Nature's Editors Disavow GE Corn Article

The science journal Nature says an article it published last year on genetically engineered corn growing in Mexico was not sufficiently researched and should not have been published reports the Washington Post. The controversial article reported that corn growing in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca contained genetically engineered material, although GE corn has been prohibited in Mexico since 1998. "The initial study also offered evidence that the genes spliced into corn plants were unstable, a finding that would challenge a basic assumption about the workings of agricultural biotechnology," writes the Post. "The editor's note does not distinguish between the two aspects of the study, by David Quist and Ignacio Chapela at the University of California at Berkeley. But the two authors, a graduate student and a professor, said they stand by their first finding and believe they were on the right track with their second, although they may have misinterpreted some readings." Val Giddings of the Biotechnology Industry Organization told the Post, "We believe that Nature erred in publishing the article to begin with, and it seems they came to the same unavoidable conclusion. ... The authors made mistakes that first-year grad students learn to avoid, which further demonstrates that their commitment was not to data and science but to a religious commitment to an [anti-biotechnology] dogma."