In November 2012, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a paper titled Long Term Toxicity of Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant genetically modified maize by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University. It was a very significant study that made a lot of noise worldwide, the first of its kind under controlled conditions that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide.
After the research was completed, it went through rigorous reviews, as well as a four month review process by scientists and researchers. It was eventually approved and published, only to be retracted by request of the Journal. Although hundreds of scientists around the world condemned the retraction, and the researchers addressed the criticisms, it was to no avail.
There is great news to report however, as this major GMO study has now been republished following its controversial retraction (under strong commercial pressure), with even more up to date information and a response to previous criticisms.
The chronic toxicity study examined the health impacts on rats of eating commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize, alongside Monsanto’s NK603 glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
The study found severe liver and kidney damage as well as hormonal disturbances in rats fed with GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also indicated high rates of large tumors and mortality in most treatment groups.
The republished study also has a section describing the lobbying efforts of GMO crop supporters to force the retraction of the original publication. This is scientific fraud at its best. The authors express how the previous retraction was “a historic example of conflicts of interest in the scientific assessments of products commercialized worldwide.”
“We also show that the decision to retract cannot be rationalized on any discernible scientific or ethical grounds. Censorship of research into health risks undermines the value and the credibility of science, thus, we republish our paper.” – Seralini
“Censorship on research into the risks of a technology so critically entwined with global food safety undermines the value and the credibility of science.” – Seralini
This study has now successfully passed through multiple rounds of rigorous peer review. Again, the study shows that Roundup-treated GM corn as well as the herbicide used on it increases cancer in rats. There are a number of studies that demonstrate the potential health risks of GM plants, this one in particular drew heavy criticism from industry scientists.
“The major criticisms of the Seralini manuscript were that the proper strain of rats was not used and their numbers were too small. Neither criticism is valid. The strain of rat is that which is required by the FDA for drug toxicology, and the toxic effects were unambiguously significant. In fact, Monsanto published a similar study in the same journal eight years before using the same number and strain of rats. Their study was for 90 days and claimed no harm. In contrast, the Seralini study was for two years and did not see any tumors until after nine months. Therefore, it is clear that the short 90-day feeding paradigm is not sufficiently long to detect the carcinogenic effects of GM products. It takes a long time before low-level exposure to environmental toxins affect health. For example, a recent associated press report documented the dramatic increase in birth defects and cancer in areas of Argentina that have grown GM soy for a decade. Given these facts, what was the justification of the editorial decision to retract the Seralini Manuscript?”