19 April 2015 | Online since 2003



23 October 2012|News

French food agency backs calls for more GM research


The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) is backing calls for more research into the long-term combined effects of GMOs and pesticides in food.

ANSES is the first official body to suggest that the science behind GM authorisations may not be sufficient to assure food safety.

In September a team from CRIIGEN at the University of Caen published the results of a two-year feeding trial of rats fed GM maize NK603 with and without Roundup, with Roundup alone and with controls on non-GM maize. The study reported several disturbing results, including liver, kidney and pancreas harm, increased mortality and the increased and earlier development to tumours, especially in female rats.

The results sparked a global debate about the safety of GM crops and Roundup, which focusses considerable attention on the validity of the experiments conducted by CRIIGEN.

CRIIGEN‘s research has been vigorously defended by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), which points out that CRIIGEN used the same methods Monsanto used when applying for approval to import NK603 into the EU.

The ANSES review stops short of calling for a suspension of NK603 imports and does not endorse the CRIIGEN findings, but it “draws attention, however, to the originality of this study, namely its focus on a subject rarely investigated to date: the long-term effects of GMOs in association with plant protection products”.

It continues with two critical recommendations: "ANSES emphasises the small number of published studies dealing with the potential long-term effects of the consumption of GMOs in association with pesticides and recommends undertaking research into these issues."

"In addition, the Agency calls for national or European funding to enable large-scale studies and research for consolidating our knowledge of insufficiently documented health risks."

GM Freeze and Greenpeace International reviewed the scientific evidence of the health and environment impacts of glyphosate and recommended an urgent review of its uses and safety.

Earlier this year the EU agreed to a Monsanto request to increase the maximum residue limit (MRL) for glyphosate in lentils and pulses by 100 times (to 10mg/kg) to accommodate the use of the herbicide to desiccate crops just before harvest.

In 2011 elevated limits were also agreed for soya beans, oilseed rape, sunflowers, wheat, barley and oats. Residues of glyphosate were detected in UK foods sampled, including residues in some dry lentil samples breached the MRL.

Commenting on the ANSES findings Pete Riley of GM freeze said: "At last official sources are waking up to the idea that we need better science on GM safety. The CRIIGEN research exposed serious weaknesses in the risk assessment of GMOs and herbicides, including using them together. Most of us are exposed to long-term low-level glyphosate residues, and it is far from clear this kind of chronic exposure is safe for people or farm animals.

"As ANSES quite rightly points out we urgently need more publicly-funded research to investigate this safety question that touches not only on common uses of Roundup on farms, but aslo the GM crops designed specifically to be used with Roundup. It is important for this work to be done by scientists with no commercial links to the products and no conflicts of interest in defending the existing EU safety review that gave these products a clean bill of health.

"GM Freeze maintains the EU should suspend the import of all Roundup Ready GM crops until these safety questions are answered.”

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


1 April 2015
SENIOR AGRONOMIST
Do you have a background in Agriculture, Farming, Agronomy, Agronomist, Agronomy manager, Agronomist Manager, Arable Speciali...

1 April 2015
Team Player, Hampshire
The herd manager is in his 27th year on the farm and an assistant herd manager has been on the farm for a number of years....

17 April 2015
P/T Butcher
Part time butcher required. Mainly Pork butchery and we also produce our own Lamb and beef. Duties include: Preparing cuts to...

9 April 2015
Customer Support Team Leader
Our client is a market leader in dairy product manufacturing and are urgently requiring a Customer Support Team Leader to joi...

17 April 2015
Graduate Engineering Trainee Devon
Are you interested in how food travels from the farm to your fork? This is a great chance to join the commercial team of an e...





Related Companies


Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

Final phase of Scotland's war on BVD

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

Dairy farmers competitiveness will be te...

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

EU milk sector growth 'dependent on expo...

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Could the rural vote hold the key to the...

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

Action needed to boost farmgate prices i...

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

OSR damage risks early Sclerotinia infec...

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

Time for a farm rent revolution?

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent strengthens reputation for high c...

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

Exotic plant fungus a 'serious threat to...

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

Share information to tackle food fraud, ...

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...