There are few studies or news items critical of Monsanto that ever seem to hit the mainstream news media, but Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini’s September 2012 study was different.
When the French scientist released a study showing that Monsanto’s genetically engineered maize (NK603) can potentially cause liver and kidney toxicity as well as potentially large tumors, along with infamous pictures of a lab rat that suffered from this type of damage, he finally was able to garner the media coverage that shook up the world.
The spotlight was short-lived, however, as Séralini’s study took a backseat following his paper’s retraction from the original journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.
The paper was retracted only after a former Monsanto employee, Richard Goodman, was named to the editorial board of the journal shortly before it happened, however. The study since been republished in another peer-reviewed science journal.
While the latter two events haven’t been highly publicized, interest in the Séralini study is resurfacing after new emails were obtained by a French newspaper’s Freedom of Information Request, detailing a jaw-dropping conflict of interest between the journal’s new editor and Monsanto.
MonsantoLeaks: Pro-Biotech Forces Fuel Séralini Study Retraction
According to a new article from Claire Robinson at GMWatch.org, the process that led to the retraction of the Séralini study on GMOs and tumors was most likely heavily influenced by Monsanto scientists.
The French newspaper Le Monde uncovered several emails showing the close ties between Goodman and Monsanto.
Here’s how it all went down:
-The Séralini study was retracted by the journal’s editor A. Wallace Hayes after the appointment of Goodman, a former Monsanto scientist, to the editorial board. A new position at the journal, Associate Editor of Biotechnology, was created just for Goodman. -A “non-transparent review process that took several months” followed according to Robinson.
-Hayes encouraged Monsanto scientists to join the reviewing panel.
-Goodman had close ties with Monsanto according to the emails. He wrote in a message in 2012 that “50% of his salary” actually comes from Monsanto and other chemical companies to create a database of food allergens.
-Goodman had a remarkably close and even a “subordinate relationship” with Monsanto prior to joining the journal, which affected his dealings with the media over GMO science; he also asked a Monsanto correspondent for info on criticisms of the Séralini study shortly before becoming journal editor.
-Days after asking for criticisms of the study Goodman was named Associate Editor of the Journal by Hayes.
-Goodman was given full control over biotechnology at the journal by Hayes during the “Séralini affair” despite being a newcomer.
Eventually, Hayes’ decisions culminated in Hayes “formally inviting Monsanto toxicologists to appraise for acceptance or rejection studies on GMOs that are submitted to the journal for review..”
In other words, the very company that stood the most to lose from GMO studies showing evidence of harm had a generous hand in deciding whether or not they should be published.
Typically, studies such as Séralini’s are only retracted due to fraud, plagiarism, or honest error, GMWatch wrote. His study did not show any of these traits and was the first to be rejected due to “inconclusiveness,” the article continues.
For more information on the bombshell emails linking one of Monsanto’s flagship GM food products to toxicity and tumors, including pro-GM arguments and responses from the other side of the aisle, check out the full GMWatch article by clicking on this link.
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