GRACE rejects Testbiotech’s criticisms of GMO feeding study

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GRACE rejects Testbiotech’s criticisms of GMO feeding study

Press Release (12 Nov 2014)

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90-day feeding study with genetically modified MON810 maize does not reveal adverse effects in laboratory animals.

Last Friday, Testbiotech published a press release and background report on the recently published 90-day feeding study conducted by the EU research project GRACE. Testbiotech accuses GRACE of failing to evaluate the data from the feeding trials carefully and of having drawn the wrong conclusions. It claims to have found indications of negative health impacts on the trial animals.

GRACE has checked Testbiotech’s arguments carefully and published a scientific statement in the form of an open letter.  In it, GRACE once again concludes that the results obtained show that the MON810 maize at a level of up to 33 % in the diet did not induce adverse effects in the trial animals.  It was found, among others that Testbiotech’s comments fail to distinguish between statistical significance and biological relevance.

The GRACE research project expressly welcomes third-party assessments of its research as a matter of principle and has been pursuing this aim since the start of the project by closely involving stakeholders in the planning and evaluation of its research work through numerous consultation rounds. Around 700 representatives from non-governmental organisations, industry, academia and regulatory authorities were invited to consultation rounds. In addition, GRACE is committed to a systematically open and transparent publication strategy. As well as the study discussed here, all future publications dealing with rodent feeding trials are planned to appear as open-access papers. For reasons of transparency, GRACE also publishes all the raw data from the animal feeding studies it has conducted. These are available via the CADIMA database.

The GRACE transparency strategy is working well and stakeholders are taking advantage of this opportunity as has been demonstrated by the fact that the comments from Testbiotech are based on experimental data which had been made publicly accessible by the GRACE project. GRACE will continue pursuing this strategy.