” Historically, biotech companies have proved the safety of GM crops based on trials involving feeding rats for a period of 90 days.
However, experts at the University of Caen conducted an experiment running for the full lives of rats – two years.
The findings, which were peer reviewed by independent experts before being published in a respected scientific journal, found raised levels of breast cancer, liver and kidney damage.
Consumer scepticism in the UK and Europe means GM corn is not on supermarket shelves here, however it is fed to farm animals, including hens, pigs and dairy cows.
Last week Monsanto said it did not think the French study would affect its license to export the NK603 to Europe but would wait to hear from EFSA.
The company said: ‘Based on our initial review, we do not believe the study presents information that would justify any change in EFSA’s views on the safety of genetically modified corn products or alter their approval status for genetically modified imports.’
The biotech industry and university researchers involved in GM research have mounted a major PR campaign over the last year to win over sceptical consumers.
In the past week, pro-GM scientists have been lining up to undermine the French experiments and criticise the way they were conducted.
However, a number of independent academics have praised the French team’s work, describing it as the most thorough and extensive feeding trials involving GM to date.”