Canadian scientists finding toxin from GMO crops in human blood samples

“(NaturalNews) The biotechnology industry’s house of cards appears to be crumbling, as a new study out of the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, recently found Bt toxin, a component of certain genetically-modified (GM) crops, in human blood samples for the first time.

Set to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology the new study shreds the false notion that Bt is broken down by the digestive system, and instead shows that the toxin definitively persists in the bloodstream.

Industry mouthpieces have long alleged that Bt toxin, which is derived from a soil bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis, is harmless to humans. The built-in pesticide has been integrated into certain GM crops to ward offpests. Bt corn, for instance, has actually been designed to produce the toxin directly inside its kernels, which are later eaten by both livestock and humans (…).

In the recent study, researchers Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc evaluated 30pregnant womenand 39 non-pregnantwomenwho had come to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec, Can., for a tubectomy. Upon takingblood samples, researchers detected the Bt Cry1Ab toxin in a shocking 93 percent of maternal and 80 percent of fetalbloodsamples. And 69 percent of non-pregnant women tested positive for the toxin in their blood….”

Learn more:

And on the same topic from the Eat Drink Better blog “Toxin from GM crops found in human blood”:

“When you let the GMO industry police itself and evaluate the safety of its own products, you are bound to get something different than if you had (or let) independent scientists do so. I’ve covered the scientific limitations of GMO studies commissioned or conducted by the GMO industry before, as well as 13 scientific studies that have identified a link between GMOs and organ disruption. News is out now that may be even more disturbing.

“Fresh doubts have arisen about the safety of genetically modified crops, with a new study reporting presence of Bt toxin, used widely in GM crops, in human blood for the first time,” India Today recently reported.

Many genetically modified crops include genes of bacteria in order to make them resistant to pests. While these genes make the crops toxic to pests, the claim is that they do no harm to humans or the environment. BT toxin, inserted into some GM crops, is one such toxin that scientists and GM companies have claimed is harmless since it breaks down in the gut of humans. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada shows that insecticidal proteins of GM crops may not actually break down as claimed. Here’s more form India Today:

Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women.

They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation. The research paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. The study covered 30 pregnant women and 39 women who had come for tubectomy at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec.

None of them had worked or lived with a spouse working in contact with pesticides.

They were all consuming typical Canadian diet that included GM foods such as soybeans, corn and potatoes. Blood samples were taken before delivery for pregnant women and at tubal ligation for non-pregnant women. Umbilical cord blood sampling was done after birth….”

Once, again, the above is from the Eat Drink Better blog.

Here’s a link to the abstract of the scientific paper cited in the above two stories.


Filed under News

7 responses to “Canadian scientists finding toxin from GMO crops in human blood samples

  1. tal

    Playing God in the Garden-Michael Polan- 1998

    “…I checked with the F.D.A. to find out exactly what had been done to insure the safety of this potato. I was mystified by the fact that the Bt toxin was not being treated as a ”food additive” subject to labeling, even though the new protein is expressed in the potato itself. The label on a bag of biotech potatoes in the supermarket will tell a consumer all about the nutrients they contain, even the trace amounts of copper. Yet it is silent not only about the fact that those potatoes are the product of genetic engineering but also about their containing an insecticide.

    At the F.D.A., I was referred to James Maryanski, who oversees biotech food at the agency. I began by asking him why the F.D.A. didn’t consider Bt a food additive. Under F.D.A. law, any novel substance added to a food must — unless it is ”generally regarded as safe” (”GRAS,” in F.D.A. parlance) — be thoroughly tested and if it changes the product in any way, must be labeled.

    ”That’s easy,” Maryanski said. ”Bt is a pesticide, so it’s exempt” from F.D.A. regulation. That is, even though a Bt potato is plainly a food, for the purposes of Federal regulation it is not a food but a pesticide and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the E.P.A.

    Yet even in the case of those biotech crops over which the F.D.A. does have jurisdiction, I learned that F.D.A. regulation of biotech food has been largely voluntary since 1992, when Vice President Dan Quayle issued regulatory guidelines for the industry as part of the Bush Administration’s campaign for ”regulatory relief.” Under the guidelines, new proteins engineered into foods are regarded as additives (unless they’re pesticides), but as Maryanski explained, ”the determination whether a new protein is GRAS can be made by the company.” Companies with a new biotech food decide for themselves whether they need to consult with the F.D.A. by following a series of ”decision trees” that pose yes or no questions like this one: ”Does. . .the introduced protein raise any safety concern?”

    Since my Bt potatoes were being regulated as a pesticide by the E.P.A. rather than as a food by the F.D.A., I wondered if the safety standards are the same. ”Not exactly,” Maryanski explained. The F.D.A. requires ”a reasonable certainty of no harm” in a food additive, a standard most pesticides could not meet. After all, ”pesticides are toxic to something,” Maryanski pointed out, so the E.P.A. instead establishes human ”tolerances” for each chemical and then subjects it to a risk-benefit analysis.

    When I called the E.P.A. and asked if the agency had tested my Bt potatoes for safety as a human food, the answer was. . .not exactly. It seems the E.P.A. works from the assumption that if the original potato is safe and the Bt protein added to it is safe, then the whole New Leaf package is presumed to be safe. Some geneticists believe this reasoning is flawed, contending that the process of genetic engineering itself may cause subtle, as yet unrecognized changes in a food….”


    Years later, is this going to be like Asbestos is now. At work we are required to
    take Asbestos Awareness Training annually. I wonder what the long term effects of the Bt toxin building up in our bodies will be.

    This is pushing me to start my FARM TRUST farm for Calgary,Ab.
    Yes, I will record e-mails now for anyone interested.
    May the Land of Milk / Honey flow again !

  3. Noriko

    sorry – just a side stepping, but the photo above is fake, too terrible in confusing readers. Blood, especially human blood is treated as biohazard in any laboratory as it may carry blood born deseases (Hepatitis C, HIV…). Hence, researchers always wear gloves and handle it only in a safety cabinet. The photo is fake and just holding some red paint, though it may confuse people. I think it’s really not suitable in here if not dishonest, especially we’re criticizing fear-mongering of government. We should play fair.

  4. The official U.S. position on genetically-modified organisms is that there is no difference between them and natural organisms. The issue goes even further to suggest that no country should be able to require mandatory GMO labeling on food items, even though science shows that GMOs act differently in the body than do natural organisms and are a threat to health.

  5. Pingback: Canadian scientists finding toxin from GMO crops in human blood samples « Vermont For Evolution

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