I am a strong supporter of labeling GMO foods. Consumers have the right to know.
That's enough of a reason to support California's Prop. 37. There is no need to muddy the waters with difficult-to-interpret science.
My e-mail inbox was flooded with messages yesterday about the new long-term rat study reporting that both GMO corn and Roundup (glyphosate herbicide) increase mammary tumors in mice.
The study, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, concludes:
The results of the study presented here clearly demonstrate that lower levels of complete agricultural glyphosate herbicide formulations, at concentrations well below officially set safety limits, induce severe hormone-dependent mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances... the significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures documented in this work confirm the pathological effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes.
These results are so graphically shocking (see the paper's photographs), and so discrepant from previous studies (see recent review in the same journal), that they bring out my skeptical tendencies. (Note: Although Séralini is apparently a well known opponent of GMOs, his study--and that of the review--were funded by government or other independent agencies).
For one thing, the study is weirdly complicated. To its credit, it went on for two years (much longer than the typical 90 days for these kinds of studies).
But it involves ten separate groups of 20 mice each (10 males and 10 females) fed diets containing GMO (Roundup-resistant) corn, grown with Roundup or not, or fed control diets (non-GMO corn) with or without Roundup added to their drinking water at three different levels.
I needed a table to keep this straight...
Besides complications, the study raises several issues:
- Incomplete data: the authors state that "All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here." I'd like to know more about what the control rats ate and whether there were d ifferences in the amounts of diets consumed, for example.
- Lack of dose response: the authors explain that 11% did as much harm as 33% as a threshold effect. This requires further study to ver ify.
- Statistical significance: The paper doesn't report confidence intervals for the tumor data (the bars don't look all that different to me).
more, including table, charts
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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