A scientific study suggesting that genetically modified (GM) food killed rats has been “suppressed” because of a successful lobbying operation by multinational biotech corporations, say environmental campaigners.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers under Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini at the University of Caen in northern France, ran into an immediate barrage of condemnation when it was published. As a result, it has been largely ignored by the media, and is mostly unknown in the UK.
But campaign groups are now seeking to redress that by launching a series of public meetings across the UK starring Professor Seralini. He is a molecular biologist and president of the scientific board of the Committee of Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering.
The first event, in what been dubbed “GM Health Risk Week”, is due to take place in Edinburgh University on Monday. Then on Tuesday Seralini is giving a briefing in the Scottish Parliament.
Seralini’s study was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, in September last year. It reported the results of feeding groups of laboratory rats GM maize or its associated herbicide, both made by the US company, Monsanto.
The study concluded that over two years the rats suffered increased rates of organ damage, tumours and premature death. The researchers blamed GM organisms and the herbicide, concluding that both “must be evaluated very carefully by long term studies to measure their potential toxic effects.”