16 Dec, 2009 03:45 PM
AN INTERNATIONAL study of three Monsanto genetically manipulated maize (corn) varieties shows clear evidence of health risks, according to anti-GM lobby group Gene Ethics.
It says that the study analysed data from 90-day rat feeding trials of: insecticide-producing Mon 810 and Mon 863 GM maize; and Roundup herbicide tolerant NK 603 GM maize.
Adverse impacts were found on the kidneys, livers and the dietary detoxifying organs of experimental rats, and also some damage to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and the haematopoietic system.
The research was conducted by French scientists from the universities of Caen and Rouen and is published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences.
According to Gene Ethics, the report shows the GM maize events contained novel pesticide residues that will also be present in human food and animal feed where they may pose grave health risks.
As a result of the findings, the scientists are calling for an immediate prohibition on the import and cultivation of this GM maize and have strongly recommended more long-term and multi-generational animal feeding studies.
The analysis was conducted on Monsanto’s data from animal feeding tests but the scientists found the design and execution of the seed and trials to be flawed.
Gene Ethics says that once the data was analysed using improved statistical methods, it emerged clearly that male and female rats responded differently to being fed the GM maize.
The Australian food regulator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has cleared the three maize varieties as safe for human consumption and they are allowed in the food supply.
Gene Ethics director Bob Phelps says the "precautionary principle must be applied" to all new varieties that have not been in the food supply before.
"Applicants must submit peer reviewed data to prove they are 100 per cent safe," he said.
"This new scientific study is the latest of many independent research findings consistently ignored by FSANZ that show some GM foods are not safe to eat."