Back to website

Legal move to make EU publish GM test results

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

29 May 2005

Two legal initiatives are to be launched to force European bureaucrats to make public secret research on the effects of feeding GM corn to rats, whose results were exclusively revealed in The Independent on Sunday.

This week, in separate moves, a British pressure group is to approach the European ombudsman, and a former French environment minister is to write to the European Court to ask it to lift the cloak of confidentiality from a 1,139- page report by the biotech giant Monsanto, which showed that rats fed a modified corn had smaller kidneys and raised levels of white blood cells compared to those who ate a similar non-GM one.

The results have raised fears that human health might also be at risk from the corn, which the EU is expected to approve for sale this year.

Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini, professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen, who scrutinises the safety of GM products for the EC, told The Independent on Sunday last week that he found the research results "very worrying".

He is president of the Scientific Council of the French Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetics, which has been trying to get the research made public for 18 months.

Monsanto claims to have published "all the relevant safety information" in an 11-page report in December 2002, but while asserting that the rats "responded similarly" to GM and non-GM food, it contains no detailed data.