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GM maize from Monsanto, a very real poison, according to an new study

Translated Monday 24 September 2012, by Kristina Wischenkamper and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize is suspected of being toxic. According to a French study presented by its authors as a "world first", rats fed the GM maize die younger and are more likely to suffer from cancer.

"The results are alarming. A two to three times higher mortality rate was observed in treated females. And two to three times more tumors in rats of both sexes," according to Gilles-Eric Seralini, Professor at the University of Caen, who conducted the study. For two years some two hundred rats were fed either a GM maize NK603 alone, or together with the GM maize treated with Roundup —the most widely used herbicide in the world — or with non-GM maize treated with Roundup, . These two products are the property of US Monsanto group. Maize was introduced into a balanced diet in proportions representative of the American diet. "Results show a much faster and higher mortality when both products are consumed," explains the researcher, who is or has been part of official commissions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 30 countries. "The first male fed GMOs died a year before the first in the control group. The first female eight months before. At 17 months, we observed five times higher mortality amongst males fed 11% GM corn," he explains .
As for tumors, in the male group they appeared up to 600 days earlier than in the control group (skin and kidney tumors) and an average of 94 days earlier amongst females (mammary glands). The researchers found that 93% of tumors found in the female group were breast tumors; the majority of males died of liver or kidney problems.

Tumors larger than a ping-pong ball

The article published in Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that laboratory female rats had tumors larger than a ping-pong ball. "At the lowest dose of Roundup — which corresponds with the dosage found in the water in Britain when fields are sprayed with this product –– there are 2.5 times more breast tumors," insists the professor. GMOs in agriculture are modified either to tolerate or produce pesticides: 100% of large-scale GMOs cultures in 2011 were plants with pesticides, said Séralini.

The best tests you can get before human testing

"For the first time ever, the health impacts of a GMO and a pesticide were evaluated for a period of time longer than has been the practice in any of the health agencies, governments or in industry." According to Séralini, NK603 had previously only been tested over a period of three months. Some GMOs have been tested for three years, but never with such extensive analysis. This is the first time, according to Séralini, that Roundup has been tested in the long term. Until now, only the active ingredient of Roundup without its chemical additives had been tested for longer than six months. "These are the best tests you can have before going to human testing," said the researcher.

The study was funded by the Ceres Foundation, funded by some 50 companies in the food industry that do not produce GMOs and the Fondation Charles Leopold Meyer pour le progrès pour l’homme. The funds are administered by the Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), where Mr. Séralini is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Council and whose Board of Directors was chaired by Corinne Lepage, former Minister of the Environment .

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