Thursday, November 12, 2009

Genetically Modified Maize Withdrawn by Monsanto-Safety Concerns

In a dramatic move, Monsanto has withdrawn its genetically modified (GM) maize, LY038 from commercial approval in Europe after safety concerns prompted the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to request further evidence from the company [1].

At the end of April 2009, two letters were sent to EFSA by Monsanto's European subsidiary company Renessen, withdrawing applications originally submitted in 2005 [2]. The whole episode was shrouded in secrecy before being uncovered by Dr. Brian John of GM-Free Cymru. There has been no mainstream press report, and no record on the EFSA website. Not only LY038, but also the stacked variety LY038 x MON810 - derived from a cross between LY038 and another GM variety MON810 - has been withdrawn. MON810 is currently banned in many countries in Europe [3] Europe Holds the Key to a GM-Free World, 5th Conference of GM-Free Regions, Food & Democracy ( SiS 43), and has its own hazards [4-6] ( GM Maize Disturbs Immune System of Young and Old Mice , GM Maize Reduces Fertility & Deregulates Genes in Mice , SiS 41; MON810 Genome Rearranged Again , SiS 39).

Like other “nutritionally enhanced” GMOs, LY038 is created by grossly unbalancing the metabolic network [8]; and that is where the metabolic hazards arise. It is well known that overdose of many single nutritional factors is toxic, and it is not surprising that overproduction of any single metabolite creates further toxicities. Another case in point is the notorious ‘Golden Rice', now mired in controversy as phase 2 clinical trials have been conducted on children with unapproved experimental events. It is well known that high concentrations of pro-Vitamin A can cause birth defects and developmental abnormalities, and the potential for further toxicities in Golden Rice is uncomfortably high [12] ( The Golden Rice Scandal Unfolds , SiS 42).

However, there are also important hazards unique to each GMO, and in the case of LY038, it is due to the high concentrations of the amino acid lysine and derivatives - saccharopine, a -aminoadipic acid (a neurotoxin), pipecolic acid and cadaverine – present in the grain [9, 10] .

The excerpts above were taken directly from ISIS Press Release 11/11/09.
For the complete press release please see this link:


  1. Is this what we call human progress? If one looks carefully at many if not most of man's inventions, one will discover that everything we create makes new problems. I'm beginning to understand how everything in nature is so delicately intertwined and how man will probably never understand all of the complexities. try and "change" nature to suit us...inevitably disrupts and damages other parts of the ecosystem.

    In the end we are digging our own graves. An interesting book to read which relates to this The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. The author speaks to the idea that agriculture is not saving the earth but destroying it while at the same time creating a warlike feudal society. We need to understand these concepts

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    You are correct. We need to understand the concepts of how corporations are colluding with the political systems to get what they want while disregarding public health and safety.

    It is not that the public wants to stop scientific discovery; but without controls on science with analogous emphasis on public health and safety, the effects of advanced technologies, are creating bigger and more difficult problems and more dangerous situations, causing illness and devastation to families.

    Corporations are all about money. We need public policy advocates who care about the public's need and public health and safety.