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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:04 PM

Scientists support Séralini (issued 2012 report claiming Monsanto's GMO corn and Roundup not safe)

Scientists support Séralini: Introduction

Following the publication of Séralini’s 2012 study on the health effects of GM NK603 maize and Roundup,1 the editor of the journal that published the paper was bombarded with letters from GM proponents demanding that the paper be retracted.

Many of those driving the retraction campaign have been exposed as having links to GM companies and as having vested interests in the public acceptance of GM technology. These links went largely undisclosed in media articles and even in the published letters to the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.2 3

The aggressive and often irrational nature of the retraction campaign soon gave rise to a counter-movement. Over a hundred scientists wrote letters to the journal editor in support of Séralini’s study and the cause of independent science, asking the editor not to retract the paper. The letters were translated into English by the staff of Séralini’s research institute, CRIIGEN, and are available here:

Letters of support (1)
Letters of support (2)

This response from international scientists exposes the falsehood of claims by Séralini’s critics that “the science community” has condemned the study,4 and the impression given by the UK-based Science Media Centre that “expert reaction” to the paper was overwhelmingly negative.5

http://gmoseralini.org/introduction-to-scientists-support-seralini/

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Reply Scientists support Séralini (issued 2012 report claiming Monsanto's GMO corn and Roundup not safe) (Original post)
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 OP
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 #1
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 #2
siligut Feb 2013 #8
laundry_queen Feb 2013 #3
siligut Feb 2013 #4
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 #5
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #6
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 #7
JohnyCanuck Feb 2013 #9

Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:00 AM

1. The pro-GM lobby's seven sins against science

Peter Melchett
17 December 2012

The role that genetically modified (GM) food should play in our food chain is a highly contested political issues. One interesting facet of the debate in the past year has been the pro-GM lobby's interest in staking the 'scientific high-ground'; simultaneously positioning itself as the voice of reason and progress, while painting its opponents as unsophisticated 'anti-science' luddites, whose arguments are full of dogma and emotion, but lack scientific rigour. In this essay Peter Melchett explores how such crude characterisations are themselves based on logic that is itself profoundly damaging to the concept and representation of 'science' in our national culture.

Powerful forces in Western society have been promoting genetic engineering (now usually genetic modification - GM) in agricultural crops since the mid-1990s. They have included many governments, in particular those of the USA and UK, powerful individual politicians like George Bush and Tony Blair, scientific bodies like the UK's Royal Society, research councils, successive UK Government chief scientists, many individual scientists, and companies selling GM products. They have ignored the views of citizens, and most sales of GM food have relied on secrecy - denying consumers information on what they are buying (20 US States are currently embroiled in fierce battles over GM labelling, strenuously opposed by Monsanto). Worse, they have consistently promoted GM in ways which are not only unscientific, but which have been positively damaging to the integrity of science.

This is, of course, an argument usually aimed at those who, like me, are opposed to GM crops. We are accused of being 'anti-science', emotional and irrational, and more recently, of being as bad as ‘Nazi book burners’ by the President of the National Farmers’ Union. This criticism has been effective in framing the debate about GM crops in the media in the UK, where the conflict over GM is routinely presented as a debate between those who are pro and those who are anti-science. This is reinforced by the fact that those selected to speak in favour of GM are usually themselves scientists (albeit often working for GM companies, or funded to work on GM crops), and those selected to oppose GM crops are usually environmentalists, farmers, or citizens concerned about the safety of the food they eat. Scientists who are critical of GM crops are almost never interviewed by the media.

snip

“It is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers…. Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal. In a number of cases, experiments that had the implicit go-ahead from the seed company were later blocked from publication because the results were not flattering.... It would be chilling enough if any other type of company were able to prevent independent researchers from testing its wares and reporting what they find.… But when scientists are prevented from examining the raw ingredients in our nation's food supply or from testing the plant material that covers a large portion of the country's agricultural land, the restrictions on free inquiry become dangerous.”76

http://www.soilassociation.org/motherearth/viewarticle/articleid/4752/the-pr

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:38 PM

2. How corporations engineered the non-regulation of dangerous genetically modified foods

Note to moderators: The excerpt below contains more than 4 paragraphs usually allowed by DU, but the author has granted permission for the entire article to be reproduced in full if desired.

Government officials around the globe have been coerced, infiltrated, and paid off by the agricultural biotech giants. In Indonesia, Monsanto gave bribes and questionable payments to at least 140 officials, attempting to get their genetically modified (GM) cotton approved. In India, one official tampered with the report on Bt cotton to increase the yield figures to favor Monsanto. In Mexico, a senior government official allegedly threatened a University of California professor, implying “We know where your children go to school,” trying to get him not to publish incriminating evidence that would delay GM approvals. While most industry manipulation and political collusion is more subtle, none was more significant than that found at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA’s “non-regulation” of GM foods

Genetically modified crops are the result of a technology developed in the 1970s that allow genes from one species to be forced into the DNA of unrelated species. The inserted genes produce proteins that confer traits in the new plant, such as herbicide tolerance or pesticide production. The process of creating the GM crop can produce all sorts of side effects, and the plants contain proteins that have never before been in the food supply. In the US, new types of food substances are normally classified as food additives, which must undergo extensive testing, including long-term animal feeding studies. If approved, the label of food products containing the additive must list it as an ingredient.

There is an exception, however, for substances that are deemed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). GRAS status allows a product to be commercialized without any additional testing. According to US law, to be considered GRAS the substance must be the subject of a substantial amount of peer-reviewed published studies (or equivalent) and there must be overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that the product is safe. GM foods had neither. Nonetheless, in a precedent-setting move that some experts contend was illegal, in 1992 the FDA declared that GM crops are GRAS as long as their producers say they are. Thus, the FDA does not require any safety evaluations or labels whatsoever. A company can even introduce a GM food to the market without telling the agency.

snip

Fake safety assessments

Biotech companies do participate in a voluntary consultation process with the FDA, but it is derided by critics as a meaningless exercise. Companies can submit whatever information they choose, and the FDA does not conduct or commission any studies of their own. Former EPA scientist Doug Gurian-Sherman, who analyzed FDA review records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, states flatly, “It is clear that FDA’s current voluntary notification process (even if made mandatory) is not up to the task of ensuring the safety of future GE crops.” He says, “The FDA consultation process does not allow the agency to require submission of data, misses obvious errors in company-submitted data summaries, provides insufficient testing guidance, and does not require sufficiently detailed data to enable the FDA to assure that GE crops are safe to eat.” Similarly, a Friends of the Earth review of company and FDA documents concluded:

“If industry chooses to submit faulty, unpublishable studies, it does so without consequence. If it should respond to an agency request with deficient data, it does so without reprimand or follow-up.…If a company finds it disadvantageous to characterize its product, then its properties remain uncertain or unknown. If a corporation chooses to ignore scientifically sound testing standards…then faulty tests are conducted instead, and the results are considered legitimate. In the area of genetically engineered food regulation, the ‘competent’ agencies rarely if ever (know how to) conduct independent research to verify or supplement industry findings.”

At the end of the consultation, the FDA doesn’t actually approve the crops. Rather, they issue a letter including a statement such as the following:

“Based on the safety and nutritional assessment you have conducted, it is our understanding that Monsanto has concluded that corn products derived from this new variety are not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters from corn currently on the market, and that the genetically modified corn does not raise issues that would require premarket review or approval by FDA.…As you are aware, it is Monsanto’s responsibility to ensure that foods marketed by the firm are safe, wholesome and in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.”

The National Academy of Sciences and even the pro-GM Royal Society of London describe the US system as inadequate and flawed. The editor of the prestigious journal Lancet said, “It is astounding that the US Food and Drug Administration has not changed their stance on genetically modified food adopted in 1992.…The policy is that genetically modified crops will receive the same consideration for potential health risks as any other new crop plant. This stance is taken despite good reasons to believe that specific risks may exist.…Governments should never have allowed these products into the food chain without insisting on rigorous testing for effects on health.”

Full article here:

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/fraud/faulty-regulations/An-FDA-Created-Health-Crisis-Circles-the-Globe-October-2007

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:52 AM

8. Monsanto: Big Guy on the Block When it Comes to Friends in Washington

-snip-

Clarence Thomas aside, Monsanto has plenty of other ties to Washington. Eight lawmakers own stock in Monsanto, including Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Monsanto itself contributed more than $500,000 to federal candidates in the last election cycle, primarily favoring Republicans. Monsanto spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in 2012, down from its $8.8 million record in 2008. That's still enough to keep Monsanto the big guy on the agribusiness block -- it has spent the most on lobbying by far in the industry since 2008; the American Farm Bureau is the only other to even come close. The majority, by far, of Monsanto's lobbyists have made at least one trip through the revolving door; in-house lobbyist Michael Holland, Jr., for instance, logged 13 years working for various House Republicans before he jumped to Monsanto in 2011.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/02/monsanto.html


You can be sure that these MON investors are not consuming the product, but they will listen to the rhetoric regarding safety and not dig and further as long as they are making money.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:43 PM

3. K&R nt

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:38 PM

4. Study after study indicate that GMO corn is not safe

Monsanto doesn't care and they have the money and influence to keep going.

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Response to siligut (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:07 AM

5. And neither is GM Alfalfa

USDA Received Pathogen Warning BEFORE Deregulating GM Alfalfa

Following a 6 year approval battle, the USDA fully deregulated Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa in January 2011. A week later, they partially deregulated GM sugar beets. This occurred despite Secretary of Agriculture's Tom Vilsack's knowledge of a stark warning letter by Dr. Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology, Purdue University two weeks prior, who found a link between the modified organisms and the proliferation of the new pathogen. Huber knew about its presence in Roundup Ready soy and corn and sought to hold off the GE alfalfa calling the situation an "emergency."

Dr. Huber said (vid below) "we don't know what it is" - it's a new entity first noticed by veterinarians in the late '90s, new to science. It's not a virus, although similar, actually smaller in size and like a fungus that spreads like a virus. It's contained in Roundup Ready (RR) and Roundup sprayed plants and feed and bizarrely affects all farmland animals often with infertility and spontaneous abortions - an inter-species syndrome that could be the first of its kind.

So it's not just a side-effect of endocrine-disrupting pesticides or transmission of genetic material - it's a new pathogen the USDA ignored. There is increasing evidence it's already affecting humans with infertility and reproductive problems, but the USDA filed the warning in the garbage.

An excerpt from Huber's letter:

We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of alfalfa. Naturally, if either the Roundup Ready gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity.

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/02/usda-got-brand-new-pathogen-warning.html

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:16 AM

6. "Fox lawyers, under pressure by the Monsanto Corporation, rewrote her report over 80 times"

 

2009: Fox News Wins Lawsuit To Misinform Public – Seriously


http://www.philly2philly.com/politics_community/politics_community_articles/2009/6/29/4854/fox_news_wins_lawsuit_misinform_public

The real information: she found out cows in Florida were being injected with RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce milk – and, according to FDA-redacted studies, unintentionally designed to make human beings produce cancer.

Fox lawyers, under pressure by the Monsanto Corporation (who produced RBGH), rewrote her report over 80 times to make it compatible with the company’s requests. She and her husband, journalist Steve Wilson, refused to air the edited segment.

In February 2003, Fox appealed the decision and an appellate court and had it overturned. Fox lawyers argued it was their first amendment right to report false information. In a six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals decided the FCC’s position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a “law, rule, or regulation.”

So, Fox and the other gladiatorical cable news channels were given the okay to legally lie right around the time of the Iraq War’s birth – when media lies coincidentally hit a peak in both frequency and severity.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:32 AM

7. Reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson explain how their report was stifled......

and they were consequently shit canned by their employer, the Fox News station in Florida.

This is episode 17 from the Canadian documentary "The Corporation" posted to Youtube.

Journalists Jane Akre and Steve Wilson were fired by the Fox News television station they work for after refusing to change their investigative report on Posilac, a Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) made by Monsanto. Their research documents potential health and safety problems of drinking milk treated with the synthetic hormone, but threatened with legal action from Monsanto, Fox wants the negative effects played down. The court eventually throws out Akre's whistle blower lawsuit after deciding that the media is allowed to lie.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:31 PM

9. Which Science or Scientists Can You Trust?

from a speech by Michael Meacher (former UK Environment Minister)

Michael Meacher told a public conference on Science, Medicine and the Law in the strongest terms that we need independent science and scientists who take the precautionary principle seriously and sweeping changes are needed in science funding and scientific advice to the government that ensures the protection of independent science

snip

No wonder that there is a pervasive mistrust of science and scientists. But the roots for this go deep.

First, the Rothschild revolution under Thatcher made the funding of science much more subservient to business interests. Over the past two decades, getting finance for scientific inquiry inimical to the commercial and political establishments has become increasingly difficult. The science is owned by a tiny number of very large companies and they only commission research which they believe will further their own commercial interests. And when that turns out not to be the case, as when research turns up results which may be embarrassing to the company, they are most often dubbed “commercially confidential” and never published.

In addition, companies have learned that small investments in endowing chairs, sponsoring research programmes or hiring professors for out-of-hours projects can produce disproportionate payoffs in generating reports, articles, reviews and books, which may not be in the public interest, but certainly benefit corporate bottom lines. The effects of corporate generosity - donating millions for this research laboratory or that scientific programme – can be subtly corrosive. Other universities regard the donor as a pote ntial source of funds and try to ensure nothing is said which might jeopardise big new cash possibilities. And academics raising embarrassing questions (as they should) - such as who is paying for the lab; how independent is the peer review; who profits from the research; is the university's integrity compromised? – would soon learn that keeping their heads down is the best way not to risk their career, let alone future research funding. The message is clear: making money is good, and dissent is stifled. Commerce and the truth don't readily mix.

A second reason why there is such pervasive mistrust of science and scientists is that the scientists staffing the official advisory committees and Government regulatory bodies in a significant number of cases have financial links with the industry they are supposed to be independently advising on and regulating. A recent study found that of the five scientific committees advising ministers on food and safety, 40% of committee members had links with the biotechnology industry, and at least 20% were linked to one of the Big Three – Monsanto, AstraZeneca, or Novartis. Nor is that an accident. The civil servants who select scientists for those bodies tend to look for a preponderant part of the membership, and particularly the chairperson, to be ‘sound', i.e., can be safely relied on not to cause embarrassment to the Government or industry if difficulties arise.

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/WSoSCYT.php

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