CRIIGEN's Response to the Figaro - July 2007

Thursday 26 June 2008


Our paper was not particularly alarmist, but by far, one of the longest and most detailed study ever published on a toxicological analysis on mammals consuming a commercialized GMO. We demanded that the tests should be carried out over a longer period of time, as 39 signs of toxicity were observed on the livers and kidneys of the laboratory mammals consuming genetically modified (GM) maize MON863 over a 3 month period. This particular point was not questioned by the European Agency, who is only questioning the growth curves for the rats (the very beginning of our work) as they were saying that we might have not sufficiently taken into account individual variability, and that we should have traced the charts of individual weights and studied them. However the French Commission with which I have been arguing since 2003 on this matter, and to which I belong — as do Messrs Pascal and Fellous — has taken into account and put much stronger emphasis on these variations, as commended by the European Agency, which validated, as the Commission did, the safety aspect of this maize — by calculating a growth chart for each rat to deduce a theoretical model, and they still found a difference in the weights of the female rats (you did not mention this in the last column of your article, this is a serious omission), but not in the male rats, which is the opposite of our results. Everything is verifiable for any statistician on the web site of EFSA and CGB.


We have already responded to the counter-expertise of June 25 of the European Agency EFSA (see our web site), by confirming our results, and after having studied their criticism in details. According to us, this “move along, nothing to worry about here” attitude is artificial and seriously puts their own past expertise work into question, since they studied the same data. Our results are in no way deceptive, whereas their results are, when they say they have to be dose-correlated to be taken into account. With only two doses chosen beforehand, it is ludicrous, furthermore the hormonal effects do not only vary proportionally function of the dose, quite the contrary. Besides they are deliberately confusing “natural variability” and the effects of six non-equivalent different diets which conceal certain effects in the control groups. However, the effects in the groups fed on a GM-diet are stronger than with all other diets. So the argument they found is that these effects are isolated (they concentrate on the kidneys and the livers, the organs first affected in case of a food chemical poisoning). Therefore there are no serious methodological mistakes in our publication (it is a blatant lie, the European Agency never said that and does recognize that our tests are just as valid as others; we even think they are better, and they are published in an international scientific journal located in the United-States). M. Pascal is pretending he was the first to discover the effects I was exposing in 2003, however he is opposed to demanding that tests should carried out over a period longer than three months, using the same old pretext “it will show nothing”, when the tests did not go beyond a period of one month. All tests for pesticides and drugs last two years (“whole life”), and this is so in order to observe the chronic effects that cannot be seen in three months!! Furthermore, there is confirmed tissue damage after the consumption of the MON863 GM maize, in the kidneys of young male rats aged 5 months, with a chronic nephropathy at stage 18/20 (the non-GM control group was only 14/20). This was also described by the Monsanto team themselves and then written between the lines. 


The most important point is that already 12 European countries are supporting our demand for tests to be carried out over a longer period of time, and your article did not mention this either. 


Yours sincerely


Pr. Gilles-Eric Séralini


* Les experts européens innocentent un OGM