A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on 'Roundup ready' GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures..
The study by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al., Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modiﬁed maize, which found massive tumors, kidney and liver damage in rats on a GMO Roundup-Ready maize diet, has been republished in the Springer open source journal Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU, 2014, 26:14). The ESEU journal editor gave the following reason for republishing Seralini's study:“To support rational scientific debate rather than to censor it.”
Originally, Séralini's study underwent peer review by five reviewers and was published in the Elsevier journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), in November of 2012. Massive criticism by commercial pro-GMO sources pressured FCT into the unprecedented step of retracting the study, a move that was condemned by the scientific community (Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics).
A companion article is also being published in the same issue by Séralini et al. titled, Conflicts of interests, confidentiality and censorship in health risk assessment: The example of a herbicide and a GMO (ESEU, 2014, 26:13). This article outlines the whole sorry state of affairs of the corporate corruption of science, including conflicts of interest, censorship, and double standards. (my emphasis)Séralini's companion article outlines the unprecedented level of corruption of the scientific process by corporate interests, including FCT's hiring of Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee, as Assistant Editor who had earlier written a letter of complaint to the journal in which he had written:
"‘The implications and the impacts of this uncontrolled study is having HUGE impacts, in international trade, in consumer confidence in all aspects of food safety, and certainly in US state referendums on labelling."Séralini's study has now undergone no less than three blind rigorous peer reviews. In the words of Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist based in London: "Few studies would survive such intensive scrutiny by fellow scientists... The science speaks for itself. If even then they refuse to accept the results, they should launch their own research study on these two toxic products that have now been in the human food and animal feed chain for many years." (Emphasis mine. quote from The Ecologist.com.)
And that is how Science is supposed to work. If any scientist disagrees with the findings of any paper, they are free to design their own study to disprove it. However, they ought not to be free to suppress another scientist's work based on their disagreement except in the matters of fraud which is not the case with the Seralini study.
One important point brought up by Séralini's study and the massive effort to discredit it is the complete inadequacy of our current testing regimen. Séralini's study was a long term toxicity test while Monsanto's 90 day testing followed a testing regimen designed in the 1950s. Ninety-day testing does nothing to reveal the long term consequences for chemically induced chronic diseases which typically manifest during middle aged subjects. Additionally, the new-since-1950 science of epigenetics is demonstrating that deadly disruption of endocrine systems can be triggered by chemical residues at concentrations far below the MRL (maximum residue levels).
Now that the Séralini study has undergone the most rigorous gauntlet of scientific peer review and has been republished by a respected journal, regulators need to look at the ramifications of his findings and act for the public health.
Seralini's study found the following 'Significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures':
•"Biochemical analyses confirmed very significant chronic kidney deficiencies, for all treatments and both sexes; 76% of the altered parameters were kidney-related.
•"In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5 to 5.5 times higher. Marked and severe nephropathies were also generally 1.3 to 2.3 times greater.
•"In females, all treatment groups showed a two- to threefold increase in mortality, and deaths were earlier.
•"This difference was also evident in three male groups fed with GM maize.
•"All results were hormone- and sex-dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable.
•"Females developed large mammary tumors more frequently and before controls;
•"the pituitary was the second most disabled organ;
•"the sex hormonal balance was modified by consumption of GM maize and Roundup treatments.
•"Males presented up to four times more large palpable tumors starting 600 days earlier than in the control group, in which only one tumor was noted.
•"These results may be explained by not only the non-linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup but also by the overexpression of the EPSPS transgene or other mutational effects in the GM maize and their metabolic consequences.
•"Our findings imply that long-term (2 year) feeding trials need to be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of GM foods and pesticides in their full commercial formulations."
The paper concludes: "Taken together, the significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures documented in this work reveal the pathological effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes, with different amplitudes.
"They also show that the conclusion of the Monsanto authors that the initial indications of organ toxicity found in their 90-day experiment were not 'biologically meaningful' is not justifiable.
"We propose that agricultural edible GMOs and complete pesticide formulations must be evaluated thoroughly in long-term studies to measure their potential toxic effects."