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    700 Researchers Call On Gilles-Eric Seralini To Release GMO Test Data
    By News Staff | October 23rd 2012 05:48 PM | 14 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    700 scientists and academicians have signed petitions calling on French researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini to release research data he claims is evidence for health problems associated with biotech crops.

    The petitioners are from every continent and represent more than 40 countries. They are urging transparency in the promotion of sound science on important issues of public health and join  calls by regulatory bodies including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to Seralini and his collaborators at the Committee for Research&Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) to provide the research data to back up their allegations of health and safety risks links to GMOs.

    “The serious demands by Seralini that regulatory bodies and the public make decisions about how food is grown based on his report require that he be transparent about the means and measures by which he has drawn conclusions,” said Klaus Ammann, PhD, professor plant systems, Biosafety Committee of the Government of Switzerland, Chairman EFB Section on Biodiversity, University of Bern, Switzerland notes,. “Anything less than the normal, full disclosures of data, leaves us all victims of political manipulation and highly theatrical propaganda – this is not science.”

    “The basic code of scientific ethics requires that scientists release all data associated with a peer reviewed scientific paper,” noted Bruce Chassy, PhD, professor emeritus, Food Science&Nutrition, University of Illinois, United States.

    “The claims made by this study contradict an extensive body of independent and widely accepted scientific research,” said C.S. Prakash, PhD, Professor, Plant Molecular Genetics, Tuskegee University. “The few details shared about the Seralini study indicate significant flaws in common research and analytical practices, the only way to take this seriously is to allow an open review of the data behind these claims.”

    Hundreds of scientists are pointing to the recent findings by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food safety (BVL) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) which concluded that the Seralini’s deductions are not justified because of shortcomings in study design, data evaluation and presentation methods. In the absence of disclosure, the petitioning scientists are calling on the publishing journal editors to retract the Seralini study.


    Petition link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dr-seralini-please-release-data/signatures

    Comments

    Sounds like a perfect way to spread another myth about how something's been proven unhealthy yet again.

    John Hasenkam
    Perhaps there are justifiable exceptions but shouldn't the general rule be that before publication scientists must permit their data to be shared when it is requested? This study has gone viral and is another demonstration of how when bad science gets media attention it remains in the mind of the general audience even long after the scientific community has rejected the study. 
    Gerhard Adam
    ...another demonstration of how when bad science gets media attention it remains in the mind of the general audience even long after the scientific community has rejected the study.
    That's certainly one element to it, but another is that the Seralini paper also was available to the public.  It is frustrating to hear about "good science" and then for a mere $31.50 [for 24 hours access] you can also have a copy if you'd like to read it. 

    Unfortunately, except for the mainstream reporting, you'd also have to pay to find out why the scientific community rejected it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Studies based on samples of 10 for 90 day exposure looking for no results compared to 600 days exposure turning up something unexpected?

    Obviously, something needs looking at!

    What amazes me about all this is the assumption that a flawed method invalidates any effects. Only stupid or biased people would argue that, why would I trust them?

    Hank
    The results were not really unexpected, at that period of time 70% of those rats were expected to get tumors. What was unexpected is that only 50% of some rats fed GMO food got tumors. Generally, the entire study is rubbish but by all means, go ahead and believe it.  You are against the science consensus but right in line with the $29 billion organic food conglomerates.
    That 70% figure is not what other posters have said is relevant. The point of a control group is that the rats in the study all live within the same protocol, and differences have arisen within the same strain with some interesting relation ships with dose. No dose-response, but some theories as to causation. Schoolboy science it is, but rational and easily understood by people like myself who are basically, well, a bit thick when it come to the vocabulary employed by some of the posters here. So I understand what is being said by Seralini, but i go looking for the other side's argument because I'm sick of Greenpeace type group-think and consensus.

    I came here for some clarity of argument in favour of GM, and am deeply disappointed - the only clarity on the preceding thread seems to come from serious scientifically literate people who are arguing for sound science, and Hank, you are and the two Mikes invariably negative and ad hominem against them. I don't understand this. You say one thing and do another....why? .

    Argue that the stats aren't robust enough because of small sample size, and Seralini et al clearly agree with you, I agree with you, everybody agrees with you, no argument. We need more data and better protocols.

    So why would you not agree with the obvious conclusion that we need more data if you think the sample sizes and project design are not adequate? There is a lot of science to discuss here, but having spent two hours going through this thread, I can't find you or anyone other GM proponent quoting much of it, in fact there seems to be very weak or no defence of the protocols used by Monsanto to satisfy the European authorities of the safety of the products, and I have a strong suspicion because that would substantiate Seralini's methods. I dont like that partisan behavior from someone who claims to represent a "consensus"

    Again and again the GM defenders have resorted to "common sense" arguments in typical Forbe's Magazine style, but then demand unrealistically high scientific standards from Seralini, who is actually very modestly funded. There's a huge blind spot when it comes to basic, empirical, realistic science which can be understood by the layman. Does it not occur to you to wonder why he (Seralini) got so much publicity so quickly? You imagine that the food industry doesn't understand social science and employ spin doctors? That people don't know they are being manipulated?

    An argument in the thread that an increase in cancer would show up in the US population suddenly disappeared when someone pointed to a link saying that just such a thing had happened - did this not merit at least a comment from those who believe in "scientific consensus" Two words, "point taken" would be a common courtesy. Or does "consensus" mean that interesting phenomena should not be investigated till we get a nice fat juicy research budget ? A pretty weird kind of "scientific consensus" if you ask me. Yes, I am very much against the kind of stupid corporate group-think that you are trying to pass of as science, its as bad as the Greenpeace - FOE - "politically radical" type but thanks to your constant ad hominem remarks less credible on this list at least. I am very much for genuine science which leaves open questions open and does basic empirical research with no other agenda than to understand the world the live in.

    So you agree with the tiny 29 billion dollar wholefoods industry, or you agree with the or massive GM Industry?.

    The GM industry is massive. GM products are in something like 60-70% of the groceries on the shelves. US Labor dept found that the average American spent $6,443 on food in 2009. That makes, it, ummm....something of the order of a TWO THOUSAND BILLION dollar industry?

    So can you explain what relevance has the size of the US wholefoods industry in this discussion about science and statistics? Are you saying the size of the industry behind the study has a positive or a negative effect on the quality of the science?

    Alan

    Hank
    That 70% figure is not what other posters have said is relevant. 
    It's actually the most relevant thing. Any biologist or scientifically literate person knows it.  I get that you said you don't have a lot of experience reading these, so no big deal if you don't think a propensity for cancer needs to be considered, but it does.  The researchers knew it and intentionally picked a line of rats they knew would get tumors. The researcher did not show his paper in advance to any journalists unwilling to sign an agreement not to show it to other biologists so he clearly knew it was suspect - and being unwilling to show any data, which is what every study in the world does, is really, really weird. That is why 700 people asked him to show some data - they are not industry shills, they are worried he is making science look bad.

    Organic food is $29 billion annually - it dwarfs the GMO market.  Being a small part of 70% of food does not mean it is 70% of all food revenue.
    Oh yes.

    And if "science consensus" means that a bunch of people in white coats are deciding that I should be exposed to X amount of radiation or Y amount of Toxin, then yes, I am against it, because that decision rightly belongs to me, not them.

    But I am not against science. I want more and better of it. Your page here is very helpful, but it does not reflect a positive view of the Gm industry through quality of argument. I would expect it to. It is no picnic to do this stuff, the people doing it must be literally brilliant, but why are they apparently so inept at doing safety tests? Where can I find an explanation of why long term effects have not been researched except in the form of an ongoing experiment on a huge human population? Incredible.

    Does that make me anti - science consensus? I'm confused about what you are trying to say there....are you trying to make me feel small and stupid? Tough. I already know that, pull the other one!

    Alan

    Hank
    You just declared that science means nothing to you, but then you say you want more of it.   Dozens of long-term tests with data mean nothing but one test with no data trumps them all.

    You clearly don't want to learn anything about science, so go read Huffington Post, or Greenpeace or whatever.  They say what you want to hear.
    > You just declared that science means nothing to you, but then you say you want more of it.

    I want more intelligent observation of the world we inhabit, i.e. to do more science, and less mindless reliance on the "body of knowledge" you call Science.

    > Dozens of long-term tests with data mean nothing but one test with no data trumps them all.

    2 year of a rat's life does not correlate with 100 years of my own. that's a psychological nonsense and a very scientific assumption. I would accept epidemiological evidence that there are no long term effects in the human population, get back to me in a thousand years, s the possibility of multi-generational effects in humans have not been fully explored yet. We may be witnessing multi-generation effects of artificial fertilizer at the moment, for example. There are more untested hypotheses in science than ever dreamed of in your Science.

    > You clearly don't want to learn anything about science

    I wish to learn from those who know more than me. Sheep know more than me about how to digest grass. They know more than I do about how to reproduce themselves and do it more efficiently without my intervention.

    You are quite good at showing me how to mis-use the work of other people to close your off own mind.
    Thank you for that, and by the way, i do realise you are not representative of scientists in general, it's just you and a few others.

    >........so go read Huffington Post, or Greenpeace or whatever. They say what you want to hear.

    No, they absolutely don't.

    John Hasenkam
    Where can I find an explanation of why long term effects have not been researched except in the form of an ongoing experiment on a huge human population? Incredible.
    You are treating one study as science. I wish. One study is a start and if it doesn't find support from other studies it is wise to treat it with great suspicion. In bioscience huge numbers of studies, some argue even the majority, are latter seen as false. Science is hundreds if not thousands of studies that are consistent as a body of findings. Science is collective function of society, it is not about individualism. (sorry about that Hank. :) )

    The GM industry is massive. GM products are in something like 60-70% of the groceries on the shelves.

    Yeah and I'm not seeing any huge spikes in cancer rates. 
    > The GM industry is massive. GM products are in something like 60-70% of the groceries on the shelves.
    >Yeah and I'm not seeing any huge spikes in cancer rates.

    To look at what is actually happening in the live human population is a rational reaction.

    "unexplained" cancer is increasing (1) just as agricultural practices are changing and a mass of new chemicals are being released into the environment, 30 to 50 years after WW2 and at a time of rapid social political and economic change . No reason to point the finger at GM, (indeed it and many other chemical interventions may have anti-cancer potential), but it makes the point very we that we do not understand a tiny proportion of what is really going on in the mass infinitely complex interactions between what we call biology, geology and the human mind.

    There massive areas for science to research and analyse, yet relatively little is spent on epidemiological research. 3,700 epidemiologists out of 21 million scientists in the US sounds like a very small number to me, but maybe 1.8% is a large proportion, how would we decide? That would need to be decided on a rational basis by a disinterested party - or perhaps by some democratic mechanism.

    (1) Dinse, GE, DM Umbach, AJ Sasco, DG Hoel and DL Davis. 1999. Unexplained increases in cancer incidence in the United States from 1975 to 1994. Annual Review of Public Health 20: 173-209.

    Dinse et al. examine US data from 1975 to 1994 focusing on long-term time trends in the incidence of various cancers. They use a sophisticated statistical analysis to tease apart the effects of age, period and birth cohort. They find that while several important cancers are decreasing in frequency, especially lung cancer, others are increasing.

    Overall cancer rates have increased by 22% and 56% among white women and white men, repectively, over the course of a single generation. Increases in black men and women are comparable.
    "A contemporary woman's risk of breast cancer is 54% greater than was her mother's at the same age among blacks and 41% greater among whites."
    "Men today have about a three- to four-fold risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer compared with their fathers."
    Excluding cancers linked to smoking, or where trends are confounded by changes in diagnostic procedure (breast and prostate; see below), "relative to the previous generation, rates increased on average 13% in black women, 52% in white men, and 67% in black men." There was little change in white women.
    For non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which they analyzed separately, the rates today relative to 25 years ago have "almost doubled in white women, nearly tripled in black women, more than tripled in white men, and more than quadrupled in black men."

    Hank
    Séralini has responded to critics on his website, which also has a big fundraising banner to support his efforts to try and show GMOs cause cancer - but the rebuttals are as weird as the libel lawsuit he has filed against, apparently, the entire science world. To claims that his conclusions did not match the data, he now claims they were not doing a carcinogenicity study, they were surprised that rats got cancer, even though they picked a rat prone to cancer.

    He also claims the 2-year period was legitimate because other studies used those rats in 90-day experiments. Obviously logic and science have gone completely out the window. That he did not conform to accepted protocols is dismissed because there are no mandatory protocols, so he was free to invent some more inclined to result in what he wanted.

    The big criticism he does not even mention is why he showed no data.