EXTRACT: Dr Jurgen Zentek, professor for veterinary medicine at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study, said there was a direct link between the changes seen and the GM diet.
--- Does eating GM food lower your fertility?
Daily Mail, 12 November 2008
[image caption - Fertility threat: mice fed on genetically modified corn had fewer offspring]
Genetically modified corn has been linked to a threat to fertility in an official study.
A feeding trial commissioned by the Austrian government found mice fed on GM maize had fewer offspring.
GM advocates have argued that the fact the U.S. population has been eating some types of GM food for more than a decade is proof of its safety.
But doubt has been cast on these reassurances by the study. It was commissioned by the Austrian Ministries for Agriculture and Health and presented yesterday at a seminar in Vienna.
The scientists performed several long-term feeding trials with laboratory mice. One of the studies was a 'reproductive assessment by continuous breeding' trial, in which the same parent generation gave birth to several litters of baby mice.
The parents were fed either a diet containing 33 per cent of GM maize, a hybrid of Monsanto's MON 810 and another variety, and a normal feed mix.
The team found changes that were 'statistically significant' in the third and fourth litters produced by the mice given a GM diet. There were fewer offspring, while the young mice were smaller.
Dr Jurgen Zentek, professor for veterinary medicine at the University of Vienna and lead author of the study, said there was a direct link between the changes seen and the GM diet.
Dr Jan van Aken, GM expert at Greenpeace International, said: 'If this is not reason enough to close down the whole biotech industry once and for all, I am not sure what kind of disaster we are waiting for.'