* French team claim bestselling brand of GM corn caused tumours and multiple organ damage
* Leading scientists have questioned the study and its results, claiming it has ’no value’
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.
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak 2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times 2014-12-20 2:13 Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
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Another banker dies under suspicious circumstances 2014-12-20 1:09 52-year-old Belgian Geert Tack – a private banker for ING who managed portfolios for wealthy individuals – was described as ‘impeccable’, ‘sporty’, ‘cared-for’, and ‘successful’ and so as Vermist reports, after disappearing a month ago, the appearance of his body off the coast of Ostend is surrounded by riddles…
Impeccable. Sporty. Cared for. Successful. Just some qualifications that are attributed to ...
NATO increases military presence on Russia’s borders 2014-12-20 1:14
The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region.
Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone.
Replying to RIA Novosti’s query on the increased number of NATO flights around Russia’s borders, a Pentagon representative told the news agency that the military ...