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Monsanto Responds to French Rat Study

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Earlier this week, a study conducted by a French university team was published by Food and Chemical Toxicology, and claimed to have found negative health effects in laboratory rats fed a diet of GM corn. Numerous scientists have examined the study and posted or published comments about it.

Monsanto has now evaluated the study, and here is the company’s summary response: 

This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment. 

Toxicologists and public health experts find fundamental problems with the study design. Critical information about how the research was conducted is absent, and the data presented do not support the author’s interpretations. Among the key shortcomings are: 

• Research protocol does not meet OECD standards

• Source and quality of corn used is unclear.

• Critical details on diet preparation and dietary intake are absent.

• Complete lack of data pertaining to assertions of liver or kidney histopathology, liver function tests, and cytochrome activity.

• Lack of any statistical analysis for mortality or tumor incidence endpoints.

• Mortality rates and tumor incidence in all groups fall within historical norms for this strain of laboratory rats, which is known for a high incidence of tumors.

• Data presented are highly sporadic, using different methods for male and female animals, and are not sufficient to support conclusions drawn.

• There is a lack of dose-response relationship throughout the study. 

There is no plausible mechanism for the results reported with genetically modified maize, and the results are inconsistent with an extensive body of experience and scientific study. Extensive animal and in-vitro (test-tube) data has demonstrated that glyphosate does not cause cancer or tumors, nor is an endocrine disrupter. This study does not provide information which calls into question the extensive safety evaluations of glyphosate or Roundup herbicides. 

You can read the detailed response at Monsanto.com

What Others Are Saying: 

The Science Media Centre in the UK press release

Science 2.0: GM Maize Causes Tumors in Rats? Here’s How Experts Responded

Reuter’s: Study on Monsanto GM Corn Concerns Draws Skepticism

Forbes: Monsanto’s GM Corn and Cancer in Rats? Real Scientists Deeply Unimpressed

BBC: French GM-fed rat study triggers furore

The Telegraph (UK): How those GM Frankenfoods are going to murder us all in our beds

Discovery News: GM Corn-Tumor Link Based on Poor Science.

The European Food Safety Authority’s initial review on the study.

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