Date Added to website 19th July 2015
Crucial paper 57: Safety tests carried out for GMO / chemicals approvals are mostly worthless due to feed contamination
Laboratory rodent diets contain toxic levels of environmental contaminants: Implications for regulatory tests. Robin Mesnage and Nicolas Defarge*, Louis-Marie Rocque, Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, and Gilles-Eric Seralini. Plos One, 2 July 2015
This important paper by Mesnage et al was finally published on 2nd July. It shows that contamination of laboratory animal feed is the norm rather than the exception. This means that most GMO "safety studies" are worthless, since both the control groups and the test groups have beengiven feed with GMOs and other toxins. Please read the paper and share our press release as widely as possible..
The authors of the recent paper on contaminated lab feed used in GMO and chemical safety testing have signalled their disappointment at the exclusion of two key sentences from their abstract as published in the journal PlosOne. The paper was due to be published on 18th June, but on the day before that the Editors delayed publication (thereby screwing up the press launch already fixed for Paris and effectively blocking off media coverage in the UK and elsewhere). The paper was finally published on 2nd July, accompanied by rather feeble excuses from the journal Editors about inadequate declarations of interest and inadequate listing of financial contributors to the study. Anyway, with the paper now safely in print, the GRIIGEN research team led by Prof Seralini has put out a statement specifying which two sentencs were removed by the Editors. They are as follows:
"This [work] invalidates the use of external controls (historical data) in regulatory tests, consisting of comparisons of toxicological effects to control rats from other experiments, because these control rats are fed different mixtures of pollutants. This also questions the use of 50 rats per group in carcinogenicity studies to increase the statistical power lost due to the elevated pathological background."
They have also flagged up their own take on the significance of the research: "Tests carried out for the commercialization of chemicals and GMOs are invalidated by the diets of laboratory rats."
Much as the GMO industry would like Seralini and his team to shut up or go away, they have no intention of doing either!
Tests carried out for the commercialization of chemicals and GMOs are invalidated by the diets of laboratory rats
Monday 6 July 2015
The paper accepted by PLOS ONE has been published finally on july 2nd and not on june 17th. No change in results, but the abstract has been shortened by the editor on the regulatory consequences and with precisions of our funding for our other works.
Laboratory rats are frequently used for testing chemicals and genetically modified (GMO) foods, as the last step before commercialization in order to determine effects on mammalian health and predict risk in humans. Such chemicals include pesticides (which often are endocrine disruptors or toxic to the nervous system), plasticizers, and food additives. Some are suspected of being carcinogenic, and others are gradually being banned after having poisoned people and the ecosystem.
However, health agencies consider that a high proportion of laboratory animals are predisposed to developing many diseases, based on industrial data archives known as "historical control data". According to these data, 13–71% of the animals would spontaneously or naturally present mammary tumors and 26–93% pituitary tumors, and the kidney function of these animals would frequently be deficient. This prevents the attribution of observed toxic effects to the products tested, and requires the sacrifice of a large number of animals in an attempt to observe statistically significant results in carcinogenicity tests, for example. But often, doubt persists and the product remains on the market. Do these diseases originate from genetic or environmental factors?
To investigate this question, the team of Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, supported by CRIIGEN, analyzed the dried feed of laboratory animals using standard methods and with the help of accredited laboratories. These animal feeds, sourced from five continents, are generally considered balanced and hygienic. The study was exceptionally wide-ranging; it investigated 13 samples of commonly used laboratory rat feeds for traces of 262 pesticides, 4 heavy metals, 17 dioxins and furans, 18 PCBs and 22 GMOs.
The results were overwhelming. All the feeds contained significant concentrations of several of these products, at levels likely to cause serious diseases and disrupt the hormonal and nervous system of the animals. This hides the effects of the products tested. For example, residues of the most widely used pesticide in the world, consisting of glyphosate and highly toxic adjuvants, such as Roundup, were detected in 9 of the 13 diets. Eleven of the 13 diets contained GMOs that are grown with large amounts of Roundup.
It should be noted that one of these feeds was used in DuPont’s regulatory study on GM Roundup-tolerant oilseed rape. The type of feed given to the control animals in the DuPont study was found to contain significant amounts of Roundup residues, at levels known to cause toxic effects. The study concluded that the oilseed rape in question was safe, yet it is obviously flawed.
It therefore appears that the long-term consumption of contaminated feed interferes with good experimental practice and that the cause of diseases and disorders found in laboratory rats has been too quickly attributed to the genetic characteristics of the species used. Contrary to the assertions of the health agencies, these diseases cannot be called "spontaneous or natural". Further, the new study shows that the results of a number of regulatory toxicology tests conducted to date are highly questionable. Does the new study bring us a step closer to understanding the compromises and laxity of the methods of some experts?
In this way, countless industrial products that are potentially dangerous for public health have been helped onto the market.
The following text has been accepted first by the editor, and censored in the abstract the day before publication. It is important for the authors : This [work] invalidates the use of external controls (historical data) in regulatory tests, consisting of comparisons of toxicological effects to control rats from other experiments, because these control rats are fed different mixtures of pollutants. This also questions the use of 50 rats per group in carcinogenicity studies to increase the statistical power lost due to the elevated pathological background.
Published in PLOS ONE
Laboratory rodent diets contain toxic levels of environmental contaminants: Implications for regulatory tests. Robin Mesnage and Nicolas Defarge*, Louis-Marie Rocque, Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, and Gilles-Eric Seralini.
* These authors contributed equally to this work and should both be considered as first authors
Contact: Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, Caen University, Institute of Biology and Network on Risks, Quality and Sustainable Environment. Tel. +33 (0)2 31 56 56 84