$25m GMO and pesticide safety study launched

The world’s largest study on GMO and pesticide safety was launched in London today.

The $25m ‘Factor GMO’ study will investigate the health effects of a genetically modified (GMO) crop that has been in food and animal feed supplies for many years. It is looking to answer the question: Is this GMO food and associated pesticide (Glyphosate/Roundup) safe for human health?

Factor GMO will begin in 2015 and will last 2-3 years, with interim results being published at regular intervals during that time.

The study will test a herbicide-tolerant GM maize and realistic levels of the glyphosate herbicide it is engineered to be grown with on a total of over 6,000 rats.

The study will take place at undisclosed locations in Western Europe and Russia. Laboratory animals (rats) will be fed the GM food and pesticides according to a protocol whose scale, rigour and range of measurements will meet and exceed current international standards for testing the toxicity of GM foods, pesticides, and other chemicals.

According to the study, the scientists involved in Factor GMO come from a ‘neutral’ background, in that they have no connection to the biotech industry or the anti-GMO movement, a factor that will add credibility to the results and they are Dr Oxana Sinitsyna; Dr Bruce Blumberg; and Dr Fiorella Belpoggi.

The Russian National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) is the initiator and coordinator of the Factor GMO experiment.

According to the Group, the funding process will be totally transparent and a full list of funders will be provided at the start of the experimental phase in 2015, and it says funds will not be accepted from the industry that manufactures GM crops and their associated pesticides.