Russian Scientists To Do Live GMO Trial

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You may recall that in Sept 2012 a group of French Scientists wrote about the deleterious effects on the health of study rats fed a diet of corn derived from Monsantos GMO variety. Researchers from the University of Caen found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 – a seed variety made tolerant to amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer – or given water mixed with the product, at levels permitted in the United States – died earlier than those on a standard diet.

The research conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his colleagues, said the rats suffered mammary tumours, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. The study was published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology and presented at a news conference in London.[1]

Fifty percent of male and 70 percent of female rats died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group, said the researchers.

Monsanto spokesman, Thomas Helscher, said the company would review the study thoroughly but stated that other scientific studies had proved the biotech crops’ safety.

Some scientists however criticized the French researchers’ statistical methods and the use of a particular type of rat, saying the albino Sprague-Dawley strain of animal had a tendency to develop cancers.

But despite scepticism, the study draws attention to controversy surrounding genetically modified crops and the US biotech giant Monsanto.

Michael Antoniou, a molecular biologist at King’s College London – who acted as an adviser to Seralini’s team – told reporters that the study stresses the

“need to test all GMO crops in two-year lifelong studies. I feel this data is strong enough to withdraw the marketing approval for this variety of GMO maize temporarily, until this study is followed up and repeated with larger number of animals to get the full statistical power that we want,” he said as quoted by Reuters.

Rats Reality Study

Naturally many people including many scientists remain unconvinced that GMO food is as benign as some companies and other scientist would like us all to believe. This includes a group of scientists in Russia.

Russian researches from the National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) believe such experiments should be conducted publicly, so that people can see the process with their own eyes, and thus trust, or not, the study.

So they came up with the idea of public experiment. Web cameras, installed in cages with rats, will broadcast all stages of the experiment online. The unique reality show will be available on the Internet 24/7 worldwide.

“This is a unique experiment,” project author Elena Sharoykina states. “There hasn’t been anything like it before – open, public research by opponents and supporters of GMO.”

The idea behind the test is to feed several groups of rats with different food. One group will be fed with soybeans and corn with a high content of GMOs, while the other gets the same products, but with low GMO levels. The third will be given food with no GMO whatsoever, and the fourth with standard rat food.

For the sake of the purity of the experiment, employees who feed the rats will not know what kind of food they are giving.


As yet this group have yet to raise suitable funding, but if they do, then this may help to determine the risks or neutrality of certain GMO foods in a unique manner.


[1] Séralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, de Vendômois JS. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Nov;50(11):4221-31. View Full Paper


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