GM Free Cymru

SMC Hypocrisy and double standards

Fiona Fox
Science Media Centre
London

21st November 2014

Dear Fiona

I am writing to ask why you have not conducted a critical examination of the following paper:

Delaney B, Appenzeller LM, Roper JM, Mukerji P, Hoban D, Sykes GP.
"Thirteen week rodent feeding study with processed fractions from
herbicide tolerant (DP-Ø73496-4) canola".  Food Chem Toxicol. 2014.
66:173-84.

I can find no mention of it on your web site, although you must know that it has been widely criticised on the grounds that it seeks to demonstrate the safety of GMO feed on the basis of a fundamentally flawed experiment --  in which both the test group AND the control group of animals were fed on diets containing GMOs.  The effect of this, as you must know, is to mask out any statistical differences between the GM-fed group and the control group in the resulting "data noise". That crude mistake was down to either incompetence or fraud, and you will be aware that calls have been made for the paper to be retracted.  The authors, on being invited to comment on criticisms by Mesnage et al (1) simply refused to engage. They did not deny that the control diet contained GMOs, and provided no laboratory evidence to show that it was GMO-free (2).  Nor did they respond with any scientific evidence when the detailed evidence of GMO contamination was brought to their attention.

In these circumstances the study CANNOT be used to demonstrate the safety of this event in GMO canola, let alone the safety of GMOs across the board.

It will not have escaped your notice that this paper was published in FCT.  In 2013,following a furore partly orchestrated by SMC, the same journal retracted the toxicity study on NK603 GMO maize and Roundup published by Professor Séralini and colleagues (the study was republished in Environmental Sciences Europe in June 2014), while admitting that there was no fraud or deliberate error.

These double standards are perhaps not surprising when we observe the presence in the FCT editorial office of one of the authors of the DuPont study, Bryan Delaney.

My immediate concern is the hypocrisy and double standards of SMC, which supposedly prides itself on the promotion of sound science.  SMC wheeled out a host of so-called experts to attack the Seralini study at high speed, simply because it happened to be inconvenient; and it now remains stoically silent when confronted by a heavily flawed study which happens to suit its pro-GMO agenda.

I therefore ask:  will you please pull in all your "experts" once again and ask them to assess the study by Delaney et al?  And if they find it to be defective in any way, will you issue heavily promoted press guidance and call for it to be retracted?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Dr Brian John
GM-free Cymru

1 Mesnage R, Defarge N, Spiroux de Vendômois J, Séralini GE. "Letter to the Editor regarding "Delaney et al., 2014": Uncontrolled GMOs and their associated pesticides make the conclusions unreliable. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.07.003.

2 Delaney B. Response to "Letter to the Editor regarding '': Uncontrolled GMOs and their associated pesticides make the conclusions unreliable" Food Chem Toxicol. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.07.004.

[NOTE:  This letter has been re-sent with a request for a response.  As expected, we have received no acknowledgement of receipt , let alone a considered reply.  We draw our own conclusions........ hypocrisy is alive and well at SMC HQ.]