Talk:Séralini affair

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RfC Regarding content scope and neutrality[edit]

Recently admin JzG (also known under the name Guy) removed systematical all the mentions that Seralini's studies have been published in peer reviewed literature, and removed at least 2 related study papers (See DiF's in above section). Since the admin appears unwilling to discuss his edits (see above section), I ask for other opinions.

  • 1. Should we include the mention that Seralini's papers have been published in the peer-reviewed literature?
  • 2. Should we include the studies which are discussed - or within the actual scope, of this article?
  • 3. Should Arbcom enforce discretionary sanctions for admin JzG (See recent decision in regards to GMO's), since it seems to me that his edits are disruptive, and he shows no signs of willingness to work in a community environment, and to support neutral articles. prokaryotes (talk) 15:38, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Most published studies should be peer reviewed so there is generally no need to say this if we say it is published in a scientific journal. The problem here seems to stem from the fact that a Seralini paper was later retracted by the journal and then re-published without any further peer review. Retraction itself is extremely rare as is publishing without further peer review. I am not we should use this rare occurrence to highlight the norm for a particular article. The second point seems to relate to the removal of a study published by Seralini supporting his other claims. Personally I think this can be included as long as responses to it are also included. Most published material gets responses and I am sure Seralini gets his fair share. I addressed the third point above and feel it should be removed as it will distract from the rfc. AIRcorn (talk) 19:28, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
  • None of the above, in response to the three questions you pose above. Exactly as Aircorn says above, I removed redundant use of the term "peer reviewed" because virtually all scientific research is published that way, and including it amounts to a fallacious appeal to authority unless it's specifically relevant due to issues with the peer review itself (as for example the extremely unusual review prior to the republication of the retracted 2012 paper). The quesitons you include above are a prime example of the logical fallacy of begging the question. Especially since I actually also toned down what seemed to me to be a very problematic description of the process adopted by ESE, a characterisation of the process which I think went well beyond what Nature says in the cited source and looks to be trying to accuse ESE of deliberately publishing fraudulent research. Feel free to report my edits at the noticeboards if you think they fall short of NPOV, but demands for ArbCom sanctions against named editors against whom you have a grudge do have a habit of backfiring. Guy (Help!) 19:47, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
You ignore the fact that the paper has been peer-reviewed before, and now you claim "extremely unusual review prior to the republication". Also read what Aircorn wrote again, its not exactly what you want, but you pretend it is. prokaryotes (talk) 23:37, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Now you're starting to sound like Dana Ullman demanding that no interpretation of any study is valid other than his own. This is a retracted paper, republished without any modification from the original. That's pretty unusual. In fact I can't think of a single other example (though no doubt they exist). And the only previous example I that springs to mind where a paper has been launched by press release in advance of its formal publication is Fleischmann & Pons' cold fusion paper. The source draws attention to the fact that there was no further peer review, and all I am doing is following the source. Guy (Help!) 08:38, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Jzg's comment below mine seems to be aligned with how I see these questions. AIRcorn (talk) 20:19, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
  • None of the above And (3) looks like pure WP:BATTLE craft. Alexbrn (talk) 07:05, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you now Wikihounding me? Notice that Alexbrn is claiming i edit war here and immediately looks up my other edits, and posts not in support. prokaryotes (talk) 07:09, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
What!? As you know I was on your Talk page, and so I noticed there mention of an RfC. Being an eager member of the community, when I see an RfC that I can participate in, I do it! (That's the whole point of RfC's ain't it?) Alexbrn (talk) 07:11, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
You intimidate me, you threaten me, you follow my other edits, over basic article improvements - whats next? prokaryotes (talk) 07:12, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Don't think you're right. If you have problems with my behaviour take it to WP:AIN. Alexbrn (talk) 07:15, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • None of the above in fact, this RfC demonstrates a certain lack of the HT in IDHT. -Roxy the dog™ woof 11:20, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • None of the above. It goes to WP:RS, WP:DUE, and common sense. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:45, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
  • tentative Include I've looked at the four diffs above and I think the removal of the fact that Seralini has published other papers which come to the same, albeit dubious, or similar conclusions that HAVE undergone peer review or at least are in peer reviewed journals is relevant to the article. However, I can't find sources which state this. If PK has such sources Id appreciate them being provided before this RFC closes. SPACKlick (talk) 11:06, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
All his studies have been published in peer reviewed journals, which is not explicit mentioned, but normally foudn on journal websites under about or similar links. The study from 2011 which i refer above has 91 cites which is also an indicator which merits mentioning, and since we have a section for previous papers, which are related to the 2012 publication. The study from the first DIF above was published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 2011. It also is noteworthy that the retracted paper from 2012 by Food and Chemical Toxicology was retracted because of "inconclusiveness", not for any scientific errors - they found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data. Later publications by S were again published in FCT. prokaryotes (talk) 11:40, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
You do not appear to be making any observations here that are new, or worthy of inclusion in our article. So my response to you is "so what?" -Roxy the dog™ woof 11:58, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
Being published in a peer-reviewed journal is not a magic talisman conferring immunity form criticism. There are many factors that are taken into account when assessing published work, which include things like journal impact factor, reputations of journals for uncritical publication of certain subjects (Chinese journals publishing studies on acupuncture, for example), responses within the literature and more widely, subsequent replication and so on. The Séralini affair specifically refers to a journal article that was retracted - that's a big black mark even if someone else subsequently republishes it. You appear to be trying to use Wikipedia to "fix" a real-world issue, which is that this study is currently considered to be worthless and its republication questionable. I understand that you wish it were not so, but that is what the sources say. It's not our problem to fix. Guy (Help!) 12:04, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting PEer Review is a magic protective cloak, however I think it is important to distinguish quacks who publish dozens of papers in irrelevant journals with no peer review and scientists who publish within the bounds of the scientific method, even if those scientists come to unjustified conclusions. The fact that Seralini is a scientist and not a quack is relevant to that section of the article and should in some sense explicitly be in there, it could be resolved by simply atating where each fo the mentioned articles was published because at the moment you have to go to the references for that. If you believe his preious position within the scientific community isn't relevant then why have a section of previous papers at all? SPACKlick (talk) 15:43, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is reasonable and fundamentally I agree, but per WP:FRINGE there is a risk in including primary sources of this kind without any context establishing how those sources have been received (especially remembering the homeopathy-sponsored "all feed is evil" study, which is just shockingly poor). It is also more relevant to the article on Séralini himself than in an article on a controversy about a specific paper. Here, I think we very much want to look for WP:RS sources that establish the context and make the link to the original paper, as per your argument above. Guy (Help!) 16:25, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Obviously i support the inclusion of mentioning that publications have been peer-reviewed, and related studies should stay in the article. prokaryotes (talk) 12:09, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment As the lede stands it seems reasonable to me, in that it mentions the refusal to withdraw, the retraction, and the review, all of which need mention. Concerning all that, I suggest no change. However, like Prokaryotes, I think that the hiring of reviewers deserves mention, and at least, does no harm if factual, but rather adds relevant perspective in context. I urge that it be mentioned. JonRichfield (talk) 11:07, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Support both 1&2 It is rather unfortunate that reliable sources are constantly being suppressed when they go against the extremist skeptical POV. Of course these should be included, as long as they are well-attributed, no question. LesVegas (talk) 03:22, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
What? They are not being "suppressed". They are both included and pretty much always have been. We just don't wave the magic wand of "peer-reviewed" in order to try to confer a legitimacy that was effectively removed by retraction. We do not use them as sources for their own existence (perr WP:NOR, but we absolutely do link them and highlight them with full citations for the reader's convenience. This gives them much more prominence than if they were bueired away as references for something for which they are not actually reliable independent sources. Guy (Help!) 12:24, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support both 1&2 The attempts to discredit Seralini often try to make the study seem more exceptional and unusual than is the case. To ignore the fact that the study went through the normal review process and is very similar to studies from Monsanto that also had inconclusive results from using too few rats. Seralini simply extended the studies that Monsanto did that showed data that looked troubling--after having to fight to get that data that the industry claimed was confidential. To leave out the fact that the publication was peer reviewed helps to reinforce the double-standards of scrutiny that were not applied to the industry sponsored studies that used the same number and kind of rats. Why this is not mentioned in the article shows problems with our article's NPOV. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:17, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Séralini discredited himself by engaging in science by media release. The study was retracted, that's a fact. The study is included int he article, that's a fact, too, and one which this badly formed RfC studiously ignores. Essentially the question is: should we give the articles less prominence and make them harder to find by including them as references for their own existence, in violation of WP:OR, rather than, as at present, listing both publications with full citations and using reliable independent sources to support he facts of publication. In other words, it's an RfC asking people to support ignoring policy. Guy (Help!) 12:24, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Actually I believe you are wrong. Seralini was ethically bound to both include the information and make sure that information was disseminated to the greater public at large. He did a toxicity study, but it is required that when doing a toxicity study and finding cancer results, even inconclusive, they be mentioned and a call for further studies to quickly resolve it since the products are already being used by the public. What is unethical was the attempt to force a retraction and pretend it never happened. That is the actual seralini affair. Why this wiki page has been hijacked by the very same unethical forces that caused the scandal in the first place is somewhat troubling. If I were to read the wiki page with no knowledge of the Seralini affair, I would come to the conclusion he did something ethically wrong. This page generally reads exactly the opposite of where the true scandal lies. That makes this wiki page highly deceptive and potentially a continuance of the scandal itself. This is the Seralini affair Redddbaron (talk) 05:08, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Support both 1&2 per David and Les. Jusdafax 16:56, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
*Support per my above RFC. prokaryotes (talk) 17:07, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Prokayrotes; you already !voted above. You don't get to !vote multiple times in an RfC. Yobol (talk) 03:52, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
  • None of the above. Only reasonable, rational, and reality-based position available. jps (talk) 18:27, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
  • None of the above, per Aircorn. The above statements appear to be creating an environment which is trying to distract/lend credence to a fringe position. Yobol (talk) 03:52, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
  • support 1&2 Although I believe 1 is a non-issue. Include it where it is relevant but no need to emphasize it. 2 is fairly obvious. Understanding the papers themselves that are at the center of the controversy is key information and should be included. Redddbaron (talk) 05:21, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Article incorrectly states conclusions of the Study. Correction is needed.[edit]

I am reasserting what I wrote here, that the paper does not say that the RoundUp Ready corn and/or the Round-Up are "toxic" which is stated in sentence #2. (It is often asserted here on Wiki that nearly all substances natural or man-made are "toxic"--if you take enough, including water.) Seralini's study instead emphasized the need for longer studies. The conclusion stated in the Abstract is:

Our findings imply that long-term (2 year) feeding trials need to be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of GM foods and pesticides in their full commercial formulations.

Does the fact that the mainstream media (and possibly other sources) have misrepresented the paper's conclusions justify doing the same here? --David Tornheim (talk) 03:21, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Your point is valid. We need a source, so I have tagged the use of the word "toxic" in the lead. Let's see if someone can provide it soon. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:16, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
To use the editor-in-chief's words, the paper made "the claim that there is a definitive link between GMO and cancer". We should be aligned with that. Alexbrn (talk) 06:58, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
The paper did not make such a claim or conclusion, irrespective of what the former editor-in-chief said. Sources are easy to findMinor4th 13:14, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I reverted the recent changes made by Alexbrn because they were factually inaccurate and not supported b the sources. Seralini's study was a toxicology study, not a cancer study. He made no conclusions about "cancer." Please do not re-add that content without extensive discussion and consensus. Just because sources misrepresent the study does not mean we should do so in Wikipedia's voice. If we're going to mention a cancer link to Seralini, then we need to expand upon Seralini's response and the whole body of literature that explains that it was not a cancer study and it wasn't appropriate to use cancer protocols and data designs. Minor4th 13:35, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Not done to revert the whole thing, including grammar fixes etc. even if you disagree with one aspect. That doesn't really help the Project. Alexbrn (talk) 16:23, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
(Add) in any case I think we can rely on the Editor-in-chief of the journal to understand what he published rather than rely on the OR of a random amateur Wikipedia editor. And indeed on consulting the Séralini paper one finds the paper refers to itself as "... a chronic toxicity study in which there is a serious suspicion of carcinogenicity. Such indications had not been previously reported for GM foods. ... Surprisingly, there was also a clear trend in increased tumor incidence, especially mammary tumors in female animals, in a number of the treatment groups. " [my bold]. In view of this I find the reversion rather extraordinary, and suggest we go back to WP:Verifiable text which fixes the problem identified in this section. Alexbrn (talk) 16:30, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
I propose that this be handled by quoting from the original. Lfstevens (talk) 17:04, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Apart from the fact it is technical language unsuitable for lay readers, it is also wrong & WP:FRINGE. We should be using expert WP:SECONDARY sources, not picking stuff out of the primary and turning Wikipedia into an inexpert secondary itself. Alexbrn (talk) 17:10, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to suggest that we use the more narrow language to describe what the paper itself said (in other words, not attribute "toxicity" to it), but then add something along the lines of "in a way that implied a likelihood of carcinogenicity", or words somewhat like that, attributing the latter to the Editor-in-chief. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:02, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. From pieces like this it seems it was the "increased tumours" claim which caused the fireworks in the scientific community. This source source is good; to quote it: "Séralini's team had found that rats fed for two years with a glyphosate-resistant type of maize (corn) made by Monsanto developed many more tumours and died earlier than did control animals. It also found that the rats developed tumours when Roundup was added to their drinking water." Alexbrn (talk) 18:24, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
The statement about the "full commercial formulation" would make any commercial use impossible and is not the goal of any serious toxicology or pharmaceutical study. Evidence based is about the agent, not about the formulation. I doubt the useability of the various lengthy verbal quotes suggested here. What we need is a description of the study and its purported results based on secondary sources - he used a way too low number of rats which live not much longer than two years and are prone to cancer anyway, and he left out the basic variables (feed rates, consumption, wheight gain) and he published useless findings in coincidence to documentary books and films to bring a message accross.Polentarion Talk 19:01, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Please consider slowing down and taking time to understand the context around the study and the controversy. This was not a cancer study; cancer is not mentioned in the study at all. It was a long term tox study that concluded that exposure to glyphosate formulations led to kidney and liver problems and incidentally the rats developed more tumors than the controls and Seralini suggests this as an area for further study without drawing any conclusions about cancer or carcenogenicity. Yes, the former editor in chief made a comment about the study linking glyphosate to cancer - but that statement is WRONG. We should not keep repeating that wrong statement. There was no "implied likelihood of carcinogenicity" - there was an observation about tumors developing and a call for proper research. Minor4th 20:24, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Our job is not to attempt to "understand" the study, it is to relay what is reported in reliable independent secondary expert sources: that is the essence of NPOV. You are arguing for your own interpretation of what the paper said, which is the essence of original research (and from the article text, and from how the paper is reported elsewhere, e.g. in news above, it's obvious that your interpretation is adrift of the experts). Let's use expert published commentary and edit according to the WP:PAGs. Alexbrn (talk) 20:43, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
I have to agree with your response to original research being a problem here (honestly a huge suggestion for Minor4th to take their own advice and slow down, especially with the "WRONG" comment). The study tried to make carcinogenicity claims within a tox study, which was the main controversial aspect that led to the "affair". There isn't anything that stands out as factually incorrect in the article relating to the core of the controversy. I haven't seen a legitimate reason articulated in this vast discussion yet that the events are somehow being misrepresenting according to sources or by policies and guidelines such as WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:59, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Minor4th is factually correct. Redddbaron (talk) 05:34, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Sources and discussion re: study[edit]*~hmac=4b94785474029c1d796640997893e11feb861af48cee487aa76c0ae3273c59b7]] It references the 2012 Seralini study this way: Séralini et al. [2, 3] presented evi- dence from longer term toxicity studies that confirmed earlier findings. This work also reported that Roundup herbicide formulation (tested in three different doses) causes liver and kidney toxicity at levels well below the regulatory threshold set for glyphosate, alone. This was the first study to investigate effects of a Roundup for- mulation. All earlier studies investigated glyphosate, the herbicidal ingredient of Roundup, in isolation. The genetically modified maize NK603, Roundup and the two in combination were also reported to increase mortality and tumor incidence. The study was designed as a toxi- cological study, not as a carcinogenesis study. Therefore, the tumor incidence and mortality results were reported, according to OECD guidelines for chronic toxicity studies [6], as secondary observations requiring follow- up using a study design intended to systematically assess carcinogenesis.

  • The actual Seralini study concludes [1]In conclusion, it was previously known that glyphosate con- sumption in water above authorized limits may provoke hepatic and kidney failures (EPA). The results of the study presented here clearly demonstrate that lower levels of complete agricultural gly- phosate herbicide formulations, at concentrations well below offi- cially set safety limits, induce severe hormone-dependent mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances. Similarly, disruption of biosynthetic pathways that may result from overexpression of the EPSPS transgene in the GM NK603 maize can give rise to com- parable pathologies that may be linked to abnormal or unbalanced phenolic acids metabolites, or related compounds. Other muta- genic and metabolic effects of the edible GMO cannot be excluded. This will be the subject of future studies, including transgene and glyphosate presence in rat tissues. Reproductive and multigenera- tional studies will also provide novel insights into these problems. This study represents the first detailed documentation of long- term deleterious effects arising from the consumption of a GM R- tolerant maize and of R, the most used herbicide worldwide.Minor4th 20:58, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
And what has this to do with the Séralini affair? This is an article about the publication and retraction of a journal article that was found, in itself, to make unreliable claims about GMO and cancer. Material on "the current knowledge" of the field is not relevant to what happened back then. Alexbrn (talk) 21:09, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
ec.. Is there a point being made here? It isn't clear. Roxy the dog™ woof 21:11, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Thought it would be obvious without me having to explain. Above you have 2015 peer-reviewed secondary source/review article that tells us exactly what the conclusions of the 2012 Seralini study were. That's what Alexbrn was asking for in the section above. The second cite is the conclusion from the study itself. These are better sources for what the Seralini study was and wasn't, compared to an erroneous statement from the former editor of FCT that the Seralini study found a "definitive link between glyphosate and cancer." Do you guys really know what this study and all the controversy is about? Minor4th 21:18, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, we don't use fringe/junk journals for extraordinary claims, though even this says "tumor incidence and mortality results were reported". EUSU is a no-impact-factor journal. and FCT are at the other end of the quality scale. Alexbrn (talk) 21:37, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, tumor incidence and mortality were reported, but only as a collateral observation and without drawing any conclusions about it other than to suggest further research designed specifically for carcinogen studies. Alex, I'm just trying to look for sources that actually describe the study and its findings accurately. I do not see the Farber article as either pro or anti GMO or pro or anti Seralini - it was just the only review article I could find that actually described the Seralini study and conclusions. Is there any reason to disagree with that article when you compare it to the actually conclusion in the article? I certainly don't mind if you can find a better source, but that is what we have for right now. Minor4th 22:54, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
  • @Alexbrn: - I also have no problem using the Nature article you cited above that says: Séralini's team had found teshat rats fed for two years with a glyphosate-resistant type of maize (corn) made by Monsanto developed many more tumours and died earlier than did control animals. It also found that the rats developed tumours when Roundup was added to their drinking water. if you prefer that. I think that also accurately describes the study. Minor4th 23:03, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I boldly edited the lede according to this discussion, and added Alexbrn's Nature cite and the 2015 Farber cite in the first paragraph. It now reads:

The Séralini affair is the name for the controversy about the publication of a particular feeding study conducted by French molecular biologist Gilles-Éric Séralini and others. Séralini's team conducted a 2-year toxicity study in which rats were fed Monsanto's RoundUp (Monsanto's commercially-formulated glyphosate) and RoundUp-tolerant NK603 genetically modified corn. The study, published in 2012 in Food and Chemical Toxicology, observed that the rats fed RoundUp and NK603 corn developed many more tumours and other severe diseases and died earlier than did control animals. It also found that the rats developed tumours when Roundup was added to their drinking water. The study concluded that long-term feeding trials should be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of genetically modified foods and commercially formulated pesticides. [1][2]

I am open to further discussion or reversion if anyone takes issue with this edit. Minor4th 23:48, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Sorry but we have no base for that assumption - the study has been deemed a non-event in science. Polentarion Talk 02:41, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
The Nature news piece is good, but it is subtitled "food-safety bodies slam feeding study that claims increased cancer incidence in rats" and does tell us "he was not expecting to find any--no previous tests on GM foods had suggested a cancer risk. Yet Seralini has promoted the cancer results as the study's major finding". The point is that what appears incidental from a plain reading of the text, was promoted as the key claim because of the way the paper was launched. Hence the sensitivity to the claim from the editor and in the general reception of the text which sees "cancer incidence" as the key point at issue. We need to make that plain too. Basically, the word "cancer" needs to be in the opening para for NPOV. Alexbrn (talk) 06:26, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
It's almost as if the journalists were spoon-fed the conclusions via a massive press launch or something. Guy (Help!) 09:56, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. And in the world out there the push back from the activists now seems to be to say that "Seralini never said cancer, it's all a *smear* I tell yah". We must be careful not to have Wikipedia buy into that nonsense. Alexbrn (talk) 10:17, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I think those aspects of the controversy are covered in the following paragraph of the lede - the big press release and non-disclosure, etc. I only worked with the first paragraph. My concern was about Wikipedia's voice misstating the study's conclusions. Minor4th 13:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Nobody is interested in what are technically the study's "conclusions". All of RS (and Séralini himself) focused on the claim made in the paper linking GMO with cancer. That is the essence of the "affair". We need to be aligned with RS. At the moment we're aligned with Minor4th's OR. Alexbrn (talk) 14:09, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
As a start, I have changed "observed" to "claimed", since the one thing that is unambiguously demonstrated is that the power of the study was insufficient to observe these things, and the claims were found to be unsupportable. Guy (Help!) 14:20, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
We should go much further. The first paragraph of the lead is cirrently reporting the "conclusions" of a withdrawn retracted study. Quite unbelievable. It goes against everything that Wikipedia stands for, (and WP:UNDUE) to report these non-conclusions in the lead as if they had any weight at all. I am about to revert to the version before Minor 4th's recent pov edit. -Roxy the dog™ woof 14:25, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I am comfortable with that, obviously. Guy (Help!) 14:29, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, after careful consideration I think my text was alright. Alexbrn (talk) 14:34, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Done. -Roxy the dog™ woof 14:36, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I was actually thinking this version was the one, though I'd change "its conclusions were" to "this claim was" (in para 1) to satisfy the valid element of M4's complaint. Alexbrn (talk) 14:40, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
OK, Done, but give me a few moments to make sure that you are correct;) -Roxy the dog™ woof 14:44, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I think it's fine to focus the article on the criticisms and the controversy the study drew, but that doesn't mean that we publish erroneous information about a study. If you want to give more focus to the initial reaction from industry and the science community, then make that the first paragraph - but don't include wrong information just because "no one cares about the actual conclusions." That's actually another facet of this "affair" that needs to be expended, however - the question of industry influence over the peer review process etc. I'm motivated to continue collaboration on this article. And let's try to keep the insults and personalization out of it please. Minor4th 15:30, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

What is "erroneous"? We're getting a build-up of opinion and assertion on this Talk page not backed by sources (or even mention of sources). To be constructive it would be helpful if the conversation was grounded in RS. Alexbrn (talk) 15:31, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
What "wrong information"? -Roxy the dog™ woof 15:41, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
what's "wrong" and "erroneous" is that the study claimed a link between GMO and cancer - errors that you just reverted back in the article. Due to those errors, I had requested that discussion and consensus be formed before restoring Alex' version. Alex, I'm requesting that you self revert your last edit, based on the DS and 1RR restrictions on this article. And let's continue the discussion since we apparently haven't reached consensus yet. Minor4th 16:08, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
If you review the discussion above you'll see we have multiple strong RS telling us the study claimed a strong link between GMOs and cancer. We follow that strong RS. I am open to continued discussion of course - but it must be based on RS, not personal opinion. Alexbrn (talk) 16:11, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
(Add) Talking of 1RR, you've just reverted again (and cried BLP). I have filed a report at AE. Alexbrn (talk) 16:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC); amended 17:17, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Alex, please read this section above and you will find the reliable sources that explain the conclusions of Seralini's study. Please do not continue reverting back in false conclusions of the study and attributing them to the study itself. That is big time BLP violation, making a claim in WP voice that a scientist concluded "a strong link to cancer" when no such conclusion was made. youve got multiple editors trying to explain this to you (me, Tryptofish, Trondheim and polentate.). This is not about POV - It's about not misrepresenting scientific studies. Minor4th 16:24, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

I see only one editor disagreeing and reverting, and that is you. Alexbrn (talk) 16:28, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
^I disagree with the claim of "a strong link to cancer". The quote from the study you provided above said "a strong suspicion of cancer" that required further study. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:46, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to examine the language of the sources being discussed here, and I do think that they point towards treating cancer as being of lead-worthy importance. Here are some details that I see. There is a quote from Seralini's own study, that says: "This will be the subject of future studies, including transgene and glyphosate presence in rat tissues." We should not misunderstand that as meaning that Seralini was saying that, in his opinion at the time, conclusions about carcinogenicity could not be made from the present study. Rather, he is just saying (in fairly typical scientific journal-speak) that he is planning to do more studies (kind of a signal to other investigators that they won't be able to "scoop" him). When he talks about "overexpression of the EPSPS transgene" and "other mutagenic... effects", he is talking about changes in genetic material, that are widely understood by biochemical scientists as being tantamount to carcinogenicity. So the reporting of tumors and resulting mortality is very much a report, in scientific journal terms, of probable carcinogenicity. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:02, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
You will need some RS to back up all these claims. --David Tornheim (talk) 22:52, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
That's not the case, although it's an understandable source of confusion. What you are concerned about comes down to whether what I said was WP:OR. If editors were discussing, on an article talk page, a source written in a language other than English, and an editor who reads that language fluently were to explain what the source says, that would not be original research. It would just be help in properly understanding the source. What I am doing here is analogous to that. I'm explaining what the source says. That's part of what editors do. There is nothing controversial about noting that "mutagenic effects" are equivalent to carcinogenesis. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:30, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely. There is no reason to use anything other than plain English here, especially since many of the sources specifically use the word cancer. I can't imagine why one would prefer medical jargon to everyday language here. Guy (Help!) 23:56, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
@Tryptofish:: Above you said, '"mutagenic effects" are equivalent to carcinogenesis'. That is incorrect. Mutagenic effects can occur without cancer (Carcinogenesis). One only needs to look in the Wikipedia article Mutagenesis to see your claim is mistaken, unless you think that article is wrong too. Regarding your statement:
When he talks about "overexpression of the EPSPS transgene" and "other mutagenic... effects", he is talking about changes in genetic material
that is fine, but your continuation,
...that are widely understood by biochemical scientists as being tantamount to carcinogenicity. So the reporting of tumors and resulting mortality is very much a report, in scientific journal terms, of probable carcinogenicity.
is simply not true. "probable" is far too strong. "possible" is acceptable. Again, if you are claiming some expertise in reading a toxicology study that the average reader lacks, you should easily be able to prove the claims you are making about the language using RS, and I would hope you would refrain from making making misleading statements like the pieces I just quoted. That said, we might be able to wrap this up given that your proposed language for revising the lede is okay with me, and is getting additional support. Thank you for that proposal. --David Tornheim (talk) 01:49, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
I really do not need you to be lecturing me about "refrain from making misleading statements". That is a very unhelpful comment on your part.
Of course, I understand perfectly well that there can sometimes be carcinogenesis without mutagenesis, as well as mutagenesis without carcinogenesis. That's not the point. What is the point is what Seralini says in the source. And he is talking about potential carcinogenesis. He is not talking about non-carcinogenic mutations, when he is also presenting evidence of dramatic tumors. We can dance around whether Seralini meant that carcinogenesis was "possible" or "probable", but he is clearly talking about it being, at the very least, "possible", as opposed to not mentioning it at all. Thus, there is no valid reason to take the source as indicating that any mention of "cancer" should be removed from the lead. The lead should clearly report that. It's a big part of what the "affair" was about. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:35, 22 December 2015 (UTC)


We're now getting a repetition of the revert to remove "cancer" from the opening and re-refocus on Séralini's (technical) conclusion, rather than his grand claim. This is like a cameraman focusing on the goalposts at one end of the pitch while a goal is being scored on the other side, quite out-of-step with RS and so not neutral. I think the consensus is reasonably plain. Furthermore we should not attribute the finding of scientific flaws in the study to just one guy, as this incorrectly implies it is a mere opinion, rather than the settled fact it is - see WP:ASSERT ... this is also at variance with our requirement for NPOV. Alexbrn (talk) 15:50, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

There is no consensus to add the word cancer to the lede. I object as well. Please stop trying to edit war in the word cancer and work to find consensus. --David Tornheim (talk) 17:24, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
Objections count for nothing if they are not rooted in the WP:PAGs. We have multiple strong RS's telling us that the paper claimed a strong link between GMOs/Roundup and cancer (yes, that specific word). We need to follow such WP:RS to be neutral. At least 3 editors today have expressed a preference for including mention of cancer (and two, I being one of them, have made an edit to do so). On the other hand I'm hearing a couple of objections but seeing no good sources to support those objections. Alexbrn (talk) 17:26, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
It must be me who Alex refers to as having "made an edit to do so", for the record, so yes, I did. Lets all raise an xmas toast to neutrality. -Roxy the dog™ woof 17:49, 21 December 2015 (UTC).
It is bizarre to state that we cannot include the single most widely reported facet of this study because a small number of stonewalling editors claim there is no consensus for it. The PR photos have Séralini holding up a rat with cancer, it's not us who's making the link. Guy (Help!) 23:50, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Could we perhaps solve this dispute by changing the second sentence of the lead:

"The article, which appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), reported an increase in tumors among rats fed genetically modified corn and RoundUp."


"The article, which appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), reported toxic effects in rats fed genetically modified corn and RoundUp, and led to widespread media reports of possible carcinogenic effects."

--Tryptofish (talk) 23:54, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Maybe include both? The main encyclopedic relevance is that they tried to incorrectly claim an increase in tumor incidence, but some of the other toxicological claims had experimental design issues to make those findings inconclusive as well (all part of the retraction). The increase in tumors shouldn't be removed, but mentioning the other toxicological aspects would be relevant too. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:08, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
^I agree on including both using this language:
"The article, which appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), reported toxic effects (including increases in tumors) in rats fed genetically modified corn and RoundUp, which led to widespread media reports of possible carcinogenic effects."
Thank you both for working toward consensus language.
--David Tornheim (talk) 01:39, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
That language would be downplaying the carcinogenicity and be undue weight for the other toxicology aspects that were relatively minor in the controversy. The main aspect of this controversy was the tumors and cancer claims, so that would need to be mentioned first rather than subsetted. Instead of burying the tumor language, it's best just to combine Tryptofish's language to "reported an increase in tumors and toxicity." Based on the above talk discussion, we're also not in a position where we've established a need to change the current language either, so we could just leave it as is. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:23, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, that last version is the best. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:23, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
I hadn't seen Kingofaces43's objection when I endorsed David Tornheim's suggested language. But seeing those objections, I think the best way to address them would simply be to remove the parentheses around "including... tumors". That reads better than "reported an increase in tumors and toxicity", because there wasn't really an "increase" in toxicity. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:43, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Part of the problem with subsetting tumors in the phrase is that toxicity and carcinogenicity studies are two separate things, so it wouldn't be proper to say "in toxicity . . . including tumors" in this instance. It's a nuance, but an important one in this instance. The study did try to report an increase in toxicity (effects on various organs), but would going back to replacing toxicity with toxic effects in my last quote clear that up? Sometimes people associate toxicity solely with mortality, so was that what you were thinking saying there wasn't an reported increase in toxicity? Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:54, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
I'll also add that I only suggest these changes because we mention the study was used to suggest a link between glyphosate, etc. and cancer by Seralini in the rest of the lede (and article), so it doesn't become a huge weight issue in this once instance of changing cancer to tumor. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:02, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Kingofaces43 Please take it easy on the edits when we're in the middle of discussion and a forming consensus. I prefer the wording of Tryptofish's and David Tornheim's proposal, and it is more accurate than what you have added to the first paragraph. The Arjo source you cited says nothing about cancer or Seralini emphasizing "cancer" findings in the press conference. I cannot find any source that describes Seralini as emphasizing a cancer link at the press conference. From all sources on the subject it appears that Seralini DID emphasize the large tumors with pictures of rats with large tumors - and the media interpreted that (unscientifically) as a GMO/cancer link (which is why we need SCIRS for this type of information and don't rely on mainstream media to tell us what scientific studies say and mean.

I tweaked the edit made by Kingofaces in the first paragraph, and I welcome further discussion and will self revert if requested. Minor4th 01:30, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

I didn't make any significant changes to content at this time. It was all existing content that was reordered only.
Likewise your recent change is incorrect and deleted sourced content. The very title of Arjo said the study claimed RR corn and glyphosate caused cancer. Sources discussing the issues with the claims at the press conference have already been discussed, so we cannot downplay that Seralini tried to claim a cancer link at the press conference or in the study. I do suggest reverting, and also remembering that WP:PARITY applies in fringe subjects as SCIRS sources will not always cover fringe subjects. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:51, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I self reverted at your request, but please don't consider the matter settled. I read the entire Arjo paper and it does not say what your sourcing it for, other than displaying pictures of rats with tumors. As you have been privy to the ongoing related discussions, attributing the "cancer" link to Seralini is a misrepresentation. You can talk about how the media or even other scientists inferred a link with cancer or that Seralini's press conference was interpreted this way, but you can't say that "Seralini emphasized the cancer findings" at the press conference because he didn't and there's not a source that says he did. Moreover, the Arjo source in particular should not be used because Seralini has responded to that article with a claim that it is libelous and defamatory. Besides all of that, it is just not necessary for WP to make the claim that Seralni himself linked GMO to cancer or that he "emphasized cancer findings" when Seralini has very directly addressed this issue and stated that he is making no claim about cancer and agrees that his study was not designed to draw that kind of conclusion. Minor4th 02:04, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I have indeed reviewed the talk section and there is no legitimate reason presented to say Seralini didn't try to display a cancer link. I've only seen original research in that regard. The Arjo paper demonstrates the link in the study, and we also have the Butler source saying Seralini portrayed that as the main result of the study at the conference. We can pull up more sources in that regard, but there's no rush to do that. As a WP:FRINGEBLP subject, Seralini doesn't get the final say in this article when it conflicts with the weight of the scientific community. Fringe subjects often balk at criticism, and we don't always report on that. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:15, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, the Arjo source doesn't say that, as I mentioned. Would you mind linking the Butler source you're talking about and maybe quoting the part that says Seralini emphasized "cancer findings"? Is there a reason you are so dug in about saying Seralini made the cancer link, when he actually didn't? Minor4th 02:35, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Butler is pretty clear on the press conference bit. Also, I suggest working on the body of the article first where many of these sources are before worrying about the lede. The lede follows what's in the body. Given that others above have told you that Seralini pushing a cancer link is appropriately sourced, it's time to drop the stick on the topic. That's why many editors have been seemingly "dug in" to avoid giving undue weight to Seralini's version of events. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:45, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I propose the more accurate and neutrally worded version below, including the reference to a non-controversial Nature article for the source. The following describes how the media ended up running away with the cancer story without falsely attributing a "cancer link" to Seralini. I have expressed my disagreement with KOA's proposal that is currently in the first paragraph; from the comments above, I believe this version will be acceptable to all and addresses the cancer/tumor issue:

The Séralini affair is the name for the controversy surrounding the publication, retraction, and republication of a journal article by French molecular biologist Gilles-Éric Séralini. The article, which first appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), reported an increase in tumors among rats fed genetically modified corn and RoundUp. At a press conference announcing his findings, Séralini displayed photographs of treated rats with large tumors, leading to widespread media reports of a link between GMOs and cancer. [1]

  1. ^ Cassassus, Barbara (June 24, 2014). "Paper claiming GM link with tumours republished". Nature. Retrieved December 20, 2015..

This is more in line with what Tryptofish and David Ternheim were discussing before Kingofaces43 made a different edit. There is nothing about giving undue weight by accurately referring to tumors instead of using a more inflammatory and controversial term like "cancer" that was not part of the study or the press conference from any source I have seen. Minor4th 02:53, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

No, we need to be saying "cancer", and we need to be clear that this was Séralini's main line. This what the best sources, like Nature, tell us. Our job is to relay faithfully what the best sources say on this topic. Wikipedia does not engage is revisionism. I agree with KoA it's time for this particular WP:STICK to be dropped. Alexbrn (talk) 05:16, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
You can't wave around pictures of tumour infested rats at a media conference and then act surprised when they link it to cancer. However, unless we have something from Seralini saying cancer or someone from that press conference implying he said cancer I think we should stick with tumours. The readers are smarter than a lot of us give them credit for and we should trust them to see through this. The bigger problem to me is that the failings of the study are not mentioned early enough. I think the third paragraph (starting "after the paper was published...") should be added to the opening paragraph. Publishing by press conference is bad, but drawing misleading conclusions is worse. AIRcorn (talk) 05:31, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

I went back and reread Seralini's paper, as it was republished per the second EL on the page, to look specifically at what he said about tumors and cancer. I saw a couple of things that are worth noting here. First, in the Results section, there is a subsection titled Tumor incidence, which contains this sentence: "The real tumors were recorded independently of their grade, but dependent on their morbidity, since non-cancerous tumors can be more lethal than those of cancerous nature, due to internal hemorrhaging or compression and obstruction of function of vital organs, or toxins or hormone secretions." He does indeed make it clear there that he does not consider the results to be determinative of cancer, but he also makes it clear that he is concerned with lethal tumors, as opposed to non-lethal tumors. Going through the Results, he names the kinds of tumors that he found in the rats: adenocarcinoma (cancer), adenoma (non-cancer), fibroadenoma (non-cancer), carcinoma (cancer), cystadenocarcinoma (cancer), Wilms' tumor (cancer), and fibroma (non-cancer). He also describes the cases where there was metastasis. Thus, he is clearly not talking only about cancerous tumors, but he clearly is discussing cancer, in part. In the Discussion section, paragraph 8 (beginning: "In females, induced euthanasia..."), he discusses how the majority of deaths and euthanasias of female rats were due to mammary tumors, and he goes on to discuss how such tumors are cancerous. He also says: "At this concentration in vitro, G alone is known to induce human breast cancer cell growth..." Thus, he is very clearly describing cancerous tumors as playing a significant role in his results, and he is drawing attention to the possible role of glyphosate and Roundup in causing cancer.

So I think that a fair reading of his own statements in the paper are that, on the one hand, he made a point of saying that his results do not prove anything about cancer and that some of the tumors were non-cancerous, but that on the other hand, he does treat cancer as being something of importance in his results, and the tumors as something that was lethal, as opposed to saying that there were no significant cancer observations. He is saying, in effect, that his results do not prove a role in cancer, but that they raise a significant possibility of cancer. It seems reasonable that, however the press may have misrepresented the press conference, he would have said roughly similar things there, and we know that he showed photographs of the rats with tumors. I think that, on the one hand, we can give credence to Seralini rejecting claims that he said that he had found proof of cancer, but we should also recognize that he did "emphasize the cancer aspects". --Tryptofish (talk) 19:56, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

^Thank you for reading the paper. I think you now understand where I was coming from and now are saying many of the same things I was saying or trying to say. I agree with everything you said, except the last part of the last sentence where you say that he "emaphasize[d] the cancer aspects" at the press conference. I am not certain whether Seralini emphasized potential cancer aspects at the conference or not without further review of RS. --David Tornheim (talk) 07:01, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
You are, of course, welcome, but if you disagree with me about that aspect of what he emphasized, then you should not think that I now agree with you. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:23, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
And I re-read the paper. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:24, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

GMO Claims in the lede[edit]

We got now the following claime in the first sentence claimed there was a strong link between genetically modified organisms and cancer. I might care less about the cancer issue, but I see a problem with the GMO claim. It was about GMO maize but as well about Roundup, right? Evaluation? Polentarion Talk 16:00, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes, good catch. My fault & now fixed. Alexbrn (talk) 16:03, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Possible compromise?[edit]

How about changing "Séralini emphasized the cancer aspects of the work" to "Séralini emphasized the health implications of the work"? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:23, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that's fine - or "Seralini emphasized the tumors I. The treated rats by displaying pictures at a press conference ..," or anything else that does not state in WP voice that Seralini "made a definitive link between GMO and cancer." I also have no objection to saying that scientists believed Seralini was implying a GMO/cancer link by waving around rat tumor pictures at a media event - if we have reliable sources that say that. I am not trying to minimize any of this, and I am fully aware of all the criticism -- from the experiment design, sample size, etc to the science-by-press-conference issues. I completely agree that all of those should be covered in the article. But I am only talking about the very first paragraph where we are describing the actual study - we should not claim that Seralini considered this a cancer study or made a definitive link between GMO and cancer. Minor4th 21:37, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

I would also consider the possibility of saying something like "Seralini focused on the possible carcinogenic implications from his study" (or something along those lines)-- that is closer to accurate because he did speak of a suspicion of possibly carcinogenic effects tha need to be followed up with appropriate studies to either rule it in or rule it out. Minor4th 21:42, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps: "Séralini emphasized the potential cancer implications of the work"? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:55, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I could live with that if it's referring specifically to the press release and his media commentary right around the time the study came out. I believe that to be accurate - I think the Nature source is pretty good for that content. Minor4th 21:59, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I have not read all the RS yet, but from what I read, I also would be far more comfortable with:
"At a press conference announcing his findings, Séralini emphasized the potential cancer implications of the work."
than the existing language
"...emphasized the cancer aspects of the work and displayed photographs of rats with large tumors."
--David Tornheim (talk) 06:51, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
O I think we need to mention the photos - those were a key part of the PR drive. There's a piece in Le Monde from the time about how it was impossible to avoid the photos, including the wonderful (Gallic?) thought that if radios had eyes, we'd even see them on the radio! Alexbrn (talk) 06:59, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
^What is your RS for the photos? I have read many articles about Seralini and the study, some of which would not be considered RS. I do not remember which ones do or do not mention the photos. I do know the photos of the very large tumors are definitely in the original study. --David Tornheim (talk) 07:07, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't know how they were presented at the press conference (though they had been distributed as part of the embargoed article). The more significant information is they they are lurid and, by being shown without the (comparably tumourous) control rats, evocative of the misleading idea that These Evil Chemicals cause huge tumours. Alexbrn (talk) 08:21, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── If there is no WP:RS that supports the claim that the photos were displayed at the press conference, that language needs to be removed. --David Tornheim (talk) 08:42, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

David Tornheim introduced a variant on the above based on a source that was tagged as questionable per WP:RS. I replaced it with an exact quote from a Nature article which was already included as a source and which addresses precisely the point of whether the link to cancer (rather than tumours or mutagenesis) was intentional on the part of Séralini. Spoiler: it was. Guy (Help!) 09:02, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Guy, you totally changed the language back after we agreed on acceptable wording. "Potential cancer implications". I do also think there are reliable sources for Seralini showing the rat tumor photographs at the press conference, perhaps the Nature article. That should also be included. But don't undo the carefully constructed language about "cancer" after we have worked hard to reach consensus. I would go add the bit about the photographs myself, but I just reverted Guy's edit so I don't want to make further edits and get accused of violating 1RR again by making a normal edit. Minor4th 15:08, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I object to the reversion. Guy's edit was the more neutral, since plainly stated & backed by strong RS. Alexbrn (talk) 15:36, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
No it wasn't. Please read the relevant ongoing discussion among multiple editors. Minor4th 16:13, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I have: when a substantial proportion are objecting and the text is even tagged {{rs}}, there isn't "consensus". Alexbrn (talk) 16:33, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
There wasn't consensus for that wording relating to potential cancer implications. That's especially when the offshoot conversation above occurred only in a matter of a few hours when others hadn't responded yet when many of us are in the midst of holidays. In this case it's best to just go with what the sources say as JzG did and as pointed out many times above. If someone doesn't think JzG's version was an improvement over the last language it replaced, they're welcome to revert back to that if they can demonstrate it. We'd already reached the point that the content adequately reflected the reliable sources, which include both Arjo and Butler, so there's no reason to continue conversation over the tumor/cancer aspect. On the note of Arjo et al., there has been no discussion of it's actual reliability since the tag, so at this point there's no need for the tag or just removing the source. It's probably one of the most reliable sources out there on the subject as it was published in a journal as an analysis of the events at hand. It also supports the cancer language, so I have restored it alongside the Butler source.
As a second reminder, content in the lede follows content from the body and does not need to be sourced per WP:LEDE. Sources are good for controversial subject ledes, but if someone wants to argue whether content in the lede matches a source, that needs to be dealt within the body rather than always trying to insist on pairing a source to an exact sentence in the lede. In the case of the pictures, it's a bit of a sky is blue argument as they would be included in the press release for the media to use (copyright things, etc.). If someone really wants to nitpick the events of the press conference though, I've added a source detailing exactly that the pictures were shown during the press conference. Kingofaces43 (talk) 16:49, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

So much for "compromise". There is so much for me to object to here. First, I never proposed deleting the mention of the photographs. It is a complete misreading of what I said to think that I was proposing to end the sentence after "... of the work". I was clearly proposing only to replace the part of the sentence that said "Séralini emphasized the cancer aspects of the work".

On the other hand, the page now has a quotation about it being a media event. The quotation is put in quotation marks, but is unattributed. This is similarly objectionable. It was these things according to whom? --Tryptofish (talk) 18:21, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

FWIW - I am on the same page as Tryptofish as far as the most recent edit that included "potential cancer implications" and also includes the bit about photos of large tumors at a media event. IMO it is accurate and neutral and gives appropriate weight in that one sentence. I have not checked the refs yet, but the wording is good. Minor4th 18:43, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Due to 1RR, I am not going to do this, but we really should change "Séralini emphasized what he said were its cancer implications" to "Séralini emphasized its potential cancer implications". That would be more consistent with the discussion here, and would decrease the way that it sounds like Wikipedia is saying "well, he said it" (per WP:ALLEGE). The edit that reverted "potential" said in the edit summary that all implications are by definition potential. That's somewhat true, except that simply saying "its cancer implications" makes it sound like the preponderance of sources consider those implications to be credible, which paradoxically is the opposite of what that edit intended. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:22, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Also, I looked pretty hard for a source that specifically said that he "displayed" the photos at the press conference, and I could not find one that was that specific. But I added sources that make it clear that the photos were made available to the press, whether or not they were actively displayed, and I corrected the text accordingly. I also moved and attributed that quote about the media event. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:27, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
"its cancer implications" makes it sound like the preponderance of sources consider those implications to be credible ← I'm sorry what? This complaint makes no sense to me. In this context the phrase in question means "what the article text implied". If you really want to qualify it put "claimed implications" or somesuch. Alexbrn (talk) 20:21, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Then I will try to explain. In other contexts, one can say something like "this work has important or groundbreaking implications" (an entirely appropriate thing to say about the discovery of the double helix of DNA). Strictly speaking, those implications would still be "potential", in that they haven't happened yet, but nonetheless that wording makes it clear that the implications are important and likely to be true. Likewise, here, a reader coming upon this page fresh would likely understand "its cancer implications" to make it sound, in Wikipedia's voice, like there is a significant possibility that Seralini had found results that might turn out to be important to cancer research, and then as the reader continues to read the page, that would start to sound like it does not make sense. There is a big difference between "potential implications" and "important implications", but you seemed to assume that "implications" only means something speculative and easily dismissed. That's why we still need to make it clear that the "implications" were not of the important or groundbreaking kind. We could leave it as "what he said", or we could change it to your suggestion of "claimed" or "implied", but all those options run afoul of WP:ALLEGE. Just saying "potential" would have been so much easier. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:21, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Implications are that which is implied. I can understand your desire to clarify that these are not implications that are accepted as valid but putting "potential" in front of the word doesn't do that job IMO (as then it still implies the potential of them may be accepted). To really close this down I'd put "supposed implications", "claimed intentions" or something. In this case WP:ALLEGE is not a stylist nicety that applies, since the claims are ... well, "claims" (as RS tells us). Alexbrn (talk) 14:08, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
OK, I'm not going to push it any farther. As things stand, I'd prefer to leave the wording as it is now, in terms of "what he said". It's certainly accurate, and certainly better than something like "what he claimed or alleged". --Tryptofish (talk) 19:22, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree that wording should be changed to "Seralini emphasized the potential cancer implications" - but I can't make that edit either right now because of 1RR. I'm good with whatever the sources say about the photos and the media event - whether he displayed them or made them available. I believe it was the Butler source that I looked at for that content so you've seen the same thing I have. Minor4th 20:35, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm in the same boat as Alexbrn about "cancer implications". Implications becomes an unneeded and potentially ambiguous qualifier (that can also infer credibility). We already had a version, "Séralini promoted the cancer results as the study’s major finding. . ." that is straightforward and unambiguous. The term "cancer results" is already implying an assertion by Seralini as it came from the study, so there's no need to add further qualifiers, especially since both his promotion outside the paper and the paper itself are readily debunked later in the text.
Also Trypto, I get the feeling you may have missed this edit of mine seeing your comment about photo sources. The source specifically says, "He presented color pictures of rats with grotesque tumors to emphasize his point." in reference to his actions at the press conference. Most sources are ambiguous on if they include the press conference in that meaning (not excluding it though), but this source is more clear. The current lede misses the detail that he actively pointed out these pictures during the press conference, but instead implies a more passive tone. The previous edit in this diff would be more appropriate by removing what you added in the next. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:13, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Taking your first point first, please start by seeing what I said during an edit conflict with you, just above. Alexbrn's edit was the edit that made it say "cancer implications", so if you don't like that phrase, you aren't agreeing with him. He was, instead, objecting to calling the implications "potential", and that is what I replied to above. I really do not like your use of the word "promoted", as it pushes too hard on painting it in a negative light. It may arguably be true, but it simply is not needed. Given unclear sources as to what exactly Seralini said at the press conference, and given his own insistence that he did not actually claim to have demonstrated carcinogenicity, we should be influenced to some extent by what he said in the retracted and republished paper, so please see my reading of that in the #Reverts section above.
As for your second point, are you telling me that there is a book from Oxford University Press that actually says that he displayed the photos during the press conference? Good heavens, why are you only pointing that out now, and only putting it down lower on the page instead of in the lead?! --Tryptofish (talk) 21:31, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry Trypto. I actually intended to quote "potential cancer implications" as a whole. To many flurries of edits going on here today that things are getting lost in the process. What I was agreeing with was that qualifiers can introduce ambiguity, which I why I'm saying to just say cancer results instead. Hopefully that clears it up. Promoted shouldn't be considered a negative term, but we also have to realize that the mainstream reaction to Seralini was negative anyways. The term should be in line with most of the sources currently used.
As for the Oxford source, I just took a second look through more in-depth sources this morning and found it. I included it in the body because people are focusing too much on the lede when they seem to be forgetting that content should be resolved in the body, while the lede is only a summary that follows that body. We don't need to source everything in the lede as I mentioned a few posts up, which is why I didn't source it up there. This is partly why I'm hoping people take a break from worrying about the lede and deal with their content issues in the body first like we should to avoid this very issue. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:51, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your helpful explanations. I really do think that a lot of what is going on here is editors misunderstanding each other, and that it would be a good idea all around to take things more slowly and deliberately. (Just because you decided to pay less attention to the lead does not mean that everyone else understood it likewise.) So please let me get our communications very, very clear here. If I understand correctly, you have found a source, a book from Oxford Univ. Press, that specifically says that Seralini "presented color pictures of rats with grotesque tumors to emphasize his point" during the press conference. Do I understand that correctly, yes or no?
If the answer is yes, then I agree that we should change "and made photographs of rats with large tumors available to the press" in the lead back to something like "and displayed photographs with large tumors", and we should source it to that book. That's if the answer is yes.
Even if "promoted" is one possible word that can be considered in line with the sourcing, there is no reason to insist that it must be the only word that we use. It's not like "emphasized" is wrong. And it is important for editors to work together here, and try to meet one another part way. So I'm asking you to stop insisting on "promoted", in the interest of getting to consensus.
Likewise, you need to be flexible about "cancer results", because other editors here feel strongly that the sources also indicate that Séralini's position is that he did not actually prove that cancer was caused, and that the tumors were not the only "major finding", as opposed to the organ "toxicity" – and the sources are on the side of saying that Séralini has taken that position (at least after the fact). And if you (and Alexbrn), like me, want to make it clear that any putative cancer results were incorrect, then you should be receptive to using qualifying language to indicate that the results were not correct. Taking the position that "Séralini emphasized the cancer results" is accurate, whereas "Séralini emphasized its potential cancer implications" is wrong, is not reasonable. It's a small victory to get consensus to use the word "cancer" at all, and giving it more nuance not only helps get consensus, but it also actually makes it more accurate, both by being closer to Séralini's stated position and by not making it sound like the "results" were scientific results. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:59, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
I believe Minor is right. This was not a cancer study, and the entire cancer part is nothing more than what is termed an unexpected emergent property found while doing a toxicology study. The standard procedure in cases such as this is to then design a cancer study which will of course contain different protocol. No one can claim this study proves or disproves, is evidence for or against, cancer one way or another. It wasn't designed according to cancer studies protocol. I don't think wikipedia should involve itself in the cancer strawman, even if many news agencies did. Seralini is proper to note the unexpected results, but based on his study alone those results are meaningless.Redddbaron (talk) 20:44, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Oxford source[edit]

I found the relevant section in in Google books. Seems that the answer is yes, that statement appears in an OUP book. Appears to be written by Bruce M Chassy. shellac (talk) 10:17, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── So that would be:

It's a good source and should probably colour our overall treatment of the topic. It sees the affair as a deliberate act of media manipulation by Seralini in an attempt to discredit GM food and modern agrichemicals. Alexbrn (talk) 12:09, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

Which is in line with the rest of the reliable sources, showing that the cancer claim was made by Séralini himself, clearly deliberately. The only remaining puzzle is why we should be looking for a "compromise" between this and Séralin's own post-hoc spin. Guy (Help!) 12:20, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
Just so. There seems to be an idea in the air that our job is to forge a WP:LOCALCON to appease various editors' POVs. It isn't, and in fact that would be to fall into the WP:GEVAL fallacy. We need to be faithfully reflecting what the best sources say. Alexbrn (talk) 13:48, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
Why am I looking for compromise? Let's be clear, I would not be in favor of presenting misleading information as fact. But if you look at what I have been proposing, I'm not doing that. I'm just suggesting ways that we can find (local) consensus while still being precise and accurate. So sue me. Face-smile.svg --Tryptofish (talk) 19:38, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
We shouldn't be framing the tenor of our entire article around one source. We write neutrally, even if the sources we use employ more inflammatory or advocacy-laden language. We certainly shouldn't be attributing motives and intentions directly to Seralini when he has not adopted or ratified those intentions and motivations. Minor4th 16:39, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
Rubbish. We report what strong RS says without fear or favour (and material by a reputable academic published by a university press is about as RS as it gets). That is the essence of neutrality. Seralini and his fans might not like that, but - tough. Alexbrn (talk) 16:45, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
I looked at the source, and it is clearly an RS insofar as the immediate question, which is that it substantiates our saying that he displayed the photos at the press conference. I'm going to make that edit to the lead now, as I would only be reverting my own edit from yesterday.
I also think that it's a reliable source overall, and indeed it does seem to be a mainstream view, and I am sure that no one here is saying that we should use it as a single source for everything on the page. I see nothing wrong with citing it for things that are also cited to another source, as additional sourcing, and nothing wrong in most cases of using it to cite something for which we do not have other sources. The area where we ought to use some discretion is in citing it for matters of opinion. The fact that Seralini displayed photographs is not a matter of opinion, but the view that, for example, "the orchestrated media event was part of a carefully laid plan" involves opinion and conjecture on the author's part, and so we should present it, if we present it at all, as an attributed opinion, rather than saying in Wikipedia's voice that things happened exactly that way. I would hope that we can agree on that overall approach. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:35, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, statements about motivation should be attributed when included (unless there is no doubt). Alexbrn (talk) 20:12, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

See #Sourcing, below, for continued discussion. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:49, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Regulatory Agencies find Glyphosate probable carcinogen[edit]

  • Comment When we write about the health scope of his work it makes sense to mention that many authorities (EPA, WHO, California etc) recently declared Glyphosate probable carcinogenic, which seems to support Seralini's findings. prokaryotes (talk) 19:29, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
No it doesn't, because the headline claim is about GMOs not glyphosate and because the "probable carcinogen" rating refers only to extremely high doses, well above anything likely to be experienced in the real world. Séralini's paper - the subject of this article - had no part int hat decision because its conclusions are untenable. Weaselly apologia trying to show he wasn't really promoting agenda-driven pseudoscience, only belong if cited to reliable independent sources. Guy (Help!) 23:20, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
Didn't they used his study as well? prokaryotes (talk) 02:06, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
If we have reliable sourcing that government agencies cited Seralini in making regulatory decisions, we should report that here. However, we should not utilize government decisions as implying that Seralini's study was scientifically correct. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:36, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

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Dead source links[edit]

In the section "Scientific evaluation", sources 36 and 37 regarding the rate of spontaneous tumor formation in SD rats appear to be broken, linking to a commercial website rather than the anticipated technical document. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Bad/wrong citation under Republication[edit]

In July 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer published a monograph on glyphosate, which contained an evaluation of the Séralini paper as republished in June 2014 and the conclusion, that the study "was inadequate for evaluation because the number of animals per group was small, the histopathological description of tumours was poor, and incidences of tumours for individual animals were not provided."[90] links to the only mention of Glyphosate being: "Glyphosate was not tested in any of the assays carried out by the Tox21 or ToxCast research programmes."

remove or replace with correct citation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

I fixed it, thanks for pointing it out. The problem was that the link went to the monograph on Diazinon instead of Glyphosate. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:13, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Monsanto influence on FCT[edit]

GM Watch is now reporting details (apparently sourced in part from newly available Monsanto documents like this one, for example) of Monsanto's lobbying campaign to get FCT to retract the Séralini article and a consulting contract between Monsanto and A. Wallace Hayes, the editor of FCT at the time of the retraction.

The GM Watch article, which among other things may call into question the impartiality of FCT (and Bruce Chassy, BTW, based on an independent investigation by WBEZ), is focused more on the Séralini affair than this New York Times article on a broader view of Monsanto, but GM Watch cites the WBEZ investigation and the NYT article as well.

Editors may want to review this Wiki article in light of the disclosures. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 09:04, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

— [A BIT LATER] Added the point about Chassy and the WBEZ study after re-reading the overall Talk and seeing reference to him as a "reputable academic". -- jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 09:14, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

GM Watch is probably not a WP:RS. Although the other sources discuss the relationship between the journal editor and Monsanto, they never mention Séralini, so it would be WP:SYNTH to cite them here. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:22, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
If GM Watch were saying these things on its own, it might not be a WP:RS. But it's citing Monsanto's own documents, from the law firm that obtained them. If Monsanto isn't a RS about its own actions, then who is? And doesn't the material put the reliability (LATER: and/or WP:NPOV) of some of what IS written here (e.g., Chassy as a "reputable academic") into question? — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 13:11, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
More details here (again, I ask that you consider the root materials). — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 15:06, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Do the root materials refer specifically to Monsanto influencing the editorial decisions about the publication and retraction of the Séralini paper, as opposed to influencing other aspects of the GMO/glyphosate debates? I'm not seeing it anywhere. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:07, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I haven't seen anything to that effect yet, but the reference to "root material" definitely brings WP:PRIMARY to mind. Plus, I agree GM Watch really doesn't have any merit here. I'd personally wait for secondary coverage from reliable secondary sources to see if there's anything worth mentioning. From what I've seen so far, it doesn't look like these claims are being taken seriously. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:34, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Start by checking the first PDF linked in my initial post. Quoting from the middle of page 6: ″# Throughout the late 2012 Seralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship the Editor if [sic] Chief of the publishing journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal." And near the end of the New York Times article cited (is THAT a WP:RS?), there is this: ″The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.″ — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 20:15, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
The Nation of Change Webpage has a link to this page describing and linking a number of the Monsanto documents. Look for yourselves. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 20:35, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
That Nation of Change list is extremely lengthy, and per WP:BURDEN I doubt that anyone here is going to search through each of those links without knowing what we are really looking for – it's up to you to present actual sourcing for what you want to add to the page. The NY Times article (yes of course it's an RS) never says that the reason for retracting the paper was what Monsanto said to the editor. It never even says anything about communication between Monsanto and the editor, and it says that the decision to retract originated with letters to the editor that were published. It's WP:SYNTH to take that information, and what the article says about Monsanto being the maker of glyphosate, and conclude that the editor actually made the decision based on private communications with Monsanto. That's not how Wikipedia works.
So the only source that you really have here is the pdf: [2]. As Kingofaces said, WP:Primary applies to that source, and we may not "analyze, evaluate, interpret, or synthesize" from that source, and we must "be cautious about basing large passages on" it. And it's a document by a company employee telling his bosses why his work has been good, and the entirety of what you have is that quote about him describing himself as "the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal". It does not say that his "contact" was the reason for retraction. Really, I understand where you are coming from, but at Wikipedia we have to adhere to WP:SYNTH, and be aware of WP:RGW. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
The "Nation of Change list" (actually at US Right to Know) clearly names particular documents relevant to Séralini and the journal. About ten in all, IIRC. (LATER — Here's a page from the law firm's own descriptions of the new documents; that should make reviewing the most relevant ones even easier . . . and you can look for more relevant material or not as you prefer.) If that's too much of a burden, then you could at least edit the article so that it acknowledges the release of the documents as a neutral, objective, and relevant fact -- and so it stops making flat-out POV statements such as that Chassy is a "reputable academic" when experts in his field have disputed (as reported in an independent NPR station investigation) that his actions in not disclosing his Monsanto connections were in fact reputable. If that's still too much of a burden -- well, in that case we're all going to have to accept my losing some of my faith in Wikipedia as a reliable source. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 14:11, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
BTW, focusing on the phrase "single point of contact" kind of glosses over the bit about "leveraging my relationship with the editor" - which was done "[t]hroughout the late 2012 Seralini rat cancer publication and media campaign". Even the source you're admitting to the discusion is being minimized. I hope that's not how Wikipedia works. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 14:20, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
Jalp? -Roxy the dog. bark 15:33, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
My initials, if you want to know; not intended as meaning anything else. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 16:01, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
About the legal analysis from the Baum Hedlund law firm, please see WP:BLPPRIMARY for what it says about using such sources for statements about other people. It's about reliable sourcing, not about your faith in Wikipedia. You do know, don't you, that there are other pages in Category:Monsanto and Category:Genetically modified organisms in agriculture that cover the release of the Monsanto memos? Please don't be sarcastic about my use of the word "burden" – I put a lot of time and effort into editing, and WP:BURDEN is the name of a section of a core policy at Wikipedia. If the article said anywhere that "Chassy is a reputable academic", that would indeed be POV, and I would definitely remove it. But I just examined the entire page, and it's nowhere in the article. I figure you are referring to something another editor said on the talk page. That is not part of the article, and if you dislike the personal opinion of another editor, take it up with them. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:41, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
Okay, let's see . . . first, my bad on not accurately keeping track of where the direct Chassy references before were -- the specific word "reputable" was not yours, though you did also say yourself in a tone of agreement that the book appeared to be a "reliable source overall". I hope you will consider the possibility that ″mainstream-ness″ may not always correlate perfectly with reliability — and that an author, a publisher, and the material they put out together may all have their own level of reliability (or un-) . . . and be willing to question material even if it comes from so mainstream a source as the New York Times (though, to be honest, I certainly don't always consider them reliable myself). As for the the Baum Hedlund site, I was referring you there as an easier way to find the relevant documents — not suggesting that you use their analysis of the documents. And I'm glad that other Monsanto-related articles mention the release of the documents — but I can't help thinking their existence and revelation are relevant to this article as well, and I hope you can agree with that too. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 22:23, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I really think that you need to make a specific proposal about a page edit, with sourcing, yourself. And please keep in mind the community consensus at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Genetically modified organisms. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:58, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
What your suggesting is still an improper use of a WP:PRIMARY source involved in the subject in question. We need secondary coverage at this point. Kingofaces43 (talk) 23:24, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
If a mere mention of the documents' revelation and existence in public are improper, then I give up. (For now, at least.) — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 23:56, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
As a two-minute drill first rough draft, I would offer this as a starting point: ″In August 2017, a law firm involved in a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto posted on its Website documents from the discovery process. Some of these documents mention actions taken with respect to the Séralini study and article by persons connected with Monsanto.″ I would cite to the front page of the law firm's list of documents (or page two, which probably has most of the most relevant documents) without further description in the article. And I would leave it to more experienced editors to judge whether the quote "the late 2012 Seralini rat cancer publication and media campaign" - however accurate a quote from a Monsanto employee - would be suitable description fodder in place of the perhaps overly bland passive phrasing above. Further deponent sayeth not (because he hasn't got the time). — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 00:57, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that, but I bet you can guess how I'm going to react to it. Face-smile.svg The biggest problem is that anything at all like "mention actions taken with respect to" is so vague that it falls into WP:WEASEL territory, and I just do not see a way to be more specific with the sourcing that exists. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:45, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
″In August 2017, a law firm involved in a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto posted on its Website documents from the discovery process.[1] Some of the documents mention the Séralini study and its publication in Food and Chemical Toxicology.[2]″ — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:A53B:5CAB:63C7:ED0A (talk) 10:47, 5 August 2017 (UTC)


Saying that "the documents mention" it is either meaningless or innuendo without saying what the mentions actually were, with reliable sourcing that what was said is actually what happened. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:37, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
Catch-22, strike three . . . I'm out. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:5CE4:98BA:65BD:9BC5 (talk) 12:53, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Let's try once again, with a new candidate for a source -- Le Monde. I don't expect GMWatch's translation would be accepted by itself, but one can check at least the beginning of it against Google Translate as far as it goes before Le Monde wants a subscription. — jalp 2602:306:8B98:2270:284E:2A67:20E4:5AA7 (talk) 12:42, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

HORLA83 made some recent edits that I want to make some comments about. First, the editor misused the WP:PROD process, because it can only be applied once to a page, and once any editor contests it, under no circumstance can it be added back. Second, two paragraphs were added to the lead section, that clearly go against the discussion in this talk section. Normally, I would have reverted that, but I had also contested the PROD, and I do not want to risk violating WP:1RR that has been applied to this page by the Arbitration Committee (see the edit notice that appears when one edits this page or talk page). I have templated the additions for unreliable sourcing and POV violations instead, and I would urge other editors to remove the material entirely, until such time as talk page consensus approves its addition. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:32, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

I see now that while I was posting this, Kingofaces did in fact remove the material. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 23:34, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

RE: Raw data in republication[edit]

In this Wikipedia article (Seralini Affair), it says: "In June 2014 an amended version of the article was republished in Environmental Sciences Europe, and the raw data were made public." This appears to be not quite so: --Ronja R (talk) 16:43, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

I see that those sources are commentaries from four years ago. I think we need to consider WP:RS here. I'd be receptive to adding this if it could be sourced to an actual scientific source, as opposed to online opinion pieces. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:55, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
This is the website of multiple university extension professors, so it at least falls under expert commentary in terms of WP:PARITY for the lack of raw data comment (the R analysis they did would definitely need another source though). The combination of weedcontrolfreaks and the grist source seems to be enough to add a statement saying something to the effect that scientists have said the raw data hasn't been released in its entirety. I wouldn't really go beyond that though. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:03, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
I would be OK with a brief statement about that, attributed in the form of "According to [name],..." rather than in Wikipedia's voice. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:06, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
That was my initial thought, but we basically have Kniss talking about Johnson's Grist piece that might complicate attribution a bit depending on how it's talked about. How about something like Nathan Johnson writing for Grist noted that Seralini's group only released blood sample data at 15 months after exposure, and not nine other sets of blood samples between 1 – 24 months. Tumor and mortality data also released at the group-level, but data for individual rats was not released. while having that sourced to Grist first and Kniss as a secondary source? Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:07, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
I think that's way too much. I would go with According to writer Nathanael Johnson, not all of the raw data was, in fact, released. I'd cite it to the Grist (magazine) piece, and leave it at that. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:19, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough, I was trying to avoid potential vagueness, but it's also right there in the source, so not that big of a deal either. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:34, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Looks good, thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:39, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Wallace Hayes[edit]

In #Monsanto influence on FCT above, editors discussed how to present source material about Monsanto's possible role in the retraction of the paper. To my knowledge, the available sourcing has not changed significantly since then, although there are obviously POV issues over which editors may disagree.

I'm very concerned about recent edits that refer specifically to Wallace Hayes, the editor of the journal who made the decision to retract. The way that the page portrays him must of course comply with WP:BLP, which means that it is particularly important to not present accusations against him that he has disputed, without adequately presenting his perspective, and that we should not state insinuations about his integrity.

I feel that recent edits try too hard to make him sound like a bad person, and that these problems need to be fixed. I have tagged some of these passages, in the lead and in the Retraction section, for POV. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:44, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes, an IP did present that Le Monde article and you ignored them. Everything in the article is sourced to Le Monde, which is an RS. In fact the author won a European Press Prize for their work on Monsanto, as you know. I am glad that you have not reinstated your claim that anything "failed verification". Now if the Wikipediots (as we are known) want to hide the fact that the EiC was an industry insider, that's our right I guess, until anyonetm comes along and puts it back in. SashiRolls t · c 22:20, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
That's a bizarre summary of things. I cannot see a good reason to describe him as a former tobacco industry executive but not as a former professor of public health at Harvard, unless the goal is to POV-push that he was an evil agent of evil Monsanto. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:32, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You don't need to create drama to add Harvard to the entry. Just do it. Strictly speaking I already did add that info to the roll-over ref (quote field), but... as you wish. SashiRolls t · c 22:37, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
That's not an appropriate solution. In theory, we could put his entire CV on the page, but that would be awful writing style. Having tit-for-tat POV additions is a poor substitute for simply removing the original POV. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:42, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Rather than us arguing, I'd really like to hear what other editors think. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
OK. But we should at least provide passersby with a bit more reading from serious-looking sites on Mr. Hayes and Mr. Heck, don't you think? [1]


-- SashiRolls t · c 23:03, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
And a critical reading of that really proves my point. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:08, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I have started WP:BLPN#A. Wallace Hayes in order to get more input. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:18, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
    • From BLPN - unless RSes have connected Hayes' past career to this situation, it is original research and coatracking to make the connection. Hayes' connection to Monsanto and how that might have influenced him is in RSes, so that's fine, but there's nothing about how the tobacco part connects up, so that should not be called out. --Masem (t) 23:25, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks Masem, the RS we are sourcing from has indeed reported on his tobacco industry history. It is in the Le Monde article, please look at the quote field for "Foucart": "A. Wallace Hayes [...] Bien connu dans le monde de la toxicologie, chercheur associé à l’université Harvard, il a mené l’essentiel de sa carrière dans l’industrie chimique ou auprès du cigarettier R. J. Reynolds dont il fut l’un des vice-présidents." @Masem:. SashiRolls t · c 23:44, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • It mentions it, but it doesn't say why it is relevant here. What I can read and translate of the article, it is common to introduce the "authority" a person has related to their career to explain why they are in their position, and thats how I read the tobacco part and the Harvard part. But neither of those are made relavant to this situation or to his Monsanto connection. So calling out either of those is just coatracking here. --Masem (t) 23:49, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) with Kingo...
It's true I didn't add that bit in my initial edit [3] but only after Trypto insisted on rewriting the facts to paint Séralini as evil for having good lawyers who dug up the Monsanto connection. I suppose we should really have more industry insider bios that could document expert tobacco industry witnesses who testify that their fellow tobacco industry colleagues should have take-home exams for certification, but en.wp is chronically weak on such folk. SashiRolls t · c 00:12, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) This pretty much sums up my views too. No one should have reasonably thought to add in the tobacco bit based on the sources and it pushes in coatracking/POV issues as already described. Kingofaces43 (talk) 23:52, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Here from BLPN. The "former tobacco industry Vice President" clause is unnecessary. It's unclear how this is related to the subject of this article, and additionally it's just vague. What does "tobacco industry Vice President" specifically refer to? Did he work for a cigarette company? An industry group? A lobbying firm? But that's besides the point. The main issue is that it's unrelated to the subject and adds nothing to the article. Just because it's mentioned in an article about him doesn't mean it has any connection to the specific matter at hand. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 01:20, 20 May 2019 (UTC)