GM Study Declared Unsound

A controversial study that suggested genetically modified (GM) maize causes cancer in rats is dismissed by the European Food Safety Authority.

By | November 29, 2012

Wikimedia, Sreejith KA task force set up by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday (November 28) has confirmed suspicions that a September study claiming to have identified serious health consequences of genetically modified (GM) maize “does not meet acceptable scientific standards.”

The 2-year-long study examined rats fed a Europe- and United States-approved GM corn, called NK603, and claimed they developed massive mammary tumors and died earlier than rats fed conventional corn. The results, which were published in September in Food and Chemical Toxicology, were met with immediate skepticism, leading to an independent evaluation by two French regulatory agencies and the EFSA. Last month (October 4), the EFSA announced its preliminary conclusion that “the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate.” Now, the agency has declared with more certainty that the study “does not meet acceptable scientific standards, and there is no need to re-examine previous safety evaluations of genetically modified maize NK603.”

The European Union uses millions of tons of GM crops, including NK603 corn, as livestock feed.

(Hat tip to ScienceInsider)

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Avatar of: typicalanimal


Posts: 7

November 29, 2012

Even if this study is bogus, GMOs are still irreversibly changing the genetic makeup of the world around in an ad hoc way and can in no way be said to be beneficial to anyone except in the extreme short term. If/when these things get loose there will be no going back.  

Saying that we could be more suited to eating some GM crop than a natural food is in my view heresy and the same as denying many of the fundamental points of evolution. It is crazy to think that you can change some of the fundamental blocks of food and if you don't notice any great differences in the animals treat it as being "just the same as gosh golly normal food", it's ridiculous.  


Avatar of: lenlen


Posts: 1

November 30, 2012

I wonder how many tabloids are gong to report this? Probably not many, there's always bias against GM food in the media. That's why GM development in Europe got banned despite at the time it was the EU that was funding the Golden Rice research, which is aimed at saving over 6 million third-world children a year from blindness.

Also, our "natural" crops have been inbred for thousands of years with low genetic diversity which is the very reason why we're turning to gene technology. The aim of GM is to improve nutrition, reduce food wastage and reduce the environmental impact of modern farming techniques. Why are people so vehemently against it just because it's not a "natural" process? Neither is artificial selection darlings, but you're all fine with eating huge corn cobs and buying pedigree pooches.

Avatar of: jussme


Posts: 4

December 1, 2012

Ienlen, genetic diversity and genetic manipulation are NOT the same thing as haveing poisons and toxins put in food at a genetic level. Wake up and smell the drugs. Dont be a lemming. And If you are too ignorant to be a part of the solution then just stay out of the way before you do some real damage, please.

Avatar of: ssum


Posts: 8

December 2, 2012

There is too much double standard around declarations that the GM study is unsound. The European Food Safety Authority has been criticized for this:

"detailed analysis of former EFSA opinions shows that the authority has not taken a consistent approach when examining such scientific research. On a number of past occasions, EFSA has accepted without question the results from publications, on the risk assessment of genetically engineered plants, that are not in accordance with the scientific standards now being applied by EFSA to criticise the French study."

A skeptic site, neurologica blog, has been discussing this. I found the most pithy comment to be:

  1. # DougIon 02 Oct 2012 at 9:37 am

    Novella [another commentator] clearly has a double standard when evaluating research. The Monstanto study from which the French study replicates (but goes beyond 90 days of research to 600 days) uses the same parameters.

    They use the same species of rats as Monsanto.

    They use the same sample size as Monsanto.

    To declare the French study has a conflict of interest but a multi-billion dollar corporation seeking approval of a new product which will generate hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in revenue does not is quite silly.

    The rats were allowed to eat whatever amount of food they found desirable. Not exactly going to be a problem if the GM corn is completely safe since we should expect to see no negative effects if they hypothesis that GM corn is harmful is debunked.

    It’s common knowledge that Monsanto inhibits independent research on their products. Apparently, according to Novella, it’s acceptable when Monsanto limits information but not when a group of scientists engaging in independent research limits exposure of the information to prevent a corporate backlash that Monsanto is known for.

    I’d just love to know why Novella has a huge double standard when it comes to accepting, what he calls shoddy research practices? Clearly he has no problem with the species of rats used and the sample size when Monsanto does the research but has it when independent researchers do. Either Novella has no clue as to what he’s talking about or he’s completely biased in this subject matter.

    The original research which was replicated:

Avatar of: ssum


Posts: 8

December 2, 2012

In addition, This article does not discuss the large amount of support the study has garnered from scientists, for example:

Hundreds of scientists defend Seralini against EFSA and other GM apologists




Avatar of: ssum


Posts: 8

December 2, 2012

As well as:

Seralini and Science: an Open Letter (by scientists):

Avatar of: Harish G

Harish G

Posts: 1

January 20, 2013

 Sir, I understand that there could be experimental design and analysis flaws ( Food and Chemical Toxicology journal, impact factor 2.9; what more quality can you expect from those reviewers). Also it doesn't mean GM corn are safe, because emerging studies show fascinating cross kingdom regulation of mammalian genes by Plant miRNAs (Ref: Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011). I think we need more well designed and meticulously executed experiments before accepting GM crops. Also we should be aware of lobby by MNC's to push GM crops since they have invested billions of dollars.

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