After a 2012 study linking cancer with Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, the scientific journal that published the study is now retracting it, after hiring a former Monsanto employee to fill a new editorial position reviewing biotechnology papers.
In September 2012, the scientific journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), published the study of Gilles-Eric Séralini, et al. which reviewed the toxicological effects of Monsanto’s NK603, and its requisite Round-Up pesticide.
They found “severe toxic effects (including liver congestions, necrosis and kidney nephropathies), increased tumor rates and higher mortality in rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified NK603 maize and/or the associated herbicide Roundup.”
In February of 2013, the FCT hired Monsanto’s former employee, Richard E. Goodman, for a new position reviewing biotechnology papers. On November 19, the FCT reported its decision to retract the published paper stating the study’s results were inconclusive because there weren’t enough rats used in the study, and the strain of rat used was not acceptable.
Writing for CRIIGEN, the independent lab with which Seralini is affiliated, Frédérique Baudouin noted that a short Monsanto study, which was published in the same journal to prove the safety of its product, “was conducted with the same strain and number of rats.”
Séralini has promised to sue.
Baudouin pointed out other fallacies in the Monsanto study which won regulatory approval for NK 603, noting that “its comparators are false because the feed for control rats is contaminated by GMOs, at doses comparable to the treated rats.”
Nice, sloppy work, Monsanto; and shame on FCT for its double standards.
A European network of scientists (ENSSER) has also published a scathing condemnation of FCT’s behavior, warning that this level of corruption is “a flagrant abuse of science” that will “decrease public trust in science.” No doubt.
Going further, ENSSER condemned the FCT for violating “not only the criteria for retraction to which the journal itself subscribes, but any standards of good science.”
A recent article calling this matter ‘The Goodman Affair,’ noted that:
“Richard E. Goodman is professor at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska. But he is also a former Monsanto employee, who worked for the company between 1997 and 2004. While at Monsanto he assessed the allergenicity of the company’s GM crops and published papers on its behalf on allergenicity and safety issues relating to GM food (Goodman and Leach 2004).”
Beyond all this, Seralini wasn’t even looking for cancer, which would require a larger number of animals, but merely prepared a chronic toxicity study under the same conditions that Monsanto used to assert the GM corn’s safety.
ENSSER explains that the short term study found not only “pronounced toxic effects” but also “increased tumour rates.” Further, the Sprague-Dawley strain of rat is the “commonly used standard for this type of research” and was the same one Monsanto used.
Most importantly, “Unpleasant results should be checked, not ignored. And the toxic effects other than tumours and mortality are well-founded.”
ENSSER concluded that, “Prof. Séralini’s findings stand today more than before, as even this secret review found that there is nothing wrong with either technicalities, conduct or transparency of the data – the foundations on which independent science rests. The conclusiveness of their data will be decided by future independent science, not by a secret circle of people.”
The biotech industry has a long history of quashing any science that shows its products are harmful. In the breakthrough film, The World According to Monsanto, Marie-Monique Robin revealed how Dr Arpad Pusztai lost his career when he went on British television with his findings that the GM potato caused organ and system damage in rats, as well as precancerous cell growth. She also included the story of what happened when Dr Ignacio Chapela discovered that GM corn was contaminating natural corn in Mexico.
Not only quashing science, but the biotech industry, including Monsanto, has also poured tens of millions of dollars into hiding which foods contain GMOs. Though 90-95% of the public wants this food label, for some strange reason when they vote on it, the measure gets defeated. (Must be those computerized voting systems Bush forced on us.)
The biotech industry is also busy negotiating a 12-nation trade agreement that would force GMOs on the market regardless of local laws. The US is leading that pact which gives these biotech companies complete control over our food, and which subverts national sovereignty in favor of corporate rule.
The FCT’s new biotechnology reviewer helps achieve these aims. Goodman is active in the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), which “develops industry-friendly risk assessment methods for GM foods and chemical food contaminants and inserts them into government regulations,” reports Jonathan Latham, PhD.
Because ILSI is funded by biotech and agrochemical companies, including Monsanto, it is barred from helping write safety standards for the World Health Organization. Latham adds that Diana Banati, former head of the management board at the European Food Safety Authority, had to resign over her undisclosed long-standing involvement with ILSI.
Clearly, the biotech industry knows its product is harmful, or it wouldn’t expend so much time, effort and money on suppressing negative science, hiding which foods contain GMOs, and forcing it on countries through secret trade agreements.
This article was first published at Activist Post.