sexta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2013

Is Seralini´s paper a dead horse? Should be, but now it is kind of a zombie, every time and again resurrected by the most stubborn GMO opposition.

The newest revival of this unburied body is a list of ten things (information pieces) derived from the putrefying corpse of Séralini´s paper on rat tumors
due to transgenic corn. These things have been supposedly hidden or disguised by the “main trend” (ipso est, the real scientist, and not those “independent” inventive minds…).

One of the sources for the 10 items list is The ten things are either incorrect or not hidden at al. Let us analyze the list.

1)    Toxicity X cancer studythe main trend always saw the study as  one about toxicity and not about cancer. And considered it a BAD toxicity study!  In order to be regarded as a real cancer study, the paper should have an underlying hypothesis on how the recombinant protein(epsps) could cause cancer, based on previous solid data. Such a hypothesis is missing for cancer (as well as for toxicity).
2)    No other long term study: The stubborn opposition insists that no other long term studies exist. This is simply wrong (just check Snell´s paper for a review Moreover, the use of this corn and many other transgenic crops for feed and food all around the world may perfectly well be assumed as the largest and longest feed/food experiment ever (
3)    Type of rat chosen by Séralini was right: if any animal that spontaneously develop tumors in old age are used for toxicity studies, the experimental results will be blurred by these tumors. That is why the choice of this rat strain was a terrible mistake , but made on purpose by Séralin... For a full criticism on that, please read and
4)    SD rats are as much prone to develop tumors as man: absolutely wrong, fortunately! 100% of these rats die of tumors if they reach senescence, what is much different from humans. For the propensity of SD rats to develop tumors, please check Davis et al, 1956 -; Prejean et al., 1973 -; Gross & Dreyfuss, 1979 -; Okada et al., 1981 -
5)    Séralini study is better than Monsanto´s report: Any research institute or company will follow the established science-based guidelines for toxicity studies. Monsanto and DOZENS of other institutions checked toxicity signs for all recombinant proteins expressed by transgenic plants. These experiments looked for acute effects derived from a large spectrum of rec protein concentrations. As stated in all good toxicology textbooks, if no signs are observed in a toxicity study of a protein that is readily degraded by the intestinal enzymes, there is absolutely no reason to do the “long term studies”. That is why neither Monsanto nor the majority of researches wasted their time and (public) money doing that.
6)    Rejecting Seralini’s study means rejecting all industry-backed safety studies: the lack of scientific basis (and its methodological consequences) is the reason to reject a study. Séralini´s study lacks science and has a flawed methodology. Most industry-backed studies are scientifically sound. There is no similarity between Séralini´s study and good hypothesis-driven scientific papers, irrespective of who may have performed the experiments and written the text.
7)    Seralini’s study proves industry studies to be fraudulent: absolutely wrong! Fraud can only be proved by the close inspection of the suspicious work, never by comparison! Moreover, as stated in item 6, Séralini´s methodology is so queer and misleading that no comparison to standard scientific papers is possible. It would be the same as comparing an alchemist´s work to that of a chemist.  
8)    Toxicity observed in Monsanto studies confirmed by Seralini’s study: nonsense! If Monsanto´s papers are fraudulent (item 7) and if they confirm Séralini´s results, than Séralini´s results are also a fraud. This is the sole logical conclusion. Monsant´s results do not show toxicity at all, it is the re-interpretation of data made by OGM-objectors that tries to force this statistically wrong conclusion.
9)    Governments do not require the types of long-term studies conducted by Seralini: it is not true. Most assessment agencies adopt a tiered approach in toxicological evaluations, as established by international standards. If some criteria are met in the first tear (acute toxicological studies), no long term toxicological studies are needed. As deleterious effects were NEVER reported (at least in sound scientific papers) for food made from any of the transgenic crops, no long term study was ever required. But the provisions to ask for such an experiment do exist.
10) Even short-term studies have observed toxicity from GMOs: false. Only “independent lab and farm studies” have supposedly reported such effects, but they were very bad papers or just anecdotal information (see; for proper rebuttals).

To make a long story short: the most stubborn opposition insists in telling the World how good Séralini´s paper on rats with tumors is. It is simply a nonsense defense of a very bad paper, but serves the purpose to create confusion in the very dynamic GMO scenario.

4 comentários:

  1. Relativamente ao ponto 3, o que fazer do comentário dos apoiantes do estudo de Séralini que dizem que o tipo de ratos em questão foi o mesmo que o usado pela Monsanto aquando da realização do seu estudo de toxicidade de 90 dias?

  2. A Monsanto e dezenas de milhares de outras empresas, universidades e centros de pesquisa usam a mesma linhagem de ratos, mas em experimentos de curta duração. A limitação é IMPOSTA pela tendência desses ratos em apresentar tumores depois de seis meses de vida. Não é ETICAMENTE aceitável nem cientificamente sustentável estender os experimentos para além de seis meses. Em experimentos de curta duração ninguém viu nada além dos grupos que se opõem à biotecnologia agrícola e que são financiados pelos grandes fornecedores de alimentos convencionais ou orgânicos.

  3. Esclarecida. Obrigada!
    Só mais uma questão: será que me poderia redirecionar para os estudos da Monsanto? Estou a ter dificuldade em encontrá-los..

  4. Cara Anônima.
    Não costumo consultar dossiês de empresas, mas é provável que a Monsanto reúna todas as evidências sobre a segurança de seus produtos num local só, disponível ao público.
    Normalmente o que faço, assim como todos os avaliadores de risco de OGMs, é consultar as publicações em revistas especializadas, além de relatórios de agências de risco. Os relatórios das empresas que requerem liberação de seus produtos também são lidos, mas devem ser corroborados por observações independentes.
    Você pode consultar o link: para ter uma primeira versão do que foi publicado com as palavras-chave risk assessment genetically modified monsanto. O uso de outras palavras no portal do NCBI pode te trazer mais informações importantes.