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The safety of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) remains an open question since few human studies have been conducted.  The greater danger of GMOs may be the pesticides associated with them, particularly since 80% of GMO crops are bioengineered for pesticide resistance alone.

One study found an insecticidal GMO crop protein in 93% of blood samples of pregnant women, but the health implications are unclear. The researchers suggested their exposure was linked to contaminated meat.

Roundup on Soybeans

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans are the number one GMO crop, and they have been found to have significantly higher pesticide residues than conventional, non-GMO and organic soy. The Roundup pesticide, glyphosate, appears to have effects on human tissue at the concentrations one might be exposed to eating GMO crops.

But in addition to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, the pesticide also contains a range of adjuvants and surfactants designed to help the glyphosate penetrate into plant tissues. Roundup sprayed on GMO crops was shown to be toxic, with hormonal effects, at doses even lower than the concentration used in the fields.

Toxicity levels for eight out of nine other pesticide cocktails were as much as one thousand times more toxic than their “active ingredients.” Roundup was found to be 100 times more toxic than glyphosate alone, which the manufacturer vigorously denies.


Image Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Topic summary contributed by Dawn Handschuh and Lynn

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