Posted by Dr Katy Taylor on 16th September 2016
Genetically modified rice tested in monkeys
Animals abused for GM food
Monkeys were forced to consume a diet of GM rice for a whole year in an attempt to assess its safety, according to a recently published Chinese experiment.
Researchers at the National Center of Biomedical Analysis in Beijing used 70 long-tailed macaques in a cruel experiment in an attempt to assess the safety of rice, which was genetically modified to be resistant to insects.
The monkeys were kept alone inside stainless steel cages for an entire year. They were fed a diet consisting of GM rice at a dose 100 times greater than the recommended daily intake for adult humans. The animals were subjected to regular blood samples, heart scans and temperature measurements.
At the end of the experiment they were anaesthetised and killed by having their blood drained.
The researchers admitted that GM rice has already been tested many times in other species including fish, rats, chickens and pigs. The results of these tests were never accepted due to concerns about the relevance to humans.
The researchers wanted their experiments on monkeys to reassure the public that GM food is safe. Shockingly, they are now planning to conduct even longer studies using pregnant monkeys.
The safety of GM food is still the subject of intense debate. Sadly, in order to try and settle this on-going argument, animals have and continue to be exploited in cruel safety tests.
However, because animal experiments are so unreliable, the results from these tests are often disputed by various groups when it suits them to do so.
In 2012, Monsanto disputed a cruel rat experiment that claimed that GM maize and weed killer causes cancer. In an attempt to demonstrate the apparent risk of the GM maize, researchers allowed the rats to suffer from shockingly large tumours that were up to 25% of the rats’ body weight. As well as receiving criticism from us on animal welfare grounds, the cruel research was also ridiculed by other scientists.
Find out more about why we’re against animal testing.