A first-ever study of GM corn over the lifespan of laboratory rats has shown levels currently considered safe can cause tumours, kidney and liver damage, and early death.
A report just published yesterday has sparked renewed concern over the health effects of genetically modified (GM) foods. In the first study of its kind, researchers monitored the effects of eating Monsanto’s Roundup-ready corn over the lifespan of laboratory rats (two years).
The report, published in the scientific journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, shows that levels currently considered safe by Health Canada can cause mammary tumours as well as kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats, leading to premature death.
Results of the study
The new study observed that rats fed the GM corn, or Monsanto’s Roundup, developed tumours faster and died earlier than rats fed non-GM corn. The first tumour was observed after 120 days, with the majority detected after 18 months. Current Health Canada regulations require only 90-day animal feeding trials conducted by the proponent biotechnology company.
The study shows GM corn can cause severe negative health effects in laboratory rats including mammary tumours and kidney and liver damage, leading to premature death.
Up to 50 percent of males fed GM corn or Roundup and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group. Overall, rats fed GM corn or Roundup developed two to three times more tumours.
Opponents of GM foods speak out
The question of safety has never been addressed to the satisfaction of opponents of GM foods, including the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN). In their press release today CBAN coordinator, Lucy Sharratt said, “Health Canada has approved this GM corn and all other GM foods based on corporate tests that were too short to observe the severe health impacts that this study found.”
We’ve been eating this corn since 2001
“Health Canada has never looked past the 90 days of Monsanto’s studies. Canadians have been eating this particular GM corn since 2001.” She added, “The federal government needs to redesign the entire system that approves GM foods because our regulations are not designed to look for the types of problems these scientists have found.”
Health Canada to review study
According to news reports, however, Health Canada said Thursday that it will take action if its review of this new study of Canadian-grown GM corn is linked to elevated risks of cancer, organ damage, and premature death in rats and “demonstrates a risk” to Canadians.
France is taking the study seriously
In France, where the study was conducted, the government has ordered an urgent review of the study and will work for a Europe-wide ban of imports of the crop if the findings are found to be conclusive.
Avoid GM foods
GM foods are not labelled as such in North America, but here are four ways we can avoid them: