ISIS – Institute of Science in Society
5th December 2013
Following the retraction of the Seralini et al scientific paper which found health damage to rats fed on GM corn, over 100 scientists have pledged in this Open Letter to boycott Elsevier, publisher of the Journal responsible.
To: Wallace Hayes, Editor in Chief, Food and Chemical Toxicology; Elsevier
Re: “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize”, by G E Séralini et al, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012, 50(11), 4221-31.
Your decision to retract the paper is in clear violation of the international ethical norms as laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which FCT is a member. According to COPE, the only grounds for retraction are clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct or honest error,plagiarism or redundant publication, or unethical research.
You have already acknowledged that the paper of Séralini et al (2012) contains none of those faults.
This arbitrary, groundless retraction of a published, thoroughly peer-reviewed paper is without precedent in the history of scientific publishing, and raises grave concerns over the integrity and impartiality of science. These concerns are heightened by a sequence of events surrounding the retraction:
* the appointment of ex-Monsanto employee Richard Goodman to the newly created post of associate editor for biotechnology at FCT
* the retraction of another study finding potentially harmful effects from GMOs (which almost immediately appeared in another journal)
* the failure to retract a paper published by Monsanto scientists in the same journal in 2004, for which a gross error has been identified.
The retraction is erasing from the public record results that are potentially of very great importance for public health. It is censorship of scientific research, knowledge, and understanding, an abuse of science striking at the very heart of science and democracy, and science for the public good.
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