Haidee Swanby, a researcher for the African Centre for Biosafety said that the purpose of multinationals who have acquired rights to produce GMOs is to make profits by controlling the rights of propagation, making the small-scale farmers dependent on the seed producer by not allowing them to replant harvested seeds, as it has been for generations.
Ms Swanby accused multinational companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and Cargill of introducing GMOs in the guise of development projects.
She observed that, “There are many uncertainties surrounding genetic engineering and it can lead to many unpredictable side effects, including the production of more or new allergens, toxins and anti-nutrients. Using feeding trials, clear negative health effects have been observed in animals fed on GMOs.”
Among others, there is disturbance of liver, pancreas and kidney functions. In many cases, animals that have been fed on GMOs had stomach and gut problems, such as inflammations, ulcerations and excessive growth of stomach and gut lining. She explained further that blood tests have revealed immune reactions and decreased levels of red blood cells, and the animals were found to have altered body weight. “There is a clear need for labelling of GM foods not only as a matter of choice but also to enable monitoring of health effects.”