A well-publicized study claiming genetically modified corn caused tumors in rats has come under intense criticism in the scientific community, and now calling on the journal that published the paper to retract it.

According to a Reuters news story, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a statement saying its review of the study found serious defects in design and methodology and the report does not meet acceptable scientific standards. The EFSA review panel said the authors had failed to establish appropriate control groups as part of the study, and had chosen a strain of rat that is prone to developing tumors during its normal lifespan. Six other national food-safety organizations in Europe reviewed the research and came to the same conclusions.

More than 700 scientists have signed an online petition calling on the paper’s author to release all the data from his research.

The study, from French researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini, involved the use of Roundup-resistant corn and Roundup herbicide. The paper was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Interestingly, the same journal published a paper from Chinese researchers in an earlier issue, documenting an experiment feeding rats a different type of GM corn, BT-38, which contains genes from Bacillus thuringiensis for insect resistance. Those researchers concluded that "BT-38 maize is as safe as conventional non-GM maize."