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I think another issue that people outside of biology aren't aware of is that 90 days for a small animal is not the same as that of a human. Think about dog-years. And actually, while thinking about that--also consider that in fact research animals have been feed on GMO chow now for over a decade. That's many, many, many generations of these animals. If there was harm, animal technicians would know. These are the most studied animals on the planet.
Building on Harold’s response - Alison van Eenennaam, Ph.D., Cooperative Extension Specialist, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis, published a review on the costs and benefits of regulatory evaluations for GMOs in animal agriculture (see: http://www.jasbsci.com/content/4/1/37), the 90-day protocol for the biotech industry was adapted from the OECD guidelines for testing health effects of chemicals (see: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/test-no-408-repeated-dose-90-day-oral-toxicity-study-in-rodents_9789264070707-en;jsessionid=9enhg39hgr754.x-oecd-live-02).
Thank you for answering my question. I agree with much of what you have to say. In response to your comment, “Changes in cell structure and blood cells occur rather quickly when exposed to pathogens,” – yes, that makes perfect sense. No doubt microscopic cellular changes can and do occur rapidly.
I am definitely no scientist. However, when I use the word “disease”, I refer not just to cellular changes quickly occurring in response to pathogens, but also to a named condition manifested, over a period of time, by distinguishing signs and symptoms. For example, the 2013 Merriam-Webster dictionary defines disease as “a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.” So in that sense, skin cells damaged or altered by the sun might take years to develop into lesions, or the disease called melanoma. Or a seemingly healthy individual could have HIV, which could then take years to develop into “signs or symptoms” of the full-blown disease called AIDS.
How is the issue of semantics relevant to GMOs? Well, we don’t know what we don’t know, if we don’t take the time to know. The precautionary principle seems to have fallen by the wayside. In other words, if the biotech industry believes long-term testing is generally unwarranted, and scientists are confident they know everything there is to know about genes and the safety of transgenics under the convenient umbrella of “substantial equivalence”, then that makes me a little nervous -- I would venture to guess that what we know about genes and their myriad functions is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. (Maybe when science proves itself by unraveling the mystery of junk DNA, then I will stop questioning.)
90 days as the standard period of testing may be fine as the norm. But it does concern me there are few or no major, independent, reputable, peer-reviewed, long-term GMO studies in existence…at least not many that I am aware of. I hope I am wrong.
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People have been the test subject for years. And cancer is at its worst.
This is what they want though.
I have been long curious about it, too. To tell GMO is really safe enough, they should do longer study with confident.