Saturday, November 29, 2014

Novartis flu vaccine suspended in Italy after deaths

The Telegraph
by Denise Roland

Two batches of a flu vaccine manufactured by Swiss drug giant Novartis have been suspended in Italy following the death of three people shortly after they had received the jab.

Two women aged 87 and 79 and a 68-year-old man from southern Italy died following jabs of the Fluad vaccine earlier this month. Another man, 92, is seriously ill in hospital.

Italian health officials stressed that the suspension was a precautionary measure and urged calm, while Novartis said there was no evidence the vaccine shot had caused the deaths.

The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) insisted vaccines were "a precious resource and irreplaceable for the prevention of seasonal flu".

Sergio Pecorelli, the head of AIFA, added that 8,000 people die of seasonal flu each year. "We have to have faith in vaccines," he said.

A Novartis spokesman that a review of the two batches in question had shown they conformed to "all production and quality standards" and that the drug maker was working closely with Italian health officials to carry out further tests.

The Fluad vaccine was approved in 1997 and more than 65m doses have been distributed to date. The vaccine has a "robust safety history", the spokesman added.

Fluad is not used in the UK's flu vaccination programme, nor licensed for use in Britain, a spokesman for Public Health England said.

"There are no implications for the safety of flu vaccines licensed and used in the UK, and we advise people to have the annual influenza vaccine as recommended," he added.

Novartis is in the process of selling its flu vaccine division to Australian drugmaker CSL. The deal, which valued the business at $275m (£176m), is expected to close in the second half of 2015. The Swiss drugmaker is also offloading the remainder of its vaccines business to Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, as part of a three-way deal agreed earlier this year.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima

Global Research
by Michael T. Snyder

The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center. It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated. As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States. Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amouont of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.

Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin. They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation. We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse. The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…



1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores…

Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.
The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

2. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline…

At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die. It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”

3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low. Many are blaming Fukushima.

4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.

6. It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.

7. Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.

8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

9. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…

• 73 percent of mackerel tested

• 91 percent of the halibut

• 92 percent of the sardines

• 93 percent of the tuna and eel

• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies

• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish

10. Canadian authorities are finding extremely high levels of nuclear radiation in certain fish samples…

Some fish samples tested to date have had very high levels of radiation: one sea bass sample collected in July, for example, had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium.

11. Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish…

“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”

12. BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.

13. An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.

14. Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.

15. At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

16. A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

17. According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.

18. According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.

19. It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.

20. One recent study concluded that a very large plume of cesium-137 from the Fukushima disaster will start flowing into U.S. coastal waters early next year

Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

21. It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.

22. It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.

23. The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning

Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.”

24. The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time. Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…

Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.
Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles.
Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.

25. According to a recent Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”…

The California coastline is becoming like a dead zone.
If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.
There are also days when I am hard-pressed to find even a half dozen seagulls and/or terns on the county beach.
You can still find a few gulls trolling the picnic areas and some of the restaurants (with outdoor seating areas) for food, of course, but, when I think back to 10 – 15 years ago, the skies and ALL the beaches were literally filled with seagulls and the haunting sound of their cries both day and night…
NOW it’s unnaturally quiet.

26. A study conducted last year came to the conclusion that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could negatively affect human life along the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska “for decades”.

27. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.

28. Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years“…

“Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”

Are you starting to understand why so many people are so deeply concerned about what is going on at Fukushima?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bill Passed: EPA Must Only Take Advice from Industry Shills, NOT from Independent Scientists

Organic Prepper
by Daisy Luther

The Environmental Protection Agency is a federal agency that is charged with the responsibility of writing and enforcing legislation to protect human health and the environment. Established under Nixon in 1970, the EPA is another one of those agencies that sounds like a good idea, until you peel off the shiny friendly top layer to discover the stench of corruption underneath. Up until now, they at least pretended to be there to serve as watchdogs, but it seems like they’ve decided to give up on that silly illusion.

Since they are looking after all things environmental, they need unbiased specialists to advise them on policies and issues.

Silly me, I always thought that sounded sort of…I dunno…science-y.

Our estimable House of Representatives disagrees.

Apparently they feel the EPA should not take advice from independent scientists at all. In fact, they believe it so strongly that they just passed a bill barring the freaking ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY from taking the advice of independent scientists. They are now expected to take their advice from people who are “industry affiliated.” Oh – and those people don’t actually have to be scientists at all.

Yeah. Because that’s not a conflict of interest.

Certainly people who work for companies like Monsanto or Dupont will be diligent in ensuring a healthy environment, even if it costs their companies extra money, right? I’m sure those folks that work for companies that indulge in fracking will absolutely halt it if it seems like it’s causing problems with the groundwater or something. No matter what the cost to their companies, we can all feel confident that they’ll stringently do what’s right.

A bill passed through the US House of Representatives is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be replaced with industry affiliated choices, who may or may not have relevant scientific expertise, but whose paychecks benefit from telling the EPA what their employers want to hear.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 1978 to ensure the EPA uses the most up to date and relevant scientific research for its decision making and that the EPA’s programs reflect this advice. It has served in this role, most often uncontroversially, through 36 years and six presidents. If the new bill passes the Senate and wins presidential approval, however, that is about to change.

The bill would prevent scientists from voting on the release into the environment of a chemical by their employers. Nevertheless, they would be allowed to vote to release a nearly identical chemical, Grifo notes, including some that would set a precedent that would be very useful to the company in future decisions.

More insidiously, research scientists are barred under the act from advising on any topic that might “directly or indirectly involve review and evaluation of their own work”. In other words, the only people barred from advising the EPA on a particular chemical are those who have actually studied its toxicity or effect on the environment. (source)

How does it even make the slightest bit of sense to have the foxes that financially benefit in charge of this particular hen house? How can they possibly justify this decision?

One controversy after another can be attributed to the EPA, an agency charged with protecting the air we breathe, the soil in which we grow our food and the water that we drink. Despite irrefutable proof that glyphosate causes cancer, the EPA increased the amount allowed to be used agriculturally. They regulate everyday folks, forcing upgrades of woodstoves, while allowing big businesses to pollute in far more spectacular an amount than a self-sufficient family could ever create.

When the radiation from Fukushima became alarmingly high on our shores, the EPA was right on top of things with their response. First, they promptly closed down 8 of 18 radiation measuring stations in the hardest hit area, California. Then, to further calm the good people of the nation, the EPA magically changed the numbers. They’ve raised the amount of radiation that we can safely absorb and ingest. It wouldn’t do for the large factory farms to be unable to sell their tainted produce or for the huge dairies to be stuck with all that radioactive milk. In fact, the radiation in our food supply was of so little concern to the EPA that they began to tell us that a little bit of radiation is good for us. According to a report citing the EPA, a bit of radiation can prevent cancer, instead of causing it.

At the bottom of each controversy can be found ties to the conspiracies of the big businesses that really run the country. Decisions are being auctioned off to industry lobbyists with the most money and influence.

And now, the elected officials in the House of Representatives have just sanctioned a blatant corporate takeover of the EPA. They aren’t even pretending to be protecting the environment now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Soap power: Handwash chemical linked to cancer

RT

Washing your hands with antibacterial soap may be dangerous, a new US study reveals. A chemical found in many liquid handwashes and other basic household products like shampoos and toothpaste has been linked to cancer.

Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent of broad-spectrum and one of the most common additives used in a wide range of consumer products, from kitchenware to toys. Studies have also found traces of the chemical in 97 percent of breast milk samples from lactating women and in the urine of nearly three-quarters of people tested. Triclosan is also common in the environment, being one of the seven most-frequently detected compounds in streams across the US.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have found that triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer in laboratory mice through molecular mechanisms that are also relevant in humans.



"Triclosan's increasing detection in environmental samples and its increasingly broad use in consumer products may overcome its moderate benefit and present a very real risk of liver toxicity for people, as it does in mice, particularly when combined with other compounds with similar action," study leader Professor Robert H. Tukey stated in a press release. The full study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

Tukey found that triclosan disrupted liver integrity, compromising liver function in mouse models. Mice exposed to the chemical for six months (roughly said to be equivalent to 18 human years) were more susceptible to chemical-induced liver tumors. Their tumors also proved to be larger and more frequent than in mice not exposed to triclosan.



The researchers say triclosan may cause harm when interfering with a protein responsible for detoxifying foreign chemicals in the body, the so called constitutive androstane receptor. As a result, liver cells proliferate and turn fibrotic. In the long run, continued liver fibrosis boosts tumor formation.

Triclosan is under scrutiny by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency stated on its website that while it currently doesn't have evidence that triclosan added to antibacterial soaps and body washes provides extra health benefits over soap and water, "consumers concerned about using hand and body soaps with triclosan should wash with regular soap and water."



The US scientists also recommend avoiding products that contain triclosan, except for toothpastes where the amount used is small.



"We could reduce most human and environmental exposures by eliminating uses of triclosan that are high volume, but of low benefit, such as inclusion in liquid hand soaps," one of the researchers, Professor Bruce D. Hammock of the University of California said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FRANCIS BOYLE: NIH MATED EBOLA W/ COMMON COLD; AIRBORNE; EBOLA WEAPONIZED


YouTube


Professor Francis Boyle, expert on bio weapons and warfare, thinks ebola has been genetically modified to be airborne transmissible. Sierra Leone government shut down 3 biological labs run by the USAID which is a front organization for the CIA.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How WHOLE Turmeric Heals the Damaged Brain

Wake Up World
By Sayer Ji

Long considered impossible to accomplish, new research reveals how a simple spice might contribute to the regeneration of the damaged brain.

Turmeric is hands down one of the, if not the, most versatile healing spice in the world with over 600 experimentally confirmed health benefits, and an ancient history filled with deep reverence for its seemingly compassionate power to alleviate human suffering.

But, most of the focus over the past decade has been centered on only one of its many hundreds of phytocompounds: namely, the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin which gives the spice its richly golden hue. This curcumin-centric focus has lead to the development of some very good products, such as phospholipid bound curcumin concentrate (e.g. Meriva, BCM-95) which greatly helps to increase the absorption and bio-activity of curcumin. But, curcumin isolates are only capable of conferring a part of turmeric’s therapeutic power – and therein lies the limitation and hubris of the dominant ‘isolate the active ingredient’ model.

Indeed, it has become typical within the so-called nutraceutical industry to emulate the pharmaceutical model, which focuses on identifying a particular “monochemical” tree within the forest of complexity represented by each botanical agent, striving to standardize the delivery of each purported ‘active ingredient’ with each serving, as if it were a pharmaceutical drug. These extraction and isolation processes also generates proprietary formulas which are what manufacturers want to differentiate their product from all others and henceforth capture a larger part of the market share; a value proposition that serves the manufacturer and not the consumer/patient.

Truth be told, there is no singular ‘magic bullet’ in foods and herbs responsible for reproducing the whole plant’s healing power. There are, in fact, in most healing plants or foods hundreds of compounds orchestrated by the intelligent ‘invisible hand’ of God or ‘Nature,’ or whatever you wish to call it, and which can never be reduced to the activity of a singularly quantifiable phytocompound or chemical.


Beyond The Curcumin ‘Magic Bullet’ Meme


Now, an exciting new study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy provides additional support for the concept that curcumin alone is not enough to explain the healing power of turmeric as a whole plant. The study found that a little known, fat-soluble component within turmeric – Ar-tumerone – may make “a promising candidate to support regeneration in neurologic disease.”

Titled, “Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo,” German researchers evaluated the effects of this turmeric-derived compound on neural stem cells (NSCs) – the subgroup of brain cells capable of continuous self-renewal required for brain repair.

The study found that when brain cells were exposed to ar-tumerone, neural stem cells increased in number through enhanced proliferation. Moreover, these newly formed neural stem cells also increased the number of fully differentiated neuronal cells, indicating a healing effect was taking place. This effect was also observed in a live animal model, showing that rats injected with ar-tumerone into their brains experienced increases in neural stem cell proliferation and the creation of newly formed healthy brain cells.

This study did not go unnoticed by major medical news channels. Here are some good reviews if you wish to explore the implications in greater depth:

Newsweek: Curry Power: Turmeric Compound Boosts Growth of Brain’s Stem Cells
Guardian Liberty Voice: Turmeric Cure Evidence Grows
Monthly Prescribing Reference: Turmeric May Help Regenerate Brain Cells
Times of Malta: Turmeric Link to Brain Cell Repair
Medical Daily: Turmeric Helps Your Brain Heal Itself: Spice Up Your Brain

The GreenMedInfo.com Turmeric Database Confirms It’s Brain-Saving Power!


As you may already know, our database is the world’s most extensive open access natural medical database on over 1,800 different natural substances, with over 1600 study abstracts on turmeric’s healing properties indexed thus far: view the Turmeric research page here to view! If you take a look at the laundry list of over 600 diseases that this spice (or its components, e.g. curcumin) has been studied for to prevent and/or treat, the sheer volume of supportive literature is astounding. Amazingly, we have identified over 180 physiological pathways – according to their conventional pharmacological characterization, e.g. COX-2 inhibitor, Interleukin 6 down-regulator – by which turmeric or its components heals the human body. In addition, you will find over 100 articles on turmeric’s neuroprotective properties on this page: Turmeric as a Neuroprotective agent.

The research clearly indicates that turmeric is a great brain supportive plant. For a more layperson oriented review, read the following articles:

How Turmeric Can Save the Aging Brain From Dementia
Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery in Alzheimer’s Patients
The Spice That Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain

How To Get The Most Out of Your Turmeric


One of the most frequent questions we field is ‘what is the best type of turmeric or curcumin to use’? Obviously, given the aforementioned research, the whole plant is going to carry a wider range of therapeutic compounds than curcumin alone. And yet, most have been heavily enculturated to focus entirely on the ‘how much’ question, opting to identify the molecular weight (i.e. how many milligrams in a serving) of a particular compound as more important than the qualitative dimensions (e.g. is it organic? It is delivered within its natural context as food or a whole plant?) which reflect the type of nutrigenomic information the substance contains, and therefore the ‘intelligence’ it embodies. To learn more about the intelligence of food watch my e-course ‘The Wisdom of Food.’

And really, there is no generic answer to a generic question about the best way to take turmeric/curcumin. The question always comes from an individual with a particular need, and so, recommendations must be bio-individualized.

For instance, if you have colonic inflammation or polyps, and you are trying to use turmeric to reduce inflammation there or regress precancerous growths, then using the whole plant is best versus a highly bioavailable form of curcumin in capsule form (e.g. Meriva), for instance, which will likely be absorbed by the small intestine and mostly pass through the liver never getting adequate quantities to the large intestine. So, in this person’s case taking a teaspoon of relatively difficult to absorb turmeric may result in painting the diseased surfaces of that person’s intestinal or colonic lumen with exactly the form needed to reverse disease.

But what if you have someone who wants to experience a systemic effect, say, for arthritis or for brain cancer? In these instances, getting turmeric compounds such as curcumin through the glucuronidation barrier in the liver with a phospholipid-bound or black pepper (piperine) combination could be ideal. There is certainly a place for the ‘nutraceutical’ model when properly applied, especially when provided as an adjuvant to the pharmaceutical model within an integrative medical setting.

Ultimately, the goal is not to wait to have such a serious health problem that you have to force yourself to take a ‘heroic dose’ of any herb or food extract. Better is to use small amounts in culinary doses in combination with ingredients that synergize on a physiochemical/informational and sensual basis (producing the all important vitamin P [pleasure] as well!). Recently we actually featured a study that showed culinary doses of rosemary helped improve memory whereas higher ‘heroic’ doses impaired it!

This is why exploring the use of turmeric in curries, or by adding a pinch in a smoothie, may be an ideal daily supplementation approach, versus capsules, whose questionably ‘natural’ capsules and excipients all can add up to cause some stress on the liver you are trying to protect with these natural interventions. Just remember quality is everything and less is more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GM Crops and the Rat Digestive Tract: Is GM Food Safe for Animals and Humans?

Global Research
by I.M. Zdziarski,  J.W. Edwards,  J.A. Carman , J.I. Haynes

ABSTRACT

The aim of this review is to examine the relationship between genetically modified (GM) crops and health, based on histopathological investigations of the digestive tract in rats. We reviewed published long-term feeding studies of crops containing one or more of three specific traits: herbicide tolerance via the EPSPS gene and insect resistance via cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes. These genes are commonly found in commercialised GM crops.

Our search found 21 studies for nine (19%) out of the 47 crops approved for human and/or animal consumption. We could find no studies on the other 38 (81%) approved crops.

Complete study at ScienceDirect.

Fourteen out of the 21 studies (67%) were general health assessments of the GM crop on rat health. Most of these studies (76%) were performed after the crop had been approved for human and/or animal consumption, with half of these being published at least nine years after approval. Our review also discovered an inconsistency in methodology and a lack of defined criteria for outcomes that would be considered toxicologically or pathologically significant.

In addition, there was a lack of transparency in the methods and results, which made comparisons between the studies difficult. The evidence reviewed here demonstrates an incomplete picture regarding the toxicity (and safety) of GM products consumed by humans and animals. Therefore, each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies performed to indicate the level of safety associated with them. Detailed guidelines should be developed which will allow for the generation of comparable and reproducible studies. This will establish a foundation for evidence-based guidelines, to better determine if GM food is safe for human and animal consumption.

…. excerpts

Have enough studies been conducted to adequately state that GM crops are safe for human and animal consumption?

Genetically modified crops have been approved for human and animal consumption for nearly 20 years (Clive and Krattiger, 1996) yet the debate about their safety continues. Fifty-three crops are known to possess at least one of the genes investigated in this review (herbicide tolerance via the EPSPS gene and insect resistance via the cry1Ab or cry3Bb1 genes). Forty-seven of these crops have been approved for animal and/or human consumption, yet published toxicity studies could be found for only nine of these crops (19%) ( Table 1). Of greater concern is that for eight of these crops, publications appeared after the crop had been approved for human and/or animal consumption. We understand that other studies may exist that are commercial in confidence, but these studies are not accessible to the scientific community. Other than the few studies mentioned in the EFSA reports, where histopathological results were not reported, our review of the published literature wasn’t able to identify or locate any reported safety evaluations performed on rats on these eight crops prior to their approval. Our literature review also did not identify or locate published reports on rats for the remaining 38 crops.

The present review limited the search to only include feeding studies done on rats so that the results may be comparable. It is possible that more studies may be found if the search were to be extended to other animals. However, based on what has been found for rat studies, it is unlikely that any additional studies would involve a thorough safety investigation and a detailed report of all of the 47 approved GM crops possessing one or more of the three traits. Moreover, the rat model is the accepted OECD standard for toxicological studies of this type.

Whilst the safety of a GM crop is primarily and sometimes solely evaluated by government food regulators using the test for substantial equivalence, this is likely to be inadequate to fully assess the safety of the crop for reasons stated above. Animal feeding studies provide a more thorough method of investigating the unintended effects of the GM process or the unintended effects of ingesting GM crop components. Animal feeding studies can identify target organs as well as predict the chronic toxic effect of an ingested compound (OECD, 2008)

Conclusions

The evidence reviewed here demonstrates an incomplete picture regarding the toxicity (and safety) of GM crops consumed by humans and animals. The majority of studies reviewed lacked a unified approach and transparency in their methodology and results, making it impossible to properly review or repeat these studies. Furthermore, such lack of detail makes it difficult to generate evidence-based guidelines to aid in the delivery of an optimum safety assessment process for GM crops for animal and human consumption.

When considering how a better risk assessment could be done, it is important to consider systems established for other novel substances that may generate unintended effects. For example, the registration of pharmaceutical products requires an examination of both benefits and risks associated with their use and a complete assessment of those benefits and risks to establish whether the products are appropriate for general use at a range of doses. We argue that each GM crop should be assessed using similar methods, where a GM crop is tested in the form and at the rates it will be consumed by animals and people.

Whilst this provides for an effective general approach, there are additional issues for assessing GM crops that need to be taken into account. For example, the process of developing GM crops may generate unintended effects. Furthermore, the plant developed is a novel entity with genes, regulatory sequences and proteins that interact in complex ways. Therefore, the resultant plant should be assessed as a whole so that any pleiotropic effects can also be assessed. As a result, long-term animal feeding studies should be included in risk assessments of GM crops, together with thorough histopathological investigations using a variety of methods to better detect subtle changes or the beginning or presence of pathologies. Such robust and detailed studies will then make it possible to put evidence-based guidelines in place, which will substantially help to determine the safety of GM crops for human and animal consumption

TO READ THE COMPLETE STUDY