Genetic maize led to rapid death in rats

Genetically modified feed led to premature death in rats

The results of a French study on genetic maize are alarming: rats that have been fed with genetically modified maize from the American agricultural giant Monsanto for a longer period of time died much earlier than animals that did not eat genetic maize. Monsanto is repeatedly criticized for its controversial business policy and political influence.

Did GM maize cause cancer in rats?
As the French researchers report in the journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology", the rats fed GM maize die younger and suffer from cancer much more frequently. Gilles-Eric Seralini, a professor at the University of Caen and an expert in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, describes the results as "alarming".

The researchers had observed 200 rats over a two-year period. The animals were divided into three groups: the first group was fed with the GM maize NK603, the second with the same GM maize, which was also sprayed with the pesticide "Roundup" - also from the manufacturer Monsanto. The third group received conventional corn, which was also treated with "Roundup". Corn accounted for approximately 11 percent of total feed, which is comparable to eating habits in the United States.

Effects of GM maize and pesticides examined for the first time
According to Seralini, the rats fed with GM maize died much earlier than the animals in the comparison group. After 17 months, five times more rats in the Genmais group died. According to the study, most female animals suffered from breast cancer, while the males frequently developed skin or kidney tumors. Genal manipulation would alter the corn to tolerate pesticides or even produce its own, Seralini said. The expert for GMOs in food has already acted as a consultant in various specialist committees in around 30 countries.

The study was the first scientific study to examine the long-term health effects of GM maize and pesticides. A "world premiere" according to Seralini. Funding was provided by the Ceres Foundation, which includes around 50 companies. Some of them come from the food industry and expressly dispense with GMOs. Seralini chairs the administration of the foundation funds.

Genetically modified corn is repeatedly criticized
Already in 2007, Seralini, on behalf of the environmental organization Greenpeace, submitted an evaluation of the toxicity study of the genetically modified maize MON863, in which the test data from the application documents for the approval of the GM maize from Monsanto were re-evaluated. Seralini and his team, after analyzing Monsanto's 90-day rat study, wrote in "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology:" We observed that after consuming MON863, the rats showed slight but dose-dependent significant changes in growth in both sexes, which resulted in 3.3 percent weight loss in males and 3.7 percent weight gain in females. Chemical measurements also showed signs of liver toxicity, which also affected male and female differently. ”

The import and use of animal feed by MON863 was approved on August 10, 2005 by decision of the EU Commission. On January 13, 2006, Monsanto also received approval for GM maize as food. The NK603 genetic maize variety examined in the current French study has also been approved by the EU Commission as animal feed since October 2004 and as food since March 2005. France already banned the cultivation of GM maize in May 2012. A moratorium that was initially lifted was once again valid. The background to this was new scientific knowledge, which prompted the French government to apply to the EU Commission to suspend a license for GM maize from the US company Monsanto. The European Court of Justice had asked Paris to first prove a risk to humans, animals or the environment before banishing the genetically permitted maize from its own country. (ag)

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