The European Food Safety Authority and Germany’s Health watchdog have both rejected the findings of last month’s controversial report linking Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller and NK603, the GM maize resistant to it, to tumours and premature death in rats.
EFSA this week said its initial review into the study from the University of Caen found that the design, reporting, and analysis were “inadequate”.
The preliminary review will now be followed by a second analysis due at the end of the month.
Its assessment comes just days after Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BIR) concluded the research “shows both shortcomings in study design and in the presentation of the collected data”.
BIR, a research unit in Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, also criticised the research for using an insufficient number of animals and a strain of rat “characterised by a relatively high spontaneous tumour rate”. In light of this, it concluded there was no reason for a re-evaluation of genetically modified NK603.
The Caen study’s author Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini is due to give evidence before three French parliamentary committees next week, while the French food safety body, Anses, is planning to publish its response on 20 October.
Meanwhile, Monsanto posted a greater than expected fourth quarter loss. The crops giant lost $229m for the three months to 31 August, against $112m in the same period last year.