Results of a 16-week safety assurance study with rats fed genetically modified Bt maize: effect on growth and health parameters

Beata Szymczyk 1 , Witold Szczurek 1 , Sylwester Świątkiewicz 1 , Krzysztof Kwiatek 2 , Zbigniew Sieradzki 2 , Małgorzata Mazur 2 , Dariusz Bednarek 3 ,  and Michał Reichert 4
  • 1 Department of Nutrition Physiology, National Research Institute of Animal Production, , 32-083, Balice, Poland
  • 2 Department of Hygiene of Animal Feedingstuffs, National Veterinary Research Institute, , 24-100, Pulawy, Poland
  • 3 Department of Cattle and Sheep Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute, , 24-100, Pulawy, Poland
  • 4 Department of Pathology, National Veterinary Research Institute, , 24-100, Pulawy, Poland

Abstract

Introduction: The influence of feeding genetically modified MON 810 hybrid maize on the growth and haematological and biochemical indices of rats was tested.

Material and Methods: Two conventional (non-GM) and two test (MON 810) lines of maize were used in semi-purified diets at the level of 40% w/w. The non-GM I, MON 810 I, non-GM II, and MON 810 II maize lines were near-isogenic. A total of 40 male 6-week-old Wistar-derived rats were assigned to four equal feeding groups corresponding to the four maize lines for 16 weeks. Overall, health, body weight gain, clinical pathology parameters, gross changes, and appearance of tissues were compared between groups.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the weight gain or relative organ weights of rats, but there were some non diet-related histopathological changes in the liver, kidneys, and spleen. Except for creatinine level, no diet-related effects were observed in haematology or most of the biochemical indices. Transgenic DNA of MON 810 maize was not detected in the tissues or faeces nor in the DNA of E. coli isolated from the rectum digesta of rats given transgenic feeds. In our experiment, various metabolic indices of rats fed non-GM diets or genetically modified (MON 810) maize for 16 weeks were similar. No adverse nutrition-related health effects were detected.

Conclusion: MON 810 maize seems to be as safe as the conventional maize lines.

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