France May Issue Call for Europe-Wide Ban on GM Corn

New studies on GMOs continue to warn about the dangers that these laboratory creations cause disease.

By RAVEN CLABOUGH | THENEWAMERICAN | OCTOBER 5, 2012

According to French news source RFI, France is expected to call for a Europe-wide ban on Monsanto’s genetically modified corn following the release of a University of Caen study that found a link between Monsanto’s GM corn and tumors and organ damage in lab rats.

RFI reports, “France will call for a ban ‘at a European level’ if the national health agency (Anses) backs up the findings of the study by French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told an audience in the Burgundy city of Dijon on Thursday.”

Likewise, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll has indicated that Paris is considering a ban on the import of Monsanto’s NK603 corn, the same used in the French study.

Last month, Stephane Le Foll and Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine asked a health watchdog to conduct an investigation into GMOs, one that could possibly lead to suspension of genetically modified corn throughout the European Union. Le Foll and Touraine described the decision in a joint statement.

“Depending on ANSES’ opinion, the government will urge the European authorities to take all necessary measures to protect human and animal health,” they said. “[The measures] could go as far as invoking emergency suspension of imports of NK603 corn to Europe pending a re-examination of this product on the basis of enhanced assessment methods.”

The study, which provoked concern from French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll, examined the long term effects of GMO consumption on lab rats. The study, conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen in France, utilized the Monsanto seed variety known as NK603, made tolerant to the company’s own Roundup, an herbicide.

The rats were found to have an abundance of tumors and experienced damage to both the kidneys and liver.

“While previous studies have usually lasted only about three months, Seralini’s [French GMO study] lasted two years, the average rat’s lifespan, and the illnesses developed later in the period covered,” says RFI.

Natural Society explains, “As a result of the mass tumors, liver and kidney damage, it was concluded that around 50 percent of the males and 70 percent of the females died prematurely as a result of eating only Roundup tolerant seed or drinking water with Roundup at approved levels set by the United States government.”

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GM Maize and Roundup Linked to Premature Death and Cancer

SUSTAINABLE PULSE | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

Countries like Hungary have destroyed all Monsanto GMO corn Fields.

In a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology”, researchers led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini from CRIIGEN have found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup tolerant GM maize or given water containing Roundup, at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the US, developed cancers faster and died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet. They suffered breast cancer and severe liver and kidney damage.

In the first ever study to examine the long-term effects of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the NK603 Roundup-resistant GM maize also developed by Monsanto, the CRIIGEN scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females, compared with 23 and 14 months respectively for a control group.

Led by Professor Seralini, the researchers studied 10 groups, each containing 10 male and 10 female rats, over their normal lifetime. Three groups were given Roundup – developed by Monstanto – in their drinking water at three different levels consistent with exposure through the food chain from crops sprayed with the herbicide. Three groups were fed diets containing different proportions of Roundup resistant maize at 11%, 22% and 33%. Three groups were given both Roundup and the GM maize at the same three dosages. The control group was fed an equivalent diet with no Roundup or NK603 containing 33% of non-GM maize.

Dr Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist and gene expert at Kings College, London, and member of CRIIGEN stated: “This is the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats. It shows an extraordinary number of cancers developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals.  I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.”

“The rat has long been used as a surrogate for human toxicity. All new pharmaceutical, agricultural and household substances are, prior to their approval, tested on rats. This is as good an indicator as we can expect that the consumption of GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health,” Antoniou concluded.

The report states: “Similar degrees of pathological symptoms were noticed to occur from the lowest to the highest doses suggesting a threshold effect. This corresponds to levels likely to arise from consumption or environmental exposure, such as either 11% GM maize in food, or 50ng/L of glyphosate in R-formulation [the lowest concentration of Roundup in the rats’ drinking water] as can be found in some contaminated drinking tap water, and which falls within authorized limits.”

  • Up to 50% of males and 70% of females died prematurely (before deaths could be put down to normal aging) compared with only 30% and 20% in the control group.
  • Across all treatments and both sexes, researchers found treated rats developed 2-3 times more large cancers than the control group.
  • By the beginning of the 24th month 50%-80% of females in all treated groups had developed cancers, with up to three tumours per animal. Only 30% of the controls were affected.
  • The first large detectable cancers appeared after four and seven months in males and females respectively but only after 14 months in the control group. However, the majority of cancers were only detectable after 18 months.

The research findings raise serious questions about the current regulatory process for licensing industrial chemicals, pesticides and other novel crops. The scientists observe that all GM crops have been approved safe for consumption on the basis of 90-day animal feeding trials. They also point out that only Roundup’s active principle, glyphosate, has been tested rather than the commercial product, which includes ingredients that enable the glyphosate to penetrate plants more efficiently.

For Full Information on this study click here: www.criigen.org

Full Download of Study Paper: sustainablefoodtrust.org

Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize

Abstract

The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological pro-files were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the over expression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.

Authors

Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois

Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’

By ANTHONY GUCCIARDI | NATURAL SOCIETY | APRIL 11, 2012

In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of  Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

The majority of the farmers in the area used Monsanto’s Roundup, an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate that has shown to be killing human kidney cells. What’s more, the farmers say that the tobacco companies pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of protective equipment. In other words, these farmers — many in dire economic conditions — were being directly exposed to Roundup in large concentrations without any protective gear (or even experience or skills in handling the substance). Still, the farmers say the tobacco giants required the struggling farmers to ‘purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides’.

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Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

IRT
November 1, 2011

“This study was just routine,” said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

And if this isn’t shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths—a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.

The study, jointly conducted by Surov’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, was published in July 2010.

He used Campbell hamsters, with a fast reproduction rate, divided into 4 groups. All were fed a normal diet, but one was without any soy, another had non-GM soy, a third used GM soy, and a fourth contained higher amounts of GM soy. They used 5 pairs of hamsters per group, each of which produced 7-8 litters, totally 140 animals.

Surov told The Voice of Russia,

“Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly.”

He selected new pairs from each group, which generated another 39 litters. There were 52 pups born to the control group and 78 to the non-GM soy group. In the GM soy group, however, only 40 pups were born. And of these, 25% died. This was a fivefold higher death rate than the 5% seen among the controls. Of the hamsters that ate high GM soy content, only a single female hamster gave birth. She had 16 pups; about 20% died.

Surov said “The low numbers in F2 [third generation] showed that many animals were sterile.”

The published paper will also include measurements of organ size for the third generation animals, including testes, spleen, uterus, etc. And if the team can raise sufficient funds, they will also analyze hormone levels in collected blood samples.

Hair Growing in the Mouth

Earlier this year, Surov co-authored a paper in Doklady Biological Sciences showing that in rare instances, hair grows inside recessed pouches in the mouths of hamsters.

“Some of these pouches contained single hairs; others, thick bundles of colorless or pigmented hairs reaching as high as the chewing surface of the teeth. Sometimes, the tooth row was surrounded with a regular brush of hair bundles on both sides. The hairs grew vertically and had sharp ends, often covered with lumps of a mucous.”Rat Study Oral Hair

“(a) The external appearance of the oral cavity. Gingival pouches (GP) with thick bundles of hair growing from their mucous lining are clearly seen. (b) Perforated bone tissue of the teeth of an adult Ph. campbelli. Numerous hollows are seen. A, hair.”

From A. S. Baranov, O. F. Chernova, N. Yu. Feoktistova, and A. V. Surov, “A New Example of Ectopia: Oral Hair in Some Rodent Species,” Doklady Biological Sciences, 2010, Vol. 431, pp. 117–120, Original Russian Text © A.S. Baranov, O.F. Chernova, N.Yu. Feoktistova, A.V. Surov, 2010, published in Doklady Akademii Nauk, 2010, Vol. 431, No. 4, pp. 559–562.

At the conclusion of the study, the authors surmise that such an astounding defect may be due to the diet of hamsters raised in the laboratory. They write, “This pathology may be exacerbated by elements of the food that are absent in natural food, such as genetically modified (GM) ingredients (GM soybean or maize meal) or contaminants (pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals, etc.).” Indeed, the number of hairy mouthed hamsters was much higher among the third generation of GM soy fed animals than anywhere Surov had seen before.

Preliminary, But Ominous

Surov warns against jumping to early conclusions. He said, “It is quite possible that the GMO does not cause these effects by itself.” Surov wants to make the analysis of the feed components a priority, to discover just what is causing the effect and how.

In addition to the GMOs, it could be contaminants, he said, or higher herbicide residues, such as Roundup. There is in fact much higher levels of Roundup on these beans; they’re called “Roundup Ready.” Bacterial genes are forced into their DNA so that the plants can tolerate Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Therefore, GM soy always carries the double threat of higher herbicide content, couple with any side effects of genetic engineering.

Years of Reproductive Disorders from GMO-Feed

Rats photo #1Surov’s hamsters are just the latest animals to suffer from reproductive disorders after consuming GMOs. In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller (see photo) and could not reproduce.

In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.

When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue!

Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes (PDF), including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.

An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer the babies they had (PDF), and the smaller the babies were.

Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry’s problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding “neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.” Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females “at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.” One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.

In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.

Denial, Attack and Canceled Follow-up

Scientists who discover adverse findings from GMOs are regularly attacked, ridiculed, denied funding, and even fired. When Ermakova reported the high infant mortality among GM soy fed offspring, for example, she appealed to the scientific community to repeat and verify her preliminary results. She also sought additional funds to analyze preserved organs. Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Samples were stolen from her lab, papers were burnt on her desk, and she said that her boss, under pressure from his boss, told her to stop doing any more GMO research. No one has yet repeated Ermakova’s simple, inexpensive studies.

In an attempt to offer her sympathy, one of her colleagues suggested that maybe the GM soy will solve the over population problem!

Surov reports that so far, he has not been under any pressure.

Opting Out of the Massive GMO Feeding Experiment

Without detailed tests, no one can pinpoint exactly what is causing the reproductive travesties in Russian hamsters and rats, Italian and Austrian mice, and livestock in India and America. And we can only speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population. But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens don’t think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech industry’s massive uncontrolled experiment.

Alexey Surov says, “We have no right to use GMOs until we understand the possible adverse effects, not only to ourselves but to future generations as well. We definitely need fully detailed studies to clarify this. Any type of contamination has to be tested before we consume it, and GMO is just one of them.”

El Roundup está en el Suelo, los Alimentos y la Lluvia

Donde sea que el producto químico de Monsanto se utiliza, este deja el suelo, y llueve sobre nuestras cabezas.

Traducción Luis R. Miranda
GMFreeze.org
22 de octubre 2011

Un estudio de la U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) encontró que el glifosato y su producto derivado, el ácido aminometilfosfónico (conocido como AMPA) se encontraron con frecuencia en la lluvia y los ríos de la cuenca del Mississippi, donde la mayoría de los cultivos tolerantes al glifosato se cultivan. [1]

Glifosato (el producto básico en el Roundup de Monsanto) es ampliamente utilizado en los EE.UU. con los productos conocidos como RoundupReady, que fueron modificados genéticamente para tolerar herbicidas, para que sobrevivan cuando los campos son rociados con este producto. Plantas modificadas genéticamente son tolerantes a herbicidas no son cultivadas en el Reino Unido debido a la preocupación por los efectos perjudiciales causados por los herbicidas sobre la fauna, que incluyen la pérdida de hábitat. Pero Monsanto continuamente pide su adopción. La soja y el maíz RoundupReady son importados de EE.UU. para ser usados como alimento animal, y así, los productos lácteos y la carne están infestados de transgénicos los cuales no son etiquetados en muchos supermercados británicos y del mundo.

Los resultados del USGS se basan en dos estudios de agua de lluvias y las cuencas fluviales en las zonas agrícolas de la cuenca del Mississippi, donde existe el “mayor uso” de glifosato para controlar las malezas que crecen cerca de maíz, algodón y soya genéticamente modificados que son tolerantes al glifosato / Roundup. Los informes del USGS muestran que el uso de glifosato aumentó en ocho veces, a 88.000 toneladas en 15 años hasta 2007, erosionando aún más el mito de que los cultivos transgénicos reducen el uso de productos químicos.

Monsanto negó varias veces que el glifosato es fácilmente lavado de los terrenos en cantidades significativas, alegando que el herbicida penetra en la tierra y, por tanto, no se puede lavar. [2]

Los resultados del USGS confirman las advertencias de otros países que el glifosato es más móvil en el suelo de lo que algunas empresas de biotecnología admiten. [3]

La presencia de glifosato y AMPA en aguas superficiales significa que la calidad del agua utilizada por la vida acuática puede estar en riesgo. Los estudios han demostrado que muchas especies acuáticas se ven afectadas por el herbicida y su producto de degradación, y cada vez hay más preocupación por la seguridad de productos para la salud humana. [4] Además, el uso excesivo de glifosato en soja transgénica, el algodón y el maíz ha aumentado la propagación de malas hierbas que se han vuelto resistentes al herbicida, lo que significa que el Roundup se debe utilizar más a menudo en combinación con otros herbicidas en un intento de controlar las nuevas “súper malezas”.

El USGS encontró glifosato en más del 60% de las muestras de aire y la lluvia en tres localidades de Mississippi, Iowa e Indiana, y AMPA en el 50% de las muestras en concentraciones de hasta 9.1ng/metro y 0.49ng/metros cúbicos, respectivamente . [5] Los investigadores del USGS estiman que aproximadamente el 1% de glifosato rociado llega a las fuentes de agua en las cuatro áreas en las que ha estado monitoreando. Las concentraciones variaron en diferentes sistemas fluviales que forman parte del Programa de Monitoreo. El nivel más alto de glifosato se ha detectado en 5.7μg/litro. [6] Esto no sería un nivel permitido en el agua potable de acuerdo a la Directiva de la Unión Europea.

Este año, la Comisión decidió posponer la revisión sobre la seguridad del glifosato en la Unión Europea hasta el 2015. [7]

Al comentar a GM Freeze, Pete Riley, dijo:

“La cuenca del Mississippi fue sometida a la aplicación de glifosato a gran escala en los últimos 15 años. Como resultado de este experimento gigantesco sin control, el USGS está encontrando que los productos de descomposición del glifosato están apareciendo en la precipitación y ríos, y no, como Monsanto nos quiere hacer pensar, que este se queda en el suelo en forma segura.

“Los políticos y los reguladores deben tomar nota de estos resultados y suspender el uso de cultivos tolerantes al Roundup para proteger el agua que abastece a la fauna y la salud pública. El primer paso es volver a programar una revisión urgente de seguridad del glifosato, garantizar la transparencia y que los proveedores de datos y estudios sean independientes de la industria de biotecnología.

“Debido a la oposición pública y algunos Estados miembros, la UE ha escapado del experimento de Monsanto y dijo ‘No’ a los cultivos modificados genéticamente y tolerantes a herbicidas, que ahora son parte de la carrera armamentista química que se inició en la década de 1950. Basado en la última encuesta de la USGS, es el momento de utilizar nuevas tácticas. La evidencia sobre la inseguridad y el movimiento de glifosato acumulan méritos para la prohibición de los cultivos transgénicos. ”

Notas:

[1] USGS press release, 29 August 2011. “Widely Used Herbicide Commonly Found in Rain and Streams in the Mississippi River Basin

[2] “From soil and plant applications of glyphosate herbicide it is expected that a small amount of the applied glyphosate may enter surface waters through runoff or attached to soil particles that wash off treated fields.” Monsanto. 2003. Backgrounder. Glyphosate and water quality. Updated November 2003.

[3] See GM Freeze report Herbicide Tolerance and GM crops – Why the world should be ready to Roundup glyphoste. Chapter 4

[4] See GM Freeze report Herbicide Tolerance and GM crops – Why the world should be ready to Roundup glyphoste. Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7

[5] Chang FC, Simcik MF and Capel CD, 2011. “Occurrence and fate of the herbicide glyphosate and its degradate Aminomethylphosphonic acid in the atmosphere”. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 30, 548–555

[6] Coupe RH, Kalkhoff SK, Capel PD and Gregoire C, 2011. “Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basin”. Pesticide Management Science, 67, doi: 10.1002/ps.2212

[7] See GM Freeze action Is Roundup Safe?