Touch the Soil News #580
The reason for GMO corn is to make corn tolerant to Glyphosate – a chemical used in the herbicide Roundup. Thus, when controlling weeds in corn fields, you can spray a chemical lethal to living plants and not kill the corn.
The USDA has classified GMO corn as “Generally Recognized as Safe.” This makes us consumers believe that the GMO corn is generally the same as regular real corn. A recent technical study (1) on NK603 – Roundup Ready GMO corn, revealed that the GMO corn was materially different than normal Non-GMO corn. The study was led by Dr. Michael Antiniou of King’s College London.
Following were some of the findings:
- A total of 117 proteins and 91 small molecule biochemical (metabolites) were found to be statistically significantly altered in the GMO corn during the genetic engineering process.
- GM NK603 corn and its corresponding non-GMO corn variety are not substantially equivalent.
- The GM transformation process causes a general disturbance in the GMO plant. Whether the increased levels of cadaverine and putrescine found in the NK603 corn samples can account for the signs of potential negative health effects in rats fed on this corn should be further studied.
- The results obtained show not only disturbances in energy utilisation and oxidative stress (damage to cells and tissues by reactive oxygen), but worryingly large increases in certain substances (polyamines).
- Polyamines found to be present in increased amounts in GMO NK603 corn include putrescine and cadaverine, which can produce various toxic effects. For example, they enhance the effects of histamine, thus heightening allergic reactions, and both have been implicated in the formation of carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines.
The weed-free rows between GMO corn are often the result of the use of glyphosate – the weed chemical that GMO corn was engineered to withstand. How much do you have to alter the corn plant to withstand toxic chemicals?
Another problem with GMO corn is that the broad use of glyphosate is creating glyphosate resistant weeds and that chemical residues of glyphosate are showing up in water sources and in human tissue. The World Health Organization claims that glyphosate is a possible human carcinogen.
Following is a video clip questioning the safety of Glyphosate and GMO corn its primary user:
(1) Mesnage, R. et al. An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process. Sci. Rep. 6, 37855; doi: 10.1038/srep37855 (2016).