Food and Nutrition Sciences, a respected medical journal, is retracting a recently published paper that claimed eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was potentially dangerous. In addition to the retraction, the author faces accusations that he manipulated images, falsified his findings, and plagiarized parts of the paper.
The paper was written by Federico Infascelli, an Italian animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, and was published in the International English Language Food and Nutrition Sciences Journal.
The paper studied the effects of goats eating genetically modified soybeans. According to the disputed paper, modified genes could appear in the blood of babies born to goats that ate the GM soy.
Infascelli’s findings are now being disputed. The Italian newspaper La Republica wrote that an investigation revealed that the data was manipulated in order to falsely imply that GMOs caused harm in newborn goats. The paper also reported that the University of Naples’s rector found errors in Infascelli’s data that suggested that the results were manipulated.
If the allegations against Infascelli are true, he could face fines and be suspended from the University of Naples. Infascelli is already facing the consequences, as Food and Nutrition Sciences retracted the article in light of the investigation.
The journal pulled the article over claims that it lifted research from an earlier paper that looked at the same topic.
Several newspapers in Italy are looking into the investigation of Infascelli’s data. They are also receiving help from Elena Cattaneo, a Italian senator and stem cell researcher. After debating GMOs in the senate, Cattaneo found that some of Infascelli’s photos were retouched and manipulated.
Infascalli will have time to respond to the allegations before the University takes action.
Featured image via dailyreckoning.com