1. Download the Austrian study
2. Summary of study
3. How Monsanto tried to block Austrian research - Dr. Brian John
4. Will Genetically Modified Foods Make You Sick? - Jeffrey Smith
EXTRACTS: Whenever these studies or reports surface... the funding--to find and expose the cause of the problem--often mysteriously dries up; scientists are transferred, threatened or fired, and the health risk link to GMOs is vehemently denied.
Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. (item 4)
1. Download the Austrian study
Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice http://www.bmgfjgv.at/cms/site/attachments/3/2/9/CH0810/CMS1226492832306/forschungsbericht_3-2008_letztfassung.pdf
2. Summary of study: New Study Finds GM Maize Affects Reproduction Rates in Mice
Third World Network, 21 November 2008
A study commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management has found time related negative reproductive effects in mice fed GM maize.
In one study design where mice were continuously breeding, more mice fed on GM maize NK603 x MON810 had no litters or produced less offspring after the third or fourth litters, than those fed on conventional maize. The differences were statistically significant.
Similar results were obtained in a multi-generational study, where the parental generation was fed with either GM or non-GM maize and successive generations bred. Although the differences did not reach statistical significance in any one generation, the trend was clear - average litter size and weight as well as number of weaned pups were better in mice fed non-GM maize.
The study, one of the few long-term feeding studies that has been conducted to date, was presented by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zentek, Professor for Veterinary Medicine at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study, at a recent scientific seminar in Vienna, Austria. The seminar was hosted by AGES, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety.
According to Greenpeace, Monsanto's GM maize NK603 x MON810 has been approved for planting and food use in a variety of countries, including the US, Argentina, Japan, Philippines and South Africa. In Mexico and the European Union, it is approved for food and feed use.
3. Monsanto tried to block Austrian research
Dr. Brian John
It has emerged that Monsanto was asked to provide the GM materials and non-GM comparators for the Austrian study, but declined. This is par for the course. Monsanto (and the other GM corporations) have NEVER provided any help for feeding studies or other research over which they do not have direct control. That is why truly independent studies are almost impossible to conduct. We have documented some of the episodes of blocking / intimidation / corrupt science on our web-site, for example:
http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/manipulation.htm http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/gm_health_effects_part1.htm http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/exposed.htm http://www.gmfreecymru.org/news/Press_Notice10Mar2008.html
In the light of the above, the Monsanto statement in response to the release of the Austrian study is breathtakingly arrogant and complacent. In the full knowledge that it had tried to stop the study from going ahead, it trots out snide comments about the "preliminary" nature of the Report, the fact that it has not been peer-reviewed "by qualified experts", and the fact that it shows "inconsistent results." Then it goes onto the attack and refers to "activist groups" which have made "multiple allegations based on data taken out of context and lacking rigorous scientific review."
As we have said before, it beggars belief that the EU, EFSA, the UK government and the regulatory bodies allow anything at all from Monsanto to cross their desks, given its comprehensive abandonment of scientific ethics. But not only do they accept applications from the corporation, but they accept its dossiers full of non-peer-reviewed and carefully manipulated data, facilitate the approvals process for its GM varieties, and place the support of its commercial ambitions far ahead of the protection of the people of Europe.
4. Will Genetically Modified Foods Make You Sick?
Huffington Post, November 20 2008
Two new government studies, published within days of each other, point to disturbing health hazards of genetically modified (GM) foods.
On November 13th, a study by the Italian National Institute of Research on Food and Nutrition showed how GM corn caused significant immune system changes in mice, related to allergic and inflammatory responses. The corn, sold by Monsanto, contains a gene that produces the toxic "Bt" pesticide in every cell--and in every bite. The results raise the question whether this toxin (or some other unpredictable change in the GM corn) might be contributing to the rise in allergies or other immune disorders in North America.
The second study provokes the equally compelling question, are GM foods the missing link to decreasing fertility? The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety commissioned one of the very few long-term feeding studies on GM corn, released last week. The University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna fed GM Monsanto's GM corn to mice, which were then mated. In the third and fourth litters, there was a reduction in the number of size of rat pups (statistically significant). Similarly, in mice fed GM corn for four successive generations (from original mice parents to their great grandchildren), the size and number of offspring was less than those compared to non-GM fed mice (trend only, not yet statistically significant).
These studies should strike a major blow to biotech advocates who claim that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe. They should--but similar results in other studies and reports have so far been unable to dislodge the GMO safety myth and get them off our plates.
Consider some of the evidence related to reproductive problems: Offspring of Russian rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce. Italian male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells. The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice (also Italian) had altered DNA functioning. Several farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among American pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties. Additionally, over the last two months, investigators have documented fertility problems among Indian buffaloes, cows, and goats fed GM cottonseed products, including abortions and premature births.
There is also evidence that the Bt crops cause allergic and toxic reactions. The GM cotton engineered to produce the Bt toxin, for example, is linked to thousands of deaths among sheep, buffaloes, and other livestock, and to widespread allergic reactions by Indian farm workers handling the plants. Monsanto's own Bt corn study showed toxic reactions in rats, and their corn is linked to mysterious deaths of cows, and to disease among people breathing the corn's pollen.
Whenever these studies or reports surfaced, scientists should have charged in to conduct intense follow-up research. Instead, the funding--to find and expose the cause of the problem--often mysteriously dries up; scientists are transferred, threatened or fired, and the health risk link to GMOs is vehemently denied.
Take the Russian rat study above, conducted by Irina Ermakova, a senior scientist at the Russian National Academy of Sciences. After we presented GMO health risk info at the EU Parliament in June 2007, she told me about the backlash that occurred after doing her study. Samples were stolen from her lab, documents were burnt on her desk, and her boss, under pressure from his boss, ordered her to cease all future research on GMOs. One of her colleagues tried to comfort her by saying, "Maybe GM soy will solve the human overpopulation problem." She wasn't comforted.
Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn't simple. But our Campaign for Healthier Eating in America offers Non-GMO Shopping Guides that make it much easier, go to www.HealthierEating.org.
You might want to pass it on to those planning to have children, or wanting to stay healthy