Retracted, Republished, but Not Re-reviewed

A once-retracted study about the health effects of GMO maize was not peer reviewed before it was republished, as its lead author claimed.

Jun 30, 2014
Kerry Grens

WIKIMEDIA, TONELast week, a 2012 Food and Chemical Toxicology paper that had found GMO maize linked to a higher risk of tumors and mortality in rats—and which was retracted by the journal’s editors—was republished in another journal. Now, it appears, the republished paper was not peer reviewed as claimed.

Henner Hollert, the editor-in-chief of Environmental Sciences Europe, which republished the study, told Nature that there was no peer review of the second paper “because this had already been conducted by Food and Chemical Toxicology, and had concluded there had been no fraud nor misrepresentation.” Rather, the editors who reviewed the paper only checked to make sure there was “no change in the scientific content,” Nature reported.

According to the blog Retraction Watch, “that makes it all the more mystifying why [study leader Gilles-Eric Séralini at the University of Caen in France] told us, in press materials and in a follow-up email, that the republished paper was peer-reviewed.”