Russia halts imports of Monsanto corn over cancer fears

Russian authorities temporary suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified corn after a French study suggested it may be linked to cancer.

The Russia’s consumer-rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor asked scientists at the country’s Institute of Nutrition to review the study. The watchdog has also contacted to European Commission’s Directorate General for Health & Consumers to explain the EU’s position on GM corn.

The report prepared by France’s University of Caen and published last week, claimed that rats fed over a two-year period with Monsanto’s genetically modified NK603 corn, developed more tumors and other pathologies than a test group fed with regular corn. The NK603, sold under the Roundup label, is genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate weed killer.

The company criticized the study, saying it “doesn’t meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research” and the data was incomplete.

Monsanto also said Russia’s ban will have little effect on its business as the country import small volumes of corn from the US. Besides that, the Russian government doesn’t permit farmers to plant GM crops. “Russia is a net exporter of grain, so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, France announced it will uphold the ban on genetically modified crops in the country. It has asked the national food-security agency Anses to examine the study of Monsanto’s corn. If other countries follow the examples of Russia and France it could be a severe blow to the major US biotech.

In California, activists are fighting to have GM products removed from the food supply. They are also pushing to pass Proposition 37, a law that would legally require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. Monsanto is opposing the law and it has donated over $4.2 million to lobby against it. Over 2,000 farmers have petitioned the US government to more thoroughly investigate the impacts of the genetically modified corn crop from Monsanto.

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3 Responses to "Russia halts imports of Monsanto corn over cancer fears"

  1. Jullie  September 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    What the heck? Is this the corn that kills pests that might try to eat it by causing their organs to rupture? I hate Monsanto for even thinking we need this stuff – BOYCOTT MONSANTO NOW or the world will die at their hands.

    Reply
  2. Guy  September 27, 2012 at 7:20 am

    “Monsanto is opposing the law and it has donated over $4.2 million to lobby against it.” – Where is this cash going to? If its to individuals that hold sway, then surely that is bribery?

    “Russia is a net exporter of grain, so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small,” – Missed the point completely. You have been accused of profiting off of a Cancer producing product, yet all you are worried about is your profit margins. Surely the righ step would be to produce a report that has been completed prior to your product heading to market

    Reply
  3. wurmd  September 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “Guy”, in United States, bribery is a legal and widespread practice, and is called lobbying

    Reply

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