By: Christy Hardin Smith Friday November 21, 2008 4:30 pm
This is truly the stuff of nightmares. As someone who lived through years of infertility and miscarriage misery, I can’t imagine being in the shoes of a desperate-to-be-mother who found out that an ingredient in our food — unmarked because of government bowing to the lobbying interests of farming giants like Monsanto who don’t want you knowing that there is frankenfood in your meal — was the cause?
…Yet none of our regulatory agencies required long-term animal feeding studies before allowing all that test-tube corn to enter our food supply, according to the Center for Food Safety, and much of the short-term research that has been done was sponsored by the biotech companies that stood to profit from GE crops.
Which is why it was particularly chilling late last week to read the results of an experiment that was both long term and not conducted under the auspices of a big chemical company.
Dr. Jurgen Zentek, a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, reported that he fed one group of laboratory mice traditional corn and another group GE corn made by the Monsanto Company. The GE crop is bred to survive being sprayed by herbicide and to produce its own insecticide. The mice maintained their diets for 20 weeks, long enough to produce four litters of offspring.
Zentek found that the mice who dined on modified corn had fewer litters, fewer offspring, and more instances of complete infertility than those receiving a conventional diet. Not only that, but the infertility of the GM-corn-fed rodents became more pronounced with each passing litter.
Zentek said that further studies to corroborate his results were “urgently needed.”
Worse, because fertility issues are intrinsically linked with hormonal fluctuations, it makes me wonder whether this could also impact issues of breast and cervical cancer for women whose cancers are hormone-sensitive? As one of those people, suddenly organic produce is looking even more important. And it isn’t just cancer that could see applicability. Oh joy.
We finally achieved our miracle when we had The Peanut. As such, I try my hardest to feed her healthy, whole foods whenever possible at home. But now I have to worry about what she’s eating wherever it may be — and how it may cause problems for generations to come.
This corn has already been shown to harm aquatic ecosystems. Additional questions have been raised about threats to monarch butterfly populations, among other species. The Center For Food Safety is calling for a moratorium on use of GE corn in food products until more extensive testing can be done.
Are we engineering our own extinction? Shouldn’t we ascertain that before we feed more GE corn to our children?