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Surprising Science

Are Genetically Modified Foods Making Us Fat?

In two recent experiments, animals got fatter at a faster rate when fed genetically modified food. Because the US lacks a labeling system for GM foods, consumers cannot make informed decisions. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Animals who ate genetically modified food in a recent scientific experiment got fatter, and at a faster rate, than animals eating organic, and in some cases developed digestion problems and immune system challenges. In a study carried out by the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, “rats were fed GM corn (genetically modified for pest resistance). The rats slowly got fatter than those who hadn’t been fed GM corn over a 90-day period. They also ate more and grew faster. When rats were fed fish that had eaten GM corn, they were hit with the same effects.” Fish who ate GM food also got fatter, faster, and developed a different “intestinal microstructure.” 

What’s the Big Idea?

The obvious question not addressed by the study is whether the effects of GM foods seen in animals also take place in humans. Professor Åshild Krogdahl of the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science said: “If the same effect applies to humans, how would it impact people eating this type of corn over a number of years, or even eating meat from animals feeding on this corn? I don’t wish to sound alarmist, but it is an interesting phenomenon and worth exploring further.” Because the FDA opposes a labeling scheme for GM foods, Americans cannot make informed decisions about what food they buy, risking yet-unknown health consequences. 

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