by Kirsten Schwind and Hollace Poole-Kavana | http://www.commondreams.org
When the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) meets this year in Philadelphia, Monsanto and its colleagues will not be gathering to talk about how to save the world. The goal of this industry, like any other, is to make a profit by convincing consumers that we need what theyâ€™re selling. Genetically modified (GM) food â€“ plants and animals that have been inserted with genes from other organisms â€“ arenâ€™t meeting any real human needs. Despite claims from the biotech industry, GM foods cannot end world hunger, and new studies add to the evidence that they may pose a serious threat to human health.
A recent study conducted by Monsanto itself indicated abnormalities in the kidneys and blood of rats fed MON863, a strain of Bt corn that many Americans eat every day without our knowledge. Monsanto has resisted calls from the European Food Safety Agency to release the full study to the public, leading to a court order to do so from a German judge. Thank goodness for some degree of concern from the Europeans, because watchdogs in the United States are gnawing on the bones of corporate-induced complacency. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves GM foods for public consumption simply by comparing the nutritional content between GM and non-GM foods, and checking a database of known allergens. According to the logic of the FDA, we are the lab rats.