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Full Length Research Paper - New scientific data on Bt toxins and a thorough study of the records show that this GMO Bt maize is most probably toxic over the long term.

Pathology reports on the first cows fed with Bt176 maize (1997–2002)

Gottfried Glöckner1 and Gilles-Éric Séralini2* - Accepted 22 January, 16


This study was not designed as a scientific experiment. It is a detailed observation of a conventionally managed technologically advanced dairy farm, with access to detailed raw data, which were collected because of unusual pathological problems. These observations were made during the progressive introduction (1997–2002) of the first genetically modified (GM) maize Bt176 into the European market and into animals’ feeding rations. Thus this is the first and longest formal observation of the feeding of cows with an agricultural GMO. It is unusually detailed due to the research by the experienced and qualified farmer into the origin of the pathologies observed, because the GMOs were not believed to be responsible at first. This case was rapidly reported by the German press at the time, and in books, but was not scientifically documented and based on access to the raw data. This is the first scientific explanation of these observations. Other cultivations of GMOs were performed previously on the same farm, without the feeding of animals, because that was not the goal at the time. It is also one of the conventional farms where the feed was produced on site. There were also numerous analyses in blood, urine, feed, and milk. The Bt maize was grown and used raw to make silage on the farm.

To date there is an ongoing debate on the need for long-term toxicity studies with GM plants (Séralini et al., 2011, 2013, 2014). However, in considerably shorter term studies, no side effects of Bt maize on dairy cows were published (Aulrich et al., 2001; Barrière et al. 2001; Donkin et al., 2003; Faust et al., 2007; Folmer et al., 2002; Steinke et al., 2010). The second-longest exposure after the present study (Steinke et al., 2010) was 2 years long (compared with 3 years per cow in the present report), but that study did not test the same Bt maize; it tested a different genetic construct and insertion. No study has been performed with Bt176 that is longer than the one described below.

Bt176 GM maize was never grown on a wide scale. It was replaced by Bt11 and MON810, because of governmental restrictions (from 2000 in Germany) or national moratoria (like in France). After little use, it was definitively and officially withdrawn from the European market in 2007. It was genetically engineered to produce a specifically mutated and truncated active insecticidal Bt toxin from the natural Cry1Ab gene (Mesnage et al., 2013). In in vitro experiments, this and comparable Bt toxins have been found to affect human cells, both alone and in combination with herbicide residues (Mesnage et al., 2013).

The following observations were performed because of severe pathologies and deaths in the animals fed Bt176 GM maize. Several investigations were made by official laboratories and are summarized below. We wanted here to investigate, at a scientific level for the first time, all the compiled raw data that were released as a result of a court case, which will be described elsewhere (Séralini, 2016).
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