The opinion of the people who know more of the subject than you or me is that the study is, essentially, shit. Many, it seems, are surprised it was even accepted for publication. It was not done to the standards that are normally applied to such things, and it's being applied to all genes in an attempt to to cause panic or damage.
Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide, said:
"The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! GM has been in the food chain for over a decade over there – and longevity continues to increase inexorably!
"And if the effects are as big as claimed, why have none of the previous 100+ plus studies by reputable scientists, in refereed journals, noticed anything at all?
"Finally, of course, this was a study of one event with one gene. To then extrapolate to all genetically modified crops is absurd. Even if it eventuates that there is an issue with this one event, or even this one gene, there is no reason at all for other genes introduced using GM to carry the same burden of risk. GM is an adaptation of a natural process that occurs all the time all over the planet – it is “only” a technology, a technique. It is how it is used that is more important. Generalisations about the risk of the technology per se are absurd."
Further comments from other scientists:
"Other issues that have come up:
• ‘All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here’ – this is a quote from the paper.
• Small sample size
• Maize was minimum 11% of the diet – not balanced
• No non-maize control?
• No results given for non-gm maize
• For nearly 20 years, billions of animals in the EU have been fed soy products produced from genetically modified soybean, mainly from Latin America. No problems have been reported by the hundreds of thousands of farmers, officials, vets and so on.
• The same journal publishes a paper showing no adverse health effects in rats of consuming gm maize (though this is a shorter 90-day study)
• Statistical significance vs relative frequencies.
• We also have to ask why the rats were kept alive for so long – for humane reasons this study would not have been given approval in the UK.
• In Fig.2, I assume the bars with a zero is for the non-maize control. Those bars don’t looks significantly different from the bars indicating 11, 22, and 33% of GM maize in the diet? Have the authors done stats on their data?"