Study on genetically modified corn, herbicide and tumors reignites controversy


A controversial study about genetically modified corn that was retracted last year after scientists raised doubts about its findings has just been republished in another journal, reigniting the debate over food safety and scientific responsibility.

The study, first published in the September 2012 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, and then retracted in 2013, claimed to link genetically modified corn and Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with tumor growth and death risk in rats.

The study made headlines around the world with its shocking photos of rats who purportedly were more likely to develop large tumors and die early after eating Monsanto’s genetically modified maize, whether or not it was treated with Roundup weed killer.

But in November 2013, the journal’s publisher, Elsevier, announced that after a “thorough and time-consuming analysis,” the study was being retracted due to concerns about the research methodology. Elsevier emphasized there was no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation; it said the study’s findings were simply “inconclusive.”

The researchers, led by biologist Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini of Caen University in France, protested and even threatened to sue, suggesting that “economic interests” were behind the decision and hinting at impropriety since a former Monsanto employee had recently joined the journal’s staff.

Now they have gotten the study republished in a lesser-known journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.

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