World Health Organization sees ‘weak evidence’ of human poisoning by endocrine disruptors in chemicals

While admitting humans are experiencing the highest incidence of disease and that thousands of dangerous chemicals are used in products people consume, a World Health Organization report says there is only weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by the abundance of those chemicals in food and other products.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 25, 2013

There are two facts that are undeniable when it comes to human health. First, despite great advances in science and technology, humans are sicker beings today –both mentally and physically–, when compared to half a century ago, for example. Even worse, the incidence of previously unknown or inexistant diseases has grown exponentially due to ‘inexplicable’ reasons. Second, those who were charged with verifying the safety of the production processes and the goods that are mass-produced for human consumption, failed to point out the dangers, and the side effects of thousands of substances used in the manufacture of industrial products.

The reason for the failure to properly guard human health and the environment from toxic chemicals varies, and it needs to be investigated on a case to case basis, but generally it occurred either due to lack of knowledge or because those watching out for our safety overlooked clear evidence that certain chemicals posed a direct threat to humanity and the environment. Three cases in point: DDT, fluoride in the water, mercury in vaccines, pesticides and herbicides.

In 2013, 41 years after its creation, the World Health Organization finally decided to publish a document where it expresses its concern about the adverse effects that toxic chemicals may have in humans; specifically on the human endocrine system. The document issued by the WHO titled Global Assessment of the State‐of‐the‐Science of Endocrine Disruptors, addresses what millions of people around the world, and thousands of health care practitioners have warned about for many years: chemicals put in the foods we eat, the water we drink and others used in industrial processes harm human health and gravely contaminate the environment.

Unfortunately, the report starts by playing down the role of industrial chemicals in the exponential appearance of disease among humans. The WHO cites as its final conclusion that “although it is clear that certain environmental chemicals can interfere with normal hormonal processes, there is weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by exposure to endocrine-active chemicals.” As many other unaccountable global organizations, the WHO refused to look at independently gathered evidence that raised concerns about the poisoning of humans and the environment by the industrial process and how chemicals used in the production of food, for example, was the origin of previously unknown diseases.

It took 16 years for the WHO to accept and implement the advice provided by various health groups about the serious problem with the way food is produced as well as the way toxic chemicals are used in the production of the food we ingest. Back in 1997, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety and the Environment Leaders of the Eight regarding the issue of EDCs, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint programme of WHO, UNEP and the International Labour Organization, began preparing the report issued in 2013.

Along with its general conclusion that its panel of scientists did not find enough evidence –despite all the evidence that exists– that human health is indeed adversely affected by exposure to endocrine disruptors found in toxic chemicals, the WHO report highlights just over a dozen other warning signs that humans, animals and the environment as a whole MAY be experiencing the consequences of systematic poisoning.

After explaining that life on Earth depends on its ability to reproduce and developed normally, the WHO report explains that there is a high incidence and a growing trend of endocrine-related disorders in humans; that there are observations of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations; and that there is enough evidence that chemicals to which everyone is exposed to have endocrine disrupting properties linked to disease outcomes in laboratory studies. Amazingly, the WHO admits that there is more evidence to suggest that toxic chemicals DO cause endocrine disruptions on animals than on humans.

Endocrine Disruption

Figure 2. Overview of the endocrine system. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The report found that endocrine-related diseases and disorders are on the rise, especially on young men. It related that in some countries, up to 40% of young men show low semen quality, which translates in their inability to have children. In addition to infertility, the report calls attention to the incidence of genital malformations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid disruption, an unexplained rise in endocrine-related cancers that include breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid, earlier development of the breasts in young girls and the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which increased exponentially all over the world for the past 40 years.

The World Health Organization reports that some 800 chemicals are confirmed or suspected to interfere with hormone receptors, hormonal synthesis or conversion and that only a small amount of those chemicals have been properly studied to determine their negative effects on the organisms. That is to say, health watchdogs –both at the national and international levels– traditionally failed to test for the potential or demonstrated threats that toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of food products presented to humans and other forms of life. “The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all,” the study admits.

As many independent observations have previously warned, humans and all life on this planet are continuously exposed to Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDC), which traditionally occurs in low but permanent levels. The WHO report confirms this fact by saying that evidence shows that humans and wildlife are exposed to more EDCs than just those found in persistent organic pollutants. The report also confirms that food and drinking water are two major contributors of human and animal poisoning, but that the list of those elements that poison us all is long.

“Children can have higher exposures to chemicals compared with adults—for example, through their hand-to-mouth activity and higher metabolic rate. The speed with which the increases in disease incidence have occurred in recent decades rules out genetic factors as the sole plausible explanation.”

Endocrine Disruption in Babies

Figure 3. Sensitive windows of development. Each tissue has a specific window during development when it is forming. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The statement above is damning evidence that most, if not all supposedly genetically transmitted diseases, are not really passed on to humans by their progenitors, but by their exposure to chemicals created or used during the production of food and other products. The report goes on detailing that chemicals such as DDT, PCB’s, diethylstilbestrol (DES) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), often used in pesticides and herbicides, or for controlling insect reproduction, are to blame for breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-descended testes.

How can they then say that the evidence is weak when it comes to the relation between toxic chemicals and mass spread disease?

The assessment on endocrine disruptors clarified that much of the damage caused by toxic chemicals happens during pregnancy or early in human life. “Numerous laboratory studies support the idea that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife.”

Again, where is the weak link then?

“Developmental exposures can cause changes that, while not evident as birth defects, can induce permanent changes that lead to increased incidence of diseases throughout life.

These insights from endocrine disruptor research in animals have an impact on current practice in toxicological testing and screening. Instead of solely studying effects of exposures in adulthood, the effects of exposures during sensitive windows in fetal development, perinatal life, childhood and puberty require careful scrutiny.”

The WHO report openly admits that organizations that are supposed to be vigilant about the adverse effects of poisons used in the industrial manufacture process have failed time after time to do that very task. “There has been a failure to adequately address the underlying environmental causes of trends in endocrine diseases and disorders.”

Is there room here for liability?

According to the WHO, disease risk induced by endocrine disrupting chemicals may have been significantly underestimated. That is to say, doctors and other health care practitioners who up until today follow the teachings of modern medicine as their base to diagnose disease while ignoring –sometimes purposely– the evidence presented by many studies on the adverse effects of EDC’s, are also to blame for current wave of ‘unknown’ or ‘untreatable disorders.

“We know that humans and wildlife are simultaneously exposed to many EDCs; thus, the measurement of the linkage between exposure to  mixtures of EDCs and disease or dysfunction is more physiologically relevant. In addition, it is likely that exposure to a single EDC may cause disease syndromes or multiple diseases, an area that has not been adequately studied.” Why not? Certainly nor because of lack of funding. Perhaps disinterest from the part of large pharmaceutical conglomerates who conduct their own studies with the ONLY intention to show whether a product is effective, but not to determine its safety or the long-term adverse effects on humans. The same is true for companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and others which brag about their technological discoveries even though many independent tests prove, beyond reasonable doubt that their GMO’s, herbicides and pesticides are killing people all over the world.

Despite the mounting evidence presented in its own study, the skyrocketing incidence of disease in the last 50 years and the growing trends that show how EDC’s are more and more involved in causing adverse effects on human populations, the WHO again limits the relation between EDC’s and disease as a matter of association, instead of going beyond and calling it a matter of cause and effect. The report says that human studies can show associations only. But what happens when those associations continue to appear, study after study? Doesn’t that build a clear relationship of cause and effect?

Since most main stream corporate or government financed studies do not properly test for the effects of EDC’s on humans, because they are conducted with a very low number of subjects and for a very short time, the WHO has determined that this ‘association’ does not go beyond casual results that do not offer enough evidence to pose a cause and effect relationship. This is so, because although the mounting evidence, most tests are not designed to show that cause-effect relationship, which immediately invalidates them as reliable proof or evidence that toxic chemicals have –for a long time– caused disease in people and polluted the environment.

The report correctly points out that the shift already taking place from determining associations to testing for links –cause and effect– is the way to go to show what it deems as solid evidence that toxic chemicals indeed cause disease. But the WHO still fails to recognize what many studies have determined: that the adverse effects of early and continuous exposure to toxic chemicals are only detected late in life. Those effects, as explained before, are usually misdiagnosed by most doctors, who usually tell their patients that the origin of their illness is still unknown and that there is no way to treat the causes; only the symptoms. At this point, patients are condemned to taking pharmaceutical drugs for the rest of their lives, which eventually end up killing them due to their own adverse effects.

So, the state of human health today is equally bad from two different fronts. People are either killed by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals used in the production process of food or in the food itself, or they die while trying to ‘cure’ their diseases with industrialized pharmaceuticals whose own side effects are as deadly as those from the chemicals people are trying to get rid of. Either way, people die long, painful deaths.

So what is next? What needs to be done to end this vicious circle of disease? Can long-term studies be the solution? I think it is too little too late for that. Waiting another 10 or 20 years to see the result of long-term tests is not something a lot of people can afford now. That does not mean that those studies should not be done. It means that people need to find solutions by themselves. Now that the World Health Organization has finally confessed they have not done their job to protect people from dangerous substances –quite the opposite is true–  people need to understand that their nutrition is their responsibility. It always has been so. From the part of the organizations that are supposed to keep us safe from the dangers of toxic chemicals, it is time to stop talking and start walking.

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France to ban Syngenta Pesticide

AFP | JUNE 2, 2012

The French government is to ban a pesticide made by Swiss giant Syngenta used in rapeseed cultivation that has been found to shorten bees’ lifespan, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said Friday.

“I have warned the group that sells Cruiser that I envisage withdrawing the licence to market,” Le Foll said after the National Food, Environment and Work Safety Agency (ANSES) issued a damning report on the pesticide.

The Swiss chemical giant has 15 days to respond to the ANSES report’s conclusion that the pesticide shortens bees’ lifespans.

“ANSES’s report brings in new elements and clearly shows the harmful effect of this product on bees’ mortality and I want to take into account what has been said,” Le Foll said.

The minister said he would raise the possibility of a European Union-wide ban with the European Commission and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).

The ANSES report was called for in March after the journal Science published a French study demonstrating the harmful effects on bees of broad-spectrum insecticide thiamethoxam, found in Cruiser.

Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’

By ANTHONY GUCCIARDI | NATURAL SOCIETY | APRIL 11, 2012

In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of  Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

The majority of the farmers in the area used Monsanto’s Roundup, an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate that has shown to be killing human kidney cells. What’s more, the farmers say that the tobacco companies pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of protective equipment. In other words, these farmers — many in dire economic conditions — were being directly exposed to Roundup in large concentrations without any protective gear (or even experience or skills in handling the substance). Still, the farmers say the tobacco giants required the struggling farmers to ‘purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides’.

Read Full Article →

Agent Orange in your Food

by Dr. Mercola
Dr. Mercola.com
February 11, 2012

Agent Orange, produced by both Monsanto and Dow Chemicals, was used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War.

During that time, millions of gallons of the toxic chemical mixture were sprayed on trees and vegetation, and the aftermath left hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese sick, with countless numbers of their children suffering birth defects, and a still growing group of U.S. veterans with related diseases ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s disease.

Agent Orange was a horrific chemical concoction that never should have been used, and if you want to see some of its effects on children who were exposed in the womb, you can do so here — but I warn you the photos are very graphic and upsetting.

Agent Orange is no longer produced — so why am I bringing it up now?

Because Dow AgroSciences (a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals), who was one of the original manufacturers of Agent Orange (AO), has developed a new generation of genetically modified (GM) crops — soybeans, corn and cotton — that are designed to resist a major ingredient in AO: the herbicide called 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).

The use of 2,4-D, however, is not new, as it is actually one of the most widely used herbicides in the world.

What is new – and disturbingly so – is that now that staple crops like soy and corn have been engineered to be resistant to 2,4-D, it may soon be applied to U.S. arable land on an unprecedented scale — not unlike its indiscriminate application during Vietnam.

The whole point of engineering resistance to an herbicide within a GMO plant, of course, is so that you can “carpet bomb” an entire field, leaving only your “Frankenfoods” standing, without having to exert even a fraction of the effort required raise crops organically and sustainably.

In fact, if 2,4-D resistant crops receive approval and eventually come to replace Monsanto’s failing Roundup-resistant crops as Dow intends, it is likely that billions of pounds will be needed, on top of the already insane levels of Roundup now being used (1.6 billion lbs were used in 2007 in the US alone!).

Agent Orange Ingredient to be Used in GMO Crops

Dow’s new GM product, dubbed “Enlist,” is a three-gene, herbicide-tolerant soybean that has been engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup herbicide, along with glufosinate and 2,4-D. The company expects to earn $1.5 billion in additional profit in 2013 by selling these triple herbicide-resistant seeds. As noted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs:

“The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).”
Ironically, while Dow’s new crops would seriously escalate the use of 2,4-D, Monsanto is currently facing a class-action lawsuit involving the other Agent Orange ingredient, 2,4,5-T. The suit alleges that homes and schools near one of its 2,4,5-T chemical plants are nowcontaminated with cancer-causing dioxin, a byproduct of the manufacturing process. This should be a wake-up call to those considering widespread application of any toxic Agent Orange ingredient.

Dow, however, is touting the new product as a solution to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM crops, which currently dominate the GM seed market but are now being overshadowed by problems with weed resistance (not to mention that glyphosate itself is also incredibly toxic, and has been linked to infertility, among other serious health problems).

Where Monsanto has failed, Dow and other chemical rivals like DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer (which are also working on their own herbicide-resistant GM seeds) see opportunity. So Dow has trotted in on their white horse to offer a new variety of GM crop, which they say will not pose the “superweed” problem that Roundup Ready crops have created.

This is not so, according to an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which researchers state that suggesting 2,4-D will not lead to widespread weed resistance “misrepresented the potential for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)–resistant weeds in 2,4-D–resistant cropping systems and exaggerated the sustainability of their approach to addressing glyphosate-resistant weed problems in agriculture.”

They, in fact, note 28 species across 16 plant families that have already evolved resistance to similar herbicides to 2,4-D. Further, asstated on GreenMedInfo, the new Enlist crops are setting the stage for even greater and simultaneous herbicide use, the health ramifications of which are completely unknown:

“Instead of learning from Monsanto’s colossal mistakes (which happens when you play geneticist-as-God and use a broad spectrum poison to kill all but your “chosen” plants) Dow AgroScience’s solution is to multiply the problem by a factor of three, creating the “first-ever, three-gene,” herbicide-tolerant staple crops.

What this means is that instead of using only one highly toxic herbicide (Roundup), three will be used simultaneously, further increasing the risk of serious exposures, and setting up the conditions for synergistic toxicities – something that toxicological risk assessments on singular herbicide ingredients, which establish “an acceptable level of harm,” never account for.”

Studies Show Increases in Cancer, Birth Defects With Use of 2,4-D

What is known about 2,4-D so far is not reassuring, considering the devastation caused by Agent Orange. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding 2,4-D specifically:

“Health effects of chronic or acute 2,4-D exposure reported for adults included blood, liver, and kidney toxicity. Specific effects included a reduction in hemoglobin and red blood cell numbers, decreased liver enzyme activity, and increased kidney weight. Acute exposure can result in skin and eye irritation. Acute exposure to very high concentrations of 2,4-D can cause the following clinical symptoms: stupor, coma, coughing, burning sensations in lungs, loss of muscular coordination, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.

Experimental animal studies of chronic oral exposure have reported adverse effects on the eye, thyroid, kidney, adrenals, and ovaries/testes. In addition, some experimental animal studies have reported teratogenic effects (birth defects) at high doses, including increased fetal death, urinary tract malformation, and extra ribs.

When adult female experimental animals were exposed to 2,4-D during their pregnancy and lactation periods, their exposed offspring exhibited neurological effects, including delayed neurobehavioral development and changes in several neurotransmitter levels or binding activities and ganglioside levels in the brain. Delayed neurobehavioral development was manifested as delays in acquisition of certain motor skills such as the righting reflex.”

The glaring problem, of course, is that with approval of Dow’s new GM crops, the use of 2,4-D could skyrocket out of control. As reported by The Cornucopia Institute:

“”The concern is that, just like Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn that is resistant to RoundUp™ (glyphosate) herbicide, the approval of a cultivar resistant to 2,4-D will cause an exponential increase in the use of this toxic agrichemical,” says Mark A. Kastel, senior farm policy analyst with The Cornucopia Institute.

And again, as the EPA acknowledges, this is far from a benign chemical. The Cornucopia Institute continues:
“2,4-D is a chlorophenoxy herbicide, and scientists around the world have reported increased cancer risks in association with its use, especially for soft tissue sarcoma and malignant lymphoma. Four separate studies in the United States reported an association with chlorophenoxy herbicide use and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

… Research by the EPA found that babies born in counties with high rates of 2,4-D application to farm fields were significantly more likely to be born with birth defects of the respiratory and circulatory systems, as well as defects of the musculoskeletal system like clubfoot, fused digits and extra digits. These birth defects were 60% to 90% more likely in counties with higher 2,4-D application rates. The results also showed a higher likelihood of birth defects in babies conceived in the spring, when herbicide application rates peak.”

Weed Scientist Says, “We Told You So”

In the same way that Dow is now certain that its new three-gene, herbicide-tolerant soybean will not spur the creation of more herbicide-resistant “super weeds,” Monsanto was also historically adamant that Roundup Ready crops would not cause weed resistance either.

Of course, now that the die has been cast, the United States is reaping the consequences with 13 resistant weed species covering more than 11 million acres, mostly those planted with Monsanto’s GM soy, corn and cotton crops. Around the world, 21 weed species are now resistant to glyphosate, up from zero in 1996.

The weeds are making Monsanto’s promises that their GM crops would reduce pesticide use completely laughable — since farmers are being forced to use multiple, and more, pesticides to keep weeds in their GM crops under control — and are turning out to be a very big thorn in Monsanto’s proverbial side.

Monsanto’s solution is similar to Dow’s … add more herbicide-resistant genes to the plants so even more potent herbicide cocktails can be poured over U.S. farmland! According to Monsanto Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant, who was interviewed in Business Week, the company plans to add resistance to Dicamba, another weedkiller, to Roundup Ready crops by 2015, noting that:

“The cavalry is coming.”

The cavalry is coming indeed … unfortunately they are working for the wrong side, with their “war on weeds” causing massive collateral damage to environmental and human health alike. William G. Johnson, a weed scientist at Purdue University, told Business Week, these new technologies may control Roundup-resistant weeds and leave us in “wedded bliss for 10 or 15 years” but “they do select for their own failure:”

 “Now that it has kind of blown up, it’s like, ‘We told you so,'” he says.

Adding further insult to injury, Johnson explains that “Dicamba and 2,4-D both tend to volatilize, turning the chemicals into vapor that can drift onto neighboring land … ” accidentally killing nearby crops and exposing greater expanses to its toxic effects.

Let us also not forget that all the “weeds” these herbicides were designed to kill represent biodiversity, without which we would be left with only a handful of staple crops — upon which our entire subsistence now precariously depends. Only because we do not find obvious value in a plant, does not mean it is not there.

Emerson once said: “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Indeed, when we target as “the enemy” any living plant that does not bear the favored qualities of a GM plant, and use the slash-and-burn, herbicidal approach to eradicate any competing plant life form, we are basically declaring war on the biosphere itself, and thereby setting up the future conditions for the collapse of our entire food production system, as well as poisoning ourselves in the process. Without biodiversity, monoculturing puts “too many eggs in one basket,” virtually guaranteeing future crop collapses and famine. In a nutshell, industrial herbicides (and the GM plants designed to thrive when exposed to them), are a dead end – both figuratively, and literally.

Now’s the Time to Take Action!

Dow has applied for non-regulated status of its 2,4-D-resistant corn, and you have until February 27, 2012 to comment on the petition. Please let your opinion be heard that approving more herbicide-tolerant crops is not the solution to ending “super weeds”; the real solution lies in eliminating the genetically modified crops that created them in the first place!

As Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides told The Cornucopia Institute:

“In 2012 the USDA is proposing approving a new GE corn variety that is resistant to a different toxic herbicide, escalating the toxic treadmill in chemical-dependent agriculture. This is nothing more than a band-aid solution to a serious problem, and will only give rise to more superweeds, more herbicide pollution in our environment, more herbicide poisoning, while likely leading to the need for even more toxic herbicides a couple of years down the line. This foolish circle has to end.”

It’s quite clear that genetically engineered foods are not only threatening the food supply with the creation of herbicide-resistant weeds, but they can also pose potentially serious threats to animal and human health when consumed. Fortunately, now you, too, can let your opinion be heard on this issue. Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and the Environmental Working Group, are working to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past.

Here’s how you can get involved:

In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed, although now that GM alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean GMO free. You can also look for foods that are“non-GMO verified” by the Non-GMO Project.

Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!

In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.

Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

IRT
November 1, 2011

“This study was just routine,” said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

And if this isn’t shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths—a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.

The study, jointly conducted by Surov’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, was published in July 2010.

He used Campbell hamsters, with a fast reproduction rate, divided into 4 groups. All were fed a normal diet, but one was without any soy, another had non-GM soy, a third used GM soy, and a fourth contained higher amounts of GM soy. They used 5 pairs of hamsters per group, each of which produced 7-8 litters, totally 140 animals.

Surov told The Voice of Russia,

“Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly.”

He selected new pairs from each group, which generated another 39 litters. There were 52 pups born to the control group and 78 to the non-GM soy group. In the GM soy group, however, only 40 pups were born. And of these, 25% died. This was a fivefold higher death rate than the 5% seen among the controls. Of the hamsters that ate high GM soy content, only a single female hamster gave birth. She had 16 pups; about 20% died.

Surov said “The low numbers in F2 [third generation] showed that many animals were sterile.”

The published paper will also include measurements of organ size for the third generation animals, including testes, spleen, uterus, etc. And if the team can raise sufficient funds, they will also analyze hormone levels in collected blood samples.

Hair Growing in the Mouth

Earlier this year, Surov co-authored a paper in Doklady Biological Sciences showing that in rare instances, hair grows inside recessed pouches in the mouths of hamsters.

“Some of these pouches contained single hairs; others, thick bundles of colorless or pigmented hairs reaching as high as the chewing surface of the teeth. Sometimes, the tooth row was surrounded with a regular brush of hair bundles on both sides. The hairs grew vertically and had sharp ends, often covered with lumps of a mucous.”Rat Study Oral Hair

“(a) The external appearance of the oral cavity. Gingival pouches (GP) with thick bundles of hair growing from their mucous lining are clearly seen. (b) Perforated bone tissue of the teeth of an adult Ph. campbelli. Numerous hollows are seen. A, hair.”

From A. S. Baranov, O. F. Chernova, N. Yu. Feoktistova, and A. V. Surov, “A New Example of Ectopia: Oral Hair in Some Rodent Species,” Doklady Biological Sciences, 2010, Vol. 431, pp. 117–120, Original Russian Text © A.S. Baranov, O.F. Chernova, N.Yu. Feoktistova, A.V. Surov, 2010, published in Doklady Akademii Nauk, 2010, Vol. 431, No. 4, pp. 559–562.

At the conclusion of the study, the authors surmise that such an astounding defect may be due to the diet of hamsters raised in the laboratory. They write, “This pathology may be exacerbated by elements of the food that are absent in natural food, such as genetically modified (GM) ingredients (GM soybean or maize meal) or contaminants (pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals, etc.).” Indeed, the number of hairy mouthed hamsters was much higher among the third generation of GM soy fed animals than anywhere Surov had seen before.

Preliminary, But Ominous

Surov warns against jumping to early conclusions. He said, “It is quite possible that the GMO does not cause these effects by itself.” Surov wants to make the analysis of the feed components a priority, to discover just what is causing the effect and how.

In addition to the GMOs, it could be contaminants, he said, or higher herbicide residues, such as Roundup. There is in fact much higher levels of Roundup on these beans; they’re called “Roundup Ready.” Bacterial genes are forced into their DNA so that the plants can tolerate Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Therefore, GM soy always carries the double threat of higher herbicide content, couple with any side effects of genetic engineering.

Years of Reproductive Disorders from GMO-Feed

Rats photo #1Surov’s hamsters are just the latest animals to suffer from reproductive disorders after consuming GMOs. In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller (see photo) and could not reproduce.

In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.

When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue!

Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes (PDF), including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.

An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer the babies they had (PDF), and the smaller the babies were.

Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry’s problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding “neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.” Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females “at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.” One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.

In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.

Denial, Attack and Canceled Follow-up

Scientists who discover adverse findings from GMOs are regularly attacked, ridiculed, denied funding, and even fired. When Ermakova reported the high infant mortality among GM soy fed offspring, for example, she appealed to the scientific community to repeat and verify her preliminary results. She also sought additional funds to analyze preserved organs. Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Samples were stolen from her lab, papers were burnt on her desk, and she said that her boss, under pressure from his boss, told her to stop doing any more GMO research. No one has yet repeated Ermakova’s simple, inexpensive studies.

In an attempt to offer her sympathy, one of her colleagues suggested that maybe the GM soy will solve the over population problem!

Surov reports that so far, he has not been under any pressure.

Opting Out of the Massive GMO Feeding Experiment

Without detailed tests, no one can pinpoint exactly what is causing the reproductive travesties in Russian hamsters and rats, Italian and Austrian mice, and livestock in India and America. And we can only speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population. But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens don’t think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech industry’s massive uncontrolled experiment.

Alexey Surov says, “We have no right to use GMOs until we understand the possible adverse effects, not only to ourselves but to future generations as well. We definitely need fully detailed studies to clarify this. Any type of contamination has to be tested before we consume it, and GMO is just one of them.”