GM Rice Researcher Fights Retraction

Nutrition scientist Guangwen Tang, who was barred from conducting human studies after an investigation found that she did not comply with ethical regulations, goes to court to save her research.

By | July 21, 2014

FLICKR, IRRIIn hopes of preventing the retraction of her 2012 paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which led to much controversy regarding whether the researchers used proper consenting practices to enroll the 24 children participants of the study, nutrition scientist Guangwen Tang is suing the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and her institution, Tufts University, ScienceInsider reported last week (July 17).

The study involved testing the effects of the genetically modified (GM) rice called golden rice that aim to fight vitamin A-deficiency in school-aged Chinese children; the researchers wanted to determine how efficiently β-carotene is converted into the essential vitamin. Soon, accusations flew that the group had not gone through the proper consenting processes. That December, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) fired the three China-based authors and offered financial compensation to the parents of the study participants. Tang retired from Tufts University the following September after an internal investigation that the research was not conducted “in full compliance with IRB [institutional review board] policy or federal regulations.”

Now, the ASN wants to withdraw the paper, but Tang argued in a Massachusetts court this month (July 9) that a retraction would amount to defamation, according to Courthouse News Service. In fact, despite the authors’ wishes the society did retract the paper on its own, but the study is officially back in the literature for at least 90 days while Tang’s lawsuit is pending, Adrian Dubock, executive secretary of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board in Switzerland, which was not involved in the study, told ScienceInsider.

According to Dubock, a wealthy philanthropist has offered financial support for Tang’s legal action, which also includes a second lawsuit against the university. “My understanding is that this person is very troubled by socially important issues that affect the disadvantaged,” Dubock told ScienceInsider.

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Avatar of: Brian Hanley

Brian Hanley

Posts: 34

July 21, 2014

This attack on Guangwen Tang is a black op by Greenpeace, which has been taken over by a rabid anti-science, anti-GMO faction.

"Greenpeace abused the IRB process in order to stop ongoing harm (blindness, disfigurement, death from disease) from being treated. ... Greenpeace turned the IRB process on its head in the service of ignorance. That is the very definition of nefarious, to turn the process created to protect life, into a method if keeping children sick and dying. It is, in the words of Patrick Moore, cofounder of Greenpeace, “a crime against humanity.”

Avatar of: Hugh-F-61


Posts: 67

July 21, 2014

Brian, I agree completely. The green movement has now killed about as many people as the nazis did by enforcing neglect of malnutrition. Putting "Greens kill browns" into google will bring up a few extracts from an article in the Hindustantimes about a decade ago with some examples, but I think the original is no longer available. It was at,00300005.htm

Avatar of: vm123456


Posts: 61

July 21, 2014

oh what an inefficient and ineffective conspiracy if the mysterious powers cannot prevent the retraction of a paper with pro-GMO results without the paper's author filing a lawsuit. lolz

Avatar of: JonnyG


Posts: 3

July 22, 2014

I am happy that she is suing - so that we can all see the probably flimsy evidence Tufts and the journal used to make their decisions. 

There had already been human studies showing that the golden rice was safe.  This is a no-brainer, as carotene is carotene is carotene, no matter what genes make it. This study excellently demonstrated that  the carotene is correctly processed by children, i.e. that its localization in the rice allows it to be absorbed and used by children.

If Tufts and the journal really cared about human health, they would have reacted differently to Greenpeace's genocidal efforts to keep golden rice from those that need it.

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