Lab rates develop tumors due to BT Maize : study
Lab rats developed mammary tumors and were more likely to die prematurely as per a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, on the health effects of a GM-tolerant maize crop and the herbicide Roundup.
The study has sparked a serious debate among the supporters and critics over the Genetically Modified crops at the ongoing Convention on Biosafety here.
Robin Mesnage, a scientist at the University of Caen in France who was part of the study and was here at the COP-MOP 6, observed "Rats fed with GMO with or without Roundup developed liver and kidney problems in males while females developed mammary tumours".
Mesnage along with a team of seven other scientists did 100 different experiments on 200 laboratory rats.
There should be stringent review on all the genetically modified seeds particularly Maize, Mesnage told reporters and suggested extension of trial time from three months to at least two years to carefully evaluate the impact of these genetically modified foods on humans.
France is waiting for the report from European Food Safety Authority -EFSA to take a final call on banning the Bt Maize.
Russia has already banned it, Mesnage said.
However, the Bt biters found opposition from the GMO scientists and industry. "If pesticide usage has decreased for some years because of Bt then it is good," a GMO industry representative said.
A delegate from Egypt said the study on rats is totally wrong.
A scientist from ICRISAT Pooja Bhatnagar, said when life is extended in rats, they inherently develop tumours.
In 2011 , approximately 51 million hectares of Bt Maize was grown in 16 countries in the world. USA, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Canada grow more than one million hectares.