Journal retracts study of genetically modified maize
The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology is retracting a highly controversial French study it published last year linking genetically modified maize to cancerous tumors in rats.
In a statement released from its Cambridge, Mass., offices on Thursday, publisher Elsevier said that upon closer review of the paper, editors determined that the experimental sample was too small to allow for clear conclusions.
The type of rat involved in the experiment is known for a high incidence of tumors, it said.
“Unequivocally, the editor-in-chief found no evidence or fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data,” the statement read. “However, there is legitimate cause for concern regarding both the number of animals in each study group and the particular strain selected.”
The paper, titled “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” was published on Sept. 19, 2012.
It was quickly embraced by opponents of genetically altered foods and stoked debate over California's failed Proposition 37, which sought to require labeling for genetically modified foods.
The research was led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, a professor at the University of Caen and founder of the nonprofit Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering.
On Friday, study authors said they were standing by their findings. They called the publisher's criticisms “unacceptable” and accused the journal of exercising double standards.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Anti-abortion group tries to sway votes of women in Democratic households
- BP oil spill leaves jellied ‘bathtub ring’ on gulf’s seafloor
- Many immigrants decline chance to become U.S. citizens
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities