Science journal hires former Monsanto scientist to decide which papers should be accepted or rejected
(NaturalNews) Scientific journals, by their very nature, ought not to be biased towards a particular point of view because such bias can lead that journal’s editorial staff to quash or ignore any legitimate scientific research and data refuting any pre-determined viewpoints.
And yet, as reported online by Earth Open Source, it appears as though the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology may have compromised itself recently by hiring a biotechnology insider who, on the surface, would sure seem to have a pro-industry prejudice.
From the website:
Just months after a study was published showing that two Monsanto products, a genetically modified (GM) maize and Roundup herbicide, damaged the health of rats, the journal that published the study appointed a former Monsanto scientist to decide which papers on GM foods and crops should be published, a new article reveals.
‘I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts’
The report noted that both Monsanto and genetically modified foods experienced a rash of bad publicity following the September 2012 publication of a study in the journal citing evidence that GM corn and Roundup both caused organ damage and were linked to increased rates of tumors and premature deaths in rats (http://www.naturalnews.com).
The study was the first of its kind; it examined “the long-term effects of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller” and “the NK603 Roundup-resistant GM maize also developed by Monsanto,” Britain’s widely popular food publication, The Grocery, reported.
“This research shows an extraordinary number of tumors developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals,” said Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular biologist at King’s College London, who was involved in the study. “I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.”
Despite the publication of this data, FCT decided earlier this year to add Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto researcher with close biotech industry ties, to its senior editorial staff. “Goodman was given the specially created position of associate editor for biotechnology,” Earth Open Source said.
“Goodman’s fast-tracked appointment straight onto FCT’s upper editorial board raises the question of whether Monsanto is now effectively deciding which papers on GM foods and crops should be published and which should not,” Claire Robinson, research director at the science policy platform Earth Open Source and a co-author of the new article, said.
Censoring conflicting data
According to Robinson, Goodson’s appointment is only the latest in a string of cases in which biotech insiders have either attempted to control the publication of conflicting data or prevent it from seeing the light of day at all.
When data wasn’t being censored or controlled, some scientific journals let hacks savage dissenting scientists whose conflicting research was belittled or otherwise called into question when it revealed problems with GM foods. And in many cases, the insider critics never revealed to readers their ties to the biotech industry, and editors did not force them to do so.
Where is scientific and journalistic integrity when you need it?
“Unfortunately, the public and the scientific community can no longer trust that peer-reviewed journals reflect the true state of scientific knowledge,” said Dr. Jonathan Latham, executive director of the nonprofit Bioscience Resource Project and co-author of the new article. “Some journals have become a vehicle for a narrow interest group – biotechnology corporations – to control scientific discourse.
Both authors noted that this recurring problem within scientific publishing circles is indicative of a wider issue within the scientific community, and that is that it is increasingly dependent upon industry funding. As long as Monsanto is footing the “research” bill, for example, the public will be denied access to any data that would refute, embarrass or otherwise harm Monsanto’s business. How’s that for ethics?
“Conflicts of interest have become the defining problem of modern science and limiting them amongst public sector scientists has become a fundamental necessity,” they write.
Sources for this article include: