Below are the contents of a letter from AfricaBio to a South African Minister, describing global scientific community reaction to the French ‘Seralini study’ on rats fed GMOs.
GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY ASSERTS THAT THE RAT STUDY IS FRAUDULENT
AfricaBio and members read with deep concern, the deceitful letter written by the African Centre for Biosafety to the Honourable Minister, quoting data which has been severely criticised by the scientific community as flawed. I am kindly writing to you Hon Minister to consider the following comments from various scientists across the globe:
- The statistical analysis is questionable or incorrect. The sample size is too small – the control group is inadequate to make any deductions. The maize only diet of the rats is dubious and unrealistic. No food intake data or growth data is provided.
- The report does not suggest that the effects are caused by genetic modification.
- The choice of rat type is incorrect and deeply questionable. This type is very prone to mammary tumors particularly when food intake is not restricted. The report does not mention that up to 86% of male and 72% of female rats of this type spontaneously get cancer at the age of 2 years (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/521452).
- There was no proper control group of test rats, without those additional controls “these results are of no value”.
- The French team’s claim to be the first to test for the animal’s whole lifespan is incorrect. The report does not refer to the hundreds of existing reports, as is good scientific practice.
- The data has not been made available. From a scientific point of view this is questionable and suggests there is something to hide.The paper is supposed to have been reviewed by other scientists before it was allowed for publication, but the French team refused to allow journalists to show the paper to other scientists before the news reports were published.
- The French researcher has long been opposed to GM crops – often producing“pseudo-science” as one scientist said. The group has conflicts of interest – funded by large French retailers, and anti-GM NGOs, and with close links to Greenpeace and the organic movement and others in national and European politics with dubious political motivations.
- The process of first releasing data to the media, prior to the article, in a highly organized and coordinated fashion, all organized by a PR closely linked with the organic movement, suggests the intention is not to produce good science, but to scare people and media into forming negative opinions of GM.The combination of the report launch with the publication of an anti-GM book by MEP Corinne Lepage is dubious. “Is this science or is this political campaigning?”
- The inclusion of emotionally distressing photos in the article suggests that the authors have other intentions in mind than scientific data. Rather the interest was to create uproar.
- The report writes that ‘All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here’. This is a form of scientific cherry picking that is not good scientific practice. In that sense the report is “sub-standard” and should not have gotten through peer-review.
AMA REITERATES SUPPORT FOR GM TECHNOLOGY | ama.assn.org.
The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement reiterating its position on genetically modified crops. It continues to recognize the conclusions of the 1987 National Academy of Sciences white paper that (a) There is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms;
- Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned (newscientist.com)
- EU Sides With Monsanto On GMO Cancer Corn Study (alexanderhiggins.com)
- Controversial French GM Corn Study Under Review By Euro Commission (planetsave.com)
- Small farmers to get data on GMOs (times.co.zm)