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Animal research

19 - 12 - 2018

GMO: 15 million euros and thousands of rats dismantle fake news

Scientific journalist Thierry Huet publishes an article on the results of studies showing that NK603 corn, genetically modified to resist the herbicide glyphosate, fed to rats for 3, 6 or 24 months produced neither cancer nor detectable harmful effect.


Thierry Huet recalls that in September 2012, the Nouvel Obs published a cover entitled "Yes, GMOs are poisons! " with the results of a two-year French study in rats that concluded, on the contrary, with a carcinogenic effect of NK603corn.


However, the analyzes produced by the scientific and health authorities in 2013 all concluded that the study was flawed and that it was impossible to draw any conclusions. For these same reasons, the article was finally withdrawn.


But the exceptional media coverage of this study encouraged by its anti-GMO activist author Gilles-Eric Séralini, worried France to the point that the Minister of Agriculture had requested a review of European procedures for the evaluation and approval of GMOs .


In addition, the European Union and France have spent 15 million euros and used thousands of rats to carry out a set of studies, well designed this time, to assess this transgenic maize. The results are published or in the process of publication and have been communicated. The studies all conclude, and not surprisingly for the scientific world, a lack of effect on the health of rats of GM NK603 maize administered in their diet for 3, 6 or 24 months.


In his conclusion, Thierry Huet reminds us that it is essential that scientific information be examined and analyzed with a scientific, open, critical spirit, free from cognitive biases and militant prejudices. This is the only way to allow science to participate as it should in the progress of our societies. Studies in animal models do not escape this recommendation: they must be considered for the quality of the information they provide, no more, no less.