When scientist Hussein Kaoud decided to test genetically modified food on rats, he produced results that were extremely alarming and corroborate the conclusions that some international, independent scientists have reached.
Kaoud, of Cairo University’s Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene, fed nine groups of rats and mice different genetically modified foods — food made from organisms that have been biologically modified to incorporate genes with desired traits — and analyzed their physiological and psychological reactions.
The most common genetically engineered crops can resist herbicides or even create their own insecticides. Others have been manipulated in laboratories to enhance their tolerance to drought and water scarcity.
While some genes are extracted from another plant and inserted in the genome of the new super plant, the most commonly added gene is Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt — a soil bacterium that naturally produces crystal proteins fatal to insects. When a Bt gene is inserted into corn or cotton, each plant in the field becomes an insecticide that causes insects’ stomachs to rupture when they feed on it.
Ninety-five percent of genetically modified crops planted worldwide come from Monsanto, the world’s leading biotechnology and genetic engineering company. The four main genetically modified crops are corn, soya, canola and cotton, and they have spread all over the world since their initial commercialization in 1995.
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