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expert reaction to EFSA report conclusion that Séralini study conclusions were not supported by data

The European Food Safety Authority’s final review reaffirmed its initial assessment that Séralini et al‘s conclusions, in a paper in Food and Chemical Toxicology which linked GM maize to the development of tumours in rats, cannot be regarded as scientifically sound because of inadequacies in the design, reporting and analysis of the study.

 

Professor Dale Sanders, head of the John Innes Centre, said

“It is immensely gratifying that public bodies such as the EFSA are taking into account informed scientific advice when deliberating on issues of food and health.  The essential flaws in the study by Seralini et al have been effectively highlighted.  The recent commentary in Nature has demonstrated how Seralini and colleagues have attempted to manipulate press coverage of their supposed findings, which the EFSA have found to be flawed.  The JIC wholeheartedly endorses the processes and  findings of the EFSA. “

 

Professor Maurice Moloney, Institute Director and Chief Executive, Rothamsted Research, said:

“The full EFSA report confirms the original reaction of a large majority of qualified scientific experts that the Seralini study is seriously deficient in its design, its execution and its conclusions. This is compounded with the excessive secrecy around the data, which should have been released in their entirety so that this matter may reach closure. The consistency of the critique from several national risk evaluation agencies should prompt Elsevier to re-evaluate the standards of peer review at its journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.”

 

Professor Alan Boobis, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, Imperial College London, said:

“EFSA’s final review of the paper by Seralini et al (2012) confirms the view of many scientists who read the paper with some surprise that it had been published, in that the study was inadequately designed, analysed and reported.”

 

Professor Cathie Martin, Group leader, John Innes Centre, and Editor-in-Chief of The Plant Cell, said:

“Given that EFSA concludes that the  authors’ conclusions cannot be regarded as scientifically sound because of inadequacies in the design, reporting and analysis,  is it not time for Food and Chemical Toxicology to retract the manuscript? This paper has had orders of magnitude greater peer-review than most scientific publications, yet despite no independent scientific expert being able to support its design, reporting or analysis, it remains, gathering citations and increasing the impact factor for the journal. Is this not an example of scientific publishing at its most cynical?”

 

Professor Jonathan Jones, Senior Scientist, Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, said:

“The message is clear.  The conclusions drawn by Seralini et al are not justified by the data provided in the paper.  The authors did not adequately respond to requests for more details about their data or their analysis methods. Conclusion; there are no data that justify the need to reopen safety evaluations of the GM event NK603.  Since the authors failed  to find these products dangerous, and since these data are not provided by Monsanto but rather by public sector scientists, I for one am even more confident than before that the product is completely safe.”

 

 

Final review of the Séralini et al. (2012a) publication on a 2-year rodent feeding study with glyphosate formulations and GM maize NK603 as published online on 19 September 2012 in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

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