Friday, September 21, 2012

GM corn caused extensive cancers in rats?

The results below are so extreme that a fraud has to be suspected.  What else were the rats fed?  Peer review is no defence against fraud.  The research was led by "a  critic of GM technology".  Spare us!

Rats fed a lifelong diet of one of the bestselling strains of genetically modified corn suffered tumours and multiple organ damage, according to a controversial French study published today.

Scientists said the results raised serious questions about the safety of GM foods and the assurances offered by biotech companies and governments.

The first lifetime trials involving rats fed on GM corn found a raised incidence of breast tumours, liver and kidney damage.

Dr Michael Antoniou, a molecular biologist at King’s College, London, and an expert on GM foods, said: ‘It shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.’

The research was carried out by Caen University in France, and has been peer reviewed by independent scientists to guarantee the experiments were properly conducted and the results are valid.

It is the first to look at the impact of eating a GM diet over a lifetime in rats, which is two years. To date, safety assessments of GM crops have been based on rat feeding trials lasting 90 days.

The corn was genetically modified to withstand spraying with glyphosate, the main chemical in the weedkiller Roundup, developed by Monsanto. The idea is that the corn can be sprayed without being damaged, while weeds are destroyed.

The tests looked at the impact of several scenarios including eating the GM corn (NK603), eating the GM corn sprayed with Roundup, and consuming Roundup at low doses in water.

The results were compared against those for a control group fed a ‘clean’ diet without GM or Roundup.  The researchers found:

 *   Between 50 to 80 per cent of female rats developed large tumours by the beginning of the 24th month, with up to three tumours per animal. Only 30 per cent of the control rats developed tumours

 *   Up to 70 per cent of females died prematurely compared with only 20 per cent in the control group

 *   Tumours in rats of both sexes fed the GM corn were two to three times larger than in the control group

*    The large tumours appeared in females after seven months, compared to 14 months in the control group. The team said the tumours were ‘deleterious to health due to a very large size’, making it difficult for the rats to breathe and causing digestive problems.

Significantly, the majority of tumours were detectable only after 18 months – meaning they could be discovered only in long-term feeding trials.

The study – led by molecular biologist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, a  critic of GM technology, and published yesterday in US journal Food and Chemical Toxicology – said the GM corn and Roundup weedkiller ‘may cause hormonal disturbances in the same biochemical and physiological pathway’.

The Daily Mail’s Frankenstein Food Watch campaign has long highlighted problems with the lack of rigorous safety assessments for GM crops and food.

Although GM corn is widely used in the US, British consumers have turned their backs on the technology because of  concerns about its impact on human health and the environment.  Although it is not available in British supermarkets, it is fed to farm animals including chickens, pigs and dairy cows.

Mustafa Djamgoz, professor of Cancer Biology at Imperial College, London,  said the findings relating to eating GM corn were a surprise.  ‘We are what we eat,’ he added. ‘I work at the molecular level on cancer. There is evidence what we eat affects our genetic make-up and turns genes on and off.  ‘We are not scaremongering here. More research is warranted.’

Dr Julian Little, of the Agricultural  Biotechnology Council, which speaks for the GM industry, insisted GM foods were safe, adding: ‘The industry takes all health concerns regarding biotech food and feed very seriously.’

Anthony Trewavas, professor of cell biology at Edinburgh University, questioned the way the research had been conducted, saying the number of rats involved in the study – 200 – was too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.  ‘To be frank, it looks like random  variation to me in a rodent line likely to develop tumours anyway,’ he said.

He also claimed Professor Seralini was an anti-GM campaigner and that previous studies questioning the technology’s safety had not withstood scrutiny.


Are statins really such a wonder pill? New study finds they DON'T prevent blood clots

A reduced effect on replication is common but this was a complete wipeout. 

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs do not appear to help prevent blood clots, according to an extensive new study.

Researchers from Oxford University led a team that looked at 29 published and unpublished trials involving over 100,000 people.

They found venous thrombosis (a blood clot formed in a vein) occurred in 0.9 per cent of people taking statins compared to one per cent of people who were not taking the drugs. There was no difference between those who took higher or lower doses of statins.

The study, published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine, said: 'We were unable to confirm the large proportional reduction in (clot) risk.'  However, it added that 'a more modest but perhaps clinically worthwhile' effect could not be ruled out.

In 2009, a trial called JUPITER found that so-called rosuvastatin -- marketed as Crestor -- halved the risk of blood clots among apparently healthy adults, a finding that boosted suggestions the drug should be taken preventively. But the figures to support this finding were relatively small.

The 2009 study randomly assigned 17,800 people to take Crestor or dummy pills.  After two years of followup, 34 in the statin group and 60 in the placebo group developed a venous thrombo-embolism, a clot which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs. The latest study, led by Kasem Rahimi, found no such effect.

Commenting on the findings, British Heart Foundation medical director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said: 'It has long been thought that statins may have additional health benefits on top of their proven ability to reduce heart attacks and strokes.

'An earlier study suggested that one statin, rosuvastatin, might reduce the risk of blood clots in deep veins and lungs, known as venous thromboembolism.  'However, findings in single studies can sometimes happen by chance. By pooling a large amount of data on several different types of statin, this analysis shows that any significant protection against blood clots is highly unlikely.'



Anonymous said...

Study on Monsanto GM corn concerns draws skepticism
19 Sep 2012

Anonymous said...

France checks the scientific validity of shocking GM food study