A new study released Wednesday by a team of scientists in France claims to have discovered a noticeable increase in tumors and kidney disease in lab rats that have been fed GMO foods produced by big ag corporation Monsanto.
The controversial study, which quickly came under fire from several GMO experts around the world, prompted France's Jose Bove, vice-chairman of the European Parliament's commission for agriculture and GMO opponent, to claim "the study finally shows we are right and that it is urgent to quickly review all GMO evaluation processes."
The study, published by the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and conducted by scientists at the University of Caen, said rats fed on a diet containing NK603, a seed variety made tolerant to Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in the United States, died earlier than those on a standard diet.
According to the data, rats on the GM diet developed mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage.
A scientific community has come out fighting against the study in defense of GMO products, saying the data is not trustworthy, and the scientists who conducted the study went on a "statistical fishing trip," to prove their case.
However, those already skeptical of the safety of genetically modified products, took the data as one more reason to be weary of GMO's.
California Right to Know, the group fighting for California’s Prop. 37 to require labeling of GMO foods, immediately released a statement:
The results of this study are worrying. They underscore the importance of giving California families the right to know whether our food is genetically engineered, and to decide for ourselves whether we want to gamble with our health by eating GMO foods that have not been adequately studied and have not been proven safe.
Genetically modified food production, a process which has been around for 15 years, has not been extensively tested for long term effects on consumer health, as well as for effects on top soil and overall effects on the environment.
On Sunday, France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had announced that France will continue its ban on Monsanto's corn, the only GMO currently allowed in Europe.
Following the release of the study on Wednesday, France's agricultural vice-chairman Bove called for an immediate suspension of all EU cultivation and import authorizations of GM crops. "National and European food security agencies must carry out new studies financed by public funding to guarantee healthy food for European consumers," he said in his statement.