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Garbage Anti-GMO Study Gets Trashed

In November 2012, a study was published in Elsevier’s journal Food and Chemical Toxicology that purported to show that genetically modified corn produced tumors in rats. The report, led by French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, was controversial from the get-go. The EU’s food safety authority criticized the study’s methodology, and hundreds of scientists signed a petition requesting the raw data that underpinned Seralini’s remarkable conclusion. Seralini complied, and after reviewing the data, Elsevier announced late last week that it was retracting the study from the journal.

Elsevier made it very clear that it did not find Seralini guilty of “fraud or deliberate misrepresentation of the data,” but noted that the study’s sample size was too small for the results to be conclusive. Moreover, the rats Seralini used had a “known high incidence of tumors,” regardless of their diets. Seralini called the retraction “unacceptable,” but as Reuters reports, other scientists were more supportive of Elsevier’s decision:

“The major flaws in this paper make its retraction the right thing to do,” said Cathie Martin, a professor at John Innes Centre…

David Spiegelhalter, a professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, said it was “clear from even a superficial reading that this paper was not fit for publication”.

As a meta-study showed earlier this year, genetically modified organisms are, to the best of our knowledge, safe to eat. Studies like the one recently retracted muddy the waters and stoke the public’s fear of a technology that is likely our best bet for feeding the planet’s growing population.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Scientific institutions need to start charging these liars with scientific fraud and malpractice, and pulling their credentials as Scientists.

  • Gene

    “Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk”? That’s quite a title.

  • ljgude

    As I retired academic I know that about 10 years into my career in the 70s I noticed that I was raised to think of academia as a place where you sought truth without preconceptions. But I noticed that as a career academic I had somehow noticed that to be a successful academic I had fallen in with the general practice of having an agenda. You had to have not just a field, but a bone to pick. It bothered me. Another 10 years down the track and I found myself walking across campus one day thinking ‘AT LEAST WE ARE NOT CORRUPT LIKE POLICEMEN TAKING MONEY TO NOT DO OUR JOBS” I got another few steps before I realized that was exactly what i was doing. I was corrupt and had to get out. I did. It was remarkable how long it took me to recognize this inconvenient truth. There are certainly still uncorrupt academics but it is no longer safe to assume that academics are basically honest or even always conscious of their dishonesty. Agenda driven science has become so common that any MSM report of research has to be assumed to be spun and the research itself should be taken as tentative until replicated by hostile scientists.

    • Kavanna

      The situation has gotten worse and worse in the last 20 years especially. Before the late 80s, frauds like this were spectacular but rare. With the Boomer generation now in charge, they’re ho-hum and par for the course. Everyone has to be on guard for the latest “study” “proving” some leftist twaddle. A generation is long enough for the twisted career and money incentives to make a permanent mark.

  • Kavanna

    At least Seralini released his data, which more than you say about the “global warming” BS brigade, which refused to release the “hockey stick” files until forced to. Once analyzed by others, the fraud at the heart of the “hockey stick” — deliberate misanalysis and doctoring of statistical methods — quickly became apparent.

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