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Genetically Modified Maize Is Toxic — Greenpeace

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the here's-to-your-liver dept.

Biotech 655

gandracu writes "It appears that a variety of genetically modified maize produced by Monsanto is toxic for the liver and kidneys. What's worse, Monsanto knew about it and tried to conceal the facts in its own publications. Greenpeace fought in court to obtain the data and had it analyzed by a team of experts. MON863, the variety of GM maze in question, has been authorized for markets in the US, EU, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and the Philippines. Here are Greenpeace's brief on the study and their account of how the story was unearthed (both PDFs)."

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Summary? (5, Insightful)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361857)

Summary?
Monsanto says "cases of liver and kedney damage not statistically significant."
greenpeace says "liver and kidney damage cases are statistically significant." Rats not fat.

No data is given.

Maybe judgement should be reserved until someone has seen this data. I believe both sides here would have no problem with manipulating data for thier own interests.

Re:Summary? (5, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361937)

Well, the peer-reviewed study entitled "New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity [nutraingredients-usa.com]" is being published soon, so that should be at least semi-reliable backup to Greenpeace's conclusions, since Greenpeace neither authored the paper, nor, obviously, peer-reviewed it.

Re:Summary? (-1, Troll)

kypper (446750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362053)

NutraIngredients USA isn't exactly a reputable journal...

Re:Summary? (3, Informative)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362275)

NutraIngredients USA isn't exactly a reputable journal...
NutraIngredients USA isn't exactly the journal that it's being published in...

Journal looks high quality: Springer published (4, Informative)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362317)

"NutraIngredients USA isn't exactly a reputable journal..."

RTFA. The peer reviewed journal noted is "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology" published by Springer. http://www.environmental-expert.com/magazine/sprin ger/00244/index.asp [environmental-expert.com]

Looks a proper journal to me.

"Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology is a repository of significant, full-length articles describing original experimental or theoretical research work pertaining to the scientific aspects of contaminants in the environment. It provides a place for the publication of detailed, definitive, complete, credible reports concerning advances and discoveries in the fields of air, water, and soil contamination and pollution, human health aspects, and in disciplines concerned with the introduction, presence, and effects of deleterious substances in the total environment. Acceptable manuscripts for the Archives are the ones that deal with some aspects of environmental contaminants, including those that lie in the domains of analytical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, agricultural, air, water, and soil chemistry.

All manuscripts are subject to review by workers in the field for significance, credibility and accuracy, as well as for proper arrangement (format, style, language, etc.) Review articles, abstracts, short communications or notes will not be accepted for publication. Where appropriate, these will be referred to Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, or Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. "

Re:Toxicity based on what? (1, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362151)

What I want to know is can they possibly claim as the causative product of this toxicity.

Certainly it cannot be the modification process itself, since it uses natural enzymes.

Certainly it cannot be the carbohydrates and fats that cannot have changed.

Certainly it cannot be the proteins that were not altered.

^ What are they claiming is the cause of the toxicity? There has to be a biochemical basis for it, and while they can scream to the press and be believed by the sheep of the general population, I can hardly see a scientific basis for it.

It just seems to me that Greenpeace is following the formula of the religions - find something that is mysterious and unsettling to the average person, vilify it, then profit.

Genetic engineering is not a panacea, but nor is it a boogieman. Genetically modified foods still contain the same amino acids in their proteins as all the other foods, so unless you modify their biochemistry to an extent where they'll produce real toxins, they will be digested just the same.

What are the chances? (1)

Larus (983617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362283)

If one paper out of fifty said the GM good showed toxicity in rats, guess which paper Greenpeace would quote?

Selective evidence doesn't make cases impartial. Sadly, the more they do it, the more people think Greenpeace is a bunch of hypocritical phonies.

Re:Summary? (-1, Flamebait)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361973)

Greenpeace is irrelevant. Their sole purpose is to protest technological progress.

Progress ? (4, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362037)

Their sole purpose is to protest technological progress.



I wouldn't call whaling "technological progress". Also, I haven't seen Greenpeace protest against technological progress in the field of, say, solar power.

Re:Progress ? (1, Informative)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362123)

Why do they oppose Ethanol production in Brazil [greenpeace.org]? I can't imagine why they would believe that continuing to burn fossil fuels and polluting the air is preferable to clearing some rain forest land.

Re:Progress ? (5, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362249)

preferable to clearing some rain forest land.

Cleared rainforest land doesn't stay productive for very long due to the very thin layer of fertile soil underneath the rainforest. If you want to keep production up, you need to keep clearing rainforest (until you run out), and essentially leave behind an unproductive desert.

Essentially, you can play this game for maybe a handful of decades, then you're back at the starting point, minus all of the rainforest you started with. I wouldn't call that sustainable, exactly.

Re:Summary? (1)

Ken D (100098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362319)


How about: 'Their sole purpose is to protest technological "progress".'

I don't consider GMO to be progress, much like fluoroscopes weren't progress either.

Re:Summary? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362009)

Well Greenpeace is not a reliable source in this instance, so it's hardly surprising that they're announcing very strong findings on disputable data.

That being said, I'd prefer that aggressively GM'd crops had to be labeled as such, so I could do my own damn research. Likewise meat products treated with x, y, or z hormone/antibiotic/preservative. If I bought a damn pop tart, I'd know more about what was in it than in a steak which costs 10 times as much.

Re:Summary? (1)

ranton (36917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362147)

[I'd prefer labeling for] meat products treated with x, y, or z hormone/antibiotic/preservative.
If I bought a damn pop tart, I'd know more about what was in it than in a steak which costs 10 times as much.


When you get a pop tart, you know what the ingredients are (Strawberry Filling, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, etc). When you get a steak, you know what the ingredients are too (Beef). There is no difference in the packaging and labeling standards.

If they told you what type of pesticide was used on the corn that was turned into the corn syrup used in the Pop Tarts, then it would be the same as telling you what hormones were given to the cattle that your steak came from. Both are equally rediculous because the work involved in verifying that data would be astronomical. I like my select grade steaks to cost less than $25/lb.

--

Re:Summary? (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362311)

Oh come on, like they don't do meat inspections, and like they don't track what they give to each cow in terms of drugs. Like they don't know what wheat variant grew in what field, and where that wheat ended up...I think I recall a batch of e coli-contaminated spinach that they traced down to one field.

So don't spout the industry line at me, that any requirement for them to share data which they damn well collect will cause all prices to go through the roof and end food production as we know it...Hell they said that when the inspections to make sure that meat was freshly killed and relatively free of human fingers were instituted (a hundred and one years ago), and it doesn't seem to have destroyed the industry, despite what the industry maintained at the time.

You may be happy to have people feed you whatever they want to, but I'd at least like to know.

Re:Summary? (3, Insightful)

amerinese (685318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362059)

Here's one case already of "modifying" the data. It was approved in the US, EU, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and Taiwan. It's hard to imagine how Taiwan gets left out, plus an and gets inserted between Mexico and the Philippines. Well, hard to imagine until you remember that there are tons of people that would like to pretend independent, democratic Taiwan is a part of authoritarian China.

Re:Summary? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362081)

I dunno.

It seems to me that if you modify a plant to provide as little nutritive value as possible, contain an anti-bug enzyme, and essentially make the stuff permanently shelf-stable, it's no longer something that should be considered edible.

Not even for the GMO fear that a lot of humans (both smart and incredibly stupid) have.

Re:Summary? (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362167)

I wonder if this will turn out to be related to the honeybee mass extinction now being investigated. Something is killing off beneficial insects. Various types of BT kill different bugs and GM corn (maize) does have one type of BT in it. Mmmmm, GM corn in my breakfast cereal is soo delicious. I bet Tony the Tiger gets cancer and dies soon.

Re:Summary? (3, Interesting)

neo (4625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362225)

Maybe judgment should be reserved until someone has seen this data.

I believe the judgment not be reserved until the data is seen and the assumption should always be that genetically modified material needs to be tested vigorously and that any potential problems be assumed dangerous. There is enough room in the genetically modified realm to stick to things that don't exhibit any bad effects to spend any time with ones that do.

Re:Summary? (1)

The Step Child (216708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362289)

The article says "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Technology", and as far as I can tell there's no such journal. Reuters probably made a mistake, and meant "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology".

At any rate, I couldn't find the study in question. It might not be published yet, so anyone who's really interested can check out this [springerlink.com] link in a couple weeks. Full text PDFs are available for current volumes.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361861)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If you don't know Clarus from Carl Sagan, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users. Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362321)

"Real" Mac users are on the decline, since they don't breed (either it's impossible for them to breed or they refuse to.) Therefore, the current generation of real Mac users will die off without any successors.

Cant we just eat corn as it was created by nature? (-1, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361877)

Genetically modified foods... No thanks.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (4, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361949)

Nobody eats corn as it was created by nature: All the variaties of corn in use today are the result of a centuries-long selective-breeding program.

Genetic engenerring just speeds up the process a lot. Not that we shouldn't be careful: There are dangers in modifying foods, and the amount of change has a direct bearing on the amount of danger.

Just don't claim that 'non-GM' corn is 'as nature intended'. It just took humans longer to modify it.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362139)

Just don't claim that 'non-GM' corn is 'as nature intended'. It just took humans longer to modify it.

And thus people grew accustomed to eating the variations over the centuries. When you modify something and it's vastly different than what the body can handle it can cause serious issues.

I have no opinion on what should and shouldn't be done but I certainly haven't seen all that much benefit, so far, to what we have played with to "help out" nature.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362259)

And thus people grew accustomed to eating the variations over the centuries. When you modify something and it's vastly different than what the body can handle it can cause serious issues.

Corn and tomatoes are indigenous to the Americas. When the settlers from Europe or wherever arrived, they ate corn and tomatoes, that had been selectively grown for centuries. They were not accustomed to eating the variations over the centuries and yet they suffered no ill effects.

Have you ever eaten anything for the first time?

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362243)

How is adding fish, human, and other foreign genes into plants a natural process? Selective breeding is one thing, splicing animal genes into plants via viruses and bacteria is another.

Just don't claim that 'GMOs' are natural. Educate yourself.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1)

Ken D (100098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362247)

That's like saying there's no difference between nailing a house together and whittling one from a block of wood. One is just "sped up".

Genetic engineering allows you to add things that would otherwise be nearly impossible to obtain from the organism's original genome.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (5, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362297)

Genetic engenerring just speeds up the process a lot.
If that's the case, if it's nothing new, how can it be patented?

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1)

kharchenko (303729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362305)

The main difference is that traditional breeding and selection techniques are generally contained within the scope of genotypes that are already present in maize, while genetic engineering can do very extreme things that would never happen otherwise. For instance, one can insert genes from mammals or other higher organisms into maize. This type of "lateral transfer" has practically no chance of ever occurring through any breeding/selection/mutagenesis. So the effects on the phenotype can be much more severe, and not just accelerated in pace.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362335)

Just don't claim that 'non-GM' corn is 'as nature intended'. It just took humans longer to modify it.

Slow is good. That is how symbiotic relationships like these are supposed to develop.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (2, Interesting)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361971)

Aye, they make me kind of squeamish too, however they do have the possibility of helping eliminate hunger around the world. Who's to say?

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362253)

Aye, they make me kind of squeamish too, however they do have the possibility of helping eliminate hunger around the world. Who's to say?
Monsanto says: Play by our rules or be crushed.

"The "Roundup Ready" canola seed that grew in Mr. Schmeiser's fields is resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide marketed by Monsanto as "Roundup." The seed is sold only to farmers willing to sign a contract preventing them from engaging in seed-saving practices for planting in later years. Once a farmer agrees, they spray their fields with "Roundup," which kills everything but the "Roundup Ready" canola."

http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/articles/200 1dltr0015.html [duke.edu]

Seed-saving is a pretty important factor in trying to increase crop yields in third-world countries as most farmers can't afford to buy new seeds every year. Monsanto are in it for the money, not to combat starvation.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (2, Insightful)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361991)

The difference is that the meddling now can occur on a deeper level and with more control than what we used to do.

We've been (trying to) improving nature as long as we exist. That corn you think was created by nature is already the result of careful breeding for centuries.

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361999)

Can't we also just quit being pretentious and call it CORN instead of "maize"?

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (2, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362155)

Actually, if you want to be technical, 'corn' and 'grain' are roughly synonims, and 'maize' is the correct name for this specific type of corn. Just like 'wheat' is the correct name for a different type of corn...

(This is why you'll find references to 'corn' in European texts predating Columbus: it is being used in the general sense.)

Re:Cant we just eat corn as it was created by natu (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362051)

Hi,

You would not recognize 'natural' corn if it slapped you in the face. It took thousands of years of humans messing with it's genetical makeup before it became what it is now.

Same for maize and other crops. The tomato you know is nothing like a 'natural' tomato. And don't get me started on cows.

Not saying GM is ok, just that humans have been messing with crops and cattle since the dawn of time and really only the technology used to mess around is new.
 

Don't read this answer, then :-) (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362057)

Ever heard of mutations? The plant you ate your corn off might have mutated and generates some nerve poison...

I doubt the allegations, since if Monsanto really tried to cover up toxic effects in food that it was selling, it'll lose much more than it ever could earn.

I'll wait for more dependable sources like NY Times or Washington Post (Sci American took a downturn a decade or two ago; seems to be argue politics a lot).

That's it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361899)

Monsanto needs to be shut down. There should be absolutely zero tolerance for this kind of crap.

Oh, shit . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361913)

And now this genetically modified strain will transfer it's nasty genes to the unmodified varietys. Maise is a grass, right? So these genes could conceivably be transfered to: corn, wheat, barley, oats . . . in fact all other grasses.

And I do so have this eating habit! I'm gonna miss it.

BillyDoc

Genetically modified maze?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361919)

Why, that's just amaizing I tells ya, simply amaizing!!

Wow (0)

tribentwrks (807384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361935)

Another mega-company that knowingly concealed a faulty product to keep profits and stock prices high, at the expense of their customer. More and more each day, I just want to buy some remote piece of land, grow my own food, and drop out of society. Of course, they would probably just put a factory somewhere that dumps toxic waste into my water supply. sonsabitches!

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361981)

The sad part is that "genetic modification" is going to take the majority of the blame, not the individuals at Monsanto that actually caused the problem.

Re:Wow (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362045)

I wish people who got bent out of shape over this got bent out of shape over mega-politicians that knowingly conceal faulty promises to keep power and contributions high, at the expense of the people, "customers" or not.

As to the question, doesn't corn require some other enzyme or bacteria or bean or something you have to eat in order to get nutrition out of it?

Cigarette makers concealed smoking is addictive (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361953)

And we're surprised at this?

There are two sides to this:

(1) GM is bad, and this corn is a good example - see the potential damage
(2) GM is new, some food are bad for you, this is an example where some people are sensitive to...(blah blah blah)

GM peanuts would be pretty toxic to a small percentage of the population, and might even have a (small but barely significant) increase in reaction from those sensitive.

TFA is light on detail, and I'm not a biogeneticist. I think I'll pass on judgement here right now. I don't trust Monsanto to tell the truth, but I also don't trust GreenPeace to not have an agenda.

Re:Cigarette makers concealed smoking is addictive (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362267)

IIRC Monsanto was the company that litigates to stop farmers from growing their products without a license? Even if the product got on to their property in the same way that all plants spread out across the land (wind, birds, insects etc.)

Re:Cigarette makers concealed smoking is addictive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362329)

Not a "biogeneticist"? Then what kind of geneticist ARE you?

Starvation (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18361969)

Between 30,000 and 50,000 thousand people die of starvation every day. Greenpeace and related organizations have already proved they're more worried about fighting biotechnology (regardless of the data) than saving all those lives.

Re:Starvation (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362069)

Did i miss something in the article? The company isn't doing all this work modifying corn to say "That's it! All done! Everyone come and get it!" They're selling it for profit, at what I imagine is a premium compared to other food.

How does genetically modified food save lives?

Re:Starvation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362189)

Let's food grow in climates that it other wise couldn't grow in.

Re:Starvation (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362229)

They're selling it for profit, at what I imagine is a premium compared to other food.

I don't work for free, why should I force that upon others?

How does genetically modified food save lives?

The theory is that GM crops could have better, more nutritious yields than non GM-foods on the same amount of land, or insect or spoilage resistant GM crops would reduce the shrinkage of a yield, or a combination of both.

Re:Starvation (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362333)

Again, they're just going to head on down to Africa and give the formula and modifcation apparatuses out alone the Nile? "Here ya go folks, grow better corn!"

It's a technology that cost them money to develop, it's not going out free. Do the needy around the world have access to all these vaccines and medical cures we've invented?

Re:Starvation (2, Interesting)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362159)

Between 30,000 and 50,000 thousand people die of starvation every day.

So ? How is GM going to solve the problems of distribution (as in: how do you get food to people in a frickin war zone ?) ? Starvation isn't a problem of there being not enough food on this planet (not yet, anyways. This might change with the growing world population, overfishing of the oceans and climate change). It's a problem of getting the food where it is needed. Usually, the people there could feed themselves just fines if it weren't for the idiots making war.

Re:Starvation (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362291)

I agree with your sentiment but to be fair giving people toxic food is not a good way to solve starvation. This product should be researched (it could be that it is toxic for mice alone and in massive doses for instance) tested and if found unsafe removed from the market. This does not reflect badly on all GM crops, in fact it is entirely possible to create an unexpectedly toxic plant by more conventional cross breading and hybridization techniques.

Caution should be exercised with this relatively new technology, but that is true of most methods.

Not conclusive (4, Insightful)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361975)

From those documents, it seems that there is "some toxicity" in rats, when they are fed with this particular GM product. It also appears that the company Monsanto has been deceptive in its presentations to German officials and in their publicly released research conclusions. It is particularly serious, that reports have allegedly been "retyped" in the light of evidence found by Greenpeace.

However, it is also apparent that no experiments have been carried out to investigate this product's effect on human subjects. The toxicity symptoms found in rats should have been a springboard for further investigation, but it seems it was not (unless this has been covered up).

Unfortunately these days corporate dishonesty is not seen as unusual or unacceptable in any way, so what we need is smoking gun evidence of toxicity in human beings, exceeding such toxicity as may be found naturally in other foodstuffs.

Re:Not conclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362061)

Greenpeace : Beer is toxic for the liver !

Re:Not conclusive (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362141)

so what we need is smoking gun evidence of toxicity in human beings

I posit that what we really need is a return to common sense.

Let's say you split the population along evolution vs. creationism lines, just for the sake of argument. An Evolutionist might object to genetic foods on the grounds that you are removing natural selection from the process and, in the long run, creating weaker and inferior strains of food. A Creationist might object on the grounds that any sort of genetic modification (foods, animals, embryos) would be considered 'playing God' and therefore immoral.

Me? I'm just listening to my gut - that mysterious place where common sense springs from - and my gut tells me that genetically altered things are not good eats.

Re:Not conclusive (1)

SpaghettiCoder (1073236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362271)

I understand what you're saying but there's no way your gut can tell you whether the food you're eating has some GM ingredient in it (and if you're living in a Western country, it probably does). What I mean is, it tastes the same as non-GM maize, wheat, barley or whatever.

You mean like Aspartame? (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362193)


Aspartame has some of the "smoking gun" evidence you mention, yet it is still on the market. The number of people actually poisoned by Aspartame are very low, and treated as "statistically insignificant", so the product continues to be used.


Even if the GMO corn is used by humans and someone is killed by it (not just poisoned), there would just be a number of studies and some finger pointing to show that it was actually something else that may have been responsible for the poisoning. As long as something else may be responsible, there is reasonable doubt and the GMO food would remain on the market.


You need a lot of "smoking guns" to get a product off the market after it's been established. It's much easier to keep such products off the market in the first place.

Yeah, you eat it. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362323)

"Mr. SpaghettiCoder, we found that this corn is toxic to rats. Please eat some so that we can test it's effects on humans".
When you get the results, write back. If I don't hear from you, I'll know to stay away from the GM corn.

Anybody else notice that maize is spelled maze in tfa?

What? (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361983)

It appears that a variety of genetically modified maze produced by Monsanto is toxic for the liver and kidneys

Keep calm, mazes are not that hard. There is no reason to get that stressed out. Just follow one of the walls at the entrance and you'll eventually get out.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362219)

Step 1: Feed rats the equivalent of 800 servings per day of GM maize.
Step 2: Rats' organs shut down.
Step 3: Use dubious results to generate hysteria.

so... (1)

notgm (1069012) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361987)

should i avoid products with high fructose maize syrup, then?

Re:so... (1)

paitre (32242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362125)

As a general rule you should try, anyway.
Even if it is basically impossible these days, since it's in just about everything.

When the fuck did using regular fucking sugar become a problem?
Oh, wait, that's right. Cuba. Duh.

Re:so... (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362129)

NO Way! if we stopped consuming HFC we'd end up in total economic collapse! Pepsi and Coke will fall, dragging the New Roman Empire with it....

On the other hand, we could produce a LOT of ethanol from all that unused Corn Syrup..... hmmmmmmm..... I'm off to the patent office...... Later.......

Any data? (1)

ranton (36917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361993)

Did anyone else see any data in any of those links? All I saw was Monsanto saying that there are no health risks, and GreenPeace saying that there are. Both are just as biased, so it is a little hard to know who to believe.

They talk about "statistical significance" and "normal variation", but dont say what the actual data shows. What are the standards for natural maise? Are they much different than the genetically engineered products? I am definetly in favor of quality control, but are they just holding genetically engineered foods to higher standards than natural food?

While it is usually better to be on the side of caution, I generally dont like to take a political activist's word for it on important matters like this.

--

Re:Any data? (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362315)

The greenpeace article did say that it was within a single standard deviation, which for most scientific purposes would mean that it's not statistically different. IMO, Greenpeace does seem a bit dishonest in the way they hedge around that, but it would be nice to see the full data or see it done in a more human-like study population like chimps.

Wow, Greenpeace did something constructive! (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18361997)

This is the first time I've ever read a news report that shows Greenpeace doing something besides political grandstanding. They actually went out and hired someone to do an analysis of the data. Maybe this is the start of a new trend - results-oriented activism, as opposed to the feel-good activism of the past.

Re:Wow, Greenpeace did something constructive! (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362085)

Yeah, but when Microsoft does the same thing, Slashdotters get all pissed.

Re:Wow, Greenpeace did something constructive! (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362175)

Nah, I still think it's better for them to do non-violent direct action ramming of whaling boats, non-violent direct action boarding of ships at sea (which no one will mistake for piracy), and non-violent direct action deafening of exchange floor traders.

What? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362273)

Sorry but this looks exactly like political grandstanding.
Even in the other study that some one referenced I saw no real data and frankly no proof of kidney or liver damage.
One of the findings is that triglyceride levels in some of the mice where elevated. I take that they are saying that is proof of liver damage. However I know that people that eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup and cattle that eat a corn heavy diet both tend to have higher triglyceride levels.
No numbers = no facts.
No facts = political grandstanding.

Show me the data.

Phew (4, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362035)

Well good thing this didnt happen with a huge crop like corn. Why if that happened and it mixed with our natural corn we could be in a lot of trouble. Thank god no one eats maize anymore.

Credibility (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362063)

See the main problem I have here is that the report is from Greenpeace. To me, these wack jobs have ZERO credibility... especially when there's no empirical proof given and just a bunch of he-said she-said sort of chicken little arguements they always are making.

I'd go with an exclusive diet of GM foods before I'd trust the ramblings of Greenpeace.

Greenpeace? (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362065)

This may or may not be true (I'm skeptical when it's just one single study that had some ambiguous questions), but Greenpeace is not the one that ought to report it. Yes, the messenger does matter. If this is really true, give it to a mainstream organization and let them figure it out.

Of course, we know Greenpeace won't do that, since they're all about the publicity.

the problem is (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362089)

that idiots will use this as an argument against gm food in general

gm food promises to put vitamin A in rice, develop crops that grow in the desert, etc.: a benefit for mankind

of course, like any technology, it can be abused and treated neglectfully in a way that might make... hepatotoxic corn for example

but this is an argument against IRRESPONSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION, not an argument against a scientitic concept

but luddite idiots won't see it this way

they think they live in the plot of a bad hollywood movie

Re:the problem is (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362265)

they think they live in the plot of a bad hollywood movie
We do live in the plot of a bad hollywoo....

HEY! Don't click the Pi symbol in the corner!

Re:the problem is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362325)

The tech itself isn't the problem.

The issue is that the tech is really only capable of being utilized by corporations, who given the choice between releasing a product which will slowly poison a large population undetected or doing a little more R&D, are bound by their obligation to shareholders to choose the mass poisoning.

Not all apples are bad, except in a land where they are only sold by hags in a forest.

GA Foods and Environmentalism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362109)

People who claim to be environmentalists should be cheering on GA foods and decrying the use of so called "Organic" farms. With GA and "non-organic" farms you can produce more food per hectacre with less pesticides and animal waste runoff from the nutrients used on "Organic" farms. If we switched over to "Organic" farming we would need to clear more and more land for farms. Farmland ("organic" or "non-organic") is not natural and is essentially a desert dedicated to growing food.

This just in: (4, Funny)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362117)

This just in: Virtually all food is toxic.

It has been discovered recently that virtually all food products known to mankind contain either fat-soluble vitamins or other compounds shown to build up and eventually damage the organs that process them when consumed to extreme excess. Even water-soluble vitamins and yet other compounds have been shown to dilute blood, deplete salts, and otherwise wear down the various organs they come in contact with in extreme amounts.

Moreover, it has been shown that virtually all physical objects are toxic in these same regards. Air in too high or low concentrations is extremely toxic. Even completely filtered air has been shown to be linked to negative effects on the immune system, and thus even the cleanest living ideals can be considered toxic!

Furthermore, even non-physical things can be considered toxic - most ideas taken to extreme have been shown to have negative physical consequences for the holders of these ideas. From peace extremists, to defense extremists, to health extremists, to even low-stress extremists, virtually all philosophies and ideas can be shown to be completely toxic in large doses.

Ryan Fenton

Greenpeace data? Same as Monsanto's data (3, Informative)

HiChris! (999553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362187)

Digging though the links I found the article that actually discusses the data.

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology: http://www.springerlink.com/content/02648wu132m078 04/fulltext.html [springerlink.com]

So the "Independent Scientists" for Greenpeace got the Monsanto data and reanalyzed it and say there are significant biological differences (which is different from statistically significant). The only definite conclusion though I can find is that rats should not subsist entirely on this genetically modified corn.

Corn? (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362191)

Looks like we just found the crop for the whole "biofuel" thing for Americans without upsetting anybody, because the damn stuff is inedible. Why not modify it further to make the corn grow in 1 week in a test tube, and our oil problems will be solved!

How dangerous is non-GM maize? to starve? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362199)

1,000,000 people eat non-GM maize 3 times a day for 50 years. How many get sick or die from it?
1,000,000 people eat GM maize 3 times a day for 50 years. How many get sick or die from it?
1,000,000 don't eat for a year due to crop failure and lack of maize. How many get sick or die?

Sometime things that are bad for you are better than the alternative.

Re:How dangerous is non-GM maize? to starve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18362279)

Maybe people shouldn't reproduce beyond their means to live off of their surrounding natural resources and own abilities to exploit those resources.

What we have now are large populations of people who are totally dependent on the good will and ability of others to continue to feed them and their descendants in perpetuity.

I'm getting tired of the "Oh people will die" argument when it comes to making choices that ultimately are bad for the environment and long-term health of Earth.

Are we talking about corn or a labrynth? (1)

uber_geek9 (879433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362201)

Dictionary.com:

Maize = 1. (chiefly in British and technical usage) corn1 (def. 1).
Maze = 1. a confusing network of intercommunicating paths or passages; labyrinth.

Alar Take How Many? (1)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362211)

Alar causes cancer..

Chocolate causes cancer..

Breathing the air causes cancer..

How about I seal myself in a vacuum and make myself totally safe?

What about the BEES ??????? (3, Interesting)

jimijon (608416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362263)

I have been reading all over the net that the bees have been just disappearing and creating a real crisis. Bees are absolutely essential in polinating corn and many, many other crops. Could it be that tese GM foods are also toxic to the bees?

I don't want to be sounding like a luddite but I have some really bad feeling about GM foods now. These bees just disappear. Empty hives and no clues?! WTF? And, so far none of the usual suspects are to blame.

That 2012 date is sure looming more real to me.

cheers

Ok IANAGE (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18362303)

but I know that I am not a rat. Maybe if they had found this problem with... say.. pigs that is a much more close relative to us primates THEN I would definitely be a whole lot more alarmed.

Now I am not suggesting the Green Peace did wrong here BUT fear mongering isn't helping anybody.

However Monsanto and their milk products back in the day were non clean too.

My question is if this is not a fight fire with fire deal?
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