Eat GMO foods and why

Genetically modified foods: unexplained health risks

The new quality of genetic engineering compared to classic breeding methods is that individual genes can be isolated, combined with one another across species and incorporated into recipient organisms. This is possible because the genetic material in all living beings - humans, animals, plants or microorganisms - is built according to the same pattern ("code").

Genetic engineering means that genes and the corresponding products appear in food that humans, despite being an omnivore (omnivore), have not yet had in their food. For example, insect resistance in maize is achieved by introducing genetic material from soil bacteria into the maize plant.

Genetically modified foods go through an approval process before they are put on the market and in the stomach. However, the manufacturers usually test the safety of their products themselves. Feeding experiments are used to determine what effects the consumption of the protein produced by the genetically modified plant has on test animals. They last 90 days and are mostly carried out on mice or rats (EU regulation 503/2013).

The results of animal experiments cannot be transferred to humans

In addition, the tests cited in the approval applications mostly do not meet the requirements for meaningful tests in terms of design, scope and duration. The large-scale test with people to determine whether genetically modified foods are safe or not is therefore carried out outside the laboratory - and without any consent from the human test subjects.

In a further series of experiments, known allergens and the allergenic potential of the GM plants are searched for. The proteins produced according to the new genetic information are compared with known allergy triggers, and test systems are used to observe how the new protein behaves. Since the unknown can only be deduced from what is already known, there is the following risk: If something completely unknown should emerge, it might not even be noticed, since it falls through the applied test grid.

New allergies and antibiotic resistance from genetically modified foods?

In connection with genetically modified foods, two health risks are primarily discussed: the development of new allergies and further antibiotic resistance.

The genetic information newly introduced into various crops - previously mainly soy, maize, rapeseed and cotton - produces proteins. Proteins are potential allergy triggers, and food allergies are based on hypersensitivity to certain proteins. In addition, the genetic modification can also lead to unexpected changes in the metabolism of the plants, which impair the safety and quality of the food made from it.

Another problem associated with genetically modified foods is the antibiotic resistance genes built into a variety of plants. These are used as so-called marker genes, with the help of which it is to be determined whether the genetic manipulation carried out on the plant was successful. The antibiotic resistance genes can be transmitted to bacteria in the human intestine. As a result, there is a risk that more and more antibiotics will become ineffective.

How the consumption of genetically modified plants affects human health is not investigated

The EU Commission consequently states: On the basis of existing research, no statements can be made about the health effects of genetically modified organisms - except that they are not acutely toxic. The reason: No data was collected on this.

When the manufacturers of genetically modified foods claim that their products are the best-tested foods of all, that is nonsense. Their possible subtoxic, chronic or allergenic effects on humans have not yet been recorded. The best-tested foods are those that humans have eaten for generations. Not the GM foods that laboratory animals are given for a few weeks or that are tested in cell cultures.

The broad spectrum herbicide "Roundup" used in most herbicide-resistant plants and its active ingredient glyphosate not only damage plants, but also have toxic effects on humans.