A team of researchers lead by Gilles-Eric Séralini (University of Caen/France) has secretly (to avoid industry pressure) studied the effects of genetically modified (GM) corn on 200 rats, and the team of scientists have shown that 50%-80% of those rats develop tumors/cancers in less than one year, compared to 30% for those that were fed with something else. For comparison, one “rat year” is about 40 “human” years. The study also look at the interaction between herbicides and the enzymes introduced in GM foods. The research has been published by the American journal American journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Surprisingly, the study was finance partially by huge French retailers Carrefour and Auchan, two retailers that were hurt by the impact of the “mad cow” scandals some years ago. They allegedly do not want to be caught again in a similar scandal. One could also argue that the same retailers may have an agenda of pushing high-margins “organic” products.
Now, the expected scenario is that there is going to be an increased pressure to conduct other studies, and given that each cost $100M+, it may be difficult to find funds to do so. Keep in mind that each particular GM seed/plant can have 100 variety that may need to be tested separately. Finally, don’t discount efforts of companies like Monsento which are expected to fight this every step of the way, as this is a life-or-death situation for them.
We can also expect a new round of counter-studies from other scientific teams. There are already claims that this research was biased and that it it should be conducted differently. It seems important to trace the funding of the counter-research as well, if possible.
What do you think? Did the study confirmed your worst fear or would you rather dismiss this until more information is gathered? Let us know in the comment section below.
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