CETOS News Release
Gualala, California, July 1, 1999:
Independent non-profit group discovers differences in Roundup Ready
Soybeans. A study published today in the Journal of Medicinal Food
(Vol. 1, no.4, 1999) presents new information about biologically active
components in soybeans which are genetically modified to withstand
Monsanto's Roundup® herbicide.
Dr. Marc Lappé, Director of the Center for Ethics and Toxics (CETOS) and
principal investigator says, "Based on corporate representations, the
phytoestrogen concentrations of Monsanto's Roundup Ready and conventional
soybeans were supposed to be equivalent. But the initial industry studies
were performed on unsprayed soybeans. We found significant differences
when we examined herbicide-sprayed soybeans analogous to those used in
The study shows an overall reduction in phytoestrogen levels of 12-14
percent in the genetically altered soybean strains. Most of this
reduction was attributable to reductions in genistin and to a lesser extent
daidzin levels, which were significantly lower in modified compared to
conventional soybeans in both strains. The apparent differences found may
be an important discovery because consumers tend to buy soy products for
their naturally occurring phytoestrogens which are thought to protect
against breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. As genetically
engineered strains replace conventional ones, any differences in
phytoestrogen levels becomes increasingly important.
In 1992, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a
policy statement for foods derived from new plant varieties, including
plants developed by recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques. In
the policy, the FDA states it "will require special labeling if the
composition of a food differs significantly from its conventional
counterpart." But, to date, there are no labels on foods which contain
genetically engineered byproducts in the United States. The new data
suggest the FDA may have to review its current labeling policy.
The study , Alterations in Clinically Important Phytoestrogens in
Genetically Modified, Herbicide-Tolerant Soybeans (© Maryanne Liebert
Publishers, J. of Med. Food), comes on the heels of considerable European
opposition to bioengineered foods. Until now, those resisting
bioengineered foods have not little scientific support for concerns about
bioengineered foods. As Dr. Lappé states, "Now they do. I think it is
ironic a small non-profit in Gualala, California is conducting research
which should have been conducted by the agency which is supposed to be
protecting human health, the Food and Drug Administration. We hope our
work is repeated and expanded by other groups."
For more information contact:
Marc Lappé, Ph.D.
The Center for Ethics and Toxics
PO Box 673, Gualala, CA 95445 USA.
Http://www.cetos.org. Email: email@example.com,
Telephone/Fax : 707-884-1846
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