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2-Plants: Buried data in Monsanto's study on Roundup Ready soybeans

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TITLE:  Buried data in Monsanto's study on Roundup Ready soybeans
SOURCE: AgBioTechInfoNet,
        by Barbara Keeler
DATE:   October 2000

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Buried data in Monsanto's study on Roundup Ready soybeans

How often have you heard that GE foods are extensively studied for safety? 
These "extensive" safety studies make an interesting read. The titles sound 
reassuring. For example: "The composition of glyphosate-tolerant [read 
Roundup Ready] soybean seeds is equivalent to that of conventional 
soybeans." That study was presented to the FDA in 1994 during the approval 
process for Roundup Ready Soybeans. Except that part of it was buried. And 
it failed to prove equivalence.

Even what Monsanto scientists presented to FDA and subsequently published 
in the JOURNAL OF NUTRITION shows significant differences between GE beans 
and controls in 3 of the 6 macronutrients measured and in one fatty acid. 
The researchers did not perform statistical analysis on even larger 
differences in Roundup Ready beans, such as 29% less choline. They found 
raw Roundup Ready meal contained 27% more trypsin inhibitor, an allergen 
that inhibits protein digestion, can retard growth in animals fed raw 
soybeans, and has been connected to enlarged cells in rat pancreases.

The most glaring flaw is a "file drawer" problem: the data on one out of 3 
experiments, conducted on beans grown in Puerto Rico, was omitted from the 
published study and the data submitted to the FDA. In fact, none of the 
prominent dissenting scientists I consulted had seen the data on this 
experiment until I obtained it from journal archives and showed it to them.

In the unreported Puerto Rico trials, Roundup Ready beans were 
significantly lower in protein and the amino acid phenylalanine.

More disturbing were levels of the allergen trypsin inhibitor in toasted 
Roundup Ready meal, WHICH exceeded the highest levels per Levels were 18% 
higher in Roundup ready meal than in regular meal. And in the retoasted 
meal, levels of allergens called lectins In Roundup Ready beans almost 
doubled the levels in controls.

What might be the result of consuming foods with high levels of trypsin 
inhibitor and lectin? Well, maybe slower and lower growth, say scientists. 
And slower growth with less weight gain was observed in rats fed Roundup 
Ready beans. Cows eating Roundup Ready meal gave milk with higher levels of 
fat than controls. The improbable name of the feeding study is "The feeding 
value of soybeans fed to rats, chickens, catfish and dairy cattle is not 
altered by genetic incorporation of glyphosate [Roundup] tolerance." Go 

Last Updated on 11/2/00

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