UK supermarket betrays its consumers
In a move for the worse, UK supermarket Morrisons has followed Asda’s lead and announced that it will now allow genetically modified (GM) feed within its poultry supply chain. As a result, poultry and poultry products bought by UK shoppers at Morrisons will probably have been fed on feed containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), especially genetically modified maize and soya. It’s all very well for consumers to avoid eating GM foods, but unfortunately the meat they eat doesn’t have that luxury — although Jeffrey Smith says that animals avoid GM given the choice. Do they innately understand the risks that many of us are concerned about?
Does eating products from animals eating GM feed expose you to potential risks?
The research about risks to animals consuming GM crops just keeps expanding. It’s worth remembering that it may not be the transgene – the piece of DNA that has been transferred from the donor to the unrelated host crop plant – itself that is dangerous. While the vast majority of GM crops sold commercially have just one or two traits inserted – namely resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp) or inclusion of a toxin from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that makes the transgenic crop toxic to non-resistant caterpillar pests – the biotech industry is desperately trying to find novel traits to patent. By 2015, we can expect to see far more successful patents, some of which will be beneficial in themselves, such as optimised oil and starch content, improved nutrient profiles or drought tolerance.
However, just because the included traits are themselves beneficial does not rule out the possibility that animals or humans consuming the plant might experience adverse effects. It is the process of inserting foreign genetic material that appears to be responsible for a large part of the reproductive defects, reduced lifespan, immune suppression, abnormal growth, inflammatory conditions and other adverse events that have been associated with consuming GM crops. This finding was, of course, precisely what caused Dr Arpad Pusztai to become such a target of biotech interests.
Read More: More hidden GMOs in British food