Marc Fellous, former President of the Biomolecular Engineering Commission (CGB), has been found guilty of forgery and use of forgery to defame Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini.
On 22 September a judge in the Criminal Court of Paris found Fellous guilty of forgery and the use of forgery in order to defame Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and CRIIGEN, a research association which focuses on the risks of genetic engineering and pesticides and the development of alternatives.
Marc Fellous is a GMO proponent who was formerly President of the Biomolecular Engineering Commission (CGB), which assessed the safety of GMOs in France for the ministries of agriculture and environment from 1998 to 2007. In 2016 he became president of the French Association for Plant Biotechnology, a lobby group that was set up to promote GM crops.
Last November Fellous lost a libel case to Séralini. The court ruled that Fellous had defamed Séralini.
During that court case, Fellous used or copied the signature of a scientist without his agreement (“forgery” and “use of forgery”) to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their reassessment of Monsanto studies. The Séralini team’s re-assessment reported finding signs of toxicity in the raw data from Monsanto’s own rat feeding studies with GM maize.
The new court ruling means that Fellous will be sentenced in a few months’ time – probably in early 2017 – at a public correctional hearing. The use of forgery in a court case is a serious offence and may result in a jail sentence.
The ruling marks a second court victory this year for Prof Séralini, his research team, and CRIIGEN. On September 7 they won a libel suit in the Appeals Court against Marianne magazine and its journalist Jean-Claude Jaillette, who repeated the defamatory words of the American pro-tobacco and -GMO lobbyist Henry I. Miller.
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