A long year was wasted in useless discussions between the Food and Chemical Toxicology acceptance of the infamous Séralini paper and its withdrawal; a sudden tide of obstructive actions to impair GMO adoption was observed and it will not recede so easily. Why did it take so long for FCT to take an action?
As it is shown below, a long list of recently published papers with results that contradict Séralini conclusions and even his results. Surely, many more papers were published before Séralini´s paper, but the concentration of new papers on GMO food safety with Sprague-Dawley rats is impressive. It possibly represents an implicit call for papers by FCT, in an attempt to subsidize its decision to ultimately withdraw the now completely isolated Séralini´s opus.
The most relevant paper is that from Zhang et al.(2013), following a methodology that closely resembles that of Séralini, although using GM rice as a model. We strongly suggest a careful reading of all these papers before revisiting the Séralini paper.
List of recent papers
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Nov 5;63C:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.10.035. [Epub ahead of print]
Long-term toxicity study on transgenic rice with Cry1Ac and sck genes.
In the present work, we evaluated the chronic effects of the transgenic insect-resistant rice carrying Cry1Ac and sck genes on Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats through a 78-week feeding study. Based on the gender and weight, 180 SD rats were randomly and evenly assigned into three groups. GM rice and non-GM rice were separately formulated into diets at high levels. AIN-93 diet was used as a nutritional control. Body weight, food consumption, hematology and serum chemistry were monitored regularly. Rats were sacrificed for organ weight measurement and pathological examination at 52weeks and 78weeks. Body weight, food consumption, mortality rates, tumor incidences and pathological findings showed no significant difference among the three groups. Although certain differences in some hematology, serum chemistry parameters and relative organ weights were observed between GM rice group and control groups, they were not considered as treatment-related. Taken together, long-term intake of transgenic rice carrying Cry1Ac and sck genes at a high level exerts no unintended adverse effects on rats.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Jun;50(6):1902-10. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 9.
A three generation study with high-lysine transgenic rice in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Lysine-rich rice (LR) is a transgenic rice produced by fusion protein expressed genes into the germline of rice seeds. Compositional analysis of LR showed that the absolute concentration of lysine was significantly higher as compared to a near-isogenic non-transgenic rice. Lysine is believed to be the first limiting essential amino acid in rice, it is important to improve lysine content on rice nutritional quality. Here we report the results of a three generation study comparing the outcome in rats fed the transgenic rice to those fed conventional, near-isogenic rice or a control diet. In the study, both clinical performance variables and pathological responses such as body weight, food consumption, reproductive data, hematological parameters, serum chemistry and relative organ weights were examined respectively. It was evident that there were no adverse effects observed in rats that were fed transgenic rice compared with non-transgenic rice. There were significant differences in some hematology, serum chemistry parameters and relative organ weights in rats consuming the transgenic rice diet or non-transgenic rice diet compared with the control diet, but no macroscopic or histological adverse effects were observed. So the results from this study demonstrate that LR rice is as safe as near-isogenic non-transgenic rice.
A 90-day dietary toxicity study of genetically modified rice T1C-1 expressing Cry1C protein in Sprague Dawley rats.
Tang X, Han F, Zhao K, Xu Y, Wu X, Wang J, Jiang L, Shi W.
PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52507. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052507. Epub 2012 Dec 27.
In a 90-day study, Sprague Dawley rats were fed transgenic T1C-1 rice expressing Cry1C protein and were compared with rats fed non-transgenic parental rice Minghui 63 and rats fed a basal diet. No adverse effects on animal behavior or weight gain were observed during the study. Blood samples were collected and analyzed, and standard hematological and biochemical parameters were compared. A few of these parameters were found to be significantly different, but were within the normal reference intervals for rats of this breed and age, and were thus not considered to be treatment-related. Following sacrifice, a large number of organs were weighed, and macroscopic and histopathological examinations were performed with no changes reported. The aim of this study was to use a known animal model to determine the safety of the genetically modified (GM)rice T1C-1. The results showed no adverse or toxic effects due to T1C-1 rice when tested in this 90-day study.
Safety assessment of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis rice T1c-19 inSprague-Dawley rats from metabonomics and bacterial profile perspectives.
Cao S, He X, Xu W, Luo Y, Yuan Y, Liu P, Cao B, Shi H, Huang K.
IUBMB Life. 2012 Mar;64(3):242-50. doi: 10.1002/iub.601. Epub 2012 Jan 3.
Bacillus thuringiensis rice is facing commercialization as the main food source in the near future. The unintended effects of genetically modified (GM) organisms are the most important barriers to their promotion. We aimed to establish a new in vivo evaluation model for genetically modified foods by using metabonomics and bacterial profile approaches. T1c-19 rice flour or its transgenic parent MH63 was used at 70% wt/wt to produce diets that were fed to rats for ∼ 90 days. Urine metabolite changes were detected using (1)H NMR. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to detect the bacterial profiles between the two groups. The metabonomics was analyzed for metabolite changes in rat urine, when compared with the non-GM rice group, where rats were fed a GM rice diet. Several metabolites correlated with rat age and sex but not with GM rice diet. Significant biological differences were not identified between the GM rice diet and the non-GM rice diet. The bacteria related to rat urine metabolites were also discussed. The results from metabonomics and bacterial profile analyses were comparable with the results attained using the traditional method. Because metabonomics and bacterial profiling offer noninvasive, dynamic approaches for monitoring food safety, they provide a novel process for assessing the safety of GM foods.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Mar;53:417-27.
Thirteen week rodent feeding study with grain from molecular stacked trait lepidopteran and coleopteran protected (DP-ØØ4114-3) maize.
The results from a subchronic feeding study conducted in Sprague–Dawley rats fed with diets containing grainfrom 4114 (OECD unique identifier: DP-ØØ4114-3) maize that was untreated (4114) or sprayed in field with glufosinate ammonium (4114GLU) in a design similar to previous studies are reported. The test material, 4114 maize, is a hybrid maize produced by transformation with a DNA construct encoding 4 different transgenicproteins for resistance to lepidopteran pests, coleopteran pests, and tolerance to the herbicidal active ingredient glufosinate ammonium. There were a total of 144 rats divided into 12 groups of 12 rats/sex/group. All experimental diets were formulated by Purina Mills, LLC (St. Louis, MO) in accordance with the standards of Purina Mills Labdiet® Certified Rodent LabDiet® 5002. The incorporation rate of maize grain in all diets was 32% (wt/wt). No biologically significant, treatment related differences in body weight, food consumption, clinical pathology parameters (hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis, or organ weight) were observed in ratsconsuming the diets containing 4114 maize grain compared with rats fed conventional maize diets. A number of histologic observations were noted in this study but were background lesions and representative of what would be expected for rats of this age and strain. An independent panel of experts determined certain observations to be spontaneous and not related to the test diet. Accordingly, these results support the conclusion that 4114 maize grain is as safe and nutritious as conventional maize grain.
Zhou XH, Dong Y, Xiao X, Wang Y, Xu Y, Xu B, Shi WD, Zhang Y, Zhu LJ, Liu QQ.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Dec;49(12):3112-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.09.024. Epub 2011 Sep 24.
A transgenic rice line (TRS) with high amylose level has been developed by antisense RNA inhibition of starch branching enzymes. Compositional analysis of TRS demonstrated that the content of resistant starch (RS) was significantly higher compared to conventional non-transgenic rice. High level of RS is an important raw material in food industry and has various physiological effects for human health. In order to provide the reliable theory basis for field release of TRS rice, we evaluated the potential health effects of long-term consumption of the TRS. The 90-day toxicology feeding experiment was conducted in Sprague-Dawley rats fed with diets containing 70% of either TRS rice flour, its near-isogenic rice flour or the control diet. The clinical performance variables (body weight, body weight gain and food consumption) were measured and pathological responses (hematological parameters and serum chemistry at the midterm and the completion of the experiment, urinalysis profile and serum sex hormone response at the completion of the experiment) were performed. Besides, clinical signs, relative organ weights and microscopic observations were also compared between TRS group and its near-isogenic rice group. The combined data indicates that high-amylose TRS grain is as safe as the conventional non-transgenic rice for rat consumption.