French Panel Rejects Study That Linked GM Corn to Cancer in Rats

An independent state panel in France has rejected the findings of a recent controversial study that linked genetically modified corn to cancer in rats, but the panel did recommend long-term research into the risks of genetically engineered food. In the report, requested by the French government, the Higher Biotechnologies Council (HCB) found “no causal relationship” between an increase in tumors in rodents and the consumption of GM corn or the widely used herbicide, Roundup, both of which are produced by the biotech giant Monsanto. The study, published in September in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, had claimed that the consumption of Roundup-tolerant GM corn increased the incidence of cancer in rats. On the contrary, the HCB researchers said, “the data are insufficient to establish scientifically a causal link… or to support the conclusions or pathways suggested by the authors.” To address public concerns, however, the panel did recommend that a “long-term, independent, transparent study, with adversarial views, be undertaken under government auspices.”