Review of results published by Mesnage et al. (2015) in PLoS ONE and the laboratory findings communicated by Dr Samsel to Farm Wars

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Article
European Food Safety Authority
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2015;13(10):4258 [12 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4258
Acknowledgements

EFSA wishes to thank Daniel Doerge (NTP, USA), Kettil Svensson (National Food Agency, SE) and Jean-Marc Vidal (EMA, UK) as well as EFSA staff members Marco Binaglia, Daniele Court Marques, George Kass, Anna Lanzoni, Hermine Reich and Hans Steinkellner for the support provided to this scientific output. 

Contact
Type
Scientific Report of EFSA
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2015-00486
Approved
2 October 2015
Approved
20 October 2015
Published
6 October 2015
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
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Abstract

In a paper published in PLoS One and entitled ‘Laboratory rodent diets contain toxic levels of environmental contaminants: Implications for regulatory tests’, Mesnage et al. (2015) analysed commercial laboratory rodent diets for environmental contaminants and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In samples from 13 different commercial rodent diets obtained from five continents, the authors of the study report the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, and GMOs. The paper by Mesnage et al. (2015) provides a useful addition to the already existing knowledge in the field. However, there are several limitations with the methodological approach used by the authors, including insufficient information about the test material and methodology used, incomplete reporting of the data, and inappropriate interpretation of legislation and results. The vast majority of pesticides were absent (below the limit of detection), and where detected, the levels of pesticides, heavy metals and dioxins were only just above the limit of detection in the feed samples but below regulatory levels for feed and foodstuffs. Only in a limited number of feed diets did the authors report levels of lead that exceeded the maximum levels specified by legislation for foodstuffs. The application of the ADI concept to claim the existence of a health risk in rodents or to demonstrate background levels of diseases or disorders in rodents has no scientific justification. In an interview conducted with Dr Samsel, the farmwars.info website reports on the presence of glyphosate in three different rodent diets. The information reported on the website is not supported by sufficient detail or a reference to permit a full scientific review. In conclusion, no new scientific elements were provided that would impact on the validity of regulatory feeding tests in the EU.

Keywords
rodent, feed, pesticides, heavy metals, dioxins, GMO, tumours
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Number of Pages
12