Nature corrects a correction on conflicts of interest in fish farming paper

Tim Schwab

Nature seems to be having a bit of trouble sorting out its policies regarding conflict of interest statements.

In late April, as we reported, the journal corrected a paper on fish farming after a journalist pointed out that the first author had undisclosed ties to the agribusiness giant Cargill. (The New York Times, which had covered the paper, also corrected a story.) At the time, the reporter, Tim Schwab, noted that several of the other authors also appeared to have undeclared conflicts of interest, but the journal had not taken steps to illuminate those.

Nine weeks later, Nature has decided to update its original correction to the article, “A 20-year retrospective review of global aquaculture,” which found that the practice of fish farming has become significantly more friendly to the environment than it was two decades ago. 

The “Publisher Correction” is now a formidable 615-word statement. 

Kudos to Schwab — who reports on conflicts of interest in corporate-sponsored research and at the Gates Foundation — for continuing to, ahem, swim upstream on this case. 

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