The vast majority of the scientific literature finds that modern biotech crops are safe for people and animals to eat and safe for the environment. Nevertheless, a few activist researchers do manage from time to time to get some hapless journal editor to publish one of their dodgy studies that allegedly finds some deleterious effects from consuming foods made with ingredients from genetically modified crops.
One such study by a team of Italian researchers recently reported that goats that had been fed a mixture of biotech corn and soy produced colostrum (first milk) that had lower protein and fat content and lower serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration than milk from similar goats that consumed conventional corn and soy feed. In addition, they claim to have discovered genes from the biotech crops in the milk. The kids whose mothers ate biotech foods were smaller than those whose mothers dined on conventional fare.
Now Nature.com is reporting that an forensic investigation into that study and two others by members of the same research team finds that they "contain intentional data manipulation."
Interestingly, a recent feeding study that cited the Italian report found no such effects in milk from Holstein cows. Another reported that rats fed biotech flax seed did not gain as much weight as those fed conventional chow largely because of digestibility issues arising from increased antioxidant capacity of the biotech seeds. The researchers go on suggest that the specific variety of biotech flax used in the study might actually offer health benefits in humans.