Scientists Discredit GMO-Fed Rat Study Results

Lauren Tyler

A French study released last week linked Genetically Modified Foods with high tumor incidences in rats- but independent scientists are in a furor.

The study was released in the reputable journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology. The study used rats and concluded that the rats who were exposed to small amounts of herbicide and fed genetically modified corn became sicker at a faster rate than those who were not.

Much longer than the typical 60-day study time period, the study conducted by team-leader Gilles-Eric Seralini lasted two years with 180 rats divided into ten groups. The length of time gave the study more validity, Seralini said.

Other scientists are criticizing the research though, saying the statistical methods and type of rat gave researchers the chance to cherry-pick their results.

According to Harry Kuiper, a Dutch scientist who formerly was in charge of the European Commission's program which researched the safety of GMOs, Seralini has not been considered worthy of respect in the scientific community.

" "I know this guy. He has published a lot of rubbish," he said in an NPR report.

Some scientist are saying the albino Sprague-Dawley rat is particularly prone to developing cancers, particularly the mammary tumors which were noted with some of the study subjects, BBC reported.

According to Kuiper and many of his associates, animal feeding studies do not pose as a great model for testing. They suggested the chemical in the genetically modified corn would not be easy to detect because the rats would not eat enough of the corn over their lifetimes.

At this point in time, no new toxic substances have been found in genetically modified crops, nor has any evidence been shown to link illnesses to the millions of Americans who have genetically modified-rich diets, NPR reported.

At the same time though, evidence is increasing to suggest the dangers of GMOs with the increase of research on the topic.

According to Dr. Michael Antoniou, who was an adviser to Seralini's team and a molecular biologist at King's College in London, the finidings are significant:

"At the very least, what this study highlights is: firstly, the need to test all GM crops in two-year, lifelong studies; and, secondly, when looking at testing the toxicity of herbicides/pesticides, we need to test the full agricultural formulation and not just the active ingredient."