Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:50 AM
Odin2005 (48,255 posts)
Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned.
New Scientist gets called a Monsanto shill in 3, 2, 1...
Are the findings reliable?
There is little to suggest they are. Tom Sanders, head of nutritional research at King's College London, says that the strain of rat the French team used gets breast tumours easily, especially when given unlimited food, or maize contaminated by a common fungus that causes hormone imbalance, or just allowed to age. There were no data on food intake or tests for fungus in the maize, so we don't know whether this was a factor.
But didn't the treated rats get sicker than the untreated rats?
Some did, but that's not the full story. It wasn't that rats fed GM maize or herbicide got tumours, and the control rats did not. Five of the 20 control rats – 25 per cent – got tumours and died, while 60 per cent in "some test groups" that ate GM maize died. Some other test groups, however, were healthier than the controls.
Toxicologists do a standard mathematical test, called the standard deviation, on such data to see whether the difference is what you might expect from random variation, or can be considered significant. The French team did not present these tests in their paper. They used a complicated and unconventional analysis that Sanders calls "a statistical fishing trip".
Anthony Trewavas of the University of Edinburgh, UK, adds that in any case, there should be at least as many controls as test rats – there were only 20 of the former and 80 of the latter – to show how variably tumours appear. Without those additional controls, "these results are of no value", he says.
Rest of the article here:
Sounds like the anti-GMO French group that did this study are guilty of bad science in order to get the results they wanted.
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Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned. (Original post)
Response to Odin2005 (Original post)
Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:35 AM
SDjack (1,320 posts)
1. These are damning critical comments. I think Monsanto is an evil corporation
that should be killed, but opinion is insufficient. This study, if the critic's comments are accurate, will not enlist the services of prestigious scientific advisory groups in aiding in that action. A good research group needs to grapple with the issues of GMO foods, beginning with a written design plan that passes peer review by knowledgeable scientists and statisticians. It is disappointing that USDA hasn't already done the research.