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New Research Could Spell Bad News For GMOs

A new study has found RNA in the livers of people who ate rice. What does that mean for GMO giants like Monsanto?

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Photo: Daniel Lobo (flickr)

Genetically-modified crops may not be as safe as Monsanto wants to believe.

A new study could blow apart Monsanto’s claim that DNA is not harmful, which legitimizes the use of genetic modification in their products.

The study found RNA, or ribonucleic acid, in subjects who ate rice. If RNAs are found in the human liver, could microRNA (linked to diseases like cancer) also cling to the body?

Monsanto argues that “there is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.” They have been relying upon the reasoning that the presence of DNA is harmless, and DNA is in all plants, genetically modified or otherwise.

However, the new research could mean the presence of microRNA can be detected, and microRNA could be potentially harmful.

Importantly, the microRNA survives digestion in humans, and can travel throughout the body.

The research is fairly new, meaning there’s still the opportunity for further examination.

Read More:

  • The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods (The Atlantic)
  • The next generation of GMOs could be especially dangerous (Grist)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • Alex Huszagh

    Reasons why this isn’t actually harmful or important:
    1. They did not even check to see if there was another source of these proteins in the subjects. But thats not even close to the biggest shortcoming….2. The protein is in fact digested by the stomach.

    3. The test they used had already been shown to be ineffective (an assay) in human blood samples. Meaning the results don’t actually mean anything.

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