Retraction of Séralini GMO study is attack on scientific integrity

  • Reason given for retraction - "inconclusiveness" - is unprecedented and violates norms of scientific publishing
  • It is unjustifiable to retract an entire paper because it contains some “inconclusive” findings
  • Conclusive findings are rare in science
  • Attack on scientific integrity could put public health at risk
  • Study must be reinstated

We, the undersigned international scientists and experts, condemn the retraction by Dr A. Wallace Hayes, the editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), of the pioneering study of Séralini et al. (2012) on a genetically modified (GM) maize and its associated pesticide, Roundup.

Dr Hayes, FCT, and the journal’s publisher Elsevier must reinstate the Séralini study and provide a full public apology to Professor Séralini and his team.

 

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I personally believe that transgenic plants are and will be very important tool to fight diseases, global poverty and climate change. But it cannot be acheived without public confidence in independent science. While I believe that some of the conclusions of the study are not supported by the data, I strongly disagree with the retraction of the paper. The paper should have not been published in its present form, but its retraction compromises the credibility of the whole peer-review process. How can the public trust scientific literature if the same article can at one point in time be worth of publications in reputable journal and after few months its found "inconclusive" and of poor quality?

Tomas Moravec

This deliberate attempt to delete a highly significant scientific finding from history clearly shows Elsevier's contempt for science, its failure to properly apply and satisfy the peer review process, and its adherence to commercial interests.
In other words, Elsevier is a manipulative and unreliable contributor to the scientific process and should therefore be avoided for scientific publications in the future.

Arie Taeke Veltman

This is obviously a blatant example of conflict of interest, which Elsevier need to act decisively on. If not, boycotting Elsevier is a good option.

Valentin Zhelyaskov

This is not only an attack on scientific freedom to publish, but also an insult to all the other scientist who should be allowed to evaluate it for themselves. What is the editor afraid of? Has pressure been brought to bear on him by a very powerful GM and chemical industry. If so, he should be ashamed to have given in to it.

Andrew Goldsworthy

The reasons given for the retraction signal considerable concern with the scientific process. The peer-review that papers that present any evidence against GE have to go through is incredibly more rigurous than any study that supports GE, which is already the first bias against publishing these types of study. Retracting papers afterwards now seems to be a worrying new method that is being employed, which will be to the detriment of all science.

Dr Sarah Ann Wheeler

Past Editor-in-chief of the Journal of African Zoology. I never retracted a paper after a positive peer-review.

André Henri

STOP ALL FIRST GENERATION GMOs AND ALL OTHER LETHAL & NEUROTOXIC SUBSTANCES !

Sylvie Garin

This is totally unscientific and I will boycott this journal and all its related journals until the paper is reinstated.

Natalie Uomini

The suppression of scientific evidence for commercial gain should be punishable by criminal charges. The tobacco companies got away with this for nearly 30 years before the world woke up to the problem, and even then the response was insufficient. The risks posed by the epigenetic response of plant DNA to foreign genes is potentially catastrophic, and the precautionary principle should apply. Censoring science is playing with peoples lives.

Dr. Bob Abell

GMO - it is very dangerous biological pollution of Planet

Victor Dragavtsev

If this precedent (inconclusive findings) were to be followed, then a host of other studies (including a raft of underpowered neuroscience) would have to be retracted. The actual precedent that this sets, is that corporate interference can influence scientific editorial decisions. This needs to be challenged,

Lee de-Wit

There is an extremely worrying trend of economic interference with scientific enquiry. The freedom and independence of academics is something we have to defend.

Marco Bertamini

I have been involved in research on the psychology of climate-science denial. I've experienced two instances in which denialists put pressure on the Editors to withdraw an unwelcome paper by us. I am deeply worried about the retraction of the Seralini paper. There are arguably serious criticisms to be raised against Seralini's paper, but that is true for many other papers that made it into the peer-reviewed literature, and I've never seen any of them being retracted. It is chilling to see that the pressure from powerful commercial interests has this kind of influence on the scientific process.

Klaus Oberauer

The main reason to denouce the late decision to retract Seralini's paper with inconclusiveness ( Rats strain, number of animals in series ) is that a previous paper from Monsanto's lab, published in 2OO4, by Hammond et al, to obtain trading authorization in Europ (EFSA decision) used the same strain and the same series number (10) and was restricted to a 90 days study. The FCT decision is thus, not based on scientific reasons.
This is extremely dangerous for science independance.

Pierre Sartor

The Act of retraction of Dr Seralini's published paper has created extreme doubts about the real motive behind the act , in minds of many of us who have held Elsevier in regard in the past .It has created discomfort and dismay . Scientific debates are needed &studies like that of Dr Seralini are extremely relevant & much needed .
Denial of such information is regrettable . What is there to hide& censor ? Presence of Conflict of Interest in Elsevier and anywhere else needs to be recognized &urgently as well as aggressively addressed to prevent further loss of public trust .

DR MIRA SHIVA

The FCT editor is not worthy of his position as he has shown that he is incapable of staying with the rigorous process of review that precedes publication. A competent editor and journal includes a platform for readers to forward comments on published papers. Retraction does not fit with the scientific community's established norms of sharing and debating the results of research.

Sue Edwards

Coltivazioni OGM stanno dimostrando modificazioni naturali, selezione di malerbe, insetti e funghi resistenti.
Per combattere le malerbe divenute resistenti a erbicida totale GLIPHOSATO viene aggiunto 2,4 D.
Questo è un vecchio erbicida, shttp://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agente_Arancio scoperto nel 1941 e componente al 50% di defogliante usato in Vietnam.

Giuseppe Messi

What happened to the Seralini study is not science, it is CENSORSHIP.
Scientific data should not be suppressed merely because it does not conform to pre-determined beliefs or conflicting interests. The Seralini study should be reinstated and if necessary, repeated.

Catherine Greenall

This is another sad story of sacrificing humanity for the sake of profits for corporate monsters! What a shame FCT.

Mala Damayanthi Amarasinghe

I have published papers in Elsevier Journals but I regret that FCT should bring down the reputation of Elsevier to such low levels. Science is for truth and the Editor of FCT has now destroyed the purpose of science. Seralini's paper is indeed absolutely important for further research and in the meantime to adopt a path of precautionary principles with regard to H[erbicide] tolerant transgenic crops.

Prof. P.C. Kesavan