While pro-GMO advocates have long cited a slew of data that seems to prove that genetically modified foods are perfectly safe, a study published on Tuesday appeared to show the contrary, showing the long-term links between GMO corn in cow feed and pathogens in the cattle that consumed it. The study has since disappeared from the Internet.
The study in question, published by the laboratory of Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, showed that the genetically engineered GM Bt176 strain of corn was “most probably” toxic in animals, reports Food Navigator. In the study, Séralini examined pathology reports of dairy cows belonging to German farmer Gottfried Glöckner and found that between 1997 and 2002, when the cows were fed feed containing up to 40 percent GMO corn, the proportion of healthy cows with a high milk yield fell from 70 percent to 40 percent. The health problems found in the cows were allegedly linked, not to infectious or genetic diseases, but to the toxicity of the corn.
“As a possible scientific explanation for these pathologies, it is known that the cadherin family of transmembrane proteins play an essential role in the bovine kidney as well as during gestation and in epithelial cells,” Séralini wrote. “It was recently discovered that some cadherins are involved in the mechanism of toxicity for Cry1Ab, the toxin produced by this GM Bt maize.”
The study was originally published with the title “Pathology reports on the first cows fed with Bt176 maize [1997-2002]” in the journal “Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Sciences.” But in the days following its release, the website redirected to a page saying the site had expired. According to the Genetic Literacy Project, the journal in question is a very obscure one, demanding large fees from scientists who wish to publish work, either to bulk up a résumé or, in the case of Séralini, when their work is too controversial to be published elsewhere.
This is not the first time that controversy has surrounded findings made by Professor Séralini. In 2012, he published a study linking pesticide-treated GMO corn with cancer in lab rats. Many scientists claimed the science was flawed in that study, which was also taken down and then re-released in 2014 featuring many of the same flaws, according to a Forbes article published on June 24, 2014.
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Corn image via Shutterstock