Scientists Pledge to Boycott Publisher That Retracted GMO Paper

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

  1. clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct or honest error,
  2. plagiarism or redundant publication, or
  3. 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.

We urge you to reverse this appalling decision, and further, to issue a fulsome public apology to Séralini and his colleagues. Until you accede to our request, we will boycott Elsevier, i.e., decline to purchase Elsevier products, to publish, review, or do editorial work for Elsevier. …

Roundup-Ready GMO Corn Study Republished

A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on ‘Roundup ready’ GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures.

This study has arguably prevailed through the most comprehensive and independent review process to which any scientific study on GMOs has ever been subjected.

A highly controversial paper by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues has been republished after a stringent peer review process.

The chronic toxicity study examines the health impacts on rats of eating  a commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize, Monsanto’s NK603 glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.

The original study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) in September 2012, found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU.

However it was retracted by the editor-in-chief of the Journal in November 2013 after a sustained campaign of criticism and defamation by pro-GMO scientists.

Toxic effects were found from the GM maize tested alone, as well as from Roundup tested alone and together with the maize. Additional unexpected findings were higher rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups.

Criticisms addressed in the new version

Now the study has been republished by Environmental Sciences Europe. The republished version contains extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication.

The raw data underlying the study’s findings are also published – unlike the raw data for the industry studies that underlie regulatory approvals of Roundup, which are kept secret. However, the new paper presents the same results as before and the conclusions are unchanged. …

Did the BIS just call for a stock-market collapse?

Don’t look now, but the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is often referred to as the “central banks’ central bank”, just advised the world’s central banks to stage a market collapse now rather than later.

For anyone claiming that the many global critics of central banks are a “bunch of doomers”, that argument has now been officially buried, as the world’s premier forum of central bankers just sounded the alarm themselves:

“The risk of normalising too late and too gradually should not be underestimated… The trade-off is now between the risk of bringing forward the downward leg of the cycle and that of suffering a bigger bust later on .”

So what was that about “bringing forward the downward leg of the cycle”?   For anyone who thinks collapses aren’t planned, let’s call that “Exhibit A”.  So much for free markets.  Let’s be clear:  The same forum of the world’s central bankers which recommended this monster bubble in the first place  and enriched the world’s top-1% to historic levels, is now discussing “bringing forward the downward leg of the cycle“.  Is there anything that isn’t planned?

Oh well, so much for our roaring equity markets. Those are apparently about to be sacrificed in a planned collapse — er, sorry, in a “bringing forward of the downward leg of the cycle“.   Not that our soaring markets were indicative of any underlying economic health anyway.   The BIS was kind enough to point out to it’s member central-banks that, markets are not only officially broken but the disconnect between markets and economic reality is your fault guys.

Financial markets have been exuberant over the past year, at least in advanced economies, dancing mainly to the tune of central bank decisions. … Growth has disappointed even as financial markets have roared:  The transmission chain seems to be badly impaired.   …  Over time, policies lose their effectiveness and may end up fostering the very conditions they seek to prevent”.

The BIS is worried about the bubble it recommended in the first place:

Well it’s all very nice that the BIS has warned that the world’s central banks have now officially broken markets and created a new bubble.    But there seems to be some serious double-speak involved in the language of “recovery” and “new bubble creation”.  Literally everyone in central-banking-land agreed that the bubble needed to be reflated after the housing-bust.  But now that it’s been reflated there’s a rather ironic concern that…uh oh… we reflated.

Viva la collapse: BIS

But that’s where the humor ends.  Next on the agenda at the BIS is:  What to do about this dreadful bubble that we helped create and are now somewhat surprised that we actually have.

“Few are ready to curb financial booms that make everyone feel illusively richer. Or to hold back on quick fixes for output slowdowns, even if such measures threaten to add fuel to unsustainable financial booms,” …

“The road ahead may be a long one. All the more reason, then, to start the journey sooner rather than later.”

Read that last sentence again, folks. “Start the journey”?  As in, the “collapse“?  If we may paraphrase:  This is going to be seriously ugly no matter what.  So we might as well bite the bullet and get on with the ugliness.

When the “central banks’ central bank” slaps central-bankers on the wrist and tells them to get on with the (planned) correction,  it’s certainly time to take notice.

We are listening… and watching, BIS.