Study Proves Bt Toxin in GMOs Damages Human Blood Cells
Dr. Mezzomo and his team from the Department of Genetics and Morphology at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasilia recently performed and published a study which involved the testing of Bacillus thuringensis toxin (Bt toxin) on Swiss albino mice. This toxin is the same one built into Monsanto’s GMO Bt crops such as corn and soy as a biopesticide.
While Bt toxin has been used quite safely in conventional and organic farming as an occasional spray used when dealing with a pest problem, now it has been engineered to be produced by, and present throughout, every cell and intercellular space of the plants themselves, which is why Dr. Mezzomo and his team chose to undertake the study.
It should also be noted that as bacteria use lateral transference of genetic material, making it a possibility for this genetic material to become part of the human body’s bacterial bouquet that we depend on for our health, as our bodies contain more bacteria cells than human ones by number.
The scientists already knew that Bt toxin was very toxic and potentially deadly at levels above 270 milligrams per kilogram (basically ppm), so they instead tested levels ranging from 27mg/kg, 136mg/kg, and 270mg/kg for one to seven days (each of the Cry toxins were separated out and tested individually to maximize accuracy and total info). It was quite clear right off the bat that these Cry toxins were quite hemotoxic. Even at the lowest level of 27mg/kg, which was administered only one time and one day, had clearly damaged blood cells, particularly red blood cells. The quantity and size of the erythrocytes (RBCs) were both significantly reduced, as was the overall levels of hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein to which oxygen attaches.
All major factors regarding RBCs demonstrated some level of damage present for all levels of toxin administered and across all Cry proteins, although there were some clear variances present between different proteins and levels for certain factors. The white blood cell count was also quite noticeably raised, and as expected it dramatically increased depending on the duration the subject was tested for.
Additionally, the tests clearly demonstrated that Cry proteins were cytotoxic to bone marrow cells, accounting for a portion of the measured effects. It should also be noted that a previous study found that these proteins caused hemolysis (they killed blood cells) in vitro, particularly seeming to target the cell membranes of red blood cells.
While Bt toxin is not known to bioaccumulate in fat cells and internal organs, it is of note that the study demonstrated clearly that there was a significant increase in measurable negative effects of the toxin as time progressed, especially concerning the higher doses. Also of note was the increased inflammatory response—while it was quite minor, the scientists considered it to be statistically significant due to the intricacies of their chosen test subjects’ biology. No measurable genotoxicity was found.
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Article updated on: May 13th, 2013