Food Toxin Found in the Blood of Pregnant Moms

Health & Wellness on 05.23.11
Guest Contributor, Allergy Kids Foundation bio | twitter

 

Photo: Sony200Boy/Creative Commons

New research from Canada has found a food toxin -- one that's produced in insect-resistant crops developed in the United States -- in the blood of pregnant women, their unborn babies and the general population.

It is the first study to show that these toxins, which are produced in genetically modified crops widely used in the United States and patented by the agrichemical industry, have not only survived the digestive tract but also passed the placental barrier and entered the bloodstream of unborn babies.

Pesticides used on crops that have been genetically engineered to withstand increasing doses of herbicides and weed killers were also found in the bloodstreams of these women.

The food toxin found is used in a strain of corn that is widely used in the United States as livestock feed and has been genetically modified to produce an insecticidal protein. This corn has received cultivation approval by the European Union but has not been widely adopted outside of the United States and is currently banned in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Luxemburg and Greece.  Because of the toxin that this corn contains, the corn is now regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide.

This is the first study to dispute the claim by industry that no genetically engineered protein survives intact in the intestinal tract or can enter the blood stream might given that this study detected this food toxin, known as Cry1Ab toxin in the bloodstream of not only pregnant women but also their unborn babies.

The research was conducted by a team of scientists at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec and has been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology. The team took blood samples from 30 pregnant women prior to delivery, 30 samples from umbilical cords immediately after birth and samples from 39 non-pregnant women who were undergoing treatment. All the women were of a similar age and body mass index, and none worked with pesticides or lived with anyone who did.

Traces of the toxin were found 93 per cent of the pregnant mothers and in 80 per cent of the umbilical cords. The research suggested the chemicals were entering the body through eating meat, milk and eggs from farm livestock which have been fed GM corn.

The findings appear to contradict the GM industry’s long-standing claim that any potentially harmful chemicals added to crops would pass safely through the body, according to an article in the UK Telegraph.

"To date, most of the global research which has been used to demonstrate the safety of genetically modified crops has been funded by the industry itself," states the article.

The findings add to concerns about the toxicity and potential allergenicty of these genetically engineered proteins expressed by many scientists and reinforce the importance of exercising precaution when it comes to protecting the health of the pregnant mothers and their babies.

To avoid these genetically modified proteins and toxins in your family's diet, you can look for food labeled "USDA Organic" as by law, these foods are not allowed to contain these insecticidal proteins or genetically engineered organisms.  You can also look for products labeled "Non-GMO".  To learn more, please visit The Non_GMO Project.