GM health safety questioned

Claims by French researchers that genetically modified (GM) maize causes cancer have been refuted by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

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Scientists from the French University of Caen selected GM maize and fed it to rats for 90 days. Their research showed that the maize impacted negatively on the function of the rats’ organs, and caused tumours. However Efsa’s genetically modified organism (GMO) safety panel stated the research did not present sound scientific justification to question the safety of GM maize. “The assumptions underlying the methodology employed led to misleading results.

Our re-analysis of the data does not raise any new safety concerns,” said an Efsa statement. The European Association for Bio-industries released a statement saying the public should be aware that some of the study’s researchers were associated with anti-GM campaigning groups. Magda du Toit, Monsanto spokesperson, said that similar claims made in the past by the same researchers were refuted by peer-reviewed scientific papers as well as by Efsa.

“We know of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies performed on biotech crops that have confirmed their safety, as reflected in safety assessments by government regulatory authorities worldwide.” Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the agricultural department said that it was not aware of any instance where consumption of GM food had caused death or ill health in humans or animals.” 

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