1.10—Rats fed Roundup Ready Soy – no effect on liver


Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had normal liver cells.

See Genetic Roulette’s False Claims at Bottom of Page

Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Research:

Genetic Roulette claims that these studies (sections 1.10-1.12) show the many possible adverse effects of eating GM soy.  The problem is that the studies contradict a large body of literature.  The question is, which studies should we believe?  Answering that question turns out to be fairly easy.  The authors do not provide sufficient detail for anyone to be able to repeat their studies.  They do not measure how much each group ate nor do they measure the dietary content of isoflavones that could actually influence enzyme levels and cause cellular changes.  They do not feed at several levels of soy in the diet to look for dose responses.  They do not measure enough samples, and the samples are no sufficiently different for the changes they claim to be either real or biologically significant.  Smith doesn’t tell the reader but the authors seem to know this because they conclude in each paper only that further research should be done.  Smith once again holds up poor science as the Gold standard and does not share a substantial body of scientific literature with the reader.

1.  There are a series of papers based on the identical experimental model. These investigators published at least 6 papers (sections 1.10-1.12 of Genetic Roulette covers 3 of these papers) between 2002 and 2006. These all looked at various tissues and enzyme levels in mice fed GM soybeans or conventional soybeans — all using what the authors call 14 percent herbicide tolerant soybeans or “wild” soybeans in the diets. In this entire series of papers, nowhere is the variety of soybean identified, nor is any chemical analysis of the diet reported.  It is even possible that the scientists grew a set of animals, froze them away, and examined tissue after tissue in a search for any possible effects of GM soybeans.  The intake by each mouse was not reported.  We thus have no way of knowing if mice were exposed to comparable diets.  Internationally accepted protocols for the proper conduct of animal studies are available.  These describe in detail how materials for study must be prepared and analyzed (Marshall, 2007; ILSI 2003, ILSI, 2007)

2.  The level of isoflavones in the diets was not measured. This is essential since all of the effects measured in this series of papers are most likely to have been caused by differences in isoflavone content.  These kinds of changes are well documented in the scientific literature—a fact about which this group of seems unaware (Brown and Setchell, 2001, Thigpen and others, 2004).

3. Critical examination shows that there are no statistical or biological differences. In addition to the lack of information about intake, comparability of the diets, and exposure to isolflavones, these studies have a more fundamental problem.  A careful statistical analysis based on the number of animals and the magnitude of the changes reveals that no statistically different or biologically significant changes were actually observed in the studies.

4.  Dozens of published animal studies have proven that Roundup Ready soybeans are safe. The authors of the studies make no claims about potential negative health effects and instead say further research is necessary.  That research has already been done.  Dozens of animal studies have shown that consumption of GM crops causes no adverse effects in animals and 12 years experience of feeding animals around the world with GM groups has produced no negative effects (Marshall, 2007; Flachowsky and others, 2005, Flachowsky and others, 2007).

See also 1.14—Roundup Ready Soy is Safe 5 for another soybean study cited by Smith where animal data are meaningless because of poor experimental design and execution

References

Brown NM and Setchell KDR (2001). Animal models impacted by phytoestrogens in commercial chow:  implications for pathways influenced by hormones.  Laboratory Investigation 81:735–747.

Cromwell G, ILSI (2003). Best practices for the conduct of animal studies to evaluate crops genetically modified for input traits. International Life Sciences Institute International. Washington, DC.www.ilsi.org/NR/rdonlyres/4A2F7C13-B4AA-4BC9-AEDE-696B4B72E3C4/0/BestPracticesGuidelines.pdf

Flechowsky, G., Aulrich, K., Bohme, H., Halle, I. 2007. Studies on Feeds from Genetically Modified Plants (GMP) – Contributions to Nutritioinal and Safety Assessment. Animal Feed Science and Technology. 133: 2-30.

Flachowsky, G., Chesson, A., Aulrich, K., 2005. Animal nutritional with feeds from genetically modified plants.   Arch. Anim. Nutr. 59, 1–40.

Brown NM and Setchell KDR (2001). Animal models impacted by phytoestrogens in commercial chow:  implications for pathways influenced by hormones.  Laboratory Investigation 81:735–747.

Hartnell GF, ILSI, 2007. Best practices for the conduct of animal studies to evaluate crops genetically modified for output traits. International Life Sciences Institute International.  Washington, DC. www.ilsi.org/NR/rdonlyres/D84A9349-AC08-4CA2-BAC8-B79EBE92FC41/0/OutPutTraitsFinalforWeb.pdf

Marshall A (2007). GM soybeans and health safety—a controversy reexamined Nature Biotech. 25:981-987.

Cromwell G, ILSI, 2003. Best practices for the conduct of animal studies to evaluate crops genetically modified for input traits. International Life Sciences Institute International. Washington, DC. www.ilsi.org/NR/rdonlyres/4A2F7C13-B4AA-4BC9-AEDE-696B4B72E3C4/0/BestPracticesGuidelines.pdf

Thigpen JE, Setchell KDR, Saunders HE, Haseman JK. 2004. Selecting the appropriate rodent diet for endocrine disruptor research and testing studies.  ILAR Journal. 45:401-416

Genetic Roulette Falsely Claims:
Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had liver-cell problems.
  1. The liver cells of mice fed Roundup Ready soybeans showed significant changes.
  2. Irregularly shaped nuclei and nucleoli, an increased number of nuclear pores, and other changes all suggest higher metabolism and altered patterns of gene expression
  3. The key changes may be in response to a toxin.
  4. Most of the effects disappeared when GM soy was removed from the diet.

Feeding mice Roundup Ready soybeans exhibited changes in liver cell shape and structure that resembled the effect of a toxin; removing the GM soybeans from the diet reversed the effect.

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