Reaping the whirlwind

December 19, 2013

Open letter to Wallace Hayes, editor-in-chief, Food and Chemical Toxicology, and Elsevier

Your decision to retract the paper “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” by G. E. Séralini et al is in clear violation of the international ethical norms as laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics, of which Food and Chemical Toxicology is a member. According to Cope, the only grounds for retraction are clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct or honest error; plagiarism or redundant publication; or unethical research. You have already acknowledged that the paper 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 about the integrity and impartiality of science.

The retraction is erasing from the public record results that are potentially of great importance for public health. It is censorship of scientific research, knowledge and understanding, an abuse striking at the heart of science and democracy, and science for the public good.

We urge you to reverse this decision and, further, to issue a public apology to Séralini and his colleagues. Until you accede to our requests, we will decline to purchase Elsevier products and publish, review or carry out editorial work for the publisher.

Henry A. Becker, professor emeritus, Queen’s University, Canada
E. Ann Clark, University of Guelph (retired), Canada
Joe Cummins, professor emeritus of genetics, distinguished fellow of ISIS
Robert M. Davidson, fellow of the American Institute of Stress, Texas
And more than 1,400 others as THE went to press

Click here for the full list of signatories

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