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Australia/New Zealand food regulators challenge Carman anti-GMO pig study, endorse GM corn and soy

In June 2013, Australian epidemiologist and biochemist Judy Carman and co-authors, known for their aggressive and public criticisms of crop biotechnology, published a paper in the Journal of Organic Systems on a feeding study in pigs. The researchers claimed that pigs fed a diet of only genetically modified grain showed markedly higher stomach inflammation than pigs who dined on conventional feed.

An analysis released by Food Standards Australian/New Zealand (FSANZ) sharply challenges those findings. Key points:

  • The authors have not provided convincing evidence that stomach inflammation was present. The stomach data, as presented, do not support the authors’ interpretation and conclusions.
  • The authors have not proved that the statistically significant increase in uterine weight is attributable to the GM diet.
  • Deficiencies with the design, conduct and reporting of the study are sufficient to invalidate the study conclusions.
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Overall, writes the FSANZ, the data presented in the paper are not convincing of adverse effects due to the GM diet and provide no grounds for revising FSANZ’s conclusions about the safety of previously approved glyphosate-tolerant and insect-protected GM corn lines and glyphosate-tolerant. GM soy lines.

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