Molecular biologist Séralini warns of dangers posed by GMOs and agri-chemicals in ANA interview

Our studies have shown that industrially-produced food is very toxic, even for rats

It is both possible and imperative to detox agriculture and our bodies of chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), refusing to act as dietary guinea pigs any longer, molecular biologist and anti-GMO activist Gilles-Éric Séralini said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) released on Wednesday.

“Our studies have shown that industrially-produced food is very toxic, even for rats. On the other hand, in our recent experiments published last year, we succeeded in detoxifying laboratory animals previously exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup within a week, using a plant-based diet,” he said.

A professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen since 1991, Séralini insists that chemicals used in agriculture, such as pesticides, present a much greater problem than micro-organisms for food. He has expressed a lack of confidence in official regulatory bodies, such as the European Food Safety Authority, and is highly critical of companies such as Monsanto, which he said put profits before health.

At the same time, he stressed that it was possible to transform the entire food production system from the field to people’s plates, though this process might take time and effort.

Accompanied by French chef Jérôme Douzelet, who specialises in natural organic cooking, Séralini was a speaker at an event in Athens on Tuesday, organised by the Harokopio University of Athens and the Thessaly University Biotechnology and Biochemistry Department.

Séralini was the author of a study that made world headlines in 2012, which concluded that GMOs and the Monsanto pesticide Roundup had a significant impact on the health of lab rats. Among others, the study reported an risk of cancer, signs of toxicity in the kidneys and liver and premature death. Though criticised by some scientists and scientific bodies as falling short of necessary standards, Séralini attributed the controversy to pressure exerted by Monsanto and the agritech lobbies.

Séralini is co-founder and president of the Committee of Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), which is publicly opposed to genetically modified foods (GM foods). He has also collabroated with Greenpeace and acted as an advisor to the French agriculture and environment ministries.