Tuesday, January 13, 2009

GMO-Fed Livestock Incorporate Foreign GMO Genes Into Their Own Tissues

Over on Marion Nestle's site, I asked:
"If we feed livestock genetically modified grain crops, and we eat the livestock, are we consuming anything that has been genetically engineered?"
The reply was no, not in a healthy animal.

However, I had read this study ...

Detection Of Transgenic And Endogenous Plant DNA In Digesta And Tissues Of Sheep And Pigs Fed Roundup Ready Canola Meal, Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry, 2006

... which found that genetically engineered (GE) DNA passed intact into the intestines and was incorporated into the tissues of animals:
"This study confirms that feed-ingested DNA fragments (endogenous and transgenic) do survive to the terminal GI tract and that uptake into gut epithelial tissues does occur."
The foreign GE DNA was found in the animals' duodenum, cecum, large intestine, liver, and kidney tissues. Those last two organs raise the specter of systemic infestation.

Not only were the animals' tissues infected with foreign, genetically engineered DNA, but that DNA could code for foreign proteins, e.g. pesticides.

Given these findings, I can see how we might be ingesting genetically modified DNA and resultant proteins when we consume GMO-fed livestock.

All of this begs the question ... How much of that foreign GE DNA gets incorporated into our own tissues? And could that DNA then be capable of manufacturing the very pesticides (and other potentially toxic chemicals) for which it was designed to code?

Why won't the US require that these foods be labeled?
Photo: Cook Islands Biodiversity

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