Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Julie Wilson
A victorious ruling was achieved last month when two GMO pushers were indicted for forgery and defamation after trying to discredit the work of Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, a French molecular biologist.
Séralini’s popularity soared among healthy food activists after publishing a groundbreaking study exposing the damage caused by Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and its associated herbicide Roundup. The following is a brief description of the study(1):
Séralini’s 2012 study tested the long-term effects of Monsanto’s GM NK603 maize, which is engineered to survive being sprayed with Roundup herbicide, and Roundup. The study used 200 rats divided into ten groups, each of ten males and ten females. The GM maize alone was tested on three groups at 11%, 22% and 33% of the total diet.
GM maize which had been sprayed with Roundup in the field was tested on three groups in the same proportions. Roundup alone, given in drinking water at three different doses, was tested on three groups. The lowest dose corresponded to contamination found in some tap water, the intermediate dose to the maximum level permitted in the USA in animal feed, and the highest dose to half the strength of Roundup as used in agriculture. Controls were fed a diet containing 33% non-GM maize and plain drinking water.
The rats began developing large tumors within 4–7 months of the study, with the males experiencing liver and kidney problems (some cases resulting in death) and the females altered hormone levels. Estrogen levels doubled in males fed the highest Roundup dose.
As expected, the study received immense backlash and criticism from the biotech industry and its supporters, and was eventually retracted under pressure from lobbyists.
However, in 2014, the study was republished in the open-access journal Environmental Sciences Europe.
The drama surrounding the study continues, but this time, Séralini and his colleagues are getting justice for the unwarranted attacks against them, including countless attempts to defame him and his team.
GM Watch reports(2) :
On 25 November 2015, the High Court of Paris indicted Marc Fellous, former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, for “forgery” and “the use of forgery”, in a libel trial that he lost to Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini. The Biomolecular Engineering Commission has authorised many GM crops for consumption.
The details of the case have not yet been publicly released but a source close to the case told GMWatch that Fellous had used or copied the signature of a scientist without his agreement to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their re-assessment of Monsanto studies.
Fellous is expected to be sentenced in June of next year.
The victory is a second for Séralini. Journalist Jean-Claude Jaillette with Marianne magazine wrote in September 2012 that Séralini’s study was a “scientific fraud in which the methodology served to reinforce pre-determined results.”
Following a three year criminal investigation, both Jaillette and his publication were sentenced by the 17th Criminal Chamber of the High Court of Paris on November 6 and “were fined for public defamation of a public official and public defamation of the researchers,” reports GM Watch. They were also held accountable for defaming CRIIGEN, an independent organization that supported Séralini’s research.
In yet another victory, it was revealed during the trial that American pesticide apologist and GMO-pusher Henry I. Miller was the original defamer behind the attacks, smearing Séralini and his work even prior to Jaillette’s article.
Henry I. Miller’s friendly relationship with the biotech industry dates back to the 1990s when he helped expedite the licensing of the first genetically modified organism (GMO) product for human use, artificially made insulin called Humulin. In 1993, he helped found a major tobacco industry front group that convinced thousands of doctors to assure the public that tobacco was safe and viciously tried to discredit research suggesting that smoking causes cancer and heart problems.