Many GMO studies have financial conflicts of interest
Thomas Guillemaud, director of research at France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), told AFP that the team originally looked at 672 studies before narrowing down to the pool to 579 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,” he said.
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.
“The most important point was how we also showed there is a statistical link between the presence of conflicts of interest and a study that comes to a favorable conclusion for GMO crops,” Guillemaud said.
“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.