Journal retracts controversial study on genetically modified corn

There were concerns that the number of animals used in the experiments was too low and that the rat strain used was not suitable for the experiments, the publisher responsible, elsevier, announced in cambridge (USA) on thursday evening.

A research group led by gilles-eric seralini from the university of caen in western france reported in november 2012 that the genetically modified corn NK603 from the manufacturer monsanto caused cancer in rats. The scientists had fed the animals with the genetically modified corn for two years and also exposed them to the associated pesticide glyphosate. Seralini blames genetically modified corn for rats’ early deaths.

Numerous scientists and the european food safety agency (efsa) had found the study, which appeared in the journal food and chemical toxicology, to be seriously flawed. The editor-in-chief of the U.S. Trade journal stressed that the data published in the study was correct, but not conclusive enough.

They don’t like to draw definitive conclusions about whether the genetically modified corn or the pesticide causes cancer in rats or kills them.

Seralini’s study had reignited the debate on the approval of genetically modified plants in europe. NK603 corn is approved in the european union as a raw material for the food industry or as animal feed, but not for cultivation. However, according to christoph then of the testbiotech association, it is being shunned by the european food industry, as are other genetically modified plants.

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