EFSA to Release Initial Review of GM Maize, Herbicide Study

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will next week deliver its preliminary review of a new study which states concerns over the potential toxicity of an herbicide containing glyphosate and of glyphosate-tolerant GM (genetically modified) maize NK603.

That study has been widely criticized, including here.

A multidisciplinary task force will analyze the paper by Séralini et al. and publish an initial scientific review as the first step in a two-stage process. If information gaps are identified, EFSA will then contact the authors with a request for further details of the methodology used in the two-year study. This material would contribute to a more comprehensive assessment that EFSA will publish in the coming weeks as the second part of its evaluation. Throughout this process, the authority will work in close cooperation with member state food safety agencies.

The matter will also be raised with national representatives attending the Authority’s Advisory Forum meeting this week. The group of EFSA scientists from the GMO, pesticide and scientific assessment units are reviewing the study and may call upon additional external expertise if needed. This work will address a request for scientific advice from the European Commission following publication of the Séralini et al. study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology on Sept. 19, 2012.

EFSA has been asked to consider the significance of the study’s findings as part of its ongoing remit to monitor scientific developments relating to its work.

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