A Serious Concern: Approved GMO corn revealed to be unfit for consumption

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For the first time in the world, a study of the health risks of transgenic corn approved for consumption reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity(1).

CRIIGEN performed a counter evaluation of Monsanto’s regulatory study on rats fed MON863 GMO corn for three months. This study was used to authorize the international sale of this corn. The symptoms discovered during this counter evaluation are coherent, and observed in control rats of the same genetic strain, same age, and raised in strictly identical conditions. The rats were fed a diet of chemical composition considered to be equivalent, but without the toxin Bt, which is the insecticide that is self-produced by the GMO corn. On average, the female rats experienced weight gain, significant increases in sugar and fat levels in the blood, disruption of renal functions and an increase in kidney weight compared to the rest of the body. Inversely, male rats lost weight, their kidneys become more sensitive and lost weight compared to the rest of the body. Additionally, ion analyses were modified in urine, which is likely related to the diagnosed nephropathies. Rats do develop this naturally with age, but the rats used in this case were young (5 months old at the end of the study). Some hepatic function markers were also affected. It is important to note that toxic products such as pesticides, as in initial stages of cancer, often provoke different effects depending on gender. It is not possible, through such short-term tests, to identify the beginning of any particular disease. But it was “detoxification” organs, as they are traditionally referred to, that reacted in this study.

Variations in the animals’ weights were not statistically studied by Monsanto, which published on the subject in 2006, nor were the data on urinary chemistry. The statistics were not explored further and their protocols are highly debatable.

Why did the authorities not request :

1/ an independent study of Monsanto’s statistical data, which would have revealed these problems,

2/ the repetition and prolongation of these experiments, which have been controversial since 2003,

3/ the measurements of sexual hormones which, given the different effects observed according to gender, can become disrupted.

Monsanto’s raw data that allowed this work were obtained through the courts. They were considered confidential not only by the company, but also by the European Member States and the European community. This data concerns the MON863 corn that produces a new insecticide, “modified Cry3Bb1”, designed to fight the dangerous Chrysomelidae (coleopteran insect, Diabrotica virgifera), a serious, corn-destroying pest recently brought to Europe by plane, likely on several occasions. This recently authorized GM corn also contains an antibiotic-resistant marker gene. These tests are insufficient, despite being the most detailed and the longest ever performed on mammals after consumption of this plant. They are a completely typical example of current regulatory tests (90 days maximum on rats).

This GMO is part of the second most important category of GMOs grown commercially in the world, and produces a new internal insecticide. The other GMOs absorb herbicide without dying. Almost all of them are pesticidal plants.

For the record, these tests have been controversial in France since 2003, and are a source of disagreement among experts, notably at the Commission on Biomolecular Genetics in France. CRIIGEN was concerned and asked governments for raw data. This data was kept confidential until Greenpeace Germany won an appeal against Monsanto and was able to obtain the blood and urine analyses of these rats. There are more than 1,130 pages of figures and details in these raw data. A CRIIGEN team – composed of Pr. Gilles-Eric Séralini (Université de Caen), researcher on pesticides and governmental expert on GMOs, Dr. Dominique Cellier (Université de Rouen), biostatistician, and Dr. Joël Spiroux of Vendomois, physician and expert on environmental health risks – conducted contradictory assessments of these data, independent of GMO producers.

These elements are sufficient to require further studies and, in the meantime, the withdrawal of MON863 GMO corn from consumption. This maize can no longer be considered fit for human or animal consumption. A moratorium on all GMO consumption is necessary in order to verify other tests.

(1) The article, entitled “New Analysis of a Rat Feeding Study with a Genetically Modified Corn Reveals Signs of Hepatorenal Toxicity,” was written by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Dominique Cellier, and Joël Spiroux of Vendomois. It is published online by , and will be printed in May. The Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Doerge of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).the American journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Un cas grave : un maïs OGM autorisé est impropre à la consommation


Comité de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur le Génie Génétique, , Paris, France.

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