Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health.


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Just an FYI:

A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said, there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

In the study, Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials over 20 weeks with laboratory mice fed a diet containing 33% of a GM variety (NK 603 x MON 810), or a closely related non-GE variety used in many countries. Statistically significant litter size and pup weight decreases were found in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

The corn is genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

Mr. Smith, who is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology says, “GM foods are likely responsible for several negative health trends in the US. The government must impose an immediate ban on these dangerous crops.” He says, “Consumers don’t need to wait for governmental action. They can download a free Non-GMO Shopping Guide at”

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  1. The study shows highly detrimental health effects in laboratory rodents and needs to be published in a referred toxicology or other scientific journal. In fact, the investigator should repeat the study to establish reproducibility and the degree of variation if any. Since, such a publication is going to trigger a storm amongst the scientific community, regulatory agencies and the product promoting business houses, besides an alarm in general public.
    The safety of GM foods and other recombinant products has been so far based on testing procedures which were primarily developed for establishing the safety of chemical moieties such as insecticides & pesticides , drugs & pharmaceuticals , food additives or chemical pollutants etc.etc. Additionally, testing for allergen city has been introduced with the presumption of a new protein being produced in the plant which may produce an allergic response in humans.
    The very fact that such a presumption has been perceived sufficient for additional testing (allergenicity) conforms to the acceptance of the possibility of a genetic perturbation in the host plant due to introduction of a foreign gene. However, genetic perturbation leading to an allergic protein alone seems to be far from scientific rationale. As a random process, the perturbation could occur in any domain of the host genome, which may ultimately express in serious health impairment of the consumer and even in his subsequent generations.
    The serious nature of the present report by the Austrian investigators demands establishment of an independent global Joint project, perhaps promoted by FAO/ WHO/ UNEP etc to establish safety of G M foods and other rDNA products and promote research to discover relevant methods for testing of such products. It has happened in case of radiation processed foods of which my group also happen to be an investigator
    Personally, I would like to grow microbes, insects, cell lines in media containing different concentrations of G M foods for several generations and check for any induced variation at the phenotype as well as genome level. The consequence of such a variation may be of no significance, a minor to serious health effect and science alone can address the issue.
    Food is an essential component of sustaining life and consumed in all stages of human life from very birth till life is concluded by one and all. Science must address the safety of such products. Scientific rationale can only address the complex issue of safety of G M foods and bring confidence amongst the innocent but vigil public.
    The investigators need to be complimented for the study and should desire reproducibility amongst various laboratories adequate for regulatory interference.

    (P S Chauhan)
    Dec 06,2008

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