The MON863 case

The MON863 case – a chronicle of systematic deception
August 13, 2002: The Monsanto company submits to the German authorities
an application to import genetically engineered MON863 maize into the
EU. This submission contains a 90- day rat feeding study.
MON863 is a genetically modified corn that expresses a Bt-toxin. This
toxin is a modified version of the delta endotoxin Cry3Bb1 which
originates from the microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis. The genetic
manipulation is aimed at protecting maize plants against a pest called
corn rootworm (Diabrotica spp.).
MON863 differs from other Bt-corns already placed on the market (MON810,
Bt11, Bt176), which produce a modified Cry1Ab toxin conferring
resistance to a pest called European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis), in
that it produces an artificial Cry3Bb1 toxin. In addition to the
modified Cry3Bb1 toxin gene MON863 contains an antibiotic resistance
marker gene.
Outside the EU MON863 is approved for cultivation in the USA and Canada,
and for food and feed in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the
Philippines and Taiwan.
Based on the results of the 90-day rat feeding study presented in the
application the Monsanto company concludes: "Toxicological parameters
evaluated were survival, clinical signs, body weight changes, food
consumption, clinical pathology, organ weights, and macroscopic
pathology. There were no test article related changes in any of the
aforementioned toxicological parameters".
In the conclusions of the rat feeding study provided by Monsanto one can
find a disturbing fact, namely that the feeding study was performed by a
third company (Covance Laboratories), but the statistical analysis of
the data was made by Monsanto itself.


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