Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GMO take 2: stop using bad science to justify your fearmongering!

I am often on I F*cking Love Science! because in fact, I do.  And every time they post something interesting on GMOs, there's a huge amount of backlash from followers.  I always answer them with my previous post on GMOs, but now I feel like we need to have another talk.  This one is about all the fearmongering that people are spreading regarding GMOs using bad science!  

This is what came up in the comments:

That first comment is addressed in my previous post on GMOs.  But that second one?

Well, I followed that link, which led me to a newspaper article, which led me to another newspaper article, and eventually I found the study that they were referring to.  Which, by the way, is the one up at the start of this post, and has been RETRACTED!!!!  It was retracted because after its publication, several members of the scientific community began raising questions about the validity of the findings, the proper use of animals, and even allegations of fraud.  The editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, who, by the way, has a Ph.D. and research experience, reviewed all of the data that the authors of the article had collected.  While he found no fraud, he did think that the number of animals used in the study was such a small sample size (which was also flagged during the peer-review process), that NO CONLUSIONS COULD BE DRAWN between exposure to Round-up and tumor development.  PLUS, the strain of rat that was being used in this study (Sprague-Dawley) has a known high incidence of tumor development.  So that means the strain chosen for this study confounds the results based on having a high background rate of natural tumor development.   The results are not necessarily incorrect, but they are considered inconclusive. Plus, people are under the impression that because this research was funded by an independent scientific research council means that it's completely legit.  Well, CRIIGEN may be independent, but they have their own agenda, and it's very anti-GMO.  Research being funded by this organization may be just as biased as research being funded by Monstanto, yet no one is up-in-arms about that.  This is a French organization, and France is notoriously anti-GMO.  (I've listened to French scientists tell stories about their fields being burned down and their labs being ransacked because they were involved in GMO research).

But the damage is done, just like the bad science that has led people to firmly believe that vaccination is harming their children.  But seriously folks, do some thinking and some research before you start misinforming and fearmongering.  GMOs are NOT going to kill you. 


  1. Interesting..... thanks for providing a less-than-popular other view. Much needed in this discussion, I think.

  2. To say the French are anti-GMO is taking a selective stab at what is really part of a much bigger picture where France is concerned. The French are deeply rooted in terroir ( They fight tooth and nail to make sure that cognac can only be made in Cognac and everywhere else makes brandy, not only for economic reasons, but because they believe the unique blend of place, climate, cultivar and soil conditions found only in Cognac make it a truly unique product. This runs deep in France and runs the gamut where their food products are concerned. Seeing GMOs as an outside threat is only natural in that context.