Nov 11, 2008
St. Louis, November 11, 2008 -- On November 11, 2008, Greenpeace International published a press statement which questions the safety of two of Monsanto’s corn trait technologies, Roundup Ready Corn 2 (Event NK603) and YieldGard Corn Borer technology (Event MON810). The statement was based on a preliminary report of a study entitled, “Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603 X MON 810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice” released on the same day.
The full report is available on-line, and though it has not been peer-reviewed, we will examine it fully. The author of the study, Dr. Jurgen Zentek, remarked that his team’s three studies show inconsistent results and should be considered preliminary.
Consistent with Dr. Zentek’s remarks, the scientific community refrains from making any substantive conclusions based on a preliminary report. The gold standard for communication of scientific results is a thorough peer review by qualified experts.
The Greenpeace press statement is inconsistent with over a decade of reputable, peer-reviewed, scientific studies, including multi-generational studies, which demonstrate and confirm the safety of GM crops.
“These products have been proven to be safe. This report does not provide any basis to conclude otherwise,” said Jerry Hjelle, Ph.D., Vice President of Monsanto’s regulatory group.
Activist groups for years have attempted to call into question the safety of biotech crops. “They have made multiple allegations based on data taken out of context and lacking rigorous scientific review. These have ultimately failed to be substantiated,” said Dr. Hjelle.
“The safety of our products is our utmost priority,” he said. “We are already examining the on-line report along with other evidence assessing the safety of GM corn.”
The Austrian study focused on MON 810 and NK603 corn technologies, which have a history of safe use since their introduction in 1997 and 2001, respectively. These products have been thoroughly tested and consumed for nearly a decade. Regulatory authorities in more than 20 countries have concluded that these products are as safe as conventional corn.
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SOURCE: Monsanto Company
CONTACT: Brad Mitchell, +1-314-694-6132, for Monsanto Company