GMO News
Prof Seralini testified in the European Parliament on the follow-up of his in vivo study - May 27th PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frédérique Baudouin   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini was invited last May 27th, 2013  to the session of the PETI Committee that discussed 3 petitions related to GMOs, in particular to debate the persisting conflicts of interest and industry influence that affect European policy making and decision taking. At the heart of the matter is the way EFSA conducts risk assessments of GMOs.

 

Séralini testified in the European Parliament on the follow-up of his 2-years toxicological study on rats published last September in the peer reviewed scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, which provoked a furore among GMO proponents and the biotech industry. Séralini explained a few of his main concerns on the assessment of GMOs and their associated pesticides, among them the most sold herbicide in the world, Round-up, from Monsanto (also the seed producer of Round-up Ready crops, such as soya, corn and cotton).

 

http://gmo.greens-efa.eu/gmo-authorisations-9932.html
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 June 2013 )
 
The covert war to discredit Seralini's study PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frédérique Baudouin   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
There's a simple way to definitively discredit Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini's controversial study that apears to show the potentially harmful effects of GMOs: pressurise the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) that published it to "retract" the study from its list of publications.

This is what many experts are fighting to achieve in what appears to be an orchestrated attack. It's a veritable public relations war with no holds barred.

The journal has received many letters from critics. It has published around twenty, and a response to the critics by the Séralini team is also available online.

Legitimate scientific debate, you might say. But behind the cohort of academic titles that are listed is a hidden "biotech sphere" which brings together biotechnology researchers, regulatory policy experts and representatives of industry.

These biotechnology proponents denounce the "bad science" ("junk science") of the "militant researchers", who are routinely described as "activists linked to the environmental movement" and as "motivated by personal interests."

An international network

Among the first letters published, there is one that stands out because it has no author listed. It is a joint letter signed by 26 people, most of them scientists, including the [French] national critic of Seralini, Marc Fellous of the French Association for Plant Biotechnology [AFBV].
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512007922

The AFBV is behind the Academies' attack on Gilles-Eric Seralini as a "militant" responsible for the "orchestration of a scientific reputation [...] by spreading fear".
[http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14362 ]

A number of Marc Fellous' co-signatories are linked to the pro-GM group AgBioWorld, led by the geneticist CS Prakash, who is himself a signatory of the joint letter.

Prakash and his organization are also the originators of two petitions the first collected 57 signatures and the second 731) calling for "the release of the raw data" of Gilles-Eric Seralini. Astonishingly, the first signatories of each petition are the same people who sent the letters to the journal FCT.

Viral campaigns of defamation

In 2002, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed that AgBioWorld had played a major role in a "viral campaign" of defamation against the whistleblower Ignacio Chapela after he uncovered the genetic contamination of Mexican corn.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/may/14/greenpolitics.digitalmedia

The inquiry revealed that the [AgBioWorld] organisation's website was hosted by the communications firm Bivings, which was employed by Monsanto and directed by one Jay Byrne.
http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Jay_Byrne

It used false identities ("Mary Murphy" and "Andura Smetacek") to speak in the name of "the scientific community" and promote the idea that Chapela was linked to environmentalists, who were likened to "terrorists" and "vandals".
http://powerbase.info/index.php?title=Center_for_Food_and_Agricultural_Research

The Bivings company was dissolved in December 2011 after a cyber attack by Anonymous in the guise of "Operation End Monsanto." But Byrne has continued to operate from a headquarters in St. Louis (Illinois, USA), where Monsanto is also headquartered along with his new company V-fluence.
http://www.v-fluence.com/

This strategy of defamation was exactly the one used by Henry Miller, a signatory of the joint letter to FCT, "health regulation" expert at AgBioWorld, and member of the neoconservative think tank, the Hoover Institution.
http://www.agbioworld.org/experts/index.html

In a series of articles published by Forbes, he describes Seralini's study as "fraudulent", and he denounces the "fear profiteers" of a "protest industry funded by organic interests".

This vitriolic attack has Jay Byrne as a co-author, who, the magazine had to disclose, was responsible for viral [PR] communications for Monsanto (1997-2001).

Henry Miller's CV is just as interesting because he is the "founding father" (1989-1994) of GMO regulation at the US Food and Drug Administration. He is the architect, with former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor, of the infamous "principle of substantial equivalence", the cornerstone of GMO regulation across the world.

Hidden conflicts of interest

Another striking tactic among critics of Seralini is concealing their relationship with industry and systematically presenting themselves as scientists from universities or research centers.

This applies to Anthony Trewavas and Bruce Chassy, experts in biology and GMOs at AgBioWorld, and both authors of a letter demanding the retraction of Seralini's paper by the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Presenting himself as Professor Emeritus of Food Safety at the University of Illinois, Chassy is a lobbyist who participated in the drafting of a paper for Dow Chemicals, another biotech giant, aimed at simplifying or removing food safety regulations for GMOs. He is also the lead author, with an employee of Monsanto, of two policy reports [2004, 2008] on the regulation of GMOs for the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), the main lobby group of the food industry.

Note that two leaders of the GMO Panel of the European Agency for Food Safety (EFSA), Harry A. Kuiper, its former chair for nearly ten years (2003-2012) and Gijs A. Kleter, current vice-chair, appear on these strategic documents of ILSI under the direction of Chassy.

Furthermore, while three of the letter writers [to the journal] openly specify their contractual relationship with Monsanto, Dr. Andrew Cockburn modestly presents himself as a toxicologist at the University of Newcastle. However, until 2003, Mr. Cockburn was Scientific Director for Monsanto Europe/Africa before setting up his lobbying firm Toxico-Logical Consulting Ltd..

And since it's a small world, Dr. Cockburn is also the director of the ILSI expert task force on the evaluation of foods containing nanomaterials.

Lobbying for $13 billion

The litany of conflicts of interest and pro-biotech positions of the fifty or so public critics of Seralini's study could continue for pages. We meet representatives of Indian organisations that promote the trade in biotechnology, others who want to end world hunger with a ration of GMOs, or pro-GMO communications specialists (David Tribe), and other lobbyists working between São Paulo, Washington and Brussels, the golden triangle of GMOs...

A closed world, dressed in the garb of science; the well-oiled marketing strategy of a GM seed industry that reaped 13 billion dollars in 2011 – all this stands to be disrupted by Seralini's study. It remains to be seen whether the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology can resist the weight of the lobby that is determined to bury Seralini's study.
 
Pluridisclinary Symposium "Environment & Health" in Caen 11-12 March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by HH   
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Frédérick Lemarchand and Gilles-Eric Séralini co-directors of the Risk Pole MRSH, CNRS, University of Caen are delighted to invite you at the following symposium:

Yearly Pluridisciplinary

 

INNOVATION & PRECAUTION SYMPOSIUM

 

University of Caen, Basse-Normandie, right handside building,

Lecture Theater Demolombe

Programme 11-12 March 2010

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 January 2011 )
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Opinion of CRIIGEN on the Labelling of GMOs - January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by HH   
Tuesday, 02 February 2010

Opinion of the Board of Directors and the Scientific Council of CRIIGEN 

on the Evolution of the Labelling of GMOs and of Animals Fed on GMOs 

Following the Meeting of 15 January 2010.


Preamble::

The Labelling of GMOs in Europe is evolving in particular where thresholds are concerned. Hence, this poses the following question today: at what threshold exactly is a product considered to contain GMOs? Whether this concerns vegetable products or animal products fed on GMOs (meat, eggs, dairy products, fish and so on and so forth). Up till now, for vegetable products, the threshold has been raised to 0.9 % per ingredient, but no labelling makes it possible for the consumer to know whether or not the animal products he is consuming come from cattle fed on GMOs (or on products contaminated by GMOs, which is more frequent). However GMOs are massively penetrating the food chain via animal feed, and recent counter-expertise work, published by CRIIGEN, as well as Monsanto studies carried out only over three months, on rats fed on 3 different GMOs, make us fear the development of chronic pathologies and demonstrate that the assessment is seriously insufficient. It is therefore crucial and urgent that the consumer should be informed. 

 

In response to the recommendation of the French Biotech High Council (HCB) [see our GMO News section] 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 April 2010 )
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Labelling of GMO-Free Products: The French Biotech High Council is Suggesting Allowing Up To a 0.1% PDF Print E-mail
Written by HH   
Thursday, 05 November 2009

 

The French Biotech High Council* has recommended that the labelling of GMO-free products should be strictly limited to products which do not contain more than 0.1% transgenic DNA. The French Government announced straight away that they were preparing a decree defining how the law regarding GMO-free labelling should be enforced.

* Haut Conseil des Biotechnologies

 

The French Biotech High Council was set up last April, one year and a half after the “Grenelle de l'Environnement”, and was consulted on 15 June 2009 by the Government on the definition of the so-called GMO-free industries, one of the key-elements in the law from 25 June 2008 concerning the freedom of consuming and producing with or without GMOs.

 

 

In its recommendation, the Biotech High Council Economic, Ethical and Social Committee (CEES) suggests that the “GMO-free” labelling of vegetable products should be strictly limited to the products which do not contain more than 0.1% transgenic DNA, “ie, the lowest technically possible threshold that guarantees both respect for the consumer and reliability in the transactions”.

For animal products like milk, meat or cheese, GMO-free claims such as “raised on GMO-free feed” or “from animals raised from GMO-free feed” should be limited to animal products from animals raised on GMO-free feed with less 0.1%  than transgenic DNA, according to CEES.

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 May 2010 )
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Creation of ENSSER in Berlin - Sept. 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by HH   
Thursday, 15 October 2009

Meeting of the Network of Scientist Concerned by the Environment ENSSER to which CRIIGEN belongs. 

European Network of Scientists for Social and Environnemental responsability www.ensser.org 

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 April 2010 )
 
CRIIGEN's Suggestions Towards the GMO Bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by HH   
Thursday, 06 December 2007
Within the framework of the preparation of the GMO Bill, CRIIGEN has adopted the following suggestions during its General Assembly, and with a view to submit them to M. Borloo, Ministry of Ecology and Mme Kosciusko-Morizet, Secretary of State for Ecology.
 

1. The right to information:


1.1. Recognizing a full right to information on all the studies on health and the Environment prior to GMO dissemination or commercialization authorizations, without the possibility of industrial secrecy being put forward, in accordance with the enforcement of article 25.4. Publication of all the raw data that were used as a base for the opinions of the administrative commissions and the minutes of the meetings of the saidcommissions in relation to the opinions they published. Also, publications of assessment reports established by the competent authority.
 
1.2. Recognizing a right to information once the authorizations have been delivered. This means that the authorization dossiers as well as the authorizations should be made available in the town halls concerned. Furthermore, within the framework of article 9 of Directive 2001-18, information on all GMO disseminations in France on account of experiments must be permanently available as well as the information contained in information exchanges in accordance with article 11. We are talking about information exchanges between the competent authorities and the commission.

2. GMO impact studies

 

The content of the studies necessary to obtain authorizations, must be defined in accordance with the definition given in Article 2-8 of the Directive. By “Assessment of the risks to the Environment” one must understand “Assessment of the risks, whether direct or indirect, immediate, delayed or unforeseen effects on human health or the environment of GMOs as or in products after they have been placed on the market”. In accordance with Annex II of the Directive, all the characteristics of the GMOs that have a potential to cause a risk to human health and the Environment must be identified, as well as those that are likely to contaminate human food.


As far GMO pesticides are concerned, that is to say herbicide-tolerant GMOs or GMOs producing an insecticide, the Law will have to assimilate them to pesticides and, as a consequence, demand that the same studies, in accordance with Annex II of Directive 91 - 414 (that is to say three months tests on three different mammal species, at one year for a species and at two years for another species). For the other non-pesticide GMOs, studies will have to include a minima a health section including a study on rats fed for at least 90 days. 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 May 2010 )
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