Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) has reacted very sceptically to the "alarming" results of a health study into the consequences of genetically modified maize.
The VIB scientists had serious reservations about the Séralini publication, which appeared today in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The conclusions drawn by Séralini could not be derived from the publication. The data will have to be subjected to a thorough analysis.
VIB points out that Séralini is a controversial researcher. "Séralini has published similar accounts before, but not one of them has withstood scientific scrutiny. That is because he draws conclusions that cannot be derived from the data. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has examined Séralini's previous study about GM maize for the European Commission. His conclusions were not followed on the basis of sound scientific elements and the EFSA repeated its recommendations concerning GM maize."
VIB emphasized the many studies that have demonstrated the safety of GM maize. "In the United States transgenic maize has been grown for seventeen years for human consumption and as cattle feed. These crops were naturally subjected to the toxicity tests required for commercial use and were found to be safe. In view of the polarization surrounding GM crops in Europe, a massive number of studies have already been carried out into possible toxic effects of GM crops. These have shown that GM crops are as safe for human and animal consumption as non-GM crops.
VIB is a proponent of studies concerning the safety of GM crops but insists that these have to be carried out in a thorough and scientifically responsible way. VIB regrets that incorrectly performed studies damage the reputation of GM organisms and plant biotechnology in general.
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