Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Correspondence
  • Published:

When bad science makes good headlines: Bt maize and regulatory bans

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. European Food Safety Authority. EFSA J. 1149, 1–85 (2009). <>

  2. Romeis, J. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 26, 203–208 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Sanvido, O. et al. Environ. Sci. Policy 15, 82–91 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Consensus document on safety information on transgenic plants expressing Bacillus thuringiensis - derived insect control protein. Series on Harmonisation of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology, No. 42 <> (2007).

  5. Romeis, J., Meissle, M. & Bigler, F. Nat. Biotechnol. 24, 63–71 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Marvier, M. et al. Science 316, 1475–1477 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wolfenbarger, L.L. et al. PLoS ONE 3, e2118 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Naranjo, S.E. CAB Rev. Perspect. Agric. Vet. Sci. Nutr. Nat. Resour. 4, No. 011 (2009).

  9. Romeis, J. et al. Transgenic Res. 20, 1–22 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Bøhn, T. et al. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 55, 584–592 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Rosi-Marshall, E.J. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 16204–16208 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Schmidt, J.E.U. et al. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 56, 221–228 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Hilbeck, A. et al. Environ. Entomol. 27, 1255–1263 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. European Commission. Rules on GMOs in the EU—Ban on GMOs cultivation. <>

  15. Anonymous. Germany: Minister Aigner bans MON810 Bt maize. GMO Compass <> (14 April 2009)

  16. Jaffe, G. Nat. Biotechnol. 24, 748–749 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Shelton, A.M. & Sears, M.K. Plant J. 27, 483–488 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. OGTR. Risk Analysis Framework <$FILE/raffinal4.pdf/> (Australian Government, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, 2009).

  19. Séralini, G.-E. et al. Food Chem. Toxicol. 50, 4221–4231 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. European Food Safety Authority. EFSA J. 10, 2986 (2012).

  21. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Response to Séralini paper on the long term toxicity of Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. <> (2012).

  22. Health Canada. Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency statement on the Séralini et al. (2012) publication on a 2-year rodent feeding study with glyphosate formulations and GM maize NK603. <> (2012).

  23. Butler, D. Nature 490, 158 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Houllier, F. Nature 491, 327 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank S.E. Naranjo and R.L. Hellmich (USDA-ARS) for the many constructive discussions that helped to develop this paper and for critical comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge helpful comments provided by the following readers: F. Bigler and M. Meissle (Agroscope ART) and Y. Devos (European Food Safety Authority).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jörg Romeis.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Notes (PDF 175 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Romeis, J., McLean, M. & Shelton, A. When bad science makes good headlines: Bt maize and regulatory bans. Nat Biotechnol 31, 386–387 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing: Translational Research

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Translational Research newsletter — top stories in biotechnology, drug discovery and pharma.

Get what matters in translational research, free to your inbox weekly. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Translational Research