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Bogus study authored by former Monsanto worker claims GMO animal feed is safe

GMO animal feed

(NaturalNews) A new study published in the Journal of Animal Science claims to have finally settled the debate over whether or not genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe for animals: They are, it alleges. But the study's main author is a former research scientist for Monsanto, and a current specialist promoting biotechnology at a renowned agricultural college, so of course her research arrived at the conclusion that GMOs are safe.

As a brief background: The results of a decades-long inquiry into the safety of GMOs as livestock feed was recently concluded, and its findings published in a peer-reviewed journal. The collective health of roughly 100 billion animals was assessed between the years of 1983 and 2011, with the first GMOs appearing in 1996. Based on this assessment, researchers concluded that GMOs do not have a negative effect on livestock, and that animals fed GMOs are nutritionally equivalent to animals fed real feed.

But a closer look at the study authors' corporate affiliations reveals that this is hardly an unbiased study looking purely at the health outcomes of animals fed GMOs. It is much more of a propaganda study looking out for the financial outcomes of biotechnology companies, which are under increasing fire as cities and states all across the country push for mandatory GMO labeling.

The study's purpose all along, it appears, was to give an official-looking stamp of approval to GMO safety just as the national debate is culminating into a movement of real action, in this case action seeking mandatory GMO labeling. This is evidenced by the fact that the study's main author, Alison L. Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., is a former research scientist and project leader for Monsanto. She is the current head of the University of Davis Department of Animal Science.

As explained by New Hampshire Right to Know GMO, Eenennaam is an expert in animal genomics and biotechnology with a vested interest in supporting all things GMO. The express mission of her program at UC Davis is to advance GMO technologies in livestock production systems, including the use of things like GM corn and soy in animal feed.

"Her current project is 'Integrating DNA information into beef cattle production systems to provide beef cattle producers with the background information and research-derived data they need to make informed decisions about the use of DNA-technologies in the context of commercial cow-calf operations,'" explains NH Right to Know GMO.

Eenennaam was also hired by FDA to push for approval of GM salmon

The timing of the publishing of Eenennaam's study is suspicious enough, but her prior work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is even more suspect. As it turns out, the FDA brought on Eenennaam to "evaluate" the safety of AquaBounty's AquAdvantage salmon, the first GM animal proposed for commercial release.

Naturally, Eenennaam's personal assessment of the "frankenfish" came to the conclusion that it is perfectly safe, even though it contains unnatural genes from other aquatic species. When regulators delayed approval for AquAdvantage in order to look at the science further, Eenennaam actually got angry and declared this precautionary approach to be "frightening."

The only thing frightening is that a woman with such blatantly obvious ties to biotechnology interests is able to publish a study on GMO safety that is taken seriously by anyone. Headlines declaring the GMO safety debate over because of Eenennaam's new study are completely short-sighted and flagrantly misleading. Once again, this study is just another tiring example of industry propaganda posing as science, of which even the general American public is growing wary.

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