A new study done by French scientists suggests that Monsanto’s genetically modified corn MON863 causes toxicity to the liver and kidneys. This is the first instance of an approved GM product demonstrating negative health effects on internal organs.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has agreed to review the new study in late March. The EFSA had looked at MON863 in 2004, when a German study suggested kidney toxicity. They found no evidence to indicate that MON863 was unsafe.
Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini worked with the group CRIIGEN in Caen, France as they examined data from safety tests performed by Monsanto in seeking approval to market MON863 in the EU. The study was published March 13 in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Seralini found symptoms of poisoning and organ damage in rats that were fed MON863. His findings refute Monsanto’s report, which studied 400 rats for 90 days and determined that MON863 was harmless.
Pest-resistant MON863 was approved for feed in August 2005, and for human consumption in January 2006. In spite of the controversy, the corn product has been allowed in markets in the EU, US, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico and the Phillipines.
The data from the Monsanto study was suppressed until Greenpeace secured the evidence through a court order.
Seralini noticed “significant deficits in the statistic evaluation” of the report. “Monsanto’s analyses do not stand up to rigorous scrutiny,” he said, referring to questionable protocols, a short time frame for the study, and the concealing of important data from urine tests. “With the present data, it cannot be concluded that GM corn MON863 is a safe product.”
Professor Seralini found the discoveries “profoundly disturbing” and sufficient to call for an immediate ban on MON863, as well as a moratorium on other approved GMOs until current health testing methods are reassessed.
An editorial in Food Navigator.com stated, “News that a variety of GM corn produced signs of liver and kidney toxicity in rats should be a wake-up call for better testing and more transparency from biotechs, if GMOs are to be accepted by increasingly skeptical consumers.”
(Sources: DeutscheWelle, Le Monde, Food Navigator.com)
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