Retraction of review of broccoli’s health benefits is 22nd for deceased author, 5th for one of his postdocs

Dipak Das

Broccoli almost certainly is good for you — but just how good might have taken a bit of a hit with the retraction of a 12-year-old review on the vegetable’s health benefits by a notorious fraudster. 

By our count, the retraction, which appeared in July, marks the 22nd for Das, formerly of the University of Connecticut, who died in 2013. 

It’s also the fifth retraction for Das’ co-author, and former postdoc, Hannah Vasanthi; four of those papers were collaborations with Das but the most recent, in Carbohydrate Polymers, was not. Several other papers by Vasanthi have been flagged on PubPeer — over concerns about plagiarism, image issues and problematic data — and she has had at least four corrections and one expression of concern. (One article by Vasanthi that Elisabeth Bik identified in 2019 appears to contain text lifted from a 2010 article by Bharat Aggarwal, formerly of MD Anderson Cancer Center, whose name may be familiar to Retraction Watch readers.) 

The broccoli article appeared in Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, a Bentham journal. Titled “Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview,” the authors included Das, a leading figure in resveratrol research whose years of misconduct were detailed in a 2012 report, and two co-authors.  

According to the notice:

The article “Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview, published in Mini-Rev Med Chem 2009 Jun;9(6):749-59. By Hannah R. Vasanthi, Subhendu Mukherjee and Dipak K. Das” has been retracted by the Editorial office of the journal Mini-reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, as the text in this review article are from sources which have been retracted or under investigation on the basis of data fabrication and falsification, authorship misconduct, duplicate publication, unethical research practices, text recycling/self-plagiarism, and unresolved concerns about data integrity and research conduct. The authors were informed of this complaint and were requested to give justification on the matter in their defense [1]. Some sources that have been retracted are as follows:

1) Agarwal et al. Dynamic Action of Carotenoids in Cardioprotection and Maintenance of Cardiac Health, Molecules 2012, 17, 4755-4769. http:

2) Nagendran Balasundram, KalyanaSundram, SamirSamman. Phenolic compounds in plants and agri-industrial byproducts: Antioxidant activity, occurrence, and potential uses. Food Chemistry 2006, 99(1), 191-203.

Bentham Science apologizes to the readers of the journal for any inconvenience this may have caused. The Bentham Editorial Policy on Article Retraction can be found at


[1] Hannah R Vasanthi, Subhendu Mukherjee, Dipak K Das. Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview. Mini Rev Med Chem., 2009, 9(6), 749-759. doi: 10.2174/138955709788452685.

Vasanthi, who is now in India, told us: 

As a co author, in this manuscript, who helped a graduate student during my stay in Prof Dipak Das lab for a very short period (5 months) it is unfortunate to see the decision of the journal.

Since I have not submitted the manuscript nor done the galley proof, I have no idea what was uploaded ( As I left after my fellowship period was over). I  presume that the wrong file ( initial draft ) had been wrongly uploaded by Prof Das. by mistake.

Loss is a loss. The journal formally asked for a justification to me after 10 years of publication. and the corresponding author is no more to address the issue. 

It is unfortunate that the coauthors in the prime age of the career are penalized for an inadvertent error committed. 

However, she declined to respond to our questions about the concerns raised on PubPeer regarding her other work.

We asked an editor of the journal why the retraction took so long but have yet to receive a response.

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