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Scientific opinion on the web initiative for ban of GMOs in Slovenia

Slovenian Scientific committee expresses opinion that from the point of view of current scientific progress and understanding, submitted studies do not represent a novel or additional information, or scientific facts that would justify changes in current risk assessments for human and/or animal health and environment, would suggest danger of genetically modified plants and would justify complete ban of genetically modified organisms.

In justification for the GMO ban, the initiators, list already known publications/claims that were assessed during previous risk assessment procedures and were revoked by scientific arguments/studies. There are also several claims that could not be independently verified. In several cases, incidents that are not connected with GMOs are listed as arguments against GMOs (legal case between French farmer and Monsanto about labelling of the herbicide; study about phytoestrogen content in corn cobs, infertility of cows and pigs in Iowa). Some of the listed studies were already revoked by the authors themselves (Austrian study about rat infertility).

However, the Committee would also like to stress that all relevant scientific literature and scientific studies in regard to the safety of GMOs is closely followed. Any new information available is assessed especially in regard to the potential danger to the environment, conservation of biodiversity, as well as to human and animal health that could be caused by cultivation or usage of GMOs.


Scientific opinion on »Séralini at al., Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize«

Slovenian Scientific committee for the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment and placing products on the market is of the opinion that scientific article, published by Seralini and co-authors, reporting health effects in rats, fed for long periods with genetically modified corn (NK603) or herbicide Roundup, has serious shortcomings in analyses and interpretation of the data presented. Therefore, data in this peer reviewed publication could not be applied as novel important scientific information that could impact existed safety assessment of corn NK603 in regard to potential risk to the environment and human or animal health. Therefore, the Committee concluded that the results published in aforementioned long-term feeding study in rats could not be used as scientifically based grounds for implementation of safeguard clause in accordance with Article 51a of the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms Act (MGMO Act, OJ RS 23/2005 consolidated version and 21/2010) or emergency measures in line with Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed.

The Committee also concluded that the raw data used in the publication should be made available by the authors and re-analysed by independent institutions with more appropriate (and standardly used) statistical analyses. Published results do not convincingly show harmful effects of genetically modified corn that would impact existed safety assessment of genetically modified plants and therefore, influence previously adopted decision of Competent Authority regarding safety of genetically modified corn NK603.

The Committee would also like to stress that in accordance with its’ tasks it closely monitors all new scientific developments in the field of GMOs, and devote special attention to those GMOs which could have the potential to cause adverse effects, and new information that could impact the risk/safety assessment. Particularly, the new scientific information that becomes available on GMOs which were assigned and authorised for deliberate release into the environment is examined continuously in relation to potential adverse effect to the environment considering biological diversity, and human or animal health.