grown man with children and you spend your free time yelling at people on the internet in Monsanto’s defense?

            Some backwoods IT tech down in Louisiana is supposed to be some kind of authority on the subject? When you aren’t working at the Sheriff’s office, you’re doing sound for cover bands?

            If that account is real, it proves three things:

            1) You have no credibility

            2) Your priorities are way out of whack

            3) You’re a lousy parent

            I feel for your children. A distant father preoccupied with a losing battle to convince people to accept GMOs. For what? What a waste of precious time that could be spent with your daughter. Sad that her father is a raving lunatic

          • LOL the sad part is that despite all that, you’re still wrong about pretty much everything, and I am apparently still more of an authority and expert on the subject than you’ll ever be.

            And you’re a stalker to boot. Congrats on adding one more creepy adjective to your online profile! Pathetic.

          • Yeah right buddy. Keep slacking off at the sheriff’s office teaching them how to send email and pretending anyone cares about your opinion. What a waste of time this conversation was huh? Don’t worry, one day you’ll look at your 19 year old daughter as she goes out to get pounded by her urban ‘boyfriend’, you’ll wonder where the time went. It went here. And you changed no one’s opinion. Well done.

            Hey, at least your township is paying for you to grace us with your thoughts.

          • Google is your friend. I think you’re a big boy, no? Can you type two relevant words into a search box? Aside from reviewing the entire pastebin yourself, you can also find some helpful articles that help lazy/incompetent types such as yourself. Don’t worry, I’m sure one day you can do your own research like a big boy!

            Here’s the paste:

            Here’s the Times Piece:

            Here’s a further elaboration:

          • My! Aren’t you an angry little dwarf!?

            I have already seen the emails & formed my opinion. I’m interested in yours. What exactly is so damning?

          • Your “independent science” source is quoting the Food Babe! And the NYT piece was specifically attacked by the independent science article for not jumping to enough conclusions about collusion between academia and agribusiness. This must be the first time I have seen two contradictory URLs being given as evidence. Google might be your friend but why don’t you bother to read your sources before forcing us to find out you are citing bullshit. By the way, I would trust the NYT far more than your “independent science” site. It’s probably just independent of the scientific consensus.

          • They are all on Quackwatch. Get reading, Braddo. And they all get paid handsomely by the organic industry.

          • No incriminating emails from your heroes? Then you must have somehow overlooked these FOIA emails from that true organic believer Charles Benbrook. Entirely funded, salary, research and all by the big players in organic food sales. Those emails were obtained because Benbrook was at a public university for several years. The others, like the Food Babe and Vandana Shiva are private businesses, not subject to FOIA requests, and apparently not big fans of equal transparency when it comes to their own emails. What are they hiding?


          • The Chuck Benbrook emails are truly incriminating. Plus he has a nasty habit of failing to declare conflicts of interest to research journals.

          • Wow! I am brilliant! You like me! I’m smart and convincing enough that when I say I support ag biotechnology and GE foods, someone will actually pay me! Now, let’s see. If I support GE in general, does that mean that Monsanto has to pay me? What about other seed companies, like Pioneer or Cargill? Do they have to pay me a dollar for every $ Monsanto pays me? Two points, Braddo.
            1). Monsanto and other seed companies don’t need shills. Plenty of farmers buy them quite willingly. Plenty of people eat them quite willingly. Shills aren’t necessary.
            2). You are seriously using “independent science” as a credible source of your allegation? That sez plenty already. ‘Nuf said. You’re paranoid, and you read Internet junk. And you don’t know the difference between internet pseudo-science and real science.

          • LOl. Just had a look at that fruit bat article written by the well known pantie-bunching quack, Jonathon Latham. In typical truther style it ends by promoting a wacky conspiracy theory:

            “What would a good PR company recommend to its clients in such a situation? In order to preempt the likely upcoming firestorm, it might recommend that various media outlets run ahead of USRTK to publish a version of events in which academic small-fry like Kevin Folta, Bruce Chassy and David Shaw (of Mississippi State) are the villains. Making them the fall guys lets others off the hook: high-profile scientists like Nina Fedoroff and Roger Beachy; the pro-biotech academic community in general; and prestigious Ivy League institutions like Cornell University.

            These much bigger fish are who the NY Times should have harpooned. Since they did not, or perhaps would not, let us hope that USRTK will make better use of those emails, ideally by posting all of them online.”

            Also note the similar writing style employed by “Sean Geissler” and “Brad J”. My hunch is they are a couple of sockpuppets. Flush!!!

          • Well, they read the same misleading things, so their minds are full of Jeffie Smith, Seralini, Oz, and Food Boob, and their quotes and writing style (sophomore writing) reflect the same sockpuppet woo. Flush, and then use Drain-O.

          • Braddo, your source is not reputable. Post some specific emails and show with proof they are from “leaked” emails. Would love to see what you got. FYI, Monsanto and other seed companies have no need to shill, since farmers buy their seeds willingly and consumers eat GE foods willingly. Pony up, dude.

          • …quips Brad J the incredible anonymous troll with the brave boast of zero tolerance for anonymity.

            Yeah, we all are at the mercy of the fastidious phantom Brad ..not. But you would know first hand of having no cred. So, as you wish. Nobody cares.

            Ah well, carry on, catfish, carry on.

          • Ah hell, that’s nothin’. You have no idea.

            You ought to see how many bastard kids I’ve got across the Western U.S. I’ve done more , in every way, to improve critical gene pools across this fair land than any three anonymous internet catfish wankers like yourself could ever aspire to. First you losers would have to get out of you mom’s basement once in a while. Then you’d need some street cred. Even then my superior genetics will supplant yours — you need to read Darwin’s Origin of the Species — if your self-abuse hasn’t damaged your eyesight so badly you can no longer read.

            Ah well, carry on , catfish, carry on.

          • Because I continue to pound you for evidence for your nonsense, that makes me not credible? Oooooo-kay. Your undocumented claims about “leaked” emails, though, ARE credible, because … Well, because you say they are. Uh huh. Got it, Braddo.

          • Aaaaah, ya got me. You are right! I admit it. I’m an unverified automatic computer, located deep within the recesses of your brain, and that is why you Hear Voices, Braddo. Ya found me out. But you can’t get me out of your brain, because I’m not verified. So don’t ask for my passport or SS# either. Does not compute does not compute does not compute {excuse me, I have to go fix an internal wiring error}.
            OK, I’m back, all fixed. As a computer, though, I can still pound you for evidence for your nonsense. And because you are … well, whatever you are, you will continue to braaaak braaaak full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and will continue to deflect and deny and avoid and move goalposts, because that is what you do. Voices, Braddo. You hearing me now in your head? Bad news. There are no meds for this.

          • Show the leaked Monsanto emails, Braddo. Just do it. Quit stalling. Prove your woo is not just based on paranoia and anti-corporate conspiracy, and that you have access to “leaked” emails from Monsanto. I think you have voices in your head, bro.

      • Why on earth would Monsanto (and other seed companies) need shills, Sean? Farmers buy them willingly and most consumers eat them willingly. Seed companies don’t need to rely on hyped-up postings, unless they are only selling organic seeds and trying to elbow their way into a higher percentage of market share based on their fearmongering and woo, rather than on realistic sustainability and higher yields.

          • Naaaah, I’m asking you. Why on earth would any GE seed company need shills, when they are doing quite well on their own? Think about it. Answer that. Do you really think my posts are so insightful, informative, and valuable that I should be paid for them? Thank you for your vote of confidence about my ability to sway opinions and decisions based on my compelling writing, tho.

          • I don’t make money posting here, but I appreciate your shout-out for my brilliant and convincing posts that you believe are worthy of me receiving payment. You have zero to say, Sean, and have not once responded with anything except snark, when asked to show your ridiculous claims about GE technology. You have nothing to say. So you holler Shill, since that’s all ya got. Pretty pathetic, dude. You are not worthy of any more of my insightful and brilliant responses. Go eat some Chipotle.

          • You don’t necessarily have to be paid for all of your posts. You may just want to manipulate the public perception of a product that you are involved in the sale or production of.

          • Wrong on that one too, Sean. I’m not involved with either the sale or production of GE foods, nor am Iinterested in manipulation. I’m interested in good, clear science and safe healthy food. GE foods meet all of those standards So far. I know you find that hard to believe, that people would do something just because it’s the right thing to do. Promoting science and fighting woo hoo is the right thing to do. You know, sort of what You do, except from the anti-science side.

          • What company would fund my insightful comments, and those of other pro-GE posters? Which specific one? How about my getting paid for all the dozens and dozens of times I keep saying “If you are uncomfortable with eating GE foods, eat organic and non-GMO certified”? Will I get paid from both sides?

    • One would have to do a double-blind study with at least one control group. A sizable number of subjects; maybe several hundred. Perhaps from birth. All of the same race. We separate out infants (take them away from their mothers) immediately after they are born, and for 10 or 20 years, until they are adults, we feed some of them GE foods. The others, we feed non-GE foods. We don’t allow any of them to drink, smoke, or eat any foods that could potentially disrupt the study with pesky variables, so these babies, children, youth, and adults would be fed the exact same thing for their control group. They would all need be exposed to the same bio hazards in the environment, so none of these people could ever walk outside, be exposed to carcinogenic sunshine, fly in a plane, ride in a car. Then, around age 20, we would check them for cancer or whatever else we fear GE foods are doing. Allergies and stuff. We would disect their organs and check their livers. Oh, I guess we couldn’t keep them alive while we do that, but you know, a good study always has some collateral damage, right?
      I think that about covers the protocols for “long term testing on humans.” What have I left out?

      • You got it agaci,

        At first I thought it would be infeasible but on deeper reflection I realized we have a bunch of closed military bases around the U.S. and we’re not doing much of anything with most of them anyway. So, why not round up all the out-of-work anti-GMO trolls and their extended families and institutionalize them in experimental facilities? I mean, it’s a perfectly representative group to represent the Oprah crowd. I think we’d need tens of thousands, but with modern genealogy resources that should not be an insurmountable problem.

        I think it’s important to let one’s opinions evolve with the expansion of new ideas and in this one case I have evolved my opinion. Just this once. I don’t intend to make a habit of it.

        • Oh, and to fund all this I will, this one time only, support a tax.

          It will be a tax on organic food.

          It will be a variable tax that goes up and up, as needed, to cover whatever costs our experiment might incur. So, in the true Liberal spirit money’s no object and our research will be top shelf all the way. No social faux pas or technical gray areas for anal retentive Luddites to pry loose and throw at our heads after our study is published.

        • FWAD, I think that would work. We would have to control their breeding, of course, because we don’t want any of our double-blind test subjects (newborns) to be the result of, for example, druggies mating with taxi drivers (who have spent their lives inhaling carcinogenic gases). In fact, come to think of it, we would need “pure” babies for control and test subjects. I think maybe it would take several generations of carefully-controlled populations, where food and all else is carefully and uniformly monitored, to produce “pure” infants that we can separate into test and control groups for about 20 years. It will take maybe 100 years to do this multi-generational thing to produce “pure” babies for the study, but it’s worth it, if we’re talking about something as dangerous as feces-fertilized organic food and irradiated food.
          Um, that IS what we are talking about, right?

          • Well, the experimental subjects must be purely representative of GMO doubters, so I think we have to go with what we get and just be sure to randomize ’em real good. If we attempt to “purify” the strain it would take forever (and probably not possible anyway, how do you purify sludge?) and resulting pure strain would no longer be representative and our paper will probably be retracted for that social faux pas.

            No, I think just herd ’em in and let ’em be themselves. Breeding will be problematic, though. We need observations over several generations and with all the LGBT sentiment (unless all that is another phony “concern”) the farrowing rate may be way, way down. But whatever mommas have finally pigged can be counted on to home school the little ones, so that’s something.

            I don’t think we need to express any genuine concern for food safety — the antiGMO/organic folks don’t walk the talk anyway. Just be sure when you’re in there making observations you bring your own bagged lunch.

            Yeah, I think we’re good to go. No worries.

          • Sounds good. Thanks for that study protocol feedback. I’m going to email Chuck Benbrook and Food Babe today for organic industry funding, to supplement the tax on organic food.
            When I go there to make observations, I promise not to bring any to-go food from Chipotle. That could scurry the whole shebang. Just a brownish-green kale smoothie. Natural. Pure. Organic. Non-GMO. Which I won’t share.

          • Oh, one other thing — we wanna be real careful in these secret emails not to exchange sarcastic jokes about shilling or even mention the word shill in any way so when these emails are FOIA’d by the inquisitors we don’t get unfairly crucified by the righteous mob of True Believers. Just figure we’re being watched and act accordingly. Probably shouldn’t use any big words or technical terminology either — all that will certainly be misunderstood and why chance having red hot molten stupidity blow back all over us, eh? So, loose lips and all that…


  4. One point nobody seems to talk about is the pesticides that roundup replaces. You know, like atrazine, metalochlor, paraquat, etc. Folks that are against GMO’s are their own worst enemies.

  5. You want some data… Survey the farm families that have grown GMO crops for twenty years now. We have worked in…lived surrounded by…and eaten the meat produced from our grass and GMO grain fed livestock. We here in Kansas are healthy and confident in the safety of genetic engineering. You want test subjects…bring it on!

    • Any cancers in the portion of your family that have worked the farm and eaten the foods?? Any respiratory issues .. Asthma? Emphysema? Any rheumatology diseases like rheum arthritis?? Lupus? Fibromyalgia? Any chronic fatigue syndrome?? Other immune issues like frequent infections chronic rashes?? Any chronic migratory joint pain not diagnosed as fibromyalgia?? Any blood issues like low (or high) platelet or white blood cell counts or anemia of chronic disease?? Any heart attacks or strokes before the age of seventy?? Any vascular syndromes like vasculitis or temporal arteritis?? What about brain function issues like early dementia .. Early cognitive decline?? Memory deficit?? What about chron’s disease or ulcerative colitis.. Irritable bowel syndrome?? Early bowel or rectal cancer?? Stomach or esophageal cancers?? What about obesity and diabetes?? How about small fiber neuropathy or chronic hives?? How about ringing in the ears and early hearing loss?? Mouth cancers or gum ulceration?? Head and neck cancers?? Birth defects or autism?? Premature delivery?? What about drug abuse in children raised on the farm.. Psychiatric disease?? You offered and I took you up on it.. I ask these questions as many of these disease processes continue to increase in frequency and we do not understand why this is happening. I am a physician and am interested in determining if this increase may be related to the introduction of GMO foods into our diets. Without any human research on GMO S it is impossible to know with any certainty if they contribute or not…

      • “Doctor,” your lack of understanding of the etiology of any of this long list of conditions and syndromes you mention only infers you slept during your correlation / causation classes. Pity the poor patient who gets sidetracked into woo advice from you, based on not only your own lack of understanding of their condition or disease, but your leap to presumption. Additionally, good “doctor,” if you did any research at all, you would know that safety and allergenecity tests are not performed on human subjects.
        Please go back to your continuing education classes before you give any more speculative misinformation to your patients, who deserve far better in diagnosis and treatment.

        • Your statement might be compelling were there any long term prospective human data on GMO safety. It the lack of this data which lends to the correlation vs causation discussion. We can’t prove or disprove causation as there exists no quality data .. So we are left to either speculate .. Or we can laud 90 day rat studies. No serious scientist draws conclusions about humans after reviewing rat studies.. Look at the incidence of some of these disease processes.. The trend is undeniable… Until there is data demonstrating harm or safety in humans .. Both sides are left speculating .. By the way the argument need not be emotional .. No need for either side to disparage the other.. We just need data so an intelligent discussion can occur. The data should have been acquired long before these genetically engineered plants were introduced into the mass market… I make these statements with my patients in mind..

          • Good grief. I really am appalled that if you are really a physician that you would make these comments. If you were a plumber I would understand… but really, when you say “We can’t prove or disprove causation” but your whole argument has been based on correlation, I have to wonder.
            If my kid came to you with an earache, and you said it “might” be caused by something totally unrelated, like oh, let’s see, the use of his cellphone, I would look at you squinty0eyed and get my kid the hell out of your office. If my kid came to you with an everyday cold and you said it “might” be caused by eating bananas, I’d think you were looney.
            Trends mean squat. They mean nothing. Any one of those conditions or syndromes could also be correlated with a kajillion other things, like the number of superdelegates for Bernie. Or an increase in chemtrails. Or the increase in people who go to Starbucks. Or the decrease in smog in our big cities. Sheesh, you are a doctor and you don’t understand that?
            You mention one other thing that makes me highly doubt you are a physician. You say there is a lack of “long term prospective [sic; wtf?? We don’t gather data in the future] human on GMO safety.”
            First of all, if you took even one science pre-med class, you would know that we don’t experiment in controlled studies with human beings. Second, humans have indeed been eating GE foods for over two decades with no ill effects (except highly speculative attribution to any disease you want to mention, which is just nuts).
            Third, just read the 1800 or some studies on GE safety at
            Your reasoning is totally backward, starting from a hypothesis that you cannot possibly convert into a null hypothesis to test. Thus, you will never be satisfied. And I would never take my children to you for medical care. You might attribute my kid’s sprained ankle on the fact that he had a cherry Popsicle. (After all, he had a cherry Popsicle on the same day he fell out of a tree and sprained his ankle.)
            Your lack of science acumen makes me highly doubt you are a physician. And if you are, god forbid.

          • Ah, you are crickets on responding to the many issue I raise above. Got it. See ya, “doc.”

          • You may wish to google “randomized long-term prospective double blind study design”, “gold standard human research”, and “null hypothesis”. After that it is up to you whether or not you wish to edit your comments above.

          • Skyoss, what hypothesized mechanism of harm would you be testing to compare to the null hypothesis in you randomized long-term prospective double blind study?

          • And he didn’t even consider the informed consent provisions necessary for such a study as I have outlined above. Of course, they did “experiments” at Dachau, too, and didn’t bother with informed consent. Maybe that is what he is thinking of?

          • Good grief. Really?? Double-blind study design? O—kaaaay….. Let’s take a group of 1000 babies from the womb, and subject them to double-blind studies. 500 of ’em in sterile lab conditions for, oh, 18 years, eating nothing but GE foods. Of course, they can’t go out, or get an education, or do anything that might present an independent variable not accounted for. The other 500 will be fed only non-GE foods. All the same foods. Again, sterile conditions. No smoking. No candy. No coffee. No cellphones, of course. That sort of what you thinking of? And then, after 18 years or so, we need to test for pathologies, of course, so we do autopsies on all 1000. Of course, we would have to euthanize ’em, but hey, you want a long-term double-blind study, right?

            The null hypothesis, dude, is “GE foods do not cause X pathology.” Not correlate with, cause. Do you understand the difference? And then the study would go about rejecting that hypothesis. Of course, you have listed 20 or 40 conditions, so there would have to be 20 or 40 separate studies. 1000 babies each.

            For your education, and I am surprised you do not know this:

            You do not deserve to have a physician’s license if you do not even know this basic stuff. I’m not an MD, and even I know this.

          • Don’t forget, agsci, we’ll need to be sure to breed ’em and get offspring weaned before we necropsy them, then do the same with the F1 generation, the F2 also — we gotta do a multiple generational studies of every conceivable GMO product, or anti-GMO crackpots will say it was too short term and incomplete.

          • Hmmmm. Yeah, you are right. So right out of the womb is not early enough, right. Two generations. Mandatory impregnation for the 2nd generation. All the same race, of course.
            Wow, how funnnnn, to experiment in double-blind studies on real live human beings!!
            Wouldn’t you like skyoss for YOUR personal physician? I sure would! Cancer? No prob, just stop eating GE’s “in case.” Diabetes? No prob! Just stop eating GE, “in case.” Heart disease? We know the drill! Easy peasy! And if stopping eating GE’s doesn’t “cure” that stuff, or our kid’s cerebral palsy, or autism, or mental illness, oh well, we tried, right? Too bad we didn’t get appropriate medical intervention in a timely manner, though … but nothing is perfect, right?

          • Yeah, dr Google is the sort of quack where, if you’re healthy and go in for a checkup you’re told what to eat to live forever. Inevitably when you go in with a health concern dr Google excitedly quacks away with his homeopathic and herbal nostrums wagering the law of averages is on his side, meaning you will recover (in spite of the quacking) and dr Google will claim credit for the cure. Then when you to in with a terminal malady dr Google will bitch you out, tell you it’s your own fault ’cause you probably didn’t eat right, the old quack will crow he told ya so. Then he’ll submit his final round of billing to the insurance company and retire to Fiji. Damned internet quacks.

          • Well, he certainly gets kickbacks. Not from the pharmaceutical companies, but from Mercola, Oz, Wolfe, Food Babe, and the other ignorant pundits who blame every malady on GE foods. Right in his pocket. And if he doesn’t get kickbacks, he should, because he certainly is lining THEIR pockets.

          • Yep, lining their pockets at the expense of gullible customers and donors they’ve conned. These repugnant mountebanks have no respect for the suckers they sell to, little wonder human experimentation seems like a perfectly fine thing to demand. Irony — these are also the same lovely charlatans and True Believers who perceive “evil” in legitimate science, industry and agriculture. Go figure.

          • If he was a real doctor, he would certainly understand the etiology and pathology of most / all of those diseases and conditions he mentioned, and appropriate approved medical interventions.

          • There’s still that statistically possible slim to none chance he’s formerly a real doctor who’s gone tottering off the deep end to swim in the big money pit, just like Mehmet Oz did after being “discovered” by Oprah.

          • Difficult to take you seriously.. Sacrificing babies and sterile lab conditions and all… Consider that gold standard human research is going on right now.. Participants are not living in a sterile environ and no one is killed at study end point… Is your mind blown??

          • My, my, my. A gold standard that you have not posted. And that refers to a double blind standard you mentioned earlier. Pray tell, just how this would be done. Be specific. Post a link. Do something to enhance your totally self-destructed credibility. Ya got anything? Or is this just more blather from the fake doctor?

          • i can’t believe that I have to type this but here goes: double blind human research does not end in the killing of the human participants.. There I did it… I feel sort of dirty now…

          • Well, whaddya know! Maybe you are going to tell us about your “gold standard,” then, which does indeed include double-blind studies as you yourself referenced, and which somehow takes into account all those pesky and inconvenient variables, like ethnicity, genetic predisposition, food eaten, age at birth, parents’ heritage and medical history, food not eaten, whether one lives in a smoggy city, whether one rides in a subway, whether one smokes or has ever been exposed to smokers, whether one drinks any beverage other than water in ones’ lifetime, whether one holds a cellphone up to ones’ ear, whether a person is fat, skinny, etc. …. and a kajillion other things; you know, all that stuff that can affect an outcome as a variable.
            Tell us how you would do it. Wait — we already asked you that and you did not answer it.
            Post a link to your gold standard. Wait — we already asked you to do that and you didn’t.
            Tell us what your medical specialty is, whether you are licensed somewhere in good standing, how specifically you are licensed, where you have hospital admitting privileges, where you went to med school and in what year, and what continuing ed courses you have taken.
            Yeah, you should feel dirty. You are all mouth, and no evidence.

          • And these studies that are “going on right now”, those are legitimate science and are going to satisfy the anti-GMO zealots? Name them. And explain why you’re crying gloom and doom in the meantime.

          • But if your nebulous “gold standard studies” could be testing “GMO foods” (they can’t, of course, and you bloody well know it) wild unicorns couldn’t delay you anti-GMO cranks carrying them out in a desperate bid to prove your point, isn’t that so dr Google? And if they could be ethically designed, when you and your fellow cultists demonstrated “GMO” actually is safe, what would you fools do then? Would you accept reality? Ha, I judge not. You freaks would whine and bitch and complain that your own studies were fatally flawed. Give it a rest Goog. You’re wallowing in a shallow swamp but it doesn’t take much to get you out of your depth. You’ve had your ass kicked, now declare victory and beat a hasty retreat. Loser.

          • nothing nebulous about good research.. And of course gold standard studies can be done on GMO consumption by humans.. They just haven’t been done..

          • OK, doctor Google, please explain precisely HOW YOU would design long term human studies that would satisfy anti-GMO cranks. You know, what controls and how to manage confounding factors, what treatments will suffice (each and every example of GMO product must be tested, or maybe several, maybe just one representative?), what minimum observations, how long must observations be recorded…you know doctor Google, just lay out your version of acceptable experiment & experimental design, Until you step up and inform us, Layla Katiraee has you pinned helplessly to the mat. The count is live. Don’t waste any more of our time.

          • Yep.

            Rah, rah, rah WYVU! Woo to You Voodoo U! Rah, rah, rah, Woo to You, kumbaya!

            It’s affordable, it’s fun, it’s convenient — just surf the internet, print off your diploma with your inkjet printer (you can even customize the font!), hang your shingle on your very own webpage and go to quacking. Donald Duck could do it.

          • If he were a doctor, he would certainly get his ass sued for medical malpractice. Or practicing medicine without a license. Let’s see if he will step up to the plate and tell us who he is, what his medical specialty is, and where he got his medical degree. You think we’ll get that? I have better things to do today than wait for that unlikely response, like watch the grass grow

          • I agree he’s probably not an MD, if anything I’ll wager you it’s either homeopath or chiropractor. They actually license those dangerous fools so they can call themselves “doctor”, can you believe that?

          • GMO products should be completely removed from circulation so that research can be completed as it should have been done in the eighties. Control group would have zero exposure to GMO and study group would have specific limited exposure to novel product. Studies could run concurrently in order to make products deemed safe available at the ten year mark. Post marketing monitoring would obviously need to be completed as well to monitor for more long term issues.. focus should probably be on immune/ inflammation connection. Modern genetic engineering techniques are acknowledged by the national Academy of Sciences as having an increased likelihood of unintended consequences … The common assertion that modern techniques are more precise than traditional techniques is a falsehood perpetuated in the media and blogosphere by…???? People who assert GMO safety fail to acknowledge that GMO tryptophan killed 35 people and maimed over 1500 back in the late eighties I have read many studies associated with this man made epidemic and find the attempt to blame processes not related to the GMO product amateurish and at times even laughable. These steps should be taken for the benefit of the populace.. And should have been part of the initial roll out..

          • So 10 years gets it done, doctor Google, with some additional “post marketing marketing”? Well here’s a newsflash for you Welby – we’ve been doin’ that for 20+ years now already.

            You’re gonna search around in the “immune/inflammation connection”, eh? Does that cover it? Wouldn’t care to expand on that nonsense pathology classification, would you? Maybe specify the testing protocols? Maybe specify the pathology we’re searching for?

            The hubris of quacks and fakers like you is simply awe inspiring. Early physicians physicked and bled their patients to death because at the time they simply didn’t know any better. In this day and time such gross medical incompetence as you display is simply inexcusable. You’re a goddam homeopath or chiropractor, aren’t you, huh?

          • Why does the suggestion that more research needs to be done on GMOs get you so angry?? I ask the question because I am genuinely curious..

          • Not angry. Exasperated.

            I know as well as you do dr Google that no affirmative safety study, regardless of thoroughness or duration will ever appease you ridiculous anti-GMO cranks. You will always whine and complain any and every study followed too few generations or too few potential pathological outcomes or too few experimental subjects or the wrong experimental subjects or…you name it.

            You assclowns predictably come around preaching gloom and doom, yet you have no truly practical alternative, you are oblivious to the realities of the situation. There are no epidemics attributable to “GMO”. Acceptable scientific studies HAVE validated the safety of the technology, as has decades of daily exposure, billions upon billions of meals without so much as a tummy ache attributable to “GMO”. But nothing, absolutely nothing factual can filter into your quasi-religious Luddite zealotry. Your particular affliction has recently been identified as moral absolutism by an astute observer who is at least as much a physician as you are (ha!)


            It’s a relief to have the syndrome described so succinctly but it’s a disappointment that the syndrome is apparently terminal – you insufferable jackasses will die with your zealotry intact, but only after burdening us over a long lifetime with your asinine paranoia and baseless proselytizing. You addled dumbasses couldn’t possibly be more exasperating.

          • a logical person would conclude that inherently unpredictable novel food development techniques that are designed to produce food to be eaten by humans should be confirmed safe for human consumption via human research.. Simple principles that were and are ignored… Unfortunately

          • And a logical person would conclude that all of the routine proprietary safety testing of GE product combined with the plethora of independent studies, together supported by more that two decades of uneventful consumption of GE products indicates we’re doing fine, it’s safe, we got this. Principles, simple, some not so simple and some truly sophisticated that have been fulfilled and that continue to be fulfilled every day.

            An illogical and hopelessly argumentative person, on the other hand, would dismiss all of that out of hand and cling tenaciously to an absurd Chicken Little persona, dashing too and fro in a feigned panic, frightening and recruiting Henny Penny and Goosey Loosey and the other hand wringing old girls, imploring them to run!, we must run and tell the king!! Do you remember, dr Google, how that ended for Chicken Little? As I recall, Chicken Little was proven to be a colossal dumbass. But only after successfully wreaking her own particular brand of mob hysteria and claiming her 15 minutes of fame.. Congratulations to Chicken Little and to you dr Google.

          • GMO tryptophan killed 35 people in 1989 or so.. Sickened over 1500.. Does that change your opinion..?

          • Prove it dr Google. Link to the valid medical reports that verify the event. And link to the valid biochemical and biotechnical analyses that prove that particular threat remains today.

            That’s not asking too much of someone who disingenuously demands long term human feeding studies that are ethically and technically impossible to complete. So just put up or shut the hell up, prove it dr Google.

          • Doesn’t he sound strangely like someone who used to post here under another name? Same goalpost shifting, specious questions, non-answers. His initials were WG.

          • He sounds like so many, they all sound alike.. Jumpin’ Jeebus, they must be cloning them! I guess they all get brainwashed by the same zen master.

          • The fact that it happened and scientists didn’t identify the issue before distribution is the whole issue .. Look it up it was a Japanese company showa denko I believe.. If your want to argue about it further just read the research associated with it and let me know what study u would like to discuss…

          • No, you link to it or cite a valid reference. I don’t “look it up”. That isn’t how it works. Are you high on drugs?

            I’m not gonna argue with you about anything. You made a claim. You can’t validate the claim. The claim is bogus. You are a bunko artist. Them’s the facts, Jack. What’s to argue?

            I will happily read the mythical research associated with your imaginary epidemic when you cite the peer reviewed papers. Then we can argue substance. You’re dr Google, why can’t you google it up and link it here? Because valid medical reports do not exist. Do you see how any sane person would become exasperated with your incessant nonsense? Did you eat too many paint chips as a child? Do you have any legitimate excuse?

          • hah I am not your employee my friend the information is readily available thanks to the interwebs.. If u want to discuss let me know ..

          • Aw hell, dr Google, that ain’t nothin. Just 4 years ago one little old German organic farmer succeeded in killing 50 of his countrymen, caused over 800 to suffer acute kidney disease with over 100 of those requiring kidney transplants and sickened over 3000. Here’s one real-time report midway through the disaster:


            Now there’s something for you to google around on – tragically it’s true, all of it really happened, and nothing was changed in the organic industry so it can and will happen again…maybe in your neighborhood.

            So, dr Google, by your reasoning both “GMO” and organic should be banned due to the egregious human suffering and loss of life associated with them…except your story about “GMOs” is complete BS and the report of organic carnage is pure fact.

            So, dr Google, what say you about organics. Shouldn’t they be banned at once in the interest of human safety and an abundance of caution? Hey, the precautionary principle, need I remind uou Goog?

          • Bogus, bogus, bogus. “Zero exposure to GMO” …. From when? Has to be from birth, or doesn’t count. “Specific limited exposure to novel product” — what the H does that mean?? From birth again, right? And how do you eliminate all the other things that can result in the dozens of scary diagnoses you listed in your first post? And why would you now limit your study to be on “immune/inflammation connection” rather the dozens of other syndromes and diseases you mentioned? How would you control for the many other factors that contribute to immune disorders and inflammation disorders?
            “GMO tryptophan” — there is no such thing.
            Answer my questions about your “doctoring” background. You are a transparent and ridiculous phony.

          • A control group is called a control group for a reason… Read about the nature of research control and about randomization and population selection…

          • Right dr Google. And please tell us again in detail how you would create a human control group that would satisfy even the most incorrigible moral absolutist. Be specific, be complete – who comprises the control group, how are they shielded from confounding variables, assurance it’s truly double blind?

            I already know what you’re going to say — ‘oh, it would only have been possible back in the ’80s, too much is “GMO” now so a proper control group is impossible’. Isn’t that it? If it is, you will have just admitted long term human safety studies are untenable and, so, are unnecessary by virtue of being impractical.

            So, how is it dr Google? How do you not paint yourself into a corner? Show us you have at least a tattered shred of dignity in your makeup, please, and tell us how you will overcome this conundrum.

          • Control and test groups are selected randomly to ensure that each group is comparable.. Further testing can be done prior to initiation of the study to identify differences in groups that may lead to confounding results… If this happens groups can be re selected …these are basic research principles..

          • Dodging the queston, dr Google (or simply unfamiliar with experimental design).

            Nobody asked if you would randomize them, Einstein, that’s a given and not in question. Get down to cases here, dr Google. You will select subjects from what pool of humans, exactly? How will they be housed to assure confounding variables are negated? How will they be kept unaware if they are consuming “nonGMO” or “GMO” vittles, etc., etc.? Cough up the details.

            You’re reserving the right to “re-select” them? Upon what justification? When? How often will you cry ‘do over’ and just how the f^^^ long will this experiment take, can it ever be completed? Nope, I don’t think so, Goog. You’re not gonna be designing scuttle ports into this thing.

            Fess up. You don’t have an effin’ clue how such an unethical and impractical human experiment could legitimately be designed and implemented, have you dr Google. Just admit it and call it a day. Go on back to Henny Penny and the girls. They will believe all the chicken sh!t you can feed them. Not us dr Google.

          • His “study design” would get an F from my students in my critical thinking / study design class, long before I would even see the hot mess of his garbled ideas. But another great example of “fake-it online and try to convince others you actually know something” that I will use in class in 2 weeks!

          • Well, something constructive has come out of this farce, anyway. Please forewarn your students to fully drain their bladders before your class so they don’t wet themselves laughing at this preposterous poseur.

            Heh, ‘oohhhh, just Google it’, ha! Yeah, I got your google right here buddy (points to crotch).

          • I don’t think this media is the best place to provide you a dissertation on modern research design.. I would suggest that you simply Google double blind random prospective human research.. You will be able to find the answer to your questions with this search..

          • Yeah right. You know what I think? I think this media has exposed you for the bumbling imposter you are. I think you’ve shown us your ass and you’ve had it kicked until you’re wearing it like a hat. That’s what I think. So maybe you should Google your sorry carcass back to the echo chamber you crawled out of. Sound like a plan, Stan?

          • Ironic you keep asking for others’ backgrounds when you are anything but transparent. Who are you, at what school do you teach, what is your science background, what is your ag background besides reading about and talking to farmers? You will say it’s none of my business, Then so are others’ backgrounds. Put up or shut up. Your actions and insults are so hypocritical.

          • Showa Denko used novel GMO strains of bacteria to produce tryptophan. The genetic manipulation of these bacterium also led to the production of toxins that produced eosinophilic myalgia syndrome in 1500 or so and killed 35 the late eighties. The product was sold as tryptophan to the consumer, the toxin was not GMO tryptophan.

          • Interesting. Thanks for the details. It seems that this would present as a cautionary tale, but also ends up being a case that seems to fall more accurately into the category of dietary supplement/snake oil regulation by the FDA, or lack thereof. Was this a case of “toxic GMO?” Or more a case of lack of regulation of dietary supplements? If these useless supplements were regulated by the FDA, would the tryptophan diners been identified by GC or some other analytical method? Currently, GMO foods are required to go through safety testing. Would this Trp passed that testing today?

            Again, thanks for the info. It does underscore the continued need to ban the sales of so-called “supplements” without FDA regulation to ensure accurate claims of efficacy, safety, and quality control, all which were lacking in the Showa Denko case. It also shows that we need to regulate any new product that we will consume to make sure it is tested for safety. Currently, isn’t this what happens with new GMO foods?

          • You bring up a good point .. if this product would have been tested on rats would they have tolerated it?? I don’t know the answer to that question.. It would almost be worthwhile to acquire some of the strain V (likely an impossibility) and give it to rats for nine months. I once made the mistake of telling a friend that “yes if your dog is in pain you can give him ibuprofen” only to have the vet tell her the next day it could have killed him. Are there similar differences with rats and other animals and humans.. do we know what we don’t know???

          • The issue is that the process of creating novel products using genetic engineering is unpredictable. Without a regimented rigorous process in place to test these products before they hit the market the consumer is at risk. Shawa Denko was immoral in their behavior, they even destroyed documents which showed the new compounds created as a result of their Strain V bacterial series, and despite this the responsibility of pre market testing continues to lie with the manufacturer. Showa Denko is probably the most glaring example of the dangers of genetic engineering. I am more concerned with more subtle dose dependent health issues associated with prolonged exposure to…… what??? particularly in light of changing health trends observed since the eighties….

          • So the Japanese company failed to adequately purify the product. That has nothing to do with GE and everything to do with your pathetic attempt to misinterpret and misinform us of the situation, dr Google.

            If there is any lesson to be learned from this poisoning incident, it is that the nutritional supplement market is dangerous and should be shut down. Quacks preying upon kooks — nobody wins, everybody loses eventually.

          • That was my take on it, too. And FSM’s link to Quackwatch about the testimony was nothing less than scary for its demonstration of how blasé the company is about the safety of its products.

          • The issue is the company used a strain of GMO bacteria that created a toxin that killed people. There was a lack of sufficient testing in place to identify this toxin and people died. Whether or not a toxin is filtered out of a batch of product is not the issue the issue is why use a GMO process that produces a deadly toxin in the first place?

          • The intent and purpose of purifying any chemical, in this case an amino acid is to remove all impurities and contaminants, regardless of source. The Japanese company reduced it’s charcoal filtration capacity by 50% with the introduction of this new source of L-tryptophan and failed to confirm the chemical purity of the filtrate. The product was improperly purified, it sickened and killed 35 people. Just that simple.

            You, dr Google, contend that singular incident of carelessness alone is sufficient to outlaw all genetic engineering in food production. Wouldn’t you also insist the killing of 50 people must likewise be grounds to outlaw all organic farming in food production?


            OK, now let’s see you squirm and spit hairs and talk your way out of condemning organic production as fervently as you condemn genetic engineering. You may fire when ready.

          • Numerous cases of eosinophilia myalgia syndrome predated the change in filtration .. and all cases were associated with a showa denko genetically engineered product… keep reading..

          • Yep, hairsplitting, just as predicted. Fact remains the Jap company failed to adequately purify the L-tryptophan from a broth after bacterial fermentation and failed again to correctly assay the purity of the finished product prior to sale. Sloppy technique killed 35 people.

            You also dodged my question, to wit:
            by your reasoning, dr Google, if the death of 35 people to impure L-tryptophan mandates banning genetic engineering in food production, then doesn’t the death of 53 people to organic sprouts teeming with fecal bacteria E. coli O104:H4 likewise mandate banning all organic farming from food production?

            I mean, it was only the most fatal E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in history. more than 50 dead. more than 800 hospitalized, more than 100 of those required kidney transplants, in excess of 3000 severely sickened. Certainly by your standards organic farming is proven deadly by this singular event and must be stopped at once. Why the silence, dr Google, what say you to this public health dilemma of potentially deadly organic farming that is proliferating even as we speak? Has the precautionary principle no application in this instance? How is that possible, dr Google?

          • If companies use a novel technique to create a product that can be generated using current techniques and this novel technique creates a toxin that kills why use the novel technique? Where were the tests that showed potential harm? We’re animal studies done on this product? Human studies before marketing? The issue is not how much filtering was done the issue is that the genetic manipulation of bacterial genes for the purpose of creating tryptophan also created a deadly toxin. E. coli is a disease not associated with the sprouts themselves but associated with food handler hygiene and food preparation techniques. What you call hair splitting is actually the very crux of the issue..

          • “E. coli is a disease not associated with the sprouts themselves…”

            Precisely — E. coli is not a feature of all sprouts, but this deadly outbreak of E. coli was definitely associated with organic farming techniques used to grow and distribute organic sprouts; dubious sourcing of seed, deliberate avoidance of effective disinfection technologies, a nurturing growing environment that encourages growth of E. coli and exposure of organic food to that E. coli, and a generalized apathy for food safety on the parts of organic food producers and consumers. The result this time: 53 dead. No lessons were learned, nothing changed in organics to prevent the next organic mass poisoning tragedy. Not a question of if, a question of when and where (will it be you and your family the next time?)

            Obviously, there is nearly perfect alignment among error patterns in both the L-tryptophan calamity and the organic sprouts E. coli mass poisoning. So, then dr. Google, you conclude both genetic engineering and organic farming should be suspended, and ultimately banned if 100% safety cannot be proven with 100% certainty? That IS what your standard mandates, does it not?

          • That does indeed seem to be his standard, along with bizarrely suggesting human control groups for studies.
            (Why am I thinking of Nazi Germany camps when he says this?)
            You notice how fast he dropped the pretense that he first came here with, that he was a “doctor”? When pressed about that, he went silent.

          • You really must change your screen name my friend. If you make a product for human consumption that has potential of adverse effects, of course you study humans. Novel compounds are studied using humans by non Nazis each day by Pfizer, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck etc…..

          • OK, Skyoss. We are going no further with your ridiculous claims until you answer some questions yourself.

            1). Two months ago you claimed this: “I am a physician and am interested in determining if this increase may be related to the introduction of GMO foods into our diets.” I asked before, and ask again: What specialty of physician? If you do not answer, we are done.

            2.). Show one example of study “on humans” by drug companies. Just one. They don’t. You are full of bull manure if you think you can run this kind of BS and think you can get away with it. Here is how drug companies test.
            You are a fraud.

            Your woo and misinterpretations and constant lack of reliable citations are getting very tiring, “doctor.”

          • You just provided a link that says drugs are tested on humans. Maybe you should read the link before you link out to it.. If you are taking suggestions for your new screen name I would be willing to offer some thoughts.. I am a family medicine doc… but we can be done that would be OK… initial pharmaceutical testing is done on animals and if the results are positive and toxicity is acceptable the testing process moves on to human subjects. Look up “fda drug review process”

          • E coli is an old foe. We have a great deal of familiarity with it but apparently we still need to know more. i did find research that suggests a greater incidence of e coli contamination in organic foods. So we should learn more about transmission and fertilization techniques and aspire to eliminate these outbreaks. I saw an article that suggested that high demands for organic foods was causing pressure on farms to keep up. The implication being that proper safety standards may have been ignored to maximize production. If this is true then we need to fix it. So e coli again is a production issue contrast that to the L tryptophan… a novel compound was made, a compound that to my knowledge we have not encountered before. It took years to finally figure out what the cause of EMS was. What other compounds are currently in circulation? Are there dangers associated with these compounds? Do these compounds impact humans differently than animals? We should have these answers but we don’t.

          • So then, dr Google, we should continue mucking about, as we have, with mortally dangerous fads like organic farming and nutritional supplementation with no recognition of proven harm from these? And do you still hold genetic engineering (with no proven harm and no demonstrated mechanism to cause harm) as an exception? If so, by what legitimate scientific authority?

          • Utter nonsense, dr Google. Organic farming is a pernicious fad of recent manufacture. In fact, there was no “organic farming” before the 20th century. You, dr Google, of all people should know that…by simply Googling it:


            Not only are you obviously not a doctor, you obviously are not much of a historian, either. You are one hopeless helpless piece of work skyoss. Please stop wasting our time with your flaming ignorance.

            Oh, one other thing you ought to know but probably don’t, dr Google — the big profiteering promoter of healthy organic farming, J.I. Rodale famously dropped dead while taping an interview for the Dick Cavet Show, just moments after theatrically proclaiming his perfect health and his certainty he would live to 100 years of age (he was no where near being a centenarian).

          • Look up “organic farming”.. the factors/processes/techniques that make products “non organic” were not invented until the twentieth century, therefore all farming before the turn of the century was “organic”…so not a fad..more like the way people farmed for over a thousand years..

          • If any of that were true, dr Google, “organic farming” would be recognizable today by the complete absence of vehicles & tractors with internal combustion engines — mules, horses, maybe oxen would be the only source of farm power. No electricity, either. No telephone communication. No running water and no indoor plumbing. No plastics of any kind. No marketing cooperatives. Few paved roads, mostly dirt or gravel.

            Nope, dr Google, you’re full crap right up to your ears. Conventional farming is the farming my ancestors practiced these 5 generations right up to our modern farm today. “Organic” is a goofy cultish modern affectation whereby a few arbitrary technologies are outlawed by day and surreptitiously practiced by dark of night. A ridiculous hodgepodge of arbitrary rules with no future (ie. not sustainable), all crafted to bamboozle the less intelligent out of their grocery money. Not much different from homeopathy and chiropractic chicanery. Same unfortunate market segment. All about the $$$$$.

          • Seeking food products that are not exposed to modern day pesticides, that are not derived from GMO technology that is poorly understood, that are generally produced in a way that is consistent with tried and true methods of farming which have existed for hundreds of years is not a fad, is not hokey, is not backwards… The jury is still out on modern farming techniques.. Interestingly the health of Americans has declined steadily as these techniques have become more and more prevalent.. Is it coincidence or do These techniques bear some of the responsibility for these ills?? While these questions ar sorted out I prefer to limit my exposure to novel products/chemicals produced in laboratories despite the fact that those companies who stand to profit from the sale of same tell me that they are safe… You can call me skeptical .. I am ok with that..

          • Wrong, wrong and wrong dr. Google. You are astonishing in your capacity for erroneous opinion! How do you achieve and maintain such lofty self-delusion? You must do a lot of reiki and yoga to keep your head in the echo chamber silo (or maybe you just keep your head up your butt most of the time).

            The “health of Americans” is NOT declining. Not declining “steadily”, nor is it declining in fits and starts. Nope, life expectancy for Americans continues to rise. If you want to single out a few diseases, sure, the incidence and prevalence of those are up, as are our capacity and fervor to make those particular diagnoses. If the prevalence of these diseases are what you are referring to, dr Google, suggesting that the upward trend, if charted, for them coincides with some new technology in agriculture would be coincidental, at best – not proof or even evidence of causation. In fact, if that is your game there are any number of American experiences that would chart with upward trends in the past 50 years, or so — air travel, for example, and…wait for it…consumption of organic foods.

            Yep, that increase in consumption of organic foods corresponds nicely with the uptick in obesity, diabetes, certain cancers. So that must be the cause, according to your fubar reasoning, dr. Google. And, you know, it is possible because organic is a sham, it’s a fraud. Gullible people like you, dr Google, have been led to believe organic produce is not “exposed to modern day pesticides” but, oh wait!, yes, yes it is, too —


            You will see, dr Google, from the linked report that USDA tested organic produce for pesticide residue and found nearly HALF of it contains pesticide residues. In fact, nearly 5% of it contains ILLEGAL PESTICIDE RESIDUES.

            Finally, “the jury” is not still out on modern farming methods. Far from it. In fact, modern farming methods like genetic engineering are the most thoroughly tested ever. Organic methods like slathering manure all over everything are probably the least tested ever. Think about it. The very essence of organic farming is to grow your foods in manure and rotted trash (shills for organic call it compost). People get sick from that sort of untested new technology, dr Google. Organic foods are being recalled in the marketplace more and more frequently for bacterial contamination, dr Google – it’s another one of those upward trends. In just one food poisoning outbreak, alone, caused by organic sprouts in Germany, more than 50 people died, over 800 were hospitalized and more than 100 required kidney transplants, over 3000 were sickened in all by one little old local organic farmer in Germany.


            So then, dr. Google, haven’t you humiliated yourself sufficiently in front of so many readers here on the internet? Not only have you been bamboozled by charlatans and mountebanks, you actually profess to be a practicing quack, yourself. For the love of God, for the safety of the children, please, please dr. Google I beg, I implore you to pry your head out of your ass and smarten up, give up all the silly dangerous woo before you hurt somebody with it. Embrace reality, truth, fact, science dr. Google. Pry your head out into the light of day. Breath in some fresh air. See reality. Admire the finest health and longevity Americans have ever experienced and the abundant safe affordable food supply that has helped to make that happen. Wake up, dr Google, and crawl out from under your pile of horse manure into the light! Join the sane majority.

          • You are pretty sanctimonious with your arrogant assumptions and specious correlations. Do tell us, what do you eat? Be specific. What foods do you eat, and where do you get them? And what makes you think that the foods you eat are “safer” than GE foods, which are the most highly tested and regulated foods on the planet? What are your standards for determining whether the food that you eat is safe? Do enlighten us. Please.

          • Where do you propose to round up and confine human test subjects for your double-blind long term feeding study? What baseline nutritional requirements will you respect, and which will you ignore in the test diets? Will those human test subjects have to be representative of all ethnicities, all socio-economic classes, all ages, all genders, all religious affiliations? That is, when you’re dropping a net over your potential captives, how wide a net must you throw? Do you have shit for brains? These are but a few of the burning questions to be answered – inquiring minds need to know. Transparency! We have the right to know!!

          • You changed the subject and avoided the question.
            First of all, we don’t do controlled long term double-blind studies on human beings where we would control everything they eat over years and years – you would have to keep them in cages. As a supposed behavioral researcher, you would know that, though. Which leads me to believe you are not what you purport yourself to be.
            Second of all, you did not answer the question I asked, which is what you eat specifically. And why you have deluted yourself into thinking that what you eat is “100% safe.”
            Answer those questions.

          • And just how long do you keep those “control” and “study” groups in captivity, with exactly equal environments? Starting at birth, or before, with their mothers for 2nd gen purity? How would you keep other variables out of consideration?
            We don’t do “controlled” studies on human beings.
            You are no “Doctor,” and you flunked your high school science class.

          • No, I think you should keep your screen name just as it is, and don’t bother changing the “o” to an “a.” It’s okay, methinks…..

          • 1) Serious scientists draw all sorts of conclusions from rodents studies. It’s pretty common.

            2) Currently, there is no plausible mechanism for harm. Until there is, there is nothing to test for.

            3) Given the wealth of feeding study data and the absolute lack of evidence that there are substantial biological differences in how here foods are handled by mammal bodies, there is no need to speculate. The conclusions are clear. Any food has the potential (however low) to do harm and these foods have no more potential than any other.

          • Serious scientists don’t draw conclusions about humans after testing rats. Categorizing genetically engineered foods as ‘generally regarded as safe’ was a decision that failed to acknowledge the many unknowns associated with modern day techniques. Using viral promoters in a way that they never in the history of mankind had been used before (that is separate from normal cellular control mechanisms) and inserting them into plants with bacterial DNA, again something that had never before been done in the history of mankind should have given the government and more of the scientific community pause . After all these products are and were designed ultimately to be ingested by the masses. The case for harm would be this: insertion of these genes into plant DNA will have unintended consequences.. The likelihood of these unintended consequences is thought to increase greatly given modern techniques. If we can’t predict the outcome of novel gene splicing techniques how will we know when something dangerous or deadly has been produced–?? The answer is long term human studies… That is what was and is owed to the public..

          • Serious scientists don’t draw conclusions about humans after testing rats.

            Well….suffice to say that the world’s major acadamies of science and regulatory agencies seem to disagree with you. No offense, but I’m gonn go with them on this one.

            The rest of your post is irrelevant. Given no plausible mechanism to test for and no evidence of any ill effect in ANY other species then there really is nothing left to test. A vague “unintended consequences” is not a hypothesis you can build test parameters around.

            If we can’t predict the outcome of novel gene splicing techniques…

            We can.

            The answer is long term human studies…

            Besides the fact that toxicity testing on humans is illegal (due to the necessity for of killing or giving serious disease to a person), it’s also extremely unreliable. Humans don’t tend to follow test protocol…ESPECIALLY in the long term. You can’t lock up humans and control all the variable like you can with rats. Animal studies are more reliable for this very reason.

            Face it. You’re just wrong here.

          • You point would be well taken if the food was meant to be eaten by rats. The national Academy of Sciences Rated modern splicing techniques as most likely to cause unintended genetic consequences not me… And the modern day toxicology test is going on right now .. In the mass populace.. Funny how one can argue that testing GMO’s on humans is illegal but then distribute them to the masses.. Rather absurd ..

          • Don’t be an idiot…please. Only after it was shown that the likelihood of unintended effects was no greater than for other breeding methods (which can also produce unintended effects) was the food ok’d for release.

            You are trying to paint this as if nothing was done. When the r laity is that there is far more testing involved in producing a GMO food than by any other breeding method….by a long margin. So what ever “great unknown” argument you want to try to make is far more applicable to breeding methods other than genetic modification.

            And, no…. The NAS did not label GE has having the highest potential for unintended genetic effects. You’re just making that up.

          • You are repeating a common misconception that circulates amongst those who haven’t done their homework.. Which is not surprising .. Look at the graph on page 4… begs the question why did these scientists permit GMO foods to enter the market without special testing when they believed unintended genetic results were more actually much more likely… Their behavior was irresponsible…

          • First of all, these are not unintended effects after consumption. This is a resulting crop that doesn’t have the traits that were expected. It does not infer harm or danger in anyway.

            Second, you graph illustrates exactly what I said. The unintended effects are no more likely than with other common breeding methods. See the agrobacterium transfers. They are scattered among all other methods, all of which are commonly used and do not go through the testing and rigor that GE foods do. The most likely to produce unintended effects is mutagenesis (you claimed GE).

            Third, this is all irrelevant because nutritional composition is easily tested for. And if the resulting food has a similar nutritional profile (meaning no unintended effects) then there is no plausible mechanism for it to do harm.

            No offense, but you clearly haven’t thought this through.

  6. This is a good article, and factual on most points, but it perpetuates a common misconception that the FDA is in charge of the process of evaluating biotechnology as it pertains to food and animal feed. That’s true only for human and animal pharmaceutical drugs. For any technology pertaining to the usage of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, residential sanitizers, wood preservatives, etc.) the lead agency in the U.S. is the Environmental Protection Agency. It is NOT the FDA. Note that all of the registrations (approvals) for transgenic herbicide resistant crops, as well as those which endemically express Bt toxin, were issued by the EPA, not the FDA. Before reaching their regulatory decisions the EPA does consult with their sister agencies, the FDA as well as the USDA, however the EPA is directly in charge of the review and approval process.
    Importantly, the EPA does not require, and does not publish any guidelines pertaining to human studies in order to register “plant-incorporated protectants”, as transgenic plants are termed pertaining to any pesticide usage. Human studies are required (by the FDA) only for pharmaceuticals and devices intentionally applied to humans for the mitigation of disease.

    As a related matter, for anyone with the slightest concern about lack of human studies you might want to consider that no agency of the U.S. government requires any human studies on dietary supplements, “health foods”, herbal and holistic cure-alls, and all the touchy-feely organic products that you see in those cute little bottles at your local smarm shop. They don’t even require any studies, even on animals. You can just pack ’em up and sell them, as long as the label doesn’t make any disease control or health maintenance claims. No safety testing, no inspections after the fact, not even testing for their true content. I have to laugh at all the anti-GMO screamers out there who are trying to kill off biotechnically produced foods so they can jack up the prices for their “organic” junk that never gets tested for anything.

  7. It is agreed that no long term human trials are feasible in such cases. But there is a way out. Find another specie that is closest to Human Genome. For instance Cow Genome is considered to Human Genome. If one generation of Humans is normally available for observation in an average of 25 years, next generation of Cows can be observed in four years. Thus time for an experiment can be reduced by nearly 25%. Take the case of Consanguinity. It has taken modern science to fully observe the effects of Consanguinity in last 1400 years in communities that marry their cousins. Ill effects of Inbreeding in cows can be observed in just about 30 years.

  8. come to Romania if you want to study long term effects of gmos on humans. ~50% of vegetables/fruit in markets/supermarkets are Gmo.Unfortunately romanians are labrats.They are testing these WMDs on us.The politicians and government dont care about romanians’ health. Some people dont even know they are eating gmo,some dont care but the effects will be seen in time.We have gmo parsley,lemons,sweet cherries,apples,lettuce,pineapples etc in supermarkets in Bucharest. Come do some tests if u dont believe me. we are being heavily tested on.

  9. So to summarize: ‘GMO’s are safe because the people who developed them said they are.. And anyone who dare question the safety of a product that has never been tested in humans is a ‘GMO nut’ ‘. This passes as science. shameful… On one hand big ag with the support of the government says ‘we need to change the genetics of this plant in order to make it more resilient to pests drought and/or chemicals and on the other hand they say ‘from a safety perspective we should consider it to be exactly the same as the parent plant’ lol… So which is it big ag?? Is it the same or is it different??

  10. GMO’s may cause diseases such as cancer.

    Mansanto does not have your best intrests in mind, they do not care about you, they care about money.

    GMO’s are not good.

    They are good for feeding a large population, but they are not good for your health, they are a band aid to keep the machine running.

  11. “this isn’t a cop out”… erm, yes it is.
    Its pretty simple. you get a gmo crop, you pay a bunch of people to eat it regularly over a 20 year period. You assess their health. You double blind with another group that doesn’t eat GMO. At the end, you’ve got some statistical evidence to say if GMO is safe.

  12. Even if long term feeding experiments are carried out, the opponents will ask for data on life time feeding experiments.. This would require seventy years. When the results do not show any adverse effects, the opponents will ask for the data on the second generation, then the third and so on..

  13. We are dousing our interior landscapes with a potent and effective intestinal flora herbicide. Oopsie! There is four year old research out of Germany that established that glyphosate kills many species of beneficial animal gut bacteria while not affecting more harmful gut bacteria, like E. coli and the bacteria that causes botulism, which is apparently at epidemic levels in cattle. And it’s not a stretch to say that it likely has a similar effect on the versions of those bacteria that have colonized us. And there is increasing evidence that Roundup as a product is far more toxic than glyphosate on its own because the ingredients interact in troubling ways. Profits over People……and then this blob of corporate propaganda! for those who like to read peer reviewed studies, here it is:

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