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Wed Sep 26, 2012, 08:50 AM

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.

5 replies, 849 views

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Reply Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned. (Original post)
Odin2005 Sep 2012 OP
Rainforestgoddess Sep 2012 #1
Patiod Oct 2012 #2
HuckleB Oct 2012 #3
Patiod Oct 2012 #4
HuckleB Oct 2012 #5

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 12:44 PM

1. I wondered what the full

details on that study would end up revealing. Thanks for posting and confirming my suspicions.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:55 PM

2. It's sad, but the people who are most anti-GMO of my FB friends

Last edited Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:37 PM - Edit history (1)

are also pro-homeopathy, anti-fluoride, and strongly conspiracy-oriented. Although I realize that ad hominem arguments are logical fallacies themselves, I still assume that anything this one guy is protesting is likely to be, how shall I say... NOT evidence-based.

There's now a thread rising on the Greatest Page which lists all foods containing GMO products, and people are freaking out.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:02 PM

3. Indeed, there is a huge disconnect between the evidence and the beliefs.

GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left

It's mind boggling. How do we help people who seem to want to make rational decisions step back and begin to understand science and logic?

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:38 PM

4. Perfectly put: the climate skeptics of the left

I was delighted to find this forum here on a board where frankly, the woo-woo tends to get a bit out of hand.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:42 PM

5. I just found that thread listing GMO foods.

What a bizarro world of anti-science rants. I yi yi.

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