Monday, August 10, 2015

Golden Rice Paper Pulled After Judge Rules For Journal

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is retracting a paper that showed genetically engineered rice serves as an effective vitamin A supplement after a Massachusetts judge denied the first author’s motion for an injunction against the publisher.
The journal announced plans to retract the paper last year following allegations that the paper contained ethical mis-steps, such as not getting informed consent from the parents of children eating the rice, and faking ethics approval documents.
Last July, first author Guangwen Tang at Tufts University filed a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction against the journal’s publisher, the American Society for Nutrition, to stop the retraction.
According to the ASN, on July 17, a Massachusetts Superior Court “cleared the way” for the publisher to retract the paper. So they have, as of July 29. Here’s more from the retraction notice:
"The article cited above, which was originally published in the September 2012 issue and prepublished on 1 August 2012, has been retracted by the publisher for the following reasons:
1. The authors are unable to provide sufficient evidence that the study had been reviewed and approved by a local ethics committee in China in a manner fully consistent with NIH guidelines. Furthermore, the engaged institutions in China did not have US Federal Wide Assurances and had not registered their Institutional Review Board (or Ethics Review Committee).
2. The authors are unable to substantiate through documentary evidence that all parents or children involved in the study were provided with the full consent form for the study.
3. Specific eligibility issues were identified in regard to 2 subjects in the study."
In an unusual move, the publisher issued a press release about the retraction, which presents more information about the case:
"A ruling by the Massachusetts Superior Court, Judge Salinger, on July 17, 2015 has cleared the way for the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) to retract the article “β-Carotene in Golden Rice is as good as β-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children” which was published in the September 2012 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Am J Clin Nutr 2012 96:658–66). The article was retracted by the American Society for Nutrition on July 29, 2015.
In July 2014, Dr. Guangwen Tang filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction against ASN.  A hearing on Dr. Tang’s motion for preliminary injunction was ultimately held on July 17, 2015. After oral argument, the Court denied Dr. Tang’s motion, ruling that the injunction would constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech as well as an unconstitutional order compelling speech. ASN is very pleased that the Massachusetts courts have upheld the organization’s First Amendment rights and have allowed ASN to move forward with the retraction of the article.
A retraction notice was published online ahead of print on July 29, 2015 and will be published in print and online in the September 2015 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."


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