GMO insect-resistant Bt cotton ‘as safe as’ conventional counterpart, study finds

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Genetically engineered crops expressing insecticidal and herbicide-tolerant traits offer a new strategy for crop protection and enhanced production; however, at the same time present a challenge in terms of toxicology and safety. The current experiment presents the findings of a 90-day feeding study in Sprague−Dawley rats with transgenic cottonseed which is expressing insecticidal Cry proteins (Cry1Ac and Cry2A), and tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate.

There were 100 rats in this experiment divided into 5 groups of 10 rats/sex/group. Cottonseed from transgenic and control (near-isogenic) lines was formulated into standard diets at levels of 10% and 30% (w/w). All formulated diets were nutritionally balanced. Overall appearance, feed consumption, body weight, organ weight, haematology, serum chemistry and urinalysis were comparable between control and treatment groups. In addition, there was no treatment-related difference in findings of microscopic histopathology and gross appearance of tissues.

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In conclusion, following the 13-week of feeding transgenic cottonseed, no treatment-related adverse effects were observed in any of the parameters measured in this experiment. Thus, this study demonstrated that transgenic cottonseeds do not cause toxicity and are nutritionally equivalent to its conventional counterpart.

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