EU Commission in favour of industry influencing publicly funded risk research

New doubts about the credibility of the EU project GRACE

The EU Commission has replied to the Testbiotech report on a feeding trial with genetically engineered maize conducted as part of the EU GRACE project. However, the Commission does not discuss in detail the points raised. Instead, it is emphasised that the participation of industry is generally intended within this project. As the report of Testbiotech showed, the publication of the results of the trial with rats fed with genetically engineered maize MON810 makes no mention of indications of health impacts in the rats. Further, Testbiotech research shows that some kind of industrial nepotism seems prevalent within the GRACE project.

„The EU Commission is creating the impression that it is quite normal and intended for industry to substantially influence publicly funded risk research,” Christoph Then says for Testbiotech. “This is quite bizarre. Why should we spend public money to conduct risk research that is heavily influenced or even manipulated by industry?”

Testbiotech has received further responses to its report, which are likely to cause substantial damage to the credibility of the GRACE project and the experts involved. An analysis of these documents appears in a new report by Testbiotech published today.

“We have no interest in moralising about individual experts. We are, however, very worried that the EU has become used to looking the other way when it comes to the interrelated interests of experts and industry at the authorities as well as in publicly funded risk research. This is a familiar pattern that we can recognise from the past when for several decades the tobacco industry had undue influence on the evaluation of the risks of smoking. We are concerned that risk research in genetic engineering will similarly fall under the control of industry,” says Christoph Then.

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