Last week, the UK General Medical Council said that Dr Andrew Wakefield had breached his professional duties. The GMC also ruled that Dr Wakefield had shown a "callous disregard" for children and acted "dishonestly" while he carried out his research. GMC is likely to strike him off the medical register.
Following this, the magazine said in a statement on its website that it accepted that Dr Wakefield had made false claims in his 1998 paper.
The original Lancet paper made just a cautious link that parents "associated" behavioural symptoms of their children with MMR, balanced by a critical editorial comment at that time. However, it was noticed that the publication caused vaccination rates to plummet, resulting in a rise in measles.
Editor Richard Horton said the journal now imposes tougher peer review on controversial papers, withholding those that are likely to be misinterpreted by the public.