Grondige wetenschappelijke analyse van de Séralini paper/saga

A recent paper published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology presents the results of a long-term toxicity study related to a widely-used commercial herbicide (RoundupTM) and a Roundup- tolerant genetically modified variety of maize, con- cluding that both the herbicide and the maize varieties are toxic. Here we discuss the many errors and inaccuracies in the published article resulting in highly misleading conclusions, whose publication in the scientific literature and in the wider media has caused damage to the credibility of science and researchers in the field. We and many others have criticized the study, and in particular the manner in which the experiments were planned, implemented, analyzed, interpreted and communicated. The study appeared to sweep aside all known benchmarks of scientific good practice and, more importantly, to ignore the minimal standards of scientific and ethical conduct in particular concerning the humane treatment of experimental animals.

via The Genetic Tomato (@Gentomaat)

Het volledige artikel is hier te raadplegen via Springer Link en is voor korte tijd als pdf hier te downloaden.

SHOCKING! Of ook wel post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Reeds verschillende jaren wordt door verlichte geesten (ad hominem) aangetoond dat de toename van allergieën, kanker en zelfs autisme veroorzaakt worden door ggo’s. Niet dat daar bewijs voor hoeft te zijn, maar een beetje holistisch nadenken doet eenieder, behalve Monsanto shills, tot dezelfde conclusie komen. De echt verlichte goeroes zijn nóg genuanceerder. Ze beweren niet gratuit dat dergelijke causatie bestaat, maar beëindigen hun betoog telkenmale met “Toeval?”. Volgens mij is dat een bepaalde toepassing van het voorzorgsprincipe. Zolang niet met 100% zekerheid kan gezegd worden dat ggo’s kanker, allergieën en autisme veroorzaken, dan kan je dit niet zomaar gratuit beweren, ook al past het perfect in je ideologische plaatje en ben je er eigenlijk al lang van overtuigd. “Toeval?” zorgt ervoor dat je én je gal kan spuigen én je jezelf voor kan houden rechtlijnig of intellectueel correct te zijn. Of zoiets.

Een van die eeuwige discussies kan nu echter beëindigd worden. Het enige, echte en sluitende bewijs is geleverd. De hypothese dat ggo’s de opmars van autisme veroorzaken in de US blijkt nu toch wel niet te kloppen zeker! Nope, het blijken die vermaledijde biologische producten te zijn. Toeval?

Nieuwe studie die de veiligheid van Bt-maïs onderschrijft

Effects of Feeding Bt Maize to Sows during Gestation and Lactation on Maternal and Offspring Immunity and Fate of Transgenic Material

Background

We aimed to determine the effect of feeding transgenic maize to sows during gestation and lactation on maternal and offspring immunity and to assess the fate of transgenic material.

Methodology/Principal Findings

On the day of insemination, sows were assigned to one of two treatments (n = 12/treatment); 1) non-Bt control maize diet or 2) Bt-MON810 maize diet, which were fed for ~143 days throughout gestation and lactation. Immune function was assessed by leukocyte phenotyping, haematology and Cry1Ab-specific antibody presence in blood on days 0, 28 and 110 of gestation and at the end of lactation. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cell cytokine production was investigated on days 28 and 110 of gestation. Haematological analysis was performed on offspring at birth (n = 12/treatment). Presence of the cry1Ab transgene was assessed in sows’ blood and faeces on day 110 of gestation and in blood and tissues of offspring at birth. Cry1Ab protein presence was assessed in sows’ blood during gestation and lactation and in tissues of offspring at birth. Blood monocyte count and percentage were higher (P<0.05), while granulocyte percentage was lower (P<0.05) in Bt maize-fed sows on day 110 of gestation. Leukocyte count and granulocyte count and percentage were lower (P<0.05), while lymphocyte percentage was higher (P<0.05) in offspring of Bt maize-fed sows. Bt maize-fed sows had a lower percentage of monocytes on day 28 of lactation and of CD4+CD8+ lymphocytes on day 110 of gestation, day 28 of lactation and overall (P<0.05). Cytokine production was similar between treatments. Transgenic material or Cry1Ab-specific antibodies were not detected in sows or offspring.

Conclusions/Significance

Treatment differences observed following feeding of Bt maize to sows did not indicate inflammation or allergy and are unlikely to be of major importance. These results provide additional data for Bt maize safety assessment.

Volledige artikel vind je hier. 

GM plants represent low risk, say scientists

Genetically modified (GM) plants present little danger for the environment or people’s health, according to Swiss researchers. Also, while they offer almost no benefit to farmers now, this could change if plants had the right properties.

The government requested a national research programme on the risks and benefits of GM plants after the Swiss voted for a five-year moratorium on their use in 2005. The moratorium was extended for another three years by parliament.

 Between 2007 and 2011, 30 projects were launched as part of the programme at a total cost of around SFr12 million ($12.5 million). Eleven focused on the environmental risks of GM wheat, maize and strawberries.

The researchers all reached the same conclusion: there were no identifiable negative effects on beneficial organisms, microorganisms or soil fertility. Three so-called meta-analyses that looked at more than 1,000 international studies reached similar findings.

More info via GMO Pundit.

Physicians Answer Questions About Food Biotechnology

Technologies, such as food biotechnology, have become an important part of agriculture. However, many myths and misperceptions about food biotechnology have led to questions about its safety and benefits for the public. The video segments below were developed to help clarify the facts on food produced through biotechnology and to address some of your most common questions. In the videos, physicians who are leaders in their field discuss the following topics as they relate to food biotechnology: Safety; Allergies; Children; Benefits; and Labeling. These physicians have relevant background in these areas, as well as knowledge of the safety and health research around food biotechnology.

Is there a link between foods produced through biotechnology and allergies?

Continue reading

Effects of Feeding Bt MON810 Maize to Pigs for 110 Days

…on Peripheral Immune Response and Digestive Fate of the cry1AbGene and Truncated Bt Toxin

Background

The objective of this study was to evaluate potential long-term (110 days) and age-specific effects of feeding genetically modified Bt maize on peripheral immune response in pigs and to determine the digestive fate of the cry1Ab gene and truncated Bt toxin.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Forty day old pigs (n = 40) were fed one of the following treatments: 1) isogenic maize-based diet for 110 days (isogenic); 2) Bt maize-based diet (MON810) for 110 days (Bt); 3) Isogenic maize-based diet for 30 days followed by Bt maize-based diet for 80 days (isogenic/Bt); and 4) Bt maize-based diet (MON810) for 30 days followed by isogenic maize-based diet for 80 days (Bt/isogenic). Blood samples were collected during the study for haematological analysis, measurement of cytokine and Cry1Ab-specific antibody production, immune cell phenotyping and cry1Ab gene and truncated Bt toxin detection. Pigs were sacrificed on day 110 and digesta and organ samples were taken for detection of the cry1Ab gene and the truncated Bt toxin. On day 100, lymphocyte counts were higher (P<0.05) in pigs fed Bt/isogenic than pigs fed Bt or isogenic. Erythrocyte counts on day 100 were lower in pigs fed Bt or isogenic/Bt than pigs fed Bt/isogenic (P<0.05). Neither the truncated Bt toxin nor the cry1Abgene were detected in the organs or blood of pigs fed Bt maize. The cry1Ab gene was detected in stomach digesta and at low frequency in the ileum but not in the distal gastrointestinal tract (GIT), while the Bt toxin fragments were detected at all sites in the GIT.

Conclusions/Significance

Perturbations in peripheral immune response were thought not to be age-specific and were not indicative of Th 2 type allergenic or Th 1 type inflammatory responses. There was no evidence of cry1Abgene or Bt toxin translocation to organs or blood following long-term feeding.

Volledige artikel is hier integraal toegankelijk.

Major Scientific Conference Convened to Review The Safety Of GMO Crops

A major international conference scientific meeting titled “Risk Assessment in Agricultural Biotechnology” was held at the University of California, Davis.  It was sponsored by the College of Agriculture, The National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and the USDA.  It included presentations by eminent scientists from around the world and covered a wide range of topics including potential effects on non-target organisms, potential health effects, ecological risks, and the potential for “gene flow” for various crops.  There was extensive discussion of how to best regulate this technology, and what monitoring methods were appropriate.  There was also a discussion of potential impacts on community function in agricultural areas.  Finally there was an analysis of how risk assessment affects public perceptions of biotechnology. If you are reading this now, chances are you just missed it – by more than two decades!

Volledige artikel vind je op biofortified.org. 

Genetically Engineered Plants and Foods: A Scientist’s Analysis of the Issues

Part I

Through the use of the new tools of genetic engineering, genes can be introduced into the same plant or animal species or into plants or animals that are not sexually compatible—the latter is a distinction with classical breeding. This technology has led to the commercial production of genetically engineered (GE) crops on approximately 250 million acres worldwide. These crops generally are herbicide and pest tolerant, but other GE crops in the pipeline focus on other traits. For some farmers and consumers, planting and eating foods from these crops are acceptable; for others they raise issues related to safety of the foods and the environment. In Part I of this review some general and food issues raised regarding GE crops and foods will be addressed. Responses to these issues, where possible, cite peer-reviewed scientific literature. In Part II to appear in 2009, issues related to environmental and socioeconomic aspects of GE crops and foods will be covered.

Part II

Genetic engineering provides a means to introduce genes into plants via mechanisms that are different in some respects from classical breeding. A number of commercialized, genetically engineered (GE) varieties, most notably canola, cotton, maize and soybean, were created using this technology, and at present the traits introduced are herbicide and/or pest tolerance. In 2007 these GE crops were planted in developed and developing countries on more than 280 million acres (113 million hectares) worldwide, representing nearly 10% of rainfed cropland. Although the United States leads the world in acres planted with GE crops, the majority of this planting is on large acreage farms. In developing countries, adopters are mostly small and resource-poor farmers. For farmers and many consumers worldwide, planting and eating GE crops and products made from them are acceptable and even welcomed; for others GE crops raise food and environmental safety questions, as well as economic and social issues. In Part I of this review, some general and food issues related to GE crops and foods were discussed. In Part II, issues related to certain environmental and socioeconomic aspects of GE crops and foods are addressed, with responses linked to the scientific literature.

Evidence of reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt maize

Premise of the study: Insect-resistant Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize is widely cultivated, yet few studies have examined the interaction of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) with different lines of Bt maize. As obligate symbionts, AMF may be sensitive to genetic changes within a plant host. Previous evaluations of the impact of Bt crops on AMF have been inconsistent, and because most studies were conducted under disparate experimental conditions, the results are difficult to compare.

Methods: We evaluate AMF colonization in nine Bt maize lines, differing in number and type of engineered trait, and five corresponding near-isogenic parental (P) base hybrids in greenhouse microcosms. Plants were grown in 50% local agricultural soil with low levels of fertilization, and AMF colonization was evaluated at 60 and 100 d. Nontarget effects of Bt cultivation on AMF colonization were tested in a subsequently planted crop, Glycine max, which was seeded into soil that had been pre- conditioned for 60 d with Bt or P maize.

Key results: We found that Bt maize had lower levels of AMF colonization in their roots than did the non-Bt parental lines. However, reductions in AMF colonization were not related to the expression of a particular Bt protein. There was no difference in AMF colonization in G. max grown in the Bt- or P-preconditioned soil.
Conclusions: These findings are the first demonstration of a reduction in AMF colonization in multiple Bt maize lines grown under the same experimental conditions and contribute to the growing body of knowledge examining the unanticipated effects of Bt crop cultivation on nontarget soil organisms.

Volledige artikel werd gepubliceerd in the American Journal of Botany.