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Review of the Séralini et al. (2012) publication on a 2-year rodent feeding study with glyphosate formulations and GM maize NK603 as published online on 19 September 2012 in Food and Chemical Toxicology

EFSA Journal 2012;10(10):2910[9 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2910
European Food Safety Authority Acknowledgment EFSA wishes to thank the following EFSA staff: Saghir Bashir, Per Bergman, Danièle Court Marques, Claudia Paoletti, Manuela Tiramani, Didier Verloo and Elisabeth Waigmann for the support provided to this scientific output. EFSA also thanks the peer reviewers of this statement Andrew Chesson (member of the GMO Panel) and Alberto Mantovani (member of the PPR panel). Contact sas@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Statement of EFSA On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2012-00841 Approved: 03 October 2012 Published: 04 October 2012 Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract

On 19 September 2012, Séralini et al. published online in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology a publication describing a 2-year feeding study in rats investigating the health effects of genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 with and without Roundup WeatherMAX® and Roundup® GT Plus alone (both are glyphosate-containing plant protection products).  EFSA was requested by the European Commission to review this publication and to identify whether clarifications are needed from the authors. EFSA notes that the Séralini et al. (2012) study has unclear objectives and is inadequately reported in the publication, with many key details of the design, conduct and analysis being omitted. Without such details it is impossible to give weight to the results. Conclusions cannot be drawn on the difference in tumour incidence between the treatment groups on the basis of the design, the analysis and the results as reported in the Séralini et al. (2012) publication. In particular, Séralini et al. (2012) draw conclusions on the incidence of tumours based on 10 rats per treatment per sex which is an insufficient number of animals to distinguish between specific treatment effects and chance occurrences of tumours in rats.  Considering that the study as reported in the Séralini et al. (2012) publication is of inadequate design, analysis and reporting, EFSA finds that it is of insufficient scientific quality for safety assessment. Therefore EFSA, concludes that the Séralini et al. study as reported in the 2012 publication does not impact the ongoing re-evaluation of glyphosate, and does not see a need to reopen the existing safety evaluation of maize NK603 and its related stacks. EFSA will give the authors of the Séralini et al. (2012) publication the opportunity to provide further information on their study to EFSA.

© European Food Safety Authority,2012

Keywords

Maize NK603, Roundup, glyphosate, experimental design, rat/rodent feeding study, toxicity, carcinogenicity