PARIS Environmental group Greenpeace launched a
fresh attack on genetically modified maize developed by U.S.
biotech giant Monsanto, saying on Tuesday that rats fed on one
version developed liver and kidney problems.
Greenpeace said a study it had commissioned that was
published in the journal Archives of Environmental
Contamination and Technology showed rats fed for 90 days on
Monsanto's MON863 maize showed "signs of toxicity" in the liver
"It is the first time that independent research, published
in a peer-reviewed journal, has proved that a GMO authorized
for human consumption presents signs of toxicity," Arnaud
Apoteker, a spokesman for Greenpeace France said in a
Campaigners against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
say that genetic modification technology is unproven and
potentially dangerous and that GMO crops can contaminate other
The industry says the technology offers vast potential
benefits, poses no health risk and has never been shown to
contaminate other crops.
"All the experts agree that the maize in question is as
safe as traditional maize," Yann Fichet, director external
relations for Monsanto France told France's TF1 television.
He said the maize had been authorized in more than 10
countries and in the European Union but he declined to comment
specifically on the allegations raised by Greenpeace.
MON863 is a form of maize genetically modified to make it
resistant to corn rootworm. It has been authorized by the
European Union for use in animal feed since 2005 and for human
consumption since January 2006.