Since nobody around here does the GMO thing….

March 14th, 2007

Posted by: admin

An article came across one of my inboxes and grabbed my attention: apparently a genetically modified maize strain developed by Monsanto has shown some concerning tendencies to cause liver and kidney toxicity in rats fed the GM’d corn. (Can’t get the study online yet but it was published in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.)

I guess this may be of concern because the maize has been approved for use and is being grown in seven countries and the EU? From what I can gather from the limited info available, to this point Monsanto has done all the safety studies on the strain, and despite some indications of problems (see here…warning, hard advocate site citing other hard advocate group, but you take what you can get) has declared its own product safe. The researchers of the new study say

“Our counter-evaluation show that there are signs of toxicity and that nobody can say scientifically and seriously that consumption of the transgenic maize MON863 is safe and good for health,” lead author of the study, Professor Gilles Eric Séralini told France’s TF1 television station.

You know what’s coming next, right? That’s right, Data Wars XXVI:

Monsanto France has rejected the concerns. Yann Fichet, Monsanto France’s director of external relations told TF1: “[MON863] has already been examined by competent authorities and scientific experts in more than 10 countries worldwide, including the European Union and France, and all the experts concluded unanimously that the maize in question is as safe as traditional maize.”

The problem for Monsanto is that the new study is published in a peer-reviewed journal, which gives it loads of legitimacy no matter what the author’s funding was (could be a national lab, could be Greenpeace, but I can’t read French so I don’t know). Further compounding their problem is the previous notice of a Monsanto study on this same strain, noting the liver and kidney issues (can you spell Vioxx?). However, I also get the feeling from a bit of googling on MON863 that the study author basically works for Greenpeace, so who knows where this is going to lead. Anybody who tracks the GMO policy game care to comment?

One Response to “Since nobody around here does the GMO thing….”

  1. Edouard Says:


    Here is the internet site of these people:

    As far as I know, a part of a study from Monsanto itself shows effect on rats, but the sample was to small. The governments wanted to prevent Greenpeace or other people from publishing those results, because they just want to scare people out there. For me it is like a hoax.

    I’m from Europe and undertand the french text, but my english is not so good ;-)

    Best regards