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Journal pulls controversial study of GM corn effect on rats' tumor

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A scientific journal has formally pulled a controversial study of genetically modified (GM) corn, which is said to cause tumor and increase death risks in rats.

Food and Chemical Toxicology published the study, "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize," by Gilles Eric Seralini in the November 2012 issue, which attracted a lot of criticism.

"This retraction comes after a thorough and time-consuming analysis of the published article and the data it reports, along with an investigation into the peer-review behind the article. The editor-in-chief deferred making any public statements regarding this article until this investigation was complete, and the authors were notified of the findings," per the company Elsevier, the publisher of the journal.

Elsevier also indicates that the main reason for retracting the study was because it had a small sample size, which means no definite conclusions were reached.

When the study was published many scientist from various parts of the world questioned Seralini's research, which says that rats fed by Monsanto's GM corn had suffered tumors as well as multiple organ failure.

Moreover, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also issued a statement in November 2012, which said that Seralini's research based at the University of Caen in France, had serious defects in design and methodology. As such, the research does not meet acceptable scientific standards.

Just after weeks when the study was published, more than 700 scientists signed an online petition that asked Seralini to release all the relevant data associated with his research.

Seralini also agreed and supplied the data requested by the editor-in-chief of the journal. However, the journal reported that even though it had received many letters raising concerns regarding the validity of the results - some letters went as far as alleging that Seralini's research was a fraud - the editor-in-chief said that his investigation found "no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data."

So, it's surprising that the journal decided to retract the story a full year after it was published. Anyways, concerns over health issues related to GM food still remains. 

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