The research was conducted in 1998 by the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy, but was suppressed until a recent victory for anti-GM activists in the Russian court system that released the findings to the public. The study showed that GM potatoes did considerable damage to rats' organs.
The findings have led for a call to withdraw permission to grow GM potatoes at secret sites in the UK.
Besides the obvious nutritional reasons, British environmentalists have found another good reason to avoid potatoes: Evidence that genetically modified (GM) versions have been linked to cancer in rats, just as Dr. Arpad Pusztai claimed, to the dismay and anger of the biotech industry.
Small surprise that Dr. Pusztai was, in short order, suspended from his job, ordered to hand over all his data, and threatened with legal action if he spoke to anyone on the subject.
Halting the production of just one variety of GM crop certainly doesn't signal a trend, but it is a start in the right direction. And it doesn't mean the GM blight that taints some 70 percent of the foods you see at your corner grocery store is over by a long shot either. But perhaps with the help of the U.S. court system, Americans will have a little more time to get a little smarter about GM crops.
How You Can Take Action to Limit GMOs
When people realize the extent of the dangers of GM foods, they usually demand that something be done immediately. Many first think of demanding change through Congress. Although there are U.S. legislators who have introduced bills for labeling and for more extensive testing, these have not yet developed the momentum needed to pass. Check with www.TheCampaign.org for current news on congressional action.
But it wasn't legislation that worked in Europe and elsewhere. It was the widespread rejection of GM foods by consumers that forced food manufacturers to remove GM ingredients. Thus, just by taking steps to protect yourself and your family, you are helping to move the market.
In addition, you can help get the word out in your community. One of the most effective methods is to create a GM-Free School Campaign. This program, which is being implemented nationwide, rallies community members around protecting the most vulnerable sector of the population -- children.
Their young, fast-growing bodies certainly are more sensitive to the potential toxins, allergens and nutritional problems associated with GM foods. In addition, due to the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, ADHD, and other problems, kids' meals, and especially school meals, are under lots of scrutiny right now.
Each school already has a wellness plan, members of a wellness committee, and plenty of parents actively looking for ways to protect the health of their kids.
The campaign simultaneously alerts a large number of community members, helps educate parents how to buy non-GM brands, is a magnet for local press coverage, and will help to convince food companies that cater to kids and sell to schools to publically commit to non-GM ingredients.
In addition to a school focus, there are special roles that people in certain professions can play to advance this cause.
The Institute for Responsible Technology offers support for these groups as well.
As Mary from Cabool, Missouri points out on Vital Votes:
I couldn't have put it better myself.