US public health trends after GM

October 2013

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Photo credit Sarah Nott on Flickr
Since GM food labelling has become a hot topic in America [1], US physicist, Dr Nancy Swanson, suggests
“It behooves us to educate ourselves about this important issue”.
In a series of articles in the Seattle Examiner, Swanson explains the what, how, and where of GMOs in America, and why the laws which should be protecting the public are simply not there. Data was drawn mainly from government sources (USDA:NASS, CDC) and some health institutes have been used to prepare a graphic description of the increasing disease trends correlated with increasing GM crops and increasing applications of glyphosate herbicide, which the majority of GM crops are genetically transformed to accumulate.

Graph after graph shows the same pattern: disease incidence remained relatively stable until around 1995, after which there has been a steady climb which continues year-on-year. The quantities of applied glyphosate and the percentage of GM corn and soya growing are superimposed on the charts. All trends can be seen to be following disturbingly parallel courses.

Key diseases which have a 'very strong' correlation (with 'high' significance) to percentage GM crops and glyphosate applications include thyroid cancer, liver cancer, obesity, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, dementia, intestinal infections, inflammatory bowel, and peritonitis.

COMMENT Note that concerns have been raised before regarding these types of disease in relation to GM and/or glyphosate. Check out, for example [2,3,4,5,6,7,8]

On reproductive and birth effects, the data are less clear. Only one generation has passed since the introduction of GM crops, so it may be a bit early for the full effects to become apparent, but the data trends are showing that strange things are happening. It may be relevant that, because miscarriage and/or early foetal defects are not routinely reported, official records could be underestimating these problems even as they are increasing [9].

Swanson also noted that Americans are suffering a dramatic increase in multiple chronic diseases. How this may have come about is quoted from a recent published paper:
“glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body”.
On the need for GM food labelling and science, Swanson is blunt: “People are ill and they are not waiting for scientists to tell them that GMOs are making them ill”. She quotes one founder of Weekly Women's GMO Free News who is equally blunt:
“I don't know why science has replaced common sense. I don't need to check with my doctor to know how I feel when I eat GMOs and how I feel when I don't eat GMOs. I don't need a scientist to tell me forty years from now that they were wrong about GMOs. I'm going to decide for myself right now.”
Swanson concludes:
“Case studies are piling up of patients who have shown dramatic improvement after taking their doctor's advice and eliminating GMO food. Wouldn't that be so much easier if they had labels?”
You can read or download Nancy Swanson's paper Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States (PDF) on the Sustainable Pulse website.

A shorter version and some of the graphs can be viewed at The Seattle Examiner.

OUR COMMENT


Many dubious stresses crept into our world in the 1990s. But how many have increased year on year in the same way as GM crops and glyphosate?

These data put the claim that “over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten, there has never been a single substantiated case of harm” [10] into an interesting new light.


Background:

[1] THE POWER OF LABELLING - August 2013

[2] GM MAIZE IS NOT SAFE TO EAT - October 2012

[3] GLYPHOSATE AND CANCER - September 2013

[4] ROUNDUP AND DIABETES - May 2012

[5] FORMALDEHYDE - THE MISSING LINK? - May 2013

[6] IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME LINK TO GM FOOD - May 2013

[7] DANISH PIG FARMER WHISTLE-BLOWER - May 2012

[8] FIRST EVER LONG-TERM GM FEEDING STUDY ON PIGS - August 2013

[9] EVIDENCE OF DEFORMITIES CAUSED BY ROUNDUP? - January 2012

[10] GM MEALS FROM HOT AIR - June 2013

SOURCE:
N. L. Swanson, Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States, 24.04.13 (first published in the Seattle Examiner)

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