Question: does the September 2012 article “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” by Seralini et al  (journal: Food and Chemical Toxicology), give reasons to assume that there are health concerns related to consuming GM maize? Answer: No. The article of Séralini et al, suggesting that rats developed cancer after being fed with genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant maize, is based on research that is so fundamentally flawed that the conclusions of the authors have no basis.

On 28 November EFSA issued its final opinion on the article of Séralini et al, concluding that the study as reported by Séralini et al. was found to be “inadequately designed, analysed and reported.”. Many authorities have issued reviews that all come to a similar conclusion.

Despite the flaws in the research, Séralini et al widely publicised the unsubstantiated conclusions in a campaign with anti-biotech groups and politicians, which is a very unusual format for scientists. Moreover, as antivivisection groups pointed out, letting this particular strain of rats – which spontaneously develop tumours – live so long that they develop huge tumours, is unethical (link).

In a letter to European politicians and policymakers, PRRI endorsed the analysis and conclusions of EFSA and other authorities mentioned above, and – together with the farmers organisations listed below – added concerns about the way in which some policymakers have hastily reacted to Séralini’s research, and how some politicians have used the research to advance political agendas. The farmer organisations subscribing this letter are: Asociación Agraria Jóvenes Agricultores (ASAJA), Spain, InnoPlanta (Germany), FuturAgra (Italy), Association of Maize producers (AGPM, France), AgroBiotechRom (Romania), Ligii Asociatiilor Producatorilor Agricoli din Romania (LAPAR, Romania), European Confederation of Maize (CEPM), Association of wheat, maize and oilseed producers (ORAMA, France), Fédération Nationale de la Production des Semences de Maïs et de Sorgho (FNPSMS, France), Conservation Agriculture Association (APOSOLO, Portugal).

Translations of the letter and links to further information