Genetically modified food is a hot topic right now with California’s Prop 37 failing to pass, but this is not just an American issue. As new research emerges, other countries are becoming weary about having genetically modified food from the U.S. in its supply, due to negative health implications. Russia is the first to suspend imports and many believe Europe is next.
|Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn
is genetically modified.
Russia’s consumer-rights watchdog has suspended the import and use of a genetically engineered corn made by Monsanto Co. following a French study’s findings that suggested the crop might cause cancer.
The consumer-rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said the country’s Institute of Nutrition has been asked to assess the validity of the study.
The study, conducted by France’s University of Caen and published last week, found that rats fed over a two-year period with the U.S. crop-biotechnology company’s genetically modified NK603 corn, marketed under the Roundup Ready brand name, developed more tumors and other severe diseases than a test group fed with regular corn.
The study also found that rats fed with NK603 and exposed to St. Louis-based Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller suffered from more pathologies than the test group. The corn variety is genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate, a weedkiller that Monsanto sells under the Roundup label.
The French government last week ordered its food-safety agency to review quickly the study and said it would seek an immediate ban on European Union imports of the crop if the study’s findings were deemed conclusive.
Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). According to industry, up to 95% of sugar beets are now GE. It has been estimated that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients.