Supposed "experts" are promoting new guidelines that would allow the biotechnology industry to forever conceal the negative health effects of eating GMO foods.
In an effort to refine its regulation on GMO food, the European Union (EU) has funded two separate animal feeding studies, GRACE And G-TwYST. The two studies are meant to help the EU determine what kinds of animal feeding studies are best at evaluating the safety of GMOs.
But recently, members of the GRACE and G-TwYST research teams published a paper in the Archives of Toxicology setting out proposed criteria for animal feeding studies that stop just short of abolishing the practice entirely.
Authors have industry ties
The paper proposes that feeding studies only be conducted if "a trigger is available from the initial molecular, compositional, phenotypic and/or agronomic analyses," and "the rationale of the study prior to testing is formulated in form of hypotheses regarding specific endpoints."
In other words, they say that there is no need for animal feeding studies unless a GMO company already suspects that their food might cause health problems and is looking for a specific health effect.
The authors invite feedback from "stakeholders" to further refine the proposed criteria. This has led GMO critics to question exactly who these "stakeholders" are supposed to be.
According to the group Testbiotech, the journal Archives of Toxicology has a history of close coordination with industry groups. Additionally, there are numerous close affiliations between the journal and many of the researchers involved in the GRACE project. According to Testbiotech, this calls into question whether the proposal will be subject to legitimate peer review, and whether "stakeholders" critical of GMOs will be given a fair evaluation.
The GRACE project has already faced scandal following the revelation that some of the researchers involved failed to declare conflicts of interest, as well as allegations that the study tried to cover up data showing harm to rats fed a GMO diet.
"We believe that the interests of EU civil society are being doubly undermined," said Christoph Then of Testbiotech. "Firstly, it is consumers who will carry the risks associated with genetically engineered plants. And secondly, taxpayers' money is being misappropriated in order to conduct risk research that is heavily influenced by industry."