Publisher Retracts French GMO Study Pending Investigation
by Susanne Posel
Publisher Elsevier stated that the 2012 French study entitled, “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” was retracted from the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
This pulling of the article coincides with data analysis and an investigation that is still on-going. Elsevier will not comment until the investigation is complete.
This study prompted “Letters to the Editor expressing concerns about the validity of the findings it described, the proper use of animals, and even allegations of fraud.”
Elsevier stated: “Ultimately, the results presented – while not incorrect – are inconclusive, and therefore do not reach the threshold of publication for Food and Chemical Toxicology.”
Demands for retraction quickly followed. The authors of the study offered raw data for review.
Gilles-Eric Seralini, lead author of the study and professor at the University of Caen (UoC) replied that criticisms of the study are “unacceptable. Were FCT to persist in its decision to retract our study, CRIIGEN would attack with lawyers, including in the United States, to require financial compensation for the huge damage to our group.”
The study in question found that after exposing rats for 2 years to Round-Up Ready-laced water and an unlimited diet of Monsanto genetically-modified corn, the rats developed mammary tumors, suffered from liver damage and died.
The rats in the controlled group all lived.
Critics claimed that “this paper as it is now presents poor quality science and dubious ethics.”
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that the paper was “scientifically unsound.”
Supporters of the study retorted that Elsevier “itself said it did not find evidence of misconduct or fraud and that the review panel had concluded only that the study was inconclusive, not incorrect.”
Biologist Robert Wager, professor at the Vancouver Island University (VIU), warns that the French study “will now be viewed as a martyr by believers in the dangers of GM crops and food. The power of pseudo-science to generate fear must not be underestimated. Once instilled, facts rarely dissipate that fear.”
Cathie Martin, professor at John Innes Center (JIC), commented : “The major flaws in this paper make its retraction the right thing to do. The strain of rats used is highly susceptible to tumors after 18 months with or without GMO (genetically modified organisms) in their diets.”