Study finds GM corn and Roundup causes tumors and organ damage
By Ken Roseboro
Published: October 1, 2012
Category: GM Food Health Risks
The first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Roundup tolerant GM corn, and Roundup herbicide shows that levels currently considered safe can cause tumors and multiple organ damage and lead to premature death in laboratory rats, according to research published online by the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Researchers found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup tolerant GM corn, or given water containing Roundup at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the US, died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet. They suffered mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage. The paper, “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” reports on a study conducted by a team of scientists led by molecular biologist and endocrinologist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, co-director of the Risk Quality and Sustainable Environment Unit at the University of Caen, France. Seralini is an authority on studies into the health impact of GMO's and pesticides. It was supported by independent research organization, CRIIGEN.
Dr Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist at Kings College, London, and a member of the CRIIGEN scientific council, says: “This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats. It shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively - particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.”
Researchers studied 10 groups, each containing 10 male and 10 female rats, over their normal lifetime of two years. Three groups were given Roundup in their drinking water, at three different levels consistent with exposure through the food chain from crops sprayed with the weedkiller: the mid level corresponded to the maximum level permitted in the US in some GM feed; the lowest corresponded to contamination found in some tap waters. Three groups were fed diets that contained different proportions of NK603—11%, 22%, and 33%. Three groups were given both Roundup and NK603 at the same three dosages. The final control group was fed an equivalent diet with no Roundup or NK603 but containing 33% of equivalent non-GM maize. Researchers found that NK603 and Roundup both caused similar damage to the rats' health whether they were consumed on their own or together. Females developed fatal mammary tumors and pituitary disorders. Males suffered liver damage, developed kidney and skin tumors and experienced problems with their digestive system. The team also identified a “threshold effect” where even the lowest doses were associated with severe health problems.
Patrick Holden, Founder and Director for the Sustainable Food Trust, says: “On the basis of this study, we have to conclude that there is now a serious question mark over the safety of at least one GM crop. This suggests that all currently licensed GM crops should be re-evaluated and that in future safety studies in laboratory animals must be conducted over significantly longer periods of time that are equivalent to the animals' normal life span not simply their adolescence.”
The full paper is available at http://bit.ly/PH3MXI.
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