(NaturalNews) A new study by Egyptian researchers has found that Bt corn is not substantially equal to non-genetically modified parent corn and is actually toxic to rats after barely three months.
Meanwhile, a second study, which examined the effects on rats on a diet containing the GM corn, found that it caused untoward changes in body organ function and weight, as well as blood biochemistry which indicated possible toxicity, according to a summary by GMWatch.org.
The site also reported that a third study, a histopathological examination, was carried out on the rats fed the genetically modified corn. Researchers found clear signs of organ pathology in the group fed GM corn versus a group fed with non-GM maize. This study found obvious signs of pathology, especially in the liver, kidney and small intestine. Also, an examination of the testes revealed tissue necrosis (death) and desquamation (shedding) of the spermatogonial cells, which form the foundation of sperm cells and, as such, male fertility, and only after 91 days of feeding.
In particular, researchers tested Monsanto's Ajeeb YG (YieldGuard), which was genetically modified to be insect-resistant. According to an abstract of the studies:
For the last decades there has been a growing interest from the food crop industry to construct and produce genetically modified (GM) crops with the primary goal to significantly increase the yield and avoid the use of pesticides. At present, GM crops are grown and consumed by humans in many countries, for example corn expressing the insecticidal gene.
Organ weight, function, blood serum all affected
Scientists note that an important requirement in any toxicological experiment involving GM crops is the ability to assess the effects of "xenobiotics," which is a chemical found in an organism that is not normally produced or expected to be present in that organism. For many organs, this testing is done through macroscopic examination of the organs - measuring organ weight, as well as conducting a histopathological examination of the tissue.
"Organ weight can be the most sensitive indicator of an effect of an experimental compound, as significant differences in organ weight between treated and untreated (control) animals may occur in the absence of any morphological changes," said the abstract. "Biochemical analyses are useful in chronic toxicity studies because in-vivo effects of clinical treatments are reported. When certain types of cells are damaged, they may leak enzymes into the blood, where they can be measured as indicators of cell damage."
Researchers say that clinical pathological evaluation is one method utilized to gauge the efficacy and safety of "novel food sources" when they must be examined to determine whether they are safe ingredients for human consumption. In this vein, liver and kidney function tests, along with serum blood contents, were utilized to evaluate safety. Serum protein and albumin are also used often to evaluate toxicity and such.
Obviously, the genetic modification of Bt corn showed significant differences from the conventional counterpart, where, the total protein, crude fat, crude fiber & total saccharides showed significant increase in Bt corn as compared to non-Bt corn. Whereas, the starch content showed significant decreased compared to non-Bt. The mineral content were also affected, where calcium & sodium were significantly decreased in Bt corn, while phosphorous increased dramatically in Bt corn.
Researchers went on to say that all fatty acids were detected using various values in Bt corn, as compared to non-Bt corn, with the exception of palmitoleic acid and octadecenoic acids.
"Thus, it may be concluded that the genetic modification process caused several alternation in the chemical composition in corn that may be toxic to the human food and the animals feed."