GM WATCH GUIDE TO ALL THE LATEST RESEARCH
1. LATEST RESEARCH NEWS (January 2008)
2. RESEARCH - 2007
1. LATEST RESEARCH NEWS
+ FRANCE INTRODUCING GM MAIZE BAN
On Friday 11 January 2008, the French Government ordered the extension of its ban on the growing of Monsanto's GM maize MON 810 - the only GM crop approved for cultivation in the European Union - based on the concerns of its expert committee about:
1. inadequate scientific assessment of the maize;
2. its toxicity to non-target organisms, including earthworms and micro-organisms; and
3. the impossibility of preventing contamination 'over many tens or even hundreds of kilometres'.
EXTRACT: (France's) provisional High Authority on GMOs has found 'a certain number of new negative scientific facts which notably impact fauna and flora' in its expert opinion on the GM maize MON 810, according to a statement issued by its president Jean-Francois Le Grand on Wednesday 9 January. 'We have serious doubts (about its safety)', added Mr. Le Grand. (Le Monde)
+ TOXICITY OF BT CROPS
GM Watch has just published a slightly edited version of an affidavit provided in evidence by Dr. Arpad Pusztai to India's Supreme Court, which usefully summarises research done worldwide on the toxicity of Bt crops. The Bt toxin is a form of lectin, a subject on which Dr. Pusztai is widely acknowledged as being the world's foremost nutritional expert.
EXTRACT: The MON 863 study revealed that feeding rats on transgenically expressed Bt toxin in maize caused kidney and liver problems in addition to interfering with the normal growth of young rats (Seralini et al. 2007). Bt toxin expressed in potatoes caused major changes in the small intestine of mice (Fares, N.H. and El-Sayed, A.K. (1998). Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes (Natural Toxins 6, 219-233). The evidence for the survival of the Bt toxins in the digestive tract and internal organs is clear-cut.
+ REVIEW SHOWS NO EVIDENCE GM FOODS ARE SAFE
A recent review of the scientific literature concerning potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition has found that published toxicological studies are very scarce, making it very difficult for anyone to claim GM foods are toxicologically safe.
EXTRACT: The main goal of the present paper has been to review critically the published scientific literature concerning potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants. It has been noted that experimental data are very scarce. As shown throughout the paper, most investigations correspond to short-term studies, mainly nutritional studies, with very limited toxicological information (Filip et al., 2004). Where are long-term toxicological studies that should guarantee the safety of the transgenic plants for animal and human consumption?... where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies involved in commercial GM foods?
+ MONSANTO GM HORMONE PUTTING LIVES AT RISK
John Verrall, a pharmaceutical chemist with over 35 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working with both human and veterinary medicines,
explains for GM Watch why the Monsanto GM hormone used in much U.S. milk production, but banned throughout the rest of the industrialised world, is unsafe for either humans or cattle.
EXTRACT: It has been demonstrated that milk from cows administered bovine somatotropin is NOT SAFE... with increased levels of IGF1 (growth hormone) such milk gives rise to 'concern about enhanced cell proliferation of the gut mucosa and therefore increased prevalence of carcinoma in the large bowel.'
2. RESEARCH - 2007
Here's some of the research that caught our eye in 2007.
+ GM CORN MAY AFFECT AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS - STUDY
Extremely important new study showing genetically engineered Bt corn (maize) byproducts could be endangering aquatic life. It also raises big questions as to how U.S. and other regulators gave the go ahead to Bt corn without undertaking sufficient testing of their impact on aquatic ecosystems. The study by scientists at Indiana University was published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences
+ BT TRANSGENE DETECTED IN AQUATIC SYSSTEMS
The Canadian Department of the Environment (also known as Environment Canada) has determined that the pesticidal Bt gene cry1Ab, found in GM corn, persisted in aquatic areas near the site where the Bt crop was planted. Varying amounts of the cry1Ab gene were found in sediment, soil, and surface water samples. The sediments were found to contain about 100-fold more cry1Ab DNA than the surface water. The cry1Ab transgene was also detected as far away as the Richelieu and St. Lawrence rivers - 82 km downstream from the corn cultivation plot. Because of the concern that the cry1Ab gene could be transferred to microorganisms through horizontal gene transfer, the researchers recommend monitoring and sustained attention to the fate of transgenes in the environment. Abstract in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, with links to the complete paper for subscribers at
+ STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF TRANSGENE FLOW
A paper commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) studies the effects of transgene flow on human health, the environment, and genetic resources. The study concludes transgene flow is highly likely, with adverse implications for human health, the environment, biodiversity, and farm economics.
+ GM AND NON-GM CROPS TOO CLOSE, STUDY SAYS
Field trials could be seriously underestimating the potential for cross-pollination between GM and conventional crops and buffer zone distances may be too small, according to new research from the University of Exeter in the UK.
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