20 Sep 2012

GM food under spotlight from new study

11:06 pm on 20 September 2012

A new study has reignited the debate over the long-term health effects of eating genetically modified food.

The scientists who conducted the study, published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, say rats fed a GM diet over their lifespan suffered mammary tumours and severe liver and kidney damage.

Anti-GM campaigners say it is the first time a trial has studied the lifetime effects of exposure to GM corn, in this case corn tolerant of the weedkiller Roundup.

The study was carried out by French and Italian researchers.

The French government has ordered its health regulator to conduct an urgent review of the findings.

Australian advocates of the study say Australia's regulatory bodies should act on the findings, but some scientists have criticised the study, saying it is seriously flawed, the ABC reports.

Australia's Safe Food Foundation director Scott Kinnear has urged the Australian government to follow France's lead in approving an urgent review.