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Russia blocks Monsanto corn in GM study fallout

Rat tumour fears spark sale ban

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Monsanto’s GM corn, the centre of a storm inspired by the now-notorious French “rat tumours” study, has been banned from Russia following a decision by consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor.

The ban is more symbolic than anything else: Russia doesn’t allow its farmers to plant GM corn, and is a net exporter of grains.

According to TV-Novosti site RT, Rospotrebnadzor has asked Russia’s Institute of Nutrition to review the French study, which claimed that rats developed large tumours either when exposed to the “Roundup-resistant” crop or to concentrations of Roundup in their water as low as .1 parts per billion.

According to Bloomberg, Russia had already asked the European Commission to comment on the study.

The European Food Safety Authority expects to have a preliminary review of the study completed by next week.

Controversy surrounding the study has continued in the week since it was released. Britain’s Science Media Centre criticized the study, only to be accused of a pro-GM conflict of interest in its sponsorships. However, its concerns about the study’s methodology were echoed by the Australian Science Media Centre, which is mostly funded by media organisations. ®

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