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A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on 'Roundup ready' GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures.
                                                                             ~Examiner.com
.

The study by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al., Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, which found massive tumors, kidney and liver damage in rats on a GMO Roundup-Ready maize diet, has been republished in the Springer open source journal Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU, 2014, 26:14). The ESEU journal editor gave the following reason for republishing Seralini's study:“To support rational scientific debate rather than to censor it.”

Originally, Séralini's study underwent peer review by five reviewers and was published in the Elsevier journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), in November of 2012. Massive criticism by commercial pro-GMO sources pressured FCT into the unprecedented step of retracting the study, a move that was condemned by the scientific community (Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics).

A companion article is also being published in the same issue by Séralini et al. titled, Conflicts of interests, confidentiality and censorship in health risk assessment: The example of a herbicide and a GMO (ESEU, 2014, 26:13). This article outlines the whole sorry state of affairs of the corporate corruption of science, including conflicts of interest, censorship, and double standards. (my emphasis)
                                                                            ~ Examiner.com
Séralini's companion article outlines the unprecedented level of corruption of the scientific process by corporate interests, including FCT's hiring of Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee, as Assistant Editor who had earlier written a letter of complaint to the journal in which he had written:
"‘The implications and the impacts of this uncontrolled study is having HUGE impacts, in international trade, in consumer confidence in all aspects of food safety, and certainly in US state referendums on labelling."
                                                                              ~ Seralini
Séralini's study has now undergone no less than three blind rigorous peer reviews. In the words of Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist based in London: "Few studies would survive such intensive scrutiny by fellow scientists... The science speaks for itself. If even then they refuse to accept the results, they should launch their own research study on these two toxic products that have now been in the human food and animal feed chain for many years." (Emphasis mine. quote from The Ecologist.com.)

And that is how Science is supposed to work. If any scientist disagrees with the findings of any paper, they are free to design their own study to disprove it. However, they ought not to be free to suppress another scientist's work based on their disagreement except in the matters of fraud which is not the case with the Seralini study.

One important point brought up by Séralini's study and the massive effort to discredit it is the complete inadequacy of our current testing regimen. Séralini's study was a long term toxicity test while Monsanto's 90 day testing followed a testing regimen designed in the 1950s. Ninety-day testing does nothing to reveal the long term consequences for chemically induced chronic diseases which typically manifest during middle aged subjects. Additionally, the new-since-1950 science of epigenetics is demonstrating that deadly disruption of endocrine systems can be triggered by chemical residues at concentrations far below the MRL (maximum residue levels).

Now that the Séralini study has undergone the most rigorous gauntlet of scientific peer review and has been republished by a respected journal, regulators need to look at the ramifications of his findings and act for the public health.

Examples of female mammary tumors observed. Mammary tumors are evidenced (A, D, H, representative adenocarcinoma, from the same rat in a GMO group) and in Roundup and GMO + Roundup groups, two representative rats (B, C, E, F, I, J fibroadenomas) are compared to controls. A normal representative rat in controls is not shown, only a minority of them having tumors up to 700 days, in contrast with the majority affected in all treated groups. (G) The histological control. Photo: Séralini et al. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014.  
Examples of female mammary tumors observed. Mammary tumors are evidenced (A, D, H, representative adenocarcinoma, from the same rat in a GMO group) and in Roundup and GMO + Roundup groups, two representative rats (B, C, E, F, I, J fibroadenomas) are compared to controls. A normal representative rat in controls is not shown, only a minority of them having tumors up to 700 days, in contrast with the majority affected in all treated groups. (G) The histological control. Photo: Séralini et al. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014.

Seralini's study found the following 'Significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures':

•"Biochemical analyses confirmed very significant chronic kidney deficiencies, for all treatments and both sexes; 76% of the altered parameters were kidney-related.
•"In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5 to 5.5 times higher. Marked and severe nephropathies were also generally 1.3 to 2.3 times greater.
•"In females, all treatment groups showed a two- to threefold increase in mortality, and deaths were earlier.
•"This difference was also evident in three male groups fed with GM maize.
•"All results were hormone- and sex-dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable.
•"Females developed large mammary tumors more frequently and before controls;
•"the pituitary was the second most disabled organ;
•"the sex hormonal balance was modified by consumption of GM maize and Roundup treatments.
•"Males presented up to four times more large palpable tumors starting 600 days earlier than in the control group, in which only one tumor was noted.
•"These results may be explained by not only the non-linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup but also by the overexpression of the EPSPS transgene or other mutational effects in the GM maize and their metabolic consequences.
•"Our findings imply that long-term (2 year) feeding trials need to be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of GM foods and pesticides in their full commercial formulations."

The paper concludes: "Taken together, the significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures documented in this work reveal the pathological effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes, with different amplitudes.

"They also show that the conclusion of the Monsanto authors that the initial indications of organ toxicity found in their 90-day experiment were not 'biologically meaningful' is not justifiable.

"We propose that agricultural edible GMOs and complete pesticide formulations must be evaluated thoroughly in long-term studies to measure their potential toxic effects."
                                                                     ~The Ecologist.com

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting, but I have some questions (4+ / 0-)

    Was the GMO food used, food that was grown by not using Roundup ( glyphosate ) to test for only the GMO portion? And was glyphosate tested by using traditional foods? True few if any growers are going to plant GMO crops and not use glyphosate but we do need to know if the GMO itself has problems. As I live in an agriculture area and have farmed myself and I get exposed to glyphosate drift or direct contact have the agriculture community been surveyed?

    •  My advice is to read the paper. (9+ / 0-)

      The study had a control population and was judged scientifically sound through three peer reviews.

      As far as I know, there are few non-industry studies on the safety of these products. The FDA accepts the industry science.

      From the paper about the food fed the rats:

      The varieties of maize used in this study were the DKC 2678 R-tolerant NK603 (Monsanto Corp., USA), and its nearest isogenic non-transgenic control DKC 2675. These two types of maize were grown under similar normal conditions, in the same location, spaced at sufficient distance to avoid cross-contamination. The genetic nature, as well as the purity of the GM seeds and harvested material, was confirmed by qPCR analysis of DNA samples. One field of NK603 was treated with R at 3 L ha−1 (WeatherMAX, 540 g/L of G, EPA Reg. 524-537), and another field of NK603 was not treated with R. (R being Roundup).
      So it sounds like they had both GMO corn both treated and untreated. They include the raw data in this paper--something Monsanto has refused to do, calling it proprietary which makes it difficult to judge their work.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (10+ / 0-)
        As far as I know, there are few non-industry studies on the safety of these products.
        When they finally get it up-and-running, GENERA will have a searchable database of GMO studies (currently approach 2,000 entries), allowing you to filter for independently-funded (i.e. non-industry) studies, which made up 30% of the total when they began the project.  In the meantime, here's a list of 126 of them.

        Last year also saw the publication of a 10 year meta-analysis (pdf), non-industry, on studies of GMO health and safety.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:13:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the link, pico. (5+ / 0-)

          Only 2,000 studies in twenty years? And only 30% publically funded? This surprises me but then it is difficult to do science on proprietary products where they do not grant access and do not publish their raw data.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:58:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And there's always the (pdf) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          docstymie, MGross

          A decade of EU-funded GMO research. Yep - European Union Funded.

          It's so frustrating to have to constantly hear this wrong-headed, dishonest, ignorant claim that there's been "No Independent Research on GMOs." It's bullshit.

          And it's one of the reasons some of us can't help believing the anti-GMO crowd is the moral equivalent of the anti-vaxxer crowd.

          Stop it, please. If you want to rant and rage against a fucked intellectual property law system that allows corporations to patent genes, then make that argument. But don't fuck with the science.

          “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

          by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:43:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Research that led to (5+ / 0-)

            GMOs being labeled and/or outright banned in the EU!

            "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

            by Crider on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:46:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Citations? (0+ / 0-)

              None of the studies in this report would have justified banning. IOW, science lost, politics won.

              “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

              by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:51:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That EU report is the SECOND volume... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            docstymie, Wolffarmer, MGross, pico

            The research actually began in the mid-1980s.  From the EU report you linked, we read:

            In 2001 the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
            published the first overview of the accumulated results of ‘EC
            Sponsored Research on Safety of Genetically Modified
            Organisms (GMOs) 1 ’. This publication included work sup-
            ported over the preceding 15 years from the first to the fifth
            Framework Programmes for research, technological develop-
            ment and demonstration activities (FP). It featured 81 projects,
            involving over 400 laboratories, and the results covered
            a range of subjects: horizontal gene transfer, environmental
            impact of transgenic plants, plant-microbe interactions, trans-
            genic fish, recombinant vaccines, food safety, and other issues.
            Between this document and its predecessor, the reports cover:
            ...the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups..
            That's a LOT of publicly funded non-industry research...

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:39:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Definers Of Morality? Right... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            occupystephanie
            And it's one of the reasons some of us can't help believing the anti-GMO crowd is the moral equivalent of the anti-vaxxer crowd.
            Yes, but your point has become a talking point that's brought out constantly by those who are pro- GE crops. I'm no anti-vaxxer (had a couple of immunizations in the last two years, plus an annual flu shot), but (arrogantly) demonizing and belittling skeptics is a piss poor tactic in trying to make a point.

            'Science' initially gave di-cholro diphenyl trichlorethylene (DDT) the go ahead too.

            Both sides have arguments, so quit the divisiveness.

            Shelter me from the powder and the finger Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger ~ Neil Young

            by paz3 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:19:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you again, paz3 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote

              It really makes it difficult to have a decent conversation when demonizing takes place all the time.

              I LOVE vaccinations. Got them for my daughter and would again. I embrace the science about Climate Change. I resent being categorized as someone who is anti-science. I am very pro-Science.

              This is something we ought to be able to discuss as reasonable adults without name calling and demonizing. These are important issues, not an online game.

              We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

              by occupystephanie on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:09:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'd also wonder if the mice were fed... (3+ / 0-)

      ...just maize, and nothing else, and if they were overfed.

      I'm just a trifle suspicious of tests like this, after the big kerfuffle over cyclamate testing back in the 70's, and the huge doses given the test animals.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:01:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is laid out in the paper in detail (7+ / 0-)

        From the paper:

        The dry rat feed was made to contain 11%, 22%, or 33% of GM maize, cultivated either with or without R, or 33% of the non-transgenic control line. The concentrations of the transgene were confirmed in the three doses of each diet by qPCR. All feed formulations consisted of balanced diets, chemically measured as substantially equivalent except for the transgene, with no contaminating pesticides over standard limits
        .

        Remember, this study has undergone peer review three times.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:12:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a terrible study, and it deserved to be (14+ / 0-)

    retracted. This is the Andrew Wakefield of GMO studies.

    It wasn't criticism from "commercial pro-GMO sources" that led FCT to retract the paper (although there were certainly commercial pro-GMO sources who loudly criticized it.) It was overwhelming opposition from the scientific community, pointing out that the study fails some very basic standards (like how to organize data and statistical analysis 101 [good, thorough link here]) that should have kept the paper from being published without massive revisions, if at all. FCT then re-analyzed the data to decide whether to stand by their paper, and they were clear about this when they announced the retraction: the data did not support the conclusions (they dismissed criticisms of fraud, etc.) There are some legit questions about whether the retraction was in accordance with ethical guidelines (more here), and though Séralini has threatened to sue (natch), nothing has come of it.

    This is probably one of the most damaging bits of bad science to go viral in years, at a standard no higher than the Wakefields or "engineers who calculated how thermite would affect steel beams" that occasionally make their way into public discussion. In all these cases, supporters cry out that "rational scientific debate" is somehow being suppressed.  That's just not the case: Séralini's failures were brought to light because of the debate, which he'd have preferred didn't happen at all.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:00:07 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like forum shopping (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, charliehall2, docstymie, MGross

    to me.

    For a less hysterical more objective review of this matter, Forbes had a decent article yesterday.

    “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

    by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:09:19 PM PDT

    •  I feel you, but (4+ / 0-)

      I don't think it serves to call the diarist's take hysterical (and I hate that word, in particular.) I'm unequivocal that this is a bad study, too, but I don't think the diarist is approaching it through a non-objective (from her viewpoint), emotionally-charged lens.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, pico! (5+ / 0-)

        I particularly loath that word also, especially applied to women considering its roots.

        I worked on this all day and attempted to make it clear and concise. My closing paragraph is sane and reasonable.

        Considering that this new technology was judged unique enough to be patented but normal enough not to require testing for safety when it was introduced into our food supply twenty years ago, it seems that not enough has been done to protect public health. People rightfully have questions.

        I suppose there will be a maelstrom of calls for this paper to be retracted also. I would hope that it would rather call forth more reasonable and less inflammatory commentary.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:53:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh stop, occupystephanie. (0+ / 0-)

          This has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with bad science and sloppy reporting.

          Your unbalanced diary promotes inflammatory commentary.

          My advice to you is to spend less time crafting diaries on DK and more time educating yourself about the science. There are a lot of wonderful sites out there. But you have to be open to learning.

          “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

          by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:48:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps you should make the attempt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            occupystephanie

            to be less condescending when it is you making inflammatory rhetoric.

            Piece of work, you are mikidee.
            Perhaps you should write your own diary on the wonders of GM corn and see how that goes over.

            Good learning experience for you.

            'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

            by flowerfarmer on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 05:29:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  With respect, a diary that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charliehall2

        characterizes criticism of the original study as "unprecedented  ... corruption of the scientific process by corporate interests" doesn't exactly ooze objectivity.

        Good intentions notwithstanding ....

        “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

        by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Forbes likes this guy. Mother Jones does not. (6+ / 0-)

      Mother Jones article, The Making of an Agribusiness Apologist, which does a similar job on Jon Entine as he does on Seralini.

      Entine also runs a consultancy, ESG MediaMetrics. The firm's homepage lists Monsanto as a "select client." Among its "core services," it lists "Media strategy, writing, speechwriting, and engagement with critics." Describing its media services, it declares, "We manage and create reputations. We bring to every challenge our vast experience as active journalists, public relations and media specialists, international scholars, and advisers for Fortune 500 corporations." On the bio of personal web page, Entine has this to say about ESG MediaMetrics: The group "advises corporations and NGOs on Environmental, Social, and Governance issues, and on brand reputation and strategic communications."

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:41:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what? His bias is public yet (0+ / 0-)

        he still provides a much broader review of the controversy than you do in your diary.

        An uninformed reader of your diary might very well conclude there's some kind of vast corporate conspiracy to silence Seralini et al. But that might be your point ....

        If so, then you might understand why I might want to link to something that challenges your less-than-objective diary.

        “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

        by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:21:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jon Entine is the founder of Genetic Literacy, (5+ / 0-)

        a major supporter of Biotech, which is funded by Searle Foundation which is, in turn, owned by Monsanto.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:22:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That group is the group - (4+ / 0-)

          pico is quoting in the 'opposition fro the scientific community' link above. I found it a curious name for experts in the field, so it stood out for me.

        •  Monsanto doesn't "own" Searle Freedom Trust... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder

          ...and neither does it own what's left of GD Searle and Company.

          From Mother Jones' profile of Entine:

          To hear Entine tell it, his defenses of atrazine and other pesticides are entirely pro bono and driven by his own initiative. He told me he gets "almost all" of his income from the Genetic Literacy Project, which, he added, is funded by what he called the Templeton and Searle foundations. The project is housed at the Statistical Assessment Service program at George Mason University, where Entine is a fellow. Though Entine would not specify which Searle trust funded the GLP, the Searle Freedom Trust's 2010 tax form lists a $154,000 grant to STATS for a "Gene Policy and Science Literacy Project," which sounds an awful lot like Entine's. Founded by pharmaceutical and Nutrasweet magnate Daniel C. Searle, the Searle Freedom Trust funds all manner of conservative and free-market think tanks, including the Manhattan and Heartland Institutes.
          The Searle Freedom Trust dates back to well before Monsanto acquired GD Searle and Company, and it was independent of the latter from its inception.

          Even so, Monsanto sold off the remnants of Searle (which it integrated into a company known as Pharmacia) to Pfizer in 2000. If you want the blow-by-blow details of this rather involved round of acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies, and separations, here's Monsanto's timeline.

          "Owned by Monsanto" is a completely incorrect assessment of Searle Freedom Trust.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:05:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Seralini paper was a pile of crap. (6+ / 0-)

    Initial journal they published it in was ok (impact factor 3 which is normal for this type of journal). But the journal they republished the study in is new and has no impact factor yet. Often the editors of new journals (especially the open access ones) are more willing to publish stuff with less stringent review. Moreover, they toned down their claims significantly in the republished study. So we need to do more studies but Seralini is not the person to do them.

  •  This journal is a for profit operation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikidee, Samulayo

    that charges authors a pretty high fee to publish articles. I used to be on the editorial board of a journal like this and I resigned because the quality of the submissions was so poor. This journal isn't even indexed in pubmed and its impact factor is so embarrassingly low that the journal's web site doesn't mention it. By comparison to this journal's 0.55, Environmental Health Perspectives, not published by a for profit company, has an impact factor of 7.26. If this paper was so good, why didn't he publish it in EHP?

  •  hmmm . . . (4+ / 0-)

    Judging by all the knee jerking going on, I'd say the artitcle was republished by a journal that isn't approved by Monsanto!

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:37:13 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, just for the record (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee, mem from somerville

      The LLD are for honorary degrees The CC and OBC are civic awards, not related to his ability as a scientist, but as a science communicator.

      So adding them is an attempt to impress people. And if you feel you need them to impress people, you aren't confident in the statement in itself.

      Yeah, for the record, David Suzuki is not, in fact omniscient, nor is he the end-all and be-all of all knowledge, not is he so superhuman he can't be wrong. In fact, he's been caught multiple times being an alarmist idiot, such as suggesting the entire west coast of North America would have to be evacuated because of Fukushima.

    •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samulayo

      Tell us, then - on what experience with scientific papers, peer review, journal submissions/selections and impact measurements do you base your assertion that the folks critical of this paper and/or the journal in which it was published are "kneejerking"?

      Specifically, I'd like to hear your rebuttal of the various comments from charliehall2...but you might want to use a bit of Google-fu and read his CV first.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:19:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Michael Pollan on "a fringy French Scientist" (0+ / 0-)

      What will happen the next time the mob comes?--Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by mem from somerville on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:36:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The media gives more credence to mainstream (0+ / 0-)

        science? Like they have with climate change science?

        Here is the last few paragraphs of Michael Pollan's article "Playing God in the Garden". He grew and harvested bioengineered potatoes and then...

        I had called Margaret Mellon at the Union of Concerned Scientists to ask her advice. Mellon is a molecular biologist and lawyer and a leading critic of biotech agriculture. She couldn’t offer any hard scientific evidence that my New Leafs were unsafe, though she emphasized how little we know about the effects of Bt in the human diet. ”That research simply hasn’t been done,” she said.

        I pressed. Is there any reason I shouldn’t eat these spuds?

        ”Let me turn that around. Why would you want to?”

        It was a good question. So for a while I kept my New Leafs in a bag on the porch. Then I took the bag with me on vacation, thinking maybe I’d sample them there, but the bag came home untouched.

        The bag sat on my porch till the other day, when I was invited to an end-of-summer potluck supper at the town beach. Perfect. I signed up to make a potato salad. I brought the bag into the kitchen and set a pot of water on the stove. But before it boiled I was stricken by this thought: I’d have to tell people at the picnic what they were eating. I’m sure (well, almost sure) the potatoes are safe, but if the idea of eating biotech food without knowing it bothered me, how could I possibly ask my neighbors to? So I’d tell them about the New Leafs — and then, no doubt, lug home a big bowl of untouched potato salad. For surely there would be other potato salads at the potluck and who, given the choice, was ever going to opt for the bowl with the biotech spuds?

        So there they sit, a bag of biotech spuds on my porch. I’m sure they’re absolutely fine. I pass the bag every day, thinking I really should try one, but I’m beginning to think that what I like best about these particular biotech potatoes — what makes them different — is that I have this choice. And until I know more, I choose not.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:24:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Science - is - continuous review (5+ / 0-)

    So it is a good thing the scientific community is discussing this. Dissension among themselves is probably a good thing.

    This site though is an opinion blog, not a science journal, so, thanks, this is a discussion worth having. Not being an expert as I'm sure your detractors must be, your discussion is educative, I can look up and read accordingly.

    •  Umm-the scientific community isn't discussing this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee

      The scientific community is pointing and laughing.

    •  Thanks, i saw an old tree today (3+ / 0-)

      I posted above in a comment the NIH Environmental Health Perspective condemnation of the original retraction which had very valid points as to why it was damaging to science since it violated ethical standards that all journals ascribe to.

      Perhaps some of them are scientists but not all. That is okay with me. The subject is controversial to say the least!

      Pico had some good links above which he was kind enough to share. And he was civil which I really appreciated!

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:46:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those links have been posted here over (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Samulayo

        and over and over, in pretty much every diary on GMOs. I initially found the Biology Fortified links by googling the issue itself and reading sites other than DKos or Mother Jones, usually by appending the word "science" to my search.

        Why would I do that? Because I wanted to know about the science - far too often what passes for science on DKos is politics, and far too often the politics of science based in anti-science. With GMOs, there's a really powerful "ick" factor that, combined with a naturalistic fallacy, seems to cast some kind of woo-spell over a large number of well-intentioned Kossacks.

        As much as civility might appeal to one's better angels, it is neither necessary nor essential to educating oneself about issues, i.e., for doing what one can to stay/become reality-based.

        “…The day shit is worth money, poor people will be born without an asshole.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch

        by mikidee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:03:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occupystephanie
          As much as civility might appeal to one's better angels, it is neither necessary nor essential to educating oneself about issues, i.e., for doing what one can to stay/become reality-based.
          That's a rather flawed analysis of human nature, and a bit of an oxymoron: First, to wax philosophical, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar; second, what does civility have to do with educating oneself? unless the approach is to demonize and mock others and then gauge their reaction as a self-education strategy. Sounds like the science of psychological manipulation! /semi-snark

          Shelter me from the powder and the finger Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger ~ Neil Young

          by paz3 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:53:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It seems denial of science isn't just a GOP thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder
    In fact, some of the test group, those that ate the GM foods were healthier than the controls. Yes, read that again. Some of the rats fed the GM corn foods were healthier. Why wasn’t that broadcast by Natural News?
    link
  •  would someone explain to me how the rats who were (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder

    NOT fed any GMO managed to get tumors anyway?

    Was it osmosis or something?

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 01:18:24 AM PDT

    •  I know you know why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank

      but I am going to answer anyway because most people don't know and it is a very important part of this story.

      Rats are prone to developing tumors.  All of them are, it's just a fact of life about being a rat.  Some strains of rats, like the ones used in the Seralini study, have been bred to be especially susceptible to developing tumors so that the tumors can be used as research tools in cancer studies.

      Because Seralini was interested in the possibility that GMO corn might have a connection with cancer it was OK for him to select one of these strains as his test animal.  The difficulty comes in with his presentation of his data, which is so murky as to be opaque; it is easy for an experienced scientist to suspect that he knows his data proves nothing and he is trying to obscure that conclusion.

      Where the rat strain becomes truly problematic is when enthusiastic people post lurid photographs of rats with scary tumors but don't know or deliberately omit the fact that all the rats can look like this - not just the ones that ate GMO corn.  This creates the absolutely false impression that GMO corn obviously causes cancer, and that scientists with their objections are perverse or corrupt or actively trying to suppress the truth.

      Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati

      by tarkangi on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 04:22:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  which leaves one of two possibilities: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tarkangi

        1. Seralini is too incompetent to design a valid experiment

        or

        2. Seralini is a goddamn liar with an ideological agenda, and people swallow his bullshit because they have the same ideological agenda

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 06:36:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sad but true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lenny Flank

          The first lesson I teach my students is that you don't believe anything to be true, you grant provisional acceptance based on the preponderance of evidence.  This mental discipline is essential because the primary intellectual error is to believe something because you want it to be true - which sets you up to fool yourself and thus make an ever increasing series of blunders.  You may be able to get away with it for a long, long time but in the end the truth will come out.  Just look at Lysenkoism: people made brilliant careers in Soviet science, until the famines began and all those peopled starved to death.

          People like to point at the tobacco company lobbyists as an example of corrupt scientists covering up the truth.  While the merchants of doubt were able to delay matters for a generation, in the end the truth did come out and it was revealed by the honest scientists rather than the activists.  Which brings me to my great disappointment in this arena of the pie fights: the scientist really ought to be the best friend of the environmentalist, for without us there is absolutely zero chance of taking down the bad guys.  Unless the environmentalists have their facts and arguments lined up on a rock solid foundation, the lobbyists and shills will eat our lunch every time.

          Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati

          by tarkangi on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:16:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know why the CT nutters keep citing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tarkangi

            Big Tobacco as their model of a successful corporate conspiracy: every adult in the country knows that smoking causes cancer--and every pack of cigarettes sold in the US carries a written label saying so. Tobacco is ILLEGAL to sell to anyone under 18, and is ILLEGAL to advertise virtually everywhere. The US Government not only pays for advertisements that discourage smoking, but is also forcing the tobacco companies themselves to pay for similar advertisements. The number of people who smoke has declined steadily since the 1960's, and is not today at an all-time low. Tobacco companies themselves were forced to focus the majority of their business on non-tobacco products just to keep from going broke.

            By any measure, the great big tobacco conspiracy has been one of history's most colossal failures.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 04:34:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because they deliberately make themselves stupid (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mikidee

              If the short term success of your little crusade rests on the conviction that you are being oppressed by a shadowy gang of outsiders using illegitimate means to suppress the truth, then the Merchants of Doubt working for Big Tobacco are made to order.  It's a conspiracy that really did happen.

              Of course every scientist  knows that you have to be very careful in distinguishing between what might, in general terms, be happening and what is, in fact, happening here.  My own  research is littered with great ideas that deserve to be true, but they are not so I have to let them go.  Even my favorites...

              But that only happens if your concern is getting to the truth.  Politics can be different.  We actually had one guy the other day advocating the strategy, and I paraphrase, of "look, opposition to GMOs and vaccines may be stupid but it's the Liberal Position and we need to band together without internal dissension so we can beat the wingnuts."  Obviously I think this is a horrible idea, doomed to rapid failure for a bunch of reasons, but the idea is out there and it has adherents.

              Vai o tatu-bola escamoso encontrar-me onde estou escondendo? Lembro-me do caminho de ouro, uma pinga de mel, meu amado Parati

              by tarkangi on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  it's the exact same study as before (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mem from somerville

    This asshole wasn't censored. He was wrong. His study design was faulty and the ENTIRE scientific community called him on it and they will do so again and again and again. At this point, he's both wakefield AND the HIV-denying Dr. Mercola but if he wants to keep on fucking that chicken, very best of luck to him.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 04:50:09 AM PDT

  •  Stephanie, you hit the jackpot today- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie

    must have hit a nerve- they're all here.

    'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

    by flowerfarmer on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 05:37:15 AM PDT

  •  Speaks For Itself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie
    "Our findings imply that long-term (2 year) feeding trials need to be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of GM foods and pesticides in their full commercial formulations."

    "They also show that the conclusion of the Monsanto authors that the initial indications of organ toxicity found in their 90-day experiment were not 'biologically meaningful' is not justifiable.

    "We propose that agricultural edible GMOs and complete pesticide formulations must be evaluated thoroughly in long-term studies to measure their potential toxic effects."

    [emphasis mine] As I've commented in several threads about the impact of genetically engineered crops that allow the direct application of pesticides, no long term studies measuring the impact of long term accumulation of the residue from these crops in human or other large mammal tissue have been completed and peer reviewed.

    I don't know I could present my contention in a less sensational manner. I'm not opposed on principle to GE crops, just those that allow the direct application of pesticides without damage to the crop plants, or that are developed to contain pesticides such as BT (harm to beneficial insects through pollen).

    Shelter me from the powder and the finger Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger ~ Neil Young

    by paz3 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:03:50 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, paz3 (0+ / 0-)

      Having some long term studies on any toxicity and their effects on chronic diseases which take some time to emerge does not seem like too much to ask. When it is widely known that the revolving door between Biotech and our regulatory agencies is wide open, the public has lost trust that our public health is being prioritized over profits.

      The entire point of the NIH/EHP editorial is that this controversial retraction of science which raises these questions is seen to be bullied out of the scientific community and does not engender public trust.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 10:58:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recycled manure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikidee

    is recycled.

    And despite all the claims to the contrary, it was not scientifically peer reviewed again. This has the double bonus of--once again--pissing off journalists because they've been lied to.
    Republished Seralini GMO-rat study was not peer-reviewed, says editor

    I actually wish Seralini had sued the first journal--so we could see what happened with that first peer review that failed so badly. It would be the only useful thing to come out of this--finding that point of failure.

    What will happen the next time the mob comes?--Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by mem from somerville on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 12:42:40 PM PDT

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