The "most relevant sentence from the editors retraction"...
Given the known high incidence of tumors in the Sprague-Dawley rat, normal variability cannot be excluded as the cause of the higher mortality and incidence observed in the treated groups.
...is at the end of a paragraph that begins:
The low number of animals had been identified as a cause for concern during the initial review process, but the peer-review decision ultimately weighed that the work still had merit despite this limitation.
So one objection is that that given their argument for retraction they shouldn't have published it in the first place. However, many scientists nevertheless felt that it did have the merit of bringing the issue to light (as did the journal's first position) and was sufficient cause for further study.and that even that the paper was not unique in this respect.....in fact:
A more damning objection is that it is the number of rats used that led to the journal's retraction (quite outside of the usual rules for retraction) but they allowed the similar, shorter study by Monsanto (as previously mentioned). In the authors camp, Frédérique Baudouin, for the Committee Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) has pointed out this double standard, which points a finger at undue influence:
The international journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) has requested the retraction of our study published more than one year ago (Séralini & al., 2012, Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chem. Tox. 50:4221-4231) on the long term toxicity of the herbicide Roundup, and of a GM maize tolerant to it. After the analysis of all our raw data, the chief editor acknowledges the fact that there is neither fraud nor incorrect data, nor intentional misinterpretation. However, he takes unfair advantage of the fact that the data are inconclusive, due to the rat strain and the number of animals used. These criticisms are unacceptable to us, as they have already been answered in a debate published one year ago by the same journal (Séralini & al., 2013, Answers to critics: why there is a long term toxicity due to NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modi?ed maize and to a Roundup herbicide. Food and Chem. Tox. 53:461-468). They were nonetheless advertised by the Monsanto Company in the press, when simultaneously one its directors penetrated the FCT editorial office to be in charge of biotech papers, after our publication. The retraction would not be authorized by the international ethical norms accepted by FCT (called COPE), because there is no error or fraud. By contrast, a short Monsanto study, which was published in the same journal to prove the safety of their product, contains errors or frauds, and is not the subject of a controversy. It was conducted with the same strain and number of rats, but its comparators are false because the feed for control rats is contaminated by GMOs, at doses comparable to the treated rats. This is linked to the very high number of animals requested for the carcinogenesis studies. These double subjective criteria are not admissible and endanger science and public health.
We request the retraction by the FCT of the Monsanto study on the same GMO, which has been used for its regulatory approval. Were FCT to persist in its decision to retract our own study, CRIIGEN would attack with lawyers, including in the USA, to require financial compensation for the huge damages to our group. We will refer the case to the European authorities to re-rexamine the studies used to approve GMOs and pesticides, because the GMO and other contaminants present in control feed as well as in the reference or historical data which invalidate these studies.
This should indeed "bring out a good debate and review" of such influences.
This study is not alone in indicating harm, others have indicated different kinds of harm including toxicity, such as Samsel and Seneff, Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases (Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1416-1463), the earliest study by Arpad Putzai and more in between.