GMO conspiracy theories

farbot

New Member
Is this thread just about roundup then? I read a lot of different subjects within the gmo-family. And some people mentioning that because it is the Seralini-paper it is almost by default faulty. So I felt inclined to post that response in this GMO thread.

Hoping that fair and balanced wasn't how they see those words in the Fox News realm.

And wishing you a good day, if I might add.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
The Serelini study is FLAWED at it's roots. Your source is BIASED against GMO. If you wouldn't accept something from Monsanto, Bayer or Sygerta, WHY would accept the comments of those biased on the other side?




This is the study: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Here is a summary of the main problems with the study:

  • Unscientific study design. For example, only 20 control rats in a study with a total of 200 rats, and no blinding between control and experimental groups
  • Large number of small sub-groups - 18 groups of 10 test subjects each making for a complicated experimental design virtually guaranteed to generate some positive results
  • Cherry picking - ignoring negative results
  • Poor choice of statistical analysis (a “fishing trip”)
  • Poor choice in animal model - the rat type is prone to cancers with exactly the same incidence as that reported in the Séralini study whether fed GMO food or not
  • No dose-response - a critical component of demonstrating a toxic effect (some rats fed higher doses did better than the others)
  • Effects of feeding Roundup ready maize, and the effects of feeding Roundup (ie feeding rats the actual pesticide) were identical - a highly dubious result
  • No idea of what the biological reason might be to give the claimed results
  • Didn’t allow any outside comment on the paper before its publication and won’t release the data now and so the experiment can’t be replicated
Here are some links to independent scientists who explain the study’s flaws in much more detail:

  1. Academics Review: Scientists Smell A Rat In Fraudulent Study
  2. Declan Butler writing in Nature.com: Hyped GM maize study faces growing scrutiny
  3. Respectful Insolence: Bad science about GMOs: It reminds me of the antivaccine movement
  4. Steven Novella: The GM Corn Rat Study
  5. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): Séralini et al. study conclusions not supported by data, says EU risk assessment community
  6. Mark Hoofnagle of Denialism Blog: Anti-GMO study is appropriately dismissed as biased, poorly-performed
  7. Emily Sohn, a freelance journalist working for Discovery.com: GM Corn-Tumor Link Based on Poor Science
  8. Deborah Blum: A rancid, corrupt way to report about science
  9. Carl Zimmer: Journalists should not let themselves be played
  10. Debora MacKenzie writing in New Scientist: Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned
  11. John Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project: Scientists savage study purportedly showing health dangers of Monsanto’s GM corn and Does the Seralini Corn Study Fiasco Mark a Turning Point in the Debate Over GM Food?
  12. Dan Charles, NPR's food and agriculture correspondent: As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On
  13. Kevin M. Folta: Rats, Tumors and Critical Assessment of Science
  14. Scicurious, a postdoc in biomedical research: Under Controlled: Why the New GMO Panic Is More Sensational Than Sense[ex/]

    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2013/06/the-seralini-rule-gmo-bogus-study.html

    http://www.nature.com/news/hyped-gm-maize-study-faces-growing-scrutiny-1.11566

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/121128.htm

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9ralini_affair



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Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Is this thread just about roundup then?

Well the Seralini paper looks at the health effects of roundup consumption as well as roundup ready maize (maize genetically modified to withstand roundup) consumption in rats. So if you're talking about Seralini papers you're talking about roundup, hence my question. Carienn's post shows us why the science of that paper is shoddy, and I have reasons why similar papers by Seralini and other authors are also flawed. Like I said, if you think there is a reason Seralini's claims might actually be correct, please post it.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
How do you feel about the GMO papaya? and the Arctic apple that has been submitted for approval?

They are working on an American Chestnut that would be resistant to the blight that killed them out.

Then there is Golden rice, and an improved cassava
 

solrey

Senior Member.
On the Seralini-study. Just found this open letter that discusses the study and the aftermath (in defense of the study) They take the viewpoint that science is more and more influenced in a profit-driven world.

As we say in Dutch: just throwing a stick in the hen house...

Seralini has just been thwacked with a really big stick...

Controversial Seralini GMO-rats paper to be retracted

Unequivocally, the Editor-in-Chief found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data. However, there is legitimate cause for concern regarding both the number of animals in each study group and the particular strain selected. The low number of animals had been identified as a cause for concern during the initial review process, but the peer-review decision ultimately weighed that the work still had merit despite this limitation. A more in-depth look at the raw data revealed that no definitive conclusions can be reached with this small sample size regarding the role of either NK603 or glyphosate in regards to overall mortality or tumor incidence. Given the known high incidence of tumors in the Sprague-Dawley rat, normal variability cannot be excluded as the cause of the higher mortality and incidence observed in the treated groups.
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The Seralini paper is being retracted due to the same flaws noted in this thread.
 

dunbar

Active Member
The journal Le Figaro says also that Richard Goodman a biologist who worked for several years at Monsanto, has joined the editorial board of the journal, and Séralini accuses Monsanto to be behind the retraction decision.
http://retractionwatch.com/2013/11/28/controversial-seralini-gmo-rats-paper-to-be-retracted/
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Hayes is a signatory of the controversial “Letter From the Editors” attacking the EFSA policy towards endocrine-disruptors mentioned here:

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/eu-conflict

See response of other editors here: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/12/1/69

It isn’t surprising that he tends to be industry-oriented in other matters as well….
http://retractionwatch.com/2013/11/28/controversial-seralini-gmo-rats-paper-to-be-retracted/
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The editor of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), Dr A. Wallace Hayes, has decided to retract the study by the team of Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini, which found that rats fed a Monsanto genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 and tiny amounts of the Roundup herbicide it is grown with suffered severe toxic effects, including kidney and liver damage and increased rates of tumours and mortality.[1]

GMWatch believes FCT’s retraction of Prof Séralini’s paper to be illicit, unscientific, and unethical. It violates the guidelines for retractions in scientific publishing set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE),[2] of which FCT is a member.[3]

COPE guidelines state that the only grounds for a journal to retract a paper are:
  • Clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct (eg data fabrication) or honest error
  • Plagiarism or redundant publication
  • Unethical research.
Prof Séralini’s paper does not meet any of these criteria and Hayes admits as much. In his letter informing Prof Séralini of his decision [link here], Hayes concedes that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” and nothing “incorrect” about the data.

Hayes states that the retraction is solely based on the “inconclusive” nature of the findings on tumours and mortality, given the relatively low number of rats used and the choice of rat strain, which Hayes says naturally has a “high incidence of tumours”.

Crucially, however, inconclusiveness of findings is not a valid ground for retraction. Numerous published scientific papers contain inconclusive findings, which are often mixed in with findings that can be presented with more certainty. It is for future researchers to build on the findings and refine scientific understanding of any uncertainties.

It is important that scientists do not overstate their findings or draw conclusions that are not justified by the data, but Prof Séralini’s paper does not do this. Because Prof Séralini’s study was a chronic toxicity study and not a full-scale carcinogenicity study, which normally requires larger numbers of rats, he conservatively did not do a statistical analysis of the tumours and mortality findings. Instead he simply reported them, without drawing definitive conclusions. This is in line with the OECD chronic toxicity protocol, which requires that any “lesions” (including tumours) observed are recorded.[4]

The criticisms of the low number of rats and choice of rat strain have been addressed by Prof Séralini’s team in a comprehensive response to critics that was published in FCT,[5] as well as by independent scientists writing in support of the study.[6]

Experts in statistics writing in support of the study have pointed out that large numbers of animals are only required in safety studies to avoid false negative error, where a toxic effect exists but is missed because too few animals are used. In the case of Séralini’s study, this was not an issue. The toxic effects of the test substances were so pronounced (there was a “large effect size”) that smaller numbers of animals were sufficient for statistical significance.[7,8,9]

Regarding the Sprague-Dawley strain of rat that was used, all strains of rodents develop spontaneous tumours with age, as do humans. The fact that there is a low level of spontaneous tumour occurrence in the control group in Séralini’s study mimics the human condition. For this and other reasons, most toxicology studies use this strain of rat.


Hayes fails to address these responses and arguments in support of the study, raising questions about the expertise, balance, and objectivity of his anonymous review panel. In addition, the legitimate peer reviewers had previously considered these aspects of Séralini’s study and nevertheless decided that “the work still had merit” and should be published.

In a highly irregular process, Hayes now contradicts the outcome of the peer review and editorial process and decides to retract the paper over a year after it was published. His decision is not made on the basis of new data, but on a secret and non-transparent review by unnamed persons, who evidently do not feel able to stand behind their decision publicly or disclose any conflicts of interest they may have.

Hayes’ decision will tarnish the reputation of FCT and will increase public mistrust of science in general and genetically modified foods in particular.

The Goodman factor
Hayes’ decision to retract the paper follows FCT’s appointment of Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto scientist and an affiliate of the GMO industry-funded group, the International Life Sciences Institute, to the specially created post of associate editor for biotechnology at the journal, early this year.[10]

Goodman’s appointment in turn followed an orchestrated campaign by GMO supporters to persuade FCT to retract the study. Some critics even accused Prof Séralini of fraud, without presenting any evidence. Many of the critics had undeclared conflicts of interest with the GMO industry.[11]

After Goodman was installed, FCT withdrew a separate study by Brazilian researchers that also raised questions about GM crop safety. The study showed that Bt insecticidal toxins similar to those engineered into GM Bt crops were not broken down in digestion, as is claimed by the industry and regulators, but had toxic effects on the blood of mice. The Brazilian paper, like Prof Séralini’s, had been peer-reviewed and published by FCT prior to Goodman’s arrival. After Goodman’s arrival, the paper was withdrawn without explanation from FCT[12] – only to be immediately published in another journal.[13]

There is no proof that Goodman was responsible for the retraction of Prof Séralini’s study. But his appointment, coming so soon after the “Séralini affair”, along with FCT’s failure to list the interests of its editors, raises questions about corporate influence on the editorial board at the journal.
http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/15184
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Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
The journal Le Figaro says also that Richard Goodman a biologist who worked for several years at Monsanto, has joined the editorial board of the journal, and Séralini accuses Monsanto to be behind the retraction decision.
http://retractionwatch.com/2013/11/28/controversial-seralini-gmo-rats-paper-to-be-retracted/
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There are more problems in the paper than the number of rats used, which, despite what you posted, is still an issue. I'm more concerned about the actual science of the paper rather than who seems to have what interest on which side. Are there any more reasons you think the paper shouldn't be retracted?
 

dunbar

Active Member
Well, if we aren't going to be reasonable and instead just go around dismissing published peer reviewed papers out of hand and without grounds, then I just dismiss your dismissal and that's that. You'll have to make at least an attempt at a cogent substantive argument that addresses all the legitimate concerns and rebuttals laid out above before we can proceed any further.

Ten things you need to know about the Séralini study
http://gmoseralini.org/introduction-to-scientists-support-seralini/
http://gmoseralini.org/introduction-to-scientists-support-seralini/
Scientists support Séralini: Introduction
 
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Pete Tar

Senior Member.
'out of hand and without grounds'?????

The grounds and concerns with methodology have been clearly stated.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
There are 'scientists' that believe in creationism. You look to the EXPERTS in the field and without a single holdout, they have ALL discredited the Serelini 'study'. Not on simple one thing, but on multiple parts of the 'study'.

What I find wrong it if someone connected to a study 'toured Monsanto 10 years ago' or has anything that can be spun into a connection, they scream about it, while ignoring that the ONLY folks that support the flawed 'studies' they like to support have strong ties to the organic food industry and to anti GMO groups. Heck the Carmen study was conducted on the farm of an organic seed dealer. How biased is that?
 

solrey

Senior Member.
What about those Sprague-Dawley rats?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/521452

Spontaneous endocrine tumors were found in 81 of 100 Sprague-Dawley rats (42 males and 39 females) which survived for more than 2 years. Most of these tumors were medullary carcinomas of the thyroid, followed by tumors of the anterior pituitary gland, pheochromocytomas and cortical adenomas of the adrenal gland, and islet cell tumors of the pancreas. Multiple occurrence of these tumors was frequently observed. This study describes the morphology of these spontaneous endocrine tumors.
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http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/33/11/2768

Note the size of the control group.

A spontaneous tumor incidence of 45% was noted in 360 Sprague-Dawley rats (179 males and 181 females) and a 26% incidence was seen in 254 Swiss mice (101 males and 153 females) used as untreated control animals in an 18-month series of carcinogenesis experiments.
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http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/16/3/194

A tumor incidence of 57 per cent was observed in 150 female rats allowed to live out their life-span as normal, control animals on standard laboratory chow. One hundred similar rats on a special fatrich diet developed an 80 per cent tumor incidence.
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A spontaneous tumor incidence of up to 81 percent in SD rats. Very small test groups and a teensy weensy control group. There are other issues with the paper as well but those two are the deal breakers. Considering plant genetics is a small specialized field the chances that somebody at some time in their careers worked for a company associated with the biotech industry are pretty high. The Seralini study does not stand up to scrutiny and MAM is straight up propaganda.
 

dunbar

Active Member

David Williams, a cellular biologist who specializes in vision, has the opposite complaint. “A lot of naive science has been involved in pushing this technology,” he says. “Thirty years ago we didn't know that when you throw any gene into a different genome, the genome reacts to it. But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment. Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later.” The result, he insists, could very well be potentially toxic plants slipping through testing.
Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops. But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests. Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture. He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-truth-about-genetically-modified-food
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A 2013 Scientific American article noted that GM-supportive scientists are often overly dismissive in their rejections of counterclaims and concerns about the scientific consensus that currently marketed food from GM crops are safe.[61]
Some scientists wishing to conduct research on GM plants or seeds have been unable to obtain them for study, due to restrictive end-user agreements that limit what can be done with GM seeds. Cornell University's Elson Shields, the spokesperson for one group of scientists who oppose this practice, submitted a statement to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 protesting that "as a result of restrictive access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology".[62] Scientific American noted that several studies that were initially approved by seed companies were later blocked from publication when they returned "unflattering" results. While arguing that seed companies' intellectual property rights ought to be protected, Scientific American calls the practice dangerous and has called for the restrictions on research in the end-user agreements to be lifted immediately and for the EPA to require, as a condition of approval, that independent researchers have unfettered access to GM products for testing.[63] In February 2009, the American Seed Trade Association agreed that they "would allow researchers greater freedom to study the effects of GM food crops." This agreement left many scientists optimistic about the future, but there is little optimism as to whether this agreement has the ability to "alter what has been a research environment rife with obstruction and suspicion."[62][64]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies#Scientific_publishing
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A statement opposing the controversy, and especially the attacks on Seralini, was published in the newspaper Le Monde and was signed by 140 French scientists; the letter said: "We are deeply shocked by the image of our community that this controversy gives citizens. Many of the threats to our planet have been revealed by scientists isolated and confirmed by many studies coming from the scientific community. In this case, it would be more efficient to implement research on the health and environmental risks of GMOs and pesticides, improve toxicological protocols used for placing on the market and finance a variety of researchers in this domain...."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Séralini_affair#Reaction_in_the_media

Signatories
Christophe Andalo MC UPS Toulouse;

Researcher Sophie Arnaud-Haond IFREMER;

Anne Atlan CR CNRS;

Daniel Auclair DR INRA;

Frederick Austerlitz DR CNRS;

Barot Sébastien DR IRD;

Marie-Odile wobbly MC AgroParisTech;

Nathalie Becker MC MNHN;

Bellé Robert Pr UPMC;

Bérard Sèverine MC U Montpellier 2;

Jacques Blondel DR CNRS;

Boëte Christophe CR IRD;

Boistard Pierre DR INRA;

François Bonhomme DR CNRS;

Vincent Bonhomme French Institute of Pondicherry;

Bonnet Timothy PhD U Zurich;

Christophe Bonneuil CR CNRS;

Bonnin Isabelle CR INRA;

Pierre-Marie Bosc CIRAD researcher;

Boudouresque Charles Pr U Aix-Marseille;

Bourdineaud Jean-Paul Pr U Bordeaux;

Catherine Boyen DR CNRS;

Brèthes Daniel DR CNRS;

Jérôme Casas Pr U Tours;

Cézilly Franck Pr U Burgundy;

Chabert Michèle MC EPHE;

Champagnon Jocelyn Post Doc;

Anne Charpentier MC U Montpellier 2;

Charmantier Anne CR CNRS;

Chikhi Lounès DR CNRS;

Hervé Cochard DR INRA, Correspondent of the Academy of Agriculture;

Colas Bruno MC U Paris Diderot;

Claude Combes Professor U. Perpignan, Member of the Academy of Sciences;

Jean-Luc Da Lage DR CNRS;

Hélène David-Benz CIRAD researcher;

Darlu Pierre DR CNRS;

Decker Sophie Post-Doctorate, NOAA, U.S.;

Foresta Hubert CR IRD;

Reviers Prof. Bruno MNHN;

Dedeine Franck MC U François Rabelais Tours;

Delesalle Bruno MC EPHE;

Prof. Christophe Destombe UPMC;

Céline Devaux MC U. Montpellier 2;

Djikeussi Eleanor CH Niort;

CIRAD researcher Bruno Dorin;

Dufumier Marc Pr AgroParisTech;

Patrick Dugue CIRAD researcher;

Dulcire CIRAD researcher Michel;

Dutech Cyril CR INRA;

Marianne Elias CR CNRS;

Enjalbert Jerome CR INRA;

Pierre Fabre Research CIRAD;

Bruno Fady DR INRA;

Jean-Baptiste Ferdy Pr U Toulouse 3;

Pr Régis Ferrière ENS Ulm;

Figuié Muriel CIRAD researcher;

Frascaria Nathalie AgroParisTech Pr;

Fort Philippe DR CNRS;

Gautier Christian Pr U Lyon;

Laurent Gavotte MC U Montpellier 2;

Sophie Gerber CR INRA;

Prof. Philippe Grandcolas MNHN;

Goldringer Isabelle DR INRA;

Gouyon Pierre-Henri Pr MNHN;

Hautekeete Nina MC U Lille 1;

Heams Thomas MC AgroParisTech;

Herbette Stéphane MC U Clermont-Ferrand;

Henry Claude Pr Columbia University;

Evelyne Heyer Pr MNHN Hospital;

Frédéric DR INRA;

Sylvie Huet DR INRA;

Jean-François Humbert DR INRA;

Jeandel Catherine DR CNRS;

Jarne Philippe DR CNRS;

Mathieu Joron CR CNRS;

Juffé Pr Michel PontsParisTech;

Finn Kjellberg DR CNRS;

Lachièze Rey Marc DR CNRS;

Sandeel CIRAD researcher Frédéric;

Laurans Marilyne CIRAD researcher;

Laurenti Patrick MC U Diderot;

Claire Lavigne DR INRA;

Lemeilleur Sylvaine CIRAD researcher;

Le Gall Line ™ MNHN;

The Moguédec Gilles CIRAD researcher;

Lévy-Leblond Jean-Marc Pr U Nice;

Marc Lipinski DR CNRS;

Loeuille Nicolas Pr UPMC;

Londe Sylvain PhD UPMC;

Isabelle surgeon Lorand;

Antoine Louchart CR CNRS;

Nathalie Machon Pr MNHN;

Mallefet Jérôme Pr U Catholic Louvain;

Mariojouls Catherine Pr AgroParistech;

Maris Virginia CR CNRS;

Agnès Mignot Pr University Montpellier 2;

Claude AgroParisTech thousand Pr;

Mirleau Pascal MC U Aix-Marseille;

Moulia Catherine Pr U Montpellier 2;

Edgar Morin DR CNRS;

Benoit Nabholz MC U Montpellier 2;

Valérie Nicolas IR INSERM;

Nieberding Carolina Pr Catholic U Louvain;

Isabelle Olivieri Pr U Montpellier 2;

Paillet Yoan IR IRSTEA;

Palka Laurent MC MNHN;

Anders Pape Moller DR CNRS;

Papy François DR INRA;

Vanina Pasqualini Pr U Corsica;

Small Eric MC U Rennes 1;

Florence Poirier IR U Paris 13;

Ponsard Sergine Pr U Toulouse;

Philippe Potin DR CNRS;

Quilichini Angelique MC parts CNRS;

Raymond Michel DR CNRS;

REFREGIER Guislaine MC UPS Orsay;

Reynaud - Yann Post-Doctoral Fellow, NOAA, U.S.;

Xavier kidney MC AgroParisTech;

Denis-Didier Rousseau DR CNRS Ulm;

François Rousset DR CNRS;

Saatkamp Arne MC U Aix-Marseille;

Emmanuel Saint-James MC UPMC;

Salmona Jordi PhD U Lisbon;

Sartor Pierre CR CNRS;

Selosse Marc-André Pr U Montpellier 2;

Sicard Mathieu MC U Poitiers;

Shykoff Jacqui DR CNRS;

Testart Jacques DR INSERM;

Thomas Mathieu PostDoc INRA;

Tully Thomas MC 4 U Paris (CNRS);

Myriam Valero DR CNRS;

CIRAD researcher Geert Van Vliet;

Errol Vela MC U Montpellier 2;

Velot Christian MC U psud Orsay;

Verlaque Marc CR CNRS;

Verrier Etienne Pr AgroParisTech;

Volovitch Pr Michel ENS Ulm;

Vriz Sophie Pr U Paris Diderot;

Warlop François CR GRAB;

Mylène Weill DR CNRS.
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An article from Agence France Presse (AFP) suggests the support for Séralini may actually be greater than is apparent even from the growing number of public statements. AFP quoted Pierre-Henri Gouyon, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, as commenting on the statement published in Le Monde opposing the attacks on Séralini, “There are also people who have participated in the writing [of the statement] but have not signed for fear of the consequences for their careers. I have recommended people who expect promotion not to sign it.”11

Further support for Séralini came from Dr Angelika Hilbeck, a biologist at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), who said in a media interview that she takes Séralini’s findings “seriously”.12 Hilbeck was subjected to attacks similar to those leveled at Séralini after her team published research showing that GM maize harmed beneficial insects.13 14 15

Hilbeck commented on the attacks on Séralini’s research and the vested interests behind many of them: “Such attacks on scientists who highlight risks of GM plants are normal. It’s always the same industry-linked GM proponents who immediately try to defame the critical studies and their authors in a concerted campaign. This is about money.

“Now they’re pointing the large caliber weapons at Séralini, because his feeding study focused on the health of animals, which in turn serve as a model for humans.”12
http://gmoseralini.org/faq-items/what-was-the-reaction-to-the-study-2/
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Cairenn

Senior Member.
A handful of folks---how many are even qualified to comment on the Serelini study, support him. Against them are all the creditable peer review groups. Not a few, but those representing 1000s of researchers, not just in the US, but in the EU, in France , in the UK. In countries that are NOT GMO friendly.


http://academicsreview.org/2012/09/scientists-smell-a-rat-in-fraudulent-study/





Aside from the statistics, are there any other problems?
Yes. Tests like this have been done before, more rigorously, and found no effect of GM food on health. The French team claims to be the first to test for the animal's whole lifespan. But "most toxicology studies are terminated at normal lifespan – 2 years", as this one was, says Sanders. "Immortality is not an alternative." And those tests did not find this effect.

Furthermore, the team claims to see the same toxic effects both with actual Roundup, and with the GM maize – whether or not the maize contained any actual herbicide. It is hard to imagine any way in which a herbicide could have identical toxic effects to a gene tweak that gives the maize a gene for an enzyme that actually destroys the herbicide.

Does seeming unlikely mean that this is an invalid result?
Not necessarily. But even more damning from a pharmacological perspective, the team found the same effect at all doses of either herbicide or GM maize. That's unusual, because nearly all toxic effects worsen as the dose increases – it is considered essential for proving that the agent causes the effect.

Even the smallest dose that the team applied resulted in alleged effects on the rats. That is sometimes seen with other toxic agents. The team suggests that the effect kicks in at some very low dose, hits its maximum extent immediately, and stays the same at any higher dose.

But it could more simply mean the GM maize and the herbicide had no measured effect, and that is why the dose made no difference. "They show that old rats get tumours and die," says Mark Tester of the University of Adelaide, Australia. "That is all that can be concluded."

Why would scientists do this?
The research group has long been opposed to GM crops. It claimed in 2010 to have found evidence of toxicity in tests by the GM-crops giant Monsanto of its own Roundup-resistant maize. Other toxicologists, however, said the supposedly damning data revealed only insignificant fluctuations in the physiology of normal rats.[ex/]


http://www.newscientist.com/article...crops-and-cancer-questioned.html#.UphXWVPifmU



European Food Safety Authority Analyzes and Dismisses the new Seralini Paper

GMO Panel deliberations on the paper by de Vendômois et al. (2009, A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health, International Journal of Biological Sciences, 5: 706-726) - EFSA/GMO/578 – part of the Minutes 55th Plenary Meeting of the GMO Panel Adopted part of the minutes1 of the 55th plenary meeting of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms held on 27-28 January 2010 to be published at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/gmo100127.htm

The EFSA GMO Panel has considered the paper by de Vendômois et al. (2009, A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health, International Journal of Biological Sciences, 5: 706-726), a statistical reanalysis of data from three 90-day rat feeding studies already assessed by the GMO Panel (EFSA, 2003a,b; EFSA 2004a,b; EFSA 2009b,c). The GMO Panel concludes that the authors’ claims, regarding new side effects indicating kidney and liver toxicity, are not supported by the data provided in their paper. There is no new information that would lead it to reconsider its previous opinions on the three maize events MON810, MON863 and NK603, which concluded that there were no indications of adverse effects for human, animal health and the environment.[ex/]


http://www.agbioworld.org/newsletter_wm/index.php?caseid=archive&newsid=2945

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2...os-it-reminds-me-of-the-antivaccine-movement/
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Dan Wilson

Senior Member.

David Williams, a cellular biologist who specializes in vision, has the opposite complaint. “A lot of naive science has been involved in pushing this technology,” he says. “Thirty years ago we didn't know that when you throw any gene into a different genome, the genome reacts to it. But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment. Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later.” The result, he insists, could very well be potentially toxic plants slipping through testing.
Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops. But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests. Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture. He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-truth-about-genetically-modified-food
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All I see here is politics and finger pointing. I don't care how many people support what side or what one side says about the interests of the other. What do you have to say about the science? What about the paper makes it one that should not have been retracted? Talk about the paper, please.

The main rebuttals to the criticisms that you have posted are about the time the study continued and the number of rats used. There is a reason that studies like this are normally done on a 90-day trial. After too long, these rats will develop tumors spontaneously. You can even see this in Seralini's paper in figure 2. These results are insignificant because you can't discern, especially with this small sample size, whether or not the tumors were spontaneous or actually caused by the GMO/roundup.

aars.els_cdn.com_content_image_1_s2.0_S0278691512005637_gr1.jpg
Fig. 1.
Mortality of rats fed GMO treated or not with Roundup, and effects of Roundup alone. Rats were fed with NK603 GM maize (with or without application of Roundup) at three different doses (11, 22, 33% in their diet: thin, medium and bold lines, respectively) compared to the substantially equivalent closest isogenic non-GM maize (control, dotted line). Roundup was administrated in drinking water at 3 increasing doses, same symbols (environmental (A), MRL in agricultural GMOs (B) and half of minimal agricultural levels (C), see Section 2). Lifespan during the experiment for the control group is represented by the vertical bar ± SEM (grey area). In bar histograms, the causes of mortality before the grey area are detailed in comparison to the controls (0). In black are represented the necessary euthanasia because of suffering in accordance with ethical rules (tumors over 25% body weight, more than 25% weight loss, hemorrhagic bleeding, etc.); and in hatched areas, spontaneous mortality.

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In fact, the only real conclusions you can draw at all from the data in this paper is that if you're a male drinking water laced with roundup, you might live longer than if you were drinking normal water and that the more GMO/roundup you consume, the longer you will live longer compared to if you consumed less of it. And even those conclusions would not be sound. The data just does't make sense, there is no strong correlation to be found in these extremely messy graphs. You can see this in figure 1.


aars.els_cdn.com_content_image_1_s2.0_S0278691512005637_gr1.jpg
Fig. 1.
Mortality of rats fed GMO treated or not with Roundup, and effects of Roundup alone. Rats were fed with NK603 GM maize (with or without application of Roundup) at three different doses (11, 22, 33% in their diet: thin, medium and bold lines, respectively) compared to the substantially equivalent closest isogenic non-GM maize (control, dotted line). Roundup was administrated in drinking water at 3 increasing doses, same symbols (environmental (A), MRL in agricultural GMOs (B) and half of minimal agricultural levels (C), see Section 2). Lifespan during the experiment for the control group is represented by the vertical bar ± SEM (grey area). In bar histograms, the causes of mortality before the grey area are detailed in comparison to the controls (0). In black are represented the necessary euthanasia because of suffering in accordance with ethical rules (tumors over 25% body weight, more than 25% weight loss, hemorrhagic bleeding, etc.); and in hatched areas, spontaneous mortality.

Content from External Source
In both of these figures you can see that the control groups always suffered from tumors and mortalities along with the variable groups. I would predict that if the control groups were bigger, the controls would show even more similar numbers to the variable groups.
 

Bill

Senior Member.

David Williams, a cellular biologist who specializes in vision, has the opposite complaint. “A lot of naive science has been involved in pushing this technology,” he says. “Thirty years ago we didn't know that when you throw any gene into a different genome, the genome reacts to it. But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment. Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later.” The result, he insists, could very well be potentially toxic plants slipping through testing.
Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops. But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests. Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture. He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-truth-about-genetically-modified-food
Content from External Source


A 2013 Scientific American article noted that GM-supportive scientists are often overly dismissive in their rejections of counterclaims and concerns about the scientific consensus that currently marketed food from GM crops are safe.[61]
Some scientists wishing to conduct research on GM plants or seeds have been unable to obtain them for study, due to restrictive end-user agreements that limit what can be done with GM seeds. Cornell University's Elson Shields, the spokesperson for one group of scientists who oppose this practice, submitted a statement to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 protesting that "as a result of restrictive access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology".[62] Scientific American noted that several studies that were initially approved by seed companies were later blocked from publication when they returned "unflattering" results. While arguing that seed companies' intellectual property rights ought to be protected, Scientific American calls the practice dangerous and has called for the restrictions on research in the end-user agreements to be lifted immediately and for the EPA to require, as a condition of approval, that independent researchers have unfettered access to GM products for testing.[63] In February 2009, the American Seed Trade Association agreed that they "would allow researchers greater freedom to study the effects of GM food crops." This agreement left many scientists optimistic about the future, but there is little optimism as to whether this agreement has the ability to "alter what has been a research environment rife with obstruction and suspicion."[62][64]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies#Scientific_publishing
Content from External Source
A statement opposing the controversy, and especially the attacks on Seralini, was published in the newspaper Le Monde and was signed by 140 French scientists; the letter said: "We are deeply shocked by the image of our community that this controversy gives citizens. Many of the threats to our planet have been revealed by scientists isolated and confirmed by many studies coming from the scientific community. In this case, it would be more efficient to implement research on the health and environmental risks of GMOs and pesticides, improve toxicological protocols used for placing on the market and finance a variety of researchers in this domain...."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Séralini_affair#Reaction_in_the_media



An article from Agence France Presse (AFP) suggests the support for Séralini may actually be greater than is apparent even from the growing number of public statements. AFP quoted Pierre-Henri Gouyon, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, as commenting on the statement published in Le Monde opposing the attacks on Séralini, “There are also people who have participated in the writing [of the statement] but have not signed for fear of the consequences for their careers. I have recommended people who expect promotion not to sign it.”11

Further support for Séralini came from Dr Angelika Hilbeck, a biologist at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), who said in a media interview that she takes Séralini’s findings “seriously”.12 Hilbeck was subjected to attacks similar to those leveled at Séralini after her team published research showing that GM maize harmed beneficial insects.13 14 15

Hilbeck commented on the attacks on Séralini’s research and the vested interests behind many of them: “Such attacks on scientists who highlight risks of GM plants are normal. It’s always the same industry-linked GM proponents who immediately try to defame the critical studies and their authors in a concerted campaign. This is about money.

“Now they’re pointing the large caliber weapons at Séralini, because his feeding study focused on the health of animals, which in turn serve as a model for humans.”12
http://gmoseralini.org/faq-items/what-was-the-reaction-to-the-study-2/
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Edited because the list of signatories is in the links.

You are standing in a burning building denying it is on fire. You need to accept that this study is flawed and move on to other evidence. It was a study designed to arrive at a specific conclusion. The articles you've picked as a show of support are an example of spin trying save a study GMO opponents were to quick to laud. They even show an attempt to rally support based on French nationalist pride rather than the quality of the study.
 
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Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
Sounds like Seralini could have made an honest mistake, and now the paper is retracted. Papers get retracted, then experiments can be run again with better methodology. If you are actually familiar with science, one paper doesn't mean much, repeatability is always required for a firm conclusion anyways.

Seralini's paper never was the end-all-be-all. He can run experiments the rest of his life, right? All this means is that a better experiment can be made which will be more airtight and designed to avoid all the criticisms. Seralini should be happy that so many have found ways he can improve his methods, and simply implement them, then report the results. That is the way of science.
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
Happened across this, somewhat dated but an example of some very good things to come from GMOs:
UCR Biochemist Goes to Washington with High-Protein Corn
Daniel Gallie’s findings propose a useful approach to feed the world’s growing population
Enlarge
Daniel Gallie, professor of biochemistry, will present his research on high-protein corn before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Corn with twice its usual content of protein and oil and about half its usual carbohydrate content is what Daniel Gallie, professor of biochemistry, will present at a congressional seminar in Washington, D.C., this week.

Because his research holds promise for efficiently feeding high-protein corn to people and livestock all over the world, Gallie has been invited to speak to an audience of congressional staff in the Longworth House Office Building of the U.S. House of Representatives. His 45-minute presentation is scheduled for 10 a.m., Sept. 23.

The National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research, a broad-based coalition of agricultural producers, science societies and universities, is sponsoring the seminar.

In the United States, the vast majority of corn — nearly 65 percent — is used to feed animals for meat production. Much of the remainder is exported to other countries for feeding animals or made into corn sweeteners or fuel alcohol. Corn, the most widely produced feed grain in the United States, accounts for more than 90 percent of total value and production of feed grains in the country, with around 80 million acres of land planted with corn.

“Nearly 800 million people in the world suffer from protein-energy malnutrition, which is a leading cause of death in children in developing countries, many of which already produce corn as a major cereal crop,” said Gallie. “A significant fraction of the world’s population, particularly in developing countries, has no access to meat as a protein source, and has to rely on plant sources such as grain. The new corn we have developed has two embryos in its kernel, which is what doubles the content of protein and oil and reduces the starch content. It could provide a good source of protein for those that depend on grain as their primary source of nutrients.”
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I ran across a friend looking for "non-GMO tomato seeds".
I told him that selling such a thing is a sales gimmick, because in fact there are no GMO tomato seeds for sale anywhere.
Even the anti-GMO sites admit this....
There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/
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Technically speaking, all tomatoes are hybrids. Even the most cherished, oldest, and knobbiest heirloom tomato is a hybrid of the original South American fruit. Tomatoes are one of those plants that people love so much, we’ve been tinkering with its genetics basically since the plant was first cultivated in Peru and Central America before the fifteenth century. They’re kind of like the dog of the plant world.
http://amazingtomatoes.com/varieties/gmo-tomatoes/
Content from External Source
 
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Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I ran across a friend looking for "non-GMO tomato seeds".
I told him that selling such a thing is a sales gimmick, because in fact there are no GMO tomato seeds for sale anywhere.
Even the anti-GMO sites admit this....
There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/
Content from External Source
Technically speaking, all tomatoes are hybrids. Even the most cherished, oldest, and knobbiest heirloom tomato is a hybrid of the original South American fruit. Tomatoes are one of those plants that people love so much, we’ve been tinkering with its genetics basically since the plant was first cultivated in Peru and Central America before the fifteenth century. They’re kind of like the dog of the plant world.
http://amazingtomatoes.com/varieties/gmo-tomatoes/
Content from External Source
What was his response to you? Is he still looking for them?
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I've also heard the argument that the gluten in wheat is GMO or gluten intolerance is because of the GMO wheat. But there are no GM-wheat on the market, yet.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
At this time, there are no GMO seeds, or any type available in quantities for a home gardener. They are all packaged for farmers.

At this time, this is the list of GMO crops approved in the US;

Corn, both dent(feed) and sweet corn (no popcorn---sweet is new and limited)
Soy beans
Cotton
Sugar Beets
Canola
Alfalfa
Papaya
Squash (yellow and zucchini) not very popular, since they only provide resistance to some pests, and they do not reduce the need for spraying

On the near horizon

Arctic apple ---non browning
Aqua bounty salmon---fast growing
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
At this time, there are no GMO seeds, or any type available in quantities for a home gardener. They are all packaged for farmers.

At this time, this is the list of GMO crops approved in the US;

Corn, both dent(feed) and sweet corn (no popcorn---sweet is new and limited)
Soy beans
Cotton
Sugar Beets
Canola
Alfalfa
Papaya
Squash (yellow and zucchini) not very popular, since they only provide resistance to some pests, and they do not reduce the need for spraying

On the near horizon

Arctic apple ---non browning
Aqua bounty salmon---fast growing
Do they make high fructose corn syrup from dent?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Yes they do. Much of the dent corn is also used to produce ethanol for a gasoline additive, then the resulting 'brewer's grain' is used for feed. Since the sugar has been turned in alcohol, it is easier for cattle to digest and they fart less on is

There are a couple of good FB groups to discuss food and farming with.


Food and Farm Discussion Lab

GMO Skepti-Forum


BTW, the GMO skepti-forum is part of a family of Skepti-forums for the discussion of subjects from Energy to Sex and Vaccines and Veterinary issues
 

KAT

Active Member
it is easier for cattle to digest and they fart less on is

Well I have heard that methane from cows farting is the real greenhouse gas causing all that "climate change". So this is a good thing. Giving them DIY grass instead of mash might be a good thing, too.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Cattle are mostly grassfed, they are finished on corn. When you remove most of the sugars in corn, by converting it to alcohol, the resulting mash is higher in protein and it results in less farting.

All methane is a problem, whether it is from natural gas, or from cows or from the decay of organic matter.

In China, in some areas where they raise lots of pigs, the village will have a manure digester, where everyone takes the manure to. The methane from it is then piped to the homes to use for cooking and heating. The city of Dallas, is injecting water into it's landfill to encourage the decay of the waste. They are selling the resulting methane. Other than money made from it, this is going to allow the city to continue to use the same landfill for another 20+ years. The decayed trash takes up less room.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This thread is over three years old. Please consider starting new more focussed threads, if there are specific thing to debunk.
 
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