Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Journal Retracts GMO Study After Hiring Former Monsanto Employee

Food

A scientific journal that published a study in 2012 linking cancer with Monsanto's genetically modified corn has now retracted it, months after hiring a former Monsanto employee to fill a new editorial position reviewing biotechnology papers.

The study, by Gilles-Eric Seralini and others, reviewed the toxicological effects of Monsanto's NK603 and its associated Round-Up pesticide and was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology. The journal said it retracted the study because the its small sample size and choice of rat used in the research meant no definitive conclusions could be reached.

Photo credit:
Shutterstock

Seralini's study was aimed at creating a chronic toxicity study under the same conditions that Monsanto used to assert the genetically modified corn’s safety. The study found “severe toxic effects (including liver congestions, necrosis and kidney nephropathies), increased tumor rates and higher mortality in rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified NK603 maize and/or the associated herbicide Roundup." 

Last February, the journal hired a former Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, for a new position reviewing biotechnology papers, reports GreenMedInfo. On Nov. 19, Food and Chemical Toxicology reported its decision to retract the published paper.

Writing for CRIIGEN, the independent lab with which Seralini is affiliated, Frédérique Baudouin noted that a short Monsanto study, which was published in the same journal to prove the safety of its product, “was conducted with the same strain and number of rats.” Séralini has said he will sue.

"In science, repeating someone else’s study is common practice. Retracting a published paper is not," food writer Marion Nestle wrote in her blog.

 Guidelines for retracting journal articles published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) say journal editors should consider retracting a publication if:

  • They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabri­cation) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
  • It constitutes plagiarism
  • It reports unethical research

"The Séralini paper may be unreliable, but that should have been obvious to the peer reviewers and the journal’s editors. Otherwise, the paper does not fit any of the established criteria for retraction," Nestle wrote.

The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) has condemned the journal's actions and warned they were “a flagrant abuse of science” that will “decrease public trust in science.” ENSSER condemned the journal for violating “the criteria for retraction to which the journal itself subscribes," and "any standards of good science.”

The GreenMedInfo article details Goodman's affiliation with Monsanto. The article says Goodman worked for the company between 1997 and 2004. While at Monsanto he assessed the allergenicity of the company’s genetically modified organisms and published papers on its behalf on allergenicity and safety issues relating to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GreenMedInfo said Goodman has an active and ongoing involvement with the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). ILSI is funded by the multinational GMO and agrochemical companies, including Monsanto. It develops industry-friendly risk assessment methods for GMOs and chemical food contaminants and inserts them into government regulations.

Visit EcoWatch’s GMO page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less