Transgenic Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 255–267 | Cite as

Plurality of opinion, scientific discourse and pseudoscience: an in depth analysis of the Séralini et al. study claiming that Roundup™ Ready corn or the herbicide Roundup™ cause cancer in rats

  • Gemma Arjó
  • Manuel Portero
  • Carme Piñol
  • Juan Viñas
  • Xavier Matias-Guiu
  • Teresa Capell
  • Andrew Bartholomaeus
  • Wayne Parrott
  • Paul ChristouEmail author


A recent paper published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology presents the results of a long-term toxicity study related to a widely-used commercial herbicide (Roundup™) and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified variety of maize, concluding that both the herbicide and the maize varieties are toxic. Here we discuss the many errors and inaccuracies in the published article resulting in highly misleading conclusions, whose publication in the scientific literature and in the wider media has caused damage to the credibility of science and researchers in the field. We and many others have criticized the study, and in particular the manner in which the experiments were planned, implemented, analyzed, interpreted and communicated. The study appeared to sweep aside all known benchmarks of scientific good practice and, more importantly, to ignore the minimal standards of scientific and ethical conduct in particular concerning the humane treatment of experimental animals.


Safety assessment GM crops Toxicity GM maize 



Research at the Universitat de Lleida is supported by MICINN, Spain (BFU2007-61413; BIO2011-23324; BIO02011-22525; PIM2010PKB-00746); European Union Framework 7 Program-SmartCell Integrated Project 222716; European Union Framework 7 European Research Council IDEAS Advanced Grant (to PC) Program-BIOFORCE; COST Action FA0804: Molecular farming: plants as a production platform for high value proteins; Centre CONSOLIDER on Agrigenomics funded by MICINN, Spain. Authors declare that their funding is exclusively from public bodies.


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Supplementary references

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gemma Arjó
    • 1
  • Manuel Portero
    • 2
  • Carme Piñol
    • 1
  • Juan Viñas
    • 3
    • 4
  • Xavier Matias-Guiu
    • 4
    • 5
  • Teresa Capell
    • 6
  • Andrew Bartholomaeus
    • 7
    • 8
  • Wayne Parrott
    • 9
  • Paul Christou
    • 6
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Departament de MedicinaUniversitat de Lleida-Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida)LleidaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Medicina ExperimentalUniversitat de Lleida-Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida)LleidaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de CirurgiaUniversitat de Lleida-Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida)LleidaSpain
  4. 4.Hospital Universitari Arnau de VilanovaLleidaSpain
  5. 5.Departament de Ciències Mèdiques BàsiquesUniversitat de Lleida-Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida)LleidaSpain
  6. 6.Departament de Producció Vegetal i Ciència ForestalUniversitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio CenterLleidaSpain
  7. 7.School of PharmacyUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  8. 8.Therapeutic Research Unit, School of MedicineUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  9. 9.Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and GenomicsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  10. 10.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis AvançatsBarcelonaSpain

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