20 September 2012, 09:59 BST
In the first ever peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of Genetically Modified (GMO) food, genetically engineered corn has been linked to mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses in rats.
The study examined the long-term effects of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller and NK603 Roundup-resistant GM maize. "Scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumours and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females, compared with 23 and 14 months respectively for a control group," according to The Grocer.
The findings were published today in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
While numerous 90-day studies have already linked GMO foods to allergies and other health problems, today's publication marks the first-ever long term animal study on the health effects of genetically engineered foods, and comes as California voters consider the Proposition 37 Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods, according to a news release from the Yes on Proposition 37 Campaign.
"The results of this study are worrying," responded Yes on Proposition 37 Campaign Manager Gary Ruskin. "They underscore the importance of giving California families the right to know whether our food is genetically engineered, and to decide for ourselves whether we want to gamble with our health by eating GMO foods that have not been adequately studied and have not been proven safe."
"By requiring simple labels on genetically engineered foods, Proposition 37 gives Californians the ability to choose whether to expose ourselves and our families to any potential health risks. The right to know is fundamental, and that's why 50 countries around the world have already enacted labeling requirements for genetically engineered food," Ruskin stated.
The study's authors, together with the non-profit organization Sustainable Food Trust, will be hosting a press conference call today to discuss the study at 11:30 a.m. PDT
The Telephone press conference press briefing will cover the first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Roundup tolerant GM maize, and Roundup, the world's best-selling weedkiller.
Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, Molecular Biologist at Caen University and first author of the research being discussed. Professor Séralini was in charge of risk assessment for two government commissions and has advised the European Commission on the use of GMO's commercially. He is the President of the Scientific Board at Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRII-GEN).
Dr. Michael Antoniou, Professor of Molecular Genetics at Kings College, London School of Medicine. Dr. Antoniou has over 40 peer-reviewed publications of original work.
Patrick Holden, former director of the UK Soil Association and Founder of the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT). SFT has an interest in comparing different systems of agriculture and their impact on human and environmental health.
This briefing is for credentialed media only. An audio file of this call will be posted to research.sustainablefoodtrust.org after the briefing. One-on-one interviews available upon request. High-resolution images will be available online and by request.
The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modiï¬ed maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs.
All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological proï¬les were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modiï¬ed by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher.
This pathology was conï¬rmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier.
Biochemistry data conï¬rmed very signiï¬cant kidney chronic deï¬ciencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of
Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.
Learn more at about GMO labeling and California's fight for Prop 37 at the Right to Know website.
Source: Red, Green and Blue