Thursday, September 20, 2012

GMOs Again

A new study has been published with results said to be damning from one Monsanto-manufactured GMO, NK603, and the media are as usual off to the races. The government has reacted as well. Du calme, messieurs-dames. Let's allow the experts a chance to evaluate the study, by which I mean the statistics, not the lurid pictures of rats with bulging tumors. If I mention that there are other studies that draw different conclusions, I will be told that these were financed by Monsanto and therefore biased. Perhaps, but the critics fail to note that the present study was done by an avowed opponent of GMOs, so if interest is a priori evidence of bias, we cannot decide whom to believe. I will also be told that this study was of longer duration than previous studies. This may be significant but then again may not.


Kirk said...

Read this, perhaps:

Art Goldhammer said...

Thanks, Kirk. I am not surprised, but being a cautious fellow, I will await further analyses.

Anonymous said...

Well, Round Up has been banned for a reason, you know. It's not just GMO's, it's that pesticide too. Perhaps GMOs are okay and the pesticide isn't.

I don't have a fundamental problem with the DNA of GMOs. I do have a problem with the fact the seeds aren't fertile, hence requiring the farmers to purchase from the company year after year without being able to replant a fraction of their yield. I also take into account contamination; GMO crops aren't all cultivated in enclosed spaces. (It's kind of like smoking: I've got nothing against it, but sitting side by side with a smoker simply won't work no matter how okay on principle I am with their smoking: either they smoke and you inhale second hand smoke, or they don't smoke.)

I think there is a clear difference between a scientist who thinks GMOs are dangerous and has a 2-year study to prove it, and a study that is financed by a company (we know that several hundreds of these are financed but only the "positive" ones are published - that's why there's an agency checking whether drugs really are safe, for example: published company-funded studies ALWAYS found their drugs safe...) You would argue that GMOs have an overseeing agency too -except.. the person in charge left under suspicion and was immediately hired by a GMO lobby. Although the agency now claims to be "clean", it's under suspicion.
As far as we know, that study wasn't financed by José Bové and co...?
Finally, the scientist said his study can be reproduced and he's confident the results will bear his out -he's only asking that the scientists be vetted to make sure they are not involved with, paid by, nor have ever been related to GMO companies (and not tied to his lab, either.)
When these studies are published, we'll know more. But I don't see why it can't be true just because it aligns with fears. This could be a hoax, this could be another Silent Spring(BTW: wasn't Monsanto involved back then too?)

Steven Rendall said...

Keep in mind that one reason for making GMO seeds infertile is to prevent their contaminating non-GMO crops. It's not entirely because Monsanto wants to bankrupt poor third-world farmers. I agree with Art that we should avoid jumping to conclusions on the basis of one piece of research.