Posted: January 13th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Genetically Modified crops (or GM) are genetically modified organisms (GMO) that have been altered to meet a specific profile. They have also been the subject of controversy almost since their introduction two decades ago. A new study pinpoints three variations of GM corn (maize) as being linked to organ damage in mammals.
The three varieties in question are Mon 810, Mon 863, and NK 603. The “Mon” is for, you guessed it, Monsanto and the NK is also a Monsanto product, being engineered for herbicide tolerance. The study was conducted by the Committee of Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and the Universities of Caen and Rouen in France.1
The study used the same data that was used by Monsantoto gain approval in several parts of the world. The data was released publicly in 2005 by European authorities when the three GM strains were approved for human consumption in both the U.S. and Europe.
Gilles-Eric Seralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen and one of the principals in the study, says that the data “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system.”
Each of the three strains produced differing amounts of adverse impact, but the impact on vital organs was universal for all three GM crops.
The study was completed in December 2009 and appears in the International Journal of Biological Sciences1 (IJBS). It conforms with and substantiates an earlier study done by CRIIGEN in 2007 on Mon 863.2 The results of that study were rejected by Monsanto.3
One controversy many point to when criticizing Monsanto’s counter-analysis as well as the governmental acceptance of the GM crops is in the way Monsanto’s studies were carried out. Traditionally, when testing drug, pesticide, or other human-ingested items’ safety, the standard protocol is to use three different mammalian species.
Monsanto used only rats for their studies, but still managed to win GMO approval in at least a dozen countries. Further, the studies were carried out in only 90 day spans, which is not long enough to find most chronic problems.
Other problems with Monsanto’s studies should have raised more red flags, but they were ignored by the governmental panels put in charge of making the decision to allow the company’s genetically modified crops into wide distribution in their countries.
The new CRIIGEN study concludes that the raw data makes it clear that all three GMO crops have real problems and should be put under “an immediate ban on the import and export of these GMOs.” The study also strongly recommends additional long-term, multi-generational animal feeding studies be done on at least three species to provide truly scientific “data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.”
1 – de Vendomois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Seralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. – Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5:706-726.
3 Rejection of the 2007 study on Monsanto’s website.