GM Free Cymru

Open Letter on Retraction and Pledge to Boycott Elsevier

Date Added to website 10th December 2013

If you ever wonder which side in the GMO debate is interested in integrity and truth, and which one will stop at nothing to vilify and silence its opponents, look no further.

This Open Letter, organized by ISIS (in a perfectly open and transparent fashion) to give voice to those who are concerned about the extraordinary retraction of the 2012 has now attracted over 1,000 signatures but has now come under cyber-attack.

Who might be responsible? We do not need to look very far.

The GMO industry has some very unpleasant friends, who will stop at nothing. A few years ago they managed to shut down the GM Watch web site, which was offline for many weeks while a more secure system was put in place. The GM rottweilers and bully-boys are even astute at inventing scientists and at encouraging journal editors to become involved in completely unethical behaviour, as in the case of the famous "Ermakova set-up" of a few years ago involving "Nature Biotechnology." They hide behind pseudonyms and employ internet experts to do their dirty work for them. These are the same people who have used vilification of honest independent scientists as a weapon -- and scientists like Arpad Pusztai, Judy Carman, Mae-wan Ho, Ignacio Chapela, Gilles-Eric Seralini, Andres Carrasco and many others know all about their tactics. They are the same people who scream for journal retractions whenever anything appears in print that they do not like the look of. They inhabit a world of Stalinist science, in which there is no respect for the integrity and competence of other scientists and in which there is only room for one scientific orthodoxy -- namely that GMO crops and foods are entirely safe and harmless. They are cowardly and dishonest, and in general they know far less about GMO safety than the scientists whom they have the gall to attack in the open and behind the scenes. They have already brought science into disrepute -- and it is extraordinary that politicians and GM regulators in Europe and in other parts of the world offer them respect and seek to help them in fulfilling their commercial aspirations, even if public health is damaged and if there are negative environmental impacts flowing from the use of their GMO products and the chemicals that go with them. It is a truly dismal scenario -- and the one consolation is that they have already been rumbled............... And one day, even politicians, who are notoriously slow to learn, might come to appreciate that it is not a good idea to carry on doing business with crooks.

The background to this open letter is described in Retracting Seralini Study Violates Science & Ethics (ISIS report).

This letter has been signed by 391 scientists and 687 non-scientists from 54 different countries - add your name

((This letter has been subject to cyber-attack by a group on Facebook called GMO LOL whose members have been signing on as fake scientists. These people are insulting concerned scientists who are acting in good faith; just the sort of people you want messing with your food, or telling you what food is safe. We have put in extra checks and our many friends are reporting them to us.))

To: Wallace Hayes Editor in Chief Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT)

Cc Elsevier

re: "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize," by GE Séralini et al, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012, 50(11), 4221-31

Your decision [1] to retract the paper is in clear violation of the international ethical norms as laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which FCT is a member. According to COPE, the only grounds for retraction are (1) clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct or honest error, (2) plagiarism or redundant publication, or (3) unethical research. You have already acknowledged that the paper of Séralini et al (2012) 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 over the integrity and impartiality of science. These concerns are heightened by a sequence of events surrounding the retraction:

• the appointment of ex-Monsanto employee Richard Goodman to the newly created post of associate editor for biotechnology at FCT

• the retraction of another study finding potentially harmful effects from GMOs (which almost immediately appeared in another journal)

• the failure to retract a paper published by Monsanto scientists in the same journal in 2004, for which a gross error has been identified. The retraction is erasing from the public record results that are potentially of very great importance for public health. It is censorship of scientific research, knowledge, and understanding, an abuse of science striking at the very heart of science and democracy, and science for the public good.

We urge you to reverse this appalling decision, and further, to issue a fulsome public apology to Seralini and his colleagues. Until you accede to our request, we will boycott Elsevier, i.e., decline to purchase Elsevier products, to publish, review, or do editorial work for Elsevier.

1. "Elsevier announces article retraction from journal Food and Chemical Toxicology", PRNewswire, 28 November 2013,