Genetically Modified Crops Can Cause Liver Failure. It’s long been a concern that the explosion of genetically modified crops could have serious consequences for human health and the environment. At least one genetically modified wheat crop has been linked to liver failure, and could pose a significant health threat to both humans and animals. Experts claim that government regulators have not been thorough in their risk assessments of genetically modified crops, and too often fail to consider the possibility that genetically modified wheat crops and other crops could cause liver damage or impact the function other organ systems. Parker Waichman is investigating the health impacts of genetically altered food. If you or a loved one suffered liver failure or another ailment that could be linked to genetically modified wheat or other crops, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us today for a free, no obligation legal evaluation of your case.
What are Genetically Modified (GMO) Crops?
Genetically modified crops have been altered in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. Genetically modified technology enables plant breeders to bring together in one plant genes from within the crop species, from closely related plants, and even from non-plant species. Advocates for genetically modified crops claim the technology will enable the creation of food crops that are disease, pest, herbicide and drought resistant, and offer more nutritional benefits than traditional crops.
According to U.S. health regulators, there are over 40 generically modified plant varieties that have been approved for commercialization in the U.S. These include tomatoes and cantaloupes that have modified ripening characteristics, soybeans and sugar beets that are resistant to herbicides, and corn and cotton plants with increased resistance to insect pests.
Not all of these products are available for sale yet; however, their presence in supermarkets is more common than most people realize. Thirteen countries grew genetically-engineered crops commercially in 2000, and of these, the U.S. produced the majority.
Environmental activists have raised concerns that the expansion of genetically modified crops could lead to unintended consequences. These include harm to other organisms, and reduced effectiveness of pesticides. There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health. For example, a 1999 article published in the Lancet examined the effects of genetically modified potatoes on the digestive tract in rats,
and claimed that there were appreciable differences in the intestines of rats fed modified potatoes compared to those fed unmodified varieties.
Genetically Modified Wheat and Liver Damage
In September 2012, Jack Heinemann, a world renowned scientist from New Zealand, raised concerns that a variety of genetically modified wheat could damage the liver. Genetically modified technology had been used to suppress an enzyme in the wheat which was similar to the human enzyme that produces glycogen. In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles. The suppression of gylcogen could lead to liver failure. Heinemann criticized regulators for not even considering the possibility that this particular genetically modified wheat crop could impact the human liver. “There are very special risk assessments that should be done on this kind of modification because we have very limited experience with this,” he said. “The vast majority of GM (genetically modified) organisms in the human food supply have been modified to change a protein and that’s a very different molecule with a different risk spectrum.”