One of the few scientists in the world conducting indpendent health tests on GE foods has won vindication this week with a court upholding his claims of libel against opponents seeking to discredit him.
Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini had completed several re-analyses of Monsanto data used to gain approval for three GE corn varieties in the EU since 2007. Seralini’s study revealed liver damage and metabolic irregularities in rats fed Monsanto corn varieties already approved for human consumption:
“the data reveal signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded”
Seralini’s article was punlished in the respected, peer-reviewed periodical, The International Journal of Biological Sciences.
Monsanto and the EU food standards body EFSA, dismissed the results of the findings. Seralini's research, and his fearless criticism of the approval processes for the Monsanto crops, has made him unpopular in biotech circles and he has been subjected to vitriol from those who push the biotech line.
The most bitter and vocal assault came from the chair of the French Association for Plant Biotechnology, Mark Fellous, a mouthpiece for the GE industry in the country that stands, perhaps, most firmly in the way of Monsanto et al’s quest for global acceptance.
It is no surprise that FSANZ has followed suit, as Seralini’s findings call into question the entire approval process that has put dozens of foods on Australian shelves completely unlabelled.
Biotech companies and the scientists, pundits and food standards bodies who push their agenda, have a long history of launching strident attacks on any independent researcher who questions the validity of their self-serving and deceptive health and safety claims.
Gilles-Eric Séralini, winner of the Order of Merit of France for his scientific career, is professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen in France, and president of the scientific council for independent research on genetic engineering (CRIIGEN). He has also been adviser to the French Government and the EU at World Trade Organization summits, and the Council of Ministers on GMOs.
The court order upholding his claims of libel against Mr Fellous represent a rare boost for those few scientists and whistleblowers, willing to speak out against powerful GM interests.