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Réponse à la mise en cause du CRII GEN par Le Déaut : Mai 2005

Thursday 11 January 2007

Pr. Séralini's Report Following His Hearing at the French Parliament (Assemblée Nationale) on 23 March 2005 , where he was invited by the President of the GMO Parliamentary Mission, Jean-Yves Le Déaut.

(1) The dosage methods of GMOs are specified and made available by the producers to independent laboratories, only at the time of their commercialization (part C, application dossiers). There is neither specific, nor precise follow up of open field experiments, and therefore no traceability, especially since a number of different GMOs (processing events) can be sorted out in one same field. This is even more serious for the plants that are meant to contain one or more insecticides, or for example active materials like drugs. These experimental GMOs may have induced agricultural contaminations or contamination in the receiving environment without any possible follow-up, for at least two decades in France, and this specific point has to be solved in the future.
 
(2) INRA actually conducted transgenic vine experiments in 2001 in France, despite what you said, see for example the following web site: ogm.gouv.fr
 
(3) It was quite clear in our discussion that the health safety tests for GMOs which either produce or contain new pesticide metabolites (i.e. most GMOs assessed according to Directive CEE 2001/18) are quite inferior to the regulation tests on chemical pesticides (Directive 91/414), without any scientific nor logic justification. These GMOs or pesticides are included in the rats diet for example for certain tests. This is serious and I have been saying and publishing this repeatedly for years. Such a lax attitude in the toxicological assessment is unforgivable.
 
(4) The first tests that consisted in feeding commercialized GMOs to laboratory rats for 90 days (tests which are not compulsory yet, but obtained for several GMOs after we insisted with Monsanto) have demonstrated statistically significant effects in comparison to the control group (constituted with the same number of rats, but consuming a diet based on a maize that was genetically very close, however non-GMO). The effects were notable, for several different GMOs, on the blood metabolism and the detoxification organs such as the liver and the kidneys. I must say I am not at all surprised by this, since these GMOs contain pesticides, the effects of which have been poorly studied in relation to health. Instead of doing the tests again and conducting them over a longer period of time to understand what is happening, they have been hidden and so have their results (lack of transparency), and trivialized by the company and some experts. This is very serious and I demand that your Mission should put these under close scrutiny and publish them so that the scientific community can be consulted. 
 
(5) The comments signed by M. Fellous and his colleagues were handed over to me during the session of the 23 March 2005, on my work pertaining to the toxicity of Roundup and which was recently published in a leading international peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. M. Fellous is the President of CGB (Commission du Génie Biomoléculaire) and I am criticizing  their methods in this dossier – the choice of the spokesmen on this point could not possibly have been more partial. Furthermore, the first author of this report is neither an endocrinologist nor a toxicologist, and his criticism can in no way be compared with that of the international editorial committee of the journal, nor with their referees who have accepted the publication of my work. I have some trouble understanding this new type of manoeuvre in which you engage. Science cannot be reduced to such practices.
 
(6) Besides, the comments to which I did not get a chance to react to during the session are riddled with mistakes and misunderstandings, as one might have expected. The summary in bold on my work talks about “a new danger” a phrase that I never used in my paper. Secondly, one of the cellular lines I used comes indeed from a choriocarcinoma of human placenta, which in fact makes the cells more resistant than primary cell cultures, and which could probably lead to an underestimation of the effect observed, rather than the contrary. Furthermore, the first harmful effects were observed at a dilution of 10.000 of Roundup within an hour, and not at a dilution of 100, which puts the calculations you put in the pages that were handed over to me under suspicion. Besides, the theoretical figures given by M. Fellous and his colleagues on the toxicity of glyphosate have no connection with reality for the danger calculation of exposition to Roundup, since it is commercialized with formulation synergisants which greatly amplify the effects of glyphosate, and in a different manner depending on the model and the exposition time, as I have demonstrated with other authors quoted in the References of my paper. Then, I concluded in my paper that it was a “potential endocrine disruptor” which completely corresponds to the latest definition given in footnote 11. Finally, it is quite obvious that the work of the Commission for Studying the Toxicity  of Pest Control Products in Agriculture for assessing the danger of Roundup, and which is relying on the metabolism of glyphosate, but not administered with its formulation adjuvants, should be thoroughly revised.
 
(7) Finally, Mr LE DEAUT, President of the Mission, and Mr Christian MENARD, Rapporteur, I cannot understand what you wrote on my account on 16 March 2005 to the President of the Assemblée Nationale, to the Members of the Mission and to the Presidents of the political groups, before hearing me. Such a practice is very awkward. Regarding my point of view, you wrote that I “would be unlikely to be willing to take part in a contradictory debate”, which I totally refute. Once more, this manoeuvre to undermine my credibility or that of my work, before hearing me, does not seem to be an honest approach, and it does not give a high opinion of your policy.