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    GM Maize Causes Tumors In Rats? Here Is How Experts Responded
    By Hank Campbell | September 19th 2012 10:37 AM | 367 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    A study in Food and Chemical Toxicology into the health effect of a GM-tolerant maize crop and the herbicide Roundup suggested lab rats developed mammary tumors and were more likely to die prematurely. Science Media Centre issued a press release with some of the concerns by other scientists. Only a few are included, for the full list and quotes go here.

    I parsed out the ones I thought most insightful but I am biased toward, you know, science, so calibrate accordingly. And calibrate the French researchers behind this too, since they take being anti-science Europeans to the extreme.

    Citation: Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, 'Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize', Food and Chemical Toxicology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 19 September 2012

    Concerns:

    •‘All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here’ – this is a quote from the paper.
    •Small sample size
    •Maize was minimum 11% of the diet – not balanced
    •No non-maize control?
    •No results given for non-gm maize
    •For nearly 20 years, billions of animals in the EU have been fed soy products produced from genetically modified soybean, mainly from Latin America. No problems have been reported by the hundreds of thousands of farmers, officials, vets and so on.
    •The same journal publishes a paper showing no adverse health effects in rats of consuming gm maize (though this is a shorter 90-day study)
    •Statistical significance vs relative frequencies.
    •We also have to ask why the rats were kept alive for so long – for humane reasons this study would not have been given approval in the UK.
    •In Fig.2, I assume the bars with a zero is for the non-maize control. Those bars don’t looks significantly different from the bars indicating 11, 22, and 33% of GM maize in the diet? Have the authors done stats on their data?"

    "In my opinion, the methods, stats and reporting of results are all well below the standard I would expect in a rigorous study – to be honest I am surprised it was accepted for publication." - Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding Of Risk, University of Cambridge

    "The full data set has not been made available, but the findings do not contradict previous findings that genetic modification itself is a neutral technology, with no inherent health or environmental risks." - Dr Wendy Harwood, senior scientist, John Innes Centre

    "Like most of the GM debate, this work has very little to do with GM. The authors of the paper do not suggest that the effects are caused by genetic modification" - Prof Ottoline Leyser, Associate Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge

    "No food intake data is provided or growth data. This strain of rat is very prone to mammary tumours particularly when food intake is not restricted." - Prof Tom Sanders, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Research Division, King’s College London

    "The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! - Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide

    H/T Ian Sample, Guardian science correspondent

    Comments

    Amir D. Aczel
    Good article! Abuse of statistical methodology should never be tolerated in professional scientific literature. As for GM and the French...It really is a national obsession. They will chain-smoke in front of you, telling you all the evils of genetically-modified foods...
    Amir D. Aczel
    Hank
    ha ha Well, I love the French. And France.  Despite rumors it happens, I have never had a bad time or been treated rudely there.  And I like their scientific inconsistency. Irrationality is what separates us from the ants, right??
    """Experts""" like you spent 30 or 40 years to tell that the tobacco is not bad for human's health.
    """Experts""" like you told that it was OK to build houses with asbestos
    """Experts""" like you allowed dozens (hundreds ?) of medicines to be sold while they were more dangerous than curative.
    """ Experts" like you are telling that "god will not allow the global warming" or "the global warming does not exists"
    Nobody in the world has ever study the long-term effects of GM on humans, if you had a little bit of deontology you would talk about precautionary principle, instead of "well, it seems that it's not dangerous, so let's sell it massively and see what will happen it 10 or 20 years !"
    We, human people of the world, are guinea pig for you. Shame on you.

    Hank
    Yeah, those stupid scientists in America, trying to kill us with GM foods after they save us from global warming.
    Actually, chemical engineers working with biochemical engineers and pharmacists developed FenFen. They also took an excellent insecticide and re-marketed it as a great sweetener (Aspartame...that was, of course after a follow-up encore for their success with Saccharin). Professional Engineers designed the Titanic, the Pinto and the Tacoma-Narrows bridge, as well.

    The humor is watching the 'perfection of science' preached as vigorously as a Vatican sermon...only to KNOW that it has as much, or more error, than a 3-Stooges skit. The next time you really believe that 'tested science' is accurate, safe or infallable...just remember that all those heart-damage victims of Fenfen thought so, too. (There's a reason why doctors claim to PRACTICE medicine, and not PERFORM it...sadly, biochemical engineers don't have such modesty).

    Wow, well said.

    Amir D. Aczel
    Moi aussi. I do much of my research in France. And in math, as one area, Paris has more great mathematicians per square inch than any rational ant colony (and every other city, too)...Salut,
    Amir D. Aczel
    Hank
    Breaking Up the Echo By Cass Sunstein, New York Times on biased assimilation
    The remedy for easing such polarization, here and abroad, may seem straightforward: provide balanced information to people of all sides. Surely, we might speculate, such information will correct falsehoods and promote mutual understanding. This, of course, has been a hope of countless dedicated journalists and public officials.

    Unfortunately, evidence suggests that balanced presentations — in which competing arguments or positions are laid out side by side — may not help. At least when people begin with firmly held convictions, such an approach is likely to increase polarization rather than reduce it.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    If we are going to cherry pick comments from the Science Media Centre about this paper then here is one from Professor Mark Tester that I also found interesting :-
    Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide, said:
    "The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! GM has been in the food chain for over a decade over there – and longevity continues to increase inexorably! 
    Good question because according to this Washington Post article called 'Study Shows Americans Sicker Than English' By CARLA K. JOHNSON and MIKE STOBBE Americans do have much higher cancer rates than the Brits. The article says :-
    White, middle-aged Americans, even those who are rich, are far less healthy than their peers in England, according to stunning new research that erases misconceptions and has experts scratching their heads.
    Americans had higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, lung disease and cancer - findings that held true no matter what income or education level.
    Those dismal results are despite the fact that U.S. health care spending is double what England spends on each of its citizens.
    "Everybody should be discussing it: Why isn't the richest country in the world the healthiest country in the world?" asks study co-author Dr. Michael Marmot, an epidemiologist at University College London in England.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    So of course you blame all of that on GM foods.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    No, I was just cherry picking too :)
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Your argument, "So you blame all this on GM Foods, too?" is quite indefensible, is it not? It is much like the ploy of screaming 'Climate Change', relative to the actual parameters of a valid scientific hypothesis that can be outlined, studied and tested, with valid proofs (or disproofs) arising as a result of sufficient (and applicable) Design of Experiments. 'Global Warming' and 'Global Cooling' are both more scientifically valid as proposed hypotheses than 'Climate Change'...being as most 5-year olds know it changes, and by 12-years old, you understand multi-year cycles of change. In other words, propose a valid claim to proof...spin is for the washing machine.

    As you well know, any new (man-made) device or creation, which enters into direct competition with any other natural or existing system established as historically safe, MUST (if for no other reason than moral integrity) be vigorously tested, exhaustively even, to validate that at no time is the new offering any more dangerous, for any known tangent of form, fit or functionality, than the original.

    This is NOT the case with GM foods. There ARE records of genetic drift occurring, where inserted genes are not stable and that the foods develop unintended properties and characteristics after sufficient generations occur, such that it is quite feasible that they become toxic (even mutagenic as well as teratogenic) to the consumer. As the manufacturer, in MOST CASES, is the ONLY ONE equipped to validate and test these advanced genetic modifications sufficiently for any scientific review, you have a skewed system testing its own product for purposes of safety validation - WITH NO 3RD PARTY CHECKSUM to ensure that a 'green light' is not inappropriately given for the sake of profits. If you think that the FDA can't protect Americans from 'ineffective or dangerous drugs' 100% of the time, and a bad drug that slips through may damage or destroy 2-12% of its customer base...then explain who validates the intricacies of Monsanto's genetic work prior to it hitting consumer shelves...and tell me if they have a 99% success rate, what a 1% product failure means to America if that 1% failure occurs across their CORN products...consumed by 45% or more of Americans? Imagine one genetic slip that produces pancreatic cancer, and it is in all corn meal in the US...quite a larger moral mistake than bad weight-loss medicine.

    Then again...science NEVER makes mistakes.

    Seriously, you MUST consider the size of the affected consumer population before assuming playing god and failing has no imminent impact. Monsanto, Con-Agra, etc., they are not driven by morals...at ALL...they are driven by profits, and sales trumps the lives of kids...especially when the 'Asbestos affect' kicks in (that the kids are 40 before they get that cancer caused by food consumed at 4 years of age, hence no direct traceable liability back to the original cause).

    Hank
    It's absolutely defensible - because that is what happened. 
    There ARE records of genetic drift occurring, where inserted genes are not stable and that the foods develop unintended properties and characteristics after sufficient generations occur
    Genetic drift is a fact of life, that you limit it to GM foods shows you may know engineering but don't know anything about biology.  It's called evolution.  Your error is thinking any evolution after a man-made change is bad but natural ones are good.  100% of biology disagrees with you.
    Then again...science NEVER makes mistakes.
    Why you think a natural mutation randomly generated is superior to a controlled man-made one is beyond me.  It would be like me saying a human engineer building a bridge is dangerous because some bridges have collapsed:  "Then again...engineering NEVER makes mistakes". Is that a valid argument to you?
    Seriously, you MUST consider the size of the affected consumer population before assuming playing god and failing has no imminent impact. Monsanto, Con-Agra, etc., they are not driven by morals...at ALL...they are driven by profits, and sales trumps the lives of kids
    As happy as I am that 100% of your life was spent engineering for the public good and you never got paid for it or worked for a company that made a profit, not all of us are part of the blueblood entitled 1% you are.  Most of us have had to work for companies and those companies had to make a profit.  I guess I don't know how your type of engineering works, since supposedly we are to think the best work is being done but no one is getting paid in your area.  Are the only unethical engineers the ones getting paid?    That seems to be what you are saying about science - yet all scientists get paid.  Some got paid by the Bush administration, should Democrats throw out all their science?  Some are getting paid by the Obama administration now, is their science invalid to Republicans?  Why are Greenpeace or Union of Concerned Scientists activists that get hired to advocate certain positions okay in your book but you insist everyone in Monsanto hates children?
    I can't believe what I'm reading here. What you seem to be saying is equivalent to "because some bridges fall down by themselves, it's OK to knock a few more down as well". Just because existing genetic drift causes problems (and no, that doesn't prove evolution), does it mean we can engineer MORE genetic disaster without being responsible morally? Mutations are almost always a disaster for an organism. We don't need to add to the chaos. And 100% of biology agrees with me.

    Hank
     Just because existing genetic drift causes problems (and no, that doesn't prove evolution)
    Thank you for proving my point that the people who are anti-science about GMOs are anti-science about lots of other things too.  Please, please, please tell me you vote Republican.
     
    10 out of 100,000 biologists agree with you but I am not surprised you don't know what "100%" means either.
    Ah, Hank, you're not being very scientific here, lol! When you're in a corner you start getting personal, just like everyone else. Sad. And no, I don't vote Republican. I won't tell you what I do vote, because it isn't relevant to this discussion. When talking science, talk science, not politics or religion. YOU brought evolution up, not me. (You can't prove evolution and you can't prove creation - just stick to the facts, buddy. Both evolution and creation are faith-based. Don't get me started on that, it's not relevant to this issue.)

    Oh sorry - I didn't see the last part of your message before I relied to the first part! It seems you're not much of a statistician either eh ;-)! I didn't say "biologists" I said "biology". Quite a difference there. Chuckles. Do a bit of research and you will soon find that mutations cannot be responsible for evolution because they result in a disadvantage for the animal. Let's leave it at that...I have better things to do with my time than to go to and fro on this one, and it will leave you free to bite someone else .
    Neither of us are going to bend so..shakes hands politely, tips hat...see you later, mate...

    Cherry picking? You should actually click on the link and try to cherry pick a statement that is not disasterous for the authors.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    That's what I did! I cherry picked the statement by Professor Mark Tester saying that if these awful results in rats were transferable to humans, then how come there's no evidence of North Americans dropping like flies, when there is actually evidence that North Americans across the board are much unhealthier and have higher rates of cancer, diabetes, kidney and heart problems than their counterparts in Britain and no one knows why yet? I'm not in any way saying its because if GMOs, I'm just pointing out that noone knows why, so his question was quite valid. I agree with Gerhard that more studies need to be done, preferably for more than 90 days on animals other than rats and better still humans, as they are already eating these GMO foods whether they like it or not and have no way of even knowing which foods are GMO foods. 11% of GMO maize in the human diet might be rather high though!
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    ...11% of GMO maize in the human diet might be rather high though!
    Doesn't matter.  Substantial equivalence is substantial equivalence.  In other words, feeding rats 11% maize should be no different than feeding them 11% GM maize.  If there is a difference, it isn't because of some percentage of maize in the diet.

    In addition, the point isn't to extrapolate directly from rats to humans, any more than we would feed rats a human diet and expect them to thrive [although they probably eat pretty well in most of our cities].
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's not cherry picking, it's intentionally misrepresenting what he is saying and twisting the implications backwards. His point is that people in America are not seeing the types of results that would be indicated by this study, and more importantly and more pertinently it is not being seen in cattle. Cattle of all kinds are fed large amounts of GM feed. It is a much larger sample than a few rats. He is not saying that we are seeing the results indicated by Seralini et al, but that we are not.

    It's an important concept to grasp - when your findings seem to contradict a reality, or you get results that seem extrodinary, you need to question them. You don't publish blindly. Scientists know that extrodinary claims require extrodinary proof. In this case outlandish claims are being supported by poor quailty experimentation, abused statistics, and what I can only describe as results engineering. It's a set up to try to get or show that you are getting a result you want. You put out only the information that can be stretch to show what you want and hide enough control information that would counter your conclusion.

    It reminds me of the bt study from Canada that found that something like 90% of pregant women had detectible bt in their umbilical blood. It is outragous to even imagine that could be true. It would mean that in all likliehood all women eat huge amounts of unprocessed corn, or they eat meat fed that corn, and somehow bt get through an animal digestive tract, into the blood, into the meat, survives cooking, survives a digestive tract again, gets into the blood, and all the way into the umbilical cord. The results aren't impossible, but were hard to believe and instead of being supported by a plethora of evidence, they were supported by a non-quantitative assay that was misapplied and was being used for quantifying detection outside of its detection limit.

    You have to question big claims supported by weak evidence.

    Hank
    Séralini is famous for big claims based on weak evidence.  He gets shelled once a year for being sloppy (but populist! - he knows his target audience)
    This is basically a "she-said-he-said" You are asking readers to evaluate Seralini at al's work based on opinions of his critics ( of whom there are many). This is not how science works, though-- the only way to make cogent comments is to read Seralini's work, which is unfortunately behind a pay wall.

    Without reading the source document, all comments are opinions on opinions, rather than scientific comments--better suited for the Enquierer than a site which claims to be dedicated to science.

    Can you email me the article, because I am all tapped out purchasing these things privately, being that I am not in a research institution.

    Thanks

    ena@beachvethospital.com

    The question I posed in the last post ( which has not been posted) is:
    Do you have access to the original article by Seralini, Hank? And would you be so kind as to email it to me, please?

    Unless you are prepared to read and analyze the source document you are in no position to opine scientifically on the work. Any comments are nothing more than " he-said-she-said". Definitely not scientific.

    If you don't have my email, I'll be glad to provide it.

    Hank
    You have to write the corresponding author and they send the PDF to you.  Virtually no one says 'no' so it won't be a problem. The magazine probably won't send it to you.
    Here is the original article by Seralini http://ht.ly/dPMKX

    Here is the abstract for the paper you found at http://ht.ly/dPMKX, they seem like pretty significant results to me -

    a b s t r a c t

    The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated
    with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In
    females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological pro-
    files were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and
    before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5
    times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked
    and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large
    palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very
    significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters
    were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of
    Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences

    Hank
     they seem like pretty significant results to me
    Why?  Almost any biologist would say the 11% is suspect and that is just the first of 2 errors in the first sentence of the abstract. 
    Gerhard Adam
    Why is 11% a problem, especially when they used 0, 11, 22, and 33% in four groups?  The safety studies used 20%, or the same values indicated in this study.  Why is this suddenly a problem?
    MON 810 maize was included in the diets at the 33% level, while GM and control diets were also included at the 11% level (and supplemented with other non-GM maize to 33%).
    http://www.bezpecna-krmiva.cz/soubory/gmo_report_feedingtrials.pdf
    Then, pregnant rats (F0) were started to feed with either the diet containing 20% transgenic corn or 20% reference corn or standard rat diet depending on their groups.
    http://www.somloquesembrem.org/img_editor/file/Kilic%26Akay08BtMaizeFeedingStudy.pdf
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Gerhard, here is the article at Natural News which says that 'The study, led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, was the first ever study to examine the long-term (lifetime) effects of eating GMOs.'

    Do you think that is true? If so, then its no wonder that I couldn't find any studies showing the effects of BT GMOs on internal organs of animals conducted for longer than 120 days,  no matter how much I searched and no matter how many links I was given!

    Here are some quotes from the study researchers quoted in the Natural News article :-
    "This research shows an extraordinary number of tumors developing earlier and more aggressively - particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts." - Dr Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist, King's College London.
    "We can expect that the consumption of GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health." - Dr Antoniou.
    "This is the first time that a long-term animal feeding trial has examined the impact of feeding GM corn or the herbicide Roundup, or a combination of both and the results are extremely serious. In the male rats, there was liver and kidney disorders, including tumors and even more worryingly, in the female rats, there were mammary tumors at a level which is extremely concerning; up to 80 percent of the female rats had mammary tumors by the end of the trial." - Patrick Holden, Director, Sustainable Food Trust.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Do you think that is true?
    Could be [in the sense of rats being used for maize]... many of the longer term studies that I saw were for soybeans.  In one instance of where it was maize, mice were used.  So, technically this could be correct.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "1. The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? 2. If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! - Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide

    PS: 1) there are No epidemiological studies carried out in the largest market for GMOs-- North America; which are indeed not do-able, because GMO ingredients are not labeled. ZERO
    2) this rules out peracute effects, making No statements about sub-chronic and chronic effects.

    So of course you can just turn to epidemiology information from markets where labeling exists right? Shouldn't be hard, since evidently labeling enables an epidemiology study of GMO right? Wait, don't you need to have an effect to study before you search for a cause in epidemiology?

    Just pointing out the red herring that is the epidemiology claim as related to labeling. You would have to single out a potential effect and then start looking for causes, not guess at a cause and go fishing for effects. Europe and Asia have no such information despite labeling requirements simply because there is no epidemic to study.

    Gerhard Adam
    Europe and Asia have no such information despite labeling requirements simply because there is no epidemic to study.
    That's a bit disingenuous, since there are clearly numerous "epidemics" to which we have no definitive answers.  It would be like the argument that being exposed to a carcinogen isn't a problem because one doesn't develop cancer immediately. 

    If the only thing you're looking for is someone developing an immediate health problem and then looking for a singular cause you might have a point.  However, if there are more subtle longer term effects in play, then your comment is simply wrong.

    Of course, this doesn't render GM's dangerous, nor does it posit a requirement for more stringent controls, nor does it even apply the precautionary principle.  What is disturbing is the marked lack of actual data despite widespread use.  One would think that if we have livestock that is being feed these foods, that we have plenty of opportunity to provide some controlled studies [or at least surveys] to find out if there are any long-term effects. 

    What I find ironic is that the comments on this "study" are no different than comparable comments made on a study reviewing the animals studies for GM safety.  The criticisms were very similar in that there were many questionable studies, inadequate adherence to required protocols, too small of populations, or inadequate controls.  Yet somehow that didn't raise anyone's concern or questioning.  It's only when such a study questions GM foods that the critics surface.

    As stated several times, I'm still waiting to see a single definitive study that has evaluated the effects on humans, but I won't hold my breath.  Instead, I'd be content with studies that detail the effect on cows, dogs, and cats.  Unfortunately I don't expect we'll see those anytime soon either.

    So the question remains.  Of all the people indicating that there is absolutely nothing wrong with GM foods [and I'm not claiming that there is], please provide ONE link that demonstrates a study that was done on something other than rodents [preferably something longer than 90 days].

    Also, I'm not interested in nutritional equivalence.  If you investigate, what you will find is that no one really knows how to conduct such studies to any significant extent [or they lack the means of doing so], and consequently the "substantial equivalence" phrase is invoked to argue that if there is no obvious difference between the two foods, then they can be assumed to be as safe as other such foods.  So while everyone may well be right that there is nothing harmful in GM foods, let's also be clear that this isn't based on any actual science beyond the presumption that they are no more dangerous than conventional foods and since we've never really tested them, we don't know what to expect or how to go about it.

    This is precisely what we see with the issue surrounding gluten.  I'm not talking about the faddish element, but rather the increase in gluten present due to plant hybridization and the fact that it has taken decades and a "tipping point" in the population affected before it has become something that has raised enough awareness to where people are questioning how significant it might be.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Mike, I don't expect labeling to equal studies of cause and effect of GMOS. What I am saying is : in the absence of labeling post market epidemiological analysis is IMPOSSIBLE. Yes, labeling singles out the potential cause-GMOs. Do GMOs lead to adverse effects chronically in cats, dogs or people? This rodent study is not very flattering, to say the least- with respect to hepatorenal toxicity, mammary tumors and longevity. Does it imply the same in pets and people?
    Without labeling there is absolutely No way to know.
    I am not sure what you are having difficulty with because I find it to be a very easy concept to grasp.

    That is simply not the case. GMO food is ubiquitous. The only people not eating it are the ones trying not to.

    Still to do a legit epidemiology study, you find a problem, correlate it to a potential cause, and then try to find causality. This is not impossible and there are many activist scientist trying really hard to find that link. I think that a label of GMO would do absolutely nothing to help or hinder those efforts.

    We don't do controlled feeding studies on people in the free world. It's not what some may call "ethical."

    Rodent and other mammalian models are the scientifically accepted standard. No they are not direct

    And what this study, it's researchers, their organization and their backers are not flattering to is good solid science. Look up Seralini and controversy and you'll see that this isn't the first time he's been accused of very bad science and statistics by independant scientists. He's an activist that takes money from other activists to devise studies that will get them results they want. It's amazing he gets published and more amazing that people bother reading him.

    You have to question why there is so much backlash preceding the release of this one right? It's either a monsanto conspiracy or because scientists know that when they see this guy coming they have to get the criticism out first so the media can't take a hack job study and run with it before the truth has time to get its boots on.

    Gerhard Adam
    We don't do controlled feeding studies on people in the free world. It's not what some may call "ethical."
    LOL .... good one.  You're right though.  We just feed it to them without telling them.
    Rodent and other mammalian models are the scientifically accepted standard. No they are not direct.
    Another miss.  Models are just models, and to try to make more of it is simply disingenuous.  There is no excuse given the prevalence of GM foods to not have down follow-up studies and data gathering on cows, dogs, cats, humans, etc.  There is no excuse.

    From that point on I'm not interested in the opinions regarding Seralini, because that's merely a distraction.  I have asked repeatedly for studies that have been done to examine the effects of long-term feedings and one paper that I was forwarded reviewed several studies and concluded that most were inadequate.

    So ... I will ask again.  No opinions.  Provide the links.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm not trying to overstate the point of rodent or animal models. But we don't and can't subject humans to that kind of test just to see what happens. Tell me if I'm wrong, but isn't putting humans on a 11 or 33% corn diet a really bad idea? Even if you're in the control group, you're probably going to have serious health problems.

    There are hundreds of studies on many GMO's on many types of animals here:
    http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/

    I won't say most are long term, but again, I am not a researcher, and my understanding is that the type of testing done is the accepted standard, and unless there are reasons to look longer term, longer term testing is not done. I won't say if that is right or wrong, but simply consistent with any suspected toxin.

    >We don't do controlled feeding studies on people in the free world. It's not what some may call "ethical."<

    This is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read. Is it ethical to feed GMOs to millions of pregnant women and their developing fetuses without having a solid double blind feeding trial showing them to be safe for pregnant women and their feti?

    How much more Orwellian can you get?

    We can open the whole can of worms as to how GMO is far more precise and less disruptive than mutation breeding, many forms of hybridizing etc. IN the end, bottom line is that the process is far more precise and less potentially disruptive than completely other untested methods of plant breeding. Why single GMO out? Why is it less orwellian to eat a tangelo or seedless grape? Nobody ever tested those hybrids out. A random mutation caused corn to be an edible "sweet" variety. Nobody ever did a safety assesment. The bar somehow got moved in certain group's eyes, and for some reason they only want to apply it to one group that has been highly scrutinized and screened for safety.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Why single GMO out? Why is it less orwellian to eat a tangelo or seedless grape? Nobody ever tested those hybrids out. A random mutation caused corn to be an edible "sweet" variety. Nobody ever did a safety assesment. The bar somehow got moved in certain group's eyes, and for some reason they only want to apply it to one group that has been highly scrutinized and screened for safety.
    Erm Mike, do you think it could possibly have something to do with the fact that Bt GMO's for example, have introduced Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt) insecticides and/or their Cry toxins, that are 'thought' to kill the target prey insects by creating spores that create holes and wreck the lining of the insects' intestines, causing them to eventually starve to death and that these toxins are present in every cell of the Bt GMO plant that we and our animals are now eating, might just have something to do with it?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    bt is not a live bacteria in the way it is used here. It is an endotoxin produced by the bacteria. It cannot "form spores."

    You have to realize that many many plants you eat already have "toxins" in them. They are insecticidal naturally. They do no harm ot mammals. Bt toxin is similar, but is not from plant origin.

    So "toxin" to insect is not always a "toxin" to you.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    bt is not a live bacteria in the way it is used here. It is an endotoxin produced by the bacteria. It cannot "form spores."
    The bacteria Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) can always potentially form spores and Bt and its cry toxins both form pores in the target insect's guts, regardless of how they are applied or utilised as insecticides. The following is a quote straight from the Wikipedia Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) article :-
    Spores and crystalline insecticidal proteins produced by B. thuringiensis have been used to control insect pests since the 1920s. They are now used as specific insecticides under trade names such as Dipel and Thuricide. Because of their specificity, these pesticides are regarded as environmentally friendly, with little or no effect on humans, wildlife, pollinators, and most other beneficial insects and are used in Organic farming. The Belgian company Plant Genetic Systems (now part of Bayer CropScience) was the first company (in 1985) to develop genetically engineered (tobacco) plants with insect tolerance by expressing cry genes from B. thuringiensis. Thuringiensis-based insecticides are often applied as liquid sprays on crop plants, where the insecticide must be ingested to be effective. 
    The solubilized toxins are thought to form pores in the midgut epithelium of susceptible larvae. Recent research has suggested the midgut bacteria of susceptible larvae are required for B. thuringiensis insecticidal activity.
    Either way it is obvious from this article that scientists are not completely certain about Bt's exact mode of action. The 'Bt GMOs' have the 'Bt' cry toxins expressed in some form in every cell of the plant's body, this 'Bt' toxin can never be washed off. Alternatively Bt can be sprayed on crops as an insecticide which can be washed off. 

    So Bt insecticides and/or the cry toxins are applied to crops either by genetically modifying them, which are then always inevitably eaten by animals and humans, as well as the target insects or they are administered as much less invasive Bt sprays, which are sometimes washed off by consumers or not, as the case may be. 

    So, in my opinion, this means that it has to be a good idea to at least do long term studies of the health effects of consuming all Bt GMOs and their insecticidal cry toxins upon rats and other animals, preferably humans as well, because short term 90 day studies alone are not enough to see any long term health effects on rats and their internal organs, let alone their long term effects upon the health of other animals that we eat or even upon humans, who also live much longer than all of these animals. 
    Why single GMO out? Why is it less orwellian to eat a tangelo or seedless grape? Nobody ever tested those hybrids out. A random mutation caused corn to be an edible "sweet" variety. Nobody ever did a safety assesment. The bar somehow got moved in certain group's eyes, and for some reason they only want to apply it to one group that has been highly scrutinized and screened for safety. 
    Surely Bt GMOs bring a much higher level of risk from just the inevitable, new, insecticidal, toxin consumption than is created from just introducing yet another new, seedless or sweeter variety of some conventionally bred hybrid fruit, as you mentioned above? Hence the understandable need and demand from the public for more extensive, long term Bt GMO food consumption health effects testing and scrutiny. 
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Why would bt be less of a risk than lectins? Lectins are toxic to humans too. Too many kidney beans can hurt you. Potatoes can hurt you too, especially if green.

    Bt has been demonstrated to be safe to humans. We know this as well as we know it for any toxin. Why do you thing bt has not been tested like any pesticide?

    I'm not a toxicology expert. Neither are the people demanding long term studies ONLY on GMO produced toxins. I'm comfortable that the people that study this know how to do safety screenings and assesments. Or else we're pretty muchin big trouble, since it's only as tested as every other pesticide out there. Saying that 90 day rat studies don't tell us enough is an endictment on the entire toxicology field, not just on GMO related compounds.

    Don't be afraid of bt. It's the absolute least of your worries in the pesticide world.

    And I abosolutely think random mutation has a significantly higher risk of widespread disruption than genetic engineering. "Natural" means nothing. How much collateral genetic damage is done with each? Way more with mutations or even crosses. By that logic GMO should be tested less than mutants or crosses.

    Can you name a fruit or vegetable with insecticides in the part of the fruit/ vegetable we ingest?

    The only one I can think of is cyanide in pits of certain fruit-- and we do Not eat those much, do we? http://chemistry.about.com/b/2007/09/12/yes-apple-seeds-and-cherry-pits-...

    Kidney beans. Anything with lectins.

    Look around, you'll probably find that many plants have insecticidal compounds that naturally prevent them from insect attack.

    Take up old traditions like soaking, sprouting and using bacterial fermentation techniques for any moderate/high lectin foods like beans you choose to keep in your diet. Fermentation methods are especially effective, virtually eliminating lectins in one study of lentils. All those kitchen rituals you remember from Grandma? They’re adaptive, essentially pre-digestive techniques practiced by traditional cultures around the globe. Going old school on your favorite nut varieties, for example, cuts those lectin levels dramatically.

    Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/lectins/#ixzz278YswLe9

    The obvious difference is, Mike--that you know they are in the edible and you avoid castor beans if your brain is in possession of two communicating neurons. http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/lectins.html

    You don't know you are ingesting the man-made insecticides -- if they were spliced in, and are UNLABELED. So you go on suffering your leaky guy syndrome while being patronized by biotech firms who insist they are perfectly harmless.

    Regardless of their origin, or you method of mitigating the risk, lectins are far more potentially harmful than bt has ever been found to be. And they are "natural." I mention it because people like to freak out that insecticide is IN the food. Well many types are and always have been IN lots of vegetables and fruits. The IN part is not relavant. The WHAT is the question, and with bt you can feel pretty good about it being there.

    Seriously? "leaky gut syndrome" due to bt just because it does something like that to certain larvea and insects. A caterpillar gut is not a human gut.

    Here's some more
    limonene in citrus
    linalool in basil
    citronella in lemon grass
    various herbs have insect repellant compounds

    Seriously. Show me these unpublished studies:

    http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/pips/bt_brad2/2-id_health.pdf

    Sjoblad, R. D., J. T. McClintock, and R. Engler (1992) “Toxicological Considerations for
    Protein Components of Biological Pesticide Products,” Regulatory Toxicology and
    Pharmacology 15:3-9.
    Vázquez-Padrón, R.I., L. Moreno-Fierros, L. Neri-Bazán, A.F. Martínez-Gil, G.A. de la Riva &
    R. López-Revilla (2000) Characterization of the mucosal and systemic response induced by
    Cry1Ac protein from Bacillus thuringiensis HD 73 in mice, Brazilian Journal of Medical and
    Biological research 33:147-155.
    Vázquez-Padrón, R.I., L. Moreno-Fierros, L. Neri-Bazán, G.A. de la Riva & R. López-Revilla
    (1999) Intragastric and intraperitoneal administration of Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus
    thuringiensis induces systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice, Life Sciences 64: 1897-
    1912.
    Vázquez-Padrón, R.I., L. Moreno-Fierros, L. Neri-Bazán, G.A. de la Riva & R. López-Revilla
    (1999) Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac protoxin is a potent systemic and mucosal adjuvant,
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 49:578-584.
    43130801 Williams, D. (1994) Product Characterization: Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki
    (Btk) Protein in Corn: Lab Project Number: NKJNV2. Unpublished study prepared by
    Northrup King Co. 13 p.
    43352602 Williams, D. (1994) Product Characterization: Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki
    Protein in Corn: Supplemental Information: Lab Project Number: NK5PDCH.
    Unpublished study prepared by Northrup King Co. 6 p.
    437548-01 Williams, D. (1995) Product Characterization: Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki
    Protein in Corn: Registration Application. Unpublished study prepared by Northrup
    King Co. 23p.
    43397202 Meeusen, R.; Mettler I. (1994) Equivalence of Plant and Microbially Produced
    Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki HD-1 Protein: Lab Project Number: 1/NK5EQ.
    Unpublished study prepared by Nothrup King Co.; University of Wisconsin; and
    Kendrick Labs. 43 p.
    43533201 Keck, P.; Fromm, M.; Sanders, P.; et al. (1995) Molecular Characterization of Insect
    Protected Corn Line MON 80100: Lab Project Number: MSL 13924. Unpublished study
    prepared by Monsanto Co. 100 p.
    IIB33Bt Plant-Incorporated Protectants October 15, 2001 Biopesticides Registration Action Document
    43533203 Lee, T.; Bailey, M.; Sanders, P. (1995) Compositional Comparison of Bacillus
    thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD-1 Protein Produced in European Corn Bore43533203 Lee, T.; Bailey, M.; Sanders, P. (1995) Compositional Comparison of Bacillus
    thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD-1 Protein Produced in European Corn Borer Resistant
    Corn and the Commercial Microbial Product, DIPEL: Lab Project Number: 94-01-39-12:
    MSL 13876. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co. 35 p.
    43665501 Levine, E.; Groth, M.; Kania, J.; et al. (1995) Molecular Characterization of Insect
    Protected Corn Line MON 810: Lab Project Number: MSL 14204. Unpublished study
    prepared by Monsanto Co. 61 p.
    43533204 Lee, T.; Bailey, M.; Sims, S. (1995) Assessment of the Equivalence of the Bacillus
    thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD-1 Protein Produced in Escherichia coli and European
    Corn Borer Resistant Corn: Lab Project Number: 94-01-39-09: MSL 13879.
    Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co. 94 p.
    43145201 Keck, P. (1994) Determination of Copy Number and Insert Integrity for Cotton Line
    531: Lab Project Number: 92/01/36/12: 92/427/713. Unpublished study prepared by
    Monsanto Agricultural Group. 66 p.
    43145202 Sammons, D. (1994) Assessment of Equivalence Between E. coli-Produced and
    Cotton-Produced B.t.k. HD-73 Protein and Characterization of the Cotton-Produced B.t.k.
    HD-73 Protein: Lab Project Number: 92/01/36/14: 13170. Unpublished study prepared
    by Monsanto Agricultural Group. 45 p.
    43145203 Sammons, D. (1994) Characterization of Purified B.t.k. HD-73 Protein Produced in
    Escherichia coli: Lab Project Number: 92/01/36/18: 92/427/721: 13171. Unpublished
    study prepared by Monsanto Agricultural Group. 84 p.
    43145204 Sims, S. (1994) Sensitivity of Insect Species to the Purified CryIA(c) Insecticidal
    Protein from Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (B.t.k. HD-73): Lab Project Number:
    92/01/36/17:92/427/720: 13273. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Agricultural
    Group. 39 p.
    42932201 Keck, P. (1993) Molecular Characterization of CPB Resistant Russet Burbank
    Potatoes: Bacillus thuringiensis var tenebrionis: Lab Project Number: 92-01-37-14: 93-
    081E:92-448-715. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co. 325 p.
    42932202 Rogan, G.; Anderson, J.; McCreary, J.; et al. (1993) Determination of the
    Expression Levels of B.t.t and NPTII Proteins in Potato Tissues Derived from Field
    Grown plants: Lab Project Number: 92-01-37-02: 93-081E: 12735. Unpublished study
    prepared by Monsanto Co. 349 p.
    42932205 Bartnicki, D.; Leimgruber, R.; Lavrik, P.; et al. (1993) Characterization of the Major
    Tryptic Fragment from Colorado Potato Beetle Active Protein from Bacillus
    thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis (B.t.t): Lab Project Number: 92-01-37-15:93-081E:
    12994. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co. 53p.
    42932204 Lavrik, P. (1993) Characterization of Colorado Potato Beetle Active Bacillus
    thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis Protein Produced in Escherichia coli: Lab Project
    Number: 92-01-37-10:93-081E: 92-448-711. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto
    Co. 82 p.
    42932206 Rogan, G.; Lavrik, P. (1993) Compositional Comparison of Colorado Potato Beetle
    (CPB) Active Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis (B.t.t.) Protein Produced in CPB
    Resistant Potato plants and Commercial Microbial Products: Lab Project Number: 92–
    01-37-17: 93-081E: 12988. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co. 46 p.
    43468001 Naylor, M. (1992) Acute Oral Toxicity Study of Btk HD-1 Tryptic Core Protein in
    Albino Mice: Lab Project Numbers: 92069: 11985:ML92069. Unpublished study
    prepared by Monsanto Co. 264 p.
    43439201 Ream, J. (1994) Assessment of the In vitro Digestive Fate of Bacillus thuringiensis
    subsp. kurstaki HD-1 Protein: Lab Project Number: 93-01-39-04. Unpublished study
    prepared by Monsanto Co. 44 p.
    43145213 Naylor, M. (1993) Acute Oral Toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Cry
    IA(c)) HD-73 Protein in Albino Mice: Lab Project Number: 92197: ML/92/493.
    Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Agriculture Group. 187 p.
    43145214 Ream, J. (1994) Assessment of the In vitro Digestive Fate of Bacillus thuringiensis
    var. kurstaki HD-73 Protein: Lab Project Number: 92/01/36/22: 92/427/728.
    Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Agriculture Group. 43 p.
    42932217 Naylor, M. (1993) Acute Oral Toxicity Study of B.t.t. Protein in Albino Mice: Lab
    Project Number: 92170: ML-92-407. Unpublished study prepared by Monsanto Co.
    191 p.

    And then cite a single double blind cross over experiment on people using the standard established in medicine to show the food is not allergenic.

    Name a single double blind crossover experiment on people ingesting Bt Corn.

    Diagnosis of food allergy: epicutaneous skin tests, in vitro tests, and oral food challenge.

    ….we describe the use of the double-blind, placebo-controlled oral food challenge as the current gold standard for food allergy diagnosis.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20922509

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=food%20allergy%20diagnosis%20dou...

    Why do I feel the need to explain to a vet that an allergy (very acute, fast acting) oral challenge is not the same thing as long term conrolled feeding studies for toxicity....I mean seriously. SHould we stop using animal models and just jump to people? I don't like seeing monkeys get sprayed in the face with bug spray, but I'd much rather that than humans.

    The inuendo that their is a silver bullet in those unpublished studies is pretty unconvincing. It's not like this is new and nobody has tested this stuff independantly. Should we give it another couple of decades of fishing to find a culprit?

    All you have to explain to this vet is how you plan on meeting the standards established by human allergy specialists to prove that the food is non-allergenic............ I didn't invent these standards... they are what they are. Sorry you have so much difficulty with medical reality.

    . And the other thing you need to do is to publish a trove of unpublished studies.

    Gerhard Adam
    SHould we stop using animal models and just jump to people? I don't like seeing monkeys get sprayed in the face with bug spray, but I'd much rather that than humans.
    Good point.  So when do we see the animal model studies before we jump right into feeding it to humans?  Also, since you mentioned long-term, I would like to see those as well.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    •‘All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here’ – this is a quote from the paper.
    This might be a legitimate criticism if the point is that the data isn't available for someone looking to replicate the experiment.  Otherwise it's trite.
    •Small sample size
    Not as small as those that claim GM food safety.  For example [those claiming safe results]:  Daleprane, et al (2009a) had 30 rats for soybean study.  Daleprane, et al (2010) had 30 rats for soybean study.  Most of the rat studies consisted of less than 30 individuals, so this is an interesting criticism.  The largest involved broiler chickens [Bt 11 Maize - 400 individuals] and salmon [Soybeans - 1920 individuals].
    •Maize was minimum 11% of the diet – not balanced
    If all animals were given the same food, then what's the point of this criticism.  It's a red herring argument since they should also respond comparably to the same diet.  If not, then we would see a correlation according to the exceptions of the diet.
    •No non-maize control?
    Again ... relevance.  Whatever criticism you may level at the diet, it is irrelevant if all the animals are being fed a "substantially equivalent" food.  Regardless of whether it promotes poor nutrition or creates problems, then one would expect to see comparable problems that relate to the diet.  Not a difference in a diet that is GM or not.
    •No results given for non-gm maize
    Not sure what they're asking here, because the comparisons are being made against the control group.
    •For nearly 20 years, billions of animals in the EU have been fed soy products produced from genetically modified soybean, mainly from Latin America. No problems have been reported by the hundreds of thousands of farmers, officials, vets and so on.
    I don't know what planet this guys lives on but there aren't billions of animals being fed GM food on the EU [given that there are only 1.5 billion cattle worldwide, that's a bit of a stretch]. 
    •The same journal publishes a paper showing no adverse health effects in rats of consuming gm maize (though this is a shorter 90-day study)
    Is this suggesting that there can never be any difference between short-term and long-term effects?  If not, then it's irrelevant.
    •Statistical significance vs relative frequencies.
    This could be a legitimate criticism and I certainly haven't reviewed it.
    •We also have to ask why the rats were kept alive for so long – for humane reasons this study would not have been given approval in the UK.
    What does this have to do with anything?
    •In Fig.2, I assume the bars with a zero is for the non-maize control. Those bars don’t looks significantly different from the bars indicating 11, 22, and 33% of GM maize in the diet? Have the authors done stats on their data?"
    I can only assume that this commenter didn't read the paper, because the figure clearly indicates that the zero (0) indicates the controls.

    All in all, this doesn't sound like very scientific criticism. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    I would add:
    Regarding point #5: Control-group data are displayed on Fig 1. See legend: Lifespan during the experiment for the control group is represented by the vertical bar ± SEM (grey area).

    Granted millions (not billions) animals are fed with GMO... but mainly GM soy. It may well be that GM maize yields very different health consequences.

    However, I concur that on such a sensitive topic, with such strong claims, one should rest on a bullet-proof publication. Why the hell did they not provide supplementary material with all the data? Come on.

    Gerhard Adam
    However, I concur that on such a sensitive topic, with such strong claims, one should rest on a bullet-proof publication. Why the hell did they not provide supplementary material with all the data?
    Interesting point, because I could reverse the question and ask why is there no "bullet-proof" data for safety claims?  I mean ... 90-day rodent studies?  Come on.

    Anyway, my point was to illustrate that these "criticisms" were just a brush-off and not a scientific critique.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Don't get me wrong.

    As a scientist myself, I know how peer-review goes and it seems indeed that the data are strong but whenever you go against mainstream you have to be even stronger than the best of the papers you contradict. That's how science goes, for the better (unrelenting progress) and for worse (slow paradigm shifts). In fact, it appears the lead author said he was willing to provide the full raw data to anyone asking, so let's see...

    And as a citizen, I fully support this study and really consider the burden of proof to be on the Monsanto & Regulatory Authorities.

    My 2 cents.

    Come on. Everybody knows that you can't prove "safety." You look for signs that it is not safe. If you find indications you look harder, then if you see more evidence you look into mechanisms that may be causing this.

    Yes, 90 day rat studies. And many longer and shorter studies on rats, chickens, sheep, cattle. I've seen a wide array and they're not that tough to track down.

    90 studies because there is no reason to do more. The rodent models at certain time intervals are designed to screen out problems. You feed intensively and look for issues that would indicate further research. These are not rules that are made up for GMO food trials, there are international standards that are designed to make problems evident earlier than any normal feeding scheme would. It's like a stability study for a chemical product. No, it's not the same thing as real world effects, but it is set up to be much more worst case and drive the problems much earlier.

    I think it's less then realistic to ask anybody to do extreme testing on any food or feed when there is no indication for it. The only reason long term testing has been done with any GMO is because of activist furvor. The results of short term feeding trials would not have indicated the need, and longer term testing has not ever led to any actual scientific mechanism, toxin or actual process that would cause harm. It's been 2 decades. There should at least be something that these studies are zeroing in on. This one looks focused on glyphosate toxicity. Great, but we know how to do chemical toxicity studies and we've already done them. What makes a discredited scientist's new study more valuable than all the previous ones and the EPA, USDA, and CDC's take on glyphosate as a pesticide?

    Gerhard Adam
    Everybody knows that you can't prove "safety." You look for signs that it is not safe.
    Please ... stop the rhetorical nonsense.  You claim you can't "prove" safety and then proceed to tell us how to "prove" safety, unless you're implying some indeterminate third state.

    So, where are the studies?  Rodents are models for preliminary studies.  They are neither conclusive nor exhaustive.  Without the data, you're simply arguing based on your own political bias.
    I've seen a wide array and they're not that tough to track down.
    Good, then you can be the first to respond to the request for links.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I won't argue accepted fact. That fact is you do not prove something is safe. The only way is to exhaustively prove that every possible hazard does not apply. That is not possible. You instead focus on likley or potential known issues, screen for them and accept with some degree of certainty that there are no known risks.

    Also see link above regarding studied animals.

    Gerhard Adam
    That fact is you do not prove something is safe.
    OK, so let's be clear about this then.  All the claims about GM food safety are lies then, is that correct?

    After all, it would decidedly unscientific for me to accept claims regarding safety when you've stated that such a claim can't be proven.
    Mundus vult decipi
    They are as safe as eating regular corn - which you can also not prove is safe.

    Sorry that it is confusing, but that is how these things are referred to. We can talk about a chemical being "safe" scientifically, but what we really all mean is that in typical doses the risk of harm is low within an acceptable threshold.

    Gerhard Adam
    It's not confusing.  I wanted you to specifically say it, because all the hype keeps making comments like "it hasn't even caused a stomach ache", which is not true.  The only valid scientific position is to state that it is as safe as its conventional counterpart, so any claims that it has less effects is hype and just as anti-science as those that would arbitrarily claim that they are dangerous.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You are correct that saying GMO has never hurt anybody is impossible to state as "proven safe." That is how this type of thing is discussed. It would in fact be more strictly correct to say: "there has never been a verified illness of any kind as a result of genetically modifying food." It's just a bit wordy and I think we all know we respectively mean when we say "GMO has never hurt anybody."

    If it's fair to call mr. Bolt the fastest man in the world, then I think we can say GMO' s haven't hurt anybody.

    If we have to parse terms then fine. If it keeps people from exploiting technical truths like "GMO has never been proven safe (even though you can't do that)" then it's in everybody's best interest.

    Gerhard Adam
    It's just a bit wordy and I think we all know we respectively mean when we say "GMO has never hurt anybody."
    Except that that isn't being said.  Instead we get hyperbole of how no one's ever gotten a stomach ache or a rash.  It's bullshit.  If people can get it from conventional foods, it's simply disingenuous to make such comments about GM foods and act as if they are somehow safer.

    If that's not what's meant, then it shouldn't be said.  There's nothing wordy about saying they are as safe as conventional foods.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You didn't find that visually- compelling Figure 1 bullet proof? Come on.

    >We also have to ask why the rats were kept alive for so long – for humane reasons this study would not have been given approval in the UK.< This one was one of my favorites :-)

    Thank you for these details. I feel that many scientific articles are imprecise. Fortunately, people do a second reading to understand what the findings mean.

    Experts...you mean jerkoffs who are good at bombarding people with scientific jargon and making their jargon line up with the agenda that is paying them...Hank Campbell is a FRAUD!!!

    Hank
    So, who is paying me?  I mean, when will I be notified of this money?  You are whining about literally the only science site of any size that is not owned by a corporation or a government and yet this is the one you think is corrupt.  That makes no sense. Then you will turn around and insist big corporations taint food. 
    Hank Campbell believes that companies should not have to put GMO labels on their product. HOW MUCH ARE YOU GETTING PAID FOR SELLING BULLSHIT AND PUTTING SCIENCE ON THE LABEL HANK??? Monsanto pay roll pretty good? I hear they pay good money for souls...oh that's right, you probably don't believe in an after life or consequences for your actions. So eat, drink, and be merry Hank! Tell people to kill themselves slowly, what could it hurt? After all, you're getting paid well.

    Gerhard Adam
    Why does someone always have to show up to turn the entire discussion into an irrational tirade?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Be careful.  He will go after your hat next.

    I was on an NPR talk this morning and the host was somewhat disputing that the left was populated with progressive kooks who were conspiratorial and anti-science because she assumed everyone was instead an educated, pro-science liberal like her.  Then she took questions from the audience and quickly saw I was right...
    The " experts" criticisms, as Gerhard pointed out, are misleading at best.
    My bottom line impressions after a brief read through are:
    The transgene (EPSPS) by itself (in the absence of R) as well as Round Up at concentrations used agriculturally dramatically shorten the lifespan of rats, increase incidence and number/of mammary tumors/ animal. Estrogenic isoflavones and their glycosides are products of the shikimate pathway affected by EPSPS, and levels of caffeic and ferulic acids in GM foods were found significantly reduced. This is one putative mechanism by which the 33% GMO diet altered estradiol and testosterone in rats.
    There is evidence of alteration of excretion of Na, Cl and phosphorus through the kidneys. I would have liked to have seen a urine specific gravity trend over the span of the experiment because usually decreases of urine specific gravity demonstrate deteriorating kidney function and precede elevation of serum BUN/creat/ and alterations of electrolytes, and it is a very simple quick cheap test. I would also have liked to have seen a bile acid done on all the rats, because it is an accurate test of liver function (in contrast to inflammation).
    I found the findings on pituitary adenomas interesting because one of the most common endocrine disorders in dogs is pituitary dependent hyperadrenocorticism. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to me to be a solid finding at this time given that rats fed 33% GMOs had a lower rate of pituitary changes than control rats. 8 pathological findings /5 rats vs 9/6 control rats (Table2). It is worth replicating given the number of patients with Cushings ( Pituitary dependant hyperadrenocorticism)
    All and all, this study doesn't leave me feeling that the EPSPS transgene independently of Round Up nor Round Up exposure at common agricultural concentrations are benign when experimental animals are investigated. The shortened longevity is very noteworthy and dramatically illustrated in Figure 1. The study points out very clearly the absolute inadequacy of 90 day trials accepted by every regulatory authority in the world, because the majority of the adverse effects would have been missed had the study ended at 90 days.

    I'm done, I apologize for the heavy rhetoric. My emotions have gotten the best of me, but maybe Hank...if you can watch this clip I am sending you...you will know why.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/10/dr-mercola...

    There is no doubt that you are a smart man, that is obvious. You have much influence and significance. I just hope..that at the end of the day, you can go to bed guilt free, knowing that you are a man of honesty and integrity.

    Hank
    This is the same Joe Mercola who claims vaccines cause autism and has been fined by the FDA for claiming his Living Fuel Rx was an "exceptional countermeasure" against cancer, heart disease and AIDS.  And then that his Vibrant Health Research Chlorella XP could "help to virtually eliminate your risk of developing cancer in the future" and that his Medtherm2000 infrared camera "is a proactive, preventative method you can use for detecting disease."

    Dentists are out to kill you too, according to him.

    So citing anything from a snake oil salesman that exploits gullible people so that he can afford his multi-million dollar house (he alone funded over $1 million for the GMO warning labels legislation in California, though he lives in Chicago) is not going to get a positive response.

    I haven't responded to a lot of the comments because there is a lot in the paper to debunk and it is too much for comments.  My only worry is 10,000 biologists will beat me to it.

    Gerhard Adam
     My only worry is 10,000 biologists will beat me to it.
    I'd be content if just one could show some data.  So far, it appears that's "no dice".
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    It just came out.  Even yesterday the publisher was not releasing it despite an embargo date - like when movies don't get shown to critics, science by press release is usually a bad sign.  Fortunately, cranks are happy to violate the copyright so now it is available, including in a comment here. I don't generally agree with that, but it isn't me doing the stealing, it is advocates of banning GMOs.
    Assuming the major premise is that "vegetables that have more Roundup on them are more likely to cause cancer", has Roundup ever been shown to be a carcinogen? If not, this reminds me of people who claim that microwaves from cellphones cause cancer. Microwaves don't cause cancer, so it is pointless to spend millions of dollars trying to ascertain whether or not microwaves from cellphones cause cancer.

    To answer my own question, it is NOT a carcinogen so this whole study is a big load of BS. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/0178fact.pdf

    If dosing animals with straight glycophosphate doesn't cause cancer, then why would giving them vegetables with glycophosphate residue on them cause cancer?

    Gerhard Adam
    Ahhh ... you aren't seriously suggesting that cancer is the only condition being tested for, are you? 

    It's little wonder that you're so readily convinced of these things.  The paper you linked to cited "several studies" on mice, rats, and beagle dogs.  From this they determined that it wasn't carcinogenic and simply concluded that it wasn't carcinogenic from humans.  There wasn't a single human follow-up study.
    In June 1991, EPA classified glyphosate as a Group E oncogen--one that shows evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans--based on the lack of convincing evidence of carcinogenicity in adequate studies.
    Those "adequate studies":
    Several chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity studies using rats, mice and beagle dogs resulted in no effects based on the parameters examined, or resulted in findings that glyphosate was not carcinogenic in the study.
    If you think that's science ....

    In any case, I find it fascinating that everyone goes on about the "science" regarding GM foods, and then when a study is published that doesn't praise GM foods, suddenly these scientists are idiots and charlatans.  Unless and until someone actually examines the data and replicates the experiments, then scientific honesty would require that you keep your political biases to yourself until the data is actually in and examined.





    Mundus vult decipi
    Newsflash - mice and rats are WAY more susceptible to cancer than humans. This is why rats in a perfectly normal environment often die from cancer by the time they are 3 years old. So something that doesn't cause cancer in a super cancer susceptible species causes cancer in humans? Can you come up with an example of a chemical like that? Because I worked with cancer models for several years and I don't recall anything like that ever existing. These are the same standards used for determining if a drug is a carcinogen and that is something MEANT to be consumed. But you think weed spray should be held to a higher standard?

    Hank
    CRII-GEN, the backers of that study, exist to oppose GM foods. They knew exactly what they were doing any why they used the model animals they did.  Take a critter that gets a lot of mammary tumors, use a tiny control group, don't mention how many in the control group got cancer anyway, declare GM foods the culprit. 

    It's a Seralini study, so no surprise.  I have not seen advocates for a position this excited since Andrew Wakefield found that vaccines cause autism.

    "...They knew exactly what they were doing any why they used the model animals they did. Take a critter that gets a lot of mammary tumors, use a tiny control group, don't mention how many in the control group got cancer anyway, declare GM foods the culprit...."
    Pure rethorics, there was a control group, a reference. Maybe you have not noticed but your remark is more damaging for pro GM, if there are genetic predispositions GM might be a trigger?.
    "... Control male animals survived on average 624 ± 21 days, whilst
    females lived for 701 ± 20, during the experiment, plus in each case
    5 weeks of age at the beginning and 3 weeks of stabilization period.
    After mean survival time had elapsed, any deaths that occurred
    were considered to be largely due to aging. Before this period,
    30% control males (three in total) and 20% females (only two) died
    spontaneously, while up to 50% males and 70% females died in
    some groups on diets containing the GM maize (Fig. 1)..."

    "...CRII-GEN, the backers of that study, exist to oppose GM foods..."
    Accusing CRIIGEN for existing merely to undermine GM is just the same as you getting upset by remarks you are being paid by big agro. I am not paid by anyone and if they would ask me I would join CRIIGEN without asking anything in return.
    Btw. I guess you have kids? Are you feeding them GM? Are you feeding yourself GM? If so in your place I would apply as a subject for a long term study on humans, because you truly believe in what you are writing here, don't you?

    When it's the same group of scientists that have been criticized and have been found nearly fraudulent and have had their findings dismissed, then yes, those guys are charlatans.

    You are persistently engaging in the same unsatisfying argument. Instead of addressing the findings (increased rates of mammary tumors in rats--compared to control rats(-- who as you correctly point out do get mammary tumors-- in the pet world we usually see them at the age of 4-6yrs of age)-- you engage in ad hominem.

    If you cited a study which demonstrated that rats fed Monsanto Round Up corn get breast cancer at Reduced Rates compared to rats fed non-GMOs, you would get my attention and you might even get me to advocate to feed animals GMOs, because they would offer a benefit to the consumer. I would certainly listen, at the very least.

    Instead of addressing the experimental findings substantively, though-- you trot out a suite of logical fallacies, starting with ad hominem-->attacking the researcher, instead. This is a classical pattern of debate engaged when there is Nothing substantive to say.

    MikeCrow
    Instead of addressing the findings (increased rates of mammary tumors in rats--compared to control rats

    •No non-maize control?
    •No results given for non-gm maize
    So, let me ask, compared to what control group?
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    Yes, 10 is not a control group. 10,000 is a control group.  And given the cancer prevalence of these rats, using a statistically rigorous number the cancer rate in the control group turns out to be the cancer rate of the GM-fed group. Which means it made no difference, it was just researchers being inhumane and taking pictures of cancerous rats for French political theater.
    Gerhard Adam
    So, why is 10 a valid control group when it comes to safety studies?

    10,000 individuals?  I will bet there hasn't been ONE study done on that scale ever regarding GM foods.  If that's your criteria then your safety claims are seriously flawed science.

    I will go you one better and suggest you can't find a single study that uses 1,000 individuals as a control.  I would seriously love to be shown to be wrong, but I expect that no one will post any links, because the data and studies aren't there.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    You're missing the point.  If you use 10,000 rats, given the history of cancer in that animal line, you end up with over 70% of them getting cancer because that is how many get cancer by that age.  1,000 would work fine, 100 probably would. Using 10 is evidence they are creating an advocacy piece and not a science study - because 70% of GM-fed rats got cancer, which is the same number of rats that would have gotten cancer in the control group if they used an actual control group.

    I am pretty sure if a Monsanto study said 'we won't show all of the data' and 'we used a ridiculous control group' to show rats on GM corn got less cancer, you would not be defending this methodology the way you are.  
    Gerhard Adam
    No, actually you're missing the point.  It doesn't matter if 70% get cancer, because they should get it at that same approximate statistical rate regardless of what they are fed.  However, if one group gets substantially higher amounts of cancer than the control, then one looks for the differences that might be correlating effects.

    In other words, if I fed one group of rats soy and another group strawberries [just picking some arbitrary food], and they both got cancer at the same rates, then I wouldn't draw any conclusions.  However if the strawberries group got substantially less cancer then I could certainly infer that perhaps the strawberries had an effect in suppressing the cancers.  It certainly isn't definitive, but it indicates that something is different.
    ...if they used an actual control group.
    What's your criticism of the control group?  They had one group that they fed non-GM maize to, so what's the problem?
    After 20 days of acclimatization, 100 male and 100 female animals were randomly assigned on a weight basis into 10 equivalent groups. For each sex, one control group had access to plain water and standard diet from the closest isogenic non-transgenic maize control; six groups were fed with 11, 22 and 33% of GM NK603 maize either treated or not with R. The final three groups were fed with the control diet and had access to water supplemented with respectively ...
    So where's the 10 rats?  

    As I said before, I've never heard this complaint before when safety studies use 30 individuals, of which 10 are controls, but suddenly it needs to be 100's and 1000's?
    Mundus vult decipi
    The problem come in with a small control vs. large experimental group(s). Also when you take subject prone to the tumors, particularly at older age (2 yrs is for these guys) there is a large natural variability. I'm no statistician, but check this analysis out.

    http://www.weedcontrolfreaks.com/2012/09/why-i-think-the-seralini-gm-fee...

    http://www.biofortified.org/community/forum/?vasthtmlaction=viewtopic&t=...

    Focus in on user pdiff's post (near the end).

    Basically, it looks like the study says something, but it does not. That does not mean it could not be repeated to validate, or followed up with a better designed experiment to corroborate. But it certainly looks like an experiment designed to find the results it found.

    Again, feel free to challenge the statistics. I'm not a statistician, but analysis by people better versed than me shows that it makes a good lay-media story but means very little. I guess figures don't lie, but liars figure...

    Also in the biofortified link, note the analysis refers to small sample sizes as a problem particularly to false positives.

    I know that generally what's good for the goose is good for the gander, but not necessarily w/ statistics. If monsanto used the same test size and didn't get positives, then they are better justified than Seralini getting positives without further investigation.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but that's the number of rats specifically recommended as the protocol by OECD for testing the safety of GM foods.  So, regardless of your view on whether the sample size is too small, it is the recommended protocol, so to criticize the study for following it, is a double standard.

    The primary problem I have with your view is that it bias' any study towards safety, since you're claiming that such a protocol is invalid to even make preliminary findings of risk.  After all, wouldn't the responsible position be, that if these results indicate a problem [and there's no reason to regard these results as illegitimate at this point especially since NO ONE has done two year rodent studies], then let someone examine the data or replicate the results [especially just the early signs of tumors] and see if there's anything plausibly there.

    It is completely wrong to criticize the protocol that has been used for 20 years to establish safety.

    From OECD:
    At least 20 animals (10 female and 10 male) should be used for each test group. Three concentrations, at least, should be used. The test compound is administered by gavage or via the diet or drinking water.
    http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display.asp?lang=EN&sf1=identifiers&st1=5lmqcr2k7p9x
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'd argue that the OECD guidelines are appropriate, but as guidelines they are not a complete set of design parameters for an experiment. If you follow the protocol, then find too much varience in your controls, yet you still infer results, then the minimum guidelines may not be robust enough for the particulars in your experiment.

    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps ... but this was from a paper presented to me as evidence for GM safety.  Suddenly everyone's squawking about the protocol.  Where was this protest when safety studies used 10 individuals of each sex for a ninety day period?
    Relevant OECD Guidelines for subchronic studies with chemical substances are Test Guidelines (TG) Nos. 407 (28-day oral toxicity study in rodents), 408 (90-day oral toxicity study in rodents) and 409 (90-day oral toxicity study in non-rodents). For chronic studies the relevant Guidelines are TG Nos. 451 (carcinogenicity studies), 452 (chronic toxicity studies) and 453 (combined chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity studies).
    http://www.bezpecna-krmiva.cz/soubory/gmo_report_feedingtrials.pdf
    I'm sorry, but this entire argument seems to be cherry-picking the hell out of the actual data. 

    No one questions protocols when they favor GM foods, but suddenly a questionable study comes out and we start to see the spin and politicking.   While the researcher in question may be suspect, it does no service to science by attacking him.  It simply promotes political bias.  Criticize the work.  Tell me what's wrong with it, however if the only purpose is to argue that Seralini is a fraud, then either prove it, or get in line with all the other people with irrelevant opinions.

    What is becoming increasingly clear to me is the total fiasco that constitutes GM food production.  I have never seriously considered GM foods unsafe.  Instead I wanted to see the animal studies.  I see several reviews of studies that question the protocols, the number of animals, and a great many that indicate that future studies should be performed.

    OK ... no problem.  However, I hear that there's literally hundreds of studies, and that these foods have been found time and again to be safe ...

    OK ... so, I ask to see the studies ...

    Well ... now I'm an idiot and I don't believe in GM foods.

    Instead ... I see a bunch of people talking about GM food safety, and I'm realizing they don't know what they're talking about.  They've simply accepted it on faith.  I know this, because NOT ONE OF THEM has ever provided a real link to demonstrate the animal studies defining safety.  Instead I hear more bullshit about how one can't prove safety ... yet that's precisely what animal studies are supposed to do, so I guess I'm just an idiot for expecting such studies to be anything except a Catch-22.

    Similarly, instead of simply investigating the data or allegations in the event someone claims foods are unsafe, we get this rabid response team approach that attempts to sway the argument by ridicule instead of data.

    I'm tired of it.  In my opinion, the majority of GM food supporters are doing it primarily on faith, with a paltry level of actual animal food safety studies, most of which they have never read [hence the references to long library lists of studies, most of which have nothing to do with anything]. 

    Despite arguing about the ethics of human testing, apparently it's more ethical to feed people without telling them, than to ask them to submit to a testing program.  Even without human studies, no studies of any scale have been conducted on other animals we depend on, such as cows, pigs, chickens, etc.  Virtually no long-term studies exist, and those that do invariably have problems with them.

    So, in general, we're dealing with very little data that confirms much of anything.  Talk about confirmation bias.  It's like we get a study that says GM foods are safe, so no one wants to look any closer.  One gets 100 times more scrutiny for making a claim about the Higg's, but when it comes to GM foods, suddenly everyone's all shy and coy about their data.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I'm inclined to believe the FDA requires enough documentation to prove to them, it's safe.
    I work with Med-device companies, and know the level of documentation they are required to prove a new product is safe and effective, and the colonoscopy they get when they get audited.
    So to be honest, I'm not worried about GMO safety, and I don't feel compelled to read the reports, nor am I so compelled to read them for any other food or medicine my family or myself takes.

    The higgs isn't a patented commercial product.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm inclined to believe the FDA requires enough documentation to prove to them, it's safe.
    Really?  So with all those safety tests, how come drugs like Fen-Phen get through?  Also, we're suddenly discovering long-term effects ... guess we just missed that one.

    Then there's Vioxx.

    Doesn't seem to work very well.

    Funny how it's unethical to test these products on humans and so we simply market it as safe, and then we test is on them afterwards to discover the detrimental effects.  That way at least the market can still profit while we actually find out.

    Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I hear the assurances about GM foods.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Out of how many medicines approved?

    "Other NSAIDs

    Since the withdrawal of Vioxx it has come to light that there may be negative cardiovascular effects with not only other COX-2 inhibitiors, but even the majority of other NSAIDs. It is only with the recent development of drugs like Vioxx that drug companies have carried out the kind of well executed trials that could establish such effects and these sort of trials have never been carried out in older "trusted" NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac and others. The possible exceptions may be aspirin and naproxen due to their anti-platelet aggregation properties."

    According to my Dr, NSAID's all have Cardo risks.

    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Let me be clear that I have no problem with the notion of risks.  I have no problem with the notion that we cannot guarantee safety and that there may be intrinsic risks in new developments.  What I have a problem with is declarations of safety when no such knowledge is actually present.

    There is nothing wrong with not knowing whether something negative may occur.  However to say that something is safe, when you don't actually know that it is, ... well, that's lying.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    However to say that something is safe, when you don't actually know that it is, ... well, that's lying.

    But isn't saying something isn't safe, when all examinations appear to show its benign equally as bad?
    Does the raw data for all studies get made available to the public? Is it not possible that there's extensive testing on GMO foods that was produced for the FDA and USDA, and wasn't released to the public?
    I deal with Med-Device and Pharmaceutical companies all the time, the FDA is not shy about making demands, both before approval as well as after.
    There had to be specific new legislation to "force" the fda to approve orphan drugs without the normal amount of study, to allow specific drugs to be approved when there's not enough people who need it to fund the normal studies.
    Never is a long time.
    " Instead I hear more bullshit about how one can't prove safety"

    So this is the essence of your hang-up.

    Yes, it is a hang-up. You simply can't wrap your mind around a basic toxicological concept.

    At a pesticides workshop, a toxicologist got up to speak, and the first thing out of her mouth was, "I want you all to remove the word 'safe' from your lexicon."

    She went on to point out how safety was not an absolute and could never be "proved." Literally everything is risky to some degree, and the point of toxicological testing is to show relative risk. The best anyone can ever say is, "Repeated testing of X has not revealed any harmful outcomes."

    People accept this for conventional foods, cosmetics, medications, just about everything in their lives....

    ...but when it comes to GM foods, suddenly people lose their minds. "What do you mean you can't prove it's safe? That's bullshit!"

    But you will never buy this.

    Gerhard Adam
    Yes, it is a hang-up. You simply can't wrap your mind around a basic toxicological concept.
    LOL ... no.  What I can't wrap my mind around is how people that make such claims as being unable to prove something is safe, are the same ones constantly touting GM food safety.

    They are the ones that claim that GM foods are safe, that GM foods have never harmed anyone, that GM foods are good, etc. etc.  Then when you challenge those assertions they tell you that safety can't be proven.  So, who is hung-up?

    My complaint has been that advocates making such claims are talking nonsense.  The best and only statement one can make is that GM foods have not been demonstrated to be any more harmful than conventional foods.  Anyone maker grander claims needs to provide evidence.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard,

    You cannot be serious. You cannot take this position and claim any scientific legitimacy in an argument. There is no technical safe. When people talk about any food or chemical as being safe, they are using essentially a common colloquialism for "low risk." Does that mean we should stop calling chlorination in water "safe." No, absolutely not. By everybody's common usage of the term it is safe.

    We have to be able to speak in the terminology fo GM food being safe - since that is the accepted verbiage. At the same time non lay people need to understand that there is no proving safe, and not throw our legitmacy as scientists out the window by trying to "GOTCHA" with a technicality like "well, then no GMO has not been proven safe" argument. We could say the same about chlorinating water. It's a tricky activist move that convinces uninformed alarmsts that think "nature" is better.

    BTW I'm not the same poster as MikeB. However I think he is making excellent points.

    Gerhard Adam
    When people talk about any food or chemical as being safe, they are using essentially a common colloquialism for "low risk."
    Normally I would agree, but that isn't what's being said.  When someone claims that GM foods haven't ever caused a stomach ache, they aren't saying "generally", or "to most people", they are claiming NEVER.  That's an absolute declaration.

    As I said before, I agree that the discussion should represent "low risk", or at least risk that is comparable to conventional foods.  I don't have an issue with that, but then invariably it gets conflated with other issues, such as declaring organic foods dangerous or more likely to cause sickness.  This also isn't true, since there is a clear distinction between "food" and "food handling".

    Does organic represent a greater risk to the consumer because of handling ... sure.  However, it isn't the food. 

    In my view, these are all emotional appeals to advance a particular belief.  One can't argue that organic foods are equivalent to conventional foods and then argue that they are more dangerous.  No, they aren't.  The foods are equivalent ... that's what "equivalent" means.

    All foods are subject to being rendered dangerous if they are not properly handled whether it be at the source or downstream in a restaurant or kitchen.  However that doesn't make the food dangerous.
    At the same time non lay people need to understand that there is no proving safe, and not throw our legitmacy as scientists out the window by trying to "GOTCHA" with a technicality like "well, then no GMO has not been proven safe" argument.
    There's no GOTCHA involved.  It's simply that if we know we can't prove something safe, and if there is always going to be intrinsic risk [which is a perfectly acceptable position], then we also can't make sweeping statements that declare them safer than their conventional counterparts [i.e. never made anyone sick, never caused a rash, etc.].  Such a statement is either trivially true in the sense that no foods ever caused a rash, or it is wrong since any food that caused a rash, could have originated as GM, conventional, or organic.  To argue otherwise is to promote GM foods to a standard that isn't supported by the science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Similarly, instead of simply investigating the data or allegations in the event someone claims foods are unsafe, we get this rabid response team approach that attempts to sway the argument by ridicule instead of data."

    Very acute observation. It's sad to see working scientists, who collectively hold the trust of the laymen of the world, being manipulated to advance corporate or political interests. Although the author would argue differently, as goes the nature of such subtle methods, his trust of GMO technology is based on emotions instead of science.

    I know this, because there literally isn't any real science which demonstrates safety.

    No one has proven that organic food is safe either. What is your point?

    Gerhard Adam

    I just re-read that portion of the study and your argument is a complete straw-man because there's nothing in there alleging that 70% is or is not significant.

    The point being made is that the tumors appeared to develop faster, although the majority occurred after 18 months.  The point of tumors occurring earlier [at 4 - 7 months] was used to suggest that 90 day studies were inadequate to assess long-term effects.
    Up to 14 months, no animals in the control groups showed any signs of tumors whilst 10–30% of treated females per group developed tumors, with the exception of one group (33% GMO + R). By the beginning of the 24th month, 50–80% of female animals had developed tumors in all treated groups, with up to 3 tumors per animal, whereas only 30% of controls were affected.
    It seems that given this information someone can certainly suggest why these findings aren't relevant or significant in any way.  So, if 70% get cancer anyway, then perhaps we should be asking what they did for the control group, since those rats clearly didn't.
    I am pretty sure if a Monsanto study said 'we won't show all of the data'...
    Unless you have other information than I have, they never said they wouldn't show all the data, they simply said it was too much to include in the paper but would be available to any interested researcher.
    ...'we used a ridiculous control group' to show rats on GM corn got less cancer
    While they didn't claim less cancer, they certainly claimed safety with precisely such "ridiculous" control groups.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    One more point regarding your criticism of controls.
    The experimental protocol currently used is described in the OECD Test Guideline No. 408, initially designed for assessing the toxicity of chemicals (OECD, 1998). It recommends populations of at least 10 animals per sex and per group, with 3 doses of the test substance and a control group.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691511006399

    At least 20 animals (10 female and 10 male) should be used for each test group. Three concentrations, at least, should be used. The test compound is administered by gavage or via the diet or drinking water.
    http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display.asp?lang=EN&sf1=identifiers&st1=5lmqcr2k7p9x
    Note that this is precisely the protocol that was followed in the paper.  It appears that the critics regarding the number of animals aren't familiar with the OECD recommendation.  In the review quoted above, their conclusion of the studies examined was:
    Six out of the 24 studies examined here used an appropriate number of experimental animals: three long-term studies (Daleprane et al., 2009a, 2010; Sissener et al., 2009) and three multigenerational studies (Brake et al., 2003; Flachowsky et al., 2007; Haryu et al., 2009).
    Mundus vult decipi
    If you are suggesting that the findings would have more power if the control group was larger, I agree with you. But then I'd like to have you post a study by Monsanto et al that uses 1000 animals in a control group and a 1000 animals in the experimental group.

    The No maize control is a nonsensical statement.

    If you don't understand why what you asking is nonsense, please read criticism of many independent scientists whose findings were dismissed because they didn't use an Isogenic line grown in the same locale . See the studies cited in Gerhard's review.

    Let me clarify my point: I don't dismiss anything criigen or Seralini do outright just because of who they are. I do, because of their past rubbish, take it with a grain of salt.

    If they had put out a quality paper without the appearence of playing hide the data, without a conspicuously tiny control, without the appearence of cherry picking subjects prone to a disorder they happened ot find, and without a lamblasting by scientists and statisticians about their faulty or downright fraudulant statistical analysis...then I would happily embrace the study for its merits.

    These guys are dubious for the very things that look to plague this study. If they want to be taken seriously, they at very least need to do everything they can to avoid the appearance of bias and poor result drawing. Instead they did all of the things they have been critisized in the past for, and for that reason I dismiss it.

    I won't have a discussion about the alleged results because they cannot be taken seriously. I won't engage in an "If" game. They need to put out a study that is clear and convincing. Instead they repeated the sins of their past and pre-released it to the media. They even prevented the media from letting other scientists review it until the actual publication date - so as to draw lots of hyped up headlines without that annoying scientific scrutiny stuff. It's a game, they make it sciencey enough to get published by a journal that wants headlines, take steps to ensure a hyped up media blitz, and by the time anybody issues rebuttals and (eventually) the French gov't dismisses the results (again) the damage is done. All that's left is to blame monsanto for "character assasination" of another scientist.

    Fortunately scientists smell it coming from this group and are getting the criticisms out promptly.

    Sorry if that seems like ad hominem dismissal, but I would gladly take it into consideration if they were even trying to make it look like they weren't doing the exact same junk they've done in the past.

    Mike that was one hell of a looooooooong and booooooooooring ad hominem.

    There is no substantive scientific argument in it.

    Okay, so you don't care that notoriously bad scientists are behind what is pretty unanimously being called bad science?

    What I care about are the merits of the science itself. Not who/ what produced it. If Monsanto were to publish blinded long term study, I would certainly give them a benefit of doubt, even though they are widely believed to be one of the most evil unethical corporations in the world.

    That's exactly what I care about. Line up the Monsanto published papers that scientists have a problem with. I'm all ears. If you can show they've been fraudulent in the past, then anything coming from their researchers will have to be taken with that in mind.

    So far the only statement I've read which has any merit at all is
    "
    "No food intake data is provided or growth data. This strain of rat is very prone to mammary tumours particularly when food intake is not restricted." - Prof Tom Sanders, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Research Division, King’s College London

    It is widely known that obesity raises rates of cancer and reduces lifespans.

    Also, your concept that a GMO product must not only be neutral, but add benefit is another red herring. They add benefit indirectly because they benefit the consumers of corn seed (farmers) thus lowering bottom line, increasing yield and benefiting all consumers of their product. So they do not need to be nutritionally superior.

    If I could show you that many varieities of GMO corn etc have been widely studied and nearly unanimously found to cause no heal risks, would that get your attention?

    Gerhard Adam
    They add benefit indirectly because they benefit the consumers of corn seed (farmers) thus lowering bottom line, increasing yield and benefiting all consumers of their product.
    Wow ... I'd like to see evidence of that.  Believe me, if the prices in the store were cheaper people would be clamoring for products with the GM label.  Of course, we know that isn't going to happen, since the prices will stay exactly the same or even go up, so your claim of "benefit" is certainly not one that will be observed by the consumer.
    Mundus vult decipi
    >Also, your concept that a GMO product must not only be neutral, but add benefit is another red herring.<

    Oh, I don't think so. Everyone sells their products and services based on their merits and benefits to a consumer in a free market capitalistic economy. In fact all the rules of the free market rest on competition, while the GMO enterprise escaped the foundational principles of a market economy known as Competition. Reminds me of the central governement control prevalent in a society practicing communism ( where the consumer has no choice and eats whatever they are force-fed or fachism ( corporate-governmental protectionism and market manipulation( take your pick), rather than capitalism.

    We agree then. The farmers are the consumer and they buy it because of a benefit to them.

    Did you aske for your corn to be picked via combine rather than by hand? Farmers do it because it's efficient. They use GMO for the same reason. Did moving away from hand picking have anything ever to do with an end-consumer need? No. It is neutral to the final consumer. If GMO is neutral to the final consumer (which is what all of these studies are about, and what the vast majority for 2 decades have concluded) then this is no different than using machinery to farm rather than using humans.

    Gerhard Adam
    Good, so we agree that the food purchaser is also a consumer.

    So, how do you think the farmers would react if the seed companies arbitrarily made changes to their products and didn't tell them about it.  Do you think the farmers would agree that it isn't something they need to concern themselves with?  In other words, should farmers even be told that the seeds are GM or not?

    If not, then your rationale for not labeling food would be consistent.  If however, you expect farmers and others in the production side to be informed about the components used to produce their goods, then it is inconsistent to suddenly argue that another level of consumer isn't entitled to know.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Until I see fair labeling across the board, I am against GMO labeling. It is so incredibly unfair to single anything out. I think you have agreed in the past. I'm not sure why that doesnt' settle it. Mutagenesis, f1 hybridization, cell culture etc all need to be included or else it's just a hit job. A hit job is what I'm against.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, good, then if you're alleging fraud then I'm sure you'll have no problem in demonstrating it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    People with much higher degrees and much higher standing will get there. Give it time.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I'm certainly not here to vouch for it, but I find it less than enlightening to have people already climbing on the bandwagon alleging fraud and all manner of misconduct.  If it's there, then I would expect to see links and references to other scientific studies/papers that contradict these new findings.

    Instead I see a lot of noise and not much data.  I've asked before and I will continue to ask.  Where are all these alleged studies that support the claims everyone makes? 
    Mundus vult decipi
    I just think the past will repeat itself. Seriously, look into Seralini and you'll see how this is not the first time that questionable results encited controversy and were ultimatly investigated and found illegitmate.

    I've worked with radio tech. No need to go into extreme specifics simply this... In a microwave you see your food heat... Talk on your phone for longer than a few minutes, you feel that heat? That heat you feel are microwaves cooking the side of your head in the same way your food is cooked. It doesn't take study after study to understand cooking your brain is going to have negative effects.

    It is warming your brain. A cell phone battery isn't putting out enough juice to cook anything. Microwave ovens run on thousands of watts. A cell phone runs on milliwatts or maybe a couple watts. Your head gets hotter when you are standing in the sun or standing next to the fireplace (anyone claiming infra red light causes cancer?). But that isn't the point. Microwaves are way too large to interact DNA the way that UV waves and smaller do. But because the public is mostly morons, and these studies are funded by the public, scientists know they can get funding for these things even while realizing that the whole thing is just a big scam. And of course, if you use a small enough sample group, there is a 50/50 chance that the cell phone group will have more cancer than the control group (and even though the difference isn't statistically significant, you'll still publish it and it will end up on the nightly news, again, because the public is mostly morons).

    Gerhard Adam
    Wow, in a few sentences you've managed to impugn the character of every scientist doing research.  So the public are morons and scientists are dishonest.  So this is what you think represents objectivity?

    Way to go!
    Mundus vult decipi
    First of all, I didn't say "all scientists". I'm a scientist and I've never submitted a grant application to get money to perform a study on science that has been settled decades ago but for some reason still has populist fervor. Most haven't, but then none of my papers have ever ended up on the nightly news either. But let's hear your explanation for why scientists keep doing government (or special interest) funded studies on whether or not microwaves from cell phones cause cancer when we've long established that microwaves don't cause cancer (or you could insert electromagnetic fields causing cancer, or MSG causing brain damage, or aspartame causing any and every ailment under the sun, or vaccines causing autism). It is either because the public is full of morons and the scientists performing these studies are charlatans or the scientists performing them are morons. Take your pick.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, if the science was "settled decades ago", then you're basically indicting your profession as being charlatans.  Obviously this also permeates the entire process by which grants are given.  It appears that you like to present comments in a sweeping fashion such that either ALL scientists are morons or charlatans, or that the public are ALL morons.

    Perhaps the problem is simply you.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Did you even bother to read my comment? It wasn't that long. In the very first sentence I stated that I wasn't referring to all scientists. What percentage of scientists do you think are doing these ridiculous studies? Definitely less that 1%. Maybe 1 in 1000? Do you think scientists are so noble that absolutely none are dishonest? Andrew Wakefield was either honest or all scientists are frauds? Is that your premise? Hwang Woo-suk was actually misunderstood or all scientists are just like him? I don't have to condemn everyone to condemn a small group.

    And you think special interest groups have an honest grant review process? And if you think government reviews are so noble, explain why they keep funding more MSG studies that all end up with the same conclusion? Political pressure from quacks. Yes, the government is subject to political pressure. Big shock.

    Gerhard Adam
    But because the public is mostly morons, and these studies are funded by the public, scientists know they can get funding for these things even while realizing that the whole thing is just a big scam.
    That was your original statement.  You didn't say a "few", or "some".  You said "scientists".

    You're the one with the imprecise language, and then use weasel words to try and deny what you specifically said.

    I'm not the one making claims of dishonesty, nor nobility.  As a scientist I would have thought you would know better than to make non-specific claims, use imprecise terminology, rely on personal anecdote [i.e. your personal grant applications] and make sweeping generalizations that clearly aren't supported by the evidence [the public is morons].

    Your patronizing attitude tells me precisely what kind of a scientist you are.  With an attitude that the public are all morons, I expect that few would be interested in the results of anything you do.
    Andrew Wakefield was either honest or all scientists are frauds?
    If this is how you try to manipulate the comments, then I expect that I was correct in assessing the problem seems to be with you.  Don't blame me because you were cavalier in your language, and imprecise in your accusations.  Again ... as I scientist I would've thought you would know better.  Sloppy thinking isn't something that you can turn on or off.

    You're already indicated exactly how far you and your ilk are to be trusted. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Well, if I used imprecise language, than it is your fault that you attempted to define it as a precise number instead of asking for clarification. As far as the public being composed of mostly morons, all you have to do is look at surveys. For example, this one: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/80-consumers-believe-recessi... 80% of consumers think the recession (that officially ended in June 2009 http://www.nber.org/cycles.html) hasn't ended and will last at least another 3 years. 80%! But you expect the public to have a clue about microwaves or GMO crops?

    Gerhard Adam
    Keep digging yourself in deeper.  I have no use for someone that takes money from people they hold in contempt.
    ...80% of consumers think the recession (that officially ended in June 2009...
    I thought you said you were a scientist?  Are you also an economist?  I can see that you have a rather parochial view of economics, if you think that economics is defined solely by how businesses fare.  If you actually understood economics, you'd realize that the disconnect occurs because companies experience the effects of global business cycles, while citizens experience local economic events.  So, not only is it reasonable for people to feel that the "recession" isn't over, especially since most economists appear to be at a total loss to explain why the economy hasn't actually recovered.  Perhaps it hasn't recovered because their metrics are flawed. 

    Again ... does it really make sense to claim that an economy is recovered by fully ignoring the major "engine" that drives it [i.e. consumer spending].  Yet, this is your criteria for determining that people are morons?  I don't think so.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/us/recession-officially-over-us-incomes-kept-falling.html

    So, people should simply get on with it because economists say the recession is over, despite the actual experience of their lives.  Besides simply accepting what you're told, where's your evidence that the recession is actually over [in actual economic terms].
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard, as a information systems engineer I commend you on your impeccable objective logic. Unlike many posters and even the owner of this site have some fuzzy understanding that doctrine is logic while claiming to be scientists they act more like ministers.

    Recessions aren't about "feelings" or "personal experiences". In the United States, there is an objective definition (see the NBER website). It comes from the word recede, ie contract. The economy stopped contracting in June 2009. It has been expanding since. The economy can be good and receding and can be bad and expanding. If people are too stupid to understand the difference between position and direction, that isn't my fault. It just confirms that the vast majority of people aren't objective. Sounds like you might be one of them after all. Basically, your logic would be the same as someone who lives in Canada saying "well, it is May but it is still cold and snowy, so therefore it is still winter. To hell with those who say winter ended in March". Winter doesn't mean "cold and snowy" just like recession doesn't mean the economy is bad.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...just like recession doesn't mean the economy is bad.
    Very good, so you've now conveyed the idea that the issue of recession isn't relevant to the state of the economy.  So, your conclusion that people are morons is based on them discarding an irrelevant statement made by economists to fool people into thinking that something significant has happened.

    Apparently the link you provided indicating whether the economy is receding or not is simply an abstract exercise that conveys no useful information.  Was this intended to demonstrate how readily you can be pedantic towards the "morons"? 
    Recessions aren't about "feelings" or "personal experiences".
    This is definitely an interesting comment which definitely indicates that you don't understand economics.  If you think economics exists without "feelings" or "personal experiences", then it's little wonder you're baffled by the public's reaction to irrelevant pronouncements.
    Sounds like you might be one of them after all.
    As I said before.  Feel free to be as arrogant and insulting as you like.  I've already learned all I need to know about your thought processes and your scientific acumen.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It is clear that you like to play fast and loose with objective material. You suggest that if a person can't understand that direction IS very important (it is important for determining appropriate fiscal and monetary policy as one example), then we can just redefine important economic (and scientific as well?) terms so they are more palatable to the mindless masses? Hey, the mindless masses don't know the difference between energy and power, so let's just say that physics is meaningless and energy and power REALLY are the same thing. Give me a freaking break. Now you are just arguing to argue. Surely you don't actually believe any of that.

    Your debate style is beyond irritating. You love changing my words to make your point, ie, I say the term recession has nothing to do with feelings to which you change the word recession to "economics". No, recession has a completely different definition from economics. That is like equating physics to acceleration, because acceleration is a physics term. I reiterate: the term recession has nothing to do with feelings.

    Yes, I'm arrogant and insulting. That doesn't mean I'm wrong as much as you'd like to pretend that this is your "checkmate". I'm not running for political office and I have no desire to defend ignorance. Ignorance on a grand public scale of simple terms like the word recession is inexcusable. These are the same people who are voting for economic platforms and yet they don't have the slightest comprehension of simple economic concepts that should be fundamental to any high school economics class. And you want to defend that? I guess I could almost understand since you are somewhat of a public figure and you don't want to alienate your readers. Well, I have a newsflash for you. The people I'm talking about (ie, the vast majority of the public) don't read scientific journalism. They read "Twilight" or "50 Shades of Grey" or Sport Illustrated. They get their news from Jay Leno and their science from quack websites like this: http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/marijuana-cure...

    Let me predict your reply - you are going to cling to my one comment "they get their news from Jay Leno" and make that your talking point. I'm employing a little satire to make a point.

    Gerhard Adam
    You love changing my words to make your point,...
    When have I changed your words?  If you say something other than what you mean, then it certainly isn't my fault if I interpret it in a conventional manner, when you mean something other by it.
    I say the term recession has nothing to do with feelings to which you change the word recession to "economics".
    This is a perfect example of your own inability to express yourself.  Did you not make the following statement?
    The economy can be good and receding and can be bad and expanding.
    You are the one that related recession to economics.  I simply responded to what you specifically laid claim to.  The only way to interpret your statement is to recognize that "recession" is an irrelevant metric with regard to the "economy" because apparently it correlates to nothing in the economy.  According to you it is a value that has no causal relationship to the economy.  These are your words, not mine.
    Recessions aren't about "feelings" or "personal experiences".
    If you're eliminating these elements, then what are recessions about?  Are you claiming that recessions are just events that occur randomly or is there some specific cause?  Are you suggesting that the concept of economic expansion and contraction is not a direct result of people's "feelings" and "personal experiences" regarding the future and how to behave towards what they believe will happen?  
    These are the same people who are voting for economic platforms and yet they don't have the slightest comprehension of simple economic concepts that should be fundamental to any high school economics class.
    Oh, you mean the "simple economic concepts" that perpetrated one of the biggest bailouts in history?  or do you mean the experts that were warning about the impending collapse?  or perhaps all the experts that had their solutions ready to push the economy back on track?
    These are the same people who are voting for economic platforms and yet they don't have the slightest comprehension of simple economic concepts that should be fundamental to any high school economics class. And you want to defend that?
    LOL, that's perhaps one of the funniest things you said.  You portray an interesting view, such that people should be more knowledgeable about abstract ideas than about the actual experience on their lives.  Truth be told, most of the major problems humans have ever faced in the world have come about because of some people that invariably thought "they knew better".  While the ignorant can certainly be manipulated and used, those that "know better" are the ones that produce the greatest evils.  However, let's not get melodramatic.  You obviously think that understanding ill-defined abstract concepts is more indicative of great understanding to which the masses will be forever oblivious.

    Perhaps you mean to exempt scientists from this, so that we should all be proud of those unethical bastards that thought weaponizing anthrax was a good idea.  Maybe you mean those that think the advancement of science should be conducted through the prism of determining how we can more readily kill other humans. 

    Fortunately, I'm not so naive.  I recognize that scientists are those "same people" that you want to deride.  They are just as apt to worry more about their careers than the science they work at.  Do you truly think that because someone fancies themselves to be a "scientist" that they are anything except a member of the same ignorant masses you criticize?  Are you that myopic that you think that someone bestowing the title of "scientist" on themselves is still special when operating outside their area of expertise?

    If you really believe that, then I think I know exactly what kind of a person you are.  You understand nothing of what it means to be human, nor how human achievement has even occurred.  It is the height of arrogance and ignorance.  Welcome .... from your fellow morons.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Fortunately, I'm not so naive. I recognize that scientists are those "same people" that you want to deride. They are just as apt to worry more about their careers than the science they work at. Do you truly think that because someone fancies themselves to be a "scientist" that they are anything except a member of the same ignorant masses you criticize? Are you that myopic that you think that someone bestowing the title of "scientist" on themselves is still special when operating outside their area of expertise?

    Finally you agree with me. Some scientists care more about their careers than the science and will therefore use other people's money to essentially perpetrate fraud (whether that fraud is severe in the case of Wakefield or minor in the case of someone who suggests a statistically insignificant difference between an experimental group and a control group is actually meaningful because it fits his agenda) - and obviously those who commit severe fraud are deluding themselves since it can ultimately cost them their careers. This was my original premise if you look back. Without those funding this science (the morons in the case of special interest groups like anti-vaccine groups, or those who are influenced by morons, like the government), this would be much less common. No, we can't stop the morons, but we can recognize them and learn to ignore them. Would it make you feel better if the morons were a special interest group trying to prove the earth is only 5000 years old? Perhaps I'm stepping on your toes by using groups that have similar interests (outside their special interests) to yourself.

    Gerhard Adam
    I never disagreed.  My argument was with your imprecise sweeping language that portrayed everyone [other than those you personally designated] as being in that category and then compounding your error by blaming the public instead of the unethical, dishonest scientists.
    Would it make you feel better if the morons were a special interest group trying to prove the earth is only 5000 years old? Perhaps I'm stepping on your toes by using groups that have similar interests (outside their special interests) to yourself.
    First of all that would be 6,000 years old, but then I can refute their claims based on science and not some arbitrary belief that they are all "beneath" me.

    I find your posts becoming increasingly childish, it is quite clear that you don't know anything about me.
    Mundus vult decipi
    According to your logic you are one of "ignorant morons" you speak about. As you do not understand the difference between microwave heat energy and IR heat energy. However, you were inclined to argue about it in a foolish way derived from some "junk science" you read / heard somewhere. Time to trade in your business week for sports illustrated... Don't forget to get your copy of 50 shades and complimentary beads on the way out lol.

    The primary heating effect of microwave frequencies occurs via the dielectric heating effect... polarized molecules are affected by a rapidly alternating electric field. Different than IR, you get approx 200w of IR when the sun is heating your head. 200w of microwave absorption would be "a bad time mmmk". True, about about power output... Instead of macro effects you get micro effects. Unnecessary entropy no matter how you cut it leads to a failed state sooner than later. As for cancer, it's difficult to say the exact causes. There are too many variables and we just do not know enough about biological systems to say "for sure". Most one can theorize in a general sense is cancer is a product of entropy.

    Mechanisms for shorter wavelength radiation causing cancer are actually known, especially for UV (which tends to cause DNA methylation via radical mechanism IIRC). It is possible that microwaves could cause already present cancer to metastasize, but it would be highly unlikely for microwaves to mutate DNA any more than heating DNA would cause this. As a chemist who is well experienced in microwave chemistry, I can tell you that microwave chemistry is actually MUCH cleaner than conventional heating chemistry (due to lack of hot spots which cause a wider array of reactions to occur). As a result, a burn from microwaves would be less likely than say getting burned with a curling iron to cause cancer - and no one considers getting burned by a curling iron to put someone at a significant heightened risk of cancer. Have you noticed that microwaves don't blacken food like an oven would? That is what I'm talking about. That increased oxidation you get with a conventional oven (ie IR radiation) = greater quantity of cancer causing molecules. Microwaves heat too cleanly which is why you don't get that increased oxidation and stray chemical reactions.

    Then why does heating blood for a transfusion with microwaves kill the patient if it is so "clean"?

    While I've never heard of such a thing, it is probably because it boils the water in the blood cells and causes them to explode? Has nothing to do with cancer or chemical reactions.

    Hank
    That must be something they do in crackpot sections of Europe, I never heard of it either. 
    Sorry, I forgot we do not have cells in our head...

    Actually Europe are the ones using it successfully after further research...
    http://www.clinchem.org/content/49/5/792.full

    There is just a very thin line and little room for error. I stand corrected in a small sense on the blood warming. I'm fine with that and have no inclination to slander.

    The FCC limit for public exposure from cellular telephones is a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg). The safety threshold is 4 W/kg. With that said I still use a cell phone and keep it as brief as possible and not keep it in my pocket just like I wouldn't tan for hours on end. You can still get sun burnt on a cloudy day if outside all day, I hope you see where I'm going with this. Many people now days sleep with the cell phone under their pillows and attached to their persons 24/7, many do not understand most cell phones transmit while not even being used. When it comes to complex systems that cannot be empirically proven as a whole you must approach the situation as a scientist... understanding we are both equally incorrect as one must derive an answer from abstract information.

    John Hasenkam
    <i>_ has Roundup ever been shown to be a carcinogen?</i>

    A problem here is to focus on Roundup rather than the surfactants used. 


    These results suggest that the mixture toxicity may be a factor in glyphosate-surfactant toxicity in patients with acute glyphosate herbicide intoxication. 

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22787363 


    A mild degree of pulmonary congestion and edema was observed in both lungs. We proposed that the characteristic picture of microvesicular steatosis of the hepatocytes, seen predominantly in centrilobular zones of the liver, resembled drug-induced hepatic toxicity or secondary hypoxic stress. 
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22835958 


    The present findings highlighted the risk posed to fish populations by the assessed chemicals, jointly or individually, emphasizing the need to define regulatory thresholds for all the formulation components and recommending, in particular, the revision of the hazard classification of POEA. 


    Note: POEA is a surfactant used with Roundup. 
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22526921 


    -----
    And what does any of that have to due with cancer? Cyanide is toxic too, but no one is claiming is causes cancer.

    Great points regarding adjuvants, John. When you look at an ingredient label and see an active ingredient whose mode of action is known to be benign, but which contains 99% inactive proprietary ingredients-- you can't really claim that the commercial product is safe based on the active ingredient alone.

    After reading the below article, I came to know that some studies on GMO research are hiding facts about GMO foods. Still, several people are having doubt that are GMO foods good for health? The following article clearly explains how corporate donors are obstructing GMO research? - http://www.rosebudmag.com/truth-squad/school-principles-is-corporate-fun...

    Hank
    Well, this study was funded by an anti-GMO group.  Are their findings invalid to you because the donors paid for the research?
    Hi Hank, I agree with you, there is no doubt that donors are paying for research. But what I want to say is some corporate donors are pressuring researchers to hide facts. Don't you think so?

    Hank, what is your opinion about GMO foods? Are they good for health?

    Hank
    I don't think NGO or government scientists are any more or any less ethical than Monsanto ones.  Making science politically-based means all science is now a political opinion and invalid.  I have said many times, I care more about food than 99% of people who claim they care about food.  If I had my way, I would grow, kill, clean, process and cook everything my family eats and no one else would ever touch it but me.  But I live in the real world and in the real world, I have more confidence in the safety of every GM food than I have in anything at a Whole Foods store.  
    Can you explain to us why you have no confidence in Whole Foods?

    So far, none of the studies proved GMO foods are good for health. After seeing the latest incident I totally lost confidence. This is my personal opinion. I don't mind if anyone believes that GMO foods are healthy.

    Hank
    25% of imported organic foods have been shown to be regular foods and even with synthetic pesticides. I have no issue with synthetic pesticides either, it just shows there is little quality control in that store or any other one.  Since 'organic' is just a process, and nothing at all to do with the quality or content of the food (despite marketing hype) and there is no surprise spot checking of organic foods, it's really more belief than anything.  I have complete confidence in food I grow and kill myself and none at all in Whole Foods or farm produce unless I visited myself and can confirm the farmer did nothing I would not do.

    To-date, in California, I have found zero farms near me that are growing things the way organic buyers think they are being grown.  A natural pesticide is still a pesticide, fertilizer is still fertilizer and runoff is still bad for the environment. I can go from one organic farm to the next and get different tasting berries, so that has nothing to do with being organic, traditional or GMO.

    Ironically, a whole lot of people who claim to care about organic food and distrust large corporations love Whole Foods - and that company is run by a guy to the right of Ayn Rand.  He is absolutely in business to make a profit and he will charge as much as he can and spend as little as he can.  I have no issue with that either, just saying that people put blinders on when they want to believe in a process.
    that sounds Great!!!!!

    Wrong question. You need to ask if they are bad for health. Almost nothing could be called "good for health" without qualifying the statement. Are eggs good for health? How about frying up a dozen and eating them? What if you eat nothing but eggs?

    So the important question is whether there is anything wrong with GMO's compared to their non-GM counterparts. And many, many studies have in fact found that they are similar to their non-GM counterparts.

    Mike.

    You are engaging in vacuous rhetoric. I would be much more impressed with scientific citations to feeding trials.

    I wasn't trying to impress you or anybody. Just stating a fact that the question is not relevant or useful, and as such can be used as a red herring argument. The only answer to "are GMO's good for health" is "not really." That's a loaded question. Just pointing the fact out.

    John Hasenkam
    I have no issue with synthetic pesticides either, it just shows there is little quality control in that store or any other one.  


    I have a big issue with rotenone used in organic farming until the year 2000. Great stuff that rotenone, very useful for inducing parkinson's in the animal model. Note if you use any pesticides of any political persuasion be very careful because many pesticides are mitochondrial toxins and some are strongly associated with increased risk for Parkinsons. Do not be deceived, these compounds are often attacking processes integral to many cells, insects do not have "insect cells" that are somehow remarkably different from our cells. So be careful. 

    "Organic farming" Pray tell me what is "inorganic farming"? 
    I'm disgusted with the whole "organic" thing, but as a small farmer, I had no problem using Rotenone, even after learning of its effects, produced in a laboratory, at high doses, over an extended time period, in rats.

    Dusting it on Colorado potato beetles didn't bug me in the least. I wasn't eating the stuff day after day.

    go and fed u children with whatever you want.

    Ran across this and thought it made a very important point:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/21/proof-perfect-that-th...

    If this study holds true, there is a much larger "experiment" with this type of rat that has been going on for a long time- all rats in the us get a good dose of chow containing (inevitably) GM corn. Why haven't we been wondering "what is going on with our rats?" for the past 20 years?

    Interesting poing at least. Goes along the lines of the findings of a study not conforming to what we already know as see in the real world - usually a good reason to take a good hard look at what was found and how.

    My comment on Forbes:
    Embarassing really.

    Let me understand this: you have zero background in science Tim, right?
    Your hypothesis is
    European rats do not eat a diet of GM
    US rats do. Therefore if these effects described by Serallini suggestive of an increase in breast cancer are true, surely the American scientist would notice it.
    Great. Now provide the evidence that science demands
    1. Longevity of this type or rat in the EU vs Longevity of this type of rat in the US
    2. Rates of breast cancer in the EU, rates of breast cancer in the US

    Once you have those numbers and have statistically crunched them, you might have something. Until then, your hypothesis is just that– a hypothesis (aka rubbish)

    Permalink Flag Reply

    Look, the big question I have is this...If Monsanto and other GMO producers are so confident that their genetically engineered products are safe, why have they spent so much money attempting to prevent the public from knowing that they are in the food supply?

    Hank
    They can't prevent it.  You can buy GM corn right now, there is no waiver saying 'you are not allowed to test this corn.' Buy it, test it.  It's not expensive. 

    The bigger question is why anti-science groups (and biology has them coming from the right, creationism, and also the left, about everything else) don't actually do any research rather than spending millions of dollars in marketing campaigns to spread fear and doubt.
    Gerhard Adam
    Actually the irony is that companies like Monsanto will spend millions to fight Prop 37, but spend next to nothing to educate the public.  That tells one a great deal about the politics of this.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The latest campaign finance disclosure records released by California’s Secretary of State reveal Monsanto, has forked over another $2.89 million to kill Proposition 37, the historic bill that, if passed, will require genetically-modified (GM) foods and food ingredients to be labeled at the retail level in California. COME ON HANK...THEY ARE TRYING TO PREVENT IT! I like your optimism, but the facts are what is giving me doubt. Follow the money Hank...FACT, MONSANTO DOESN'T WANT GMO to be labeled. If you are not guilty...what do you have to hide? Say GMO is, what you say it is and it's 100% safe and proven to be safe by science. So why all the fuss about having to lable it on products? I understand some consumers would not purchase the product, but shouldn't the consumer have a right to know what is in a product they are purchasing?

    Hank
    I would believe you if Monsanto had started this special referendum to penalize competitors, but they did not.  Until 6 weeks ago the top financier on either side was Joe Mercola, whose crackpot supplement company has been penalized by the FDA for ridiculous claims too many times to count.  Unless you believe his supplements prevent cancer. 

    Monsanto is simply reacting to a bad law that even California state newspaper editorial boards are against, though those same editorial boards are all for the public knowing what is in their food, as am I.

    Unfortunately, this law is not designed to tell people what is in foods.  It is designed to create lawsuits for GM foods and nothing else. Actual truth in food that did not exempt organic food would be welcome, though 50 standards in 50 states is going to be confusing for farmers who sell in other states. So if the public wants it, the USDA/FDA will do it.  


    The only argument I seem to be getting from you and Mi Cro is that I am basically "old fashioned" "conservative" "ignorant" and "untrusting/pesimist" Which may or may not be a correct way to describe aspects of my character. These words are just a bunch of labels that really don't mean anything. They appeal to emotions, aren't scientists suppose to appeal to logic? I'm just surprised...this coming from people who are "scientists" and pride themselves on logic, (or so I was lead to believe) cannot appeal to my logic and reasoning, but would rather throw some labels at me and tell me to fall in line and conform with "science." So GMO is safe..fine and dandy, label it on the product as you would any other ingredient and I'm fine, because I believe in choices, not others making my choices for me. Especially dealing with something I intend to put in my body. So I think GMO is unsafe, when science proves it is...so what, that should be my choice.

    So I think GMO is unsafe, when science proves it is 100% safe...so what, that should be my choice. Right?

    Hank
    I agree, pick labels that say 'no GMOs'. No need to have a bunch of lawsuits and make lawyers rich over nothing.
    MikeCrow
    As long as you're belief doesn't make the cost of my food go up.
    I don't care if there's a "may contain GMO" printed on the label. But it's a meaningless label, but it is cheap. But to make a label that has some scientific value, it will disrupt the entire food supply chain, as  grain will have to be lot traceable from the field to the end product. Medical products have similar requirements, and their prices reflects this added level of traceability.

    BTW, science cannot prove anything 100% safe.
    Never is a long time.
    Well if you want to go around proving things 100% safe, let's start with regular old corn - it's applicable since we're talking about modified corn. Go ahead and prove it 100% safe if you can. Or find evidence that any food or drink is 100% safe. That simply is an impossible hurdle.

    Equivalency is the realistic and accepted hurdle for a good reason.

    John Hasenkam
    Why is Monsanto trying to stop this bill? Because so much of what we now eat is GMO. I think they are making a marketing mistake because if people realised how much GMO they consume they might realise that any risks of GMOs can't be that bad. If you want to get rid of GMOs then it will be the developing nations that will suffer the most. We'll have to stop exporting food to look after our own. That is one thing which annoys me about this GMO debate. It is again about selfishness - protect me from a new technology but too bad if others starve because of my beliefs. You can shove that where the sun don't shine. 




    Hank
    It will be a billion dollars in lawsuits over something that has never harmed anyone.

    It's a terrible, partisan law designed to be a subsidy for lawyers, not protect or educate the public.  Otherwise, I have no problem with truth in labeling because the labeling itself is not a ridiculous cost - except for small farmers in farmer's markets who now have to be penalized.
    Hank, I appreciate your opinion, but I see it as fear mongering. My opinion is that f Monsanto et al produce a product shown to cause harm, they deserve every lawsuit they get. Anything other than that would set a precedent for absence of an implied guarantee with sales of a product.

    The time for education is past-- Monsanto et al should have engaged in education campaign ( to be contrasted with a marketing misinformation campaign) VOLUNTARILY in the 90s!

    BUT, GMO's have never been shown to cause harm.

    There have been studies that try to suggest that. They are the minority report, and do not get traction or "prove" anything. So why should anybody have a lawsuit? As hank said, they have never hurt anyody .

    Gerhard Adam
    They are all minority reports.  Here's an example.  I went looking for peer-reviewed papers on GM food safety.  This site was referenced.
    http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech-info/articles/biotech-art/peer-reviewed-pubs.html
    This was linked by another site promoting GM food safety:
    http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/

    OK ... no problem.  See here's where it gets interesting.  Despite almost 20 years of GM food being in circulation, let's see how many feeding studies we actually have.  Well according to Agbioworld we have:  42 [at least according to the PubMed data base].  You can go to the site to find out the criteria used to locate them.  Of these, two studies indicate possible problems, so that really represents 40 studies.  Over 20 years, that's 2 studies per year.  Not a particularly striking number. 

    However, let's also consider that we actually have seven (7) GM plants being examined. 
    "...maize, soybean, canola, cotton, potatoes, tomatoes and peas."
    So taking all 42 studies and dividing them evenly among the plants in question, that leaves 6 studies, per food type over a 20 year period. 

    As I've said before, to argue that they've "never hurt anyone" is to claim that they are safer than conventional foods.  That's clearly bogus.  We are already seeing evidence that changes to wheat due to plant hybridization [increasing gluten levels] may well be harming people, so to argue that conventional foods can do no harm is simply disingenuous.

    The truth is that we simply don't know what many foods actually do to us, and we've typically adopted a "wait and see" kind of attitude to using them.  This entire issue of GM foods is suddenly raising this issue to the surface and making people recognize just how much is going on behind the scenes that they are completely unaware of.  Similarly, some of the arguments about how we've been doing this for years, so it can't possibly be harmful are simply ridiculous.

    People have smoked tobacco for centuries and doctors were even recommending brands of cigarettes in the 1950's, but you would never hear someone use that as an argument to justify smoking cigarettes today.  So to argue that humans have consumed a particular plant in the past is just as silly as claiming that cigarettes can't be harmful because they grew tobacco in Jamestown in the early colonies.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Pretty sure that agbioworld report is from somewhere in the vicinity of 2004. Not a single reference to a study in it that was published int 2005-present.

    So 42 stuides in like 2 years years = 21 studies/year.

    Not your fault. They shoudl have dated the article.

    Gerhard Adam
    No problem. 

    As I've said before, I have no problem with the 90-day feeding studies that have indicated that there is no toxicity risk, nor in establishing substantial equivalence.

    What I'm not fond of, is the notion that we have had, literally, years to study longer term effects and either haven't, or haven't done it very comprehensively.  We few studies that relate to cows, pigs, etc.  As near as I can tell, we have absolutely none regarding cats/dogs despite including these products in their foods.

    It isn't as if there aren't ample opportunities to do such studies, it just seems that we ignore them.  Similarly there are ample opportunities to do more in-depth research regarding human subjects [since if they are eating it already there are no ethical arguments involved], yet we haven't done anything that would be considered even a rudimentary or preliminary study.  Why?  Even without any apparent risk, doesn't it seem like a worthwhile endeavor? 

    As I've said before, all in all it appears that the food industry has set itself up to be the bad guy in this because they uniformly failed to take into account that the public might not agree with their direction.  Right or wrong, the public does have a right to determine the products it consumes and if they make bad choices, then shame on those people that should have done a better job of education. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'd buy that if there was evidence that developing nations benefit from GMOs....

    Can you find any factual evidence to support this marketing claim-- because all I see the policy if GMOs promotion accomplishing is depriving poor people of food sovereignty.

    “While political sovereignty remains an illusion, food sovereignty for the Iraqi people has already been made near impossible by these new regulations. Iraq's freedom and sovereignty will remain questionable for as long as Iraqis do not have control over what they sow, grow, reap and eat.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/24

    Now I see your activist colors.

    I bet you don't believe GMO has improved yield, reduced soil erosion,

    GMO depriving poor people of somethign??? Look at the information on S. Africa. Look at the truth in India (ignore teh myth of suicides and look at the actual cotton output). Look into the work the Gates foundation is doing w/ drought tolerant crops.

    This line that GMO's hurt poor people because they can't save seed ignores the fact that it is feeding them. At least some are alive to buy a new batch and plant it.

    Stop listening to activists.

    Seriously: stop acting like a Monsanto Shill.

    Provide links to actual studies-----> they are much more satisfying than your marketing rhetoric.

    Hank
    It has been conclusively shown that when anyone gets called Hitler or a shill for Monsanto, or mentions Gerhard's hat, it is time for comments to be closed.
    I am perfectly ok with that because the time I spend on the intertubes is the time I don't spend with my patients, and there is a cost to that.......so long as you acknowledge, Hank, that at Science 2.0--it is ok to drag a scientist through the mud, but it isn't ok to call a corporate shill out on their corporate shillness= > Double Standard<

    Hank
    The evidence that a scientist made a crappy study (again and again) is right there but you have no evidence anyone is a corporate shill.  So one is calling out bad science and one is ad hominem because you have no real case to make otherwise.
    I noticed how you ignored the comments which directly countered your criticisms of the study. I'll repeat one of them, just for fun. Bad form, man.

    "From OECD:

    At least 20 animals (10 female and 10 male) should be used for each test group. Three concentrations, at least, should be used. The test compound is administered by gavage or via the diet or drinking water.
    http://www.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/display.asp?lang=EN&sf1=identifiers&st1=5lmqcr2k7p9x"

    Hank
    Again, they did not do that. They used 90 animals in the tests and 10 in the control. It's goofy, especially in animals with a normal 70% cancer rate after 2 years.  The control group could have been 10 out of 10 or 0 out of 10 dying early and been a fluke - and they may have been because the authors selectively showed some results so there is no way to know. They won't show their data to anyone, even the EFSA responsible for food safety in the EU.
    Gerhard Adam
    No they didn't.  They used 200 animals, 100 of each sex divided up into 10 groups.  This gave 10 male, 10 female animals in the control group.
    After 20 days of acclimatization, 100 male and 100 female animals were randomly assigned on a weight basis into 10 equivalent groups.
    Your point about whether this is statistically significant is obviously valid, and if the existing study is deemed correct, then it would trigger a much more exhaustive complete study to improve the statistical aspects of it.  They followed exactly the same requirements that the safety studies did, and if the safety studies had found any anomalies, they would have had exactly the same control issues that this study had.  The purpose of this protocol is not to produce definitive results but to assess whether there are any events that would warrant further investigation.

    The fact that they won't show their data [or wish to restrict who sees it] is certainly a huge red flag and casts strong doubts on the veracity of the researchers in doing science versus advancing an agenda.

    As for your point about the animals having a normal incidence of cancer of 70% ... so what?  If that is what the data shows statistically for all the groups, then that indicates that the study did not live up to its claim.  At that point it is easy to criticize that the researchers over-stated their results.  I still don't see the problem you're claiming exists.  This is what science is supposed to do.

    I agree that the media hype is way out of line and that this presents a difference set of problems, but that's about the journalists and how the data is being presented to the public.  The whole point of scientific studies is aimed specifically to address this kind of situation so that when unsubstantiated claims are published, they can be scientifically refuted by others that have examined and critiqued the study.  It is not helped by more off-the-cuff remarks by people/scientists that have not examined the study.

    This isn't the first time that science has run into this type of situation.  We can all recall the recent arsenic-based life forms debacle, just as most will remember the cold fusion paper.  In all these cases, science resolved the issues.  In other words, the study should be refuted, not the individual that conducted it. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    They used 10 in a control group for every 90 animals using 3 different feeds and then two genders. It is silly to claim that has the same validity, especially given the weird results when chance alone should have resulted in more early deaths in the control groups - and would have, if they had done something statistically sensible, like used 90 controls for 90 tests. This was a 2-year study by experienced people, it isn't like they made an innocent mistake in setting it up with so few controls.
    This isn't the first time that science has run into this type of situation. We can all recall the recent arsenic-based life forms debacle, just as most will remember the cold fusion paper. In all these cases, science resolved the issues. In other words, the study should be refuted, not the individual that conducted it. 
    Felise in the arsenic study was a young researcher, not a habitual crank like Seralini. The arsenic study was tripped up because the data analysis showed the controls were not appropriate.  So it is an apt analogy because the controls were even less rigorous here.  The difference is that these researchers don't have the integrity to let anyone else see their data.
    Gerhard Adam
    They used 10 in a control group for every 90 animals using 3 different feeds and then two genders.
    Which is exactly what the OECD protocol recommends.  I get that you don't think it has statistical validity, and I certainly wouldn't draw the sweeping conclusions from it that have been presented.  However, that doesn't negate the fact that they followed the recommended protocols and if those aren't adequate then they should not be part of the recommended approach to conducting studies.

    I'm not arguing that the results are valid, nor that they should be raising any alarms.  I agree that there's no statistical significance to the findings, but it seems like you're arguing about things that aren't particularly relevant at this stage of the studies.  The protocol was in line with the recommended one.  The 70% mortality of rats is also something that is well known and doesn't change.  If the study is true regarding a higher incidence of tumors or more rapid development, then it may well have merit for further investigation.  This would have nothing to do with mortality, but rather the onset and development of such tumors, while still recognizing the propensity of this species to that condition.

    Again ... it doesn't matter whether Seralini is a crank or not.  Even a broken watch is right twice a day, so if there are no serious methodology problems with the study, then it should be critiqued based on its results and not the individual that conducted it.  After all, Seralini didn't do this study be himself in his basement.  There are others here that are also being painted with the same brush, so if this truly is merely the result of a crank(s), then it tells us far more about the sorry state of science, than about its credibility. 

    Every criticism you're leveling, whether it be because of Seralini, or because this peer-reviewed journal also published homeopathic articles, is an indictment of science.  After all, who gets to decide who's a crank?  Who gets to say that this peer-reviewed study is valid, but that peer-reviewed study is trash?

    As a result, regardless of what I personally believe, I expect sound scientific criticism regarding the published paper.  If Seralini won't share the data, then certainly the study can be discounted on that basis.  If the statistical analysis is flawed, then it should be simple enough to discredit the claims by presenting such an analysis and why the study's is flawed. 

    After all, at the end of the day, every time you make the comment that something is obvious, or that it is trash, you're simply saying that peer-review is worthless and not to be trusted.  Clearly, these things were NOT obvious to someone in the review process.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Which is exactly what the OECD protocol recommends. I get that you don't think it has statistical validity, and I certainly wouldn't draw the sweeping conclusions from it that have been presented. 
    You seem to think a protocol is a magic formula and for any suspect idea about feed, 10 rats is a proper control and any crazy methodology can be legitimate if it used that number.  They did 6 different experiments with the minimum controls to do 1.  It's not subjective 'you don't think it has statistical validity' relativism, it's friggin' moronic.  This was a paper for anti-GM activists, not anyone who has any inkling how a real experiment is conducted. 

    I can't think why anyone would do this and expect it not to be criticized, but I also can't figure out how anyone says GM food is what caused the cancer, since the female rats on GM/herbicide had the exact same amount of cancer those rats had after 2 years anyway.  Like I say in the article, the fact that male GM fed rats had lower mortality rates than they should have had could be claimed to be that GM food prevents cancer.  But I am not a kook like Seralini, so I don't. Fine, Seralini and a band of his hand-picked cranks, since you say he does not share the blame alone.

    It's not an indictment of science to criticize junk. There are 25,000 journals out there and lots of them publish nonsense.  It is a problem for science if people don't criticize crap.

    Gerhard Adam
    You seem to think a protocol is a magic formula...
    Actually I don't.  However, when study after study regarding the safety of GM foods, cites OECD #408 as the criteria used, then it is unreasonable to suddenly say that this protocol is meaningless and shouldn't have been used.

    My point is a simple one.  If this particular protocol is used to claim safety, then it follows that any of these studies that had found anything anomalous would have been criticized by default according to your criteria.  In other words, you're saying that it is valid only as long as the results are positive, but suspect when the results are negative.

    We can certainly argue whether it is valid for any of the stated objectives, but the fact that it is the recommended protocol argues that they adhered to standards that had been independently established for conducting such studies.  You know as well as I do, if the study had found that GM foods were safe, there would have been no mention of the OECD standard.

    My reading of it simply suggests that it is the recommended protocol to establish whether or not there are any toxicological indications within the 90-day feeding period.  If something were to show up, then I have no problem with the idea that a different set of protocols would be necessary to establish a better statistical basis.  Similarly, one could certainly argue that the protocol is intended for a 90-day feeding study and wasn't set to account for a full lifetime study. 

    As I said before, my problem stems from the fact that many of the safety studies didn't even mention the number of animals used, or failed to use any controls regarding the feeding of isogenic lines.  Yet, we hear no criticism of any of these studies, which [at the very least] warranted follow-up studies.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The evidence which would prove this study crappy is another long- term study on a larger groups of rats examining incidence of mammary tumors in rats fed GMOs alone, Round Up alone, combination of the two, and non-GMO isogenic rat chow control grou of sufficient power to produce reliable statistics
    ---measuring the same biochemical variables including estradiol (given that mammary tumros are ovariectomy responsive)

    Do you have such a study?

    In the absence of such a long term study---- refuting the Seralini study scientifically
    .....you are participating in a smear campaign of a scientist and aiding the usual apparatchiks.

    Hank
    There is no way to refute the data when the researcher says for anyone else to see it would be a 'conflict of interest' - and he doesn't want any problems when he has a book coming out next week. So we instead refute the methods he did show; an unacceptable control group, a line of animals with a propensity for cancer that matched the regular cancer rates of those rats, results out of whack with 15 years of real-world usage and statistical crackpottery that leads to the sweeping conclusion he wanted to make before he started writing.

    It's perfect for you and other anti-science people, of course.  The people who think HIV has nothing to do with AIDS, the LHC is creating a black hole and that vaccines cause autism also have their scientific figureheads.
    >There is no way to refute the data when the researcher says for anyone else to see it would be a 'conflict of interest' - and he doesn't want any problems when he has a book coming out next week.<
    Evidence?
    >So we instead refute the methods he did show; an unacceptable control group, < Is this control group acceptable?

    Prima facie evidence that a phytocystatin for transgenic plant resistance to nematodes is not a toxic risk in the human diet. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14747684

    It is a study on 15 rats fed purified extract rather then the genetically modified rice… and the only biochemical/ hematological patient data actually published is

    TABLE 1
    Summary of results from the toxicological study of male Sprague-Dawley rats administered the cystatin OcIΔD861

    OcIΔD86 [mg/(kg · d)]
    0 0.1 1 10
    Food intake, g
        d 3–7 25.04 ± 0.94 25.80 ± 0.90 26.82 ± 1.48a 25.36 ± 1.42
        d 7–10 26.06 ± 0.40 25.68 ± 1.32 27.74 ± 1.43a 25.82 ± 0.98
    Organ weight
        Cecum (empty), g 0.305 ± 0.033 0.334 ± 0.057 0.32 ± 0.013 0.35 ± 0.041a
        Liver, g 3.12 ± 0.16 3.00 ± 0.072a 3.02 ± 0.090a 3.04 ± 0.12
    Serum analysis
        Potassium, mmol/L 4.51 ± 0.27 4.78 ± 0.318 4.66 ± 0.251 4.95 ± 0.82a
        Urea, mmol/L 6.58 ± 0.82 5.61 ± 0.67b 6.09 ± 0.616 6.24 ± 0.887
        Creatinine, μmol/L 39.0 ± 2.83 39.7 ± 3.02 41.0 ± 1.66 41.5 ± 3.21a
        γ-Glutamyl transferase, U/L 0.07 ± 0.067 0.42 ± 0.67a 0.13 ± 0.11 0.18 ± 0.13

    >a line of animals with a propensity for cancer that matched the regular cancer rates of those rats,<
    Evidence? Got a citation?
    Albino rats who are 6- 7 yrs old are seeing veterinarians every single day-- they aren't eating RR Monsanto corn, though.I am surprised given you vast scientific background in laboratory medicine that you didn't know that.... what was it you said about anti-science people , again?

    Hank
    >There is no way to refute the data when the researcher says for anyone else to see it would be a 'conflict of interest' - and he doesn't want any problems when he has a book coming out next week.<

    Evidence?
    My 7-year-old knows how to use Google.  Why don't you?
    In the day of Google, surely your 7 yr old can teach you how to post a link, No?

    Hank
    Go here.
    >There is no way to refute the data when the researcher says for anyone else to see it would be a 'conflict of interest'< -
    >and he doesn't want any problems when he has a book coming out next week.<

    I see the link to the book below. My French is terribly rusty--do I need to buy the book to see a link to a statement that the scientists are refusing to allow anyone to see the data for the study we are discussing in this thread ?

    Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize
    Gilles-Eric Séralini
    a,⇑Emilie Clair
    a Robin Mesnage
    a Steeve Gress
    aNicolas Defarge
    aManuela Malatesta
    b Didier Hennequin
    c oël Spiroux de Vendômois
    University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Risk Pole, MRSH-CNRS, EA 2608, Esplanade de la Paix, Caen Cedex 14032, France
    bUniversity of Verona, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, Verona 37134, Italy
    c University of Caen, UR ABTE, EA 4651, Bd Maréchal Juin, Caen Cedex 14032, France

    As far as the book--- I seem to recall a book you are selling all over this site. So what!!

    The controversy over the findings is likely to be settled only after detailed analysis of the paper and its data, and replication of the experiments. But Séralini says he won’t release his data until the raw data underpinning the authorization of NK603 in Europe are also made public. And he wants all the data to be assessed by an independent international committee, arguing that experts involved in the authorization of the maize should not be involved. EFSA chief Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle dis­agreed, and said that her agency is well placed to assemble a multi­disciplinary group to give an impartial assessment.

    Some scientists, however, have long questioned whether such feeding studies are appropriate for testing the safety of whole foods, says Peter Kearns, head of food safety, nanosafety and chemical accidents for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. They were designed for testing chemicals where precise doses of purified and well-characterized compounds can be administered, whereas compounds in foods are heterogeneous, and doses are difficult to control. Regulators rely mainly on more robust tests that compare the toxicological and nutritional profiles of GM foods with their non-GM counterparts to screen for potential concerns.

    Gerhard Adam
    "The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! - Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide
    ...and this is why such statements are irresponsible.

    Dramatic Growth in Cancer Rates Among US Elderly, Minorities Predicted.
    http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/27/17/2758.abstract
    Cancers with increasing incidence trends in the United States: 1999 through 2008

    Now, before people jump all over me for this, I want to be clear that I am NOT claiming that this study, nor any other study has linked GM foods to cancer, nor that GM foods are responsible for this.  I am also not attempting to validate the study, nor claim that it has provided any kind of prediction regarding GM foods.  I am merely using this an example of how casual off-the-cuff remarks [instead of valid scientific criticism] lay the groundwork for all manner of contradictory information be put forth.

    Making a statement like "North Americans dropping like flies" is simply a stupid comment, especially when considered against the backdrop that many of these disease are increasing.  In fact, it is this kind of cavalier attitude the puts the necessary "ammunition" into the hands of advocates that can then spin it to support their own agendas.

    ... as to the reference regarding "epidemiological studies" I can only wonder what he has in mind.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Now, before people jump all over me for this, I want to be clear that I am NOT claiming that this study, nor any other study has linked GM foods to cancer, nor that GM foods are responsible for this. "

    Then why did you bring it up?

    This word for such conduct is "disingenuous."

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    "Now, before people jump all over me for this, I want to be clear that I am NOT claiming that this study, nor any other study has linked GM foods to cancer, nor that GM foods are responsible for this. "
    Then why did you bring it up?
    This word for such conduct is "disingenuous." 
    You are the one being disengenuous here Mike, not Gerhard, you won't even comment with your full name, so who are you? Gerhard's links are perfectly valid in response to Professor Mark Tester's comments which were quoted in this blog about this long term study in rats which is showing significantly increased cancer rates and early mortality in rats fed GM maize. Dr Tester said :-
    "The first thing that leaps to my mind is why has nothing emerged from epidemiological studies in the countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long? If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies?! - Prof Mark Tester, Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide 
    Well the links that Gerhard has provided do show increased cancer rates from epidemiological studies in these countries where so much GM has been in the food chain for so long, no one is saying that GM's have caused this increase but surely these studies do nullify Dr Tester's statement and criticism? The second of Gerhard's links says :-
    Methods Current demographic-specific cancer incidence rates were calculated using the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database. Population projections from the Census Bureau were used to project future cancer incidence through 2030.
    Results From 2010 to 2030, the total projected cancer incidence will increase by approximately 45%, from 1.6 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2030. This increase is driven by cancer diagnosed in older adults and minorities. A 67% increase in cancer incidence is anticipated for older adults, compared with an 11% increase for younger adults. A 99% increase is anticipated for minorities, compared with a 31% increase for whites. From 2010 to 2030, the percentage of all cancers diagnosed in older adults will increase from 61% to 70%, and the percentage of all cancers diagnosed in minorities will increase from 21% to 28%.
    Conclusion Demographic changes in the United States will result in a marked increase in the number of cancer diagnoses over the next 20 years. Continued efforts are needed to improve cancer care for older adults and minorities.
    The most worrying scientific observations for me in all of these links that Gerhard has provided, was the one in this link's abstract that says :-
    The reasons for these increasing trends are not entirely known. Part of the increase (for esophageal adenocarcinoma and cancers of the pancreas, liver, and kidney) may be linked to the increasing prevalence of obesity as well as increases in early detection practices for some cancers. These rising trends will exacerbate the growing cancer burden associated with population expansion and aging. Additional research is needed to determine the underlying reasons for these increasing trends.  
    Yes, additional research is definitely needed to determine the underlying reasons for these increasing trends in cancer in the American population. Who will do this research I wonder and what form will it take?




    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    A link to Seralini's book, not surprisingly coming out next week. Which means it will have a whole book and a documentary before anyone even sees the data.  If that smacks of Darwinius, well, yeah, but it turns out Carl Zimmer made that connection before I did.  Science by press release, as I said.

    He scolds the mainstream media for caving into their 'you can't show this paper to biologists' contract, which I mentioned in GMOs Are A Pesticide Sponge And Other Weird Tales Of Gilles-Eric Seralini. He is more outraged than I am, since he is a science journalist. But that is why he is good and most mainstream science journalists are hacks.
    Hank

    You are clueless about science. Actual science goes Waaaay over your head. You might not be clinging to guns or religion, but I can't get you to knock off the gossip. Hank, you just don't get it-- I have a degree in biochemistry and a doctorate in medicine-- you 've got a PhD in Spin.

    I've heard it said " don't argue with an idiot. they drag you to their level and then beat you with experience"

    I am not going to waste time on the other thread... a bunch of unqualified people (Marion Nestle is confused? really.... I would have never guessed; Kevin thinks it is normal variation for rats---and his qualifications and experience in laboratory medicine is what?--zer; . Henry Miller --unethical SCUM who should have his medical license revoked... + GMO shill etc etc etc)

    So anywho--I have wasted too much time here already.

    Rename the site, Hank! This one isn't science. I'd call it Spin and Gossip according to Hank.

    I think I'll write a blog on my own site " Nutrition...Russian Roulette?" why GMO pushers are actually communists.... they certainly make me feel like I am back in the good old USSR.

    Dosvidanya comrade

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    So anywho--I have wasted too much time here already. 
    No, you definitely haven't wasted your time here curiousvet because you have made some really interesting and valid comments, arguments and links, for thousands of undecided people like me to read. 

    I have to disagree only with your last comment though, because Hank is definitely not an idiot but for some reason he is 100% confident in GMOs being safe to people and animals in the long term, without him being able to provide us with any specific links to any specific long-term GMO scientific studies of the effects of Bt GMOs upon animal's organs or any other specific scientific evidence to support his claims. 

    Many people seem to have this belief that all GMOs are harmless without specific evidence to back it up because of their faith in the judgement of reputable GMO scientists and science writers, people like Kevin Folta, Steve Savage and Michael Eisen, who are all confident that GMOs are safe, even though they also cannot provide links to any specific long term Bt GMO studies showing no adverse effects on animal's organs to support their claims either. They also all dismiss any evidence to the contrary and discredit any scientists that provide any evidence to the contrary. Strange, but I think that's also how many religions have worked for centuries, based on blind faith.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    "Hank is definitely not an idiot but for some reason he is 100% confident in GMOs being safe to people and animals in the long term...."

    And now here you are, trotting out your straw men. You really shouldn't put beliefs into people's mouth because it doesn't make you look very sophisticated. It make you look like you are unaware of elementary mistakes in argumentation. Or, worse yet, you make others here think that you think they are indeed idiots. This is also the effect your friend curiousvet's stomping off in a hissy fit.

    There is not a toxicologist worth his or her stamp who would argue on "100%" safety about any substance in this universe. Hank knows it. I have a feeling you and cv and what's his name know it, too .Because freshmen in college learn it.

    I really don't know what happens in some people's brains that suddenly makes them go blind and stuporous when genetic engineering is involved. Maybe they've eaten too much organic food? It's worth a study....

    Hank
    There's actually just as much evidence that organic food makes people stupid. All that is required, if we mimic the method in this study, is to show two curves going the same direction and cherrypick some data.   Unfortunately, science would make fun of it the same way and there are no anti-organic kooks to embrace it anyway, the way there are anti-GM ones - because all of the gullible people are already overspending on organic soap for their dogs.
    Gerhard Adam
    There is not a toxicologist worth his or her stamp who would argue on "100%" safety about any substance in this universe.
    Good, so we can look forward to not seeing many more comments about how GM foods haven't caused so much as a stomach ache?  Making such claims [which have been quite common] are obviously unscientific and yet they are perpetually being brought out as a counter-example of the hysteria of anti-GM folks.

    If we're going to be honest about it, then let's state things as they actually are. 

    (1) We have no history, protocol, or real knowledge about how to determine if foods [from any source] are "safe".  Therefore, we can only assume that if we've consumed it in the past, then the standard of "substantial equivalence" means that anything new introduced is fundamentally no worse than what we already have.

    We are only now beginning to consider whether even some of our efforts through plant hybridization have consequences to humans. 

    (2) We have no long-term studies on any of this, so to proclaim any degree of safety is unscientific other than the equivalence mentioned in item #1.

    (3) The 90-day studies are intended to test for toxic effects, which doesn't satisfy any requirements regarding long-term use, exposure, etc.  So, whatever degree of equivalence we find, we still don't actually know if there is a possibility of any longer-term effects, since they have literally not been studied.

    (4) Whatever we do know from animal studies isn't directly translatable to human beings.  It is a good preliminary view, but there is a reason why animal studies are never considered conclusive.

    So, if we can agree that this is closer to the true state of affairs, then we're in a position to discuss the relative merits of GM foods.  This has NOTHING to do with labeling, or the proposal in California which is an entirely different public policy matter.

    NOTE:  As a matter of consideration regarding our relative state of ignorance.  No one can answer the question on whether or not the presence of such materials [i.e. bt toxin] has any effect [positive or negative] on our human microbiota.  If there is any genetic material that persists in our digestive system, is it possible that our gut bacteria can pick it up?  If so, to what end?  I'm not suggesting that this is a danger, but rather using it to illustrate precisely how little we know about the full range of interactions to which we are exposing ourselves.

    In truth, we should be just as concerned about any modifications [from any source] to our food supply.  The first question should be why it is necessary.  I'm not interested in economic arguments regarding producers, etc.  That's for the market to determine.  If they produce a cheaper product then they'll benefit all on their own merits.  I do have a problem with the markets being artificially skewed by depending on consumer ignorance to maintain their market share.  Equally, it is understood that organic foods should be granted no exemption since we already know that there are plenty of reasons for risk to be associated with either the means of production, or through other methods of modifying crops.

    There is also no question that the GM food producers and advocates have seriously fumbled the PR aspect of this.  For a technology touted as being so beneficial, the producers are sure reticent about letting anyone know about it.  The fear aspect of it, is of their own doing, because they felt that as long as they satisfied the government requirements they would never have to explain to the public what was taking place.  Things got out of their control and suddenly they're trying to do damage control.  Well, if they spent as much money in educating the public as they are in fighting these labeling laws it would be a moot point.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Thor Russell
    Maybe you can't be so sure about "substantial equivalence" for some of the newer techniques if changes are now being introduced faster. Whatever technology you use (GM, hybrid, advanced conventional etc) it would seem that if the speed of new changes increases (also with more novel properties introduced) then there is more chance of unintended effects. If you were to take someone from 100,000 years ago they may find most of our food today toxic because they have not co-evolved to cope with it. Increasing the rate of change of plant properties would put greater pressure on humans to adapt.

    A speculative example: 
    Bt toxin produced inside the cell in corn may not always be equivalent to that produced by bacteria. Sure 99% of the time the chemical may be identical, but if for example if 1% of the time because of some interaction with other parts of the plant cell (not present in bacteria) some other chemical is produced instead, it wouldn't be noticed. This is not guaranteed to be safe and it sure argues that long term toxicity studies would be a good idea. You would also need to test all BT plants because such a process may exist in potatoes but not corn for example. 
    Thor Russell
    Hank
    Good, so we can look forward to not seeing many more comments about how GM foods haven't caused so much as a stomach ache? Making such claims [which have been quite common] are obviously unscientific and yet they are perpetually being brought out as a counter-example of the hysteria of anti-GM folks.
    This is the same daily rant. You should write an article, or do a study, showing what GM foods have made people sick and then debunk the numerous instances where organic foods have only "reportedly" made people sick.  Instead you walk around saying 'not true' yet you don't actually do anything except invoke 'you can't prove GM food has never made anyone sick'.  If someone else used that logic, you would flip out on them. 

    Until GM foods have made people sick, they have not made people sick. Organic foods have sickened tens of thousands and GM foods have sickened zero.

    Prove it wrong.  Not sophistry, proof.
    Gerhard Adam
    You seem to be conflating two different points.  The first is that GM foods cannot be any safer than conventional foods, therefore to make a claim that no one has ever gotten sick is wrong, by definition.  Since conventional foods can disagree with people, then so can GM foods.  There's no sophistry involved, it's simply the entire assumption surrounding "substantial equivalence".  In other words, if you can't make the statement that conventional foods have never made people sick, then you can't make such a statement about GM foods.  More importantly, you're even stretching the issue with organics, since it isn't the food but the post-production handling that would have caused the problem.  As I've stated before, if GM foods became contaminated because of handling, you certainly wouldn't agree that they suddenly acquired the trait of being harmful simply because they weren't handled properly. 

    The second, is that regardless of the state of organic foods and whatever might be wrong with them and how they are presented, it doesn't not make GM foods safe by default.  Organic foods is a separate issue [except with regard to the labeling laws in California], but in terms of general discussion, organic foods have nothing to do with whether GM foods are good, bad, or indifferent.

    Providing that organic foods are good or bad says nothing about the state of GM foods.  Similarly demonstrating that GM foods are good or bad says nothing about organics, so I don't know why the comparison is perpetually being made [again, except with regards to the exemption under the proposed California law].
    Mundus vult decipi
    You are inventing a criteria to meet. Long term human testing is not, has never been, and will never be the way we determine safety criteria for food, pesticides etc.

    As long as you invent the goal line, you can do it in such a way that nothing can ever accomplish it.

    The big problem is that all evidence showing harm from GMO has been found wanting. It has not been followed up on. It has not been hypothesized on for mechanism and presented test to the hypothesis. All of the studies that could be called "anti GMO" would not add up to additional regulation, much less a ban, if you added them all up. They are mostly preliminary testing that can only recommend further testing which they don't do. That is why scientists dismiss them and the researchers that are behind them. This is not blind faith.

    Stop getting information from activists. That is where the "long term human testing" argument comes from, and it is quite disingenuous.

    Gerhard Adam
    Long term human testing is not, has never been, and will never be the way we determine safety criteria for food, pesticides etc.
    Fine, then there should be no problem saying that when people raise the question.  As I've said, whenever the topic comes up, people talk about how things  have been "proven" to be safe, or how many studies have been done, etc.  If there is no long-term criteria, then that should be simply stated.  Nothing further to discuss, and then people can draw their own conclusions about whether they agree or not.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    As long as you invent the goal line, you can do it in such a way that nothing can ever accomplish it.
    It is interesting that you state that long-term studies are never going to be the basis for establishing safety, yet it seems that we have no difficulty in doing long-term studies when something goes wrong.  It's simply done after the fact.  This is precisely how one establishes correlations to conditions that are not immediate.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Since this was a CHRONIC an CARCINOGENIC study, and not an ACUTE/SUBCHRONIC study, OECD 408 is irrelavant. We need 452 for a combo chronic/carcinogen. Which states:

    "A sufficient number of animals should be used so that a thorough biological and statistical evaluation is possible. Each dose group and concurrent control group intended for the carcinogenicity phase of the study should therefore contain at least 50 animals of each sex"

    Seems pertinent.

    Gerhard Adam
    Seems pertinent.
    Yes, it is, and it was addressed in the study.  Whether that was adequate or not, is a different matter.
    Because of recent reviews on GMOs (Domingo and Giné Bordonaba, 2011; Snell et al., 2011) we had no reason to settle at first for a carcinogenesis protocol using 50 rats per group. However we have prolonged the biochemical and hematological measurements or disease status recommended in combined chronic studies using 10 rats per group (up to 12 months in OECD 453).
    Again, I have no quarrel with people saying that something was inappropriate or that it failed at some level, but these criticisms seem petty because they ignore the fact that these points were addressed in the study.

    So, they're basically indicating that they had no reason to believe they would need protocol 453, since they weren't intending to do a carcinogenesis study.  Certainly, this would indicate that whatever results they did obtain would be statistically invalid and a OECD 453 study should be done as a follow-up.  Again ... I don't see a problem beyond the hype associated with a finding that is hardly conclusive.

    BTW ... I know you meant 453 and not 452.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Thank you Helen.

    How are GMO pushers communists?

    1. CENSORSHIP

    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2012

    Lost Rebuttal from Dr. Ena

    Here is a rebuttal to a rebuttal, which has "disappeared" in the vapor of the internet 6 times. Total "coincidence".

    Hi Kevin. Sorry about the delayed response and thank you for the effort you are making to further the discussion ~I appreciate it very much.
     
     {The first words of the title say Prima facie, admitting up front that this is a first look, a pilot test in a new area of research.}
    Thanks for you comments on the paper. The title actually describes how I feel about the state of affairs of safety testing of all GE foods. Prima Facie needs to be the title of the entire database on biofortified – which, unfortunately, your allies cite as a rock- solid testament to the safety of GM foods.
     You are cited in the press as stating that your greatest problem with the Seralini paper the lack of a dose response -a paradigm of classical toxicology. However, there are processes out there which might not operate under the same paradigm- epigenetics and microRNA's. I am going to speculate here and am admitting that I do not know.
    To explain: assume there is microRNA2XX on RR corn which turns on breast oncogenes or turns off a tumor suppressor gene. I don't know that past a certain dose of microRNA2XX it much matters, once the oncogenes are on or one of the tumor suppressors are off.
     
    Regarding other criticisms: Seralini performed a long term study using OECD guidelines; the same exact guidelines used to assess the safety of GE foods.  As you know, we had a long "discussion" with Ewan R (of Monsanto) on this very blog (the Shill post). His answer to just about every concern I had re. the Hammond paper was: citation of OECD guidelines.
     
    Lets try to answer your questions. I haven't been to Forbes lately, but as a terrific teachable moment, I would suggest that two seminal papers' statistics and experimental design are evaluated side by side--as mirror images (sort of like I will do here).
       {what is the hypothesis being tested?} in my own words: "Long term toxicity of  Round Up Ready Corn and Round Up"
     The mirror paper as cited in Table 1, paraphrased as: “Safety assurance study on Round Up Ready corn"
     
    {Are the experiments appropriate to test the hypothesis?}
    Seralini-Yes. Problem: low power.
    Hammond paper – NO!
    Problems: low power +inadequate duration + reporting inadequate physiological data+ omitting crucial evidence+ reporting conclusions rather than findings + citing anonymous pathologists.
     {Do the data and statistical treatments reject or support the hypothesis?<}
    There is prima facie evidence of rats dying of breast cancer earlier than they are expected to die so the answer is a prima facie“Yes”. Conditional on repeating the experiment on a higher number of rats.
    Statistically significant?-I doubt it.
      Hammond mirror paper: No. Based on histological findings suggestive of hepatobiliary disease and nephropathy @ 5mos of age.
     
      >Are the experiments appropriate to test the hypothesis?<
    Seralini? I vote on more animals for higher power ( but please note--that would be inconsistent with the OECD guidelines) + urinalysis + bile acid tests at each data point.
     
    Hammond safety assurance study in 90 days?-Hell No!Can't tell anything about how safe the food is for millions of pregnant women, their unborn babies, millions of cats and dogs by feeding the food to a few rats for 90 days. People are not rats, and babies are exquisitely sensitive to xenobiotics during development; + we have just began understanding epigenetics and microRNAs.
     
    Either the OECD requirements are legitimate or they are not. And if they are not legitimate, that implies the paltry number of "safety" studies completed so far are INVALID-- which I believe to be the case.
    The entire safety testing of GMOs should be retitled: " At first blush (Prima Facie evidence) they don't seem too toxic to rats in 90 days” The American public deserves to hear: we are so sorry to have to tell you this, but we have no idea what the safety tests based on OECD guidelines mean for humans or pets.
     Thanks ,
     Glad you are doing better after the medical episode.
     

    http://kfolta.blogspot.com/

    Information that is argued here is factually incorrect.

    # rats for OECD short term 90 day acute/subchronic toxicity = 10 of each group (Monsanto used this appropriately)

    # rats for OECD long term (12 months, seralini did 24 which is warned against in OECD because of geriatric effects) chronic toxicity is 50 of each sex.

    And the bolded comment is baseless. If it were true, then we have no idea of toxicity for any pesticide or chemical. We use animal models so we don't go killing off people in toxicity testing.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...seralini did 24 which is warned against in OECD because of geriatric effects...
    "After mean survival time had elapsed, any deaths that occurred were considered to be largely due to aging."
    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with using 24 months as long as one accounts for geriatric effects.  Several soybean studies have extended into periods that could experience geriatric effects:

    Sakamoto, et al (2008) - 104 weeks  (3 groups; number of individuals not indicated)
    Results: Differences in growth, feed intake, organ weight between groups. Body weight and feed intake similar between GM and non-GM soybean
    Criticism: No isogenic line used, event not precised, number of individuals not precised, full article not available in English
    Daleprane, et al (2009) - 455 days  (3 groups - 10 males/grp = total 30 individuals)
    Results: GM group and organic group weight the same, higher than control group. Lower protein intake in control group.  Growth, albumin, serum similar in all three groups
    Criticism: No isogenic line used
    Daleprane, et al (2010) - 455 days  (3 groups - 10 males/grp = total 30 individuals)
    Results: Lower body weight and fat mass in control group
    Criticism: No isogenic line used
    * These studies all used rats.

    I feel like I'm in the awkward position of defending a study that I don't believe in and that I believe has serious problems.  However, I'm disappointed in the lack of scientific data that one would expect such a study to provoke. 

    It seems that the simplest refutation of this paper would occur from an actual chronic toxicity study that used 50 rats in each group.  So, if there is one then it would be quite beneficial if someone could locate it.  If there isn't one, then I would ask ... why not?

    Such an obvious lack of data is precisely what opens the door for studies like Seralini's because despite all the comments, criticisms, etc.; there is no actual data [my assumption] with which to refute the study.
    Mundus vult decipi
    do they all use the same strain of rats

    is 24 months appropriate given the geriatric effects of the particular strain of rats

    Ask a toxicologist when and why chronic toxicity studies are or are not done. EFSA wanted it as a indicated by the 90 day studies. If that's not good enough, somebody should jump in. I think we are all aware that not everything requires a chronic toxicity and carcinogen test.

    Maybe sometimes it has to do with actually identifying a chemical or substance of concern. To my knowledge this has not been done. Instead we treat GMO as if there are potential toxins of secret mystery that we cannot find by normal analysis, but must still pretend are there.

    There is no proof positive of safety. There is analyzing risk and assessing it. We could require infinite testing that are neither indicated by short term testing nor required due to actual suspiscious chemical, but that would go on forever and we still wouldn't have proven safety.

    Gerhard Adam
    Instead we treat GMO as if there are potential toxins of secret mystery that we cannot find by normal analysis, but must still pretend are there.
    Whoa ...

    There's no mystery.  We already know something is there, and we know it is toxic to insects.  Of course, that has nothing to do with whether it is toxic to mammals, but it is hardly some fantasy chemical.

    Since we have specifically added something to the food that has specific toxicity for an unrelated species, it is NOT out of line to suggest that perhaps we should engage in looking longer-term to ensure we don't encounter unintended consequences.  It is all well and good to argue that we aren't insects, so it doesn't affect mammals, however we are heavily populated with bacteria that could be affected, which in turn has consequences for us, so simply presuming no mammalian effect is simply short-sighted.
    We could require infinite testing that are neither indicated by short term testing nor required due to actual suspiscious chemical...
    You may think that Bt toxin isn't a suspicious chemical, but it certainly does not normally occur within plants, so it is quite reasonable to suggest that more in-depth studies may be warranted.

    I don't buy the argument about "infinite testing", because we've had 20 years to acquire this data.  If this were something new or only recent, then one could readily be forgiven for their not having conducted such studies yet, or being unnecessarily cautious.  However, after 20 years there is no reasonable excuse why Seralini's study should be the first long-term study using maize.  That's precisely why such studies get traction, because there is no scientific data with which to counter it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Are you saying bt has not had toxicity testing? I'm certain it has. I'd put the burden on you to show that an OMRI listed pesticide has never had sufficient toxicity screening.

    If bt was the issue, it would be a dead one. Instead, we are somehow insisting to retest bt because it is not in an organism where is didn't use to be.

    Organism (corn) safe. Bt safe. But, organism + bt not safe???

    As to the rest, we really should bring a toxicologist in on this. Appearently your side is not comfortable with their expertise in these matters. You question when longer testing is required. You question their accepted model organism. You question the science or correlating information obtained in testing on that model to potential effect on humans. I'm not a toxicologist, but can see that you need to hear it from one of them, because you're just inventing criteria they don't typically accept.

    You're joining up with the dark side by demanding long term testing when it is not specified. It's simply inventing a higher standard for one specific food type.

    And please show me how bt goes form harmless to suspicious because it is produced in a corn cell instead of a bacterial cell. I do have expertise in biochemistry and microbiology, but I don't see why this would be a reasonable question. I particularly think it would be answered very easily without ever doing a feeding study. Just look at the molecule and study it, then compare it to the transgenic version. And by the way, these more in depth studies have been done, and are most likely way more useful than feeding studies. Obsessing on feeding studies is a bit silly when we can do very sophisticated chemical analysis of corn. That should be the real trigger. Do we find anything of concern when we do chemical analysis? The more I think about it the more it seems pretty pedestrian to obsess on feeding studies when we're way better than that..

    Gerhard Adam
    Organism (corn) safe. Bt safe. But, organism + bt not safe???
    That's a rather strange claim.  Why would you presume that two items that don't occur together would collectively be safe, simply because they're safe individually.  These aren't static items.  In the first place, the plant does not simply contain Bt toxin, but rather it contains the gene to produce Bt toxin.  So, right off the bat, we have the potential for influences on gene expression or mutation to have effects that are outside those simple parameters.

    You might argue that corn could arbitrarily mutate to become a toxic food, but that's less plausible because there's nothing in it that would be toxic in its own right, whereas introducing a novel gene changes the game.  It may be a low risk, and it may have a low probability, but it has a finite probability and therefore potentially warrants a look.
    Appearently your side is not comfortable with their expertise in these matters. You question when longer testing is required. You question their accepted model organism.
    I question why no one can provide data to simple questions.  It is clear that there are numerous incidences where detrimental effects were discovered after products were introduced into the marketplace, so let's not pretend that something like this has never happened.  If that's the standard in toxicology [which I don't believe it is], then clearly it is wrong.

    There is no way that someone can claim that there is zero change of long-term effects.  As has been stated many times already, there is no way to guarantee safety.  OK ... so why the reluctance to perform longer term studies and tests when the means are so readily available?  As for the model organism?  You must be joking.  By no stretch of the imagination is the rat an acceptable substitute for understanding humans, bovine, porcine, etc. etc.  At best it is a model to determine whether any obvious short-term effects occur.

    Even the limited life-span of rodents renders it impractical to extrapolate findings to longer-lived species.  While toxicity may be established based on dosage, there's nothing in short-term studies that can account for effects that may occur because of consistency over longer periods of time. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Okay, so including a new gene gives opportunity for mutated proteins, partial proteins, uncontrolled expression of normally harmless amounts of something that may be harmful in larger quantities etc. I agree. But actual analysis of the constituents is the most direct way of finding any of that. (btw this is where the 'mystery toxin' argument came from, not from bt itself.) Then you should base your feeding trials on the risk associated with differences, if there are any. For extra safety you probably do a feeding study.

    Again, I'm arguing that this is how tox studies are done, the epa essentially says so. You don't just do long term carcinogen and chronic toxicity studies for no reason. You should design your study for the specific risk. In this case, there really is no expected risk, no species of concern to design a test around. It's kind of a fishing expedition.

    Find me a reason to deny that a rat is the accepted model. I don't know what the alternative is. Monkeys? I don't think that is very common.

    Gerhard Adam
    You don't just do long term carcinogen and chronic toxicity studies for no reason.
    This isn't for no reason.  This is precisely to explore the unknowns that can't be discovered until they are done.  Suppose that Bt toxin is essentiallyy harmless, but for some reason accumulates in the body over time.  In turn, this doesn't cause cancer, but weakens the immune system, or causes problems or failures in other organs.  It doesn't have to only be cancer.

    This is especially relevant when one considers that some safety studies did suggest that there may be some potential changes in kidney or liver function.  Nothing significant enough to raise serious alarms, but something that warranted more study.  Many of the safety studies are also inadequate in that they only test for very specific changes.  For example, the objective in studying cows was to see if Bt toxin affected milk production or whether anything was passed on to the calves.  So, with such a restricted specificity in the experiment, it does leave gaps in the information that may be pertinent, but that weren't reported on simply because they weren't part of the protocol or study.

    Ironically of the longer term studies I saw, two of them involved cows (100 weeks and 35 weeks).  Since this is a decidedly more difficult animal to keep, one can't help but wonder what the difficulty is in doing such studies using rats.  Unfortunately my cynical nature keeps surfacing suggesting that cows have an economic impact, so "someone" was more concerned about ensuring that milk production wouldn't be impacted.

    Even beyond cows, there was a 7 month study involving Salmon.  Therefore, it appears that if there's a potential economic impact on the market, then we have no problem with longer-term studies.

    [Apologies for my obvious cynicism]
    Mundus vult decipi
    Are there any unknowns really? Any that would justify such a test?

    No suspected carcinogens or chronic toxins would mean no need for further investigation.

    Besides all of that, bt is not really new and was studied well before GMO anything. I would have to believe that the information on BT toxin is out there already.

    Again, I'm not an expert, but I would think sophisticated analysis (the various -omics fields) would identify the substances of concern and let a good experiment be designed with them in mind. I'm beginning to think general feeding trials are better used for validation of saftey than for first-line screening.

    Gerhard Adam
    I agree that the risk is unlikely for the average individual.  However it is not zero.  So to what extent do we examine the possibilities?  Is it necessarily in front-line studies?  No, because those 90-day trials are intended to examine obvious, "fall over dead" kinds of events.  So, if nothing obvious occurs, and there don't appear to be any major issues, then we have established a base line of equivalence.  However, that's all we've done.
    Besides all of that, bt is not really new and was studied well before GMO anything.
    These findings provide further evidence of the similarity of B. thuringiensis, which is being used as a biological insecticide, to B. cereus, a toxigenic organism of food poisoning.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037810979190087Q
    Human volunteers suffered from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, colic-like pains, and fever after eating food contaminated with one B.t. strain, B.t. var. galleriae. These examples indicate the close relationship between B.t. and disease-causing pathogens.
    http://lbamspray.com/00_Documents/2008/bacillus.pdf
    I recognize that these experiments are not specifically about Bt toxin as it occurs in the plants, nor that these are intended to convey the idea of some immediate danger or threat.  Instead the point was to explore how close many of these bacterial species were to each other in their responses, which does have the potential to reflect on the Bt toxin genes present in the plants and some directions in which mutations could take things.  I also recognize that this is highly speculative, but I'm only using it to point out how many things are still roughly unknown about the entire mechanism and why a more prudent approach to studies and evaluation can do nothing except either (1) point out problems or (2) generate a higher comfort level.

    However, it isn't just about Bt.  It is also about "Round-up" [Glyphosate], itself.  Consider how round-up kills plants.  Where does the glyphosate end up? 
    Glyphosate is quickly absorbed by leavesand shoots of plants. Once absorbed into the leaves, glyphosate cannot be broken down.
    http://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/N100/goodfor13.html
    So, how safe is eating "Round-up"?  The fact that the plant is resistant tells us nothing about the disposition of the glyphosate it has absorbed.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Besides all of that, bt is not really new and was studied well before GMO anything. I would have to believe that the information on BT toxin is out there already.
    Mike, I'm not sure if you saw my reply to you on Hank's other GMO blog about the banned chlordane insecticide that was present in the control grain of the Monsanto Hammond et al 2006 Bt GMO paper called 'Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain from corn borer-protected corn'? In that reply I explained that I didn't really find this paper or the earlier 2004 Hammond et al paper and rat study at all convincing proof that Bt had been shown to be safe, because they both used a control grain that contained a much higher than acceptable level of the dangerous insecticide chlordane which has been scientifically proven to have adverse health effects. 

    Here is the excerpt form the Monsanto Hammond et al 2006 paper :-
    3. Results
    Compositional, contaminant, and nutritional content of the experimental diets met the specifications for Certified Rodent LabDiet 5002 established by PMI. The levels of heavy metals, aflatoxins, and chlorinated and organophosphate insecticides were below detection limits. For chlordane, the analytical limit of detection was higher (250 ppb) than the maximum allowable concentration of 50 ppb, but was not considered to have an impact on the study.
    According to Wikipedia chlordane is an insecticide with dangerous health effects, including adverse effects on the liver and it is also cancer causing, so in my opinion using a control grain with unacceptable levels of chlordane made the 2006 and 2004 Hammond et al safety studies redundant.
    Chlordane, or chlordan, is an organochlorine compound used as a pesticide. This white solid was sold in the U.S. until 1983 as an insecticide for crops like corn and citrus and on lawns and domestic gardens. 
    Health effects of chlordane 
    Exposure to chlordane metabolites may be associated with testicular cancer. The incidence of seminoma in men with the highest blood levels of cis-nonachlor was almost double that of men with the lowest levels.[8] Prostate cancer has been associated with trans-nonachlor levels, a component of chlordane.[9] Japanese workers who used chlordane over a long period of time had minor changes in liver function.[10]Heptachlor and chlordane are some of the most potent carcinogens tested in animal models. No human epidemiological study has been conducted to determine the relationship between levels of chlordane/heptachlor in indoor air and rates of cancer in inhabitants. However, studies have linked chlordane/heptachlor in human tissues with cancers of the breast, prostate, brain, and cancer of blood cells—leukemia and lymphoma.
    The 2006 Hammond et al paper's abstract says :-
    There were a total of 400 rats in the study divided into 10 groups of 20 rats/sex/group. The responses of rats fed diets containing MON810 were compared to those of rats fed grain from conventional corn varieties. Overall health, body weight, food consumption, clinicalpathology parameters (hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis), organ weights, and gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were comparable between groups fed diets containing MON 810 and conventional corn varieties.
    So, these Monsanto Hammond et al studies deduced that there were no significant health outcome differences between feeding rats control grain with a much higher than the maximum allowable concentration of harmful chlordane insecticide compared to feeding rats borer resistant Bt GMO corn, so what does that prove? That Bt GMOs and chlordane insecticide are both equally harmful maybe?They definitely do not prove that they are safe. I am still waiting for a link to one of these many reputable long term Bt GMO studies that do show that Bt has no significant or adverse health effects upon animal's internal organs. I'm beginning to think that they don't exist otherwise why won't anyone here provide a link?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Information as argued is factually correct.
    1. Monsanto alone has spent $7 million fighting labeling and prop 37.
    Seralini's project cost $3--enough to run two studies of this caliber. How much money was spent on the lobbying/ PR/ media campaign to discredit his study is anyone's guess--likely enough to replicate the study, maybe several times.
    Feeding trials is where the rubber meets the road-- anything other than a feeding trial will never prove that the food is safe to ingest. Never!

    2. 10rats fed GMOs for 90 days satisfy Monsanto's need to hide adverse chronic effects.
    They do not satisfy any rational medical professional whose obligation is the wellness of their patients and an assessment of risk to benefit of the food to their patients.

    3. OECD--if it approves of 90 day tests on 10 rats as a legitimate test of safety for billions --is an illegitimate regulatory agency bought and paid for by Monsanto et al.

    4. Your favor assumption -based risk assessment--which is the reason most of your long posts sound rhetorical. I don't see any links to any convincing safety studies after 200+ responses.

    I favor evidence -based assessment -- and you have None. I see no links to any evidence posted by you.

    For example as regards the study on GE soy I linked below in which Malatesta et al demonstrated down -regulation of a number of proteins in hepatocytes of rats fed the GE soy
    -- have you a library of soy miRNA to prove that the gene silencing is not occurring with this crop already?

    It has been a while since I was involved with real science (I am involved in true evil now - I trade derivatives), but this is an interesting story.

    Given that this is truly sensational, I am surprised this did not make it to some better journal (e.g. Science or Nature). Also, it would be nice to see the results of this article reproduced by someone else, someone who does not have an axe to grind.

    Lets assume for a second that the study is right and GM corn is super-bad for you. Can someone provide a hypothesis on the actual mechanism of action? There are some enzymes missing or some extra produced and thus this particular strain of corn is resistant to Roundup, while other plants are not. Given that all of these proteins are denatured during the feeding process and we, mammals, do not integrate foreighn DNA particularly well, the only plausible mechanism of action is something prion-like where a denatured protein binds to something.

    PS. Organic food is a whole different story, "true" organic food simply tastes better. This is not just my opinion, there have been plenty of taste-tests with respect to small-farm organic foods.

    Hank
    Given that this is truly sensational, I am surprised this did not make it to some better journal (e.g. Science or Nature)
    A better journal wouldn't have published it.  Since these guys have also published homeopathy nonsense, they could dictate what data peer reviewers could see. 
    PS. Organic food is a whole different story, "true" organic food simply tastes better. This is not just my opinion, there have been plenty of taste-tests with respect to small-farm organic foods.
    Plenty of taste tests should $2 bottles of wine taste as good as $200 ones.  Taste is subjective. As Penn&Teller aptly showed, things taste better when people think they are organic and paid more for them.  People who tried organic and traditional bananas side by side liked the organic one better, except they were both just regular bananas.

    Nothing in the organic process lends itself to taste.  It isn't really possible. You have to know that, since you were once in science.



    << A better journal wouldn't have published it. >>
    My thoughts exactly, this is a failure of the peer review process. I actually spent the $32 dollars and bought the paper, which was a waste of bandwidth.

    << Nothing in the organic process lends itself to taste. It isn't really possible. You have to know that, since you were once in science. >>
    Not true. Proper organic farming (in it's true form) does not provide provide any artificial growth stimuli (fertilizers, pesticides etc) and as a result produces smaller fruit/berries with higher concentration of sugars. So yes, it tastes differently (better or worse is a matter of opinion, obviously).

    << As Penn&Teller aptly showed, things taste better when people think they are organic and paid more for them >>
    What Penn and Teller showed was how to introduce biases into sociological studies. A properly-designed double-blind study would pick out a truly better tasting fruit rather well, however.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...we, mammals, do not integrate foreighn DNA particularly well...
    Given the thousands of gut bacteria we have, explain what you mean by "foreign DNA"?  Of course, if you simply mean that foreign DNA doesn't integrate with human DNA then I would agree, but that isn't really the point, is it?
    Mundus vult decipi
    My question is: How does the presence or absence of a gene(s) in GM corn can effect genetic state or the immune system in a mamal that consumes it?". Can someone provide me with a hypothesis for the biochemical basis of the phenomena described in the paper?

    Actually, upon trying to understand the actual model for the GM in question, I can see how that could happend.

    Thor Russell
    I expect that the study is wrong/will not be repeatable but if it is correct then its easy to speculate on how it may be possible. I am not sure that all enzymes/chemicals etc are destroyed by digestion or pesticides couldn't be that harmful. Also toxins can go through the skin etc. 

    I said before, BT toxin produced by a plant could be different to that made by the bacteria. Say there are in fact 5 genes related to making the toxin and we have only transferred one of them to the plant. With just one you get the toxin right 99% of the time, but wrong 1%. With all 5 (the other 4 just help stabilize the process somehow) you get the right toxin 99.9999% of the time. So BT produced by corn gives you another undesirable compound 1% of the time, but practically none of that compound when produced by bacteria. The unwanted compound is carcinogenic.  There are unknown unknown's (albeit small) hence the case for long term toxicity studies. 

    Thor Russell
    I highly recommend the book "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey M. Smith. It goes into great detail about the *numerous* mechanisms which make GMO technology inherently unsafe. Epidemiological studies are not even necessary, when one simply assesses the standard methodology being used. It is a horror story, make no mistake.

    Hank
    You should go back to your BAN GMO name.  Spamming us with a salesman who declared himself an expert on transcendental meditation and GMOs isn't really fooling anyone by using a new name - actually, you probably are Smith.  Your comments are the first time anyone outside the crank anti-GMO fringe ever heard of him.
    I just wonder what you all think about this article. Thanks.

    Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011
    Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA

    http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/full/cr2011158a.html

    Nearly completely irrelavant to the subject. At least no more relavant to GM than to eating regular old vegatables, meat, or to having any regular old bacteria in us. They all could transfer micro RNA as easily as GMO. That doesn't make it scary. It makes it normal, but likely pretty rare and more likely rarely important enough to cause a noticeable effect. You don't have to be more afraid of GM corn microRNA than you would be of regular old brocolli microRNA.

    I am aware of the hack article in the Atlantic (i believe) earlier this year trying to make this a GMO issue, which it is not.

    I do not think it is irrelevant. I do believe we would eventually get to the point.

    Let us start by you explaining how you think MiRNA is used in GMO technology.

    EU:

    I think that is a very important piece of research:
    Interesting video by a couple of other accomplished researchers on the subject:
    http://www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/2008_b_interview_ambros.htm

    Contrary to what Mike said, I think microRNAs and epigenetics are a lens through which we definitely need to examine GMOs influence on upregulation or down regulation of our genes.
    When they say "you are what you eat"--microRNA's are the scientific explanation of the phrase.

    For example, there is a study by Malatesta ( a coresearcher in this Serallini paper) which demonstrated through proteomics that GE soy has downregulated expression of several proteins...whether it is through microRNA's or another mechanism, of course nobody knows.
    Table 1 DiVerentially expressed proteins identiWed in the liver of GM-fed mice compared to controls
    a
    Symbols correspond to the entry name of the sequence and are reported on gels in Fig. 1
    b
    Data represent the mean fold change variation (“+” increase and “¡“decrease) in GM-fed mice versus control animals. * P < 0.05, ** P < 0.01
    Symbol
    a
    Protein name and accession number Theoretical
    MW(kDa)/pI
    Fold-change
    § SD
    b
    IdentiWcation method,
    % coverage, no.
    matched peptides
    ARGI1 Arginase-1 (EC 3.5.3.1) (Q61176) 34.8/6.52 +2.1 § 0.5* MS/MS, 49%, 10
    ARGI1 Arginase-1 (EC 3.5.3.1) (Q61176) 34.8/6.52 +1.6 § 0.3* MS/MS, 38%, 8
    C1TC C-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase, cytoplasmic (EC 1.5.1.5) (Q922D8) 101.2/6.68 +3.6 § 1.0* MS/MS, 10%, 9
    C1TC C-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase, cytoplasmic (EC 1.5.1.5) (Q922D8) 101.2/6.68 ¡1.8 § 0.4* MS/MS, 2%, 3
    C1TC C-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase, cytoplasmic (EC 1.5.1.5) (Q922D8) 101.2/6.68 ¡3.4 § 1.1* MS/MS, 5%, 5
    C1TC C-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase, cytoplasmic (EC 1.5.1.5) (Q922D8) 101.2/6.68 ¡4.4 § 1.3** MS/MS, 5%, 5
    CH_60 60 kDa heat shock protein, mitochondrial (P63038) 60.9/5.91 ¡2.0 § 0.5* MS/MS, 34%, 13
    CH_60 60 kDa heat shock protein, mitochondrial (P63038) 60.9/5.91 +1.9 § 0.3* MS/MS, 43%, 15
    CPSM Carbamoyl-phosphate synthase (EC 6.3.4.16) (Q8C196) 164.6/6.48 + 3.1 § 1.1** MS/MS, 17%, 21
    CPSM Carbamoyl-phosphate synthase (EC 6.3.4.16) (Q8C196) 164.6/6.48 +2.1 § 0.7* MS/MS, 6%, 2
    CPSM Carbamoyl-phosphate synthase (EC 6.3.4.16) (Q8C196) 164.6/6.48 +2.6 § 1.0* MS/MS, 11%, 16
    ETFA Electron transfer Xavoprotein subunit alpha, mitochondrial (Q99LC5) 35/8.62 ¡2.0 § 0.3* MS/MS, 18%, 4
    ETFA Electron transfer Xavoprotein subunit alpha, mitochondrial (Q99LC5) 35/8.62 ¡2.2 § 0.5* MS/MS, 5%, 1
    ENPL Endoplasmin (P08113) 92.4/4.74 ¡2.0 § 0.6* MS/MS, 7%, 6
    ECHM Enoyl-CoA hydratase, mitochondrial (E C 4.2.1.17) (Q8BH95) 31.5/8.76 +1.9 § 0.2* MS/MS, 4%, 1
    HBB1 Haemoglobin subunit beta-1 (P02088) 15.8/7.13 +2.0 § 0.6* MS/MS, 29%, 4
    INMT Indolethylamine N-methyl-transferase (EC 2.1.1.49) (P40936) 29.5/6 +2.1 § 0.9* MS/MS, 5%, 1
    OTC Ornithine carbamoyl-transferase, mitochondrial (EC 2.1.3.3) (P11725) 39.8/8.81 ¡3.2 § 1.1** MS/MS, 29%, 9
    RGN Regucalcin (Q64374) 33.4/5.16 ¡2.3 § 0.6* MS/MS, 38%, 9
    TPIS Triosephosphate isomerase (EC 5.3.1.1) (P17751) 26.7/6.9 ¡2.2 § 0.9* MS/MS, 40%,http://www.somloquesembrem.org/img_editor/file/fetgeratessojaMalatesta2008(2).pdf 5

    Regarding the Seralini study which found several substances reduced in RR corn, namely caffeic acid, and speculated that this might contribute to an increase in rates of breast cancer:
    Epigenetic Events Associated with Breast Cancer and Their Prevention
    by Dietary Components Targeting the Epigenome
    Shabana I. Khan,†,‡ Pranapda Aumsuwan,†,§ Ikhlas A. Khan,†,‡,|| Larry A. Walker,†,§,^ and
    Asok K. Dasmahapatra*,†,

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/tx200378c

    Roles of microRNAs in breast cancer
    Over the past few years, miRNA profiling studies have led to the identification of miRNAs that are aberrantly expressed in human breast cancer. The function of only a handful of these miRNAs in breast cancer has been investigated. As in other cancers, some miR-NAs can function as tumor suppressors and other miRNAs as onco-genes. Thus, tumor formation may arise from a reduction or deletion of a tumor suppressor miRNA and/or amplification or overexpression of an oncogenic miRNA. In addition, tumor metastasis may be promoted by enhanced expression of prometastatic and/or downregulation of antimetastatic miRNAs. The functions of these miRNAs in breast tumor progression and metastasis are discussed below.

    http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/12/2/201

    Thanks curiousvet. I have found a response to this article.
    "
    After a careful examination of the paper, we have identified a number of relevant facts that should be taken into account when looking at data and the relevancy of the findings.
    Of the many thousands of plant miRNAs, only a small number are found in human or animal blood.
    The absence of most plant miRNAs in serum indicates:
    Absorption may be selective;
    Only some miRNAs in foods have properties which allow them to survive in foods, the GI tract, and serum;
    Only relatively abundant miRNAs are present at high enough levels to be detected;
    Or some combination of these factors.
    MIR168a is among the more abundant miRNAs in many plants, but even allowing for this MIR168a appears to be disproportionately found in animal tissues and is also considerably more stable in rice than MIR156a or MIR166a (see Table S3 of Zhang et al.) This suggests that for some reason MIR168a is preferentially absorbed and/or preserved (before or after absorption) relative to other miRNAs.
    Changes in MIR168a levels with concomitant changes in LDLRAP1 expression and LDL cholesterol were observed following higher doses (raw rice diet) in mice; however no effect on LDLRAP1 or LDL cholesterol was seen when animals were fed an ordinary chow diet. Consequently, there may well be little or no effect on mice eating a more diverse, ordinary diet.
    The findings with MIR168a may represent a rare or unique case, resulting from the uncharacteristically high abundance of MIR168a in rice and disproportionate absorption and/or preservation of MIR168a in combination with the high homology (gene sequence match) to LDLRAP1.
    The loss of MIR168a effects occurred with less than a 10-fold reduction in diet concentration, indicating that this phenomenon is highly dose-dependant. The ability to observe this phenomenon may be related to the high-dosing regimens employed.
    The authors cannot exclude the possibility that in-vivo LDLRAP1 reduction and concomitant LDL increase were due to radical changes in diet. In addition to higher levels of MIR168a, the rice-only diet was higher in carbohydrates and deficient in fats and proteins, and the animals were in a starvation-state.
    While high doses of MIR168a influence cholesterol levels in mice, the relevance of dietary intakes of MIR168a or other miRNAs in the human diet remains to be established.
    The fact that rural Chinese populations consuming high-rice diets have been shown to have lower levels of LDL than their urban counterparts (who have lower rice intake) suggests that the activity of MIR168a in humans is negligible or at least is sufficiently small that other environmental determinants of LDL concentration may overcome the effects of MIR168a on cholesterol.
    ..."
    http://gmopundit.blogspot.be/2012/01/monsanto-company-comments-on-much-hyped.html#!/2012/01/monsanto-company-comments-on-much-hyped.html

    I find this quite a worrisome answer. Why wasn't this investigated 20 years ago?

    You do realize that the response is from Monsanto, don't you?

    The paper you cited was published last year-- prior to that time there was no indication that plant microRNA could actually regulate mammalian DNA. But the response you found is from one of the apparatchiks.....reading GMOpundit's blog is a complete waste of time!

    :) of course I realize it. That is just to hear the other side for the sake of objectivity. I like statements like "effects on humans to be evaluated ", "not known", "presumably safe", "dosage related" (how much corn may I eat before dropping dead, maybe this kind of info should be also labeled)....

    They did know that miRNA will pass DT of a bug, why not human...

    Maybe we should flip the coin this time.

    We truly are all connected in amazing and creepy ways :-)

    I honestly think that until someone does studies on microRNA's and the targets ( and you know it won't be Monsanto et al), there is no way to know. I am not worried about myself, as much as i worry about pregnant women, developing babies and critters who are small; for a developing embryo flipping a coin might be a dangerous gamble.

    By the way, I noticed that the Malatesta paper link does not work in my post-- it is another great piece of pioneering research literature; being that this scientist is a team member on this paper, I must admit made me biased.
    Histochem Cell Biol (2008) 130:967–977
    DOI 10.1007/s00418-008-0476-x
    123
    ORIGINAL PAPER
    A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modifed
    soybean: effects on liver ageing
    Manuela Malatesta · Federica Boraldi · Giulia Annovi ·
    Beatrice Baldelli · SeraWna Battistelli ·
    Marco Biggiogera · Daniela Quaglino
    Accepted: 1 July 2008 / Published online: 22 July 2008
    © Springer-Verlag 2008

    http://www.somloquesembrem.org/img_editor/file/fetgeratessojaMalatesta2008(2).pdf

    it is slow to open, but is worth reading as well.

    I read recently that oncologists are doing research on miRNA in relation with cancer. It seems that is the way to go. But I do find safety claims puzzling and far fetched, while research is still very much in progress with no definite answers.
    Read the article, very detailed, thanks!
    Meanwhile people are feeding their kids gmo for over 10 years in US. We in Europe are in a bit better position, when we really noticed something was wrong in 2009. Taste, smell, hardness… First meat, than vegetables. Since then we go organic.
    Thanks again for the article!

    ad hominem. since you're the ad hominem police.

    I will never be persuaded that GMO is safe for long term human consumption. Now, even if it is considered safe by science. Here is another huge problem GMO and pesticides pose.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/science/neocotinoid-pesticides-play-a-...

    Well at least you're honest enough to admit that evidence and fact won't cloud your opinion of what you already know.

    Hank
    Anti-science (an-ti sci-ience) n. a person who says things like "I will never be persuaded that GMO is safe for long term human consumption."

    You are just more honest about it than your intellectual brethren.
    I guess I should just repeat the question :).
    Are you feeding your kids GM? Are you feeding yourself GM?
    If so in your place I would apply as a subject for a long term study on humans, because you truly believe in what you are writing here, don't you? Just to prove us all wrong.

    Let me be clear there is nothing wrong you supporting gmo, but you have no rights to judge me not supporting it. You also must be liable for contaminating my food of choice against my will and all the consequences thereof.
    As long as you do not accept this you have no rights to talk about honesty.

    Hank
    Are you feeding your kids GM? Are you feeding yourself GM?
    Sure.
    but you have no rights to judge me not supporting it. 
    Sure I do, just like I can judge you if you claim that homeopathy works, psychics are real or that vaccines cause autism.  You are wrong and yet go out of your way to pretend to rationalize it as more than a simplistic opinion.   People who spout dangerous nonsense need to be called out. 

    Regular old nonsense, like believing in astrology or that hybrid cars are better for the environment, is harmless so no one bothers to criticize those people.

    "...Sure I do, just like I can judge you if you claim that homeopathy works, psychics are real or that vaccines cause autism. You are wrong and yet go out of your way to pretend to rationalize it as more than a simplistic opinion. People who spout dangerous nonsense need to be called out...."

    No you don't. It works in both direction. Now you are getting somewhat vague.

    Have I mentioned homeopathy somewhere, I just remember I posted a link to a scientific article saying basically if you eat gmo it may alter your internal organs passing your DT and got no reply?!

    Btw a tip, you may have one I have more from 18 (bioengineering studies what a surprise) to 3 months old, once kids get ear pain and fever, instead of getting super modern antibiotics a simple propoxol works best (homeopathy or not).

    And yes, my kids can smell non organic food before they open their mouth.

    And yes, I am an engineer and these are the basic rules while designing a function:

    - must perform stress test equivalent to a lifetime stress on more samples target max 3000 ppm (parts per million) failure rate for 20K machines per year(90 days 10 animals ???? for feeding humans)
    - must be able to restore the previous stable state (cannot be said for gmo)
    - must not alter any other stable function in the system (as said you must be liable for contaminating my food of choice against my will and all the consequences thereof)
    - introduce no new uncertanty

    Based on these simple rules GMO technology would not qualify to even produce a tractor.

    Hank
    And yes, my kids can smell non organic food before they open their mouth.
    Ummmm, this is why I compare your statements to psychics and homeopathy.
    Maybe I should clarify this statement. The alarming point for me was when my kid refused to eat meat and potatoes for weeks. Hm, a kid not eating potatoes?
    Went to an organic store for the first time and bought both and the situation resolved. You may call it psychic I do call it common sense and it worked.
    And believe me propoxol will work :). Other mamas confirmed it even not organic mamas. For the sake of our children.

    Nobody would apply as a subject of long term human feeding tests, simply because eating enough corn for long enough to derive actual toxicity results in humans would probably cause irreversible damage, even if the corn was the non GM control group.

    I'm so tired of this red herring. It's nonsensical.

    Also don't just reduce this to "my opinion vs your opinion." Just becuae they are both "just" opinions does not make them equal in value.

    Gerhard Adam
    Now you really are applying a straw man argument.  No one has suggested using human beings in such a feeding study.  It would obviously be absurd, and the clear short-term toxicity studies have indicated that there are no problems.  Even this study doesn't suggest that.

    However, you can't seriously tell me that no one cares what happens beyond 90 days.  You know as well as I do, that if something serious were to manifest 10-20 years down the road, then suddenly everyone would be looking at and quoting long-term studies.   We have numerous issues that are suggested as being influenced by long-term effects and it is striking that you seem to be suggesting that no one cares to investigate changes in our lifestyles that don't produce a dramatic result within the first 90 days.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You are right there is no study needed just a follow up on generation 2000 for the next 40 years.

    Yes, you do longer testing based on the results of 90 day testing. If you really want to argue that this is no appropriate, you need to do so with toxicologists. I don't think anybody here is one. But I'm not arrogant enough to claim that I know better than an entire branch of science. I'm not about to second guess modern toxicology.

    90 day rodent studies are essentially designed to draw out reasons to study further. The test compound is artificially high and the rodent model is susceptible to many problems in a short time.

    But I think it is safe to say that GMO food has not been cherry picked and deemed safe any different than any pesticide, and has certainly been more highly scrutinized than any food type. If you don't think the USA has done enough, then at least in Europe the same varieties have been scrutinized heavily and found particularly safe.

    If you have a problem with GMO still, you necessarily have a problem with every pesticide used in agriculture. Why are people not screaming for human testing on chemical pesticides?

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2150.pdf

    Pg. 24

    Gerhard Adam
    It's not a question of second guessing modern toxicology, but these studies are intended to demonstrate whether or not there is any overt change.  This doesn't render any further study unnecessary.  It simply indicates that there is no overt toxicological event that we need to be immediately concerned with.  However rodents aren't cows.  They aren't humans.  They aren't dogs and cats.  These are all animals that are subject to these changes and given the widespread usage of these GM foods, there's simply no reason to not do reviews to establish that nothing longer term may be affecting these animal's/people's health.

    Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there was something in the food that actually did cause accelerated tumor development.  This wouldn't change the fact that these rodents are subject to tumors, but it could potentially reflect a correlation that tumor formation was aggravated by something in the food.  Similarly, even if it didn't affect the rodents, there's no biological basis for assuming that whatever rodents can tolerate that other animals or people are exactly the same.  That would be foolish.

    So, the point is that there are many things that could possibly create longer-term problems that would never be reflected in a 90-day study. 

    Again, this isn't to suggest that there is something there, or that there are any dangers, but it simply makes no sense to claim that 90-days is sufficient to establish anything beyond the fact that there is no direct toxicological consequences from the food.  It says nothing more than that.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Well, the EFSA document says exactly what you are denouncing. Longer tests are perscribed based on the 90 day testing. I believe that is the OECD basis as well.

    From what I can tell, you are essentially asking for toxicology to rethink how they asses toxicity.

    Take it up with toxicologists.

    And, you are correct, the fact that the rodents are susceptible to tumors does not render it impossible to determine whether something does accelerate tumors. What it does do is prevent statistical conclusions to be drawn unlessa large enough sample and control is utilzed.

    Again, I do not think you can argue that GMO has been treated any different than any potential toxin intended for consumption. If you don't think toxicologists know what they are doing then talk to them. They know rats aren't dogs aren't humans. But I'll take their word that they can do assesments of (for sake of argument) potential carcinogens without asking a group of humans to subject themselves to it as a test - they certainly do not do this with potential carcinogens and never will. They use models and asses risk based on whatever the expertise they have based on whatever science there is on the subject. I'm not the expert, but they do exist and I think we can trust them.

    Nonsense. People don't unknowingly feed their kids pesticides. GMOs are in the food supply Unlabeled.

    You are arguing for a risky untested product form which the industry benefits handsomely - shown to be of no benefit to a consumer expected to pay for this food and bear all the risk.
    Your safety study listing biochemical and histological findings on 10-20 / 400 rats a significant number of which developed kidney and liver disease in 90 days in no way satisfies your obligation to prove benefits of this food --in fact it raises serious concerns that the product endangers health.

    Come on :), I expected a bit more creativity. Study on humans must be of course done planning a well balanced diet, containing 11%, 22% and 33% gmo ingredients from this list http://cera-gmc.org/index.php?action=gm_crop_database,. including variations .
    Subject may be kids of volunteers, eating anyway gmo, for at least 40 years, to match the rat study. Or to double the intake of gmo and reduce the duration to 20 years. Good sample rate is a million.

    Please let me cite the former medical science advisor for EPA office of research and development, we cannot determine the consequences as long as we do not know who is eating gmo and who not. You guys in the States, are a perfect example, your food is predominantly gmo, but there is no way to control anything because the labeling is not allowed.
    The only thing left is opinion vs. opinion vs. experience. Here and there an article, that changes nothing. I do hope, really do, that EU, as an entity, will take an action and conduct a lifetime (rat) indisputable experiment soon.

    Hank
    Let me quote the current Science Advisor the the entire EU, Anne Glover:

    "If you take people's opinions, for instance by looking at the Eurobarometer, people seem to be reluctant to accept innovative technologies. They are suspicious almost just because it's new, rather than thinking: "Oh this is new, I need to find out more about it so that I can judge." At the moment, we are way too much on the side of: "It is new I don't want it, not even discuss it." This leaves the door open for pressure groups which are against certain things and have a very loud voice."

    Europe is anti-science, so Europeans giving advice to Americans about science is silly.  Apple also does not take product advice from Microsoft.
    Could you just give me answers to these questions I would really like to understand your mindset
    Why are you against the labeling?
    Don't you think there are people who believe in it, like you, who would use it anyway and prove to the others it is safe in the course of time.
    If we see that everything is ok with you believers we may start using it too with confidence.

    Do I have right to a choice?
    Do you support patent to life?
    How are you going to protect my choice and not contaminate my food?
    Who is going to be responsible for the potential consequences?

    Gerhard Adam
    ...people seem to be reluctant to accept innovative technologies.
    That's complete rubbish.  All one has to do is see how virtually rabid people are to embrace new electronics technology and other gadgets.  People love innovative technologies.  They just don't like feeling that they are being made to carry a risk while someone else profits.

    The problem is that they have been told too many times ... "Don't worry, we're looking out for your interests" and then get blind-sided when something goes wrong. 

    In far too many cases, people have been left stranded by those they "trust". The GM food situation is a classic example, because the only reason it's hit this critical mass, is because the corporations that are advancing it thought that they wouldn't ever have to account to the public because the government laws would protect them from disclosing anything.

    Now they're acting like deer in the headlights.  It isn't that there's anything wrong with the GM products, but even in that context they can't help but behave as if they're guilty of something.

    People have simply been lied to too many times by those in authority, so if there's a perception that there's any risk, regardless of how miniscule, they invariably advise caution.  This is exacerbated by people enhancing what the science actually proves, so instead of saying that the risk from GM foods is slight or unlikely, someone declares that it is safe.  People aren't stupid enough to believe that, so they become more skeptical about why it's not being admitted that there is a risk, albeit a small one.

    This creates further ammunition for those that truly are anti-science and the effect snowballs.

    The sad part about it is that if by some unlikely circumstance it is demonstrated that there really is some long-term harm [not just medically but from pesticide resistant plants/insects, genetic drift, etc.] from some genetic modification [or any other source], then everyone will circle the wagons and claim that no one could've known.  It's as goofy as the claim that no one could've known that someone might use an airplane as a weapon.  Similarly with the fact that despite decades of knowledge regarding natural selection and evolution, no one could see antibiotic resistant bacteria coming? 

    The truth is that we could make a much better effort to know, but we elect not to.  It certainly isn't absolute but it equally isn't impossible.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Have you ever heard of conflict of interest?
    It is not about people not knowing anything about technology, it is about safety of their children and I am telling you this as a mother.
    It is arrogant to claim other people are retarded because they do not share your enthusiasm and still not being able to provide a simple a lifetime study on significant number of rats to prove your standings. Even worse, being aware of long time consequences and calling people retarded to mask this fact (I prefer to believe the first one because the second one is a crime).

    "...On 10 May, the European Parliament voted against granting discharge of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) budget for the year 2010. By doing so, it adopted a report from its Committee on Budgetary Control criticising EFSA very harshly for conflicts of interest and revolving door cases (http://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/661).

    On 8 May, just two days before the vote, Diána Bánáti, Chair of the EFSA Management Board, had resigned with immediate effect. She will take up a professional position at the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). Diána Bánáti had been subject to criticism since September 2010 because she was Board Member of ILSI Europe. After leaving ILSI, she was re-elected as chair of EFSA’s Management Board in October 2011. Now she is returning to ILSI Europe, which is funded by food industry and agrochemical companies (http://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/656).

    EFSA wrote a letter to ILSI explaining that according to its new regulations on independence, experts from ILSI are excluded from various working levels at EFSA:

    "Regarding the classification of ILSI involvement as a category V activity “ad hoc or occasional consultancy”, EFSA’s new rules explicitly exclude the involvement of scientific experts participating in scientific work related to services provided to products, their development and/or assessment methods carried out on behalf of trade associations or other bodies with an interest in this subject matter, such as ILSI."
    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/120516a.htm

    Obviously, in a reaction to the pressure from the EU Parliament, EFSA then decided to postpone the nomination of new experts for several scientific panels. The nominations, which were scheduled for 8 May, will now take place on 27 June.
    ..."

    Sorry buddy, Apple does not have its stock every time they introduce another product because people are "reluctant to accept innovative technologies." The rise in the number of people using newer and newer technology spans the globe and is at an all time high.

    MikeCrow
    Actually, what apple is doing is releasing the n'teenth upgrade of technology that was developed 30 years ago, when it was used by a small number of people, and apples stock was a lot less.
    Never is a long time.
    >Nobody would apply as a subject of long term human feeding tests<

    No shit Sherlock

    So, you so called experts find all this fault with this study. But, you don't see the idiocy of a 90 day study? That was all was done before GMs were unleashed on the masses. Why was a longer study and several studies not done? What exactly is the point of a 90 day study? Its ludicrous.

    I myself have a Master of Science degree and see a lot of things that are left to be desired with this current study by Seralini. That doesnt mean I'm going to disregard potential hazards and eat GMs. Sorry Monsanto I am no longer contributing to your bottomline. There need to be a lot more independent studies. AND NOT PAID FOR by monsanto. Their huge profit motive is in direct conflict of interest with any negative study findings.

    http://gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14226

    Response to Monsanto's rebuttal of Seralini study (1)

    Monday, 24 September 2012 
     
    Below we address one of Monsanto's arguments, the first bullet point in the summary in item 2, "Research protocol does not meet OECD standards".
---

GMWatch response to Monsanto's rebuttal of Seralini's study on GM NK603 maize and Roundup (part 1)

MONSANTO: This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research. Research protocol does not meet OECD standards... Despite author's reference to OECD Testing Guidelines, the study design does not meet OECD standard for number of animals in a chronic study design (50 per group), GLP status of laboratory and analytical facilities is not clear. Doses selected for GMO and Roundup are not based on standard approaches for dose setting.

GMW: We're happy to be able to alert GMW readers to what has become the commonest dodge employed by industry and regulators to fend off the inconvenient findings of independent science on risky products. In this dodge, industry and regulators claim that the study wasn't done according to the protocols set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and that it wasn't, or may not have been, conducted according to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) rules. They conclude that they can ignore the findings of the study and the risky product can stay on the market.

What are OECD protocols and GLP rules?

OECD protocols were designed by industry and government representatives with the aim of creating an internationally harmonised system of tests that industry would do on its products in support of regulatory approval. The OECD protocols mean that industry only has to do one set of tests to gain approval in any OECD member country. 

While the OECD protocols make things easier and cheaper for industry, they have been criticised by independent scientists for being outdated, inflexible, and insensitive -- in other words, they are likely to miss important toxic effects. They were never claimed to represent the best science; they were a compromise that industry could afford and regulators could accept. Independent scientists have no interest in following OECD protocols because they are not necessarily the best tool to detect effects.

GLP is a set of laboratory management rules brought in by regulators in the 1970s and 1980s to combat widespread and serious industry fraud in the testing of chemicals for regulatory purposes (two high-profile cases of which involved Monsanto and glyphosate). GLP dictates how scientists commissioned to do testing for industry must carry out, record, and archive their experiments. While history shows that GLP doesn't prevent fraud, it leaves a paper trail so that if fraud does later come to light, investigators are more likely to be able to identify the perpetrator. 

Again, independent scientists usually do not follow GLP rules because it's expensive in terms of labour hours and because they view them as irrelevant. Independent science has always had its own quality control system in the form of the peer-reviewed publication system, which subjects a study to the critical review of peers, the journal editor, and, after publication, fellow scientists who can repeat the experiment and test its findings.

OECD protocols and GLP rules are not, and were never meant to be, a hallmark of good science. Yet industry and regulators misuse these two standards to dismiss studies done by independent researchers, which generally do not conform to OECD protocols or follow GLP rules. Thus OECD protocols and GLP rules have become a shield for industry to protect it from the findings of independent scientists. 

Thus we've ended up in a situation where there are, for example, hundreds of independent studies showing harm from low doses of the food packaging chemical bisphenol A, and some limited industry studies that claim to show safety. Yet industry and regulators cling to the industry studies on the purported grounds that they are more "relevant to human risk assessment" (OECD-conformant) and "reliable" (GLP). 

In fact, there are no good scientific reasons why industry studies should be considered more relevant or reliable than independent studies, and many reasons why they are less so. But if regulators were to abandon arbitrary definitions of relevance and reliability, they would have little alternative but to ban many chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs.

For more, see: Antoniou, M., M. Habib, et al. (2011). Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?, Earth Open Source. http://bit.ly/IP2FWH (section 4)

How do OECD protocols apply to Seralini's study?

Seralini based his study on the chronic toxicity part of OECD protocol no. 453. It states that for a carcinogenesis trial you need a minimum of 50 animals of each sex per test group but for a toxicity trial a minimum of 10 per sex suffices. 

Monsanto's earlier 90-day feeding study on NK603, submitted to the EU in support of its approval, had been re-analysed by Seralini's team. They found it reveealed signs of liver and kidney toxicity:
de Vendomois, J. S., F. Roullier, et al. (2009). "A comparison of the effects of three GM corn varieties on mammalian health." Int J Biol Sci 5(7): 706-726.

So for this new experiment, Seralini's team chose a chronic toxicity protocol to see if the signs of liver and kidney toxicity escalated into something serious, which they clearly did.

We MUST remember that the study embarked on by Seralini's team was NOT a carcinogenicity study but a chronic toxicity study. That is, they did not embark on a study to see if the GM maize or Roundup caused cancer. The rise in tumour incidence was unexpected and a surprise and thus not planned for. 

So it is disingenuous to call this work a carcinogenicity study. The experimental design that Seralini used, compared with Monsanto's 90-day study, was more extensive (longer; greater number of tests groups; greater range of parameters measured; diets better characterised including certainty that the control diet was non-GM, which Monsanto failed to provide data on in their 90-day feeding trial data; proper control diets as stipulated by EU GMO legislation instead of irrelevant control diets as used by Monsanto). 

It is also worth remembering that Monsanto used 20 rats of each sex per group in its feeding trials but bizarrely, they only analysed 10, the same number as Seralini. So Monsanto does not have a leg to stand on on this point! We wonder why Monsanto only analysed 10 rats out of 20. Were these randomly chosen or were they selected because they were apparently healthy? Monsanto's data, like most such industry feeding trial data on GMOs, is not published so we cannot check this.

Monsanto is responsible for the fact that Seralini's group did not design their study as a carcinogenicity study. Monsanto either did not know that the GM maize could have carcinogenic effects because it had failed to test it, or it did know and hid the fact. So it would not occur to any independent scientist to test for this. 

Given Seralini's results, it is now up to Monsanto to pay for a full carcinogenicity study on the NK603 maize, which, however, must be carried out by independent scientists with no conflicts of interest. 

As EFSA has repeatedly said, it is industry's responsibility to prove that its products are safe. Clearly it has not done that. So NK603 must be withdrawn from the market until it has been proven safe. 

    Terrible response to the criticism. OECD is outdated and inflexible, so they are somehow right to use too few subject? They used too few subjects, and got statistically insignificant results. So, it doesn't matter what you think of OECD protocol, the criticism is made evident by their results.

    So GM watch respons sounds bogus. Monsanto's point is pretty clearly valid. They do have a leg to stand on as their study was a 90 day acute/subchronic study not a chronic. The OECD protocol for that one calls for 10 of each sex.

    But what else would you expect from an activist site?

    Mike, rather than dwelling on the details of the procedure, which btw is not gmo click’s strong point (90 days 10 animals), you may for example explain to us common people what is MiRNA and how it is used in gmo technology. (btw I know this but just for the record).
    After that I would like to get back to the statement that MiRNA of a gmo plant is the same as MiRNA of broccoli in relation with the remark Monsanto made about “dosage used”.
    I appreciate your Latin, but plain English (including mine like far from perfect) is enough. Let us not water the discussion.
    Thanks

    Current GMO varieites do not involve miRNA in any way whatsoever.

    I've heard that there is some thought in using transgenic miRNA in future versions as a diruptor to pests. It would be revolutionary.

    As I understand it right now, there is no miRNA implication in GMO and miRNA from a GMO is no more scary than brocolli. But if you do know something please educate us all. So far your scientific knowledge of being able to smell organic food has been enlightening.

    RNA knockdown means nothing to you?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/408994/crops-that-shut-down-pests-g...

    "...made corn plants that silence a gene essential for energy production in corn rootworms; ingestion wipes out the worms within 12 days..."

    "...that silence a gene that allows cotton bollworms to process the toxin gossypol, which occurs naturally in cotton. Bollworms that eat the genetically engineered cotton can't make their toxin-processing proteins, and they die...."

    I wonder what the cumulative effect on human is...

    1) It doesn't exist in any currently available GMO

    2) It may never come to pass

    3) to quote your article "But most researchers agree that it's unlikely that eating these plants would have adverse effects on humans." If it is specific enough, it won't be able to affect us. It will be no more scary than miRNA from anythign else. We don't have the same genes to silence as insects.

    It will be a completely different product and require testing to approve. It will not be like bt corn, since bt was already evaluated, and corn is not harmful, bt corn was accepted. This will require new approvel of the RNA interference mechanism. So save your concerns for when they are valid. They are not right now. My statement that miRNA has nothing to do with GMO is correct, at least for now.

    "...to quote your article "But most researchers agree that it's unlikely that eating these plants would have adverse effects on humans." If it is specific enough, it won't be able to affect us. It will be no scarier than miRNA from anything else.”

    “ ...We don't have the same genes to silence as insects..."
    No we have others! Where is the control group? Where are the studies? Or maybe you want to tell me that human genom and mechanisms are fully known? If so why then not solving simple diabetes or cancer?

    There we go... "most researchers", "substantially the same"...

    1. You see I agree with you if it is specific enough and the relation is n : m where you can identify n and m and all the cases and consequences. At this point you do claim that your knowledge of genetics is absolute, while I am more than convinced that the knowledge about genetics is in the baby shoes.
    Bio researchers are convinced, but the oncologist's research on the subject (miRNA) is still in the beginning phase.
    Bio researches claimed that a single gene is coding a single protein till recently (with respect to gmo approval).

    2. You expect me to believe that miRNA (not engineered) generated by a gmo plant is a sure and repetitive thing? Please show me a study done by the gmo business that investigates types of miRNA that can pass GI. Knowing that the Chinese article is the primer I guess you do not have an answer to this.

    3. Response of Monsanto follow up on humans needed?! Follow up on whom exactly? Do you have an answer? When?

    4. How can you pursue a patent for something that is substantially equal to something that is not yours?

    5. I need to inform you broccoli is already tested for ages. In engineering you have two testing concepts, first one every single detail is documented and all the case are covered and reviewer cannot find a hole anymore and the second one is safe through practice. Brocolli would be safe through practice and gmo plant is still not as long as the human body is an unknown or you do an effort and collect relevant data... for ages...

    I don't think it should be deemed safe based on "most researchers."

    Where are the studies you ask. Either you are confused or disingenuous. They are studying it right now. It is not out there being used. Nobody is convinced. It's an idea that may be good or bad.

    Your point #2 is nonsensical. We don't know much about miRNA. But there is no reason to believe there is any more or less in a GMO organism. Plus, just because rice miRNA was found to have a barely detectable effect on people, that does not mean much to the grand scheme of miRNA. Not yet at least. The article was a scare tactic, and it worked on you.

    I don't understant #3. Ar you saying we should or shouldn't do human testing. Yesterday you were pro. Today you seem to be against it. But I agree. No human testing.

    #4 requires an understanding of patent law. It is completely irrelavent to safety. Why bring it up. Activist smokescreen.

    #5 makes some really big assumptions. YOu could replace "GMO" with "F1 Hybrid". Most hybrids are very new, have never been tested, and have way more opportunity for unintended genetic consequences and have been way less studied that GMO. So the "newness" thing doesn't mean much.

    Gerhard Adam
    Most hybrids are very new, have never been tested, and have way more opportunity for unintended genetic consequences and have been way less studied that GMO. So the "newness" thing doesn't mean much.
    ... and that is precisely my problem with food production.  Instead of letting GM foods have a free pass because of hybridization, I would rather see us be more specific and test changes introduced by many means, because we don't know what's happening.

    Assertions about safety are just that ... assertions.  They are not evidence, except within the narrow realm that suggests that no one seems to overtly die from a particular food, so therefore it must be  harmless.  We already know of many foods that are not harmless, and we also know of many that can be positively dangerous for people that have allergies or sensitivities [including specific diseases].

    In my view it is extremely irresponsible to be accelerating the pace/level of changes in something as basic as food, with an ever increasing population [which increases the probability that even unlikely events can occur] and then not test the stuff.  We aren't hunter-gatherers any more testing a new red berry to see if it's good.
    Mundus vult decipi
    “…Where are the studies you ask. Either you are confused or disingenuous. They are studying it right now. It is not out there being used. Nobody is convinced. It's an idea that may be good or bad.”
     Flavr Savr and Dr. Puztai

    “…Your point #2 is nonsensical. We don't know much about miRNA. But there is no reason to believe there is any more or less in a GMO organism. Plus, just because rice miRNA was found to have a barely detectable effect on people, that does not mean much to the grand scheme of miRNA. Not yet at least. The article was a scare tactic, and it worked on you…”
    Is this your argument? There is no reason to believe? Something brought to the market decade ago claimed it cannot pass GI, found bogus and you think it is OK? And you want me to feed my kids gmo? It is not ok, assumption of safety is not enough.

    “…I don't understant #3. Ar you saying we should or shouldn't do human testing. Yesterday you were pro. Today you seem to be against it. But I agree. No human testing…”

    You just need to follow families already using gmo for a decade. Uh, I forgot, how can you follow when there is no labeling? Of course you can’t and you are testing, yes you do in vitro, and results ….

    #4 requires an understanding of patent law. It is completely irrelavent to safety. Why bring it up. Activist smokescreen.

    Accidently I have two patents on my name. Indeed irrelevant, however new feature, new product unit testing and integration testing if you know what I mean.

    #5 makes some really big assumptions. YOu could replace "GMO" with "F1 Hybrid". Most hybrids are very new, have never been tested, and have way more opportunity for unintended genetic consequences and have been way less studied that GMO. So the "newness" thing doesn't mean much..."

    When you mentioned this first association The Fly . I guess you know what I mean. I agree about hybrids, and they are not considered organic, however it is not activists’ invention, I think it is quite clear who is producing and distributing hybrids. Btw, DekalB is that a gmo or a hybrid strain?

    Let me reiterate what the miRNA study showed-- plant miRNA are not digested, they enter the blood stream and organs of mammals and regulate genes across kingdoms.

    Where are miRNA databases on commercially produced GMO crops, Mike?

    I don't need to waste any more time on your assumptions and beliefs.

    -- I would like to see scientific evidence in a form of links.

    miRNA data base on bt corn is found__________________
    miRNA data base on RR soy is found__________________
    2yr rodent study on RR corn is ____________________

    Am I your employee? You can research the internet as easily as I can. Google "miRNA GMO" and you'll see mostly hits regarding how the chinese study had nothing to do w/ GMO.

    Your are jumping to huge conclusions in assuming that miRNA of corn or soy has been altered in the genetic engineering process.

    You also making a huge assumption that most miRNA will do what was found with the rice study.

    The article that linked the rice study w/GMO was a stretch and a scare tactic. I thought it was funny. Appearently it had it intended misinforming effect on you. It created uncertainty. Uncertainty that is not really relevant, but enough uncertaintly for activists to latch on to.

    In reality, the role that foreing miRNA plays is likely very small, and very uncommon. To assert that it is a new item to screen for in GMO is pretty much a stretch.

    Assumption-based-evidence, Mike.

    FAIL

    Mike you keep missing the point. The point is not the gmo miRNA is found, the point is the plant miRNA Is found at all.
    One of the safety claims for not testing gmo was EVERYTHING is digested and NOTHING passes GI.
    Do you get the point?
    This means food is not just a bunch of calories for the human body, but also information.
    Maybe anti cancer properties of certain foods (broccoli, forbidden rice…) is also due to its miRNA passing our GI.
    By the way when you mention assumption about something that is already in use for a decade my hair goes up. Scary… Not the article, but you use of word assumption.

    Who ever c laimed that GI / digestive stuff? It has never been a claim. If you've heard it, you've probably heard it through an activist that made it up.

    We know just as little about 'gmo" miRNA as we know about genral plant RNA. So should we stop eating plants in the meantime? No fruits or vegetables. How about meat? Whose to say we can't get pig miRNA that might be giving us cancer?

    It is absurd to conjecture that this miRNA thing bears any heavier on GM than it does on any other food. You have been duped by an uncertainty scheme. They make sciencey stuff sound good and confusing and introduce it as a big unknown that would require us to stop GMO. In reality it's a big unknown that would require us to stop eating everything.

    I haven't ask for the data, but in this day and age there is little excuse to not cough it up, unless you have something to hide. I routinely make public data where there are tens of thousands of measurements per subject, and often hundreds of subjects. It fits in one spreadsheet.

    That the sample sizes are too small is an amusing criticism. The reason people would like larger sample sizes for experiments is to that you don't get false negatives as easily. Negative means claiming "no difference". If a person is claiming "no difference" then you can try to argue their sample sizes weren't enough to detect a difference you think might be important. These authors seem to be claiming they got a difference though.

    The really crazy part of it though: I skimmed the paper, and I failed to see where they demonstrated a significant difference for any comparison. Is there a p-value in the entire paper? I was taught (by J.V. Neel) that if you do not estimate the chances that your findings are false-positive to the best of your abilities, then it isn't science.

    PS. Good American scientists have things to learn from good European (and every other flavor of) scientists, and vice versa. We feel like we are all in this together (real science I mean).

    I'm glad an actual researcher is weighing in.

    I do have a question: When you have a small sample size and have large variability, wouldn't a larger sample size also help weed out false positives? So a bigger control group with a similar event incidence to the larger sample sizes would essentially show more effectively that you may have been counting false positives. Am I missing something? I would think that a small control with little event incidence would be less powerful in finding false negatives as you say. But when you have high relative event incidence, it would give troubles with weeding out false positives.

    Either way, more would be better for longer term testing, thus the protocols.

    The truth is that it doesn't matter if it is 10 rats or 50 rats. Both are immaterial.

    Neither number has any statistical relevance to implying safety in Billions of people.

    10-50 /1,000,000,000 has a statistical relevance of 0

    Thousands of people take Tylenol every day-- One tylenol pill given to a cat produces a dead cat in 24hrs.
    Different species are not metabolically the same at all.

    I can't believe you don't get that. Rats are not cats, dogs are not rats, cattle and pigs are not rats and neither are people. Your arguments are ludicrous.

    We use mice and rats allot, and to rather good effect. But it's true they aren't perfect. Please try and get a study funded in human.

    About Mike's point. Gut feeling might lead people to think false positive is easier to obtain with small samples, but in fact the p-value tells you what you want to know. If p=.01 for small or large data, the chance of false positive is 1%. What gut was right about is that the chances of getting a big difference (by chance) is bigger with small data, but with small data it has to be bigger (or variance smaller) to get that small p-value. I've seen some pretty popular blogs get this wrong in the last week or so, discussing this paper. I think it's confusing cause for this paper it is so hard to tell if and when they are trying to demonstrate anything. As a nerd I often ignore any paragraph without a statistical test in it, since without that, it's probably just story-telling.

    Based on the video report:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njd0RugGjAg&feature=player_embedded

    •No results given for non-gm maize

    The results are there in the chart. The gm maize group lost 600% more members than the non-gmo group.

    •The same journal publishes a paper showing no adverse health effects in rats of consuming gm maize (though this is a shorter 90-day study)

    The Monsanto study *deliberately* stops at 90 days to make sure the health effects don't become apparent. Once you study further than 90 days, gmo and roundup start to take their toll. Is your planned lifespan 90 days - or maybe the human equivalent - 15 years?

    •Statistical significance vs relative frequencies.

    I agree that more study is needed. However, until gmo is proven safe in the long run, it should be banned for human and animal consumption. I was originally thinking that it may be OK for biofuel. But once you factor in cross-contamination in the fields, that's no longer true.

    •We also have to ask why the rats were kept alive for so long – for humane reasons this study would not have been given approval in the UK.

    Let me get this straight - it's inhumane to have rats die in labs in a thorough (for once) experiment, but it's OK for women to die early due to breast cancer all over the world?

    All acutte/subchronic testing deliberately ends in 90 days.

    yup and next we will be told to avoid any and all sunshine.....and even in the coldest and darkest of month you must apply a chemically laden cream to prevent you from getting a sun burn. sorry...if your getting paid you are slanting the numbers. As Mark Twain once said "there are three types of lies....little lie, big lies and statistics"
    Label the freaking food if it has GMOs...period.

    Hank
    I agree, so why exempt organic food or restaurant food or alcohol?  And please spare us all the 'organic food has no GMOs' lie.  The fact is this law is partisan crap written to cause lawsuits.  Supporting it and then saying 'fix it later' is idiotic.
    In 2010. a field was planted with gmo corn as an experiment. They came up with a “brilliant” idea that if they plant some rows of normal corn around the gmo field there will be no contamination of the surrounding crops. Contaminated crops were found 2km away from the field in question.
    You are right Hank. But why does organic food contain gmo’s? I thought that the claim was gmo will not cause any kind of contamination? If the world would be a normal place today an invasion on someone else’s property would be a crime in all circumstances.

    this article, and the many comments, are bad: has anyone here read the actual full text of hte paper, so they know if some of the experts criticising it are valid ?
    I mean, if all these "experts" criticizing hte paper were saying somehthing you didn't like, you would find reason to disbelieve them (don't you nknow anything about basic psychology ?????)

    1 why did they publish in a paywalled journal - if hte paper was really decent, they could have published in lots of nopaywalled journals
    2 the claim that they couldn't put all the data in is bogus; nowadays, almost all journals have supplementary data, which is a separate pdf, you can put as much data as you want in it
    3 these guys are bad scientists. How do i know ? you don't start an $$ multi year study unless you think you are going to get a result - otherwise, y ou are wasting your time.
    It should have been obvious *before they started* that the sample sizes were to small, and that the would not get conclusive data at the end..
    4 from a science perspective, i guess you could say that the mutation ( 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) upsets aromatic synthesis; there is precedent - a few years ago, there were severe illness and death due to a new type of fermented tryptophan from Japan (I think it was trp) so it is not unreasonable to think that altering htis enzyme might increase toxic corn metabolites (analogous to potatoes, which can have toxic levels of cardiac glycosides)

    Gerhard Adam
    ...why did they publish in a paywalled journal...
    They didn't.
    http://www.iatp.org/files/GMOtoxicityreport.pdf

    Actually most of the safety studies are the ones behind paywalls.

    How do i know ? you don't start an $$ multi year study unless you think you are going to get a result - otherwise, y ou are wasting your time.
    So, you're also criticizing the safety studies funded by Monsanto?
    Mundus vult decipi
    yes, they did publish in a paywalled journal - fact
    the last time i looked, about two weeks ago, the full text was not available on their website; my apologies for not being up to date

    Hank
    Oddly, it was pirated within minutes by the left-wing people supporting bans of GMO food.  And they put a link here. I can't figure anti-science people out.  They hate science and corporations, even when the corporation is publishing junk science nonsense that supports their anti-science case.
    Gerhard Adam
    To the best of my knowledge this is the same link that was available since the beginning.
    Mundus vult decipi
    1. the claim that they couldn't put all the data in is bogus; nowadays, almost all journals have supplementary data, which is a separate pdf, you can put as much data as you want in it

    The Monsanto studies I read omitted all sorts of crucial data. The safety assurance study I cited below omits urinalysis results, pathological findings (in contrast to conclusions), the names of the pathologists, as well as reports a Single abbreviated biochemical data set on 20 rats out of a group of 400.

    3 these guys are bad scientists. How do i know ? you don't start an $$ multi year study unless you think you are going to get a result - otherwise, you are wasting your time.

    I hate it when people draw conclusions for others. I happen to disagree on the "bad scientists" bit, as well as the rest of your premise.

    {It should have been obvious *before they started* that the sample sizes were to small, and that the would not get conclusive data at the end..}
    They followed OECD guidelines. Therefore, are you saying that OECD guidelines are flawed?

    { from a science perspective, i guess you could say that the mutation ( 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) upsets aromatic synthesis; there is precedent - a few years ago, there were severe illness and death due to a new type of fermented tryptophan from Japan (I think it was trp) so it is not unreasonable to think that altering htis enzyme might increase toxic corn metabolites (analogous to potatoes, which can have toxic levels of cardiac glycosides)...}
    This comment interests me. Can you think of any biological/ biochemical/ endocrine mechanism by which increased branched aromatic amino acid levels in the corn can lead to increased rates of breast cancer (apart from the accurate statement on increased rates of cancer with obesity)?

    1. the claim that they couldn't put all the data in is bogus; nowadays, almost all journals have supplementary data, which is a separate pdf, you can put as much data as you want in it

    The Monsanto studies I read omitted all sorts of crucial data. The safety assurance study I cited below omits urinalysis results, pathological findings (in contrast to conclusions), the names of the pathologists, as well as reports a Single abbreviated biochemical data set on 20 rats out of a group of 400.
    because other people do it bad is ok ? and, journals let you put data in supp info, even excel; the claim that they couldn't do it is bogus

    3 these guys are bad scientists. How do i know ? you don't start an $$ multi year study unless you think you are going to get a result - otherwise, you are wasting your time.

    I hate it when people draw conclusions for others. I happen to disagree on the "bad scientists" bit, as well as the rest of your premise.

    {It should have been obvious *before they started* that the sample sizes were to small, and that the would not get conclusive data at the end..}
    They followed OECD guidelines. Therefore, are you saying that OECD guidelines are flawed?
    what is your argument ? if the OECD guidlines are bad, why would you use them: I repeat; no good sicentist would start a multi year multi million euro study with 10 rats per group; it is self evidently either stupid, or make work, or both; repsond to that argument - that if you are a good scientist, befoe you do a studly like this, you hire a professional statistician, and you determine how many rats you need, that is how they do it in clinical trial; it is not my fault the oecd guidlines are bad cause they were written by monsanto

    let me go further: now that i have a pdf of fulltext, one of the crucial figures is Fig 1, which is very poorly written; science isn't science till you communicate it; therefore, almost by definition - certainly i would think the overwhelming majority of PHDs would agree - poor figures, that don't communicate well, are a sign of a bad sicentiest; there are so many problems with figure one i don't know where to start; the way it is drawn, so you can't clearly see the control (dashed ) line, the wierd x axis which compresses evrything (they hshould have put an axis break in and blown up the area after 400 days)....I mean, it is sloppy junior undergrad level presentation.
    { from a science perspective, i guess you could say that the mutation ( 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) upsets aromatic synthesis; there is precedent - a few years ago, there were severe illness and death due to a new type of fermented tryptophan from Japan (I think it was trp) so it is not unreasonable to think that altering htis enzyme might increase toxic corn metabolites (analogous to potatoes, which can have toxic levels of cardiac glycosides)...}
    This comment interests me. Can you think of any biological/ biochemical/ endocrine mechanism by which increased branched aromatic amino acid levels in the corn can lead to increased rates of breast cancer (apart from the accurate statement on increased rates of cancer with obesity)?
    I don't know enough about this, and don't have the energy to look into; I'm merely saying,as someone with a phd in molecular biology, this is a plausible hypothesis; it fits with what we know.
    speculatively, bisphenol A, a weak mimic of estrogen, is aromatic; it is quite reasoanble that similar compounds are made in plants, and changing this enzyme chagnes the amount of nature of such compounds, but that is speculation on my part based on teh aromaticity thing - bisphenol a is aromatic; Tyr and Trp are aromatic, many secondary metabolites are, so it is not wierd

    {if the OECD guidlines are bad, why would you use them: I repeat; no good sicentist would start a multi year multi million euro study with 10 rats per group; it is self evidently either stupid, or make work, or both; repsond to that argument - that if you are a good scientist, befoe you do a studly like this, you hire a professional statistician, and you determine how many rats you need, that is how they do it in clinical trial; it is not my fault the oecd guidlines are bad cause they were written by monsanto}

    I am sorry if my point is not clear to you. I Believe it was done to make the following point:
    THE OECD guidelines on which ALL the safety studies used to commercialize GE crops, are a Scientific FRAUD.
    There are No Statistically Valid feeding trials on Record.

    Figure 1--demonstrates visually that the rats fed GMO corn alone, GMO corn with R, or R- had shorter lifespans than controls. Is it statistically valid? I doubt it. But then again, this is the Only Long Term Feeding Trial on record, so it is the only data ( as statistically flawed as it is) comparing longevity of experimental animals fed GE corn, GE corn with R, R alone and conventional food.
    The ball is now in the GE camp court to show that GE foods alone, GE foods with R, or R--don't lead to shortened lifespans compared to controls. I wont be holding my breath, though.

    {I don't know enough about this, and don't have the energy to look into} I find that unfortunate.

    I cannot bring myself to read through the whole comment thread so far, so maybe I just repeat others' comments. However, I did read the article, and two cardinal sins stick out:

    1. Sprague Dawley is an outbred rat stock with a great variability in physiological properties and susceptibility to pituitary, and thereby mammary, tumours.

    2. Food intake has a dramatic effect on the incidence of tumours and longevity. (Or rather, food intake affects the time of onset of tumours.) If food intake is not controlled accurately and levelled between groups, differences in tumour incidence are bound to be found.

    These factors together increase the overall variability of the results and decrease the statistical power radically. If one wants reliable results in this kind of experiment, properly controlled food intake and using inbred rat strains (or preferably two inbred strains) are just crucial. I cannot judge whether the statistical methods of the study were appropriate or not, but just by looking at the graphs the conclusions don't seem obvious.

    Here is an excellent introduction to the importance of using inbred animals in experimental animal research:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v388/n6640/full/388321a0.html
    (Michael F.W. Festing "Fat rats and carcinogenesis screening", Nature 388, 321-322 (24 July 1997))

    1. . The study design was adapted from OECD Guideline
    No. 408 (1981) and was conducted in general compliance
    with OECD Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)
    guidelines at Covance Laboratories, Vienna, Virginia,
    US.
    2.1. Animals and maintenance
    Male and female Sprague-Dawley derived rats
    (Crl:CD(SD)IGS BR) from Charles River Laboratories
    Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain
    from corn rootworm-protected corn
    B. Hammond a,*, J. Lemen a, R. Dudek a, D. Ward a, C. Jiang a, M. Nemeth a, J. Burns b
    a Monsanto Company, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St Louis, MO 63167, United States
    b Covance Laboratories, Inc., 9200 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182-1699, United States
    Received 1 June 2005; accepted 22 June 2005

    IF your criticism is true --it holds true for ALL the safety studies used to commercialize these crops.

    Hank
     The study design was adapted from OECD Guideline
    You have literally never done a study if you think 3 different experiments using a suspect animal model for an obscene amount of time but only 1 minimal control group is valid. You claimed to have a PhD in biology so how can you not know even the most basic way to set up an experiment, since every biology undergrad would be flunked saying what you just said?
    No, I didn't claim to have a phD. I claimed to have a medical doctorate. As far as the control group....if you have problems with the number of rats in Seralini's experiment, (as you should) you should have even more trouble with the number of experimental animals in the SAFETY ASSURANCE STUDIES used to commercialize the crops--based on the same OECD regulations.
    As I said, the study I cited by Hammond et al is made up of 400 rats, 320 reference/ controls, 80 experimental. Biochemical findings reported for 10-20.
    The value I see in the number of animals in the experiment is of showing the OECD regulations to be a scientific fraud.

    Well if you want to call toxicologists frauds, and claim you have the answers then go ahead. The reality is Hammond did an acute/subchronic test with the appropriate OECD number of subjects, and Seralini did a chronic/carcinogenicity long term study using too few per typical OECD. Plus his statisistical power suffered yet he tried to draw conclusions. Apples and oranges.

    Hammond's work, in spite of only reporting results on 10-20/400 rats still shows nephropathy and hepatobiliary disease. Which is why I believe Seralini's results on shortened lifespans-based on Hammond's results, as well as Malatesta's results.

    I don't know anything about some Hammond's work and don't have time or interest to study it now. (I don't mean to be rude, that's just the case now.) I only commented the article Hank's blog was about, and I believe that what I said holds. OECD guidelines give minimum numbers. Sample size needed and statistical power in any study depend among other things on the study design and the background variation, which both are especially crucial factors to take into account in experimental animal research. If a long-term toxicity/carcinogenicity study is conducted, and no clue is given about the food intake in study groups, or how it was controlled, I can't take the results seriously. Any qualified experimental rat scientist doing these kind of experiments have to be aware of the huge effect that food consumption has on the pathology and survival. And, it is true that a lot of the safety testing done with outbred rats without properly taking into account food consumption, is not necessary reliable.
    Of course it may be that the results are good, but in that case the article is not, as it doesn't describe some very important aspects at all. In my mind, that also casts doubt on the peer review, too.

    According to??? Seralini's reanalysis of hammond's work? Because that was discredited.

    And they did not only study 10-20/400. That is a blatant lie.

    For all you GMO fan boys:

    Bt-toxin in most GE products has the potential to turn our intestinal system into a literal 'pesticide factory' -- even after we stop consuming GM foods. Of course Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is naturally found in the soil and has been used as an insecticide for years. Farmers spray their crops with the bacteria, insects eat it and their stomachs subsequently break open.

    Monsanto decided it would be profitable to splice a gene of Bt with corn, soybeans and cotton -- creating plants that were rife with the bacteria not just on the surface but within the cell wall. Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency claimed the toxin would be destroyed within the digestive tract of mammals and magically disappear. Guess what? The physicians at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec, Canada discovered Bt-toxin in 93 percent of 30 pregnant women, 80 percent of umbilical cord blood of their babies and 67 percent of 39 women who were not pregnant. Considering Bt-toxin is linked with cancer, autism, severe food allergies and autoimmune disease, these findings are downright frightening.

    Even when Bt is sprayed, adverse reactions arise. 500 people in Washington state and Vancouver reported flu-like and allergic symptoms when exposed to the spray. Thousands of farm workers in India had similar symptoms after handling genetically modified Bt cotton. And a small village lost an entire herd of buffalo along with many of their sheep and goats who consumed Bt cotton and died soon after.

    Living pesticide factories

    The researchers of the Quebec study speculate that the source of Bt-toxin found in the blood samples came from the standard middle class diet, including animals who are fed Bt corn. Jeffrey M. Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, suspects the rise in Bt levels is due to another reason: colonies of the bacteria are replicating within the intestines, long after the GM food was ingested. If this hypothesis is correct, according to Smith, "...we might see an increase in gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders - since 1996 when Bt crops came on the market. Physicians have told me that they indeed are seeing such an increase."

    Hank
    For all you GMO fan boys:
    To rational people in the reality-based community, that sentence translates to "I am an anti-science crank who has copied and pasted some talking points from Greenpeace/Environmental Working Group/Mercola.com/(insert your favorite advocacy group here) and don't know anything at all about actual biology'.

    Sorry, the plural of anecdote is still not data.  This nonsense you pulled worked for Rachel Carson's crap book, but not 50 years later.
    Anyone interested in hearing the author of the study speak for himself?

    Watch the 12 minute video and brace yourself. You'll be changing your mind real fast.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njd0RugGjAg&feature=player_embedded

    Hank
    What does that even mean?  Scientists and educated people say the study is too flawed to have any value, it is just press release and advocacy fodder, while anti-science people say it reaffirms their belief that they can taste GMOs in food. So which mind is he supposedly changing?
    I am sorry....but science doesn't translate well to emotionally charged music and film. That video might be fine entertainment, but doesn't do much to shed light on the science itself.
    I am one of Seralini defenders on the web, but I didn't change my mind about the statistical flaws in his experimental data. In fact I lost respect for Seralini because of this emotional and sensational clip.

    Sure, biotech "scientists" and "educated" ie. programmed people focus on the flaws, but the study stands up on most counts when you look at all the facts presented. And I'll bet you haven't watched the video.

    The mind is unable to change when it's cast in cement.

    Hank
    No, the study stands up on no counts. The fact that you put "scientists" in scare quotes says you are exactly the kind of anti-science crank I talk about - but perfect for that goofy study.  Please, please, please tell me you vote Republican.
    I'm reading the full text pdf
    Figure one, mortality data is not very well drawn - it is hard to follow the dashed control line. The note in the results that there is not a monotonic does response, and that in males there is little evidence for harm; later, in the discussion they cite vanderberg et al (2010, end rev) to support the idea that you might not expect a monotonic does response.
    Seems kinda bogus to me , but could be

    I really don't understand the orthogonal regression analysis, but it doesn't look like they adjusted (a la bonferroni) for how many analyses they did (if you do 20 indpendent biochemical analyses, then you would expect ~~1 to be significant at the 5% level)

    why might roundup resistant plants be toxic ?
    1) altering the enzyme might change hte nature or amount of aromatic secondary metabolites; since at least some plants can produce toxic metabolites, and this production is highly variable with growing conditions, it is a challenge showing this doens't happen
    2) I don't know how the agrobacterium roundup resistant gene (mor properly, gene encoding a resistnat enzyme, or gene conferring a R phenotype) was introduced inot the maize genome, but we all know that transposition events can be mutagenic

    does this about cover the basic science ?

    Hank
    Not really, all of your 'might' relies on speculation about possibilities in an infinite universe.  If I swap out your science-y terms with 'descended from aliens in space' it also sounds plausible, you just have to ignore the fact that the premise is made up. So it goes with your 'prove this is not happening' logic.   
    Gerhard Adam
    The problem with Roundup resistance, is that the roundup is still accumulated in the plant.  It isn't like it is some force field that prevents the introduction of the herbicide.  The plant is merely resistant to its effects.
    Mundus vult decipi
    My speculative outline

    There are two EPSPS genes in this crop, one is slightly different than the other.
    According to the literature the level of aromatic amino acids is the same, phenolic levels are Not reported--they are the good guys, which actually help with cancer. According to Seralini the levels are reduced-- I am having a tough time convincing myself that this reduction by itself is sufficient to induce cancer.
    However, branched aromatic amino acids are not good for the liver---see Fischer ratio. Once your liver is dysfunctional, you are unable to process all sort of toxins--->which predisposes you to cancer. And I have no idea whether oncogenic miRNA's are created. So, who knows.

    And the other problem with Round Up is that it doesn't just kill plants--it also kills soil bacteria and fungi. How many beneficial soil microorganisms are there?

    Looking at all the above, and with some background knowledge of pesticide and GM regulatory affairs: if any company obtained an authorisation on the basis of studies like the one under discussion here, the same people that are now crying wolf, would be jumping up and down, and accusing the regulatory authorities of irresponsible behaviour.
    Of course, "precautionary principle" is the buzz-word here, but let's face it: when you don't like something, be it pesticides, GMO's, or mobile phones, it is really easy to finance sub-standard research until one study shows something that might be construed as negative, and start shouting "precautionary principle", knowing that you wouldn't even accept a full-size, 4 generation clinical study with humans that showed that there were no negative side-effects, because that one negative study was still there, and you would hang on to the precautionary principle not until there was enough solid scientific evidence of a lack of risk, but until you managed to squeeze another negative result out of another sub-standard study, which would then be proof of your suspicions.
    And because the studies are done outside accepted scientific standards, because there was no funding for proper ones, they are labeled "independent science", and everything that is paid for by industry (not because they liked to spend that much money, but because they were forced to conduct high-standard trials, under a fool-proof and verifiable regime) is by definition "biased".

    In other words: we can debate about this study until we're blue in the face, but the end of the story is that the regulators (who happen to be neutral, tend to stay on the safe side, and have no personal or financial interest whatsoever in the outcome) will treat studies like this one for what it's worth: with caution. Maybe they'll increase the data requirements, for political reasons more than anything else, new studies will be done (proper ones), safety confirmed, and the people who never liked GMO's will continue to not like GMO's.

    What they achieve with this kind of sensation press, is that they make a lot of people very worried about the safety of their food. And maybe the stress they cause will have more negative health impact than any GMO food will ever do. I said "maybe". We don't know that. We certainly do not know the long-term effect of the publication of food-scare data. Maybe we should invoke the precautionary principle?

    I've always said that there is a reason that all the studies like this dont' get any traction with the people that matter.

    It seems pretty counterintuitive, and Gerhard will disagree, but we can't prove safety, we can only try to prove harm, in the absence of being able to do so, and in the presence of data that indicates no known hazards are present, we assume the level of risk is acceptable.

    It is all we can do, it is all we will continue to do in the future. Applying the precautionary principal the way it is often talked about would rule out almost everything we put in our mouths.

    Mike, that is exactly what I was trying to say. Unfortunately, the Precautionary Principle seems to be one of the most easily abused regulatory concepts. The fact that we have regulatory systems for products such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, GMOs, and many others, actually IS an implementation of the precautionary principle: we assume that these products can cause adverse effects, therefore we demand that their safety is proven, along the lines that you indicated: we can never prove the absence of harm, only the absence of those effects that we investigate, and then only under the conditions that we investigate under. We do our best to make that package of data requirements as complete as realistically feasible, but it will never be "complete", and the absence of harm will never be 100% "certain".

    But people in general, including the ones demanding 100% certainty for GMO's and pesticides, take risks that are infinitely bigger, every moment of their lives, whatever they do, eat, or drink, than the risks they so obsessively try to reduce to zero.

    Maybe we should focus more on the Proportionality Principle than on the Precautionary Principle...

    Looking at all the above, and with some background knowledge of pesticide and GM regulatory affairs: if any company obtained an authorisation on the basis of studies like the one under discussion here, the same people that are now crying wolf, would be jumping up and down, and accusing the regulatory authorities of irresponsible behaviour.
    Of course, "precautionary principle" is the buzz-word here, but let's face it: when you don't like something, be it pesticides, GMO's, or mobile phones, it is really easy to finance sub-standard research until one study shows something that might be construed as negative, and start shouting "precautionary principle", knowing that you wouldn't even accept a full-size, 4 generation clinical study with humans that showed that there were no negative side-effects, because that one negative study was still there, and you would hang on to the precautionary principle not until there was enough solid scientific evidence of a lack of risk, but until you managed to squeeze another negative result out of another sub-standard study, which would then be proof of your suspicions.
    And because the studies are done outside accepted scientific standards, because there was no funding for proper ones, they are labeled "independent science", and everything that is paid for by industry (not because they liked to spend that much money, but because they were forced to conduct high-standard trials, under a fool-proof and verifiable regime) is by definition "biased".

    In other words: we can debate about this study until we're blue in the face, but the end of the story is that the regulators (who happen to be neutral, tend to stay on the safe side, and have no personal or financial interest whatsoever in the outcome) will treat studies like this one for what it's worth: with caution. Maybe they'll increase the data requirements, for political reasons more than anything else, new studies will be done (proper ones), safety confirmed, and the people who never liked GMO's will continue to not like GMO's.

    What they achieve with this kind of sensation press, is that they make a lot of people very worried about the safety of their food. And maybe the stress they cause will have more negative health impact than any GMO food will ever do. I said "maybe". We don't know that. We certainly do not know the long-term effect of the publication of food-scare data. Maybe we should invoke the precautionary principle?

    Why Monsanto’s attempt to “disappear” tumours by using historical control data is invalid

    An Earth Open Source briefing, 26 September 2012

    Monsanto has invoked “historical norms” to dismiss statistically significant findings of increased tumours and mortality rates in rats fed GM maize NK603, as well as in rats exposed to levels of Roundup claimed by regulators to be safe, in a 2-year study by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini’s research team in France.
    Monsanto says that the increased mortality rates and tumour incidence “fall within historical norms for this strain of laboratory rats, which is known for a high incidence of tumours”.
    By “historical norms” and “within this historical range”, Monsanto means historical control data – data from various other studies that they find in the scientific literature or elsewhere.
    However, the use of historical control data is an unscientific strategy used by industry and some regulators to dismiss statistically significant findings of toxicity in treated (exposed) groups of laboratory animals in toxicological studies intended to evaluate safety of pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs.
    The only scientifically valid control for such experiments is the concurrent control, not historical control data. This is because scientific experiments are designed to reduce variables to a minimum. The concurrent control group achieves this because it consists of animals treated identically to the experimental group, except that they are not exposed to the substance under study. Thus, the only variable is exposure to the substance(s) being tested – in the case of Seralini’s experiments, NK603 maize and Roundup.
    With this experimental design, any differences seen in the treated animals are very likely to be due to the substance being tested, rather than due to irrelevant factors, as is the case with historical control data.
    Historical control data consists of a wide range of data gathered from diverse experiments performed under widely differing conditions. As a result, factors totally irrelevant to the study are responsible for the majority of differences in historical control data. Such factors may include environmental conditions; different diet for the animals; different pesticide residue exposures; different genetic background of the animals; even different years in which the experiments were performed, which is known to affect results for reasons that are poorly understood.
    In contrast, using the concurrent controls reduces such variables to a minimum and enables researchers to reach evidence-based conclusions about the effects of the substance being tested.
    For these reasons, toxicological studies performed by independent (non-industry) scientists and published in the peer-reviewed literature hardly ever invoke historical control data. They certainly do not use it to dismiss statistically significant findings of harm in treated groups of animals.
    Those who do use historical control data in this way include industry-affiliated sources and some regulators. The practice was introduced into risk assessment by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Even the OECD, however, advises caution in the use of such data and warns against it in evaluating findings of tumours (such as those seen in Seralini’s study). Even by weak OECD standards, Seralini’s findings are valid.
    Even if we were to follow Monsanto’s recommendation and use historical control data in evaluating Seralini’s findings, the historical control data cited by Monsanto is invalid because it relates to rats of a different origin (SD rats from Charles River Labs) than Seralini’s rats (SD rats from Harlan). Seralini took historical data on the Harlan SD rat fully into account in his study – and the results still show that the tumour increase and other effects were statistically significant. The tumour incidence in the test groups in his study was overall around three times higher than the normal rate observed in the Harlan SD rat strain he used, as reported in the literature.
    Finally, the “tumour-prone rat” argument used by Monsanto and others to dismiss Seralini’s findings of increased tumours is spurious. The key point about Seralini's tumour findings was that the controls got some tumours, but the treated groups got significantly more tumours, and these appeared sooner and were more aggressive than those of the control groups.
    So what matters in this study is not whether the rat strain was or was not prone to develop tumours, but
    • the earlier and more rapid rate of tumour development in the treated groups of animals, compared with the concurrent control, and
    • the larger number of tumours caused by the treatment, over and above the "spontaneous" background level.
    To illustrate the point by analogy: a small proportion of people who never smoke get lung cancer. If you smoke, your risk of getting lung cancer is about 12 times higher than if you don't smoke. The measurement is called a "relative risk". So even if there were an ethnic group of people with a higher rate of naturally occurring lung cancer, if people in that group smoke, their rate of lung cancer will still increase like that of everyone else.
    This is a basic principle of science and it is worrying that attempts are being made by pro-GM lobbyists to override it in the interests of keeping the products of powerful multinational biotechnology companies on the market.
    The responsibility now lies with Monsanto to pay for a full 2-year carcinogenicity study on its NK603 maize and the associated pesticide, Roundup. Such a study would, however, have to be carried out, not by industry or its contracted labs, but by independent scientists commissioned by an impartial publicly funded body consisting of a wide range of stakeholders representing the public interest.
    In the meantime, NK603 must be immediately withdrawn from the market and all GMOs must be subjected to long-term testing.

    Excellent comment. I like the illustration of smokers, and of the possible ethnic group that might have a naturally higher risk of lung cancer.

    Having read this explanation, I would be SERIOUSLY worried about GMO maize and Roundup.

    If I were a Harlan SD strain rat.

    Hank
    And the rat age of 160 years old. 
    In all earnest:

    When the post says:
    "The responsibility now lies with Monsanto to pay for a full 2-year carcinogenicity study on its NK603 maize and the associated pesticide, Roundup. Such a study would, however, have to be carried out, not by industry or its contracted labs, but by independent scientists commissioned by an impartial publicly funded body consisting of a wide range of stakeholders representing the public interest.
    In the meantime, NK603 must be immediately withdrawn from the market and all GMOs must be subjected to long-term testing."

    I cannot escape the feeling that these people have watched too many movies of the "Michael Clayton" variety: money-hungry, ruthless corporations burying evidence, silencing their own scientists, hiding facts and knowingly poisoning the world as if there's no tomorrow...

    When industry commissions a 2-year rat study, they face a cost of at least a million dollars. Such study is conducted under GLP, and the research facility that runs it has no desire to put itself out of business by cutting corners, or to end up in jail by falsifying data. And the final reports? Even IF the study director would be pushed by his sponsors to adapt the wording of his conclusions, there's no way that they can or will hide the actual data in the report (unlike "independent" scientists publishing non-GLP study results....). And the legislation in the US, Europe, and probably in a lot of other OECD countries as well, is strict enough for the sponsors to be diligent, and submit any study that might contain "adverse effects". They don't want to end up in jail by sweeping it under the carpet. They may at some point decide NOT to do a study, if they fear that the results may not be what they want to see. But when obliged under any regulatory regime to generate and submit studies, you can be very sure that whatever data is being generated, ends up on the desk of the regulators. And those regulators know very well how to read raw data, and how to ignore the offered summary conclusions, and draw their own conclusions.

    It is an illusion to speak of "independent scientists", when organisations like Friends of the Earth, PAN, or Earth Open Source really mean "scientists that say the things we like". I have never heard any of them refer to a study that showed no concerns, as "independent science".

    There is NO such thing as an independent scientist, unless that scientist is very rich and finances all of his own research, and does that research for his own fun.

    Scientists paid by industry can only deliver a very dry, solid, following-the-protocol-to-the-dot study, and send the bill. They don't write what their sponsor likes to hear, because they have to work under GLP, and it is more important for them to keep their GLP certification than to manipulate data in order to make a single client happy.

    The so-called "independent scientists" are usually academics, whose existence depends on the "publish or perish" principle, and on the financing of their next research project. Now, what publication is more likely to draw money for a follow-up project? "We investigated NK603 and RoundUp and didn't find any evidence of adverse effects"? Or "Frankenstein Maize causes tumours"?

    So much for INDEPENDENT Science....

    Hank
    The so-called "independent scientists" are usually academics, whose existence depends on the "publish or perish" principle, and on the financing of their next research project
    Indeed, there is an odd self-delusion (among academics) that having a political body determine what gets studied is somehow superior to having a corporation do so.  In reality, the accomplishments of corporate basic research versus the government kind is overwhelmingly corporate. The reason corporations do so much less of it is because governments are willing to do it, so corporations get the benefit anyway but spread the cost of failure out over 100 million people (taxpayers, in the case of the US). What is the mindset on the corporate side?  That academics can't do, so they teach. So both sides rationalize what they do and ignore their own limitations.
    Well, we're not really talking "basic research" here. On that level, I think there's an increasing amount of public-private partnerships, where industry co-finances academic basic research, in exchange for a patent here or there if anything useful pops out.
    But here we're talking about regulatory science. Data packages that have been developed over decades, and that are supposed to cover the risks that may occur when placing a potentially harmful substance on the market. There's no room for creativity here for corporations, they have to tick the boxes. The only opening is usually where a tiered approach is offered, and where some question marks remain at the lower tiers.
    If and when self-proclaimed independent scientists decide to do things differently until they find something negative, and then challenge the system, they usually do that with the results of non-regulatory trials. They never attack the system, or the data-requirements, the standardised protocols, the risk assessment methodologies for not being accurate. They never come with proposals for improving the scientific fundaments of regulatory decisions. The only thing that is thrown at the media is the alarming results of an unvalidated and non-verifiable study. And a photo of a "Roundup-treated" rat with a huge tumour is far more publishable than dry data. Or a photo of the giant tumours of an "untreated control" rat. That would sort of spoil the story.

    Gerhard Adam
    When industry commissions a 2-year rat study, they face a cost of at least a million dollars
    Considering that industry has spend far more than that in combating labeling laws this isn't very convincing.
    And the legislation in the US, Europe, and probably in a lot of other OECD countries as well, is strict enough for the sponsors to be diligent, and submit any study that might contain "adverse effects". They don't want to end up in jail by sweeping it under the carpet.
    Actually I can't think of anyone that has ended up in jail, and we've seen far too much of this from pharmaceuticals that introduce a product and then end up recalling it after it kills or harms people.  This doesn't make every corporation evil, but it does mean that there is a great deal that "slips through the cracks".  So while safety can't be demonstrated, we can certainly expect that due diligence has occurred in performing the basic tests necessary to establish the highest confidence levels in a product.

    Personally the fact that it may cost a million dollars for a study is trivial.  When a company stands to make 100 or even a 1000 times that amount of money in return, it is insulting to suggest that spending such money on research is "too expensive".


    Mundus vult decipi
    I don't know to whom it might feel as "insulting"... but I did not suggest that it is "too expensive". I meant to say that, once a study of that magnitude, cost, and duration is started, it also gets finished. And reported. And once that report is out, it gets to the regulators.

    And I CAN think of people who ended up in jail. Check out IBT laboratories, in the late 70's.... That's why GLP was "invented".

    Gerhard Adam
    Fair enough, so why have no such long-term studies been done?  How about dog/cat studies since it is also part of their diet?
    And I CAN think of people who ended up in jail. Check out IBT laboratories, in the late 70's...
    Yes, and those were cases of direct fraud, whereas the failure to do a study is not a liability.   Moreover, as long as the results aren't directly fraudulent, then there is technically no crime.  My point is simply that one cannot presume on the honesty of the system, since there are far too many vested interests.  This isn't the first time this topic has come up, and every time there is a controversy that results in harm to the public, invariably it is discovered that someone, somewhere took short cuts or even that regulations didn't exist. 

    "Regulators" don't mean much when they are also potentially customers.

    The most obvious red flag that occurs in quotes is when someone claims they did nothing wrong and complied with "the letter of the law".  That's already invoking the possibility of loopholes.

    Am I cynical ... you bet.  One of the most obvious, dramatic, and "should never have occurred" situations came about with the Rely tampons debacle.  Reading the history of that is indicative of the processes used, and why they are uniformly untrustworthy when applied to new technologies.

    http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/359/Kohen.html


    One that is even worse that demonstrates how seriously industry values scientific findings over their own profits is this:
    In 1994, the heads of the major US tobacco companies gave sworn testimony before the US Congress that they did not believe that nicotine was addictive.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563585/
    Unfortunately there are far more such incidences available that demonstrate precisely how such issues are handled, than there are actual studies that demonstrate due diligence.  However, as I said ... I'm cynical.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It would be criminal if it the study was used for FDA or USDA certification or regulatory purposes. FDA regulations are far from industry buddies. Just ask a plant manager what they do when an FDA inspector or auditor is coming...

    Gerhard Adam
    Sure ... but then low level bureaucrats and plant managers aren't the guys making the decisions, are they?

    I'm talking about the effects where it matters, and you can bet that the CEO of Monsanto [just as an example] is hardly shaking in his boots when he meets with the FDA head.  You generally don't have such fears when you deal with people you probably play golf with. 
    FDA regulations are far from industry buddies.
    Really?
    Michael R. Taylor, J.D., was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Foods. This was announced on the FDA’s website the day after the earthquake in Haiti. Michael Taylor is a former top executive, lawyer and lobbyist with biotech giant Monsanto Co. He has rotated in and out of law firms, Monsanto, the USDA and FDA.
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/01/21/former-monsanto-exec-appointed-to-the-head-of-the-f-d-a/
    Yep ... I'm betting their quaking in their boots.

    LOL ... you can't make this stuff up.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The revolving door is multifaceted and fascinating.

    The Current President and CEO of AVMA (Dr. Ron De Haven), a very nice and intelligent man-- revolved into AVMA CEO position ( leader of the executive board with pretty much unlimited power over Everything veterinary) right out of a position as an Administrator of APHIS-- the agency in charge of (de)regulating release of transgenic crops, where dozens were de-regulated during his tenure.
    Go figure.

    Interestingly enough, most FDA regulations are generated from within the industries they govern. Which makes good sense. Best practices and so forth. But to think that means that means that the regulations are rigged or easy to hit then you are quite incorrect. In pharma you and your competitors have to play by the same rules. You get big fines for not doing things right. You also don't want to hurt people because the lawsuits can more than undo all of the profits made. So you want all of your competitors to have to live up to your standards, and you want any of them that may be your supplier to get you intermediates of the same quality level. The result is pretty stringent and inflexible standards with real consequences. Having the FDA looking over your shoulder is not something that people do without taking it seriously. They don't let things go and that take regulations seriously. More than one company has been shuttered for not complying with standards.

    Gerhard Adam
    More than one company has been shuttered for not complying with standards.
    Such as?

    Sorry, but this notion of tough regulations is a joke and "big fines" is laughable given the amount of money on the table.  The fact is that the whole lot participates in a revolving door of jobs, favors, and money.  You can imagine the hue and cry if someone from Greenpeace had been appointed to that position in the FDA, but when it's an industry insider and lobbyist, then I'm supposed to believe that there's absolutely no conflict of interest.

    I didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

    These CEO's don't even bat an eye when lying to congress if it suits their purposes and congressmen are throwing themselves at their feet.  Too cynical?  Perhaps, but until they get serious, I don't trust any of them. 

    I can find half a dozen incidences [Googling within 10 minutes]  that resulted in people's deaths from "regulated" products, where there were already indications that the product was problematic.  Instead, everyone wants to feign ignorance, yet when there is a call for more due diligence and more comprehensive studies, then the accusation is overzealous fanatics using the precautionary principle.

    Here's a simple test.  If I want to see a safety study, then why isn't it available, except behind paywalls?  I've repeatedly asked for links, and in some cases I've gotten some, but correspondingly I've also gotten articles that suggest that much of the data warrants further studies.

    So where is the "settled" science?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Still, it's only too easy to reject the reliability if studies simply because they were financed by industry (especially when industry had an obligation to conduct those studies).
    And what makes you ask "why such studies have not been done before"? Of course long term studies with glyphosate have been conducted before and guess what: they never showed any results even resembling the ones from this French "independent" science. And yes, that makes me wonder too. Not about the safety if Roundup, but about the reliability of the French study... But when your mind is set on a corporate complot theory, no argument will convince you that the French study just might be unreliable.

    So, why not studies on cats and dogs? Well, for one reason that you want chronic studies, and with animals with an expected lifespan of 16 years, that would take a bit long.. Oh, that's exactly what you wanted? Then why not test it on the giant turtle? That will keep GMOs of the market for another 100 years...

    I come back to previous comments: for a product that has been used for decades, broadly, all over the world.. And no farmer has observed that 70-80% of his cows developed giant tumours even though they were bred on a diet of Roundup treated maize, or even GMO maize treated with Roundup... What is the obvious conclusion when you see this kind of study results? "Take those products off the market!! Precautionary Principle!!" Or maybe "lets have a closer look at the reliability and reproduceability of that study.."?

    Hank
    Still, it's only too easy to reject the reliability if studies simply because they were financed by industry
    Right, it is a goofy notion to allege that an industry scientist is not honest but a government one is. A PI in academia is under far more pressure to produce a positive result from a hypothesis than a corporate researcher, who is one of thousands and could get cultural whistleblower status if they get suppressed due to dangerous results.

    But defying logic like that is what conspiracy theories are. 

    Seralini bought the seed, just like anyone can buy it, so we are not reliant on Monsanto or anyone else to test this.  But detractors are in the Fear And Doubt business, not the Science For The Public Good business, so even spending a few hundred dollars for seeds is too much to ask of anti-science cranks.
    Gerhard Adam
    Seralini bought the seed, just like anyone can buy it, so we are not reliant on Monsanto or anyone else to test this.
    That's a bit disingenuous.  You know unless the individual conducting such tests were a scientist, working in an accredited lab, the results would be uniformly ignored or ridiculed.  The individual buying the seed might just as well have set their money on fire as spent it on seeds for their own verification.

    That's taking the concept of "citizen scientist" to unrealistic extremes.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, for one reason that you want chronic studies, and with animals with an expected lifespan of 16 years, that would take a bit long.. Oh, that's exactly what you wanted? Then why not test it on the giant turtle? That will keep GMOs of the market for another 100 years...
    How about actually studying the animals that will be consuming these foods?  They are an obvious choice without human testing, so failure to do so is simply negligence.  Since when does anyone draw conclusions from rodent studies and simply apply it to every other species that may consume the food?
    I come back to previous comments: for a product that has been used for decades, broadly, all over the world.. And no farmer has observed that 70-80% of his cows developed giant tumours even though they were bred on a diet of Roundup treated maize, or even GMO maize treated with Roundup... What is the obvious conclusion when you see this kind of study results?
    Sorry, but the plural of anecdotes is not data.  Since you have no data, your claim is nothing but anecdote.  You can't claim that such studies are prohibitively time consuming and then draw conclusions over the long-term without actually having studied anything.  In the absence of any actual study there is no "obvious conclusion".

    My concern is that it seems that this is simply viewed as a black and white issue.  Does it cause cancer?  Nope ... then it's safe, as if cancer is the only possible condition that anyone can suffer from.  If the studies weren't done, then no conclusions can be drawn.  Any statements to the contrary are simply anecdotal. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Just a question, before we continue this discussion without the slightest chance of coming to a form if consensus: do you feel that there is ANY study, or package of studies, that could convince you that GMO food is safe? Quite frankly, I don't think so: you're now shifting from cancer (wasn't that the concern here? The French tumour-rats?) to "any" disease or adverse effect. So whatever adverse effect is eliminated from the list of potential concerns... I'm sure you will find something that has NOT been thoroughly investigated for humans, rats of every breed , cars, dogs, tarsiers, and killer whales...

    Gerhard Adam
    You obviously haven't read anything I've written.  I'm the one that has insisted that people stop claiming safety or harm without studies.  I'm also against people making claims that GM food is safe, when the best that can actually be said is that it is no more harmful nor risky that the corresponding conventional foods.

    Yes, there are studies that can be done, and I agree that in terms of acute toxicity, it is unlikely that there is any harm from either glyphosate or Bt toxin.  However, what happens to rodents is not presumptive for all other animals, especially those that will be fed these diets.  Ultimately it is not conclusive for humans either.

    To not do follow-up studies and examine more long-term effects is simply negligence.  This isn't about banning GM foods because of food safety.  It's about providing the information necessary to demonstrate that someone has actually looked at the data from such studies. 

    In every instance of something going wrong, we have the same scenario of someone waving studies around demonstrating that a particular product is safe.  We already know that doesn't work. 

    So, in truth, I don't particularly care what you say or what you think.  I'm only interested in whether you can point to studies that demonstrate or support the claims you're making.  I'm also not interested in them if they are behind paywalls.

    I don't expect that glyphosate or Bt toxin are overtly harmful and for the vast majority of people they probably wouldn't have any effect at all.  As I've said before ... the claim has been made that these foods are completely safe to be fed to dogs and cats.  OK ... where a single study that has examined that?  Where is a study that has followed up on veterinary claims of problems?

    If no such studies are being done, then it simply indicates that once some belief becomes entrenched then no one feels compelled to examine any additional data.  Again ... I have no sympathy for industry in this.  If companies and government want to inject themselves into the most fundamental aspects of life itself, then they better consider themselves accountable.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Regarding cats and dogs.....it is true that they have a lifespan of 8-15 years. It is also true that cats can have a litter of kittens at 6months of age, therefore you could do a multi-generational analysis easily in 2yrs. The advantage of body size is that of imaging of organs ( intestines, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands) and harvesting of biopsies of intestines, liver (kidneys are much harder) --not terribly invasively using ultrasound guided and endoscopically harvested biopsies. Also, cats and dogs are similar to rats in terms of decreased rates of breast cancer with ovariectomies ( a well established veterinary fact)
    So, although it wouldn't be a life-long study, nevertheless I believe valuable data can be gleaned by comparing a hundred cats/ dogs on GMOs to a hundred cats on non-GMOs- studied for 2yrs.

    Hank
    Mark Sisson writing at Mark's Daily Apple is food conscious and concerned about health, yet not an irrational anti-science crank about biology, which puts him squarely in defiance of the Whole Foods, anti-vaccine, anti-rationality herd that are against GMOs due to their 'natural is good, science is bad' mentality. For that reason alone, and because it is good to encourage sanity among the organic food community, I am giving him some Google link love. Should You Worry About Genetically Modified Food?
    I must say for all the knowledge displayed here, there are quite some obvious observations that are obviously ignored. Science has evolved, biology has evolved and the world. We have actually only adapted, because if science really was that great there would be less illness not more. The more and more we dable into genetically modifying anything the more and more mutations/deceases we let loose. Cry "i'm inoccent" all you like, because no matter what anyone's says, money does make the world go round. Just sad when there is no more world that money won't be able to fix it, not even science. Corporates are too big to take on by any one man or any large law firm. To try and put a harmful claim to anything that was scientifically produced is trying to eat soup with a fork. You'll get there, but it will take you a very long time and you'll need 100% accuracy that they will be too happy to disband for you. So let these fools be as history tells us, there will be more. Hopefully they will get a tumour in a very unhappy place. Bon appetit!