Background Information: Testbiotech vs GRACE
In October 2014, the EU-funded research project GRACE published the results of its 90-day feeding studies with genetically modified MON810 maize and invited experts and interested members of the public to take part in a scientific discussion of the results. A public discussion forum was set up for this purpose, hosted by the scientific journal Archives of Toxicology.
The organisation Testbiotech accused the research project of having drawn the wrong conclusions from the trial data. In addition, Testbiotech claimed that some of the scientists involved in the study had links to industry and were therefore not independent.
GRACE has repeatedly invited Testbiotech to take part in the forum and to share its arguments and discuss them in a scientific manner with interested experts and members of the public, but without success.
However, GRACE has responded in detail to Testbiotech’s accusations in a number of open letters and statements. In December 2014, the Editor-in-Chief of Archives of Toxicology, Prof. Jan Hengstler, launched the open scientific forum with a leading article. In another contribution on the forum, Prof. Pablo Steinberg, one of the main authors of the GRACE paper, responded in detail to Testbiotech’s criticisms of the study.
The following list shows the correspondence on that issue in chronological order:
GRACE [Oct 2014]:
- Ninety‑day oral toxicity studies on two genetically modified maize MON810 varieties in Wistar Han RCC rats (EU 7th Framework Programme project GRACE)
- Letter to the Editor: Facilitating a transparent and tailored scientific discussion about the added value of animal feeding trials as well as in vitro and in silico approaches with whole food/feed for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants (Arch Tox).
Testbiotech [7 Nov 2014]:
- Comments regarding the GRACE publication „Ninety-day oral toxicity studies on two genetically modified maize MON810 varieties in Wistar Han RCC rats (EU 7th Framework Programme project GRACE)“
GRACE [10 Nov 2014]:
Testbiotech [18 Nov 2014]:
GRACE [25 Nov 2014]:
- Open Letter to Dr Christoph Then (Testbiotech e.V.) in Response to His Letter to the Coordinator of GRACE Dated 18-11-2014
Testbiotech [8 Dec 2014]:
- Open Letter to the GRACE Coordinator Prof Joachim Schiemann on last Open Letter from GRACE
- Letter to the EU Commission
Pablo Steinberg, Arch Tox [4 Dec 2014]
- Letter to the Editor: Response to a report and press release by Bauer‑Panskus and Then (2014) criticizing the presentation and interpretation of the results of recently published 90‑day feeding studies with diets containing genetically modified MON810‑maize varieties and their comparators (Zeljenková et al. 2014).
GRACE [10 Dec 2014]
EU Commission [17 Dec 2014]:
Jan G. Hengstler, Arch Tox [24 Dec 2014]
Testbiotech [9 Jan 2015]
- Media release: EU Commission in favour of industry influencing publicly funded risk research
- Background: GRACE - the EU risk research project sold out to industry
- Open letter to the EU Commission
GRACE [14 Jan 2015]
Access to raw data of feeding trials:
- GRACE publishes all the raw data from the animal feeding studies it has conducted. These are available via the CADIMA database.
GRACE involves stakeholders in research planning and drawing of conclusions. Read here for more information.
New Stakeholder Consultation Reports:
Consultation on Good Review Practice in GMO Impact Assessment