March 8, 2015

Notes Toward the Critique of “Peer Review”


(This started out as a comment and I don’t have time to work it up into a full post right now, but I’ll post it as a note.)
Peer review is increasingly corrupt. Plenty of good studies have been suppressed or subjected to attempted suppressions by corrupt reviewers. Just this morning I was reading about the example of Ignacio Chapela and David Quist’s findings of GM contamination in Mexican criollo maize landraces and the fact that the corrupting effects of the transgene were expressing chaotically in both the genome and the physical manifestations of the phenotype. In addition to proving how easily and widely GMO contamination proceeds, this was the strongest evidence to date of the fact that genetic engineering is an extremely stupid, messy, chaotic process with highly unpredictable, chaotic results. Conversely it’s among the strongest refutations of the hack lie that GE is some kind of “precision”, “scientific” process. It’s really just very sloppy, brute force empiricism.
Even though the Mexican government, which no one would ever mistake for being anti-GMO, had confirmed the first peer-reviewed, Nature-published study, under industry pressure Nature cravenly and despicably disavowed it. Then when Ezcurra and team submitted their study (mentioned in the above link) confirming and expanding upon Chapela and Quist’s findings, Nature intentionally sent it to known corrupt pro-GM “reviewers” who rejected it. The funny thing is the pro-GM activists didn’t get their rationale straight among themselves ahead of time, and so one of them rejected it because the result was simply “impossible”. Now THAT’s “scientific”. Of course Monsanto itself had long adhered to the line that what it dubs with the euphemism “adventitious presence” is inevitable, “natural”, and nothing to worry about. Thus a second reviewer rejected the study because the result was “obvious” and therefore pedestrian. How’s that for suppressing a clear fact – declare that it’s so clear that no one should be allowed to point it out any longer. We see the pro-GM activist version of “science” in action.
Meanwhile plenty of manifestly fraudulent studies have been passed by corrupt reviewers. We still have the ongoing scandal of how the Seralini study was retracted for purely ideological reasons while Monsanto’s and many other studies whose methodology is inferior by every measure are allowed to stand.
We still see the fetish of “peer review” cropping up often among GMO critics, but this is misguided. Peer review can’t be relied upon any more than any other institution of establishment “science”. In this radically corrupted environment we have to take any alleged piece of science on a case-by-case basis, judging according to its methodology and who paid for it. Just to give one example, by definition a legitimate toxicology or cancer study has to proceed for the duration of the full life cycle of the test subjects. Thus by definition only the Seralini study is even a candidate for incarnating legitimate science since it lasted for the full 2-year life cycle of the rat subjects, while Monsanto’s 90-day “subchronic” studies are by definition illegitimate. (90 days is a typical duration for fraudulent industry “studies”.)



  1. Russ,

    Just read about this book which looks good: Steven Druker’s Altered Genes, Twisted Truth


    Comment by Brooks Anderson — March 8, 2015 @ 12:30 pm

    • I saw that, and I’ll be getting it. I expect it to be an excellent resource for demonstrating the FDA’s illegitimacy.

      Comment by Russ — March 8, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

  2. Russ, I’m not sure if you have been following the recent heated debates going on around vaccines, but the tactics the “science” cult are using are eerily similar to those of the GMO corporatists. Through the use of the media they are drowning out the concerns of parents, doctors and professionals regarding the effectiveness and safety of our modern busy vaccine schedule. They are again claiming “consensus” where there is none, careers are being destroyed, and all logical concerns (which include multitudes of actual scientific studies published in respected journals) are being categorized as “anti-vax” quackery. This of course is all funneling down through the pharmaceutical industry and all the usual Govt. system cogs, corrupted agencies, and “science” bloggers. There are currently quite a few pieces of legislation being submitted across the country to effectively remove all exemptions and force feed vaccines (many of which have known toxic adjuvants) to the population. It’s unadulterated medical tyranny. I have not done a thorough exploration of the connections between the two (pharmaceutical and GMO) cartels but I’m guessing there are deep ties.

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this.

    As for “peer reviewed”, I came across this recently.

    “What if 90% of the peer-reviewed clinical research, the holy grail of the conventional medical system, is exaggerated, or worse, completely false?

    A seismic shift is occurring in the field of evidence-based medicine that a rare few are aware of, but which will (and likely already does) affect everyone, as the standard of medical care today largely follows from this model.

    The very life’s blood of ‘evidence-based’ medicine — peer-reviewed and published clinical research results – which legitimizes the entire infrastructure and superstructure upon which conventional medical knowledge and practice is erected, has been revealed as mostly and patently false.

    Case in point: in a 2005 essay, “Why Most Published Research Findings are False,” and which is the most downloaded document of all time on PLoS, the Public Library of Medicine’s peer-reviewed, open access journal, John P. A Ioannidis explains in detail how “It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.” And that “for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

    The Atlantic published a piece on Ioannidis’ work, back in 2010, titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science,” well worth reading, and which opened with “Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors – to a striking extent – still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice?”

    Ioannidis’ work revealed that about half of the most highly regarded research findings within “evidence-based” medicine are either wrong, or significantly exaggerated:”


    Comment by Pete — March 9, 2015 @ 11:09 am

    • Hi Pete. I’ve been noticing what’s clearly a top-down media-engineered campaign against non-vaccinators, and was planning to post on it this week, since it’s highly relevant to the project here. I’ll save further comment for that post, except to say that if nothing else the elites are trying to lay the groundwork for a scapegoat when the antibiotic resistant and/or shantytown-incubated pandemics generated by their own economic policies inevitably break out.


      I haven’t heard much of the bills you describe, though I haven’t been actively following that aspect. The GMO cartel and Big Drug are similar cartels with the same goals, and in some cases the same corporations (Syngenta/Novartis, Bayer). And then Big Drug is increasingly committed to biotech just as the agrochemical companies are.

      I’ve heard of Ionaddis’s work but haven’t studied it yet. It’s on the schedule.

      Comment by Russ — March 9, 2015 @ 11:55 am

      • Thanks. I look forward to that post!

        Comment by Pete — March 9, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

  3. And this…

    “Evidence-based medicine (EBM), of course, is founded upon an epistemological power structure arranged hierarchally like a pyramid. The ‘quality of evidence’ determines whether or not something can be said to be true. On the lowest tier, the ‘base’ of this pyramid, is the Anecdote, considered worthless, encompassing many folk medical systems employing food and plant medicines and still used by the majority of the word as their primary care system, followed by: Cell Studies > Animal Studies > Human Studies > Clinical Trials > Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews of Clinical Trials.

    This model assumes, in the characteristically Napoleonic style, that what it does not officially confirm as being true, is not true. Herbs and vitamins, for instance, are almost never considered to be “evidence-based” and credible because they have not run the gauntlet of prerequisite clinical trials required for them to be verified as therapeutic within this model.”

    Comment by Pete — March 9, 2015 @ 11:13 am

    • That’s part of how elites use scientism to try to maintain control. Among their standard lies is that unless an effect is documented in the lab it doesn’t exist. This is true no matter how well documented the effect is in empirical reality, and it’s true no matter how much a particular line of research is de facto suppressed by starving it of funding. Thus establishment “science” paraphrases Marie Antoinette, “let them use cake to fund research which could bring results adverse to corporate-decreed science”.

      Another standard lie is that unless you have a sufficient theoretical basis to explain an effect, it doesn’t exist. Of course this applies only to findings which run counter to profitable “science”. The same liars will happily embrace the reality of anything that’s profitable, no matter how sketchy the theory of it. Heterosis is a classic example. We can say the same for gravity, for that matter. And our corporate scienticians’ Stalinist counterparts had no problem using the findings of quantum mechanics in the Soviet nuclear program even as they denounced quantum theory as bourgeois gibberish. They’re the same people.

      And of course when they feel like it they just go off inventing mystical drivel in the same way as the most gaseous theologian. How about about Just So stories like “dark matter”, “dark energy”? I think it’s leprechauns, myself.

      Most of all, there’s no such thing as genetic engineering science. All the alleged “theory” underlying it is junk science which has long been debunked, and was often known to be a lie at the time it was first promulgated, such as in the case of Francis Crick’s aptly named “Central Dogma”. In real life practice genetic engineering is just a sloppy, wasteful empiricism that depends on throwing gobs of money and laboratory brute force at a problem. That there’s anything “precision” about it is another standard lie. That’s another upcoming post.

      Comment by Russ — March 9, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

  4. How incredible it is to see a homeopathic remedy work, first-hand. Does anyone really know exactly how they work? Not according to my MIL, who is a homeopath. Just thinking about what you say in your last comment, Russ. And agreeing 🙂

    Comment by DualPersonality — March 10, 2015 @ 2:26 am

    • I don’t know much about homeopathy, but I do know that establishment science would refuse to recognize evidence for it unless corporations could envision how to profitably enclose it.

      Comment by Russ — March 10, 2015 @ 8:28 am

  5. Who decides who gets to “peer review” your findings if they threaten the interests of the nefarious groups that control this planet?

    What is the biggest business today? Sickness. There is no money to be made in healthy people.

    Is academia a free market of ideas? Professors have posted in Gumpert’s raw milk blog that they risk being fired or having grant money cut off if they publish pro raw milk findings. Health giving foods are a threat to Sickness Inc.

    I was talking with a USC professor a couple years back about suppressed areas of anthropology, such as matrilineal societies and cultures that exhibit human abilities they don’t want us to know about, and she said, “yes a colleague of mine had written about such things and was severely punished”. We didn’t go into what that punishment was but I got the idea.

    Most people who read this blog probably have no idea how corrupt and controlled “academia” really is, and I can tell you, if you do your own investigating and follow the real science where it leads, you are going to be surprised what you will find, that is suppressed and belittled. Reality is “stranger than fiction”.

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — March 10, 2015 @ 10:42 pm

    • In the 1980s the universities went gung ho for biotech above and beyond what was necessary to attract corporate funding. Their corporatism and scientism goes far beyond mere corruption.

      I never miss a chance to include academia among the litany of corporatized institutions, and will be writing systematically about it as I get to that subject. For now here’s a good report.


      As for how peer review works, the “reviewers” are selected by journal editors based largely on their previous publishing record in the subject at hand. The more papers a person has published, including of course those done to corporate order and paid for by the corporations, the more he’s invited to “review” subsequent papers. So corporate ideology gradually reinforces and reproduces itself and the rich get richer, metaphorically and literally.

      Comment by Russ — March 11, 2015 @ 6:42 am

  6. […] genetics to match the monoculture practices of commodity agriculture. Although since NAFTA GMO contamination has been gradually spreading through Mexican maize landraces, a coalition of farmers, civil society activists, scientists has fought hard and so far prevented […]

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  7. […] a few examples of how the corporate science paradigm manifests. . *Peer review is increasingly turned upside down, with the reviewers now policing not truth-based scientific quality but faithfulness to corporate […]

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