The LongeviQuest Global Validation Commission has unanimously voted to uphold the human longevity record set by Madame Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

Mme. Calment’s age validation had been challenged by Dr. Nikolay Zak and Dr. Philip Gibbs, who submitted a 31-page devalidation report to the Global Validation Commission. The two researchers later publicly released a summary of their evidence.

Mme. Calment’s status as a supercentenarian was first recognized in the late 1980s, and her validation was retroactively recognized upon the founding of LongeviQuest. The LongeviQuest Charter requires unanimous approval to retroactively devalidate a case, a threshold that had been met only once previously. In the Calment case, the Commission unanimously voted in the other direction, confirming Mme. Calment’s status as the human longevity recordholder.

Source: Observatory of Demography

Jeanne Calment
Source: Observatory of Demography

The Global Validation Commission is composed of age validation experts from Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Expressing the collective view of the group, one Commissioner explained, “Having reviewed the devalidation report for Jeanne Calment, we found that on balance the report was conjectural and selective in the evidence it presented. As a result, the research presented is considered insufficient for devalidation.”

LongeviQuest Chief Executive Ben Meyers, who is not a member of the Global Validation Commission, stated the following: “We have built into our process a high threshold to retroactively devalidate a recognized age claim, and this decision is an example of the process functioning as intended. I am pleased that the Commissioners evaluated the research submitted by Dr. Zak and Dr. Gibbs without preconceived biases. The Commissioners’ thorough analysis has further confirmed LongeviQuest’s recognition of Madame Calment’s extraordinary age. We thank Dr. Zak and Dr. Gibbs for submitting their research to the Commission. Should their research be supplemented by additional evidence in the future, they are welcome to contact us again. Factoring in all currently available evidence, LongeviQuest considers this matter settled.”