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European Food Safety Authority report on GM maize paper
4 October 2012EFSA finds paper linking GM maize to cancer is inadequate and no conclusions can be drawn
The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) has reviewed the recent paper by Seralini et al in Food Chem Toxocol. They found that “the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate” and that no conclusions can be made about the occurrence of tumours in the rats tested.
EFSA has published a list of issues about the paper that would need to be resolved before it could be viewed as well-conducted and properly-reported study. Until they are addressed “EFSA is presently unable to regard the authors’ conclusions as scientifically sound.” EFSA will not be reviewing its safety guidelines for the maize based on this paper.
Per Bergman, who led EFSA’s work, said: “Some may be surprised that EFSA’s statement focuses on the methodology of this study rather than its outcomes; however, this goes to the very heart of the matter. When conducting a study it is crucial to ensure a proper framework is in place. Having clear objectives and the correct design and methodology create a solid base from which accurate data and valid conclusions can follow. Without these elements a study is unlikely to be reliable and valid.”
EFSA has asked the authors for study documentation and procedures. Sense About Science and others have also asked the authors to release their full data and original protocol. You can find our summary of criticisms of the paper and links to expert comment on it here.