International Research finds GE foods not "Substantially Equivalent"


International research published by a team of scientists show that a total reevaluation of GE foods using comprehensive 'omic' safety tests is urgently needed.

Professor Heinemann has produced a detailed critique reviewing these studies. [1]

The latest research confirms serious failures in the standard evaluation being used to approve GM products. The findings published in Nature show a common glyphosate-based herbicide previously promoted as low-risk is far from safe. Studies of Roundup in rats revealed it causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease at levels below the officially approved exposure limit when ingested regularly. [2]

The newly published “omics” studies found that GE corn (NK603) sprayed with Roundup has 117 proteins and 32 metabolites altered when compared to the controls. [3] The same GE Roundup sprayed corn fed to rats over their lifetime, found that after 90 days liver and kidney damage occurred and tumours developed after 4 months. [4]

Doctors and veterinarians are warning of a concerning increase in non-alcoholic liver disease (NALD) and have not found a cause. In animals fatty liver can cause reproductive failure and reduced milk and egg production. Dairy NZ projected that it would increase as animal supplements became more common. [5]

"The lesson is that current food safety testing is not fit for purpose. There is a set of complex systems that are at risk of disruption and must be studied to evaluate safety," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ (in food and environment).

"The problem is that this is not being done, at a local or international level, and only later are scientists finding the negative impacts that should have been tested for before being allowed into the food chain.”

New Zealand imports four GE crops, soy, canola, corn, and cottonseed that have over 83 event approvals. GE feed labels are voluntary, with the effect of leaving users and end-consumers in the dark.

New Zealand animal feed has over 12% of GE soy sprayed with Round Up, a glyphosate-based herbicide. Farmers spray their fields with glyphosate-based herbicides to prepare their field for the next crop, and often graze their animals on the dying sprayed grass.

Glyphosate-based herbicides had been considered safe enough to drink by industry and regulatory agencies. Independent research conducted over the last seven years found that these herbicides are not safe, increasing the risk of non-hodgkins lymphoma in farmers who use it, and prompting a ban in some Asian countries due to kidney illness in farm workers.

The new research is proof that regulatory agencies, tasked with safe food evaluation, must re assess GE foods and not deny the mounting evidence of harm.


[1] http://sciblogs.co.nz/guestwork/2017/01/11/gm-crops-herbicides-time-reassess-risk-assessment-methods/

[2] Mesnage, R. et al. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide. Sci. Rep. 7, 39328; doi: 10.1038/srep39328 (2017).

[3] Mesnage, R., Agapito-Tenfen, S. Z., Vilperte, V., Renney, G., Ward, M., Séralini, G., . . . Antoniou, M. N. (2016). An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process. Scientific Reports, 6, 37855.

[4] Séralini, G., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N., Malatesta, M., . . . Vendômois, J. S. (2014). Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerantgenetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe, 26(1).

[5] https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/424974/technical_series_june_2012.pdf

Jon Carapiet - National spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley - President 027 348 6731

back to directory