Rat study sparks GM furore
Europe has never been particularly fond of genetically modified (GM) foods, but a startling research paper published last week looks set to harden public and political opposition even further, despite a torrent of scepticism from scientists about the work.The study1, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, looked for adverse health effects in rats fed NK603 maize (corn), developed by biotech company Monsanto to resist the herbicide glyphosate and approved for animal and human consumption in the European Union, United States and other countries. It reported that the rats developed higher levels of cancers, had larger cancerous tumours and died earlier than controls. The researchers have not conclusively identified a mechanism for the effect.
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