Anti-GMO study is garbage

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A French study released at the end of September claimed there are cancer concerns from eating genetically modified (GM) corn and the use of glyphosate herbicide in conjunction with the corn, but scientists around the world have called the design of the rat feeding study and the reported results a mockery of science.

Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, the study’s principal lead and results author, a molecular biologist and endocrinologist, has an open anti-GM agenda of trying to claim their are dangerous effects from GM crops/foods. Nearly every true scientist without an anti-GM agenda and the European Union’s regulatory agencies have refuted Seralini’s previous claims and this latest one, too.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a statement saying it “does not see a need to re-examine its previous safety evaluation of maize (Monsanto’s) NK603 nor to consider these findings in the ongoing assessment of glyphosate.”

Several scientists didn’t mince words about the study and the lead researcher. One of those outspoken critics is Bruce Chassy, Ph.D., professor emeritus, University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. “Let’s get to the core of the matter, the senior author of the study (Sealini) is a very prominent anti-GM crusader in Europe. He is funded by people who are anti-GM. He is the president of the board of scientific directors of an anti-GM NGO, which he hosts at his university laboratory, which I find odd. And he has a long history of papers that get discredited as bad science that attack GM. He has written and said he is opposed to GM. So, you have both bias and conflict of interest,” said Chassy during a segment of AgriTalk radio.


The rat feeding study results claimed a high number of rats died from tumors after being fed NK603 corn, which is resistant to glyphosate herbicide. Scientists noted the control group and total number of rats tested, and the number of those who developed tumors and died while eating the GM corn was completely unscientific. The researchers used the Sprague-Dawley line of rats that is bred to be highly susceptible to the development of tumors. That particular strain has a more than 80 percent chance of growing tumors within two years under non-experimental conditions, noted many scientists including members of the American Society of Animal Science.

“What’s wrong with this study? I can’t even count the ways,” said Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D., a Cooperative Extension specialist at the University of California-Davis, who was quoted by Dan Murphy, a contributing columnist for Vance Publishing. “The authors refused to share their data with other scientists, they didn’t perform a statistical analysis of the data and the strain of rats they used is known to spontaneously develop tumors.

Van Eenennaam concluded by saying, “To suggest that the tumors were the result of Roundup, the GMOs or an interaction between the two is ludicrous. It’s Fantasyland stuff.”

Monsanto issued its own disclaimer of the results, which didn’t receive as much attention as independent scientists. The basics to the Monsanto reply are the same as all the independent scientists. Monsanto provided eight bullet points of errors in the design and results announced by the French study team.


Even with the huge outcry by scientists in Europe and the U.S. that the study results are “garbage,” as one scientist was quoted as saying, anti-GM groups throughout the world are spreading the bogus results as proof that we should be afraid of all GM crops.

Groups in California are using the French study to support why any food should be identified as possibly having GM crop ingredients. The California Proposition 37 proponents and anti-GM groups have shown they are grasping at anything to prove GM crops are dangerous. But those involved in the biotech-GM industry note there has never been real proof about health concern with any registered GM crop.

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Tjerk Dalhuisen    
Netherlands  |  November, 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM

Very poor criticism, you've missed quite a lot. Today in the major French newspaper Le Monde for instance, 140 academics condemn attacks on Seralini study and double standards by opponents. Monsanto used the same rats in studies to approve both NK 603 corn and the herbicide roundup. They never disclosed any data and their studies stopped before serious effects could be seen. option=com_content&view=article&id=14434

Karen Carlisle    
Oregon  |  November, 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM

So, if there is no danger, why can't GMO be on the label? Just keep marketing better than the anti-GMO folks. It looks like you have more money than they do.

Pescadero, CA  |  November, 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I came here and all I got was garbage. The French study merely took Monsanto's original study and prolonged it. The same study Monsanto used to suggest their poisonous product was safe. If the parameters of the study didn't live up to Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam's standards, blame Monsanto -- one of UC Davis' biggest supporters. In the end, the results were devastating all the same.

Mitch W    
November, 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

If Monsanto did indeed use the same strain of rats then this may be proof that their GMO's somehow actually delay the onset of some cancers. I think i'm going to by me some GM sweet corn !

Dave Sansone    
Hawaii  |  August, 31, 2013 at 08:19 PM

Bruce Chassy’s department at the University of Illinois received $250k in funding from Monsanto in May 2012 for an initiative that partners the colleges of agriculture and media to improve “communications” regarding biotech. He has called for less testing for gmo's. He was quoted in the Hawaii Tribune Herald (and many other publications) with no mention of his funding. He is one of the biotech dirty dozen front men. Michael Taylor is the ringleader. Get organized and start a local GMO Free Chapter. GMO Free Hawaii Island is supporting Islandwide legislation to prohibit the growing of any gmo's. We have very high rate of GMO papaya contamination and the other islands are ground zero for a kine crazy open air field tests on untested, unapproved GMObiopharmacueticals and more. GMO's are just an attempt to solve problems created by poor agricultural practices. Check out this website to learn about other possibilites.

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