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WEEKLY WATCH number 209 (15/3/2007)

from Claire Robinson, WEEKLY WATCH editor
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Dear all:

A new study of old data (compiled in a Monsanto-sponsored experiment) on Monsanto’s GM maize MON863 shows that it had toxic effects on the livers and kidneys of rats. Typically, the study was only released when Greenpeace forced it into the light of day through a court case. Monsanto used an incomplete version of this same data to gain approval for the release of the maize by the Canadian authorities (FOOD SAFETY).

Bush's trip to Latin America has turned into a PR disaster. As one commentator put it, "Every time Airforce 1 touches down in a southern capital, the streets turn into a battleground between incensed protestors and fully-armored, truncheon-wielding Robo-cops." And the protests seem also to have prompted Mexico to call a halt to the entry of GM contaminated US rice (The Americas).

For the past week the gmwatch.org website has been suffering what we're told is a Denial of Service attack, aimed at making the site hard to access. Unfortunately, this may at times affect the links given below, but please stick with us!

Claire Claire@gmwatch.org
www.gmwatch.org / www.lobbywatch.org

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CONTENTS
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URGENT APPEAL
FOOD SAFETY
THE AMERICAS
EUROPE
BP-BERKELEY DEAL
ASIA

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URGENT APPEAL
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If you like what we do at GM Watch, then please help us to continue doing it. PLEASE support us either by making a donation online here:
http://www.gmwatch.org/donate.asp

or you can send a check or money order made out (in any currency) to 'NGIN' to GM Watch, 26 Pottergate, Norwich, NR2 1DX, UK Many thanks to those of you who have already contributed.

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FOOD SAFETY
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+ NEW STUDY SHOWS GM MAIZE CAUSES LIVER AND KIDNEY TOXICITY
A study has been released showing that Monsanto used incomplete data to obtain approval of its GM maize and that laboratory rats fed with a GM maize produced by Monsanto have shown kidney and liver toxicity.

The study, published in the journal "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology", analysed results of safety tests submitted by Monsanto when the company was seeking authorisation to market its GM maize MON863. The data shows that MON863 has significant health risks associated with it; nonetheless, the maize was approved for unconfined release into the environment and for consumption by both humans and animals. The incriminating evidence was obtained by Greenpeace following a court case, and passed on for evaluation by a team of experts headed by Professor Gilles Eric Seralini, a governmental expert in GM from the University of Caen.

An example of how Monsanto presents unsubstantiated opinions and wishful thinking as science is given by Seralini in his paper. Seralini notes, "Monsanto had deemed that, because the males and the females responded differently, there was no reason for worry. Yet, the liver, for example, is an organ that reacts differently as a function of sex."

CRIIGEN (Research Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering), which commissioned the study of data drawn from an experiment sponsored by Monsanto, said in a statement, "These revelations are certainly sufficient to require an immediate ban of GM maize MON 863 and all its hybrids from human or animal consumption, as well new and more carefully conducted feeding studies. This maize cannot now be considered safe to eat. We are calling urgently for a moratorium on other approved GMOs while the efficacy of current health testing methods is reassessed."
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7637
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7638

Abstract of the study:
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7650

Full paper available as a pdf file at http://www.agbios.com/docroot/decdocs/05-184-001.pdf or as a pdf attachment from Dr Brian John <brianjohn4@mac.com>

+ EFSA TO REVIEW MONSANTO MAIZE CONCERNS
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has revealed that it will review the new data that revealed toxicity concerns in rats fed the MON863 variety of GM maize.
http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7647

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THE AMERICAS
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+ MEXICO STOPPING RICE IMPORTS AT THE BORDER
The USA Rice Federation said Mexican officials have s

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