• GMO Do Not Correlate with Cancer Rates

    I ran across this argument again yesterday.

    GM food cause cancer in the US, if we don’t stop them, we’ll all die of cancer.

    The article then went on to state that something like 78-91% of all crops in the US are GM and that the trend has been increasing for a decade.

    This is actually excellent information… and like all the best lies, contains some truth.  You see, if we have been steadily increasing the amount of GM food that we’ve been eating for a decade or so AND GM food causes cancer, then we should see an increase in the cancer rate in the US.

    Let’s do some science.

    Hypothesis: GM food causes cancer in humans.

    Null hypothesis: GM food does not cause cancer in humans.

    Test: If the hypothesis is correct, then we should see an increase in incidents of cancer in humans that correlates with the increase in GM foods.


    From the USDA

    Adoption of GE crops has grown steadily in the United States

    We can ignore the cotton, since we don’t really eat it.  But the corn and soybeans are very important as they form the basis for much of the food consumed in the US…. including being eaten by food animals, which are subsequently eaten by humans.

    From 1999 to 2009 (ten years), the use of Bt corn nearly tripled.  HT corn went up nearly 10 times.  HT soybeans almost doubled, but it’s been at high rates for a long time.

    Let’s compare to the CDC Cancer Data.

    Line chart showing the changes in cancer incidence rates for people of various races and ethnicities.

    Now you see why I specifically talked about 1999 to 2009 in the crop data.  The CDC data covers those years.  If our hypothesis is correct, then cancer rates should, almost at a minimum, double.  But they don’t increase at all.  Indeed, cancer rates in almost all races and genders decrease (even if only slightly).  A discussion of why women’s cancer rates didn’t change very much is beyond the scope of this article, but if I was to guess, I’d say something about availability of medical tests.

    Anyway, this data simply shows that GM foods are not a cause of cancer.  If one accepts that GM foods are directly related to cancer incident (which I don’t, but some people do), then one must accept that GM foods are actually better for us.

    If however, the anti-GM proponent says anything about any other concept (increase in organic food, better detection methods, improved treatment, etc), then what they are saying is that there is no viable correlation between GM foods and cancer rates.  This is because they have failed to eliminate all other variables and there are many, many factors we must consider when talking about cancer rates.

    At this point, we must accept the null hypothesis that GM foods do not cause cancer in humans.

    Category: GMOResearchScienceSkepticism


    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat