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Health Canada said this week it will take action if its review of a new study, which found Canadian-grown genetically modified corn is linked to elevated risks of cancer, organ damage and premature death in rats, “demonstrates a risk” to Canadians.

The first-ever GM food safety study to test the entire life span of laboratory rats, newly published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, also found health impacts for rats exposed to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, the widest-selling herbicide in the world.

The French study, while challenged by some experts, is being taking seriously by the French government. On Thursday, it ordered an urgent review of the study assessing the safety of GM corn and said it will work for a Europewide ban of imports of the crop if the findings were found to be conclusive.

In Canada, where the GM corn is grown and used for animal feed and processed food ingredients, Health Canada said it would be premature to offer its assessment, saying departmental scientists are currently reviewing the findings.

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