Volatility

October 15, 2015

Seralini Receives Whistleblower Award

<

Gilles-Eric Seralini is a co-recipient of the 2015 Whistleblower Award from the Federation of German Scientists and the German branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms for his work which has helped expose the severe health harms of Roundup.
.
As the press release indicates, the 2015 finding of WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup and similar commercial formulations) probably* causes cancer in humans has boosted the reputation of Seralini’s work.
.
Ironically, this may be another example of one of the GMO cartel’s lies backfiring upon it. One of the most common lies deployed during the coordinated smear campaign against the 2012 Seralini study was to depict it as an allegedly flawed cancer study when it was really by far the best toxicology study** ever performed upon Roundup or upon any GMO (in this case Roundup Ready maize, aka NK603). Indeed, in refuting this lie Seralini’s defenders sometimes went too far in disparaging the additional cancer evidence it found.
.
But in a case of “be careful what you wish for”, Monsanto may yet end up with the Seralini study being considered a meaningful contribution indeed to cancer research, but not quite the way they intended when they pushed the theme that it was a cancer study. They were certainly very upset when the IARC took them at their word and assessed the study that way. (Actually, the IARC considered the study and decided not to include it in the evaluation (p.35), which makes sense since it wasn’t designed as a cancer study in the first place. But Monsanto’s goal in getting it fraudulently retracted from its original journal was to make it disappear completely from any kind of formal consideration. With the study’s 2014 republication it was restored to official status. The IARC’s finding was based on a combination of lab evidence from other rodent studies and epidemiological studies on humans, mostly farmers and farm families.)
.
By now the legal existence of Roundup is being propped up by nothing but brute economic and governmental force, as its popular political existence becomes more untenable by the month. That’s a big part of why Monsanto is on the ropes with investors, and why it made its desperate try to buy the more product-diversified Syngenta earlier this year. Although Monsanto’s hype is high on dicamba-tolerant crops and RNA interference technology, the prospects of its current product lines are more bleak. If we can muster strong campaigns to prevent these horrid new herbicide-tolerant GMOs from getting a market foothold (we also need to stop Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant “Enlist” line), we can cut off a vital source of oxygen for the increasingly short-of-breath monster.
.
.
*Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, there was zero debate among the IARC panelists about whether glyphosate “probably” causes cancer in humans. On the contrary there was unanimity that the evidence is at least this strong. The only debate was whether the evidence was strong enough to declare glyphosate a “known human carcinogen”, with some panelists strongly arguing for this classification. In the end the panel chose the more conservative option.
.
.
**Whatever one’s view of the methodology of the study itself or its overall importance in the big picture of the struggle vs. corporate agriculture, one fact which is incontrovertible is that the 2012 Seralini study is by far the best safety study which has been performed upon any GMO. It’s impossible to criticize it on any ground without having to criticize far more strongly the various bogus “studies” the industry has performed, and it’s impossible to advocate that it be disregarded without having to even more decisively rule out of consideration Monsanto’s patently illegitimate studies. The fact that the EFSA (and Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal which originally published the study and then retracted it) disparaged the Seralini study while maintaining the fraudulent Monsanto studies in good standing is de jure proof of their corruption and structural criminality. Double standards don’t get any more stark.
.
While the EFSA, FCT, and Monsanto failed in their attempt to suppress the Seralini study, they inadvertently succeeded in absolutely and permanently discrediting themselves in the eyes of honest people everywhere, and especially the eyes of anyone who actually believes that it matters whether or not the food we feed ourselves and our children is poisoned.
.
.
The Federation of German Scientists and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms care, which is why they are honoring Gilles-Eric Seralini with the 2015 Whistleblower Award

<

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. *Whatever one’s view of either the methodology of the study itself or its overall importance in the big picture of the struggle vs. corporate agriculture, one fact which is incontrovertible is that the 2012 Seralini study is by far the best safety study which has been performed upon any GMO. It’s impossible to criticize it on any ground without having to criticize far more strongly the various bogus “studies” the industry has performed, and it’s impossible to advocate that it be disregarded without having to even more decisively rule out of consideration Monsanto’s patently illegitimate studies. …..

    I have yet to read the original version of Prof. Seralini’s report, however, from the comments at Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9ralini_affair

    it is clear that the study did not contain enough rats per group to permit a valid statistical analysis. Further, the dose/response relationships reported for animal groups exposed to the herbicide and the several GMO preparations, suggested such relationships may have been non-linear, a further mitigating factor in permitting proper interpretations. While Russ’s criticisms of; some/all of the arguments by GMO advocates may be valid, the interpretation of Seralini’s experimental design/analysis should probably be qualified. In other words, you may be cheering the efforts of a poor experimental design with respect to either toxicity or carcinogenicity a bit too enthusiastically. Sprague-Dawley rats are a problem; small treatment groups are another problem, other problems may also exist wrt experimental design.

    Comment by William Wilson — October 15, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

    • The design is the best of any study yet done. Like I said the most important thing about the experimental design is the fact that in every way it’s vastly superior to any other study, and yet neither Monsanto nor the US government has any interest whatsoever in repeating the study. I take that as an implied concession on their part that they accept the study as valid and that anything they tried by way of a replication would only bring more adverse results for them. I notice your Wikipedia regurgitation gives an extremely wide berth to the facts of the study’s duration (the full life cycle of the animal, an absolute prerequisite for a study to even be able in principle to have any legitimacy at all; none of the industry “studies” come close) and that it actually measured health parameters. By extreme contrast, industry tests only industrial parameters like quick weight gain and submits such irrelevant tests to the regulators as “safety” studies. The regulators then criminally accept and tout them as such.

      Dose-response is completely debunked junk science, especially for endocrine disruptors like glyphosate. The Seralini study only added to the longstanding conclusive evidence where it comes to that. The fact that regulatory bodies still enshrine it as their official toxicology dogma where it comes to “regulating” profitable poisons, and the fact that Wikipedia tolerates such pseudo-scientific junk, is a completely discrediting scandal.

      As for the nonsense about the rat type and group sizes, how many times do we have to say this: SAME RATS MONSANTO USED. SIMILAR TO SAMPLE SIZES MONSANTO USED (except that unlike Monsanto, Seralini didn’t secretly replace rats which became sick during the study or keep quiet about ones which died).

      Here’s a refresher course on how the “scientific method” allegedly is supposed to work. In a case like this it goes: You see a study you consider dubious in some way, you repeat it except for the improvements you consider necessary, and see what happens. Seralini was originally moderately pro-GMO, but as a member of a review panel he was concerned about the extreme shoddiness of the “research” Monsanto was submitting to the EFSA, and the EFSA’S derelict rubber-stamping of such obviously bad science. To quote from one of the posts I linked here (all these studies are linked at that post) :

      “The 2012 study was the culmination of many years of work. The initially pro-GMO Seralini first participated on a scientific review board where he questioned the flimsy basis of EFSA’s approval of MON863 maize. In 2007 he published a review of the shoddy procedures and evidence of health risk revealed by Monsanto’s own trials of MON863. In 2009 the CRIIGEN team published a review of how Monsanto’s own trials of MON863, MON810, and NK603 found evidence of liver and kidney toxicity. That same year Seralini refuted the validity of 90-day subchronic tests and called for a full two-year study. In 2011 the team published another review, this time of 19 studies including industry tests which consistently found evidence of liver and kidney toxicity. That’s the history which led up to the 2012 publication.”

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/the-seralini-study-is-a-good-study-and-is-good-enough-for-action/

      Seralini has been demonized precisely because he acted the way in theory a scientist is supposed to act. That he really designed a study seeing if he could falsify what he considered bad but well-entrenched establishment science was bad enough from the point of view of this establishment and of every kind of authoritarian. But that in doing so he was challenging one of the core projects of global capitalism rendered him anathema.

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/the-abdication-of-establishment-science/

      Wikipedia, of course, is dominated by pro-corporate editors and commenters just as one would expect. So it’s hardly a place to find anything near objectivity where it comes to anything where dissidents confront an extremely wealthy corporate power bloc. Your account is just what I would’ve expected from this manifestation of the corporate media.

      Let me stress that we who care about the evidence don’t need the Seralini study for anything. Certainly not to prove Roundup causes cancer in humans, which has been a known fact for decades. Nor to provide evidence that GMOs should never have been commercialized without exhaustive safety testing, since this was always self-evident to any non-psychopath. And they should never have been deployed anyway since GMOs have no redeeming social value even in principle, but are purely agents of corporate power. The patents kind of tipped it off from early on.

      Nevertheless I do celebrate Seralini as a rare example of a bona fide scientist with integrity who actually lives up to the scientific method, which otherwise is far closer to being a Big Lie than reality.

      Comment by Russ — October 15, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

      • The point I was attempting to make is that any attempt to utilize rigor in toxicological design is dependent upon meaningful experimental design. In the case of a study utilized by Seralini et al, the expense of conducting a more rigorous study was likely prohibitive; his employment of test animal/protocol which were similar to that of the Monsanto-approved design involving use of the S-D strain of rat is understandable. While I basically agree with your point of view wrt GMO seeds/foods, I had a look at the redacted report and found it was possibly sufficient to justify a more rigorous apolitical-sponsored study.

        Comment by William Wilson — October 15, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

      • It would be nice if an apolitical source of lavish funding existed or even could exist in theory, but it’s hard to imagine what such a source might be. Though I wonder what you think is so gratuitously “political” about CRIIGEN, or why you think alleged apoliticality would be a good thing if its simulation could be found. CRIIGEN’s proclaimed mission sounds to me like what should be the normative baseline for all science. Same as for the mission of ENSSER, “social and environmental responsibility”. Why have a tool which is dedicated only to corporate rule and which lies about the fact to boot? The fact is that anyone who could possibly be interested enough in something to fund research work couldn’t possibly be apolitical, but must find its will to fund stemming from whatever is the political/economic basis of its interest. It’s clear that the best we’ll ever do are scientists like Einstein who were open and unabashed about their humanism and humaneness, while the worst are those who lie about their corporate mercenarism.

        I suppose you’d consider most satisfactory something like the Pusztai study? Its design was pre-vetted by an official state-funded organization and won the contract over many competitors. It was designed as Kuhnian “normal science”, explicitly intended to generate public confidence in GMOs. The only thing that went wrong is that, getting unexpected adverse results, Pusztai stopped behaving in the “normal” way and really behaved in the usually mythical falsificationist way. So there you have government funding but a result odious to the government, as we saw with the subsequent campaign of suppression and libel.

        We don’t need more study anyway. It was common sense in the first place that poison is poisonous. And we have over sixty years of evidence that poison is poisonous. Silent Spring was published in 1962, and there’s been no new legitimate debate since then, only the documented truth and the lies. All research since then has either confirmed that poison is poisonous, in the case of all independent study and even much industry-funded study (as Seralini’s work has helped document, if you looked at the links I provided in that post), or been pseudo-scientific fraud paid for by the industry.

        http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30097-failure-to-regulate-pesticide-data-fraud-comes-home-to-roost

        With glyphosate, atrazine and other poisons, and with GMOs as such, we’re currently going through the exact same round which we went through with cigarettes, asbestos, DDT, PCBs, dioxin, thalidomide. In every case the exact same kind of “scientists” and “journalists” were telling the exact same lies about the exact same kind of critics and dissidents. Indeed in a case like Henry Miller we have unreconstructed cigarette denialists who also shill for GMOs. I’ve written before about how pro-poison activism and climate change denialism are inextricably interwound.

        https://attempter.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/pro-gmo-activism-and-climate-change-denial/

        In this kind of extreme political environment, where do you expect to find apoliticality? I think it’s high time people stopped looking for excuses to delay. The scientific evidence has long been complete, it is 100% against the corporations, and there doesn’t even exist any scientific theory which supports the pro-poison position, only debunked junk ideology.

        https://attempter.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/there-is-no-science-of-genetic-engineering/

        https://attempter.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/there-is-no-science-of-big-agriculture/

        I say the right position, rationally and scientifically as well as tactically, is to declare the debate closed, the evidence far beyond even a shadow of a doubt, and to proceed from there.

        Comment by Russ — October 16, 2015 @ 1:31 am


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: