Cover

“Yes, GMO crops are poisons!” announces the front cover of Nouvel Observateur, which publishes an exclusive report on a French study on GMO corn. It concerns in particular Monsanto NK 603, and its impact on the health of 200 rats over a period of two years. According to Nouvel Observateur the findings of the study, entitled Tous cobayes ! [All Guinea Pigs] and the eponymous film, by Caen University molecular biology professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, are like “a fragmentation bomb” —

They pulverise the official verity which claims that genetically modified corn is innocuous. Even at low doses, the GMO studied was highly toxic and even fatal for rats, to the point where if it was a medicine, it would be immediately suspended pending further investigation. It is this same GMO that ends up on our plates, when it is used to produce meat, eggs and milk.

The results brook no contradiction —

In the 13th month of the experiment […] the incidence of tumours in rats of both sexes fed on GMO corn was two to three times higher than it was in rats on a GMO-free diet. At the start of the 24th month, that is to say at the end of their lives, 50% to 80% of females fed on GMO corn were affected as opposed to 30% in the GMO-free group.

EurActiv.com reports that fallout from the publication of the results “has reached Brussels” —

… where decisions on GMOs are taken on the level of the EU’s 27 member states. The French government has demanded that the study be verified by the French National Food Security Agency, while the European Commission has instructed the European Food Security Agency (EFSA) to do likewise.

EurActiv points out that the effectiveness of this second measure is unlikely to impress Greenpeace, which has argued that EFSA is distinguished by the longstanding and “scandalously close links between its members and the industry and a lack of independence.”

However, the Caen University study has also been the subject of sceptical reactions from a number of scientists: several biologists questioned by Reutershave voiced doubts about the protocols and methods used in implementing tests.