EU finds GM maize and cancer study ‘inadequate’

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has conducted an initial review into  a highly criticised French study linking herbicide resistant GM maize and cancer in rats, and found the research substantially lacking in terms of methodology and data.

The research was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology by Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues. You can read reaction from scientists to the study here.

EFSA’s initial review found that the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate. To enable the fullest understanding of the study the Authority has invited authors Séralini et al to share key additional information.

Read the EFSA’s full media release here.

Our colleagues at the UK SMC collected the following expert commentary. Feel free to use these quotes in your reporting. If you would like to contact a New Zealand expert, please contact the SMC (04 499 5476;

Prof Cathie Martin of the Department of Metabolic Biology at the John Innes Centre said:

“EFSA do not take their responsibility towards food safety lightly, and their latest analysis of the Seralini maize paper should reassure the public that this paper offers no useful information on toxicity of Roundup or herbicide resistant crops.

“If this maize were genuinely toxic as the Seralini paper reported, it would be important to make that public.  But the EFSA analysis is unequivocal in its criticisms of the work.  The fact they find the analysis of insufficient quality to draw meaningful conclusions is of huge significance and very much in line with what we at the John Innes Centre, and much of the rest of the scientific community, have already said.

“I hope that the journal and the team behind the original work will take notice of this and cooperate in providing all the additional information required to support their claims, or retract the paper.”