Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monsanto's Roundup And Roundup-Resistant Corn Found To Be Toxic In Rats



The first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and Monsanto's NK603 Roundup-resistant genetically modified corn found that exposure levels currently considered safe can cause tumors, multiple organ damage and premature death in rats.

The study, published Sept 19 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicity, raises serious concerns not just about the pesticide Roundup, but about the Roundup-ready corn, which comprises 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S.

The rat has long been used as a surrogate for human toxicity. All new pharmaceutical, agricultural and household substances are, prior to their approval, tested on rats. This is as good an indicator as we can expect that the consumption of [NK603] GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health,” Dr. Antoniou, molecular biologist at King’s College in London, said in a press release.

Monsanto maintains that its Roundup-resistant corn "is as safe as conventional (non-GM-derived) food" and that its 90-day trial prove that, but other studies have challenged the 90-day feeding trials.

Three months is the equivalent of late adolescence in rats, which can live for about two years.

The new research, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, fed 10 groups of 10 rats a diet conta! ining ei ther NK603 Roundup-resistant GM corn or water containing Roundup at levels permitted in drinking water over a two-year period.

The researchers found that the treated rats died significantly earlier than rats fed on a standard diet.

Specifically, up to 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group, and treated rats developed 2 to 3 times more large cancers than the control group.

(This type of rat is cancer-prone, so all of the animals developed tumors.)

Furthermore, 50 to 80 percent of females had developed cancers by the beginning of the 24th month, with up to three tumors per animal, while only 30 percent of the controls were affected. Large detectable cancers appeared much earlier in the treated group.

"This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats," Antoniou said. "It shows an extraordinary number of tumors developing earlier and more aggressively — particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts." 

Roundup is the world’s best-selling weedkiller. Monsanto introduced this genetically modified corn in 1998. 

SEE ALSO: Walmart Is Going To Sell The Genetically Modified Corn That Its Competitors Rejected >

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

! Join the conversation about this story »

No comments: