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May 24. 2005
LITTLE MARAIS, MN - Yesterday, European news outlets reported harmful health impacts on lab rats that were fed Monsanto's root worm resistant corn (Mon 863). Monsanto, the world largest maker of genetically modified corn, soybeans, canola and cotton appears to have disregarded their own research on the harmful impacts of their GMO corn on rats. According to the London based Independent which broke the story, "…secret research carried out by Monsanto shows that rats fed the modified corn had smaller kidneys and variations in the composition of their blood."
"This news couldn't have come at worse time for Monsanto which is already facing consumer mistrust of their products due to concerns over how GMO's impact the immune system, interfere with non-GMO crops and affect long term human health," says Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the Organic Consumer's Association. "European labeling laws require GMO ingredients to be listed making it easy to avoid them, but Americans and consumers are sitting ducks since no such labeling is required. The only way to be sure you are not eating GMO ingredients is to buy certified organic products."
Monsanto's latest deception stems from submitting only a summary of a 1,139 page report on Mon 863 corn to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The summary left out the abnormalities in rats that were fed the GMO corn versus those who ate a different diet. "We demand Monsanto release the full report on the rat study which is being withheld from the science and medical community because it could be used by competitors for commercial purposes," says Cummins. Monsanto should put research on human health effects before corporate profits."
This isn't the first time GMO foods have been shown to impact the health of rats. A study on rats fed GMO potatoes in 1998 showed similar harmful impacts on their health. At the moment Mon 863 corn is not approved for importation to Europe, but is under consideration by EFSA for approval. Two GMO ingredients have been approved by the EFSA in the past year, while over ten proposed GMO foods have been not approved for importation during the same period.
"Since the Europeans lifted import bans on all GMO's, there has been increased scrutiny of commonly used GMO crops in the U.S. which is revealing new information about the safety of GMO's," says Cummins. "Most Americans don't know the foods they eat are considered unsafe in Europe."