Study findings question industry and regulatory position of “substantial equivalence” of a GM crop and may have safety implications
Here's a detailed analysis of how the GM corn NK603 is not "substantially equivalent" in composition to its non-GMO parent. It is also not equivalent in terms of the biological effects on rats fed with it.
These findings contradict the assumptions of regulators who approved NK603 on the basis of false claims of substantial equivalence, a concept that underpins GMO regulation in many countries and regions across the globe.
This article ends with a paediatrician's comments on the potential clinical relevance of the findings to humans. Below is a summary only of this three-page article.
A GMO corn and its non-GMO parent are not substantially equivalent
GMOScience, 13 Feb 2018
* Findings question industry and regulatory position of “substantial equivalence” of GM crops and may have safety implications
* In-depth molecular analysis of a genetically modified (GMO) Roundup-tolerant corn variety, NK603, revealed major compositional differences between NK603 and its closest non-GMO relative.
* Results showed disturbances in energy utilization and oxidative stress (damage to cells and tissues by reactive oxygen) in the GMO corn, as well as large increases in certain polyamines, substances that perform essential functions in living cells.
* Polyamines found in increased amounts in GMO NK603 corn include putrescine and cadaverine, which can produce toxic effects. For example, they enhance the effects of histamine, thus potentially heightening allergic reactions, and play a role in forming carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines.
* The findings disprove industry and regulatory agency claims that NK603 is “substantially equivalent” to its non-GMO counterpart.
* The question arises as to whether the increased levels of putrescine and cadaverine could account for signs of potential negative health effects in rats fed NK603 corn.
* This question needs to be further analyzed in long-term feeding studies on laboratory animals.
* In related studies, several metabolites were altered in the tissues of rats fed the GMO corn, indicating organ damage, as compared with control animals fed non-GMO corn.
* In addition, rats fed a very low dose of the Roundup herbicide that NK603 corn is grown with (below regulatory permitted levels) suffered from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that affects 1 in 4 Americans. The study is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease.
* There were signs that levels of the antioxidant glutathione in Roundup-exposed rats were depleted, which may have clinical significance. For example, people with autism typically have reduced glutathione levels.
* Until the risks to human health are clarified, Roundup should be removed from agricultural practice.