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Evaluation of the Mon863 Maize Study

Evaluation of the Mon863 Maize Study

By RALLT

MON863 produces a new Bt toxin (Cry3Bb1) to protect it against the corn rootworm. Despite the numerous errors in the experimental design and execution of the Mosanto study, several significant and unexplained effects stand out in the rats fed MON863.

Evaluation of the Monsanto Food Study on Mon863 Corn

The following is Dr. Arpad Pusztai's evaluation of Monsanto's study in rats fed the MON863 transgenic corn. His job was requested by the German government.

MON863 produces a new Bt toxin (Cry3Bb1) to protect it against the corn rootworm. Despite the numerous errors in the experimental design and execution of the Mosanto study, several significant and unexplained effects stand out in the rats fed MON863.


The differences and their potential implications are: increased number of basophils, indicating an allergic reaction; increase in the number of lymphocytes and white cells, which usually increase in the presence of infections, cancer, various toxins and diseases; fewer reticulocytes, which is an indication of anemia; decrease in the weight of the kidneys, related to blood pressure problems; and a rise in blood sugar levels, which cannot be classified as biologically insignificant, given the diabetes epidemic.


Elevated levels of kidney inflammation, liver necrosis, and other observed changes were also found. Dr. Pusztai argues that "It is almost impossible to imagine that the major lesions in major organs (kidneys, liver, etc.) found in rats fed transgenic corn are incidental or due to simple biological variability."

Monsanto also submitted a "follow-up study" in response to concerns about MON863 by the French body of experts that evaluates genetically modified organisms, the Commission for Biomolecular Genetics (CGB). Pusztai marks this study as inadmissible.

This is because Monsanto advocated for changes in kidney weights by comparing the results of animals sampled with rats used in a completely different study, conducted in a different laboratory, using MON863 hybrids with other samples of transgenic corn. The “follow-up study” mentions the results of the original study conducted for MON863, but was not re-elaborated, for comparison. Pusztai assures that this inter-experimental comparison is completely inappropriate for a nutritional evaluation and should be discarded.

Given the scientific concerns surrounding MON863 corn, it is crucial that more research is done on GM corn before it is approved for commercialization or importation. Dr. Pusztai's evaluation also highlights the need for regulators to critically evaluate studies submitted by applicants seeking approval for their GMOs, as such studies will not meet the highest standards and significant differences may be masked.

* Presented during the People's Health Assembly, which took place in Cuenca Ecuador in July 2005, in the workshop on “New Technologies”. Sent by RALLT - Network for a GMO-Free Latin America


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