A Russian group working with scientists is set to launch what they call the world’s largest and most comprehensive long-term health study on a GM food.
The $25m three-year experiment will involve scientists testing thousands of rats which will be fed differing diets of a Monsanto GM maize and the world’s most widely-used herbicide which it it is engineered to be grown with.
The organisers of the Factor GMO [genetically modified organism] study, announced in London on Tuesday and due to start fully next year, say it will investigate the long-term health effects of a diet of a GM maize developed by US seed and chemical company Monsanto.
“It will answer the question: is this GM food, and associated pesticide, safe for human health?” said Elena Sharoykina, a campaigner and co-founder of the Russian national association for genetic safety (Nags), the co-ordinator of the experiment.
“We would clearly support well-conducted, hypothetically driven science. If the science is conducted according to OECD guidelines and shows that there are hazards with a particular event, then the public will understand that,” said Huw Jones, senior research scientist at Rothamsted Institute, Britain’s largest GM research centre.
Most of the $25M has been raised, say the organisers, but the names of sponsors and funders will not be revealed until the experiment starts fully next year.
The announcement of the experiment came as British anti-GM campaigners delivered a letter to Downing street signed by U.S. environment groups representing over 50m people, as well as celebrities including Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah and Robert Kennedy. The letter warns Britain that the intensive growing of GM crops has caused major environmental problems in the US.
Read full, original report: Largest international study into safety of GM food launched by Russian NGO