Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082
September 19, 2012
Oakland, CA — Genetically engineered corn has been linked to serious health effects — including mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses — in the first ever peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of these foods. The findings, published today in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, mark the first-ever long term animal study on the health effects of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
The findings take particular relevance as California voters consider the Proposition 37 “Right to Know” initiative to label genetically engineered foods, and as USDA considers approving a new wave of genetically engineered crops, starting with 2,4-D corn.
In response to this study, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD, a senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:
“The results of this new study are troubling and deserve further investigation. To date, pesticide and genetically engineered seed corporations have suppressed and restricted research into the efficacy and health impacts of their products. No doubt the study will draw opposition from Dow and Monsanto as these corporations rush to bring new genetically engineered crops to the market, especially 2,4-D corn. Industry insists that these products are safe, but they do so on the basis of studies that have never been repeated and have other major flaws. What Séralini's work points to is the need to take very seriously, and more rigorously understand, the risks to human health posed by genetically engineered crops and foods.
The results further underscore the importance of providing California families with information about what’s in our food and how it’s grown. We should ask ourselves: why is this the first long term health study on the effects of eating GE foods ever to have taken place, despite their presence in our food supply for nearly 20 years? More independent, high quality research of the caliber of the new study is needed. In the meantime the American public has a right to know, and to choose for ourselves, whether to eat genetically engineered foods or not. This fundamental right to know will be at the ballot box in November when Californians have the opportunity to vote for Proposition 37 on labeling genetically engineered foods.”
Additional resources for editors and reporters:
- Summary of existing research on health impacts of genetically engineered foods.
- Additional information on 2,4-D corn and the other genetically engineered crops in the pipeline.
Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.