Russian authorities have temporarily suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s GMO (genetically-modified) corn, following the results of a French study, which suggest the company’s corn could be linked to cancer.
Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s consumer-rights regulator, asked scientists with the country’s Institute of Nutrition to review the French study and see if it is credible, reports RT.
The Monsanto GMO corn study was prepared by France’s University of Caen and was published last week. The study claims that rats fed for two years with the company’s genetically-modified NK603 corn developed more tumors and multiple organ failure than the control group. The NK603 GMO corn is genetically engineered to withstand a specific weedkiller.
Monsanto immediately criticized the study, saying:
“[It] doesn’t meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research.”
When releasing a statement about Russia’s ban, Monsanto stated that the ban will have little effect on their business, because the country only imports small amounts of corn from the US. Russia’s government also does not permit farmers to plant GMO crops. Monsanto’s spokesman stated:
“Russia is a net exporter of grain, so the actual impact of their temporary suspension, if any, is likely to be small.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that the Monsanto GMO corn study was greeted with skepticism by many in the science and nutrition community, including those who said the sample size was too small and that data incomplete.
The French government has ordered its food-safety agency to review the study. It also added that it will seek an immediate ban on European Union imports of Monsanto’s corn if the study’s findings are deemed conclusive.
Do you think Russia is right to ban Monsanto’s GMO corn, given the latest study showing it can cause cancer?