For anyone who has been left with the impression that Gilles-Eric Seralini is some kind of maverick or fringe scientist, it's worth noting that as well as being Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Caen, France, in charge of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he has written over 100 scientific articles and conference papers for international specialist symposiums.
He has also been an appointed member of two French government commissions on GMOs - the Biomolecular Engineering Commission (CGB - Commission du Genie Biomoleculaire) which oversees risk assessment, on which he served for nine years, and the Biovigilance Committee looking at commercialised GMOs, on which he served for ten years. In 2003 he was appointed an expert advisor on GM to the European Commission in the context of its WTO dispute. And in 2008, Prof. Seralini was made a Knight of the French Order of Merit in recognition of his scientific research.
However, since the time that he began to voice serious concerns about GM, and about the quality of GM, food and pesticide regulation, he has come under sustained personal attack, particularly after his research exposing problems in this area was published in the peer reviewed literature.
In January 2011 he won a libel case against Marc Fellous, head of the French Association of Plant Biotechnology and the former Chair of the CGB on which Seralini served, but the defamatory attacks have continued, and have reached a new pitch following the publication of his most recent paper.
While serving as a regulator, Seralini saw GM regulatory decisions being pushed through independently of the full CGB by Fellous, who unlike Seralini has not published any research in international scientific journals relating to plant genetics, plant biotechnology, or food safety in regards to farm GMOs.
Seralini also points out that while Fellous and his associates, and bodies like EFSA, launch well-publicised attacks on his peer reviewed studies, their own opinions are not published in international peer-reviewed journals and are not therefore scrutinized with the same rigour, which limits their scientific validity.
Here's an English translation of Seralini's recent comments on the abject failure of the regulatory system to undertake rigorous testing, provide transparency or protect the public:
"GMOs and pesticides, food additives (aspartame ”¦) artificial colours, preservatives, chemicals are not tested on humans in clinical trials. What counts for market approval is mammalian blood analysis during lab tests on animals (rats mostly).
These are industrial secrets which become state secrets jealously guarded by the Rapporteur State Member (RMS) alloted the task of evaluation. This means experts like Marc Fellous and Gérard Pascal (Cf. their full credentials in this week's Canard EnchaÃ®né) who are the ones deciding what constitutes proof of safety back in August 2003 for the NK603 corn at the Agriculture Ministry, and giving it the green light by writing to the European Commission.
They do this without going through the CGB (Biomolecular Engineering Commission) which they should have done, as explained in my books Ces OGM qui changent le Monde (These GMOs changing the World) and Tous Cobayes! (We're all guinea pigs!).
It's the same story for every product, with different experts, or the same, doubtless the same for the absence of testing for unheated meat and bone meal, when the preparatory method was altered.
It's absolutely vital to publish the blood test results of rats exposed to glyphosate or Roundup or pesticides. There are 50 different side effects compared to the control group acknowledged by Monsanto (covering themselves legally) and underestimated by Monsanto, disregarded by GP and MF or others at EFSA for the NK 603.
In most other instances worldwide it's not even necessary to complete these tests to get market approval. For 50 years these have been inadmissible and unlawful industrial secrets (health and environmental effects must be made public, the tests on rats are the only ones which count in the two risk assessment studies)."
We need [to gain access to] these tests by tackling the Commissions, but especially the Agriculture Minister and the European Commissioner for Agriculture. If the whole chain is transparent, we change society and in particular we free ourselves progressively from GMOs and pesticides. It's your call.