In January this year, science journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) quietly re-organised its editorial board.
This wouldn't be remarkable except for the reputation the journal has earned itself for manipulating the rules of scientific publication: including losing its grip on the peer-review process, bowing to the industry, unethical treatment of its authors, inventing spurious criteria for 'acceptable' science, and creating a special-purpose novel position on its editorial board to achieve the latter (see below).
FCT's new editor is José Domingo who has published a series of very balanced reviews of the scientific evidence on GM food safety.
Since the previous editor (who was central to the journal's shoddy treatment of science and scientists) couldn't be kicked out without admitting he and the Journal had been wrong, a new post seems to have been created for him. He is now Editor-in-Chief for Strategy and Vision, which sounds suitably distanced from the science itself to keep him out of mischief.
The novel post of Associate Editor for Biotechnology, created to get the biotech industry out of the jam Séralini's paper inspired, has vanished, as has the ex-Monsanto man drafted in to fill it.
Why this editorial re-organisation came to pass may have been something to do with the actions of some rather incensed scientists. Over 1,000 of them boycotted the FCT, refusing to submit papers for publication, or to carry out peer-reviews or editorial work, or to purchase any of its products.
OUR COMMENTWhen scientists are moved to get their noses out of their test-tubes and take action in support of their rights and reputations, it means that something's very wrong with the system.
Note that thousands of non-scientists from 99 countries also supported this action.
The lesson is that voicing your opinions and concerns about GM works, so keep doing it any way you can.
Food and Chemical Toxicology peer reviewed and published Giles-Eric Séralini's long-term toxicological study on rats fed Roundup-Ready maize, Roundup herbicide, or glyphosate (active ingredient of Roundup).
The experiment found that the herbicide- and GM-fed rats died earlier, and it was also noted that they unexpectedly developed more tumours than the control rats.
Under biotech industry and pro-GM lobby group pressure, the journal retracted the paper for the previously unknown reason that it was inconclusive with regard to the tumours because it wasn't a cancer study.
The study was later re-published in another journal with an additional level of explanation not usual in science papers.
GM MAIZE NOT SAFE TO EAT - October 2012
POLITICAL FALLOUT OF UNSAFE GM MAIZE - October 2012
TORCHING THE SCIENCE - January 2014
GM PROBLEM FEEDING STUDY RE-PUBLISHED - August 2014
- Prof. Peter Saunders, Elsevier Climb Down over Séralini Retraction but IARC Retraction Next for Monsanto, Institute of Science in Society Report 30.03.15
- Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders, Retracting Séralini Study violates Science and Ethics, Science in Society, Issue 61, Spring 2014