Many GMO studies have financial conflicts of interest

December 16, 2016
Conflicts of interest were defined as studies in which at least one author declared an affiliation to one of the biotech or seed companies, or received funding or payment from them

Financial conflicts of interest were found in 40 percent of published research articles on the genetically modified crops, also known as GMO crops, French researchers said this week.

The findings in the December 15 edition of the US journal PLOS ONE focused on hundreds of published in international scientific journals.

"We found that ties between researchers and the GM crop industry were common, with 40 percent of the articles considered displaying conflicts of interest," said the study.

Researchers also found that studies that had a conflict of interest were far more likely to be favorable to GM crop companies than studies that were free of financial interference.

The study focused on articles about the efficacy and durability of crops that are modified to be pest resistant with a toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis.

Thomas Guillemaud, director of research at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), told AFP that the team originally looked at 672 studies before narrowing down to the pool to 579 that showed clearly whether there was or was not a of interest.

"Of this total, 404 were American studies and 83 were Chinese," he said.

To determine whether there was a conflict, researchers examined the way the studies were financed.

Conflicts of interest were defined as studies in which at least one author declared an affiliation to one of the biotech or seed companies, or received funding or payment from them.

"The most important point was how we also showed there is a statistical link between the presence of conflicts of interest and a study that comes to a favorable conclusion for GMO crops," Guillemaud said.

"When studies had a conflict of interest, this raised the likelihood 49 percent that their conclusions would be favorable to GMO crops."

Among the 350 articles without conflicts of interest, 36 percent were favorable to GM crop companies.

Among the 229 studies with a conflict of interest, 54 percent were favorable to GM companies.

"We thought we would find of interest, but we did not think we would find so many," Guillemaud said.

Explore further: Authors with financial conflicts reporting negative outcomes in major orthopaedic journals

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10 comments

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Anonym
5 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2016
Monsanto phobia? They buried the lede, which is that money buys results. Soo-prise, soo-prise.

The headline should be: "Study finds financial conflicts influence outcome of GMO studies"
tblakely1357
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2016
Funny how conflicts of interest always seem to go in one direction.... eeeevil corporations. Environmentalists would never, ever lie and cheat to get outcomes they favor.
IronhorseA
3 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2016
"Thomas Guillemaud, director of research at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA),"

That says it all right there, the french are behind the technology curve and bad mouth GMO crops to 'compete' .
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2016
"Science" devotees insist that we all believe that "scientists" only tell the truth. That there is nothing that would compel them to lie. They are all incapable of lying and everything they say must be absolutely true. Like that "evolution" is valid, even though, among other things, "speciation", the defining quality of "evolution" was never seen or even determined to be possible. Even though the Michelson-Morley Experiment, on which "relativity" is based, still shows seasonal variations, in violation of "relativity".
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Dec 17, 2016
What is good for Monsanto profits is what we will get.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2016
So there's a question that needs to be asked.

How many of the other 60% of the articles were *un*favorable? Because that's the real question.

I find it significant that this particular study did not choose to ask that question.
Estevan57
5 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2016
"Thomas Guillemaud, director of research at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA),"
That says it all right there, the french are behind the technology curve and bad mouth GMO crops to 'compete' .


Good point, Guillemaud has a history of trying to find fault with GMO products.

The Chinese probably would like to keep American products out also.

I find it interesting that a paper written by a scientist working for Earth Justice wouldn't be considered biased. Not all conflicts of interest are financial.
Double standard anyone?
Sprockets
not rated yet Dec 18, 2016
lol waaiiiittttt a sec. Lots of industries fund research into their own areas of expertise. Who do you think should pay for biotech research if not biotech? You think taxpayers should foot the bill FOR biotech 100% of the time? Get real.
koitsu
5 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2016
Interesting that even in the group of studies that do have conflicts of interests, barely over half are favorable. That surprised the heck out of me, at least.

In other words, the considerable majority of all sampled studies are unfavorable to GM production.
Liquid1474
not rated yet Dec 19, 2016
Whenever I eat GMO garbage at restaurants and from the supermarkets (you know, the stuff without the non-GMO labels), I always feel lethargic and sleepy.

Its crazy how something is different with the food; it is especially severe when I eat canned non-organic vegetables etc. (could be the BPA in cans as well), but it is not surprising since many of the genetic changes (embedded toxins) in the food are meant to disrupt insects from eating it.

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