In a landmark study, the effects of GMOs has been chronicled over a 19 year period.
This study revolved around the effects of GMOs (Also called GEs) on farm animals who are fed a near exclusive diet of GMO foods. What’s most interesting about this study is that farm animals have shorter lifecycles. This it’s easier to test for long-term genetic defects, as over this 19 year period many generations of animals have been produced, while in the same time period 1 human generation has not passed.
Unlike humans, farm animals are fed a diet that can consist of 80% to 90% GMO foods. Additionally SOME farmers are known to spray roundup directly on soybeans and wheat pre-harvest (Many times making it into animals food cycle in higher concentrations as compared to earlier in the planting cycle), thus heightening the potential effects of not only GMOs but also herbicides that are often touted for their positive impact on the environment as well as farmer’s bottom lines.
Here’s one of the more important charts in the debate. The rate of cancer cells found in cattle over a 20+ year time period along with the rate of milk production per cattle.
So , what does the chart show us?
Well , it shows that in the past 19 years, the cancer rate in cattle has actually gone down, not up. One of the primary concerns with individuals and GMOs is that it increases the rate of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This chart not only shows that it’s wrong, but it’s wrong in a major fashion.
Here’s another important chart
One thing to note is just how strenuous the USDA inspection process is on animals.
Many people believe that the USDA does random spot checks on animals being brought in for slaughter. This is not the case, the actual process is significantly more involved, and is one of the key costs in beef.
First when the live cow is brought in, the animal is inspected for health. If the animal is obviously deformed or sick, the animal is not allowed to be slaughtered.
Second, after the animal is slaughtered, a full inspection is given of the meat, making sure that the meat shows no obvious signs of problems. Additionally samples are taken of the meat to check for cancer, and other sicknesses in the cow. This is what is used to compile the somatic cell counts as shown in our first chart.
One other interesting thing to note is that from 2003 onward, cattle finished on feedlots has gone up. More than 82% of cattle are finished on feedlots as opposed to being entirely free-range. This is done primarily to increase the weight of the animal, thus producing more income for a farmer.
So, in the end, the charts are pretty telling that much of the data brought so far relating to GMOs causing cancers may be withholding facts as compared to this broad study involving millions of tested animals, versus studies like recent French study that involved less than 500 animals over the course of a year. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer the test over 19 years involving 3 to 4 million animals might be more reliable than the one with 500 animals over a year. But YMMV.