The paper of Prof. Séralini has considerable interest in that it gives results on the long-term effects on the health of rats of feeding Roundup Ready maize and Roundup. Such research has never been done over such a long period, though genetically modified crops are directly or indirectly part of the diet for an increasing part of the human population. The health of hundreds of millions of people is at stake.

Behind GM crops are a few companies of considerable economic power and influence. They generate massive global propaganda to push government authorities to authorize GM crops and to reduce regulation as much as possible. Everyone will remember that these companies have even accused people who requested caution in the spreading of these crops of being responsible for the deaths of millions of people in poor countries.

We know also the famous argument that GM crops have been eaten for many years by millions of people without any demonstrated health effects. The weakness of this argument is considerable as in the US, the country where most GM crops have been consumed over the longest period, consumption of GM crops is not distinguishable from consumption of non-GM crops. At the same time, we discover, day after day, complex new health problems that are very difficult to understand, to diagnose and to cure, but which, globally speaking, can be linked to a change in the environment and lifestyle, including diet.

Scientific debate on the method applied by Prof. Séralini and on his results is normal and positive. But the a priori and offensive disqualification that has followed this publication constitutes a new demonstration of the methods that powerful companies are ready to use to defend their profit.

The work of Prof. Séralini also questions the arrogant certainty of scientists who often have conflicts of interest with those companies and who have adopted an ideological pro-GMO position. They do not admit any doubt about the virtue of biotechnology. If the results of Prof. Séralini are so evidently erroneous, it will be easy for them to demonstrate it by repeating his experiments with a stronger experimental method. Go ahead, instead of insulting [Séralini]. The core principle of science is the possibility to demonstrate that a result is false, if it is so.

Michel Ferry, researcher, INRA, France