By Emily Banks Leader-Telegram staff Genetic pollution could last longer than nuclear waste and global warming, said Jeffrey Smith, author of "Seeds of Deception," Monday night at The Forum at UW-Eau Claire's Zorn Arena.
It would be impossible to recall genetically modified mosquitoes or salmon once they're released into nature.
Much of the foods we eat - such as soy, corn and canola oil - have been genetically modified to withstand herbicides and pesticides, creating new organisms that never existed before. And they might be causing major health risks, Smith said.
"They put genes from bacteria and viruses into crops," Smith said.
Scientists have warned of allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems caused by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration overruled the scientists' findings and deemed the foods safe, said Smith. In working with scientists, he said he's identified 65 different health risks related to GMOs.
Lab rats refused to eat genetically modified tomatoes, and squirrels in the wild will choose organic corn over genetically modified crops. Smith calls that phenomenon the "wisdom of animals." The process of genetically engineering potatoes made lab rats sick in one UK study, causing excessive cell growth, and animals have become sterile or even died after eating genetically modified crops, said Smith.

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