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Conflicts of interest at the European Food Safety Authority erode public confidence

07 Aug 2013

In September 2012 Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, a researcher at the University of Caen in France, published his team's findings that a Monsanto genetically-modified (GM) maize and Roundup herbicide caused increased rates of organ damage, tumours and mortality in rats fed over a 2-year period.1 The study was significant because it followed the rats over a long-term period, with the first tumours only appearing after 4–7 months. In contrast, the safety studies carried out by GM seed companies in support of EU authorisations typically last for a maximum of 90 days.2–4 In other words, these studies are incapable of seeing long-term effects such as those found in Séralini's study.

Europe's food safety agency, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), dismissed Séralini's study on the grounds of ‘inadequate design, analysis and reporting’.5 6 However, far from laying to rest public concerns...

7 August 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health