Italian papers on genetically modified crops under investigation

Work that describes harm from crops was cited in Italian Senate hearing.

Alison Abbott , 18 January 2016

“Papers that describe harmful effects to animals fed genetically modified (GM) crops are under scrutiny for alleged data manipulation. The leaked findings of an ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered. The leader of the lab that carried out the work there says that there is no substance to this claim. The papers’ findings run counter to those of numerous safety tests carried out by food and drug agencies around the world, which indicate that there are no dangers associated with eating GM food. But the work has been widely cited on anti-GM websites — and results of the experiments that the papers describe were referenced in an Italian Senate hearing last July on whether the country should allow cultivation of safety-approved GM crops.”

“The case is very important also because these papers have been used politically in the debate on GM crops,” says Italian senator Elena Cattaneo, a neuroscientist at the University of Milan whose concerns about the work triggered the investigation.”

Gel manipulation

“Cattaneo noted what looked like problems in all three papers: sections of images of electrophoresis gels appeared to have been obliterated, and some of the images in different papers appeared to be identical but with captions describing different experiments.”

nature.com

Alison Abbot,  Nature 529,268–269 (21 January 2016)doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19183

GM-crops nature.2016.19183

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