African Centre for Biosafety calls for immediate ban on GM corn after shocking French cancer study
ACB director, Mariam Mayet, said, "the GM maize that was used in this test constitutes 40% of South Africa's maize crop. The French rat study strongly suggests the possibility of serious long term health impacts on our population who eat maize on a daily basis. The government needs to ban Roundup Ready maize immediately and investigate these findings and its implications for other GMOs on the SA market. No other government has allowed its staple food to be genetically modified.
The Russian government has already taken action to stop the import of NK603 maize pending an investigation into the new findings, and the European Commission and France have ordered a review of the study.
Monsanto, the developer of the technology, has issued a statement refuting the findings, criticising the design and methods used, saying that the results are inconsistent with an extensive body of experience and scientific study. However, a number of independent academics have praised the French team's work, describing it as the most thorough and extensive feeding trials involving GM to date. Mustafa Djamgoz, a Professor of Cancer Biology at Imperial College, London who describes himself as a neutral on GM, said: "The results are significant. The experiments are, more or less, the best of their kind to date."
The ACB has written an open letter to the Minister of Agriculture demanding an immediate ban on the import, export and cultivation of RoundUp Ready maize. The letter was supported by a number of South African organisations as well as individuals. The ACB has also appealed to the Minister of Health to have GMOs classified as hazardous substances and requested that the registration and monitoring of chemicals associated with GMOs such as glyphosate, be investigated.