"Only half the rats fed GM food survived"

Published: Friday 31 October 2008

-- Russian biologist irina ermakova, whose research showed deadly effects of genetically modified soya on rats, spoke to savvy soumya misra about the experiments at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

On the effects of GM soya on rats

The research determines a clear link between eating GM soya and the future of living beings. We fed mice pups with GM soya and got very high mortality in the pups. The survival rate was just 50 per cent. Those which survived did not develop well and were infertile.

On the experiment procedure

We divided the rat pups into three groups. One group was fed on the standard rat chow, the second group was fed on chow and traditional soya and the third group, chow and GM soya. We gave 5 g of soya every day to each pup. The rat pups in the first and second group were healthy. The third group, which was fed on GM soya, suffered high mortality and deformities. High mortality was detected among the female species.

On deformities

The GM soya flour was added to the food of the female rats two weeks before conception. Some of the pups whose mothers had been fed on GM soya developed tumour. This indicates they had some genetic disorder and their immunological system was harmed. Of the six female rats fed GM soya only two gave birth to pups.

On GM food causing genetic disorder

I strongly feel that the method of gene introduction is not correct. Scientists insert plasmids of bacteria in the cells of organisms. These plasmids are very dangerous because they are prone to disruption, temperature, pressure and enzymes. And when we eat GM food, the plasmids of the inserted gene enters our system. They can reach any organ, the white blood cells and even the foetus.

The pressure of biotech companies on research organizations is huge. Unless there are more experiments, distribution of GM organisms should be stopped.

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