Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘food science’ Category

You’ve been dupe’d: Nice data — let’s see them again

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As we’ve said before, with hundreds of retractions per year, there are simply too many for us to cover individually.

So from time to time we’ll compile a list of retractions that appeared relatively straightforward, just for record-keeping purposes.

Often, these seemingly straightforward retractions involve duplications, in which authors — accidentally or on purpose — republish their own work elsewhere.

Sometimes journals and authors blame this event on “poor communication,” our first example notes:

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Did an author retract a paper at company’s behest? Retraction notice says yes, author now says no

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Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 15.59.31

The author of a paper whose retraction notice says it was pulled at the behest of a company now says that wasn’t the case.

It’s a bit difficult to get this story straight: Although the retraction notice says a company complained the 2006 paper was “giving business inputs to their competitors,” the corresponding author told us no one asked him to retract the paper. Instead, he said, he was concerned about the inclusion of plant materials that belong to a previous employer, and did a “poor job” of explaining the reason for retraction. But since the results of the paper remain valid, Santosh Rajput — now a plant breeder at Dryland Genetics LLC in Ames, Iowa — told us he regrets asking to retract it:

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Three more papers felled by suspected fake reviews

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Food Processing and Preservation

So far, we’ve counted more than 300 papers that have been retracted after editors suspected the peer-review process had been compromised — and we’re adding three more to the list.

Editors of the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation became suspicious of the three papers after discovering similarities in reports from supposedly different reviewers. When they were unable to verify the identities of the reviewers, they pulled the papers.

An editor told us that he thinks the reviewer identities were fabricated entirely (as opposed to stolen):

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Nature fixes highly cited paper suggesting food additives hurt the gut

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Nature_latest coverA 2015 study about dietary emulsifiers has been corrected by Nature after another researcher pointed out a few ambiguities.

When it first appeared, the study — which showed emulsifiers cause inflammation in the guts of mice — received a fair amount of media attention, including from Nature’s own news department. But since publication, a researcher noted some imprecision around the ages of mice used in the sample, affecting the paper’s calculations of weight gain over time. Andrew Gewirtz, co-author of the study from Georgia State University, told us the change did not affect the conclusions of the paper.

Here’s the corrigendum for “Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome”: Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE pulls maize paper with Photoshopped images

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted a paper after editors learned that some of the images had been manipulated using Photoshop.

First author of the paper, Chuan Li, confirmed that he was responsible, and told Retraction Watch he apologizes for his “low-level mistake.”

Zhongfu Ni, last author of the paper from the China Agricultural University in Beijing, told us that all the co-authors agree with the retraction.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Dairy journal retracts paper lacking co-authors’ consent

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Dairy science and technologyA journal about dairy science has retracted a paper after learning that it was published without the consent of all its authors.

An independent inquiry found no evidence of research misconduct, but nevertheless recommended that the institution — Curtin University in Perth, Australia — request to retract the paper.

Here’s the retraction notice, published in Dairy Science and Technology: Read the rest of this entry »

Another paper by GM researcher pulled over manipulation concerns

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Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.52.18 AMA researcher who published findings questioning the safety of genetically modified organisms has lost a second paper following concerns of image manipulation.

Last week, the journal animal retracted a 2010 paper by Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, which claimed to find modified genes in the milk and blood of goats who were fed genetically modified soybeans. The retraction stems from an investigation that concluded the authors likely manipulated images, according to the note. Earlier this year, another journal retracted one of Infascelli’s papers that contained a duplicated figure.

In February, Italian paper La Repubblica (which we read with Google Translate) reported that the university found problems in three of his articles and issued a warning.

Here’s the retraction note for “Fate of transgenic DNA and evaluation of metabolic effects in goats fed genetically modified soybean and in their offsprings:”

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Seralini paper released by predatory publisher is plagiarized by predatory journal

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ijtra-logoA 2012 paper co-authored by Gilles Seralini, who has published controversial research showing the dangers of genetically modified foods, has been plagiarized by another researcher.

The 2016 paper, published in the International Journal of Technical Research and Applications, has not been retracted, but the text comparison is fairly obvious.

It’s a case of intra-predatory crime: the International Journal of Technical Research and Applications is on the list of predatory journals compiled by Jeffrey Beall, and the Seralini paper appeared in the Journal of Environmental Protection, which is published by Scientific Research Publishing, which Beall considers to be a predatory publisher.

Here’s the abstract from Seralini’s 2012 paper, “Glyphosate Exposure in a Farmer’s Family:” Read the rest of this entry »

Seralini paper claiming GMO toxicity disappears after journal domain expires

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SJASA paper claiming genetically modified corn may be toxic over long periods has disappeared one day after it was presented at a press conference, after the journal’s domain name expired.

The paper, co-authored by Gilles Seralini — who has published controversial research showing harms of GM food — appeared in the Scholarly Journal of Agricultural Sciences (SJAS). On Tuesday, the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (Criigen) scheduled a press conference about the findings, noting the finding presented

new scientific data on Bt toxins and a thorough study of the records show that this GMO Bt maize is most probably toxic over the long term.

But on Wednesday January 27, the journal’s domain name expired. This isn’t a retraction per se, but a disappearance. Now, any link to the study “Pathology reports on the first cows fed with Bt176 maize (1997–2002)” goes to this page, which says in the bottom right corner: Read the rest of this entry »

A bullshit excuse? My lab notebook “was blown into a manure pit”

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CleanA researcher who studies how to turn dairy cattle manure into natural gas falsified and fabricated data in a journal article and failed to declare a commercial conflict of interest, a Washington State University investigation has found.

The study “Evaluation of Co-Digestion at a Commercial Dairy Anaerobic Digester” was published in 2011 in the journal CLEAN: Soil, Air, Water. First author Craig Frear was a Ph.D. student at WSU Pullman when the study was carried out and an assistant professor at the time of the investigation. The editor-in-chief of CLEAN, Prisca Henheik, told us that the retraction is a done deal even though it has not been posted online: Read the rest of this entry »