Originally published March 8 2015
GMOs impact health of consumers, short-term trial shows; industry attempts to spin results, silence debate
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) An animal feeding trial that European Union regulators are planning to use in forming future policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has contradicted its own findings by claiming no adverse effects associated with Monsanto's MON810 GM corn and associated pesticides, including the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup.
The report, published in the journal Archives of Toxicology, makes the claim that rats fed MON810 maize at a level of up to 33 percent of their diet for 90 days did not experience any adverse effects, thus "proving" that the transgenic corn, which is the only GMO currently being legally grown anywhere in Europe, is safe for humans.
But the German watchdog group Testbiotech, after examining the study independently, found that this isn't exactly the case. Researchers involved with the short-term trial deceptively presented their results, according to the group. Based on factors such as total serum protein concentration, pancreas weight and increases in blood glucose levels, the rats fed MON810 corn did, in fact, experience health impacts.
"Contrary to the description in the publication, the data from feeding trials did indeed give some indication of health impacts in rats fed with genetically engineered maize," reads a TestBiotech report on the study entitled GRACE - the EU risk research project sold out to industry. GRACE is an acronym for "GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence."
Funding for pro-MON810 GRACE study came from biotech industry Short-term feeding trials of this nature typically don't reveal the longer-term harms associated with GMOs anyway, which is why the biotech industry always chooses to conduct them. But this particular study actually did show adverse events associated with GMOs, which were apparently covered up to further the narrative that GMOs are safe.
Beyond the serious flaws in design and presentation of the study, Testbiotech also reports that many of its authors have close ties to the biotech industry. Details concerning major conflicts of interest with the GRACE study fill the pages of the Testbiotech report, indicting both the study's authors and the editors of the journal in which it was published as conspirators in this deception.
"[S]everal members of the GRACE consortium have strong ties with institutions that are financed by industry, either completely or to large extent," explains Testbiotech. "Amongst those institutions are International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR)."
ILSI, as explained by Testbiotech, receives financing directly from food, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical companies to push the corporate agenda. ILSI's most influential body, the Board of Trustees, is headed by a staff member of Monsanto. ISBR isn't much different, with its conferences sponsored by biotech corporations such as Monsanto, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Syngenta.
More on this is available in the full report:
Archives of Toxicology editors exposed for having close ties to biotech industry Many of these same conflicts of interest extend to the journal Archives of Toxicology as well. Pablo Steinberg, one of the authors of the GRACE study, is closely connected to Jan G. Hengstler, the editor-in-chief of Archives of Toxicology, as well as Hermann M. Bolt, deputy editor-in-chief, and at least four other members of the journal's editorial board.
"Given the importance of this study, Testbiotech recommends the retraction of the paper," emphasizes the Testbiotech report. "Republication should only be considered under a rigorous peer review process and in a journal with a scientific reputation not tarnished by questionable cooperation with industry, and which is not impacted by any affiliations to the authors and has the highest standards regarding conflicts of interest."
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