View from New Zealand: How the Séralini GMO rat study made suckers of so many people

When a study by French scientist Gilles-Éric Séralini came out last year allegedly showing that rats that ate genetically modified corn developed cancerous tumors, groups such as GE-Free NZ in New Zealand excitedly called for government action because the study proved there were “serious implications…evidence of significant risk for consumers–especially children and people with reduced immunity,” writes Katherine Rich, chief executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council. They said that the “Board of FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) should resign.” They also used the study to lobby food ministers while wasting thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a failed regulatory complaint.

The Séralini paper kept getting quoted in media coverage and cited in more academic papers and activist attacks on GM food. Australia’s Safe Food Foundation called for immediate action from federal and state governments “to ensure that the public is protected against further exposure,” saying that “there is an urgent need for a fundamental overhaul of the regulatory framework.” This group, like numerous others, used the research to beat FSANZ around the head and cast unwarranted doubt on the entire trans-Tasman food regulatory system.

Related article:  The fall of Gary Hirshberg: From reformer to reactionary anti-science propagandist?

“Thank goodness New Zealand and Australia’s regulatory bodies, FSANZ and Ministry for Primary Industries, had the expertise and cool heads to maintain an evidence-based approach in response to the friction this paper caused,” writes Rich.

Read the full, original story here: How could Séralini’s GM study have made suckers of so many people?


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