GM Free Cymru

"Dramatic" safety research findings threaten to wipe out global GM food industry

Press Notice from GM-Free Cymru Strict embargo: 19th September 2012

A scientific paper published today in the American journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has the potential to wipe out the whole of the global GM food industry, since it demonstrates unequivocally that both GM crops and the herbicides used with them cause health damage and premature death in mammals (1).

The new research project, completed at the University of Caen in France, involved a prolonged (24 month) feeding study with the use of 200 rats divided into ten groups. It shows quite clearly that Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, is toxic to mammals even in minute doses, leading to kidney and liver damage, tumours and premature death. It also shows that Monsanto's GM herbicide tolerant maize NK603 is toxic in its own right, with or without the presence of Roundup residues. Animals fed on "clean" GM maize suffered from very similar toxic effects and from early deaths. By comparison, the control group of animals fed on conventional maize and clean water showed hardly any of the negative effects experienced by the test group animals.

Like many of the classic scientific projects through the years, this one was essentially very simple, involving the continuous feeding of ten groups of animals over a 24-month period, using either GM or non-GM maize in their diets, and with or without the addition of minute quantities of Roundup in drinking water. The researchers simply observed and monitored what happened to the animals. This was the first time such a study has ever been reported on (2) -- since conventionally all GM safety assessments are based on 3-month feeding studies, which are too short for chronic toxic effects to be fully revealed.

In other radical departures, the researchers (1) refused to test glyphosate (the main constituent of Roundup) and insisted on testing the whole Roundup formulation; and (2)tested the actual GM maize instead of "surrogate proteins."

Speaking for GM-Free Cymru, Dr Brian John said: "The research results reported in this paper are both dramatic and far-reaching; we predict that it is destined to become one of the most widely-cited and influential publications of the century. It is now impossible for the GM industry and bodies like EFSA to maintain the pretence that GM food -- with or without Roundup residues -- is safe either for human or livestock consumption (3). GM food is toxic. We have been saying this for a decade or more, on the basis of published science -- and the matter is now incontrovertible. We can manage perfectly well without GM in the human food chain in Europe, since few GM components are used. But what happens next within the EU livestock industry, which is heavily dependent upon the import of toxic GM soy from South America? We have warned over and again that over-dependence on a single protein source is both stupid and highly dangerous, and now the "perfect storm" is about to roll over us. We hope that the Commission has got a Plan B in place, but somehow we doubt it."


Contact: Dr Brian John GM-Free Cymru Tel: 01239-820470



(1) "Long-term Toxicity of a Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant Genetically Modified Maize" Gilles-Eric Seralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, and Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, Food and Chemical Toxicology, 19th September, 2012 (online)

(2) It is of course inconceivable that Monsanto has not completed similar studies which it has simply kept under wraps. The company is notoriously secretive about its "in-house" studies and uses all means possible to stop external scrutiny and to prevent its GM "raw materials" from being studied by independent scientists.

(3) Request for an urgent EFSA reappraisal of all GM soy consents OPEN LETTER to John Dalli, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, European Commission. Dated 1st May 2012