A former member of the editorial board of Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal that published and then retracted the Séralini study on GM maize and Roundup, has written a letter to the editor of the journal condemning the retraction.
He writes, “Your decision which can be interpreted as a will to eliminate scientific information that does not help supporting industrial interests is, in my view, unacceptable.”
Meanwhile 139 scientists have signed a statement opposing the retraction of the Séralini study. If you’re a scientist and agree with the statement, please add your signature: http://www.
In a separate initiative, a statement against the retraction and pledging to boycott Elsevier, which publishes FCT, has been signed by over 1200 scientists: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Open_
We’ve been contacted by several scientists who told us that they have withdrawn their manuscripts from the review and/or publication process at Elsevier journals in solidarity with Prof Séralini’s team. Some of these manuscripts had already been accepted for publication.
Given the difficulty of publishing critical research in some areas in the journal of the researcher’s choice, we are under no illusions about the courage needed for such actions. We take it as an indicator of the shock and disgust caused in the scientific community by FCT’s illicit retraction of the Séralini study.
Letter to the Editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology
Food and Chemical Toxicology
Volume 65, March 2014, Page 390
Refers to: Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois
RETRACTED: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 50, Issue 11, November 2012, Pages 4221-4231
As a former member of the editorial board of Food and Chemical Toxicology I feel ashamed about your recent decision to retract Séralini’s paper previously accepted for publication after a full review process which, I tend to believe, had been performed seriously as usual for a journal of high quality like FCT. Indeed one of the arguments supporting your decision seems to be, if I am well informed, the number of animals per group. Evidently all your referees knew that but did not consider that as an argument to reject the paper. As clearly stated elsewhere your decision is not in line with FCT’s editorial rules.
I also feel ashamed because your decision gives support to those who argue and even claim that scientific research (especially in bio-sciences) is less and less independent and more and more subject to industry pressure. Your decision which can be interpreted as a will to eliminate scientific information that does not help supporting industrial interests is, in my view, unacceptable. If you and your colleagues of the editorial board had some questions about the conclusion of Séralini’s study, the only scientific attitude would have been to ask for additional studies. Retracting data creates questions and suspicion and it is not a scientific attitude.