- "This study was just routine," said Russian
biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of
this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto's
genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads
to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a
multi-billion dollar industry.
- After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations,
those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM
soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM
soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower
growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.
- And if this isn't shocking enough, some in the third
generation even had hair growing inside their mouths - a phenomenon rarely
seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.
- The study, jointly conducted by Surov's Institute of
Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National
Association for Gene Security, is expected to be published in three months
(July 2010) --so the technical details will have to wait. But Surov sketched
out the basic set up for me in an email.
- He used Campbell hamsters, with a fast reproduction rate,
divided into 4 groups. All were fed a normal diet, but one was without
any soy, another had non-GM soy, a third used GM soy, and a fourth contained
higher amounts of GM soy. They used 5 pairs of hamsters per group, each
of which produced 7-8 litters, totally 140 animals.
- Surov told <http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/04/16/6524765.html>The
Voice of Russia,
- "Originally, everything went smoothly. However,
we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their
cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs' growth rate was
slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly."
- He selected new pairs from each group, which generated
another 39 litters. There were 52 pups born to the control group and 78
to the non-GM soy group. In the GM soy group, however, only 40 pups were
born. And of these, 25% died. This was a fivefold higher death rate than
the 5% seen among the controls. Of the hamsters that ate high GM soy content,
only a single female hamster gave birth. She had 16 pups; about 20% died.
- Surov said "The low numbers in F2 [third generation]
showed that many animals were sterile."
- The published paper will also include measurements of
organ size for the third generation animals, including testes, spleen,
uterus, etc. And if the team can raise sufficient funds, they will also
analyze hormone levels in collected blood samples.
- Hair Growing in the Mouth
- Earlier this year, Surov co-authored a paper in Doklady
Biological Sciences showing that in rare instances, hair grows inside
recessed pouches in the mouths of hamsters.
- "Some of these pouches contained single hairs; others,
thick bundles of colorless or pigmented hairs reaching as high as the chewing
surface of the teeth. Sometimes, the tooth row was surrounded with a regular
brush of hair bundles on both sides. The hairs grew vertically and had
sharp ends, often covered with lumps of a mucous."
- (The photos of these hair bundles are truly disgusting.
Trust me, or <http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=4888#hair>look
- At the conclusion of the study, the authors surmise that
such an astounding defect may be due to the diet of hamsters raised in
the laboratory. They write, "This pathology may be exacerbated by
elements of the food that are absent in natural food, such as genetically
modified (GM) ingredients (GM soybean or maize meal) or contaminants (pesticides,
mycotoxins, heavy metals, etc.)." Indeed, the number of hairy mouthed
hamsters was much higher among the third generation of GM soy fed animals
than anywhere Surov had seen before.
- Preliminary, but Ominous
- Surov warns against jumping to early conclusions. He
said, "It is quite possible that the GMO does not cause these effects
by itself." Surov wants to make the analysis of the feed components
a priority, to discover just what is causing the effect and how.
- In addition to the GMOs, it could be contaminants, he
said, or higher herbicide residues, such as Roundup. There is in fact much
higher levels of Roundup on these beans; they're called "Roundup Ready."
Bacterial genes are forced into their DNA so that the plants can tolerate
Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Therefore, GM soy always carries the double
threat of higher herbicide content, couple with any side effects of genetic
- Years of Reproductive Disorders from GMO-Feed
- Surov's hamsters are just the latest animals to suffer
from reproductive disorders after consuming GMOs. In 2005, Irina Ermakova,
also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more
than half the <http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=299>babies
from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also
five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The
babies in the GM group were also smaller (<http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=4888#size>see
photo) and could not reproduce.
- In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova's feeding trials,
her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial
rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide
- When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their <http://www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=4888#testes>testicles
changed from the normal pink to dark blue! Italian scientists similarly
in mice testes (PDF), including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore,
the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.
- An Austrian government study published in November 2008
showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, <http://www.biosicherheit.de/pdf/aktuell/zentek_studie_2008.pdf>the
fewer the babies they had (PDF), and the smaller the babies were.
- Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with
pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies
or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing,
he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper,
magazine, or TV show reported Jerry's problems, he would receive calls
from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked
to GM corn.
- Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally
discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding "<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240732/>neither
breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior." Tests on the corn material
revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females "at
concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens."
One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed
to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers
found that the <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1314908/>amount
of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used
at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry
Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.
- In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians
report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as
well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses.
Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.
- Denial, Attack and Canceled Follow-up
- Scientists who discover adverse findings from GMOs are
regularly attacked, ridiculed, denied funding, and even fired. When Ermakova
reported the high infant mortality among GM soy fed offspring, for example,
she appealed to the scientific community to repeat and verify her preliminary
results. She also sought additional funds to analyze preserved organs.
Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Samples were stolen from her lab,
papers were burnt on her desk, and she said that her boss, under pressure
from his boss, told her to stop doing any more GMO research. No one has
yet repeated Ermakova's simple, inexpensive studies.
- In an attempt to offer her sympathy, one of her colleagues
suggested that maybe the GM soy will solve the over population problem!
- Surov reports that so far, he has not been under any
- Opting Out of the Massive GMO Feeding Experiment
- Without detailed tests, no one can pinpoint exactly what
is causing the reproductive travesties in Russian hamsters and rats, Italian
and Austrian mice, and livestock in India and America. And we can only
speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically
modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight
babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population.
- But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens
don't think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech
industry's massive uncontrolled experiment.Alexey Surov says, "We
have no right to use GMOs until we understand the possible adverse effects,
not only to ourselves but to future generations as well. We definitely
need fully detailed studies to clarify this. Any type of contamination
has to be tested before we consume it, and GMO is just one of them."
- © 2010 Jeffrey Smith - All Rights Reserved