- Séralini’s 2012 study findings have raised serious concerns about the long-term effects of eating genetically modified (GM) foods and residues of associated pesticides. His study should be taken seriously and should be evaluated alongside industry tests that conclude GM foods are safe, using the same criteria.
- Evaluations of the study must be carried out according to rigorous scientific principles by scientists who are independent of the GM industry. These scientists must also be independent of any government body previously involved in authorizations of GM foods and pesticides.
- Any counter-studies performed to test Séralini’s research findings should be designed with full public transparency and carried out by independent scientists with no conflicts of interest.
- Until independent studies have confirmed the safety of GM foods and their associated pesticides, the products must be withdrawn from the market in accord with the precautionary principle. Further GM food authorizations should be frozen.
- All GM foods and associated pesticides must be tested in long-term toxicological feeding trials (two years for rodents) and multigenerational trials before being granted market authorization. Laws must be rewritten to mandate long-term tests. GM products and associated pesticides already on the market must also be tested.
- Tests on GM foods must be designed to distinguish whether any effects are due to effects of the genetic modification, the pesticide engineered into/used with the GM crop, or a combination of the two.
- Rigorous and internationally agreed protocols must be established for the safety testing of GM foods and associated pesticides. Independent scientists with a range of viewpoints on GM and with experience in experimental design must be invited to give input into the test designs. Until such protocols are established, further market authorizations for GM foods must be frozen.
- In future, tests on GM foods and associated pesticides must be funded by industry but carried out by independent scientists. A distance must be maintained between industry and the scientists by requiring industry to pay a fee into a fund which would be managed by a publicly funded and accountable body.
1. Séralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, et al. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology. November 2012; 50(11): 4221-4231.