gm corn research shows liver, kidney toxicity

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-01-19 11:26

A new GM study by the University of Caen in France shows a negative impact on the function of kidneys and liver in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.

From the study:
"We investigated three different GM corn namely NK 603, MON 810 and MON 863, which were fed to rats for 90 days. The raw data have been obtained by European governments and made publically available for scrutiny and counter-evaluation.

“These studies constitute a model to investigate possible subchronic toxicological effects of these GM cereals in mammals and humans. These are the longest in vivo tests performed with mammals consuming these GMOs. The animals were monitored for numerous blood and organ parameters.

“One corn (NK 603) has been genetically engineered to tolerate the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulation. The two other types of GM maize studied produce two different new insecticides namely modified versions of Cry1Ab (MON 810) and Cry3Bb1 (MON 863) Bacillus thuringiensis-derived proteins. Therefore, all these three GM maize contain novel pesticide residues that will be present in food and feed."

Interesting that the longest tests performed by Monsanto are only for a whopping three months. And yet the researchers were able to detect a negative impact on kidney function in such a short space of time.

Now imagine consuming GM corn for most of your life. Would you be surprised to find a problem in your detox organs after eating corn that is designed to withstand herbicide (farmers obviously spray liberally and there would be residues) or produce it's own form of pesticide.

Its also interesting that the data on which the analysis is based is from tests conducted by Monsanto themselves but not made publicly available. i.e. they know what the bad effects are but peddle their wares as safe to the world regardless.

The data for the study was only obtained because some of it was released by the government of Sweden, and Greenpeace got their hands on other data via legal action.

"The raw biochemical data, necessary to allow a statistical re-evaluation, should be made publically available according to European Union Directive CE/2001/18 but unfortunately this is not always the case in practice. On this occasion, the data we required for this analysis were obtained either through court actions (lost by Monsanto) to obtain the MON 863 feeding study material (June 2005), or by courtesy of governments or Greenpeace lawyers. We thank the Swedish Board of Agriculture, May 30, 2006 for making public the NK 603 data upon request from Greenpeace Denmark and lawyers from Greenpeace Germany, November 8, 2006 for MON 810 material. This allowed us to conduct for the first time a precise and direct side-by-side comparison of these data from the three feeding trials with these GMOs."

The researchers also uncovered irregularities in the test data presented by Monsanto.

"Unfortunately, some important measurements serving as markers for liver function were not conducted for technical or unknown reasons... In addition, important sex difference markers were also ignored such as blood sex or pituitary hormone levels. Furthermore, it is well known and present in OECD guidelines that measurements should be conducted for at least 3 different experimental points to study dose- or time-related effects. Contrastingly and for reasons that are not stated, in all three studies for all three GMOs, only 2 doses and periods of feeding were measured, which makes it difficult to evaluate dose and cumulative effects."

And they also had concerns about the sample size of the tests and the frequency at which they were tested:

"The most fundamental point to bear in mind from the outset is that a sample size of 10 for biochemical parameters measured two times in 90 days is largely insufficient to ensure an acceptable degree of power to the statistical analysis performed and presented by Monsanto."

Given that these GM crops are potentially eaten by billions of people and animals world-wide, it is important to discuss whether the experimental design, the statistical analyses and interpretations originally undertaken are appropriate and sufficient.

Whilst the researchers revealed side effects mostly concentrated in the kidney and liver function some effects on the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and blood cells were also detected.

The authors of the paper conclude their data "strongly suggests" that the three GM maize varieties studied induce liver and kidney toxicity. This could be due to the herbicides or insecticides present in each type of GM maize, but that the process of genetic manipulation may also be a possible cause.

They strongly recommend that additional long-term (up to 2 years) animal feeding studies be performed in at least three species and preferrably across multiple generations.

In an ironic aside (which gives strength to conspiracy theories) Forbes magazine (motto: "The Capitalist Tool") voted Monsanto "Company of the Year" despite their reporting a quarterly loss in October 2009, as sales for their Roundup dropped.

Start growing your own and don't eat poisoned food!

Read further: the unhealthy truth – how our food is making us sick

[with thanks to the ethical coop]