Michael Haddon & Konstantin Rozhnov
September 25, 2012
LONDON–Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said Tuesday it has suspended the import and use of genetically modified corn made by Monsanto Co. (MON) following a study’s allegations that the crop causes cancer.
Rospotrebnadzor said the country’s Institute of Nutrition has been asked to assess the validity of the study, while the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health & Consumers has also been contacted to explain the European Union’s position.
The study, conducted by the University of Caen in France, alleged that rats fed over a two-year period with the U.S. chemical company’s genetically modified NK603 corn, developed more tumors and other severe diseases than a test group fed with regular corn.
The study also alleged that rats fed with NK603 and exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer suffered from more pathologies than the test group.
Last week Monsanto said it did not think the French study would affect its license to export the NK603 to Europe but would wait to hear from the European Food Safety Authority, or EFSA, which has been asked by the European Commission to also look into the research.
“Based on our initial review, we do not believe the study presents information that would justify any change in EFSA’s views on the safety of genetically modified corn products or alter their approval status for genetically modified imports,” it said.