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[SANET-MG] GM new studies find unborn may be harmed
The Independent 8 Jan 2005
GM: New study shows unborn babies could be
Mortality rate for new-born rats six times higher when mother was fed on
a diet of modified soya
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 08 January 2006
Women who eat GM foods while pregnant risk endangering their unborn
babies, startling new research suggests.
The study - carried out by a leading scientist at the Russian Academy of
Sciences - found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed on
soya died in the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those
mothers with normal diets. Six times as many were also severely underweight.
The research - which is being prepared for publication - is just one of
of recent studies that are reviving fears that GM food damages human health.
Italian research has found that modified soya affected the liver and
of mice. Australia had to abandon a decade-long attempt to develop modified
peas when an official study found they caused lung damage.
And last May this newspaper revealed a secret report by the biotech giant
Monsanto, which showed that rats fed a diet rich in GM corn had smaller
kidneys and higher blood cell counts, suggesting possible damage to their
immune systems, than those that ate a similar conventional one.
The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation held a workshop on
the safety of genetically modified foods at its Rome headquarters late last
year. The workshop was addressed by scientists whose research had raised
concerns about health dangers. But the World Trade Organisation is expected
next month to support a bid by the Bush administration to force European
countries to accept GM foods.
The Russian research threatens to have an explosive effect on already
public opinion. Carried out by Dr Irina Ermakova at the Institute of Higher
Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, it
is believed to be the first to look at the effects of GM food on the unborn.
The scientist added flour from a GM soya bean - produced by Monsanto to be
resistant to its pesticide, Roundup - to the food of female rats,
weeks before they conceived, continuing through pregnancy, birth and
nursing. Others were given non-GM soyaand a third group was given no soya
She found that 36 per cent of the young of the rats fed the modified
severely underweight, compared to 6 per cent of the offspring of the other
groups. More alarmingly, a staggering 55.6 per cent of those born to mothers
on the GM diet perished within three weeks of birth, compared to 9 per
the offspring of those fed normal soya, and 6.8 per cent of the young of
given no soya at all.
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