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Article Retraction from Journal Food and Chemical Toxicology: Controversial GMO Study

First Posted: Nov 29, 2013 09:10 PM EST

Reed Elsevier's Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) journal recently published a controversial and highly criticized study suggesting that genetically modified corn caused tumors in rats.

Lead study author French researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini, who conducted the research in September 2012, has withdrawn the paper due to a year-long investigation that found it did not meet scientific standards. In fact, the journal said the retraction was due to the study's small sample size that meant no definitive conclusions could be made.

"This retraction comes after a thorough and time-consuming analysis of the published article and the data it reports, along with an investigation into the peer-review behind the article," the journal said in a statement. "Ultimately, the results presented - while not incorrect - are inconclusive, and therefore do not reach the threshold of publication for Food and Chemical Toxicology."

In November 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a safety statement stating complications with the study due to its lack of scientific standards.

This soon prompted the response of over 700 scientists who signed an online petition calling on Seralini to release data regarding his research.

Though the journal said they found no evidence for fraud or intentional misrepresentation of data, there was still concern regarding the number of animals involved and particular strain selected.

"The major flaws in this paper make its retraction the right thing to do," said Cathie Martin, a professor at John Innes Centre. "The strain of rats used is highly susceptible to tumors after 18 months with or without GMO (genetically modified organisms) in their diets." 

David Spiegelhalter, a professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, added that it was "clear from even a superficial reading that this paper was not fit for publication," according to the 

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