Ethan A. Huff
July 27, 2016
Corporate collusion and secret backroom dealings between at least two editors from the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) and biotechnology giant Monsanto are what ultimately led to the unwarranted retraction of a major study showing that Monsanto’s NK603 “corn” and corresponding herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) cause cancer in mammals, new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal.
The groundbreaking paper by French biologist Gilles-Eric Seralini, which was published and then unpublished by FCT, contained no errors and wasn’t fraudulent or plagiarized, and yet FCT’s chief editor, A. Wallace Hayes, made the unprecedented decision to pull it, after a second and mysterious peer review, using the excuse that the paper’s findings were “inconclusive.”
Never before has a paper been pulled for this reason, so naturally many have speculated as to the possible outside influences that may have swayed this unconventional decision. Now, thanks to the probing efforts of Stephane Foucart from the French paper Le Monde, it’s become apparent that Hayes, along with fellow “associate editor” Richard E. Goodman, rigged the second peer-review process that led to the paper’s withdrawal, all for the purpose of placating Monsanto.
Goodman, Hayes conspire with Monsanto to take down Seralini paper
Goodman, a former Monsanto employee, was mysteriously hired on at FCT not long after Seralini’s paper was first published, and roughly a decade after he supposedly parted ways with Monsanto. But FOIA documents show that Goodman never really left Monsanto, according to a now-uncovered email showing that about half of his salary was still coming from biotechnology companies for private consulting work years after his departure.
Even in the years leading up to the Seralini study’s publishing, Goodman had maintained close ties with Monsanto, working as one of its henchmen to keep tabs on articles and studies that questioned its products, which included the Seralini paper. Goodman’s now-released private emails show that he had asked Monsanto for talking points on refuting the paper just days before he was hired on at FCT under the appointment of Hayes.
Hayes had apparently helped keep this appointment a secret until February 2013, and we now know that during that time he worked alongside Monsanto to set up a new, non-transparent peer-review group to rip apart the Seralini paper so that it could be pulled from the journal. GM Watch explains how Hayes essentially played a “double role” in ensuring the paper’s retraction.
“My request, as editor, and from Professor Goodman, is that those of you who are highly critical of the recent paper by Seralini and his co-authors volunteer as potential reviewers,” Hayes wrote in an email to Monsanto.
We don’t know for sure whether or not Hayes extended this request to toxicologists outside the Monsanto fold, but one thing is clear: Hayes and Goodman worked in tandem to serve the interests of Monsanto in taking down the Seralini paper, and all under the guise of “science.”
FCT ‘editors’ reject other GMO-critical studies following Seralini conspiracy
So, after a legitimate and honest peer review by independent academics and scientists overwhelmingly approved Seralini’s study, getting it published the proper way, Hayes and Goodman conspired to set up a second, Monsanto-stacked “peer review” to have it unpublished. It’s corruption at it’s finest, and it hasn’t stopped at FCT.
According to GM Watch, Hayes has continued to block scientific research that even remotely questions the safety of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and crop chemicals, including a later study on Monsanto’s MON810 corn, which was shown to harm the Daphnia magna waterflea, a small, freshwater crustacean. The waterflea is often used as a model organism by ecotoxicologists.
The paper that demonstrated MON810’s toxicity in the species was simply too “controversial,” which is why it was never published in FCT. And who do you think was behind its rejection? None other than Goodman himself, under the direction of Hayes.
Though the paper was later published in another journal in 2015, the conspiratorial nature of FCT’s new Monsanto-directed “peer review” process remains the same. Goodman has since resigned from FCT, but his superior, Hayes, a Monsanto-affiliated hack himself, continues to censor sound science from the journal he oversees.
Hayes currently serves as senior science advisor at Spherix Consulting, a global team of advisors that furnishes pharmaceutical and other industries with “scientific solutions that result in regulatory success.” In other words, Hayes makes sure that clients like Monsanto are happy, and that their products are always presented in the most positive light.
“Hayes’s interests and Goodman’s current Monsanto connections should have precluded them from having any authority over the fate of the Seralini study and other studies submitted to FCT,” Claire Robinson writes for GM Watch.
“Instead we have a situation in which a lack of transparency at the journal FCT allowed industry interests to take precedence over scientific considerations. In the process, the reputation of honest scientists has been unjustly maligned and public trust in science has been damaged, perhaps irretrievably.”
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