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Panel calls for probe into GM-cancer link

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Paris - An investigative panel on Monday rejected a contested French study that linked genetically-modified corn to cancer in rats but called for a “long-term, independent” probe into the question to advise the public.

The Higher Biotechnologies Council (HCB) said it found “no causal relationship” between the rats' tumours and consumption of Monstanto's NK603 GM corn or the Roundup herbicide that was part of the experiment.

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Other research into biofortified food has looked at boosting levels of important micronutrients in cassava and corn, also called maize, but progress has also been faltering.

The experiment's methods were also “unsuitable,” it said, in a report made at the government's request.

“The scientific committee (of the HCB) concludes that the study provides no scientific information regarding the detection of any health risk linked to NK603 corn, whether it was treated with Roundup or not.”

“The HCB's Economic, Ethical and Social Committee, for its part, affirms that the study is not conclusive.

“However, in order to answer the public's questions, the committee recommends that a long-term, independent, transparent study, with adverserial views, be undertaken under government auspices.” - Sapa-AFP

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