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

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips