Monsanto's GM corn MON863 shows kidney, liver toxicity in animal studies

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: GM corn, genetically modified foods, GM foods

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A variety of genetically modified corn that was approved for human consumption in 2006 caused signs of liver and kidney toxicity as well as hormonal changes in rats in a study performed by researchers from the independent Committee for Independent Research and Genetic Engineering at the University of Caen in France.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• The corn in question, MON863, is made by the Monsanto Company and approved for use in Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States. It has had a gene inserted from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which causes the plant's cells to produce a pesticide.

• Researchers fed rats either unmodified corn or diets containing 11 or 30 percent MON863 for 90 days. The rats who ate modified corn were found to exhibit signs of liver and kidney toxicity, as well as signs of hormonal changes.

• Male rats lost an average of 3.3 percent of their body weight, and their excretion of phosphorus and sodium decreased. Female rats gained an average of 3.7 percent of their body weight, while their triglyceride levels increased by 24 to 40 percent.

• The mechanism that causes the toxicity is not yet known, but the researchers say there is evidence that the Bt toxin may cause the perforation of blood cells. They expressed concern that the methods used by Monsanto in initial tests of the corn were statistically flawed and called their own tests "the best mammalian toxicity tests available."

• Greenpeace responded to the study by calling for an immediate recall of all MON863 corn and the reassessment of all genetically modified foods currently approved for the market.

• Quote: "Our counter-evaluation shows that there are signs of toxicity, and nobody can say scientifically and seriously the consumption of the transgenic maize MON863 is safe and good for health." - Lead Author Gilles Eric Seralini

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of Grocery Warning: How to identify and avoid dangerous food ingredients

• It seems that the more these GM foods are tested, the more frightening the implications seem to be for human health. When companies like Monsanto do their own in-house testing, results are mysteriously favorable in nearly all cases, but when independent labs run their own tests, the results are downright shocking.

• I find it interesting that the FDA believes U.S. consumers should not be allowed to know which foods are genetically modified and which aren't. The push for honest labeling of GM foods has been blockaded by corporate interests and corrupt federal regulators.

Resources you need to know

The Campaign for labeling of GM foods:

Bottom line

• A variety of genetically modified corn was found to cause signs of hormonal changes and liver and kidney toxicity in rats.

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