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  • Ben's picture
    Well said, Rick. I think everyone should have to take a scientific literacy course to graduate high school. People only bother to read the headlines and neither them or the media can properly read or analyze the data for the glaring errors that you and others have aptly pointed out.
  • Rickinreallife's picture
    I had a conversation about two months ago with a person on this very topic and what we could take away from the Aris and Leblanc study. In that conversation, I brought up the serious defects with the methodology of the study and the resulting lack of any reliable data to draw conclusions from. I don't understand why it is unreasonable, particularly if you advocate basing personal decisions and public policy on work like this, to ask those promoting this work as an important and compelling to address the numerous and serious flaws described in the response.

    For starters, please explain why the authors did not even bother to address previous findings in the literature cited above, and disclaimers by the company that makes the test, that their use of the ELISA test to detect bt in blood was highly prone to error and false data. Its somewhat akin to using a barometer to measure tire air pressure. I would hope that even the most ardent opponent of genetic engineering would at least not want their intelligence insulted by the authors of this study and those that spread it on the internet and insist that such discrepancy be reconciled. I suppose one could resort to the tried and true "well those other studies were funded by industry and therefore are unreliable". But if that is the case, then it should be a simple matter and would be far more persuasive if Aris and Leblanc would have pointed out the obvious errors that can be attributed to commercial bias and why those works to dot invalidate their study. Its one of the consistent and shortcomings, bordering on dishonesty, in literature produced by sources such as Earth Open Source and the Institute for Responsible Technology that they fail to even acknowledge, let alone discuss similar or conflicting research beyond those which support their thesis or agenda. Feel free to be skeptical about biotech and its applications, but it is still in your personal self interest to ask those authors to be transparent about other work and to be able to explain discrepencies between their work and that of others.
  • Rickinreallife's picture
    For sterters, they did not find it in afterbirth. They claimed to have detedted it in the umbilical cord of pregnant women, and in the blood of both pregnant and non pregnant women. It is a question whether they detected bt in blood at all. The testing methodology they used was designed for use of detecting btin plant tissues and even though expanding its application to examine blood would expandthe market for the company making the testing system, even that company has said its use for testin blood would not provide reliable information. It is also suspect that the study found bt at levels lower than the lowest sensitivy the method could detect.