Russia halts imports of Monsanto corn over cancer fears

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

Russian authorities temporary suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified corn after a French study suggested it may be linked to cancer.

The Russia’s consumer-rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor asked scientists at the country’s Institute of Nutrition to review the study. The watchdog has also contacted to European Commission’s Directorate General for Health & Consumers to explain the EU’s position on GM corn.

The report prepared by France’s University of Caen and published last week, claimed that rats fed over a two-year period with Monsanto’s genetically modified NK603 corn, developed more tumors and other pathologies than a test group fed with regular corn. The NK603, sold under the Roundup label, is genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate weed killer.

The company criticized the study, saying it “doesn’t meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research” and the data was incomplete.

Monsanto also said Russia’s ban will have little effect on its business as the country import small volumes of corn from the US. Besides that, the Russian government doesn’t permit farmers to plant GM crops. “Russia is a net exporter of grain, so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small,” the spokesman said in a statement. Continue reading

Revealed: Monsanto GM corn caused tumors in rats

Combination image of two pictures featuring rats with tumors after they were fed a diet of genetically modified (GM) maize produced by US chemical giant Monsanto (AFP Photo / Criigen)

 

French scientists have revealed that rats fed on GMO corn sold by American firm Monsanto, suffered tumors and other complications including kidney and liver damage. When testing the firm’s top brand weed killer the rats showed similar symptoms.

The French government has asked its health and safety agency to assess the study and had also sent it to the European Union’s food safety agency, Reuters reports.

Based on the conclusion…, the government will ask the European authorities to take all necessary measures to protect human and animal health, measures that could go as far as an emergency suspension of imports of NK603 maize in the European Union,” the French health, environment and farm ministries said in a joint statement.

Researchers from the University of Caen found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 – a seed variety made tolerant to amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller – or given water mixed with the product, at levels permitted in the United States – died earlier than those on a standard diet.

The research conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his colleagues, said the rats suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. Continue reading