Author Topic: GM Corn study  (Read 915 times)

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Offline hahnd

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GM Corn study
« on: December 23, 2016, 03:22:10 PM »
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27769625 This feels like the French study that was ultimately retracted, but I'm at a loss for details (This isn't my discipline but I'm slowly learning how to read these types of papers). I've got a student arguing a business ethics paper that because of the "danger" presented by GM food, a company has an ethical obligation to not provide them. Her argument is sound with the sole exception that the danger thus far has not proven. Anyone know anything about this study?

Offline Crash

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 03:17:26 PM »
The argument is not sound if the whole premise is that there is a danger eating Bt corn.  Business ethics probably say you should not poison your consumers but there is no poison here. 
  The holy grail of pest management is a pesticide that specifically targets a species of pest and does no harm to beneficial species.  Bt crops come close to that ideal. Bt only kills lepidopterous larvae.  The larval gut of an insect is not exactly homologous to the mammalian gut.  For some reason every crackpot on the internet thinks if Bt toxin dissolves a moth gut then the same protein must be toxic to humans too.  Most people don't understand biology very well. 
   The study cited in the link is behind a paywall so there is only a sketchy abstract to go by.  The abstract notes that there were only 20 subjects (rats) with half being controls.  There was no mention of blinding so confirmation bias would be a factor.  No credible conclusion could be drawn with only twenty subjects.   If there were a thousand subjects, then it crosses a minimal threshold of plausibility for a conclusion and then only if still a blinded study.  It appears to be a cherry picked shitty study.  The study does confirm the conventional organic agenda that GE crops are toxic.   There might be ten other studies not published with null results. 

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 07:37:55 AM »
Proven risk to date: Zero

Benefits to date: Millions fed that would otherwise have not had access to food.

Call me biased, but...

Offline David "Stubb" Oswald

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2016, 11:34:15 AM »
What others have said. There have been many large-scale well designed studies and meta analysis that have found no risk from GM food, or a mechanism for I'll effects. This is one study with two groups of 10 individuals. With that sample size statistical noise would be far more likely than a significant result. It doesn't say all the treated rats had abnormalities, just some. I would wager that as they didn't say the word statistical significance that there likely wasn't any.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 05:30:08 PM »
Proven risk to date: Zero

Benefits to date: Millions fed that would otherwise have not had access to food.

Call me biased, but...

Millions of cars...
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Offline estockly

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 05:39:10 PM »
The real question is should new GM varieties of foods in the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) category also fall into that same category, which requires no additional testing.

And is it ethical for businesses to market new GMO varieties of foods without the level of testing that is required for new foods.


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Offline Crash

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 07:05:17 PM »


And is it ethical for businesses to market new GMO varieties of foods without the level of testing that is required for new foods.


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 You're just regurgitating the fake news from the hoards of anti GE food activists.  There is no food more scrutinized than GE foods.  No harmful effects to humans or animals has yet to be detected.  Thats why so many of those activists go after glyphosate which has nothing to do with whether transgenic foods are safe.  The same argument is used by the antiivaxxers. No amount of testing will sway the true believers.  It's been 30 years and not one person has been harmed.  How long is too long?
  https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

Offline lonely moa

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2016, 07:54:27 PM »
Thats why so many of those activists go after glyphosate which has nothing to do with whether transgenic foods are safe. 


That's one very good reason.  Granted, most people don't eat corn, soy or rape till it is pulverised to an acellular pulp, but glyphosate is now considered a carcinogen and that's what most GE modification does.  The amount of glyphosate used worldwide has increased, due in large part to GE crops. 

I used to give glyphosate a pass, but since it has been linked to damage in the intestines, I personally try to exclude it from my consumption, which, for my beautiful wife and me, is relatively easy.  We just don't eat food form those heavily sprayed crops and all of our meat comes from animals that are never exposed to glyphosate, or any other herbicides or fungicides. 

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Offline Crash

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 09:58:29 PM »
glyphosate is now considered a carcinogen

 it has been linked to damage in the intestines,
[/quote]

WHO speculated that glyphosate might be a carcinogen.   That is a far cry from your statement that it is a carcinogen.  You have been reading the fake news too. I am not saying that it is not carcinogenic because that is still an open question.
   Glyphosate relative to other herbicides is  less toxic to humans and degrades sooner leaving less residue.  The use of transgenic crops allow farmers to use less herbicide because weeds can be targeted in the seedling stage when they are the most vulnerable. To say that transgenic crops increase the use of glyphosate is just false. There is no transgenic wheat on the market by the way.    Farmers use glyphosate because it is less toxic and works well. It has nothing to do with  whether the crop is transgenic.  The option is a hoe, but no one wants to work in the sun with a hoe getting sub-minimum wage anymore.  The GE opponents love to attack glyphosate to raise a false dichotomy.  The fact is that no one ever got sick eating GE crops and the organic industry can't use science to oppose GE so they go after glyphosate and vilify Monsanto. 


https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/12/15/do-genetically-modified-foods-cause-gluten-allergies/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/16/glyphosate-unlikely-to-pose-risk-to-humans-unwho-study-says

 

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 11:27:12 PM »
Proven risk to date: Zero

Benefits to date: Millions fed that would otherwise have not had access to food.

Call me biased, but...

Millions of cars...

What?

Offline lonely moa

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 01:10:11 AM »

WHO speculated that glyphosate might be a carcinogen.   That is a far cry from your statement that it is a carcinogen.  You have been reading the fake news too. I am not saying that it is not carcinogenic because that is still an open question.
   Glyphosate relative to other herbicides is  less toxic to humans and degrades sooner leaving less residue.  The use of transgenic crops allow farmers to use less herbicide because weeds can be targeted in the seedling stage when they are the most vulnerable. To say that transgenic crops increase the use of glyphosate is just false. There is no transgenic wheat on the market by the way.    Farmers use glyphosate because it is less toxic and works well. It has nothing to do with  whether the crop is transgenic.  The option is a hoe, but no one wants to work in the sun with a hoe getting sub-minimum wage anymore.  The GE opponents love to attack glyphosate to raise a false dichotomy.  The fact is that no one ever got sick eating GE crops and the organic industry can't use science to oppose GE so they go after glyphosate and vilify Monsanto.
 

I am not stupid.  I know as well as you that that GE wheat was put on the back burner by the industry because of the perceived backlash.  The option is not a hoe,well sort of, but Europeans and the Danes in particular have developed interrrow weeding machines that are driven robotically that are as cost effective as chemicals, which are very restricted in the EU.  Lots of people living in a small area that care about their environment.  Unlike the US.

Farmers use glyphosate because it is cheap as chips.  That's one reason it is broadly used.  In wetter grain growing areas like NZ and GB, glyphosate is used as a pre-harvest aid.  Kills weeds and helps desiccate the crop; the chemical is directly sprayed on the harvest product, wheat or barley, generally.  More exciting chemicals are used on peas, clover and spuds.

The problem with intestinal interactions with glyphosate isn't cancer.  If you aren't aware, one's intestinal biota are critical to one's health.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 01:21:29 AM by lonely moa »
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Offline estockly

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 01:13:41 PM »
You're just regurgitating the fake news from the hoards of anti GE food activists.  There is no food more scrutinized than GE foods.  No harmful effects to humans or animals has yet to be detected.  Thats why so many of those activists go after glyphosate which has nothing to do with whether transgenic foods are safe.  The same argument is used by the antiivaxxers. No amount of testing will sway the true believers.  It's been 30 years and not one person has been harmed.  How long is too long?
  https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

Yes, GM Foods in general have been subjected to scientific scrutiny. And, yes, so far none have been found to be harmful to health (that we know of). But, what I said are facts.

New GM varieties of foods that are GRAS are also considered GRAS, no matter how much genetic engineering was done or what the modifications were.

The standard for bringing a GRAS safe food to market is much lower than the standard for bringing a new food to the market and there is no standard for determining how much genetic engineering it takes to make a food considered new.

So the fact that all the initial Genetic Engineering attempts were very carefully studied does not mean that every subsequent attempt will also be safe for human consumption.

All they've proven is that the techniques they use to manipulate DNA do not cause harm. What they haven't proven is that they can't genetically engineer a GRAS food into a harmful substance. And they are not scrutinizing genetically engineered foods as if they were new.

And there is basically zero regulation of genetic engineering in the US, beyond the FDA requirements for all foods.
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Offline Crash

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 02:53:36 PM »

 Lots of people living in a small area that care about their environment.  Unlike the US.


The problem with intestinal interactions with glyphosate isn't cancer.  If you aren't aware, one's intestinal biota are critical to one's health.


There is a good argument that Americans invented the environmental movement.  Ever hear of Earth Day?  You seem to think Americans love to see their air and enjoy shit flavored water.  You confuse politics with science.  The two world wars in Europe did not do great things for the environment there. 
  You have no credible source for your assertions that glyphosate is detrimental to the gut microbiome. You're following Food Babe's lead now.  So far all the studies have been in vitro.  You brush off the profound complexity that such an in vivo study suggests.  Most people don't understand biology very well.  Sorting millions of different microbes in an active gut into detrimental or innocuous would be daunting.  The fact that everyone has a different micro biome only complicates things more.  The anti GE foodies are grasping for anything and can only speculate. 
 This thread was about the safety of GE crops which has nothing to do with glyphosate but somehow the argument always turns to the evils of chemicals and Monsanto. 
 

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2016, 03:16:35 PM »

Yes, GM Foods in general have been subjected to scientific scrutiny. And, yes, so far none have been found to be harmful to health (that we know of). But, what I said are facts.

New GM varieties of foods that are GRAS are also considered GRAS, no matter how much genetic engineering was done or what the modifications were.

The standard for bringing a GRAS safe food to market is much lower than the standard for bringing a new food to the market and there is no standard for determining how much genetic engineering it takes to make a food considered new.

So the fact that all the initial Genetic Engineering attempts were very carefully studied does not mean that every subsequent attempt will also be safe for human consumption.

All they've proven is that the techniques they use to manipulate DNA do not cause harm. What they haven't proven is that they can't genetically engineer a GRAS food into a harmful substance. And they are not scrutinizing genetically engineered foods as if they were new.

And there is basically zero regulation of genetic engineering in the US, beyond the FDA requirements for all foods.

  I appears that you are not reading the links I cited.  "Zero regulation"?  Where do you come up with this stuff.  Every GE crop introduced has been a knock down drag out fight with the organic industry.  The GRAS designation is not unsupported by science.  Transgenes are simply a string of DNA that codes for a very specific protein.  They are digested like any other protein in the gut.  Unless the transgene is derived from a known species of bacteria or vertebrate that produces a toxic protein, the gene should be GRAS.  You're just eating a string of T_A-G-C base pairs that otherwise have an infinitesimal  likelihood of coding for a toxin.  I don't think any amount of scrutinizing will ever satisfy the Food Babe and her ilk.  Organic includes many foods that were developed using irradiated DNA.  The willy nilly shotgun method of damaging DNA to see what sticks is not a problem with organic  but engineering a very specific known segment of genetic material is way bad?  Go figure.

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Re: GM Corn study
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 03:34:15 PM »

Lots of people living in a small area that care about their environment.  Unlike the US.


The problem with intestinal interactions with glyphosate isn't cancer.  If you aren't aware, one's intestinal biota are critical to one's health.


There is a good argument that Americans invented the environmental movement.  Ever hear of Earth Day?  You seem to think Americans love to see their air and enjoy shit flavored water.  You confuse politics with science.  The two world wars in Europe did not do great things for the environment there. 
  You have no credible source for your assertions that glyphosate is detrimental to the gut microbiome. You're following Food Babe's lead now.  So far all the studies have been in vitro.  You brush off the profound complexity that such an in vivo study suggests.  Most people don't understand biology very well.  Sorting millions of different microbes in an active gut into detrimental or innocuous would be daunting.  The fact that everyone has a different micro biome only complicates things more.  The anti GE foodies are grasping for anything and can only speculate. 
 This thread was about the safety of GE crops which has nothing to do with glyphosate but somehow the argument always turns to the evils of chemicals and Monsanto. 
 

Regardless of his knowledge about any of these topics, I've tried explain to moa multiple times how a large percentage of his posts are basically just giant middle fingers to anyone that does not share his exact background and beliefs, even more so when his targets are people with actual scientific acumen.  He doesn't seem very interested in other ways to broach these topics.

It should go without saying that I disagree completely with the conclusions moa and estockly present, but I will concede that the "GRAS" standard is probably in need of revision.  Last year I listened to a debate on NPR between an anti-GMO activist and a lobbyist for some big Ag company about how this standard is used, and it basically boiled down to "someone said this food is okay, so it's okay".  If the process is actually based on science and sensible risk assessment, I hope for the sake of that company they fired the lobbyist the instant he got off the air.

If sensible reforms need to be made in how we test and research food products, I'll still put my money on "GMO" being a completely useless category for establishing standards.  Come up with rules based on specific techniques, or plant, or general rates of allergies to the food, or expected mass in a typical person's diet ... literally anything would more helpful than GMO.

 

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