Another GM soya data fraud?

July 2014

Soybeans. CC photo by USDAgov on Flickr
In the 1990s as the first GM 'Roundup Ready' soyabeans were entering the market, Monsanto reassured the public that its “Roundup Ready soybeans are just like any other soybeans in safety, nutrition, composition and the way they process into high-protein animal feed ...”
 
A team of Japanese scientists has now pointed out that Monsanto's own data show this to be untrue.
 
The evidence they examined was submitted by Japan-Monsanto to the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare for approval of the GM soya for importation. Their findings received no response from the Ministry.
A key point made by the scientists was that toasted GM soyabeans, which are the form fed to animals, had significant differences in composition from conventional soya in ways which could be harmful. The heating process failed to destroy the activity of two proteins which are physiologically active and can cause health effects: one is urease, an enzyme which can cause kidney stones and liver problems; the other is a lectin which binds carbohydrates and can cause intestinal problems. Monsanto seems to have declared toasted soya 'safe' after repeatedly heating it until the offending proteins were finally de-natured, and it got the 'scientific' result it wanted.
 
It's well-established that the nutritional value of soya can be markedly altered by the heating regime. One Food Scientist concludes that “To minimize adverse changes ....thermal processing below 1000C for short periods (is) recommended”. Monsanto's first toasting was carried out at 1080C and this was increased to 2200C for three successive attempts to make the test equal the control soya.  
 
COMMENT There appears to be some new quality in the GM soya which is stabilising some proteins, for example by cross-linking with other molecules. Any such change may have implications for the digestibility and nutritional value of the soya, and for the possibility of toxins and allergens to be present. The 'way it processed' into animal feed certainly isn't 'just like any other soybean'.
 
In rat feeding studies, male animals fed toasted GM soya gained significantly less weight than those fed toasted conventional soya. The lack of a similar measurable effect on the females may have simply been that the duration of the experiment wasn't long enough to record the reduced of growth in animals which are smaller.
 
A number of other scientific concerns involving a manipulation of data (“fraud”) and questionable validity of test materials (“at best, extremely sloppy science”) were highlighted.
 
For example, the structure of the GM protein generated by the Roundup Ready soya was never checked: analysis was limited to little more than 3% of the total molecule, plus the equivalence of an antigenic region. All studies (including the feeding study described above) were carried out on an analogue GM protein produced by bacteria. Monsanto's excuse that the GM soya didn't produce enough of the novel material for analysis is untrue.
 
Unacceptable limitations on independent scrutiny of Monsanto's science have been imposed by the Company in collusion with governments.
 
For example, to obtain the data needed for reanalysis, the Japanese team had to set 40 people to take notes by hand over a period of 10 days. This was necessary because the documents, kept at the Food Safety Association, were only available for five hours per day three days per week. Photographing and photocopying were not allowed. The application submitted by Monsanto for the GM soya consisted of 10 volumes (together one meter high), much of it in English.
 
Some of the scientists' findings only emerged after comparing the Japanese submission with the English data.
 
The authors ask “Is it any wonder that the results of Monsanto's safety studies differ from so many other studies?”
 

OUR COMMENT

 
Other concerns have previously been raised about adjustments made to the test materials, the scope of tests performed, and the controls used, all of which may have masked harmful features of Roundup Ready soya. For more on this, check out ADVERSCIENCING - GMFS ARCHIVE, February 2009.
 
This is the soya which is being fed in large quantities to the live-stock which provide your meat, poultry and dairy products. GM soya has not been scientifically tested, nor properly assessed, for safety. Ask for it to be removed from your food-chain as a matter of priority.
 
SOURCES
  • Nancy Swanson, Are substantial equivalence & safety studies for GM say fraudulent?  Seattle GMO Examiner, 24.05.14
  • Lokuruka MNI, 2011, Effects of Processing on Soybean Nutrients and Potential Impact on Consumer |Health: An Overview, African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 11:4

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