April 25, 2014 09:51 UTC

Audio / Agriculture Report

Scientists Dispute Study of Genetically Modified Corn

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

A study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology included disturbing photos of rats researchers say grew giant tumors after eating GMO corn for two years.(Reuters) A study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology included disturbing photos of rats researchers say grew giant tumors after eating GMO corn for two years.(Reuters)
x
A study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology included disturbing photos of rats researchers say grew giant tumors after eating GMO corn for two years.(Reuters)
A study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology included disturbing photos of rats researchers say grew giant tumors after eating GMO corn for two years.(Reuters)

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Scientists Dispute Study of Genetically Modified Corn

TEXT SIZE - +
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English.
 
Scientists are criticizing a study that said laboratory rats developed tumors after they ate genetically modified corn. The research appears in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and includes pictures of rats with large tumors. The study said the animals developed the growths after two years of being fed genetically changed maize.
 
Gilles-Eric Seralini from the University of Caen in French was the lead author.
 
"GM foods have been evaluated in an extremely poor and lax way with much less analysis than we have done," he says.  
 
Several French scientific organizations and the European Food Safety Authority disputed the study.
 
Alan McHughen of the University of California, Riverside, is a genetic expert with the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.
 
"First of all, the authors of the study used a line of rats that was genetically predisposed to form tumors in the first place. So right off the bat the whole study was suspect."
 
At the University of California, Davis, toxicologist Alison van Eenennaam suggested that the study was an attempt to scare the public.
 
"I think it was a cynical ploy to exploit the scientific process to create fear in the minds of consumers."
 
Even opponents of genetic engineering agree there were some problems with the study methods. Michael Hansen with the group Consumers Union says there should be more long-term studies -- and more rules for genetically modified foods.
 
"There should be required safety assessments before these crops are put on the market. That is not what happens in the United States."
 
Safety assessments are voluntary when companies ask the government to approve new GM crops. These assessments often include ninety-day rat feeding tests. This is the international standard. And Alison van Eenennaam says longer studies have not found major problems.
 
Several French science academies said the release of a book and film about the work at the same time as the study raised ethical concerns. The French food safety agency called for more publicly funded research that would last the lifetime of the experimental animals.
 
In the United States, the Grocery Manufacturers Association says about eighty percent of processed foods sold in supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients.
 
Voters in California will vote Tuesday on a ballot measure to require special notices on all foods made with genetically modified organisms.
 
"A new study links genetically engineered corn to tumors and organ damage."
 
Supporters of the ballot question have used the disputed new study to push their campaign for required GMO labeling in California.
 
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report. I'm Karen Legget.
 
___
 
Contributing: Steve Baragona
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Charlie Peters from: 510-537-1796
11/25/2012 12:24 AM
California CARB fuel was close to zero ethanol in our fuel in 1992..

1992 fuel price about $1.40 per gallon.

Ethanol push from fed EPA and friends pushed ethanol to 5.6% and we paid more for our fuel.

Fed EPA and Big oil refiners pushed the oxygenate to 10% and we paid more.

Now BP GMO fuel is pushing for over $1.00 in corporate welfare with 15% of the fuel market while cutting back Oil and refining

Will BP GMO fuel patents generate credit trade income from the Big oil industry with the Queen Mother help.

The Queen banker friends may want a share.

So. how big does California ethanol bill need to be to qualify for the EPA waiver?


by: Carl Trevor from: Fresno, CA
11/15/2012 7:00 PM
Please Alison van Eenennaam is not a toxicologist; she is an animal scientist, a big difference. She has to protect her research funds by staying on the side of GMs, otherwise she doesn't have anything to work on.


by: Alireza from: Iran
11/12/2012 4:16 AM
Cerently, Genetic modified fish are being produced. Some gene are being transfered to the species from other organismes such as bacteria or viruse. We should be awar to stop consuming these kind of materials. Everything which produced artificially, can make damage in human organs. Unfortunately naturally produced food are being declined.


by: Yang from: Canada
11/06/2012 4:49 PM
Genetically modified engineering is a double-edged sword:on the one hand,it can provide more food for the growing population;on the other hand,it also brings some long-term problems for our human being.


by: Luis from: Girona
11/04/2012 8:06 AM
I think there should be more studies on GMOs and not drop out to large companies


by: yek from: do
11/02/2012 6:19 AM
very help ful for us in iran. thanks thanks


by: Martin Kassowitz from: California
11/01/2012 7:37 PM
It is important to note that the scientist criticizing this study is at UC Davis, a school that receives millions of dollars in funds from Monsanto. http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/dubious-claims-versus-facts-about-prop-37/


by: hasan ekim from: Turkey
11/01/2012 12:42 PM
I believe that genetically modified foods may cause malignant tumors. Natural foods should be eaten to prevent malignant tumors. However, today many people were starving due to lack of food. Therefore, accurate information should be required. Picture of the mice are very interesting and awful.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
11/01/2012 5:39 AM
There are a lot of genetically modified foods as this report says about 80 percent of processed grocery sold at supermarckets in the U.S.contains GI. Their methods and regions of DNA modification would be different from each other. So,I suppose it would be impossible to say conclusively all GI is safe or all GI is harmful for health. I don't know precisely about the vote planed to be held in California. But I would like to share consumers' wants is to have clues like notices to discriminate which food contains GI and which doesn't. Apart from whether the study is appropriate as a scientific experiment, I think such consumers' fundamental rights should be preserved by law.

In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
11/05/2012 9:52 AM
I'm sorry I made a mistake using GI for GM foods confused by another session's other article.


by: GMKnow from: Boulder
11/01/2012 3:51 AM
All those who decry Seralini's report are sympathetic dullards for the Ag biotech cartel. In most cases, their institutions are receiving largess and research grants from the very people whose GMOs were called into question.

Comments page of 2
    Next