The study which was released in September 2012 announced that the chronic ingestion of genetically modified corn could lead to tumour development and caused a global outcry with some countries stopping the import of genetically modifies corn based on the study findings. Russia suspended imports of the corn. Kenya issued an indefinite ban all GM crops.
Séralini claimed that rats fed a diet containing NK603—a seed variety genetically modified to be tolerant to the spraying of glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide)—died earlier than those on a standard diet. The Séralini team reported that 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, attributed to the chronic ingestion of genetically nodified corn, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group.
On the 19th of November the editor of the Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, sent Seralini a letter claimming that the paper will be withdrawn if Séralini does not agree to do it voluntarily.
“Unequivocally, the Editor-in-Chief found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data.” Wallace wrote. “However, there is legitimate cause for concern regarding both the number of animals in each study group and the particular strain selected. … 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.”
As reasons cited for the retraction the editor detailed the peer review process which critisized the animal study size, the international criticism the article prompted from the mainstream science community and the subsequent review. The journal cites inconclusive results as the main cause for retraction which allegedly do not reach the threshold of publication required for Food and Chemical Toxicology.