QCan you comment on these studies listed on a web site called 5 reasons to be concerned about GMOs? While Monsanto initially marketed Roundup as being safer than table salt, several studies have pointed to health risks. A 2008 study in Sweden linked Roundu

Can you comment on these studies listed on a web site called 5 reasons to be concerned about GMOs? While Monsanto initially marketed Roundup as being safer than table salt, several studies have pointed to health risks. A 2008 study in Sweden linked Roundup exposure to nonHodgkins lymphoma. A 2007 study in Ecuador found a higher degree of DNA damage in a population that had been aerially sprayed.

AExpert Answer

I'm glad to comment on these points. First, look at the dates. These are results, almost a decade old, that nobody else has repeated. Think about it. In science, everyone wants to be number two! If these results were real, they would have opened new worlds of inquiry with many labs and hundreds of papers.
 
When we talk about Roundup, we need to consider two things: toxicity and exposure. First, let's talk exposure. It is applied weeks before there is product on the plant, so even plants with “high” levels have very little (like, 20 ppm at worst). We understand how the active ingredient, glyphosate, behaves in the human body. Bottom line: you'd have to drink the concentrate, or eat thousands of kilograms of soybeans, to get a biologically meaningful dose.
 
Let's talk about the published reports.
 
The one from Ecuador is a real mess, which is a little sad, because the lead author is usually pretty solid. If you take the time to read the paper, the problems become apparent. First, the people surveyed live in homes that are near the fields and were given a 20x-acceptable rate of exposure. That's not good.
 
Secondly, the comparison group and the exposed group were surveyed and processed separately, and a DNA-degradation assay was used. The two groups were far apart, too. Basically, the scientists compared apples to oranges. It just is not a great study, and the authors (to their credit) even say that. They freely acknowledge the shortcomings of the report, which anti-GM folks seem to ignore.
 
The Swedish work comes from Eriksson et al. who have a decade of herbicide-associated cancer claims. Their work is done by surveys and simply associates potential exposure to disease incidence. There are no tests to determine if the cancer victims even were exposed. It is cute associations at best, and the authors (again to their credit) recognize that the associations are not proven to be causal.
 
In both of these cases, the anti-GMs actually extrapolate and hyperbolize the results of two reports, each of which has severe limitations.
 
Again, the best evidence that these foundations are shaky is that nobody, even the same groups, followed these lines of study. Thanks for the question, and contact me anytime.

Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
Answer:
Posted on August 15, 2017
The first use of recombinant DNA technology, was created by Cohen and Boyer in 1972 with E.coli in 1972 and this article explains this advancement in biotechnology in greater detail. Here is an excerpt: “Their experiments dramatically demonstrated the potential impact of DNA recombinant engineering on medicine and pharmacology, industry and agriculture.”   Recombinant insulin was the first commercial product derived from genetic engineering techniques created in 1976 by the... Read More