Scientific community rejects poor science - Claims regarding GM products should be supported by sound science, not used to advance political goals
4 October 2012
EuropaBio welcomes the release today of the initial opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on a genetically-modified (GM) maize fed rat study entitled ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’ that was published in the ‘Food and Chemical Toxicology’ review on 19 September 2012.
In its statement, EFSA says that its “initial review found that the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate” and “…unable to regard the authors’ conclusions as scientifically sound….no conclusions can be made about the occurrence of tumours in the rats tested. Therefore, based on the information published by the authors, EFSA does not see a need to reexamine its previous safety evaluation of maize NK603 nor to consider these findings in the ongoing assessment of glyphosate”.
The findings of the EU authority in charge of risk assessment confirmed that the study did not respect the fundamentals of scientific experimentation. This follows earlier conclusions by other food safety authorities
- On 1 October BfR, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment dismissed the study in the following terms: “On the basis of the publication, the BfR has come to the conclusion that the authors’ main statements are not sufficiently corroborated by experimental evidence. In addition, due to deficiencies in the study design and in the presentation and interpretation of the study results, the main conclusions of the authors are not supported by the data”.
- On 3 October, the Dutch Government Food safety authority published its opinion stating that the “….conception, execution and reporting is unsuitable…and that the authors make connections … that are not scientifically substantiated.”
These opinions give weight to the wave of comments made by scientists across Europe that the study with its accompanying film, books and media campaign should be seen as a publicity stunt designed to scare consumers and drive a political agenda, rather than to present trustworthy, methodologically correct science upon which policy conclusions can be based.
All GM products currently approved in the European Union went through a rigorous safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority, and as such are safe for human and animal consumption and for the environment.
If the EU is to fulfill its potential as a global center for science-based innovation and make the best use of all the tools available to face current and future global challenges, it is vital that sound science is defended against studies conducted with the aim of manipulating public opinion.
The EFSA’s release is available here.
More solutions from: EuropaBio
Published: October 4, 2012