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Hundreds of scientists urge Séralini to release full GM maize study data

3 commentsBy Caroline Scott-Thomas , 18-Oct-2012

Séralini's GM maize study has attracted widespread criticism
Séralini's GM maize study has attracted widespread criticism

More than 700 scientists and academics have signed a petition urging French researcher Gilles-Eric Séralini to release research data behind a study in which he linked NK603 maize consumption and drinking Roundup-spiked water with increased incidence of tumours in rats.

They join research bodies around the world in calling on Séralini and his colleagues at the Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) to release the details of the study, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

Séralini has yet to respond to these requests.

Among the petitioners is Dr Klaus Ammann, plant systems professor of the Swiss government’s Biosafety Committee and professor at the University of Bern.

"The serious demands by Séralini that regulatory bodies and the public make decisions about how food is grown based on his report require that he be transparent about the means and measures by which he has drawn conclusions," he said. "Anything less than the normal, full disclosures of data, leaves us all victims of political manipulation and highly theatrical propaganda – this is not science."

Séralini was unavailable to speak with FoodNavigator today. However, a spokesperson at CRIIGEN said that although EFSA had made information publically available on its assessment of NK603 maize, the safety body had not yet released safety data on Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, citing the need to protect the company’s proprietary information.

She acknowledged that EFSA was likely to provide this data, but could not say whether Séralini intended to provide the safety authority with his full study details.

If the data is not forthcoming, petitioners have called on the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology to retract the study. The journal has released a statement saying that it will publish letters criticising the study and a response from Séralini in an upcoming edition. It added that separately, the journal’s editors and publishers will consider these criticisms.

EFSA, the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) have all concluded that there were shortcomings in the Séralini study design meaning that he was not justified in his conclusions.

More information on EFSA’s initial review of the Séralini et al study is available online here , and includes a link to its original scientific opinion.

The scientists’ petition, including a full list of signatories, is available here .

Séralini’s study, as published in Food and Chemical Toxicology,is available online here.

3 comments (Comments are now closed)

What a crock!

First, thank you for posting the links to the study and the petition, so we may see for ourselves. That allows truth to out, as the old saying goes.

Now, having read the study and the petition both, my feeling is... the petition is a crock!

The study is conducted and written in a very standard way. The authors begin by documenting some of the shortcomings in previous research, which include the failure to follow up on evidence of tissue damage in rodents after the consumption of GE corn. They further document that feeding safety studies are not even required by regulatory authorities. How's THAT for aggressively protecting the public welfare??!? The law cries out for justification, which is what the authors attempted to provide. Would that standards for the sales of raw milk, vitamins and cigarettes be so stringent!

Anyway, the data presented by the authors in the forms of graphs, photos and explanations of their protocols and statistical methods, is completely within the bounds of standards expected in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Were the conclusions were less economically threatening to the companies reaping the profits from GMO's, nobody would quibble with it. So why the demand for the original data?

Having co-authored several published research papers in sociology and biopsych, myself, I'm very familiar with the normal scientific culture of complete lack of interest in seeing the original data on almost any study. I could have lied like a rug about my results, and nobody would have asked any questions. Even my bosses had only a cursory interest in the actual raw numbers and such. The conclusion is what matters! Asking to see the data, therefore, while certainly a very worth while and accepted practice, is, in reality, very rarely done except if the results or the investigators are deemed "politically incorrect".

There is nothing in the often intellectually lax way that methodology and data are reported in peer-reviewed journals, that would raise any red flags about this study were the results more economically favorable to the GMO companies. It is the chutzpah of the scientists to interfere with the economic and political juggernaut that is being questioned, here, NOT the data itself.

In the end, I hope that the researchers do release their original data, so that the howls of protest can be fully exposed for the shams that they are. These investigators did absolutely nothing wrong, as far as this trained eye can see, except speak truth to power. It isn't they whom we should be questioning - it's the so-called "independent scientists" (including Anonymous??!?) - whom we should be looking at with a magnifying glass.

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Posted by Jennifer Christiano
05 November 2012 | 22h24

Read the list of "scientists" names

Is Anonymous a scientist? How can we verify the names of the others who have no email or credential lsited

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Posted by S.P. Onusic
25 October 2012 | 03h38

Declare the result

the facts seen on this study to be explored to the public as a unpublished paper, which is no wrong.
Then international scientists observe the findings and find out any additions.
That will not only enhance the research capacity for future build up but also instigate the findings and facts

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Posted by KBN Rayana
19 October 2012 | 19h49

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