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Rat Study Shows Consumers At Risk

Rat Study Shows Consumers At Risk (GE-Free NZ press release)

GE Free New Zealand

In Food And Environment Inc.

PO Box 13402, Wellington, NZ

Rat Study Shows Consumers At Risk.

GE foods designed specifically to survive intensive spraying with RoundUp, threaten consumer health. The results of a long term rat feeding study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences Europe raise serious health implications for GE foods and their associated herbicides.

The findings include life-threatening impacts from hormonal imbalance and organ failure. Food safety authorities must address the risks immediately, and food industry players in New Zealand must stop importing similar GE products as animal feed.

The study by a French scientific team led by Professor Seralini had been previously withdrawn from publication because of controversy around the protocols used to test for long-term adverse effects of the GE corn.

However many critics failed to realise that Monsanto has used these same protocols to report on its own products and provide evidence of their safety.

Winfried Schröder, editor of the journal Environmental Sciences Europe of the Springer Group, stated:

‘’We want to enable a rational discussion about the study of Séralini et al. (Food Chem Toxicol 2012, 50:4221–4231) by republishing it. This methodological competition is the energy necessary for any scientific progress. The sole purpose is to enable some scientific transparency and on this basis, a discussion that does not try to hide, but focuses on these needed methodological controversies.”

Dr Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, medical doctor and President of CRIIGEN said “the deficiency of the regulatory assessment of pesticides and GMOs, endangers public health".

The Seralini study tested the genetically engineered corn and RoundUp herbicide and Roundup alone, over the lifetime of Sprague Dawley rats.

The study's main findings include:

• The most commonly used pesticide in the world, Roundup, provokes severe hepatorenal deficiencies and sex-dependent hormonal effects such as mammary tumours from very low environmental levels.

• Comparable results have been obtained during chronic consumption of an equilibrated diet containing a Roundup-tolerant GMO (maize).

FSANZ has approved 82 GE foods, the most recent of which allow a chemical cocktail to be used on GE corn and soybean variants. These survive both 2,4-D and glyphosate herbicides, increasing the toxic load in food.

These types of GE corn and soybean have been approved without any studies conducted on the impact on people when the GE products are eaten. Despite urgent requests for safety testing, approval went ahead, revealing a lack of New Zealand sovereignty and inability to contest a GE food approval made by the trans-Tasman authority FSANZ.

“The horrific findings in this study and the refusal of our trans-Tasman FSANZ food safety authority to contemplate the serious harm to consumers, shows that FSANZ are no longer competent to make decisions in the interests of New Zealand consumers," said Claire Bleakley, President of GE Free NZ.

“We believe it falls to the government's NZ Food and Safety Assessment Council to recall GE foods in light of the mounting evidence of adverse effects and the need to protect consumers."

GE Free NZ is calling on the new NZ Food and Safety Assessment Council [1] to immediately recall all GE 2,4-D and RoundUp-resistant products and reassess them in respect to the effects on consumers as well as on animals consuming GE products in feed.

The results of the study originally appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology but was later withdrawn after Mr. Richard Goodman a former employee of Monsanto was appointed as a new "Associate Editor for Biotechnology". He re-appraised the study and concluded that the low number of rats and the strain used meant that the conclusions on two aspects of the study – mortality and tumorigenesis – were ‘‘inconclusive’’. The withdrawal of the paper allowed industry and food safety authorities to ignore the serious implications of the study.

The research team has republished the findings in an open access peer-reviewed journal that is removed from the editorial interference that occurred after the original publication.

“With the new publication of the findings of liver and kidney toxicity and early tumour development, it is unethical to ignore the warning signs," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

"It is vital that there be a reassessment of all GE foods that contain the resistance genes tolerant to RoundUp herbicide."


[1] NZ Food and Safety Assessment Council

[2] Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D. & de Vendômois J.S. Republished study: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize Environmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26:14.


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