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French scientist Séralini threatens suit after discredited anti-GMO paper retracted

| November 29, 2013

As GLP executive director Jon Entine reports in Forbes, the GMO wars are set to escalate after the discrediting of a central pillar of the anti-crop biotechnology movement and the stumbling by a prominent science journal.

A. Wallace Hayes, the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, which last year published the controversial rat study by Gilles-Éric Séralini that claimed to show that genetically modified corn could lead to a high incidence of cancer, wrote in a letter to the embattled French scientist that the paper will be withdrawn if he does not agree to do it voluntarily. In either case, evidence of the discredited paper will be expunged from the journal’s database.

According to Le Figaro, which broke the story, Séralini rejected Hayes’ findings. The embattled biologist, who works in Caen as founding director of anti-GMO research group called CRIIGEN, the Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering, said the journal’s criticisms of his work were “unacceptable,” adding, “Were FCT to persist in its decision to retract our study, CRIIGEN would attack with lawyers, including in the United States, to require financial compensation for the huge damage to our group.”

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A fringe organization known as the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), whose deputy chairman is co-author of the French study and whose membership is a ‘Who’s Who’ of anti-biotechnology scientists and campaigners, released a statement as well, calling the retraction “a severe blow to the credibility and independence of science, indeed a travesty of science. … The conclusiveness of their data will be decided by future independent science, not by a secret circle of people.”

Many scientists believe the journal badly botched the peer review of this paper. A court airing of this ugly episode now appears inevitable. There are numerous unconfirmed reports that Séralini has already sought legal counsel. The disgraced scientist, in an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation, could also turn around and submit the article in its current or revised form to a third-tier journal, including the many pay-for-play publications that cater to activist scientists.

View the full, original article: Séralini Threatens Lawsuit In Wake Of Retraction Of Infamous GMO Cancer Rat Study

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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