Thursday, December 12, 2013
Did Journal Editor Even Read Seralini Study?
Did Journal Editor Even Read Seralini Study?
In defending his retraction of the Seralini paper, the journal's editor makes a series of damaging admissions.
The Editor-in-Chief of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, has come under severe criticism after retracting from his journal the paper by Seralini at al on the long term toxicity of Roundup and a Roundup-tolerant GM maize. He has now published a defence of the retraction, which we reproduce below.
Here are some of the major problems with Hayes' defence of his retraction decision:
1. Hayes states that Dr Seralini's "claim (ie, conclusion) that Roundup Ready maize NK603 and/or the Roundup herbicide have a link to cancer is unreliable" because the data on this are "inconclusive". He goes on to say that:
"Dr. Séralini deserves the benefit of the doubt that this unreliable conclusion was reached in honest error. The review of the data made it clear that there was no misconduct. However, to be very clear, it is the entire paper, with the claim that there is a definitive link between GMO and cancer that is being retracted."
BUT there is no claim or conclusion in the paper "that Roundup Ready maize NK603 and/or the Roundup herbicide have a link to cancer"; nor does the "entire paper" "claim that there is a definitive link between GMO and cancer". IN FACT, THE ENTIRE SERALINI PAPER DOES NOT MENTION THE WORD "CANCER" ANYWHERE!
This was a long term toxicity study - the clue is in the title: "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize".
Seralini did not set out to study carcinogenicity, or to conduct a carcinogenicity study. He has said he did not expect to find evidence of carcinogenicity, but he did find evidence of tumours in the treatment groups during the study, which he reported, as he should. Tumours unexpectedly found in a chronic tox study MUST be reported according to OECD452 chronic toxicity protocol ("lesions"), so Seralini had to note them in the paper. But he noted them without drawing definitive conclusions or extrapolating his findings to human carcinogenicity.
His toxicity study has now been retracted on the grounds of claiming "a definitive link between GMO and cancer", which it nowhere makes. So, did Hayes actually read the Seralini paper before retracting it? Because if he did, how come he doesn't know what the paper says?
Hayes not having read the paper is, of course, the charitable interpretation of his actions, because if he is familiar with the paper's contents it might be hard not to conclude that he has deliberately misrepresented them.
2. Hayes defends the study done by Monsanto (Hammond et al., 2004) which his journal also published, but which it has not retracted. The Monsanto study, Hayes says, included 20 rats per sex per group, whereas Seralini et al only included 10 rats per sex per group. But what Hayes fails to acknowledge is that the Monsanto study only *analysed* 10 rats per group (i.e. 50% of the animals) for blood and urine chemistry (the main chronic toxicity endpoints), meaning selection bias was introduced. Seralini used 10 per sex per group in total, so just as many animals per group were analysed without any possibility of selection bias. Thus, Seralini's methodology was more rigorous than that of Monsanto's, while generating just as much data per group.
. 3. Hayes admits the chronic toxicity findings are justified by a study of the size that Seralini et al carried out. In that case, why not simply ask Seralini to publish a clarification to his paper to the effect that the "chronic toxicity findings statistics are significant; tumour findings need followup", if that is what is felt to be necessary? That is the correct approach according to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines that Hayes claims to be abiding by. There is nothing in the COPE guidelines that justifies or requires the retraction of the whole paper.
End of excerpt
It is right to be outraged by this blatant attempt to silence scientific truth. However, this retraction is also a confession as well. Just the fact that this editor mentioned the word cancer when it was not mentioned in Seralini's study could be construed as a Freudian slip. Just what do Monsanto and other companies know that they are keeping OUT of their studies that are not retracted? As was explained, Monsanto did this test in a very shoddy way and more than likely chose the rats with smaller bumps rather than do it the right way as Seralini did. Is it not obvious through this action that Monsanto even runs the very scientific journals given the task of disseminating truth in order to protect health and the principles of ethical science?
One other outcome of this is that they have now put this in the news where many more people will actually read it. By retracting it rather than allowing it to remain as it was they have now raised the curiosity of those who now wish to see what was included in it. Hopefully, more will research this longterm study and read the conclusions and be able to assess for themselves the inherent dangers of RoundUp (Glyphosate) and the cumulative longterm effects of BT maize consumption, which Monsanto has never studied. If this does not convince you that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ come before life and that the biotech industry is being sold out to the highest bidder I don't know what will.
What I do not understand is why more scientists do not stand up against the erosion of ethical scientific research by a company whose only claim to fame is poisoning the Earth. It is sad and outrageous to see scientists in the field so willing to sell out their principles for a buck. Dr. Seralini is one exception. That is why he was a target. He told the truth. Don't let them forget that.