Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doctors' group calls for moratorium on genetically modified foods

In a press release issued on May 19, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine released a position paper calling for a moratorium on genetically modified foods:

According to the World Health Organization, Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) are "organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally."1 This technology is also referred to as "genetic engineering", "biotechnology" or "recombinant DNA technology" and consists of randomly inserting genetic fragments of DNA from one organism to another, usually from a different species. For example, an artificial combination of genes that includes a gene to produce the pesticide Cry1Ab protein (commonly known as Bt toxin), originally found in Bacillus thuringiensis, is inserted in to the DNA of corn randomly. Both the location of the transferred gene sequence in the corn DNA and the consequences of the insertion differ with each insertion. The plant cells that have taken up the inserted gene are then grown in a lab using tissue culture and/or nutrient medium that allows them to develop into plants that are used to grow GM food crops.2

Natural breeding processes have been safely utilized for the past several thousand years. In contrast, "GE crop technology abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years."3

Despite these differences, safety assessment of GM foods has been based on the idea of "substantial equivalence" such that "if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food."4 However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.

There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility.5 The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.2,6,7,8,9,10,11

Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. 6,11 Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). 7,8,10 Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. 6,8,10 A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn.8 This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth9 and disruption of the intestinal immune system.6

Regarding biological gradient, one study, done by Kroghsbo, et al., has shown that rats fed transgenic Bt rice trended to a dose related response for Bt specific IgA. 11

Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.

In spite of this risk, the biotechnology industry claims that GM foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. However, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reviewed 12 academic studies and indicates otherwise: "The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn."12 However, it was further stated that this increase is largely due to traditional breeding improvements.

Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements.13 The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration that states: "In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."13

Another often used definition originated from an environmental meeting in the United States in 1998 stating: "When an activity raises threats to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context, the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof (of the safety of the activity)."13

With the precautionary principle in mind, because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks:


* Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.

* Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.

* Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.

* For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

(This statement was reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine on May 8, 2009.)

Submitted by Amy Dean, D.O. and Jennifer Armstrong, M.D.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vatican Debates Genetically Modified Veggies

VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a week of study to consider the various issues related to the debate surrounding genetically modified organisms.

The May 15-19 event in the Vatican brought together 41 scientists from some 15 nations, including China, Mexico, Australia, Kenya and Great Britain.

The experts discussed a range of themes, including elements of social doctrine, economics and international relations.

For example, they considered if the use of genetically modified organisms only benefits multinational organizations while penalizing small farmers, or if these organisms could be the secret to bringing Africa to a green revolution, or if the seeds of these plants could become part of aid programs assisting in development.

In the final session, the experts debated how to improve international regulations on this issue and how to ensure that the poor benefit from the innovations in vegetable biotechnology.

--- --- ---

On the Net:

Program including abstracts and biographies: www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdscien/2009/booklet_transgenic_34.pdf

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Industrial Farming is Giving us Less Nutritious Food

* The commercially grown vegetables, fruits and grains that we are eating today are significantly less nutritious than these foods were 100 years ago, or even just 30 years ago.
By Cheryl Long
Mother Earth News, June/July 2009
Straight to the Source

We now have solid, scientific evidence of this troubling trend. For example:

* In wheat and barley, protein concentrations declined by 30 to 50 percent between the years 1938 and 1990.
* Likewise, a study of 45 corn varieties developed from 1920 to 2001, grown side by side, found that the concentrations of protein, oil and three amino acids have all declined in the newer varieties.
* Six minerals have declined by 22 to 39 percent in 14 widely grown wheat varieties developed over the past 100 years.
* Official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data shows that the calcium content of broccoli averaged 12.9 milligrams per gram of dry weight in 1950, but only 4.4 mg/g dry weight in 2003.

All of this evidence has been assembled and rigorously reviewed by Dr. Donald R. Davis, a now (mostly) retired chemist from the University of Texas.

So what’s causing these declines? The evidence indicates there are at least two forces at work. The first is what agriculture researchers call the environmental “dilution effect.” Davis notes that researchers have known since the 1940s that yield increases produced by fertilization, irrigation and other environmental means used in industrial farming tend to decrease the concentrations of minerals in those plants. These techniques give growers higher yields, and consumers get less expensive food. But now it appears there’s a hidden long-term cost — lowered food quality.

For example, a study of phosphorous fertilizer on raspberries found that applying high levels of phosphorus caused the yield to double and concentrations of phosphorus to increase in the plants, but meanwhile levels of eight other minerals declined by 20 to 55 percent!

The other force at work is what Davis calls the genetic dilution effect — the decline in nutrient concentration that results when plant breeders develop high-yielding varieties without a primary focus on broad nutrient content. That’s what the studies of wheat, corn and broccoli confirm.

Click here for the rest of this article.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wheat Groups to Synchronize Biotech Introduction in U.S., Canada and Australia

Organizations representing the wheat industry in the United States, Canada and Australia released a statement to synchronize the commercialization of biotech traits in the wheat crop to minimize market disruption. In a statement, the wheat groups highlighted the importance of wheat to the food supply, the slow yield growth trends, and the lack of public and private investment in wheat research. It likewise noted that biotechnology could be a "significant component" to tackling major issues facing the industry.

U.S. organizations were represented by the National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Wheat Associates and the North American Millers' Association. Canadian signatories include Grain Growers of Canada, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission. Representatives of Australia were the Grains Council of Australia, Grain Growers Association, and Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia (Inc.).

The full statement is available online at http://www.wheatworld.org/biotech

Wheat Groups Worldwide Align on Biotechnology

* By Eric Schroeder
BakingBusiness.com, May 14, 2009

WASHINGTON - With the view that acting together would minimize market disruptions, wheat industry groups in the United States, Canada and Australia said today they would work toward the objective of "synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in the wheat crop." Acknowledging the sensitivity of the subject in several parts of the world, including export markets such as Japan and the European Union, the groups issued a series of joint principles on wheat biotechnology. The group's statement noted common concerns among the three nations, including sluggish gains in wheat yields, steady erosion in acreage planted to wheat and inadequate wheat research spending. Within the United States, signatories to the statement included the North American Millers' Association, U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers. Canadian groups that signed the statement were the Grain Growers of Canada, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and the Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission. In Australia, signatories were the Grains Council of Australia, the Grain Growers Association and Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia Inc.

John Miller, chairman of NAMA and president of Miller Milling Co., Bloomington, Minn., said that the group had decided "long ago that we would move off neutral and that we would be a cautious advocate." Having already communicated this position to the association's customers and other stakeholders, the announcement could be viewed as a formality.

Mr. Miller said the millers' conviction about the importance of biotechnology for wheat was powerfully reinforced by the record high prices set in 2007-08.

"Last year brought many of our concerns to a head and gave us an opportunity to make the point that we're vulnerable," he said. "It exemplified the kinds of problems we are vulnerable to. To do this jointly with groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia shows that this is a worldwide concern. We hope this starts a process that at some point will prevent wheat growers and users from becoming marginalized by competing crops. I think it reflects that advances in biotechnology in other commodities precludes wheat from not only yield advantages but quality and nutrition advantages and environmental advantages such as application of less chemicals."

Acknowledging that the statement does little to clarify when bioengineered wheat may become commercially available, Mr. Miller said all the parties involved, certainly including NAMA, are committed to remaining part of the process going forward.

"We want to see it move forward, but we want to go forward the right way to make sure it is a positive and to avoid potential negatives," he said. "There is a note of caution. We've observed starts and stops in the past with anxiety. We want to avoid mistakes made with other commodities. This topic will be addressed at our upcoming NAMA leadership conference in Washington. This is just the beginning of a process."

Organic Foods Provide Significant Health Benefits

* By Sheryl Walters
Natural News, May 15, 2009
Straight to the Source

Organic foods can be considered to be better and healthier not only for the consumer but also for the environment. Organic foods are considered to be more nutrient dense than their counterparts produced via modern farming practices.

Dr. David Thomas, a physician and researcher, has studied and compared the United States government guidelines and tables for the nutritional content of various foods. These tables have been published by the government first in 1940 and again in 2002. Dr. Thomas has noticed a trend that supports the decline in the nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables produced via modern farming practices in recent decades. Because of his research Dr. Thomas has posed the following question, "Why is it that you have to eat four carrots to get the same amount of magnesium as you would have done in 1940?"

A study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition lists many nutrients that appear to be altered based on how they are farmed. The study looked at organic apples, pear, potatoes, wheat, and sweet corn and compared the levels of certain nutrients in relation to the commercially available counterparts produced via modern farming practices. The study lists the macronutrient chromium as being found at levels 78% higher in organic foods. The study also showed that Calcium is found at a level 63% higher in organic foods and Magnesium is found at a level 138% higher in organic foods. Other studies have shown that the use of pesticides can also alter the levels of certain vitamins including B vitamins, vitamin C, and beta-carotene in fruits and vegetables.

In 2003 a study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which found that organic corn had 52% more vitamin C than the commercially available counterpart which was grown utilizing modern farming practices. This study also found that polyphenol levels were significantly higher in the organic corn.

While many studies have been done looking into the benefits of organic produce there still is much to be learned. Dr. Marion Nestle the chair of New York University's department of nutrition, food studies and public health has said, "I don't think there is any question that as more research is done, it is going to become increasingly apparent that organic food is healthier."

Many studies including a study recently published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have done much to reinforce the perception of many American consumers that organic foods are both better for the consumer and the environment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vatican GM event a “charade by vested interests”

Wednesday 13 May 2009

A meeting on genetic modification (GM) being held at the Vatican later this week[1] has been condemned as “a total farce” by Spinwatch, an independent non-profit making organisation which monitors the role of PR, propaganda and lobbying.

Starting 15 May, the “study week” has been organised on behalf of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by the GM scientist, Ingo Potrykus, the co-inventor of Golden Rice. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the Academy's chancellor, told the Catholic News Service that the aim was to gather “an objective group of experts” in a search for “scientific clarity” on the subject.[2]

But the 40 or so participants listed on the academy's website[3] are all GM supporters, with many well known for their extreme pro-GM views or having vested interests in GMO adoption.

“This event appears to have been hijacked by the GM lobby. Objectivity is the last thing anyone should expect from these ‘experts’,” said Prof. David Miller of SpinWatch, which has recently launched SpinProfiles, a new online database which tracks experts with vested interests and who spin for industry.

“One of the participants, Eric Sachs, is a Monsanto employee[4]. Another, Robert Paarlberg, is an advisor to Monsanto’s CEO, and Peter Raven and Roger Beachy head up institutions that have benefited from Monsanto’s corporate largesse to the tune of many millions of dollars. Yet another speaker, C.S. Prakash, runs the AgBioWorld campaign, which has been used as a vehicle by Monsanto and its PR people for propaganda attacks on the company’s critics.”

“This event is just the kind of charade by vested interests,” said Prof. Miller, “that SpinProfiles was set up to challenge.”

According to Claire Robinson, the managing editor of SpinProfiles, some of the participants are well known for their extreme views. She points, as an example, to Henry I. Miller from the right-wing Hoover Institution. Even though the US regulatory regime for GMO approvals is generally regarded as lax,[5] Miller has condemned the regulations as excessive.

Robinson said, “Like some of the other contributors to the Vatican event, Henry I. Miller is a free market fundamentalist. He has even described Corporate Social Responsibility, which encourages companies to take account of the social and environmental impact of their actions, as 'a 21st century Trojan horse designed to destroy free enterprise from within'. According to Hoover’s Miller, right-minded company executives, or 'corporate warriors’ as Miller terms them, ‘understand that businesses don't have social responsibilities’. Their ‘legal and moral responsibility’, Miller says, is ‘to pursue the best interests of their employers – interests that relate primarily to making as much money as possible’.”

Henry I. Miller is an example of how a number of the speakers at the Vatican event are linked to lobby groups. Miller is an adjunct scholar at the Monsanto-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute, which co-founded the AgBioWorld lobby. He’s also a member of the scientific advisory board of the climate-change denying George C. Marshall Institute, and a director of the Monsanto-backed American Council on Science and Health.

Another contributor who, according to Robinson, exemplifies the “farcical extremity of this event” is Andrew Apel, who has been invited to talk about the funding of organisations which are critical of GMOs.

“Not only is Andrew Apel not a scientist or an expert of any kind on the topic he’s speaking on, his only claims to fame seems to be a decade or so spent editing a newsletter aimed at the biotech industry, and making unfounded and inflammatory attacks on critics of GM crops. Apel has sought, for instance, to link scientists critical of GM crops to the 9/11 attackers, claiming soon after the New York attacks that two women scientists had “blood” on their hands!”

“Is this the Pontifical Academy’s idea of objectivity?“ asked Robinson, who says it is also noticeable how many of the speakers at an event about feeding the world are based in North America (the majority) and are male (all bar two).[6]

Robinson said, “The speakers at the Pontifical Academy event, with their obsession with GMOs, represent a narrow privileged clique that is firmly stuck in the past. Their vision is completely at odds with that of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), a process involving 400 scientific experts that was initiated by the World Bank with the co-sponsorship of the United Nations. The IAASTD, which has already been signed up to by 60 governments, sees no major role for GM crops in meeting the challenge of hunger and poverty. It also calls for inclusiveness in directing agricultural research and development, notably the inclusion of women, who grow most of the food in the developing world.”

The views of the speakers at the Pontifical Academy event are also seriously at odds with those of Catholic development organisations, as CIDSE - the international alliance of Catholic development agencies - has made clear in a letter to Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. The concerns of many in the developing world, including local Churches in Asia, Latin America and Africa, are also reflected in the working document presented by Pope Benedict for this fall's Synod of Bishops for Africa. This points out that using GM crops risks “ruining small landholders, abolishing traditional methods of seeding and making farmers dependent on the production companies” selling their GMOs.

“The Vatican needs to listen to the voice of the Church in Africa,” commented Robinson, “not a narrow clique of hard-core GM extremists, many of whom have vested interests in the adoption of this dangerous technology.”



Notes

1. ↑ "Study Week: Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development", 15-19 May 2009 - Casina Pio IV, The Pontifical Academy, Vatican City. Note: the Pontifical Academy of Sciences does not represent the views of the Vatican or the Pope but attempts have been made to create the impression that it does. See, for instance, the article: Anna Meldolesi, "Vatican Cheers GM", Nature Biotechnology 27, 214 (2009), Also available on the AgBioWorld website
2. ↑ Carol Glatz, "Pros and cons of genetic modification: Not your typical food fight", VATICAN LETTER, Catholic News Service, 1 May 2009, accessed 11 May 2009
3. ↑ "Study Week: Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development", 15-19 May 2009 - Casina Pio IV, The Pontifical Academy, Vatican City, accessed 11 May 2009
4. ↑ Eric Sachs has worked for Monsanto for over 30 years. See "Study Week: Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development", 15-19 May 2009 - Casina Pio IV, The Pontifical Academy, Vatican City, p.18, accessed 11 May 2009
5. ↑ “U.S. regulators rely almost exclusively on information provided by the biotech crop developer, and those data are not published in journals or subjected to peer review... The picture that emerges from our study of U.S. regulation of GM foods is a rubber-stamp 'approval process' designed to increase public confidence in, but not ensure the safety of, genetically engineered foods." - Dr David Schubert of the Salk Institute commenting on a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study of federal regulation of GMOs he co-conducted, quoted in Brian Tokar, "Deficiencies in federal regulatory oversight of genetically engineered crops", Institute for Social Ecology Biotechnology Project, June 2006. See also: Regulatory breakdown, banGMfood.org website
6. ↑ The only female participants appear to be Nina Federoff and Martina Newell-McGloughlin, according to those listed in "Study Week: Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development", 15-19 May 2009 - Casina Pio IV, The Pontifical Academy, Vatican City

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brazil, China and India Emerging as Top Biotech Countries

Brazil, China and India are three of the world's leading countries that are spearheading emerging biotechnology clusters that can rival those in the United States. This was forwarded in an article in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News based on interviews with biotech industry leaders.

Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil were identified as the three leading emerging biotech clusters in Brazil where most of the activities were centered on agricultural biotechnology. The People's Republic of China has declared as priority the development of a vibrant biotech industry and several biotech parks have emerged. Shanghai and Beijing host the largest groupings of biotech companies. Similarly, predictions are that within the next two to three years, India will have 27 biotech parks through public/private partnerships.

View the full article at http://www.genengnews.com/articles/chitem.aspx?aid=2883

Friday, May 8, 2009

Americans Want It Both Ways

The glamorous ends get the attention, never the mundane means of how to obtain them.
By Victor Davis Hanson

Today’s Americans inherited the wealthiest nation in history — but only because earlier generations learned how to feed, fuel, finance, and defend themselves in ways unrivaled elsewhere.

Lately we have forgotten that and instead seem to expect others to do for us what we used to do ourselves.

Take our plentiful, cheap, and safe food supply. Long ago, Americans struggled to create farmland out of swamps, forests, and deserts, and built dams and canals for irrigation to make possible the world’s most diverse and inexpensive agriculture.

Now in California — the nation’s richest farm state — the population is skyrocketing toward 40 million. Yet hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland this year are going out of production, and with them leave thousands of jobs.

Why? In times of chronic water shortages, environmentalists have sued to stop irrigation deliveries in order to save threatened two-inch-long delta fish that need infusions of fresh water diverted from agricultural use. And, for both environmental and financial reasons, we long ago stopped building canals and dams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to find sources of replacement irrigation water.

So farmers are asked to produce more food for more people in a desert climate with less water — while environmentalists dream of returning to a pristine, 19th-century, sparsely populated California of smelt and salmon in their inland rivers. But the end result will be more imported food from less environmentally sound farms abroad.

Consider energy consumption and supply as well. The United States still has plenty of untapped natural gas and oil — both offshore and in Alaska. We have nearly unlimited coal supplies and oil shale, in addition to the ability to build dozens of new nuclear plants.

Developing such traditional sources of energy responsibly would save us trillions of dollars in imported fuels, keep jobs here at home, and allow the nation a precious window of energy autonomy as we steadily transfer to more wind, solar, and renewable energy.

If we exploit our own energy carefully offshore and in Alaska, it will mean less sloppy foreign drilling off places like Nigeria or in the fragile Russian tundra to feed American cars and trucks.

But this generation of Americans does not want messy drilling at home — only to keep driving. That means more borrowing to buy imported fuel, while telling others to do the dirty work of drilling crude oil in their own backyard.

Both Democrats and Republicans have also taken for granted having enough military power to intervene overseas to remove tyrannical governments such as those of Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Manuel Noriega, and the Taliban — and to stop atrocities whenever we can. But such power takes hundreds of billions of dollars in expensive hardware and military personnel.

Barack Obama is no exception to this bipartisan muscular idealism. He sent more troops into Afghanistan, keeps attacking terrorists in Pakistan and, during the campaign, even talked about deploying additional troops to save those in Darfur. But he also wants to keep the defense budget static, or even cut it in some places.

In our have-it-both-ways generation, we want to keep our involvements abroad while not worrying as much about the practical means to meet them.

Then there is the question of national debt. We are now projected to run a record $1.7 trillion deficit — and may add $9 trillion to our existing $11 trillion in aggregate debt over the next eight years.

The president, though, has outlined vast new entitlement programs in health care, education, environmental programs, and infrastructure. The problem, of course, is that we have not earned enough money to pay for any of these additional expenditures. Again, the glamorous ends get the attention, never the mundane means of how to obtain them.

Americans became wealthy and strong through unique self-reliance, common sense, and delayed gratification. And we — or our children — will soon become poor precisely because we hold on to the romance that producing food and fuel and saving money are icky tasks to be ignored or left to others.

Until we change that attitude, we’ll keep borrowing and spending on ourselves what we have not yet earned — all the way to bankruptcy.


— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. © 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Study Finds Food-Wrapper Chemicals in Blood

Read the study

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A new scientific study has for the first time found a group of chemicals used in coatings on food wrappers in human blood.

Previous reports have documented low levels of certain perfluorochemicals -- those used to make commercial products like food wrapper coatings -- in the blood of the general human population.

But the new study, led by University of Toronto researchers, focused on chemicals that are actually used in food wrapper coatings and other consumer products.

The findings, published this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, provide more information about how humans are being exposed to these toxic materials.

Click here for the rest of this article.

Click here to read the study.