Are GM foods contributing to the huge rise in food allergies and anaphylaxis?

See also to read the updated full report into allergies in Australia (Updated 2008-09-25)

MADGE looked at the approvals of GM foods in Australia and compared them to Australian hospital admission rates for anaphylaxis. Our graph shows a strong correlation between the two.

We are calling for:

* An urgent investigation into the possible link between food allergies and GM foods
* Full labelling of all GM foods to allow traceability of possible adverse health effects

MADGE research has uncovered:

1. A study predicting that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready canola (GM) could prove allergic to people with sensitivities to red shellfish (prawns, shrimp, lobster).
2. Allergies to soy in the UK jumped by 50% shortly after GM soy entered the food chain for the first time. British scientists called for GM foods to be banned. (2)
3. Public protest meant UK supermarkets removed most GM food from sale in 1999. The rapid increase in anaphylaxis (severe allergy) in children aged 0-4 stabilised.

Most tested food in history?

Our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) does none of its own testing on GM foods. FSANZ has passed GM canola as safe by relying on the evidence provided by the companies wanting to release it, ie Monsanto and Bayer.

FSANZ does no monitoring of the health effects of GM foods once they are on supermarket shelves. Instead FSANZ expects the companies that developed the GM foods to monitor for adverse effects and inform government regulatory authorities of any issues.

Animal feeding tests on GM food are limited and superficial. Monsanto did a test on their RR canola planted in Australia this year. After 4 weeks of eating RR canola meal rats had an unhealthy 12-16% increase in liver weight. This result was not followed up. (3) Only one multigenerational feeding trial on rats has been done. The results were terrifying.
Animal lotto?

Female rats were fed either GE soy, natural soy or no soy in their diets. The experimental diet began two weeks before the rats conceived and continued through pregnancy and nursing.

36% of the pups from GE fed mothers were stunted compared to about 6% from the other groups. Then the pups started dying. Within three weeks 25 of the 45 rats from GE fed mothers died (55.6%).

Only 3 of the 33 rats from non-GE soy fed mothers died (9%) and 3 of 44 pups from non soy fed mothers died (6.8%).

This study has been criticised but never repeated. Rats breed every 21 days. If the GM companies wanted to show their food is safe they could breed 8 generations of rats fed on GM food in 6 months.

Why have these long term feeding tests not been done?

1. Anaphylaxis Graph:
Paediatric food allergy trends in a community-based specialist allergy practice, 1995-2006, Raymond J Mullins, MJA Vol. 186 No. 12 pp 618-621 * Rate per million population.
Food Approvals Graph:
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ): Genetically Modified Foods & Their Approval Status,
2. Jeffery M. Smith, Seeds of Deception, Scribe publications, Melbourne, 2004 p159-161
3. Jeffery M. Smith, Genetic Roulette, Gene Ethics, Melbourne, 2007 p52-53