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Bt toxin found in blood of pregnant women and fetuses

EXTRACT: CryAb1 toxin [was] detected in [pregnant women], their fetuses and [non-pregnant women]. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating [pesticides associated to genetically modified foods] in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.

NOTE: Bt corn (maize) was developed by transferring cry1Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) into corn. It is to be found in the most common GM corn - Monsanto's Bt MON810 (marketed with the trade name YieldGard) - a corn genetically engineered to resist corn borers by producing its own insecticide, the Cry1Ab toxin. Global production of Bt corn takes place on many millions of hectares worldwide and many different types of foods contain Bt corn. In the European Union, seven countries - Austria, Hungary, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Bulgaria have banned Mon810.
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Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada
Aziz Aris (a,b,c) and Samuel Leblanc (c)
(a) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
(b) Clinical Research Centre of Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
(c) Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Reprod Toxicol. 2011 Feb 18.
Received 29 June 2010;  revised 26 January 2011;  accepted 13 February 2011.  Available online 18 February 2011. 

Abstract

Pesticides associated to genetically modified foods (PAGMF), are engineered to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate (GLYP) and gluphosinate (GLUF) or insecticides such as the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). 

The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between maternal and fetal exposure, and to determine exposure levels of GLYP and its metabolite aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), GLUF and its metabolite 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) and Cry1Ab protein (a Bt toxin) in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. 

Blood of thirty pregnant women (PW) and thirty-nine nonpregnant women (NPW) were studied. 

Serum GLYP and GLUF were detected in NPW and not detected in PW. Serum 3-MPPA and CryAb1 toxin were detected in PW, their fetuses and NPW. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.

Keywords: Pregnant women; Maternal and fetal blood; Nonpregnant women; Genetically modified foods; Glyphosate; Gluphosinate; Cry1Ab

Article Outline [payment required for full text]
1. Introduction
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Chemicals and reagents
2.2. Study subjects and blood sampling
2.3. Herbicide and metabolite determination
2.3.1. Calibration curve
2.3.2. Extraction procedure
2.3.3. GC MS analysis
2.4. Cry1Ab protein determination
2.5. Statistical analysis
3. Results
4. Discussion
5. Conclusions
Conflict of interest statement
Acknowledgements
References

Corresponding author at: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre, 3001, 12e Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada J1H 5N4. Tel.: +1 819 820 6868x12538; fax: +1 819 564 5302.