Crop Biotech Update

EFSA Reviews Seralini's Study on Biotech Maize

October 10, 2012
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released the results of their review on the paper by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini, a molecular biologist at Caen University, who conducted a study about the potential toxicity of biotech maize NK603 and glyphosate herbicide. The initial review of the EFSA multi-disciplinary task force outlined the issues on the study which include the following:
  • The strain of rat used in the study are prone to develop tumors in their life time, thus the development of tumors was a natural incidence, regardless of any treatment they are exposed to.
  • There was no appropriate number of controls for the sample size.
  • The study did not follow the protocols of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which include the need for at least 50 rats per treatment, whereas Seralini used only 10 per treatment set.
  • The paper did not state any objective and did not present the study design, sample size, and statistical methods used.
  • The composition of the food given to the rats was not mentioned in the report.

With the issues found by the task force, EFSA is presently unable to regard Seralini's conclusions as scientifically valid and does not see the need to re-assess NK603 nor to consider the results in the ongoing assessment of glyphosate. EFSA released a letter for Seralini and team requesting for proper documentation to clarify their claims.

Read EFSA's statement at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2910.pdf.