July 22, 2014

First Long Term Study on GMO Effects Finds Tumor Growth

The first long-term study of the effects of GMO Roundup-ready corn have just been released, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Scientists found that rats fed Roundup tolerant GMO maize developed mammary tumors and kidney and liver damage after four months. This number is significant because the Monsanto studies that the FDA used to grant approval for GMO foods ended at three months.

Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, Molecular Biologist at Caen University and first author of the research, spoke at a press conference sponsored by The Sustainable Food Trust. Food Poisoning Bulletin attended this conference. Dr. Séralini stated that his research group tested Roundup in formulation as it is found in tap water, the level of Roundup found in GMOs, and 1/2 of the solution dose as used in agriculture. They also tested GMO corn at 11%, 22%, and 33% levels in a calibrated diet.

Dr. Séralini said, “the results were alarming. After four months, discovered tumors began, mostly mammary tumors, and some kidney tumors. After one year, there was a large increase in the number of tumors in the rats, with almost every rat having at least two or three tumors, even when they were fed the lowest doses of GMO corn alone that was not treated with Roundup.” The female rats died 2 to 3 times more than controls, and more rapidly.

While the scientists expected to see tumors in the rats exposed to Roundup, since it is an endocrine disruptor and has mutagenic effects, they were surprised to see the effects in rats fed GMO corn. Herbicides are often mixed with other chemicals that help the product penetrate the plant cells; these chemicals also help the herbicides penetrate mammalian cells. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the diet found that some protective compounds in foods that protect against mammary tumors were reduced up to 51% by GMO products. The enzyme that reduces the protective compounds is over-expressed in 80% of GMO products.

Dr. Séralini said, “there are parallels with human health, and serious consequences.” He wants to see testing by companies that are making GMOs extended beyond three months to at least two years. He also wants to see labeling of GMO products in the United States, and believes that changes need to be made at the regulatory level to increase transparency in these test results. He also stated that it is “unbelievable that only companies do these tests for the government, and are not even obliged to show blood analysis of the rats studied before GMO foods are approved.”

The California Right to Know Campaign Manager Gary Ruskin said, “the results of this study are worrying. 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 not been proven safe.”

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