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Many GMO Studies Have Financial Conflicts of Interest


Thursday, January 5, 2017
- A recent study published in the US journal PLOS ONE revealed some interesting facts about financial conflicts of interest in GMO research published in international scientific journals.

The study was done at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), under the direction of Thomas Guillemaud.  Researchers focused on articles about the efficacy and durability of crops that are modified to be pest resistant with a toxin called Bacillus thuringiensis.

The team evaluated 579 studies that showed clearly whether there was or was not a financial conflict of interest.  Of this total, 404 were American studies and 83 were Chinese.

To determine whether there was a conflict, researchers examined the way the studies were financed.  Conflicts of interest were defined as studies in which at least one author declared an affiliation to one of the biotech or seed companies, or received funding or payment from them.

Some interesting conclusions from the report:

  • Financial conflicts of interest were found in 40 percent of published research articles on the GMO crops.
  • Researchers found that studies that had a conflict of interest were far more likely to be favorable to GM crop companies than studies that were free of financial interference.
  • When studies had a conflict of interest, this raised the likelihood 49 percent that their conclusions would be favorable to GMO crops.
  • Among the 350 articles without conflicts of interest, 36 percent were favorable to GM crop companies.
  • Among the 229 studies with a conflict of interest, 54 percent were favorable to GM companies.

"We thought we would find conflicts of interest, but we did not think we would find so many," Guillemaud said.

Read more at this link