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中国科学院植物研究所研究员,从事植物生态学研究

 
 
 

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联合国教科文组织人与生物圈中国国家委员会副秘书长、中国科学院植物研究所首席研究员、博士生导师、山东省人民政府泰山学者、中国科学院研究生院教授、联合国教科文组织人与生物圈计划城市组委员、中国生态学会副秘书长、中国生物多样性保护基金会副秘书长、中国环境文化促进会理事、中国植物学会植物生态学专业委员会委员、北京植物学会常务理事、青年工作委员会主任、中国生态系统研究网络生物分中心学术委员、中国科学院植物研究所学位委员会委员、

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ENSSER 评论塞拉利尼论文撤稿事件:假冒科学之名(附英文原文)  

2013-12-03 09:15:42|  分类: 环保呐喊 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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顾秀林老师按语(摘录):英国友人来电邮,发来ENSSER对撤稿事件的评论,译文和原文在下面。科学杂志向大公司献媚争宠,侮辱了科学,打击了科学,也侮辱了公众。孟山都亲自出马操纵科学,就能掩盖真相?


http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6188d2520102efmj.html


《食品与化学毒理学杂志(FCT)》撤稿塞拉利尼大鼠喂养实验报告,是假冒科学之名,实为向大公司低头。

Elsevier 旗下《食品与化学毒理学杂志》撤销了已发表的塞拉利尼教授领衔的论文,该研究发现了孟山都公司的转基因玉米品系NK603和与其共用的农达除草剂会严重的毒性效果(包括肝脏充血坏疽和肾脏损伤),更高的肿瘤发生增加和死亡率(1)。该杂志编辑对撤稿的辩解不仅不符合它自己也声称要遵守的撤稿标准,也不符合任何好的科学所接受的标准。

更严重的是,对撤稿决定负有责任的审查人名单没有公布。由于许多与转基因工业有关的人士特别期望撤销这篇论文,所以此次撤稿行动令人怀疑是向大企业做出的让步。ENSSER认为,此次撤稿假冒了科学之名,是对科学的信誉与独立性的沉重打击。


结论不完整成了撤稿的理由

FCT的出版者Elsevier 发表了公告[2],声称该杂志的主编,Wallace Hayes博士说,“没有发现作假,没有刻意曲解数据”。关于撤稿的理由只有一条,即“提出的结果(并非不正确)是不完整的”。据Hayes 说,所用的实验鼠数量太少、属于易患肿瘤的品系,所以不能导致确定的结论。撤销已发表的科学论文,是有根据有指南的,如关于出版的伦理委员会COPE[3].

结论不完整,未被(COPE)列为撤稿的理由。而该杂志FCT是该委员会的成员[4]。完整而确定的结论在科学中很少见,而且不是一位编辑和一个秘密委员采用私下的标准和方法所会能决定的。如果这个做法被接受,那么独立的科学将不会存在

塞拉利尼的论文是长期毒性研究,不是关于肿瘤的全方位研究。

最显著的一点,首先塞拉利尼和他的合作者在论文中没有提出确定的结论,他们陈述了观察到的现象,做了谨慎的总结,对于还不能确定的问题是了解的。原因在于,这篇论文是一个长期毒性研究,不是一个需要更多实验动物的全方位肿瘤研究。该论文的作者们并非专注于肿瘤问题,但是在研究中发现了实验鼠出现更多肿瘤的现象。第二,Hayes 提到,“实验鼠数量以及易于罹患肿瘤的问题”曾被评审人提出但不反对发表论文。第三,这两个观点在该论文发表后曾在同一个杂志上进行过详细讨论,已经被作者们和其他专业人士辩驳。用更多数量的实验动物,只是在避免漏过毒性效果的实验中才有必要(即避免假阴性结果),而该研究的发现是毒性效果显现、是初步的、可能的致癌性迹象。他们使用的是SD大鼠品系,是同类研究常用的标准实验动物。出于这个原因,生化数据的统计显著性是统计学专家所认可的。生化数据已经确认了毒性效应如肝肾损伤,这已经足够严重了,而观察到的肿瘤出现和动物死亡率还需要经特别的肿瘤研究确认,这需要更大数量的实验动物。对于大众的食品安全而言,刻意地无视这些已经观察到的问题是不明智的。令人不愉快的结果需要被审查,而不是被无视。即使不谈肿瘤和死亡率,转基因的毒性效应也早就是众所周知的事情了。

 

谁是重审人?

相比不具备足够充分的理由就撤稿,更令人担忧的是,杂志的总编没有公布评审人员名单。是什么人协助主编做出该论文应被撤销的结论?再评审采用的是什么衡量标准,什么分析方法?他们凭什么推翻前次的同行评审决定,即可以公开发表该论文?在本例的情形中,谴责该论文的人中,许多与转基因行业有长期密切的关联,因此推翻本研究显然涉及利益,在不透明的情况下决定撤稿是不可饶恕的、非科学的、不能接受的行为。此举令人怀疑这是向利益相关公司即孟山都献媚争宠。

 

ENSSER宗旨:致力于独立的批评的讨论

ENSSER的宗旨之一是推进批评和交流,特别是在欧洲和对于新技术及其应用后果进行批评。科学和技术的推进由于日益被私人利益驱使,有关健康和环境安全的信息(来自外界)通常滞后。科学自身包含不确定性,对同一个发现通常会出现相互冲突的见解就是证明。在发现真相的过程中保持争论的开放性和研究的独立性,是独立的科学存在下去所必需的前提。

在转基因农作物的技术方面也是如此,安全性研究总是由开发者自己进行,以便于通过评审,多数根本就不发表,或者是因为企业秘密,或者是很可能通不过真正独立的同行评审。不仅是塞拉利尼的研究应该被讨论,那些没有发表却被用作评审依据的依据同样原则也应该被讨论。公众有权获知与自己有关的一切食品安全信息。

总之,撤销塞拉利尼论文的决定,是对科学的公然侮辱,是对科学可信度和独立性的沉重打击。FCT和它的出版者Elsevier 的声誉都受到了损害。这个决定将会使公众更不信任科学。同样它也不能从公众的视野和思考中去除独立的科学和批评的精神。那个时代(愚民的时代-译者注)已经过去了。塞拉利尼教授的发现,在今日看来比当初更加清晰,甚至连那个秘密评审人都说,对研究的专业性、严谨程度以及数据的透明性,他们都没有找到错误,这恰恰是独立的科学立足之处。他们的数据是否具有完整性,将来会有独立的科学为之做出判断,这决不是密室中的小圈子人士所能为之事。

 

Contact:  office@ensser.org

http://www.ensser.org/democratising-science-decision-making/ensser-comments-on-the-retraction-of-the-seralini-et-al-2012-study/

[1] Séralini, G.-E., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N., Malatesta, M., Hennequin, D., de Vend?mois, J.S.: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (11), pp. 4221-4231 (2012)

[2]http://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/elsevier-announces-article-retraction-from-journal-food-and-chemical-toxicology

[3] http://publicationethics.org/files/retraction guidelines.pdf

[4] http://publicationethics.org/members/food-and-chemical-toxicology

 

ENSSER Comments on the Retraction of the Séralini et al. 2012 Study


Journal's retraction of rat feeding paper is a

travesty of science and looks like a bow to industry


Elsevier's journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has retracted the paper by Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini's group which found severe toxic effects (including liver congestions and necrosis and kidney nephropathies), increased tumor rates and higher mortality in rats fed Monsanto's genetically modified NK603 maize and/or the associated herbicide Roundup[1]. The arguments of the journal's editor for the retraction, however, violate not only the criteria for retraction to which the journal itself subscribes, but any standards of good science. Worse, the names of the reviewers who came to the conclusion that the paper should be retracted, have not been published. Since the retraction is a wish of many people with links to the GM industry, the suspicion arises that it is a bow of science to industry. ENSSER points out, therefore, that this retraction is a severe blow to the credibility and independence of science, indeed a travesty of science.

Inconclusive results claimed as reason for withdrawal

Elsevier, the publisher of Food and Chemical Toxicology, has published a statement[2] saying that the journal's editor-in-chief, Dr. A. Wallace Hayes, "found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data". The statement mentions only a single reason for the retraction, namely that "the results presented (while not incorrect) are inconclusive". According to Hayes, the low number of rats and the tumour susceptibility of the rat strain used do not allow definitive conclusions. Now there are guidelines for retractions in scientific publishing, set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)[3]. Inconclusiveness of research results is not one of the grounds for retraction contained in these guidelines. The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology is a member of COPE[4]. 'Conclusive' results are rare in science, and certainly not to be decided by one editor and a secret team of persons using undisclosed criteria and methods. Independent science would cease to exist if this were to be an accepted mode of procedure.

Séralini paper a chronic toxicity study, not a full-scale carcinogenicity study

Most notably, Séralini and his co-authors did not draw any definitive conclusions in the paper in the first place; they simply reported their observations and phrased their conclusions carefully, cognizant of their uncertainties. This is because the paper is a chronic toxicity study and not a full-scale carcinogenicity study, which would require a higher number of rats. The authors did not intend to look specifically for tumours, but still found increased tumour rates. Secondly, both of Hayes's arguments (the number of rats and their tumour susceptibility) were considered by the peer reviewers of the journal, who decided they formed no objection to publication. Thirdly, these two arguments have been discussed at length in the journal following the publication of the paper and have been refuted by the authors of the paper and other experts. Higher numbers of animals are only required in this type of safety studies to avoid missing toxic effects (a 'false negative' result), but the study found pronounced toxic effects and a first indication of possible carcinogenic effects. The Sprague-Dawley strain of rat which was used, is the commonly used standard for this type of research. For these reasons, the statistical significance of the biochemical data was endorsed by statistics experts. The biochemical data confirm the toxic effects such as those on liver and kidney, which are serious enough by themselves. The tumours and mortality rates are observations which need to be confirmed by a specific carcinogenicity study with higher numbers of rats; in view of public food safety, it is not wise to simply ignore them. Unpleasant results should be checked, not ignored. And the toxic effects other than tumours and mortality are well-founded.

Who did the reevaluation?

Even more worrying than the lack of good grounds for the retraction is the fact that the journal's editor-in-chief has not revealed who the reviewers were who helped him to come to the conclusion that the paper should be retracted; nor has he revealed the criteria and methodology of their reevaluation, which overruled the earlier conclusion of the original peer-review which supported publication. In a case like this, where many of those who denounced the study have long-standing, well-documented links to the GM industry and, therefore, a clear interest in having the results of the study discredited, such lack of transparency about how this potential decision was reached is inexcusable, unscientific and unacceptable. It raises the suspicion that the retraction is a favour to the interested industry, notably Monsanto.

ENSSER promotes independent critical discourse

It is part of ENSSER's mission to promote the critical discourse, particularly in Europe, on new technologies and their impacts. As scientific and technological advances are increasingly driven by private interest, disinterested independent health and environmental safety information often lags behind. Uncertainty is inherent to science, as is the debate between conflicting explanations of findings. Openness of this debate and independent research to find the truth are crucial prerequisites for the survival of independent science. This holds true in particular for the technology of genetically modified crops, where the safety studies done by the producers for authorisation of the crops are all too often not published at all because of business confidentiality of the data and may not hold up to an independent peer-review. These studies, not only the independent ones like Séralini's, should be subject to debate. The public have a right to be informed of anything related to the safety of their food.

In short, the decision to retract Séralini's paper is a flagrant abuse of science and a blow to its credibility and independence. It is damaging for the reputation of both the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and its publisher Elsevier. It will decrease public trust in science. And it will not succeed in eliminating critical independent science from public view and scrutiny. Such days and times are definitively over. Prof. Séralini's findings stand today more than before, as even this secret review found that there is nothing wrong with either technicalities, conduct or transparency of the data – the foundations on which independent science rests. The conclusiveness of their data will be decided by future independent science, not by a secret circle of people.

Contact: office@ensser.org

http://www.ensser.org/democratising-science-decision-making/ensser-comments-on-the-retraction-of-the-seralini-et-al-2012-study/



[1] Séralini, G.-E., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N., Malatesta, M., Hennequin, D., de Vend?mois, J.S.: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (11), pp. 4221-4231 (2012)

[2] http://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/elsevier-announces-article-retraction-from-journal-food-and-chemical-toxicology

[3] http://publicationethics.org/files/retraction guidelines.pdf

[4] http://publicationethics.org/members/food-and-chemical-toxicology




本文引用地址:http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-475-746574.html 
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