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Reports link US health challenges to GM crop, mobile tech, others

A new study has exposed the risks of genetic contamination from GM crop pollen. Results from 10 years of monitoring finds that the EU 20-30 meter buffer zone recommended to protect against genetic contamination from Bt maize crops is well below the distances pollen is able to travel.

Barack Obama. US President
Barack Obama. US President

Authors conclude that a buffer zone of 1 km is needed if conventional varieties are to be protected. In any case, pest resistance to Bt toxins continues to spread, making the utility of Bt crops limited.

The study is titled: “Maize pollen deposition in relation to distance from the nearest pollen source under common cultivation – results of 10 years of monitoring (2001 to 2010).”

Another newly released study now shows for the first time in the US mainland, field developed resistance to Cry1F toxins in the Fall armyworm that may have migrated from Puerto Rico.

One of the main arguments in support of GM crop safety is the purported claim that US citizens have been eating them for years without ill effect.

Another environmental risk for disease, according to the report, is electromagnetic fields, which mankind is increasingly exposed to with the development and spread of mobile technologies. A new Swedish publication analyses two case-control studies, linking mobile phone exposure to increased risk of developing malignant brain tumours.

Society often places individual responsibility before societal responsibility for many health problems such as obesity and other related disorders. A new study however, highlights how the environment and particularly, social deprivation can be a significant risk factor in the development of diabetes in the US.

Titled “Multilevel and Urban Health Modeling of Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus: A New Insight into Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” the study aimed to apply multidisciplinary analysis approaches and test two hypotheses that (1) there was a significant increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) from 2002 to 2010 in the city of Philadelphia, and that (2) there were significant variations in the prevalence of DM across neighborhoods, and these variations were significantly related to the variations in the neighborhood physical and social environment (PSE).

Such studies underline the fact that human health reflects the wider functioning of society itself, with inequality being a major contributory factor to disease risk.

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