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Rats Eating GMO Corn Get Tumors, Die Early

Rats Eating GMO Corn Get Tumors, Die Early
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Rats fed genetically modified corn or exposed to the Monsanto herbicide Roundup were at greater risk for developing tumors, suffering organ damage or dying prematurely according to a just-published study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. 200 rats were tested for two years (more or less their lifespan), much longer than the 90 days required for studies that are used when companies seek regulatory approval for genetically engineered foods. “The results were really alarming,” the study’s author, Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen in France, said.

The French site, Rue89, has photos of the rats with tumors that, it would be an understatement to say, are very disturbing.

Immediate Controversy About Rats and GMO Corn Study

The study‘s results, announced at a news conference organized by a British-based anti-GMO organization, immediately stoked criticism of Seralini’s methods and comments about his campaigning against GMOs since 1997, NPR notes. Bruce M. Chassy, professor emeritus of food science at the University of Illinois, told the New York Times that Seralini’s study is “not innocent” but rather “a well-planned and cleverly orchestrated media event.” Indeed, Seralini’s earlier research has also been questioned for using statistical methods that “led to misleading results.”

But others, including those supporting a California ballot measure, Proposition 37, to require that GMO foods be labeled and the French government, heralded the study‘s findings. France bans growing GMO crops and might suspend European imports of genetically engineered corn.

200 Rats Studied For Two Years

The study involved 200 rats split into ten groups (with ten male and ten female rats per group). Six groups were fed varying amounts of corn that Monsanto has genetically modified to be resistant to its best-selling weedkiller, Roundup. Three other groups were given Roundup in varying amounts in their drinking water. A tenth group was the control and given nonengineered corn and plain water.

Of the rats who ate the GMO corn, up to 50 percent of the males and 70 percent of the females in the different groups died prematurely, compared with 30 percent of the males and 20 percent of the females in the control group. In addition, says the New York Times, ”some 50 to 80 percent of the female rats [in the different groups] developed tumors compared with only 30 percent” of those in the control group. Rats exposed to GM corn or Roundup also had several times as many cases of liver and kidney injury as the control group.

Some scientists pointed out that the types of experimental rats used in the study are prone to tumors, says NPR. David Spiegelhalter, a professor at the University of Cambridge whose specialty is the public perception of risk, said in the New York Times that the “numbers of animals in each group was too low to draw firm conclusions.”

In addition, other scientists pointed out that the rats who ate a diet with a GMO concentration of 11 percent were less healthy than those whose diet contained a GMO concentration of 33 percent: if the experiment intended to show a link between developing tumors and GMOs, those who ate more GMOs should have been less healthy.

In Reuters, Mark Tester, a research professor at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide, observed that, since genetically modified food has “been in the food chain” in the U.S. for over ten years, “If the effects [of Seralini's study] are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?”

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9:44PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Love the final rhetorical question!

7:42AM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

Shut down Monsanto now !!! Arrest all the CEO's and fine them $100 million Make a felony enforceable law for any sale of GM foods. Petition,. demonstrate for the health and lives of our children and seniors. Imprison the profiteers, the greedy elites who poison our food supply. Outlaw the neo-con right wing repugliscum fascists. Waterboard the Corporate vampires, the wall street vultures, the CEo banking crooks. Raise the minimum wage to $20/hr; the maximum income by law to $100,000/yr. Free Universal Health care, free University Education for our children. We are the 99%, the evil 1% are criminals who parasite off our blood, sweat, tears. Bring back Democracy to America, decency, honor, economic equality, air play, and social justice.

1:19PM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

Nie powinno się torturować żywnością GMO ani zwierząt ani ludzi.

2:48AM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

Very interesting, thanks.

5:38AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Cyrlle D., As a French women, is this the kind of scientific work the French want to be known for considering how this study was conducted ?

5:20AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

So scary. I'm French and heard about this research on the radio. I'm happy we don't have GMOs on our market here. But, having an American boyfriend, I'm worried for him and for what I'll eat when I'm in the US from now on ! You never truly know...

8:16AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

If we can't ban 'em, at least label 'em!

Vote YES on Prop 37 in CA

6:36AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

Stare vijesti.

4:26AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

When Society or an organisation/s mess with the natural food of course there are going to be problems for everybody concerned even the rats.

2:02AM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

I'm just wondering when we believe science and when reject it?

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