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Study linking genetically modified corn to cancer ‘a non-event’

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A controversial study that linked genetically modified corn to cancer in lab rats is a “scientific non-event”, six French scientific academies said Friday.

“This work does not enable any reliable conclusion to be drawn,” they said, adding bluntly that the affair helped “spread fear among the public.”

The joint statement – an extremely rare event in French science – was signed by the national academies of agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, science, technology and veterinary studies.

It was sparked by research published in September that said rats fed with so-called NK603 corn or doses of Roundup herbicide developed tumours.

The paper, led by Gilles-Eric Seralini at the University of Caen, unleashed a storm in Europe, where GM crops are a highly sensitive issue.

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Critics accused Seralini of manipulating the media to boost the impact of his findings and faulted his experiments for statistical bias.

Two fast-track official investigations into the study are to be unveiled next Monday.

The academies’ statement said: “Given the numerous gaps in methods and interpretation, the data presented in this article cannot challenge previous studies which have concluded that NK603 corn is harmless from the health point of view, as are, more generally, genetically modified plants that have been authorised for consumption by animals and humans.”

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It dismissed the study as “a scientific non-event.”

“Hyping the reputation of a scientist or a team is a serious misdemeanour when it helps to spread fear among the public that is not based on any firm conclusion,” the academies said.


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Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

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Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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