The first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Roundup tolerant GM maize, and Roundup, the world’s best-selling weedkiller, shows that levels currently considered safe can cause tumors and multiple organ damage and lead to premature death in laboratory rats, according to research published online today by the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Researchers 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, died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet. They suffered mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage.
The paper, “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” reports on a study conducted by a team of scientists led by molecular biologist and endocrinologist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, co-director of the Risk Quality and Sustainable Environment Unit at the University of Caen, France, who is an authority on studies into the health impact of GMO’s and pesticides. It was supported by independent research organization, CRIIGEN.
Dr Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist at Kings College, London, and a member of the CRIIGEN scientific council, says:
“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 tumors 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.”
In the peer reviewed paper, the research team say they believe this is the first long-term animal feeding trial to examine the effects of Roundup, the world’s most used herbicide, and a commercial Roundup tolerant GM maize. Researchers studied 10 groups, each containing 10 male and 10 female rats, over their normal lifetime – two years.