Although loathed by some, genetically modified (GM) crops have become ubiquitous. Farmers in the western hemisphere now plant vast fields of engineered corn, soy, and cotton. The crops find their way into the food supply after processing into products such as high-fructose corn syrup.
Despite the massive quantities of GM food eaten in the Americas, few studies have correlated the foods with health problems. However, a recent study found that rats grew tumors and died young after being fed a diet of GM corn laced with the herbicide, glyphosate, known by the brand name Round-Up.
“After four months the tumors began,” said lead author Gilles-Eric Seralini, a biologist at Caen University, according to the Washington Post. “After one year, there was a . . . high increase in the number of tumors.”
The study was published in the peer reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, but some have questioned Seralini’s objectivity. The research was funded by the Committee of Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRII-GEN), a French group opposed to GM crops. Seralini is also the president of CRII-GEN’s scientific board, reported the Washington Post.
The Science Media Centre was flooded with criticism of the study’s methodology as well. For example:
Corn, Zea mays (Ashlyak, Wikimedia Commons)