Chris123's picture
Why was the research of Árpád János Pusztai disregarded? His results raised important questions to the health and safety of GM foods but he was denounced and not allowed to continue his research. Can you explain? thank youÁrpád_Pusztai

A:Expert Answer

The research you reference was addressed by the Royal Society, which is a fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.  The Royal Society convened a panel of scientific experts to review the research and found “no convincing evidence of adverse effects from GM potatoes,” due in part to a number of flaws in study design, execution and analysis. You can find the highlights and full repor,t conducted in 1999, here.


The panel also pointed out that this research was conducted on “one particular species of animal, when fed with one particular product, modified by the insertion of one particular gene by one particular method.”  It would be very difficult to base conclusions about the overall impact of GM foods and health on the results from this study or any other single study.


In contrast, there have been thousands of studies done on GM crops and their impact on human food safety, animal food safety and the environment. The overwhelming body of evidence has shown the safety of GM crops and food produced from them. For example, the Biofortified website includes a database of peer-reviewed reports in the scientific literature which document the general safety and nutritional wholesomeness of GM foods and feeds. Visit the database here for more details.

Content Topics: 


Community Manager's picture

Thanks for question. You may be interested in this overview of the study from experts who have researched it:

Joseph Najjar's picture

well, judging from the wikipedia page you posted, his experiment design was inherently flawed. He apparently used different rats for his experiment than for his controls. In addition, "The Royal Society of Medicine declared that the study ‘is flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis’ and that ‘no conclusions should be drawn from it’.[11] For example, too few rats per test group were used to derive meaningful, statistically significant data"

That seems pretty clear cut to me. More recently, a French researcher made claims that GM food has caused tumors in rats. It was later revealed that he used a line of rats that are genetically predisposed to grow tumors by the time they are 2 years old, regardless of diet. He also failed to mention that his control rats had developed tumors the same size as his experimental rats. In both cases, its just bad science. There is a reason the rest of the scientific community doesnt accept these examples.