The editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) claims he retracted the 2012 Séralini study because it contained some "inconclusive" findings. But the same journal has not retracted a paper on GMO risks that is far less conclusive – but concluded the GMO tested was safe.
It's fine to publish an inconclusive study on GMOs – as long as it finds the GMO is safe
GMWatch, 13 May 2014
The decision by the editor of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) to retract the study by Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini's team on NK603 maize and Roundup purportedly on the grounds that some of its findings were "inconclusive" was widely condemned and derided by scientists.
In a new paper also published in FCT, Seralini's team says they are "sceptical" about this rationale in light of the fact that a far more inconclusive rat feeding study on a GMO was published by the same journal – and yet was not retracted.
This paper was authored by Zhang and colleagues (2014) and the abstract is here:
While FCT editor A. Wallace Hayes criticised Seralini's paper because of the relatively low number of rats used, Zhang and colleagues did toxicological blood measurements on only 10 rats per sex per group, the same number that Seralini used. Thus Zhang obtained data from the same number of rats as Seralini.
Zhang and colleagues compared their treated group with two control groups, an unscientific practice that dilutes out any toxic effects from the GMO under test. Seralini and colleagues correctly had a single control group against which each treatment group of the same number of animals was separately measured. Zhang and colleagues also did not record chronological data, unlike Seralini's team, who were able to trace the development of disease as it occurred.
And while Hayes criticized Seralini's choice of rat strain, the Sprague-Dawley, on the supposed grounds that it was prone to tumours, Zhang and colleagues used – you guessed it – the same strain of rat, and that was just fine by Hayes.
The key difference between this paper (Zhang et al, 2014) and Seralini's paper was that the Zhang paper found the GMO tested was safe, whereas Seralini's paper found the GMO was toxic.
In a prime example of the double standards that plague GMO research, the message is: It's fine to publish an inconclusive study on GMOs, as long as it finds the GMO is safe!
The new paper by Seralini's team is published as follows:
Séralini, G.E., Mesnage, R., Defarge, N., Spiroux de Vendômois, J., Conclusiveness of toxicity data and double standards
Food and Chemical Toxicology
(2014), doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2014.04.018
Open access: http://content.elsevierjournals.intuitiv.net/content/files/food-and-chemical-toxicology-21222339.pdf