Russian officials have announced a temporary ban on the import and sale of any of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn into the country as a result of a French study released last week connecting the corn with an increased risk of cancer.
Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian consumer-rights regulating agency, forwarded the study out of France’s University of Caen to its Institute of Nutrition for further review. The agency also contacted the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers to get a better understanding of the EU’s position on genetically modified organisms.
It was the longest study of its kind conducted on GMOs and companion pesticides. This study specifically looked at the effects of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, designed to resist heavy applications of glyphosate (marketed as Monsanto’s Roundup). The corn was fed to rats over a two-year period. The rats fed the GMO corn treated with glyphosate, developed more tumors than the control group. They also developed kidney and liver damage.
Highly criticized for an unusual protocol, the Caen study, which was published last week in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was embargoed upon early release to journalists, which is a common practice. But, in order to receive the advanced copies of the study, the journalists had to agree to not interview experts that may discredit the research.
Monsanto responded to the study’s results by saying the research did not meet “acceptable standards.” And, the largest seed and chemical company in the world has also said Russia’s newly announced ban won’t really affect its business, as the country already bans planting any genetically modified crops.
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