Volatility

April 27, 2017

The Corporate Science Establishment Vs. the Scientific Method

>

 
 
Conclusion first – experiment afterwards! In fact genetic engineering is nothing but mass non-consensual human experiment and religiously pre-determined “conclusion”, with zero concern for data which doesn’t fit the dogma. Nor is any hypothesis or scientific theory ever involved. There is no science of genetic engineering.
 
 
What is scientific method? Science is not qualitatively different from other belief systems, but is part of the same general complex as philosophy, political theory, and religion. Where actually practiced according to the theory of how it’s supposed to be practiced, science is a well-defined set of actions performed in accord with reason which attains a limited but reasonably reliable result. The rationality which prescribes the actions and the reliability of the result are sound within rationally circumscribed limits and as long as the practitioners and everyone else acknowledge these limits. Therefore science is a form of practical philosophy which is more applicable to physical objects and processes than most other kinds. According to the scientists themselves, as most fully elaborated by Karl Popper, explicator of “the scientific method”, what distinguishes science from other forms of philosophy is that its results must always be falsifiable. This means that at least in principle there must be an experiment which could generate data which disproves a scientific contention. If no such experiment can be conceived even in principle, a proposition automatically is supposed to be ruled out of science.
 
That’s how it’s supposed to work. Of course in reality people tend to conform, to seek agreement and consensus, and for several reasons STEM types are among the most congenitally conformist and authoritarian. So it was always dubious and indeed suspicious that the scientific fraternity exalted an ideal which is so uncongenial to human nature and especially to their own nature, this heroic notion of the eternal vigilance and critical nature of everyday science practitioners. The falsification ideal also goes against simple careerism. No rational person would expect eminent scientists with influence over research funding to prefer aspiring falsifiers of their work over aspiring conformists and reinforcements.
 
Any fraternity, especially one which combines such extremes of tribalism, arrogance, and persecution complex as the scientific fraternity does, generally seeks tribal compaction over assimilation to any idea which is more universal, or one which contradicts one of the tribe’s defining tenets. The Mafia calls this sticking up for Cosa Nostra, “Our Thing”. The average STEM cadre, as well as post-graduate types in general, is completely ignorant about genetic engineering and GMOs but does know that a hard core of the fraternity is fanatically in support of this campaign, and that’s all these authoritarian followers need to know: It’s Our Thing. So from the evidence of history we’d expect that, once the scientific fraternity has committed itself spiritually to the exaltation of genetic engineering, it would tend automatically to rally around the GMO rallying cry and to despise anyone with questions, criticisms or, most wickedly, falsifications.
 
Now we understand how the proposition that “GMOs are safe for human consumption”, while readily falsifiable in principle given sufficient research resources, became unfalsifiable in practice. What do we learn from the scientific establishment’s institutional obstructionism and refusal to fund whole genres of theoretically possible and morally imperative testing? This rationally implies that the obstructionists – corporations and governments – believe their theory is false and are using lies and obstructionism to shield it from the test of falsifiability.
 
The scientific establishment always has refused to perform scientific safety tests on GMOs. Instead:
 
1. They promulgated the religious dogma that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to non-GM crops and foods. This is part of the prior religious Conclusion of genetic engineers and their cultists I cited above.
 
Of course this equivalence was always self-evidently a lie since plants suffused with herbicide and/or endemic Bt toxins automatically are very different from plants which are not poisonous in this way. And even according to the system’s own narrow, technical concept, the equivalence dogma has been disproven many times. But the scientific establishment continues to promulgate it as dogma.
 
2. The scientific establishment has systematically lied in representing industrial testing of such parameters as fast weight gain in CAFO inmates to be legitimate food safety tests relevant to human food safety. Corporations, governments, and the mainstream media then parrot these lies, but it’s the scientists themselves who design and initially propagate the lies.
 
3. They claim to possess evidence, e.g. that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer, but say they cannot show it to us. This alleged evidence must remain secret, and the world must trust the corporate science establishment on faith. What would Popper say about that?
 
4. They’ve presented a united front in trying to suppress actual scientists who attempt falsification on their own.
 
 
It’s clear that establishment science systematically has evaded its obligation to test GMOs for safety, systematically has lied about its dereliction, and systematically has sought to obstruct science and repress real falsification-seeking scientists. This proves the general malignity of this establishment and its complete lack of scientific credibility, authority, and legitimacy.
 
To say a few more words about secret science, its purpose is to exalt the corporate-technocratic establishment as an authoritative priesthood. This means that it must prefer assertion and obfuscation over rational argument and the presentation of evidence, since no one who wants to be seen as an authoritarian command figure can afford to let the peasants question his authority, for example by demanding rational debate and evidence. This is a major reason why genetic engineers and their fanboys historically never were willing rationally to answer questions and objections to their endeavor, but rather resorted from day one to vague utopian rhetoric, epithets, and insults. The other reason was that rationality and the evidence have always been strongly against genetic engineering.
 
From this perspective we see that the proximate reason given for the secrecy, intellectual property, is more a pretext than a cause. Both the patenting and the secrecy that goes with it are important for profiteering, but they’re more important for power as such. One must never be distracted by the kind of idiot who would rationalize secret science by invoking IP privilege. IP is a pure fiction which has no reality-based purpose, but which is only a weapon of corporate and scientism cultist power.
 
And as we see, IP cannot co-exist with the scientific method. You can have one or the other, never both. The entire Western political and STEM class, as well as the voters, have chosen to exalt corporate intellectual property and to degrade science. This is part of the complete enclosure of all of “science” within the corporate science paradigm.
 
 
The scientific method dictates that even in principle we never reasonably can conclude that “GMOs are safe”. The genetic engineering process guarantees that each “event” will have unique chaotic effects since there’s so many random mutations from each transgenic insertion and each tissue culturing.
 
Random variation and its sometimes major real-world effects is the first premise of Darwinism. Since genetic engineering ideology lies about its precision and dogmatically decrees that it generates no significant mutations, we see how this pseudo-science is denialist, not just of evolution as such but specifically of Darwinism.
 
The radical overall evolution denialism of the genetic engineers and their religious following is part of their eugenics agenda. They despise natural evolution and intend to break out of all of its mechanisms and leap over all of its safeguards. Their campaign to deploy GM crops as universally over the globe as possible, as quickly as possible, with an ostentatious contempt for the effects of this, is extremely reckless and dangerous from any rational or scientific point of view.
 
But we must understand that from the religious crusading point of view of eugenic scientism, the recklessness and danger of this deployment is precisely why it should be done, on principle. The massive non-consensual human feeding experiment ultimately has eugenic goals. In the same way, the so far uncontrolled experiment of the vast-scale environmental release of GMOs ultimately has the goal of forcibly overriding evolution and imposing technocratic creationism over the entire globe. This is the richer significance of the malign experimentalism of the STEM establishment. Both of these experiments are being carried out with the most extreme, radical, reckless indifference to human and ecological well-being, precisely because the technocratic mentality does not recognize such well-being as a value at all and has nothing but contempt for it. This goes to the core of why technology in general so seldom works to make our lives better: Such a value has always meant nothing to the scientists and engineers. They seek nothing but control for the sake of control. Therefore they campaign to impose their vast uncontrolled experiments upon humanity and the Earth toward the goal of one day turning these into controlled experiments, and eventually being able to enforce total eugenic control. At that point they’ll completely have eradicated nature and history and replaced these with divinely willed creationism. As insane and physically impossible as it is, this is their goal. They’ve hijacked science to serve this goal.
 
 
Thus, where it comes to genetic engineering where would you even get started with “scientific method”? There’s no theory, and the engineers despise observation. Otherwise they’d reject the project as having no possible benefit, only risks and harms. Rather, they start with the experiment itself, for its own ultimately eugenic sake and for corporate profit. If one makes a prediction it’s nothing but wishful thinking and not part of scientific method at all, since they have no theory or evidence upon which to base it. Therefore what they really do is invent the religious conclusion that GMOs are beneficial, indeed utopian, then embark upon the experiment, accompanied with lies and corporate hype. This is another reason genetic engineers started out with such a belligerent, anti-rationalist attitude – they had no other option.
 
Of course the proposition that GMOs as such are safe and that genetic engineering never has harmful effects already has been falsified many times: The lethal Showa Denko epidemic, the StarLink allergenic outbreak, allergenic GM soy engineered with a gene from Brazil nuts, GM corn which has toxic liver and kidney effects, just to name a few.
 
Thus we see how according to the scientific method, which the science establishment, the scientism cult, academia and the mainstream media all claim is the method they practice and/or consider legitimate, genetic engineering is anti-science and anti-evolution. And yet all these institutions don’t just support GMOs but ardently exalt them. This proves that they lie when they claim to practice and respect the scientific method.
 
 
There are many proofs that the modern corporate science establishment is systematically anti-science and has no credibility and should be accorded no legitimacy by humanity. The best proof is the STEM establishment’s bizarre love affair with this backward, shoddy, failed technology which never had any real-world purpose but to help a few agrochemical corporations sell more poison. It’ll go down as one of history’s great marvels of depravity that science threw it all away for the sake of something so stupid, worthless, and mean.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 29, 2016

GMO News Summary, January 29th, 2016

>

*The court decision refusing the EPA’s request that it temporarily rescind Enlist Duo’s registration is going to get its own post. For the moment I’ll point out that even if you don’t think the courts are corrupted beyond redemption, here we have proof that the law itself certainly is. If it’s true that the law is so calcified and maladaptive that it can’t react when a toxicity situation arises which is so dire that even the EPA wants to slow down and take another look, then that’s proof of a terminally busted system of law. We have to get it straight, in addition to all its de jure evils, this system does not work.
.
*The fighters of Argentina continue to stand tall blocking Monsanto’s poison factory.
.
*Here’s more on the attempt to partially repeal Oregon’s preemption law which was passed to crush the groundswell of county-level democracy action. One good paragraph concisely describes why it’s impossible for the state government of Oregon to make assertive agricultural policy which would be just, rational, or practical.
.

So currently, although there are seven distinct geographical agricultural sectors in Oregon, each with different agricultural emphases, (for example, apples in Hood River, alfalfa in the Klamath Basin, brassica seed in the Willamette Valley), none of these sectors now have the right, either democratically or through a court of law, to address their own particular agricultural concerns, even regarding weed seeds. Can you see which way the wind is blowing?

.
Imagine how much less possible it is for the federal government to be legitimate or rational in asserting itself over hundreds of distinct foodsheds and watersheds? When we ponder those who claim to care about food and agriculture but who still believe in federal power over these, only “better”, it sure looks like their level of knowledge and policy position is similar to Monsanto’s, only from a superficially different angle. What does this mean where it comes to NGOs and GM labeling advocates who want things like a preemptive FDA labeling standard or the “Food Safety Modernization Act”? (How’s that for an Orwellian name?) They’re just as ignorant as Monsanto and often as arrogant, only from a superficially different point of view. That’s one reason I don’t trust them to ever really draw a line in the sand and say “no further.” (For example the party line seems to be, “support preemption only if the FDA policy is at least as strong as Vermont’s”. I don’t believe they’ll hold to that, and since such an FDA policy is impossible anyway, because that’s not what the FDA does or wants to do, what’s the point of saying such a thing, other than to buy time for further triangulation?) Their underlying logic is basically the same as that of the corporations. Also in the clear fact that democracy in itself is no principle for them and has no value to them at all.
.
A federal labeling law is the worst possible “solution”, since it’s guaranteed to be a preemptive sham, meant to lead in the wrong direction and waste time and resources we don’t have to waste. As the history proves, preemption never works the way so many people seem to want to hope and believe. The only point of it is to force the lowest standards. Otherwise why would any “stakeholder” want it? Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
.
*Dueling Monsanto lawsuits, one as plaintiff, two new ones (two more of many) as defendant. Monsanto is suing California trying to prevent the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) from listing glyphosate on the list of carcinogens. This would impose some labeling requirements and restrictions on its use. Monsanto’s complaint is just a bunch of whining with no substance whatsoever. I’ll be writing more about this lawsuit separately.
.
Meanwhile the city of Seattle has filed the latest lawsuit trying to force Monsanto to pay for a cleanup of the PCBs still ubiquitous in sediments of the city’s drainage system and the Duwamish River. Monsanto lied for decades about PCBs although it knew of their toxicity at least since 1937. A major reason for the corporate reshuffling Monsanto undertook in order to dump its industrial chemical division Solutia in 2002 was to try to unload its PCB liability. This hasn’t worked so far, though the penalties aren’t even in the same galaxy with what the company, its executives, its technicians and its salesmen deserve. And the Nuremburg-actionable lies continue still to this day. Just as the CEO of Solutia continued to lie for years, so Monsanto lies today:
.

“PCBs sold at the time were a lawful and useful product that was then incorporated by third parties into other useful products. If improper disposal or other improper uses allowed for necessary clean up costs, then these other third parties would bear responsibility for these costs.”

.
This is a direct Nuremburg lie. Monsanto has known since the 1930s that PCBs as such are extremely toxic. They cause cancer, birth defects, and horrible skin and organ symptoms. Over the 1950s-60s Monsanto accumulated very detailed knowledge and sought systematically to cover it up. See Marie-Monique Robin’s The World According to Monsanto for a detailed history of this and many of Monsanto’s other crimes against humanity. Monsanto adhered to this stonewalling strategy for decades. So it was Monsanto which lied to its customers and encouraged these third parties to incorporate the PCB product without warning them of what it knew about the danger.
.
Finally, in California Brenda and James Huerta are suing Monsanto for giving them cancer through chronic long-term exposures to Roundup spraying while they lived on a commercial sod farm in the state’s Riverside County. Here the law is geared to protect the seller and the sprayer. Even if the US and California state governments recognized glyphosate as carcinogenic (as we just mentioned Monsanto is currently suing to prevent the state from recognizing it as such, while the US EPA denies it), it would generally be considered impossible to ascribe a particular case of cancer to the product. And if all else failed, Monsanto would try to claim the sprayer didn’t adhere to the label requirements for application. Farmer scapegoating is standard wherever straight lies and denial don’t work.
.
These are reasons why the abolitionist position must be to impose strict liability on all manufacturers, sellers, and users of a poisonous product for all harms which come from it. In a legal sense they’re all part of one big conspiracy to promote cancer, and since it is usually not feasible to identify the “particular” culprit in a given case, all must be held equally responsible. I propose the same standard for pesticide drift effects, for any campaign against 2,4-D and dicamba GMOs. Strict liability first as a philosophical and polemical plank, wherever possible as a demand for legal reform, and always as the Nuremburg standard which must be imposed once we the people take back the power.
.
So we have dueling lawsuits. Monsanto sues California for saying glyphosate causes cancer, citizens are suing Monsanto for giving them cancer, Seattle files the latest of many lawsuits because Monsanto systematically sickened and murdered people with PCBs and to this day systematically lies about it. The EPA, FDA, and USDA say Monsanto is a good, honest citizen. Who do you trust about Roundup?
.
*More data on glyphosate residues in urine, as monitored over 15 years by Germany’s federal environmental agency. The levels are lower than EFSA “tolerance” limits, which means little. Regulators mechanically raise these legal levels in accord with how much poison the manufacturer expects to sell. In itself this is a strong indicator of the regulators’ poison-maximizing ideology. The procedure has zero scientific content and exists at all only as a political farce, to make it look like the regulator is “protecting” us. Scientifically, like all pesticides glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor which means it causes cancer and birth defects at ultra-low doses, and there is no safe level. The German agency also warned that formulations are far more toxic than glyphosate by itself. In other words, bad as this is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
.
*Here’s one thing that won’t wait for labeling to be gotten right over however many years that would take. If we don’t want to see the monarch butterfly go extinct within our lifetimes, we have to abolish glyphosate NOW. Anything else is just empty talk.
.
There’s a new petition to the world’s most pro-Monsanto, pro-Roundup government, calling for better action for the monarch. Seems far-fetched, but it’s possible if there were enough of a groundswell on everything from monarchs to cancer, the system might be forced to sacrifice Roundup as long as it thought it could preserve the rest of the poison regime. But this will require a full-scale social movement toward this goal. (The goal of abolishing glyphosate must be part of the broader goal of abolishing poison-based agriculture, but we can also choose particular campaigns for special focus.) Things like petitions not rooted in a movement grounding will be blown off like the air they are. The prognosis is clear. Unless glyphosate is completely banned, it’ll be the end of the monarch. Americans are going to have to choose once and for all. What’ll it be, the monarch or Monsanto? You can’t have both.
.
*Gilles-Eric Seralini has performed another of his thorough and damning analyses of GMO trial data. This time he analyzed the trial data and the subsequent veterinary records from the 1997-2002 dairy cow feeding trial in Germany with silage from Syngenta’s Bt176 maize. This was one of the ominous incidents in GMO history. The animals became badly ill, many died, the records were analyzed by Syngenta and the German government, and farmer Gottfried Glöckner sued the company. Although Syngenta has always denied the GMO had anything to do with the epidemic, it paid off Glöckner and pulled Bt176 from the market. Now Seralini, assisted by Glöckner, has analyzed all the records and concluded that Bt176 “provoked long-term toxic effects on mammals”. There are many anecdotal reports of similar epidemics stemming from diets with a heavy Bt crop proportion, among farm workers in South Africa and livestock in India.
.
The action needed is not, however, “more testing” as Seralini calls for. He’s a scientist so of course that’s his first thought. But in fact this new evidence adds to what’s already conclusive proof – Bt-expressing GMOs don’t work and are dangerous to human, animal, and environmental health. They must be abolished, not tested over and over again forever. Every time I see the “more testing” call I wonder how much evidence would finally satisfy people. There’s far more than enough to satisfy anyone without a strong investment in the poison system itself, if that evidence is propagated competently and relentlessly and in the context of the affirmative Food Sovereignty idea. On the other hand, without this work even a hundred times as much evidence would be of little use.
.
*Meanwhile the state government of Idaho is acknowledging a pesticide crisis. Here they let potato farmers apply methyl bromide, which of course suffused the soil. The poison then became part of the tissue of a subsequent alfalfa crop whose poisoned hay caused “deformities and sickness” in cattle which fed upon it. “Additionally, test samples of wheat, barley, potatoes, alfalfa, tomato, corn and straw grown on other treated fields also showed some level of bromide.” The state agriculture department told the legislature that the soil needs an emergency cleanup, of course asking for taxpayer money to be provided for the necessary research and work. To the great injury of the poisoning of our food and soil they now add the insult of expecting the people, not the criminals, to pay to clean it up.
.
If GMOs tolerant of 2,4-D and dicamba are deployed on a large scale, the result will be this same quarantine of the soil and destruction of vast swaths of crops from the toxic drift. The whole thing, everywhere, sums to one vast moral insult. This insult shall never be made whole until we the people apply all moral force necessary to abolish these poisons.
.
.*The Indian state of Karnataka is yet again having to prepare a farmer bailout after yet another Bt cotton disaster. This time the target pest, the pink bollowrm, simply feasted as if the two Bt toxins and neonics weren’t even there. Karnataka will yet again have to decide whether and how to demand the seed companies pay farmer compensation. Karnataka is one of the states most severely devastated by the suicide epidemic among Indian small cotton farmers. The state really ought to launch a transformation program away from commodity production and toward organic production, as fellow state Sikkim is proving can be done on a large scale.
.
Another Bt cotton blunder may soon be history, as Burkina Faso’s farmers and seed dealers are abandoning the product. The country’s experience with Bt cotton has paralleled that of other countries, including the crop’s poor performance under anything but optimal conditions. Burkina Faso also experienced low-quality lint production even when the overall boll yield was good. This problem, which has also been seen in India, seems to be related to pleiotropic effects from Monsanto’s breeding its Bt cultivar into the pirated regional Burknabe variety. Here’s the latest proof of how imprecise and unpredictable genetic engineering is. It’s always a crapshoot. Monsanto is implicitly admitting this as it’s now frantically “backcrossing its Bt varieties into a new local cultivar.” But farmers seem to be fed up with the whole Bt cotton concept, as have been all non-rich farmers who ever tried to work with it. It’s a shoddy product, in addition to its health dangers.
.
Food sovereignty and civil society campaigners are confident that Burkina Faso’s rejection of Bt cotton will help steel African resolve to resist this and other GMOs. The struggle continues in Kenya as farmer and civil society groups oppose proposals to lift the government’s moratorium on cultivation and importation of GMO products. In recent weeks the government has indicated it will soon approve cultivation of Bt maize, but missed a scheduled press conference. For more on the truth of the corporate-driven food insecurity in Africa which GMOs promise to make much worse, see here.
.
*Canadian environmental groups Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society are suing the government to overturn a 2013 ruling which threatens to allow the grow-out of GM salmon under conditions exceeding those allowed by Canadian environmental law.
.
*Much ado about the temporary retraction of a paper by Italian researchers documenting transgenic DNA fragments persisting in the tissues of animals fed GM feed. The retraction is on grounds of what the retracting journal calls an “honest error” involving the reuse of some images which had appeared in an earlier paper by the same researchers. The study’s basic findings remain intact. In a sign of how desperate the pro-GMO activists are, they whooped it up as if this technicality constituted some kind of evidence in their favor. The GMWatch piece does a good job detailing the hypocrisy and double standards of the GMO lobby and corporate media. In fact even if this particular study’s substantive finding were in doubt, it would be just be one drop retracted from a lake of evidence. GMWatch adds:
.

Several years ago we at GMWatch were reprimanded by a government scientist (who was emphatically not anti-GMO) for our naive belief that we still had to ‘prove’ that GM DNA was detectable in the tissues of animals that ate GM feed. This fact, the scientist pointed out, was “not controversial and we have known it for a long time”. The only controversial aspect was whether such GM DNA had any biological effect on animals that was different from the effects of non-GM DNA.

.
I think it’s time for the whole movement to be more confident about what’s been proven beyond any doubt and go from there, rather than imply we’re willing to keep running in place forever needing “more study”, as if we ourselves weren’t 100% confident in the existing evidence. Endless calls for “more data” are a classic sign of the Peter Principle in action.

<

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

<

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”.)

>

February 6, 2015

CRIIGEN Asking for Support

Filed under: GMO Health Hazards — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 2:40 am

<

If you’re looking to donate to a good cause, the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) has put out a call for contributions to support its work. As the letter explains, CRIIGEN is an independent research group which conducts studies on GMOs, pesticides, and related poisons. It’s therefore an extremely rare source of data which hasn’t been corrupted in any way by corporate funding and control.
.
Among the many studies CRIIGEN has conducted, it’s best known for the 2012 Seralini study on Roundup Ready maize which documented organ toxicity from both Roundup and the GMO itself, and which found evidence that these are cancer-causing as well. This full life cycle (two years) study remains the only such study which has ever been performed, and is the best science we have to date.
.
This study was therefore relentlessly slandered, with a set of canned lies being propagated even before it was published. In response to this and other attacks from industry and its affiliated hacks, CRIIGEN has been forced to hire communications staff, which has increased its expenses. This is one of the reasons for its current call for financial support. Read the letter for more information.

>

July 19, 2014

The Abdication of Science: The Example of GMO Feeding Trials

>

The double standard among “science” studies becomes more insane all the time. Food and Chemical Toxicology, the same journal which unsuccessfully tried to censor and suppress the 2012 Seralini study, has dropped even the slightest pretense to being “scientific” as it continues to publish the most patently bogus corporate “studies”. The latest is a Dupont trial of GM canola which compares it to a “commercial diet”. This is a typical scam of corporate feeding trials. The only valid scientific procedure is to compare a GM variety with the original conventional variety into which the transgene was inserted, only without the transgene. This is called the near-isogenic variety. But corporate trials almost invariably compare the GMO to an undifferentiated “commerical diet” composed of GMOs and feed which had been sprayed with various poisons. The goal is to prevent the trial from detecting any danger from the studied GMO by rendering the “control” diet as toxically similar to it as possible. This trial also engaged in the standard frauds: It was the typical 90 days in length (two years is the scientific standard, an absolute requirement for a real safety study) and compared the study group to irrelevant “historical control groups” which wouldn’t be part of any scientifically designed study. To top it off the authors, employees of Dupont, brazenly lie in declaring they have no conflict of interest.
 
Also tediously familiar, the trial used the same Sprague-Dawley breed of rats which the Seralini study did, and a comparable number of rats. The two main canned lies against the Seralini study are that this type and sample size were somehow illegitimate. But as per proper scientific procedure Seralini merely replicated the way every corporate trial uses this same type and number of rats. He merely extended his study’s length from the intentionally fraudulent 90 days to the scientifically valid 2 years, and measured legitimate health parameters. These measures are generally omitted or suppressed by the corporate trials, which measure only for industry parameters like quickly reaching slaughter weight.
 
It’s also characteristic of such studies that false negatives are a much greater risk than false positives. The fabricated media furore which slandered the Seralini study was in effect accusing it of attaining a false positive. But the number of rats used in ALL the studies which have ever been done, including every corporate trial without exception, is far more likely to generate false negatives. That’s why Seralini’s result was far more significant than those of the trials which allegedly found different results.
 
That’s also why the sample size of 10-12 rats was set as the industry standard, because it was more likely to generate false negatives than a larger sample size. If we could repeat the Seralini/Monsanto study design (as it ought to be called, as Seralini merely improved upon M’s own design) with larger sample sizes, we’d get a reinforcement and expansion of Seralini’s results. All the bogus procedures of 90 day study lengths, feeding the alleged “control” group a “commercial diet”, the gratuitous introduction of “historical control” and “reference” groups, are all meant to obfuscate the result and ensure this false negative. And yet in spite of all that, Monsanto’s own trials often found evidence of organ toxicity.
 
You’ll often see pro-GMO liars citing one or more compendiums of studies which allegedly give GMOs a clean bill of health. But in truth these are nothing but lists of such fraudulent corporate trials, all of which include most or all of the shoddy and fraudulent procedures I just listed. Ironically, in spite of all the attempts to suppress adverse data, many of these trials nevertheless found evidence that GMOs are toxic to human and animal health. The 2012 Seralini study was nothing but a time-extended replication of what was originally a Monsanto feeding trial, with the bogus corporate procedures fixed. The scientific imperative, including the need to serve the public well-being, caused Seralini to conceive and conduct his study. He’s a rare example of a true scientist, the extreme opposite of the mercenary hacks who work for the corporations and the hacks who carry the corporate water as propagandists.  
 
We can see that there’s no longer any such thing as establishment science. On the contrary what’s called “science” today is just a bazaar of ever more brazen lies told by ever more shameless frauds and charlatans. Those who to this day join in the slandering of the Seralini study are anti-science obscurantists, the most vicious enemies science has ever known. Since they attack science in the context of helping totalitarian and homicidal corporations poison our food, water, and soil while seeking total domination through domination of the entire food chain, these scienticians aren’t just frauds and charlatans, but criminal propagandists according to Nuremburg standards.

>

June 27, 2014

GMO News Summary June 27, 2014

>

*The 2012 Seralini study, the best scientific work done on a GMO to date and one of the best scientific studies of recent years, has been republished by Environmental Sciences Europe. The new publication includes expanded material, a reply to the media smear campaign against the study, and a commentary on how the original publication was censored by an anti-scientific cabal presided over by a Monsanto commissar.
 
This makes two duly constituted peer review processes the study has passed, while its retraction by Food and Chemical Toxicology was the result of a secret conclave among the editors and could muster only the most bogus rationale. Scientists around the world welcome this vindication.
 
*More proof from Argentina that glyphosate causes cancer. A new report from the health ministry of the Cordoba province documents high rates of tumors and cancer deaths in the agricultural depratments of the province. These areas are dominated by poison-based industrial soy production, with massive applications of glyphosate.
 
The government is doing its usual thing of emphasizing the broadest numbers it can in order to submerge the significant figures for the plantation zones. As Damien Verzenassi, medical doctor and one of the organizers of field studies in villages among the plantations, says, “They keep demanding studies on something that is already proven and do not take urgent measures to protect the population. There is ample evidence that the agricultural model has health consequences, we are talking about a production model that is a huge public health problem”. 
 
*It’s not just in Western countries that surveillance bureaucracies see domestic spying and subversion on behalf of international corporations to be their primary task. In a report recently leaked to the press, India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) attacks domestic anti-GMO critics and activists for being enemies of the commodification economy, and therefore of India. The nature of the allegation itself proves the opposite. Since globalization seeks the global dictatorship of a handful of multinational corporations, almost all of them based in the US and Europe, nothing could be more alien to India and the well-being of the Indian people than this corporate domination. Conversely, nothing is more treasonous than the actions of those who want to hand over domestic economies and polities to these corporations.
 
That’s just as much true in the US as it is in India. Corporations have no home and are the enemies of all of humanity.

>

June 4, 2014

The Seralini Study is a Good Study and is Good Enough for Action

>

Gilles-Eric Seralini and his CRIIGEN team are withdrawing from participation in a French government study which was allegedly supposed to follow up the findings of the team’s 2012 study of Monsanto’s GM maize variety NK603 and its affiliated poison, Roundup. I’ve written before about how the 2012 Seralini study forced the French government and the EU to announce that they would conduct the very first government safety tests of a GMO ever. If these tests were scientifically conceived and were conducted by independent scientists, they’d be the first such government-ordered tests ever.
 
Now the French regulator ANSES has announced a bogus “subchronic” toxicity test design, little better than the discredited 90-day test it was allegedly going to improve upon. Seralini has set the standard, that any valid study must be a full-length two year study. Anything less is self-evidently bogus. ANSES also invited Monsanto to participate in the study design. Seralini judged that for he and his team, who carried out their vastly superior study in 2012, to participate in this retrograde step would be to endorse it. It would be a betrayal of their own work. Seralini has set the standard – nothing less than a two year study by independent scientists is acceptable. No one who cares about the health effects of glyphosate and GMOs, or about science itself, can ever again accept less.
 
That’s one down and one to go. As for the EU’s projected 2-year carcinogenicity study, no details have been made public yet, but it’s already rumored that a cartel-affiliated group will get the contract. So much for scientific independence, and that will be the end of that as far as a study which has any legitimacy.
 
Seralini’s team also recently published a new paper in FCT (FCT is said to have been forced to publish this rebuttal by its parent company Elsevier, which is evidently embarrassed by the scandal) detailing the anti-scientific double standards involved in the decision of Food and Chemical Toxicology to retract their 2012 study for being “inconclusive”, which was an unprecedented rationale and one that is inadmissible according to Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines. FCT is a member of the COPE. Seralini’s study, a full length two-year toxicology study, the only one which has ever been performed, was suppressed, declared an unstudy which doesn’t need to be cited in subsequent literature, and slandered in the corporate media. At the same time, fraudulent pro-GMO “studies” published in FCT by Monsanto prior to 2012 (Seralini’s study was an avowed replication of Monsanto’s studies, as per proper scientific procedure) and subsequent to FCT’s suppression of the Seralini study remain on the books in good stead. This is in spite of the fact that these were all studies of intentionally inadequate duration (90 days; “subchronic” studies in the parlance), using fraudulent tricks like “historical reference groups” to try to drown out any signal of toxicity, designed not as toxicological studies but simply to test industry-important parameters like weight gain, and which in spite of all these hurdles still found evidence of toxicity.
 
The Seralini study sought to replicate Monsanto’s own study, and did so changing only the duration (2 years vs. 90 days) and what it was measuring (toxicity vs. weight gain and feed conversion). Otherwise it kept things the same, including using the exact same rat variety and the same sample sizes, albeit improving the methodology. This refutes the two most common canned lies about the Seralini study. The only other tack the enemy’s had has been to fraudulently attack this excellent toxicity study as a “bad” cancer study. This is meant to misdirect attention from the fact that it was a toxicity study and thus to suppress the data on the toxic effects.
 
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. 
 
This is how science is supposed to work, and Seralini’s study is a fine example of good scientific study by any measure, as well as the best to date on a GMO. It’s the one and only full toxicity study. That the EU and French governments felt forced to announce their own studies is a testament to the legitimacy of this one.
 
What was the system response to science at its best? The 2012 study was subject first to a preemptive UK media counterattack, and then to a relentless smear campaign in the UK and Europe. (The US corporate media largely ignored it.) All this was based on prefabricated lies. The lies were fabricated by Monsanto publicists, propagated by corporate fronts like the UK Science Media Centre and by the EFSA, whose honor was directly at stake since the study results condemned EFSA’s rubberstamping of Monsanto’s own bogus “safety tests”. The lies were eventually taken up and became dogma at mainstream media like the NYT. Seldom if ever has a piece of scientific work been so persecuted and smeared in the Western media machine. Finally the study was suppressed and censored.
 
That FCT suppressed it under intense pressure from Monsanto and the US and UK governments, and at the dictates of a Monsanto cadre who had a new editorial position at FCT created especially for him, is obviously nothing more or less than ideologically motivated censorship. Vastly inferior “studies” which find for GMOs and Roundup, on the other hand, are waved through. The whole affair has been an extreme example of the increasingly typical corruption and corporatization of “peer review”, which renders the whole concept of the people’s reliance upon the findings of establishment scientific procedure more and more dubious.
 
The whole scandal has provided a case study in scientistic authoritarianism. No honest, rational person could or would dispute the basic legitimacy of the Seralini study. Although like any other study it would benefit from repetition and further tweaking, the objections to its legitimacy as such are pathetically transparent and spurious. But corporatist ideologues, including regulators and corporate media personnel, are not rational or honest. To varying extents these ideologues irrationally believe that what corporations want to do should be considered automatically the normative baseline. Anyone who dissents, disputes, or presents evidence contrary to corporate assertions should be considered abnormal, even as a kind of aggressor, and should be held to a higher standard of proof.
 
In the Seralini era, GMO propaganda has begun openly to assert that independent science should be held to a higher standard of proof than corporate claims, however unevidenced. This anti-scientific dogma started out as a corollary to the Big Lie about a nonexistent “scientific consensus” in favor of GMOs. But as it’s become impossible to maintain this self-evidently absurd lie, the hacks have become more brazen about proclaiming a double standard for evidence. Thus they can try to revive their demolished “consensus” claim by segregating evidence-based science into a kind of ghetto and dismissing it as not the real science, while maintaining their conformist, nihilist consensus of anti-evidence, pro-dogma scienticians as the body of “sound science”, to use one of their favorite propaganda terms, recycled from old pro-cigarette campaigns.
 
(That the term “sound science” has evolved from its invention by Big Tobacco lobbyists to become today the official language of the US Trade Representative and other US government bodies where it comes to GMOs, fracking, and similar corporate assaults is a perfect symbol of the extreme communion between the US government and the most vicious, predatory assaults of corporations. It’s also proof of the elemental hostility and cynicism toward science and reason on the part of the government and corporate media. Similarly, the evolution of the Republican Frank Luntz code word “patchwork” to become a recent favorite of Democrats and the “liberal media” is a good crystallization of the identity of liberals and conservatives today. Examples like these epitomize how today the only meaningful distinction and divide is corporatism against humanity, and how this has redefined every other distinction and issue.)
 
Now Seralini and his CRIIGEN team have withdrawn from the French study. This incident rebuts a common theme among GMO skeptics and dissenters that we need more study. Perhaps these people are even dismayed at Seralini’s withdrawal, as progressives are prone to regard the “seat at the table” as more important than any actual result, and in this case may regard any study, however bogus and retrograde and likely to be rigged to produce a pro-Monsanto result, as better than nothing.
 
What’s bizarre about this is that we already have such a good study as the Seralini study, and we see how the system reacted to it. The evidence record is that no study which finds results adverse to the GMO cartel propaganda will ever be acceptable to the establishment, and that we shouldn’t be focusing on being acceptable to the establishment and its media. Indeed, the call for more study often sounds like an attempt to prop up faith in Good Government, and the faith that the people can somehow get regulators to act like the good government textbook depiction of regulators in the public interest.
 
It’s good that people want to reform GMO approval systems to make them more rigorous. But we must put GMOs in their socioeconomic and political context. When we do, and we realize how critical the GMO project is to the corporate system, we can see how unlikely it is that such “petitioning” type reformism can ever work.
 
If we’re to reform anything, we’ll do it only through massive bottom-up pressure which forces elites to change in order to save their own skin. In that case, the right focus for activist appeals isn’t to the system itself, but directly to the people.
 
Similarly, when we truly comprehend the socioeconomic and political evils of the GMO regime, its existential threat to agricultural biodiversity, and the way agricultural poison use threatens a cataclysm which shall destroy human and animal health, environmental health, and the soil itself, we can see that nothing short of the total abolition of GMOs and poison-based agriculture shall suffice. For this purpose as well, we must speak directly to the people.
 
But although we’ll welcome and use all new evidence as it continues to pile up, we don’t need to wait for more of any particular kind of evidence. On every front, we have far more than all the evidence we need. That includes the evidence of the health hazards of glyphosate (abundantly proven) and GMOs as such.
 
The Seralini study is among the best of these compilations of evidence, and along with the rest of the health evidence is enough to move forward with action. According to The Peter Principle one of the symptoms of having no idea what to do, or just not wanting to take any action, is to keep calling for more data even though you already have far more than enough. Let’s not exemplify such a mournful example by implicitly echoing the system’s lies about the alleged inadequacy of the evidence we have.
 
We the people don’t lack evidence, so far we simply lack action.

>

February 7, 2014

GMO News Summary February 7/2014

>

I’m intending to do a weekly news summary. Here’s the first installment.
 
*If the monarch butterfly goes extinct, as it looks poised to do within our lifetimes, the main cause will be herbicide-based agriculture. GMO abolition can still prevent this outcome.
 
*Scotts’ GM Kentucky bluegrass is looking to be the first commercialized GMO to enter a non-regulatory black hole the USDA has created. GMO regulation in the US is already a joke, in principle and practice. But for newer varieties, as far as the USDA is concerned there’s to be no regulation at all.
 
(Another good example of how under Democrat power the GMO assault has been escalated and accelerated. In practice there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and GMO policy is one of the best examples of this. It’s impossible for anyone who cares about GMOs to think there’s anything to choose here. Obama’s been the most aggressively pro-Monsanto president yet in every way, and clearly considers this a core element of his presidency.)
 
*It’s a race to the bottom, and indeed probably illegal, to find experimental subjects for the alleged “cancer-fighting GM purple tomato”. The thing is probably not even meant to be commercialized. It’s more potentially useful as hype than as another failed GM product like the Kenyan GM sweet potato or any glyphosate-tolerant variety. It’s worthless and unnecessary. Meanwhile, as always in these cases, there exists a higher-quality, non-hazardous, less expensive non-GM variety. High-anthocyanin purple tomatoes have been conventionally bred in Brazil.
 
*The editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology refuses to retract a recently published bogus study, although in every way it’s inferior to Seralini study, including in being far less “conclusive”. Hayes gave as his reason for the retraction that the Seralini was “inconclusive”. This is not only a lie – the Seralini study is above average among scientific studies in general in the strength of its conclusions – but violates Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines, which allow for retraction only in the case of fraud, misconduct, or gross incompetence. Hayes cleared Seralini of any such problems. (Given his general willingness to lie, we have to figure the reason Hayes didn’t accuse Seralini of fraud while he was at it is that he’s a coward. Seralini has a history of successfully suing hacks for libeling him, so Hayes was probably too cowardly to cross a certain line in his lies.)
 
*New website dedicated to the rising protest of scientists against the suppression of the Seralini study and the corporate hijacking of science it exemplifies.
 
*Speaking of Seralini, he’s part of a team out with a new study comparing nine commercial poison formulations (three herbicides, three insecticides, three fungicides) with their official “active ingredients” in isolation. The study compares the toxicity of these poisons to human cells in vitro. The results: in 8 of 9 cases, the commercial formulation is more toxic, in most cases far more so, than the “active ingredient”.
 
This is further support for what citizens, scientists, public health workers, environmentalists, and many others have long been documenting, that regulation which focuses on a single arbitrary “active” ingredient rather than the true toxic brew which will be deployed in reality is a sham. The commercial formulations are far more toxic.
 
*Germany (the EU’s “rapporteur state” on glyphosate) recommends the EU recertify glyphosate and allow an increased level in food. As always, these recommendations of regulators that allowed levels of poisons be increased has zero to do with scientific evidence of safety (and usually directly contradicts the evidence), but simply authorizes whatever level the corporations want to deploy. This is regulator triangulation at its most stark and malevolent.
 
*Russian legislators are pushing a bill to ban all GM cultivation and restrict imports. Currently no cultivation has been approved, but several varieties are authorized for import in food and feed. The only restriction on these is that food containing them must be labeled. Meanwhile a new state registry for GMOs and products containing them is supposed to go into effect in June 2014. I’ve read conflicting reports on whether this is a good thing or not. Some campaigners oppose it claiming it will give the prime minister dictatorial discretion to allow GMO cultivation and expanded importation. The current PM, Medvedev, hasn’t sounded very pro-GMO, and in September ordered government agencies to study the prospect of a ban. Certainly a legal ban is much better instead of or on top of any government registry.
 
Although I haven’t had a chance to study Russia’s GMO situation yet, my default is to assume that their situation is similar to that of China. The elites don’t oppose GMOs out of the kindness of their hearts. If they have a go-slow or even oppositionist position, it’s because they view the Monsanto/US GMO cartel in the same way they’ve always viewed aggressive, domination-seeking US power. In that case they’re probably thinking in terms of building their own rival cartel.
 
*The latest experimental release of Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes will be in Panama this month. These frankenbugs allegedly are meant to help cut down on the population of mosquitoes which transmit dengue fever. Previous releases in the Cayman Islands and Malaysia, and an ongoing experiment in Brazil, have produced no evidence that this method works. The most likely result is that if it does work to reduce the target species, another species which also transmits dengue fever will expand to occupy the ecological niche. Such secondary pests are a regular result of GMO gambits, such as mirid bugs in China ravaging any Bt cotton which does temporarily work to suppress the target weevil.
 
——
 
Let me know if there’s any other news. I didn’t get a chance yet to read about Bangladesh’s impending commercialization of BT brinjal (eggplant), an awful development. There’s zero reason for this product, and Southeast Asia is the world’s germplasm heritage center for eggplant. There are thousands of well-adapted varieties, including for insect resistance. No one on earth except for a handful of corporate gangsters needs or wants GM eggplant, and it would be a disaster for everyone except for these criminals.
 
This naturally effective biodiversity is exactly what GMO-based monoculture seeks to eradicate. That’s why Monsanto wants to eradicate the world’s resilient, public domain eggplant germplasm heritage and replace it with a hyper-vulnerable, genetically crippled and sterile, sure-to-fail proprietary enclosure.
 
So far Monsanto’s offensive has stalled out in India and the Philippines, but they’ve been hoping to break through in Bangladesh. The goal will then be to illegally infiltrate the rest of Southeast Asia, achieve a genetic coup, and present governments with an accomplished fact.
 
If this attack succeeds, the result could be the middle-run total enclosure of a radically diminished eggplant germplasm, and the long-run complete failure of the crop, with subsequent famine. This is what humanity is up against with all GMOs. This is why “coexistence” with GMOs is impossible, and why their total abolition is necessary.

>

February 2, 2014

The Seralini Suppression, Science, EU Regulation, and the TTIP

>

This piece from GMOSeralini.org puts the recent suppression by Food and Chemical Toxicology of the 2012 Seralini study in a broader political context.
 
To recap the facts: In September 2012 FCT published the study by a team led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, analyzing the toxicology of the Monsanto Roundup Ready maize variety NK603. The study followed several years of advocacy on the part of Seralini and other scientists, calling for such a study after Monsanto’s own industry-geared feeding trial had found evidence of toxicity. The study contained three kinds of experimental groups: Groups fed NK603 which had been sprayed with Roundup, groups which were fed NK603 without Roundup, and groups fed the non-GM isogenic equivalent of NK603, with Roundup added to their drinking water. Thus the study was unique in isolating the GMO and herbicide effects, as well as testing their combined effect.
 
The study was unique in being a full-length two year study, which comprises the full life cycle of the rat. Industry tests use an intentionally short period, usually 90 days, in order to prevent chronic effects from manifesting. Nevertheless evidence of toxicity had emerged in Monsanto’s own tests. The purpose of the Seralini study was to find out how far these toxic effects would go if played out through the entire life cycle of the animal. As per standard scientific procedure, the study used the same kind of rat Monsanto used, similar sample sizes, and was otherwise similar to the studies it was replicating. The only things it changed were extending the fraudulent 90-day study length to the valid two year length, and that it focused on health parameters, unlike the usual parameters in industry tests, like quick weight gain and feed conversion, which are irrelevant to safety studies.
 
The study found strong evidence of organ toxicity for all three groups, especially liver and kidney toxicity. It also found evidence that GMOs and Roundup cause cancer. But since it was designed as a toxicity study and not as a carcinogenicity study, Seralini and his team never claimed to have proven carcinogenicity. They noted this finding and called for cancer studies to be designed and performed. The study also found increased mortality among the experimental subjects, another finding calling for more study.
 
The GMO cartel and its media flacks never contemplated these results for a second. Before the study even appeared the cartel launched a media campaign to slander it. This campaign was never anything but a pack of flimsy, easily shot down lies. But in Britain it was sufficient to get the corporate media to purge the study from its pages. The attempt at preemptive suppression didn’t work in Europe, where controversy raged. (Meanwhile no such effort was needed in the US, where the corporate media largely suppressed the study of its own accord.) Governments and regulators joined the smear campaign, which as usual in these cases extended to personal attacks and threats against Seralini and his colleagues.
 
FCT came under heavy pressure from cartel flacks to retract the study. At first it refused. The cartel then switched to a more subtle, longer-term pressure campaign. This led to FCT creating in spring 2013 a new editorial position, especially created for a Monsanto cadre. Soon a secret review procedure, under cartel control, was convoked within FCT. In November FCT announced the retraction of the study. As is typical of GMO hacks, the reasons given by the journal’s editor-in-chief were absurd, self-contradictory, and violated Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines for retraction.
 
Meanwhile the original Monsanto studies, also published in FCT, which would also have to be retracted according to the same rationale (since they’re all inferior to the Seralini study by the editor’s own standards), remain on the books in good standing. What’s more, since the retraction FCT has published another bogus 90-day study with highly sloppy methodology which seems have been done as a rush job to “answer” Seralini. When the editor-in-chief was called upon to retract this study as well, he refused, thus openly proclaiming the prostitution of Food and Chemical Toxicology and its parent media company Elsevier (which has a long history of publication fraud and other offenses against science).  
 
We can group the goals of the suppression into defensive and offensive aspects.
 
1. Defensively, the retraction is meant to “disappear” the only long-term safety study which has yet been done upon a GMO (or upon Roundup). This means it’s the only fully legitimate safety study which has ever been done. The goal is to slander this particular study and give the corporate media a pretext to do so as well (which it has seized with glee). The goal is also to put a chill into researchers and potential funders for such studies, to put them on notice that the “scientific” establishment will not tolerate actual scientific studies on GMOs, only rigged ones.
 
We now have proof, an implicit concession from the cartel and from regulators, that if more studies like that of the Seralini team were performed, GMOs would be proven beyond any doubt to be toxic and carcinogenic. They’d no longer be politically tenable.
 
In the piece EU Parliament member and former French environmental minister Corinne Lepage stresses how the repression is meant to “close the door” on the scientific future. Seralini is cited giving his opinion that GMOs would not be financially viable if corporations had to submit their products to scientifically legitimate testing.
 
The piece adds a legalistic reason for disappearing the study. With the study retracted, it “can no longer be taken as a reference for risk assessment when considering applications for authorization of GMOs for food and especially for cultivation in the EU.”
 
I’m not sure how relevant this specific study would have been anyway. Standard regulatory dogma, first proposed by the (private) Monsanto front group the International Life Sciences Institute but taken up and parroted by the WHO and UN FAO as their recommendation to government regulators, is that each GMO application should be taken hermetically in itself. Regulators should never conceive classes, infer patterns, make deductions. (So much for science.) So EU regulators would’ve felt fine dismissing the Seralini study as at most applying to NK603 only.
 
(Of course, this refusal to deduce goes only one way. By contrast, once the individual “events” which comprise a stacked GMO have been approved, the regulator is supposed to feel free to approve the stacked product without further ado, since its individual components have been cleared. This too is anti-scientific. In addition to the original approvals being little more than rubber stamps with no evidence, this see-no-bad procedure ignores the known scientific fact that compound drugs or chemicals often have interactive, compounded, intensified, and otherwise synergistic effects. A stacked GMO also stacks the danger.)
 
Here too the main effect is meant to be the prior restraint of further scientific study, preventing it from ever happening in the first place through intimidation. The message to scientists is that their work, if they’re able to conduct it at all will be under unprecedented assault. The message to journals is that they’ll be put in the vise like FCT was. The message to funders is that it’s not worth getting involved.
 
“Seralini’s study is a pioneering experiment and needs to be confirmed”, said Paul Deheuvals of the Academy of Sciences. Monsanto agrees, which is why the study must not be confirmed. As I said, we can take the retraction which Monsanto forced as its own kind of confirmation. If Monsanto thought the Seralini study could legitimately be discredited through the normal scientific process of replicating it, they would’ve done so. The same goes for the 1999 Pusztai study and many others. The fact that the cartel and its hacks attack the science so viciously in the political realm but systematically demur from repeating these allegedly flawed studies is the biggest dog that didn’t bark in scientific history. It’s a complete concession on Monsanto’s part that all these studies are valid and give true results. It’s proof in itself.
 
Meanwhile, the reason why the EFSA was so fast and flippant in its initial dismissal of the Seralini study is that the study exposed it before the world for its corruption, sycophancy before the cartel, and the stupid, unscientific character of its review and approval procedures. It had no choice but to dig itself in deeper, in self-defense.
 
But the EFSA’s own defense only highlighted its corruption and how most of its leading personnel go back and forth through the revolving door with the cartel. Exposed before the world, the EFSA came under such intense pressure that it was forced to concede that the study was well-done and announce that it would commission a two-year safety study of its own. The French government announced that it would commission such a study of its own. If these studies are actually performed according to scientific standards, they will be the first real safety studies EVER commissioned by government regulators.
 
Therefore, one major effect of the Seralini study was that it put regulators in such a political position that they felt forced to make this concession, which is common sense from humanity’s point of view, extreme from theirs. Now that the study has been retracted, we’ll see if the regulators use this as a pretext to backpedal from their concessions to its methodology, or even to weasel out of conducting the promised studies at all.
 
2. Offensively, we can put the controversy over the study and its suppression in the context of the negotiations between US and EU elites over the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, AKA TAFTA. Amid the welter of proposals to escalate corporate tyranny via anti-democratic, anti-constitutional globalization cadres, the main goal of the US is destroy EU regulation of GMO cultivation, which is relatively strong, and its far weaker regulation on imports of GMOs in food and feed, which is still far stronger than the US would like. The EU’s GMO labeling policies are also targeted by the US.
 
The GMO cartel and US government especially feel this need as the politico-regulatory scene has not recently been friendly. The European Parliament recently voted to reject EU cultivation of Pioneer’s 1507 maize variety. This followed upon the European Court of Justice’s invalidation of the EFSA’s approval of BASF’s Amflora potato. While Amflora was already defunct (and BASF’s GMO division already quitting Europe for the warmer climate of North Carolina), the court’s criticism of EFSA’s procedures could apply to many of its other approvals.
 
This is also the climate in which, to much fanfare, Monsanto last summer announced it was “withdrawing from Europe”. While this “withdrawal” was never quite what it was cracked up to be (for example it involved only new applications for the time being, not the dozens of outstanding ones), it highlights how frustrated the cartel has become with Europe. TAFTA is now Monsanto’s great hope to break through in a way it has not hitherto been able. Since it’s made only modest progress against the regular pseudo-democracy of the EC, the cartel hopes to do better through direct globalization autocracy.
 
I don’t know if there’s a legalistic way in which, the study’s having been retracted, it cannot formally be introduced as evidence in the negotiations (assuming anyone would want to do so in the first place). At any rate the political pretext the retraction gives is important to EU elites who want to sell out the people of Europe. They’ve already come under such democratic pressure that they’ve had to slow down the negotiations. GMO regulation is a major rallying point for the people just as it is for the US government. EU elites probably hoped that the so-called “discrediting” of the Seralini study will help alleviate some of the bottom-up political pressure.
 
If this was their hope it seems to have backfired. The redoubled controversy over the censorship of science is driving more and more naturally reformist types to openly admit that science is being held hostage, and that the “scientific” and regulatory establishments can no longer be considered to have any credibility.
 
 
Lepage concluded her press conference with a set of four demands, highlighting many of the problems discussed in this post.
 
First, I call to action all scientists worthy of the name, just as professor [Paul] Deheuvels did earlier. He simply wants the progress of knowledge. [Scientists should] mobilise against the current consolidation in scientific publishing and for an end to the control exercised by the lobbies – and Mr [Richard E.] Goodman is an excellent example – on what can or cannot be published. Global knowledge and the advancement of science are at stake.
 
Meanwhile we must be prepared to go further and recognize that the existing “scientific” establishment, including the institution of “peer review”, has been largely corporatized and no longer has any scientific or political legitimacy.
 
But then, we should have learned by now that one of humanity’s tragic mistakes has been to put “science” on such a political pedestal in the first place. Scientists and technicians always should have been viewed as rather dubious hired help, and never seen as policy gurus. Even such a bourgeois stalwart as Winston Churchill put it, “science should be on tap, not on top.” Or to paraphrase the famous saying, science is too important to be left to the scientists.
 
Second, I appeal to all consumer organizations and European citizens to mobilize to show their opposition to the takeover of their health and diet by lobbies.[Third] I call for an end to what in reality are no longer merely conflicts of interest – but are the occupation of posts of responsibility by persons from lobbies in defence of their interests… And I am thinking first and in particular of Ms. [EU chief “scientist” Anne] Glover and a number of people at EFSA.

 
Exactly. The term “conflict of interest” is usually fanciful. This hack cadre is typical in being 100% focused on the corporate interest, and she knows no conflict whatsoever.
 
Finally, I appeal to the Council to finally reach a position on the vote of the first reading, which was adopted by the European Parliament in 2011 and which would at least allow European states to not legally cultivate GMOs on their territory if they so wish, and to require comprehensive studies to be carried out. It is vital that this text appears before the free trade agreements are concluded (not that I want them to be). Thank you.
 
Yes. But if the “agreement” goes through and does not protect this right, then what will you be willing to do? 
 
—-
Older Posts »