Over 10 years ago the Pacific Ecologist reported that a Japanese research team uncovered serious discrepancies in safety reports submitted by Monsanto to the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry. The Safety Assessment Application Documents were submitted in order to obtain a safety certificate necessary for the import of genetically modified (GM) soy to Japan. Based on these reports, submitted by JAPAN- MONSANTO, their herbicide-tolerant soybean was approved as food by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare and as animal feed by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1996. The research team reported their findings to Japan's Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry but received no response.
The Japanese team, led by molecular biologist MasaharuKawata, University of Nagoya, began with 40 people taking notes by hand over a period of 10 days. This was necessary because the documents, kept at the Food Safety Association, were only available for five hours per day three days per week. Photographing and photocopying were not allowed. The application submitted by Monsanto for Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans consisted of 10 volumes, which piled up to 1 meter high, with much of it in English.
Dr. Kawata claims that Monsanto deliberately misinterpreted and disregarded data in their quest to prove their RR soybean is “substantially equivalent” to conventionally grown soybeans.
“We found a highly intended misinterpretation ignoring obvious data difference between A5403 [conventional] and 40-3-2 [GM] hybrid in the documents.” Analysis of raw soybeans showed no differences, but the toasted soybeans showed a marked difference. After processing at 108℃ for 30 minutes, the concentration of protein and potassium were not changed but the concentration of urease and lectin were significantly higher in the GM soybeans. Urease (an enzyme) and lectin (a protein) are considered harmful, physiologically active substances. Urease enzymes aid in the conversion of urea to ammonia and carbonic acid, which can cause kidney stones and liver problems. Lectin binds to carbohydrates and can cause intestinal problems. These physiologically active substances remained active even after heat treatment in the GM soybean, though those of the conventional soybean were easily denatured and inactivated.