Jump to navigation
Impact on Society
Impact on Environment
Impact on Farms
Safety, Health, and Nutrition
Future of GMO
Science and GMO Basics
Government Oversight and Product Approvals
Last 3 Months
Voting Closed Flag (field_voting_closed_flag)
- Any -
No questions match....
After Expert Answer
Before Expert Answer
Seeking theTruth – Gilles-Eric Séralini’s two-year study of rats was recently retracted by Elsevier’s Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal that originally published it. An excerpt from the statement reads: “The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracts the article ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,’ which was published in this journal in November 2012. This retraction comes after a thorough and time-consuming analysis of the published article and the data it reports, along with an investigation into the peer-review behind the article…A more in-depth look at the raw data revealed that no definitive conclusions can be reached with this small sample size regarding the role of either NK603 or glyphosate in regards to overall mortality or tumor incidence. Given the known high incidence of tumors in the Sprague-Dawley rat, normal variability cannot be excluded as the cause of the higher mortality and incidence observed in the treated groups.” More information available here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/gmo-study-seralini-retracted_n_4357450.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/29/health/paper-tying-rat-cancer-to-herbicide-is-retracted.html?_r=0
Pls excuse the typo -- SD *rat*, not *rate*
To answer the questions posed herein, the first tumours in Seralini’s study did not appear at the end of their lives – far from it. The first tumors appeared 4-7 months into the study, which represents approximately a quarter of the SD life span. Regarding Monsanto’s use of the SD rate: “Monsanto and other manufacturers of glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient of Roundup herbicide, used the SD rat in their two-year carcinogenicity and multigenerational reproductive toxicity studies that form the basis of the EU authorization of glyphosate. If the SD rat was the wrong rat for Séralini to use, it was also the wrong rat for all these other studies. So market authorizations for the thousands of chemicals and GM foods that were granted on the basis of these studies – including glyphosate – should be revoked” “In Séralini’s study, all treatments in both sexes increased large tumour incidence 2-3-fold in comparison to controls within the experiment. By the beginning of the 24th month, 50-80% of female animals had developed tumours in all treated groups, with up to 3 tumours per animal. In the control group, in contrast, only 30% of the rats had tumours” [gmoseralini.org]. Regarding using the SD rat as the closest model for human physiology: “The SD rat is about as prone to developing tumours as humans living in industrialized countries. Researchers view it as an excellent human-equivalent model for tumour-causing and cancer-causing effects. This includes the fact that in rats, as in humans, the number of tumours increases with age. Far from muddying the picture, as critics of Séralini charge, the fact that old rats get more tumours accurately reflects the reality of human ageing” [gmoseralini.org]. We are all free to draw our own conclusions from this information. For me, this is not about fear mongering, but about learning -- we are here to learn from each other. Thanks to everyone for your feedback.
Kevin, No. All I said was that Monsanto supposedly used the same breed of rat that Seralini used.
@SeekingtheTruth -- So what you are saying is that Monsanto does high-quality research that you agree with?
They do use them for accute toxicity studies. But a two year old rat is an old rat. Couple that with the fact that they are prone to tumors and chances are there is going to be tumors. Which is what happened to the control rats. He just didn't give them the same front page photos.
Why would you not use them for other research? Aren't they the same breed that Monsanto used for research?
If they are used for tumor research, why would you use them for other research? That’s like using a strain of rat that turns sterile late in life, then coming out with a paper saying, “look! These rats are now sterile do to….blah blah blah”
@Community Manager -- While I appreciate you sharing the link, I am not particularly persuaded or convinced by the author in his criticizing the breed of rat used in the Seralini study. What the author does not mention is that the Sprague-Dawley breed is widely used and recommended in scientific research – a breed that Monsanto apparently has also used. According to Labome.com, “The most widely used mouse and rat strains are C57BL/6 mice, BALB/c mice, *Sprague-Dawley* rats, and Wistar rats.” gmoseralini.org also states, “However, the SD rat is a standard choice for long-term (2-year +) studies for tumour-causing and carcinogenic effects by independent and industry-sponsored researchers. The National Toxicology Program in the US uses the same SD rat from the same source as Séralini’s rats (Harlan) for its long-term 2-year carcinogenicity and toxicology studies.7 None of these researchers or research programmes has been challenged over their use of SD rats.” The CropGen article gradually devolves into sarcasm, which I find often happens when a point loses its momentum and cogency.
Thanks for your question. While source the appropriate expert for a response, you may be interested in this CropGen article where Dr. Van Eenennaam addresses the EFSA's position on the Seralini study: http://www.cropgen.org./article_492.html