Secret Ingredients

Source of Article:

Feds don't require animal tests on engineered food. But Austria's government did and found problems in modified corn.


Want something new to worry about?

A study released this week by the Austrian government shows that Monsanto's genetically engineered corn will reduce fertility – at least in laboratory mice.

The Center for Food Safety said the "important study" funded by the Austrian Ministry of The Health, Families, and Youth "is cause for great concern over the long-term consumption of genetically engineered crops."

Bill Freese, the science policy analyst for the center said: "It's no surprise to us that U.S. regulators did not catch this. None of our regulatory agencies require any long-term animal feeding trials before allowing genetically engineered crops on the market.

"The FDA must stop letting biotech companies self-certify their (modified) crops as safe, and instead establish strict, mandatory testing requirements, including long-term animal feeding trials," he added.

I asked the USDA and FDA whether this is correct, but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

For 20 weeks, Dr. Jürgen Zentek, veterinary medicine professor at the University of Vienna, and his team fed mice diets consisting of either 33 percent genetically engineered corn or the same amount of corn that wasn't messed with by Monsanto.

The study found that mice fed the GE corn diet had fewer litters, fewer total offspring, and more females with no offspring, than mice feed the conventional corn.

The scientist attributed the reduced fertility to the engineered corn feed, and said it might be related to unintended effects of the genetic modification process. Zentek said that further studies are "urgently needed" to corroborate his team's findings.

Monsanto modified the corn to survive direct spraying with its Roundup herbicide, while a built-in insecticide kills certain

"This study should serve as a wake-up call to governments around the world that genetically engineered foods could cause long-term health damage," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center, a nonprofit food-safety advocacy organization,

He added: "The center calls upon national and international authorities to place a moratorium on the distribution of GE products for human consumption unless or until their safety can be undeniably established."

Here is a link to an English version of the study so you can evaluate for yourself.

This just in from Monsanta:

The St. Louis-based, worldwide supplier of chemicals and engineered seeds, reacted quckly to comments Greenpeace made on the Austrian study.

The chemical giant pointed out that the study was not peer-reviewed and was "inconsistent with over a decade of reputable, peer-reviewed, scientific studies, including multi-generational studies, which demonstrate and confirm the safety of GM crops."

Jerry Hjelle, a Monsanto VP, said that activist groups for years have attempted to call into question the safety of biotech crops.

"The safety of our products is our utmost priority," he said. "We are already examining the on-line report along with other evidence assessing the safety of GM corn."

Huh. Okay.



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