EU rejects French report linking GM corn to cancer (Update 2)

November 28, 2012 by Claire Rosemberg
Corn in a cob in a field in Godewaersvelde, northern France. The EU's food safety agency definitively rejected Wednesday a bombshell French report linking genetically modified corn to cancer, saying it failed to meet "acceptable scientific standards."

The EU's food safety agency definitively rejected Wednesday a bombshell French report linking genetically modified corn to cancer, saying it failed to meet "acceptable scientific standards."

"Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Seralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards," the European Food Safety Authority said in a statement.

"Consequently it is not possible to draw valid conclusions about the occurrence of tumours in the rats tested," the agency said.

EFSA, which reviews the use and authorisation of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), added that it "finds there is no need to re-examine its previous safety evaluations of NK603," the genetically modified maize developed by US agribusiness giant Monsanto.

That same conclusion had been reached in separate and independent assessments of Gilles-Eric Seralini's work carried out in six European Union nations, the agency added.

Seralini's research team at France's University of Caen issued a report in September concluding that rats fed on NK603 corn, or exposed to one of Monsanto's weedkillers used with the corn strain, and containing glyphosate, developed tumours.

The study's conclusions, illustrated by horrific images of cancer-ridden rats, caused worldwide alarm.

NK603 is resistant to the Monsanto herbicide Roundup, enabling farmers to use the weedkiller just once in the crop's life-cycle and make substantial savings.

Seralini and his team said their experiment in GM food was the first to follow rats through their lifespan, as opposed to just 90 days.

But many experts quickly questioned its methodology, results and relevance to humans.

The EU agency said its final assessment took into consideration evaluations carried out in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

"EFSA noted the emergence of a broad European consensus," it said, stating that the six countries too found Seralini's conclusions "were not supported by the data presented in the study."

It listed weaknesses of the French study as "unclear study objectives, the low number of rates used in each treatment group, a lack of detail on the feed and treatment formulation, key information missing on the statistical methods employed."

In a first response last month, EFSA dubbed Seralini's study "inadequate" and urged him to provide additional information before a second, final review was completed.

But the scientist responded that he would not give EFSA additional information until it first detailed the basis of its own assessment.

"It is absolutely scandalous that (EFSA) keeps secret the information on which they based their evaluation" of NK603 and the pesticide, he said at the time.

"In any event, we will not give them anything. We will put the information in the public domain when they do," Seralini told AFP.

His research group, Criigen, this month issued a list of almost 200 scientists from more than 30 countries who back the study.

Explore further: EU rejects French scientist report linking GM corn to cancer

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3 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2012

You know what you do? Don't ignore the experiment. So what if it's flawed, fix the flaw in the experiment and do it again, just in case.

It's a bit ridiculous to ignore this issue as though it doesn't matter, because of a flaw in experiment. Most experiments are flawed in some way anyway.

Do the damn experiment again and figure out what's happening.

So what? Testing rats and mice doesn't matter if you get a "bad" result now, but it's "okay" if you get a "good" result?

And you wonder why so many drugs have to be recalled after 5 to 10 years when they find out all the cancers and illnesses they cause.

My God, these people are some of the worst educated fools alive.
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
As a reminder of what this was about:

I quote myself:

The study itself takes more than two years to complete, so they're not going to replicate it.

Instead EFSA wants to see the original data that was gathered in the original study, so they can say "This seems legit" or "This seems faulty".

And since EFSA has a conflict of interest in the matter, they basically have no credibility in saying the study is wrong, but their word still carries weight so that if they deem the study wrong, it is in effect wrong and you can keep using NK603 until someone challenges them in court, which will take years, decades even.

So the research institute cannot give the data to EFSA. That'd be giving them (Monstanto and other lobbyers) the chance to stifle the research for years.
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2012
Ingredients: none of your business. shut up and eat your corn.
not rated yet Nov 29, 2012
Two year study in possible rat diet side effects could be repeated without too much trouble or expense. But another year would have to be added for analysis, writing, peer-review and print.

During that time, NK603 will probably be growing all over the EU, contaminating traditional strains, and leading to rounup-resistant weed strains that require repeat application of herbicide and spread of those superweeds, leading to more expense for ALL farmers, and yet more Roundup and more RoundupReady GM crop strains to be able to withstand the increased use of the roundup and the competition from the superweeds.

That's right --Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, ADM, et al-- have a game plan, and they aren't going to allow anything as inconsequential as adverse scientific findings to deflect them from attaining the prize, which is to make virtually all food supplies a commodity from which they derive a fat income. And they don't care who they have to silence or corrupt to do so.


not rated yet Nov 29, 2012
Apparently, the rest of the world didn't learn any more from the Trials of Big Tobacco than we here in the US.

This isn't the only research that has been published that underscored the adverse health/environmental/economic effects of GMOs. and the complex of corporations that produce them and their adjunct products are some of the very worst corporate "citizens" in the world.

But is this research used as the basis for determining policy regarding the release of these novel organisms into our natural environment?

Nah, it's the corporate spending of these racketeering corporations that determines that policy.

1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2012
Nothing new here. A neolithic mind cannot be changed. A negative proposition cannot be proven. A starveling cannot live long enough to develop GMO cancer. Move on.
not rated yet Nov 29, 2012
Monsanto has been quietly working the same game plan here in the US.

Very little media resources have been expended to bring this to the attention of the American Public. Big surprise, right?


If you feel that this warrants concern, you can sign a petiton to try and stop its legislation:


not rated yet Nov 29, 2012
Nothing new here. A neolithic mind cannot be changed. A negative proposition cannot be proven. A starveling cannot live long enough to develop GMO cancer. Move on.

I didn't(yet) downvote this post because it is completely opaque to me. Perhaps I'm stupid, or perhaps it's because the comment is so veiled as to be meaningless.

Care to elaborate upon your meaning, DH?

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