[Published in the Guardian, Oct 30, 2012]
Kevin Orpen recently responded to my commentary ‘ It is time to stop eating GM Corn’, by saying the scientific papers cited were ‘ widely discredited” and “quickly dismissed by the international scientific community.”
I can understand how Mr. Orpen could come to that conclusion with so many recent mainstream media stories quoting pro- GMO scientists declaring that Seralini research was indeed discredited and dismissed. The U. K. Guardian Article, “Study linking GM maize to cancer must be taken seriously by regulators,” gives a more balanced view and is well worth reading.
A letter signed by over 100 colleagues of Séralini within the international scientific community titled “GMO Debate – Séralini and Science: an Open Letter” clarifies how Séralini is just the latest in a long list of scientists finding negative health impacts from GMOs with their research being targeted and harassed by pro-GMO interests.
The main criticisms have been that Seralini used the wrong type of lab rat and had too few rats in the study; but he used the very same type and number of rats as Monsanto used in its initial 90- day trials upon which approval was granted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Not surprisingly, France is now asking the European Union for an overhaul of the EU framework for evaluation, authorization and control of GMOs and pesticides. France is also promising to commission new publicly-funded research on the long term impact of genetically modified crops on animals and humans.
Why is our government unwilling to label GM food to give us a choice about what we eat? Perhaps, in part, for fear of the repercussions from industry: Monsanto has recently threatened to sue the state of Vermont if it passes a mandatory GMO labeling law. Russia, on the other hand, seems less intimidated by Monsanto and has already banned Monsanto’s GM corn as a result of Séralini’s research. There are many other studies raising red flags with GM foods, and I still believe it would be prudent for all of us to stop eating GM food.