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  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.30.2013
    @Community Manager -- While I appreciate you sharing the link, I am not particularly persuaded or convinced by the author in his criticizing the breed of rat used in the Seralini study. What the author does not mention is that the Sprague-Dawley breed is widely used and recommended in scientific research – a breed that Monsanto apparently has also used. According to Labome.com, “The most widely used mouse and rat strains are C57BL/6 mice, BALB/c mice, *Sprague-Dawley* rats, and Wistar rats.”

    gmoseralini.org also states, “However, the SD rat is a standard choice for long-term (2-year +) studies for tumour-causing and carcinogenic effects by independent and industry-sponsored researchers. The National Toxicology Program in the US uses the same SD rat from the same source as Séralini’s rats (Harlan) for its long-term 2-year carcinogenicity and toxicology studies.7 None of these researchers or research programmes has been challenged over their use of SD rats.”

    The CropGen article gradually devolves into sarcasm, which I find often happens when a point loses its momentum and cogency.
  • Community Manager's picture
    Community Manager
    08.30.2013
    Thanks @Transparency. We received your question on this topic here: http://gmoanswers.com/ask/according-natural-newscom-efsa-which-essentially-europes-version-us-food-and-drug-administration.

    Please check back for a response.

    The question is currently with one of our experts for review. In the meantime, you may also be interested in this article which explores this topic further http://www.cropgen.org./article_492.html
  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.30.2013
    Thank you for the background information Bill Reeves. Just to clarify, I do not suggest that the EFSA *formally* endorses Seralini’s work. As I mentioned previously, the overall scope of his study is not without flaws. Nevertheless, some specific aspects of his methodology, per the article I shared, may be indirectly validated by EFSA guidelines. Seralini’s work, if anything, is an indicator that perhaps more highly regulated and controlled studies should be done to answer the questions resulting from his work.

    Re the idea of using 200,000 rats, I can only imagine that would be extremely cumbersome and difficult to manage for any study, perhaps impossible, which is unfair in a sense to any scientist attempting to do a long-term study.

    Speaking in general terms here about the scientific community (and not specifically about your comments or Seralini), one of my frustrations with GMO studies is that every time a study finds a particular area of concern or toxic effect, critics universally criticize the study as having “flaws”. However, the critics pose very few practical, real-world, specific solutions or innovative ideas as how these studies could be re-done “correctly” to follow established protocols. Often their response is flatly that long-term animal or lab studies are simply not needed.

    There are only a few long-term studies on record, and if they are all “flawed” in one way or another per critics, I would suggest that these tests be re-done correctly so that public suspicions and anxieties about GMOs are eased. I think the public deserves that, even if scientists say tests are unneeded or unwarranted. Whether the issue is labeling or testing, the public has a voice and it deserves to be heard. We live in a democracy – corporate interests should not outweigh, dominate, monopolize, or control the voice of the people.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
  • Bill Reeves's picture
    Bill Reeves
    08.29.2013
    EFSA’s Scientific Opinion (Considerations on the applicability of OECD TG 453 to whole food/feed testing) does not endorse Seralini’s methods. (OECD TG 453 is the name of the guidance document describing methods for long term rodent assays.) EFSA’s opinion lays out the agency’s views about whether a two year testing protocol for rodents may be applied to whole foods and feeds rather than small molecule chemicals for which OECD TG 453 was originally intended. EFSA concludes that OECD TG 453 may be applied to whole foods and feeds but states that such testing should only be conducted on a case-by-case basis and a decision to use it should be informed by the results of the compositional analysis and the overall weight of evidence. It does not advocate precautionary two year rat studies for all GMOs.

    EFSA issued this opinion after the European Commission voted to require 90 day studies for new GMOs with longer term studies to follow if other studies indicated a need for them. Without any guidance for what method to use, EFSA would have no basis to judge a study if it chose to require one.

    In its critique of Seralini’s recent work, EFSA noted that the study did not follow OECD testing guidelines for a two year study, particularly with respect to the number of animals (Seralini used 200 rats, about 1/5 of the recommended animals for his study design according to OECD TG 453; Table 1 in EFSA’s document says over 200,000 rats may be needed to detect a 1% change in tumor frequency when background tumor rates are as high as Seralini’s). Furthermore, EFSA’s opinion on applying OECD TG 453 states that studies should be conducted under good laboratory practices (GLPs). One of the key aspects of GLPs is that regulatory agencies can demand raw data. EFSA has asked Seralini for his raw data and he has refused. There is nothing about Seralini’s recent work with NK603 that a science-based regulatory agency would want to endorse.

    In terms of accessing Dr. Kuiper’s paper without paying to download it, the next option would be a public university library.
  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.28.2013
    I'm sorry, somehow the text got cut off in my previous post.

    @Bill Reeves – In responding to your comment, “Seralini did not follow OECD’s two year study protocol but rather seems to have improvised his own protocol by extending a study originally meant to only last 90 days. That is not an example of how reliable toxicology studies are conducted and no science-based regulatory agency would develop new standards based on such an approach,” following is a statement by GM Watch and Earth Open Source:
    “Food Safety Authority's guidelines on long-term GM feeding studies validate Prof Seralini's study, which found serious health effects from NK603 maize.
    Seralini validated by new EFSA guidelines on long-term GMO experiments
    Comment by Claire Robinson of GMWatch and Earth Open Source, 31 July 2013

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued guidelines for two-year whole food feeding studies to assess the risk of long-term toxicity from GM foods.

    This is a fascinating document which largely validates the methodology and choices of Prof GE Seralini in his 2012 study on GM maize NK603 - methodology and choices that EFSA and countless other critics previously attacked him for.

    Particular points to note:

    1. EFSA admits that "no standardised protocol or guidelines exist for this type of study and [industry] applicants have to adapt protocols" - as Seralini did, too.

    2. EFSA says the same strain of rat that was used in the 90-day study on the GM food should be used in the longer study - thus vindicating Seralini's use of the Sprague-Dawley rat, which Monsanto used in its 90-day study on the same maize.

    3. EFSA says animals should be fed ad libitum, which Seralini did, but which critics complained made it impossible to measure individual food and water consumption.

    4. EFSA admits that you do not necessarily need a narrow and fixed hypothesis and that such a study can be "exploratory", in spite of its previous claim that Seralini's experiment was flawed because it (according to EFSA) didn't have a clear hypothesis or objective.

    5. EFSA recommends against using the extra control or "reference diet" groups commonly included by Monsanto in its 90-day studies and fed a variety of supposedly non-GM diets, on the grounds that the concurrent controls are the valid controls AND what is being tested is the difference between the GM variety and the non-GM comparator. Seralini was criticised by many for not including these spurious extra control groups and for thus having "inadequate controls".

    6. EFSA cautions strongly AGAINST relying on historical control data and if it is used, restricts it to within 5 years of the current experiment and to the same testing facility. This is a much stricter requirement than industry ever applies; industry uses ancient data from a wide variety of sources.

    EFSA says: "The use of historical control data should be considered with caution. The historical controls might not be useful because the incidences of neoplastic (or non-neoplastic) lesions would possibly be from control animals kept on different diets than the diet applied in whole food/feed study, and because the diet itself (high/low fat, type of fat, % of carbohydrate, type of carbohydrate, etc.) can influence the formation of neoplastic or non-neoplastic lesions. Where the diet formulation used in the experiment for the control groups cannot be demonstrated to be equivalent to that used for the generation of historical control data, the inclusion may be considered of an additional control group (as similar as possible to the historical controls), in addition to the concurrent control group(s)."

    It's unfortunate that in rightly condemning the use of historical control data, however, EFSA allows in those extra control or "reference" groups that it rightly condemned in point (5) above.

    7. EFSA recommends a minimum of 10 animals per sex per group for the chronic toxicity phase, the same number that Seralini used.

    8. EFSA recommends housing animals in pairs, as Seralini did, so individual food consumption cannot be measured.

    9. EFSA requires an a priori power analysis to ensure appropriate sample size, depending on the effect size that is being looked for. We've never noticed the GM industry doing one of these, resulting in experiments that are virtually guaranteed not to find anything.

    Overall, we're pleased to see EFSA taking on board our cautionary lessons on spurious "reference" control groups and historical control data (even if in the same document EFSA subsequently allows the use of both!), as well as validating the aspects of Seralini's experiment that he was most criticised for.” (End of Article)
    While Seralini’s study may not be without its flaws, it seems that the EFSA has indeed validated more than his critics ever thought would be possible. I don’t mean to be confrontational, and certainly I have learned a lot from this site. Having said that, I find this recent validation intriguing.
    Regarding the idea that 90 days of a rat’s life equals 10 years of a human’s life, one could “hypothesize” that tumours and pathology tends to show up later on in life, in the adult years. Taking that position, or following that hypothesis, wouldn’t it make sense to then have a longer study, say up to 1 year of a rat’s life?
    Also, I Googled Dr. Kuiper’s article per your suggestion. I was able to read the abstract, but would need to purchase the article to read it, I believe...unless there is an accessible link that you are aware of. Thank you.
  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.28.2013
    @Bill Reeves – In responding to your comment, “Seralini did not follow OECD’s two year study protocol but rather seems to have improvised his own protocol by extending a study originally meant to only last 90 days. That is not an example of how reliable toxicology studies are conducted and no science-based regulatory agency would develop new standards based on such an approach,” following is a statement by GM Watch and Earth Open Source:
    “Food Safety Authority's guidelines on long-term GM feeding studies validate Prof Seralini's study, which found serious health effects from NK603 maize.
    Seralini validated by new EFSA guidelines on long-term GMO experiments
    Comment by Claire Robinson of GMWatch and Earth Open Source, 31 July 2013

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued guidelines for two-year whole food feeding studies to assess the risk of long-term toxicity from GM foods.

    This is a fascinating document which largely validates the methodology and choices of Prof GE Seralini in his 2012 study on GM maize NK603 - methodology and choices that EFSA and countless other critics previously attacked him for.

    Particular points to note:

    1. EFSA admits that "no standardised protocol or guidelines exist for this type of study and [industry] applicants have to adapt protocols" - as Seralini did, too.

    2. EFSA says the same strain of rat that was used in the 90-day study on the GM food should be used in the longer study - thus vindicating Seralini's use of the Sprague-Dawley rat, which Monsanto used in its 90-day study on the same maize.

    3. EFSA says animals should be fed ad libitum, which Seralini did, but which critics complained made it impossible to measure individual food and water consumption.

    4. EFSA admits that you do not necessarily need a narrow and fixed hypothesis and that such a study can be "exploratory", in spite of its previous claim that Seralini's experiment was flawed because it (according to EFSA) didn't have a clear hypothesis or objective.

    5. EFSA recommends against using the extra control or "reference diet" groups commonly included by Monsanto in its 90-day studies and fed a variety of supposedly non-GM diets, on the grounds that the concurrent controls are the valid controls AND what is being tested is the difference between the GM variety and the non-GM comparator. Seralini was criticised by many for not including these spurious extra control groups and for thus having "inadequate controls".

    6. EFSA cautions strongly AGAINST relying on historical control data and if it is used, restricts it to within 5 years of the current experiment and to the same testing facility. This is a much stricter requirement than industry ever applies; industry uses ancient data from a wide variety of sources.

    EFSA says: "The use of historical control data should be considered with caution. The historical controls might not be useful because the incidences of neoplastic (or non-neoplastic) lesions would possibly be from control animals kept on different diets than the diet applied in whole food/feed study, and because the diet itself (high/low fat, type of fat, % of carbohydrate, type of carbohydrate, etc.) can influence the formation of neoplastic or non-neoplastic lesions. Where the diet formulation used in the experiment for the control groups cannot be demonstrated to be equivalent to that used for the generation of historical control data, the inclusion may be considered of an additional control group (as similar as possible to the historical controls), in addition to the concurrent control group(s)."

    It's unfortunate that in rightly condemning the use of historical control data, however, EFSA allows in those extra control or "reference" groups that it rightly condemned in point (5) above.

    7. EFSA recommends a minimum of 10 animals per sex per group for the chronic toxicity phase, the same number that Seralini used.

    8. EFSA recommends housing animals in pairs, as Seralini did, so individual food consumption cannot be measured.

    9. EFSA requires an a priori power analysis to ensure appropriate sample size, depending on the effect size that is being looked for. We've never noticed the GM industry doing one of these, resulting in experiments that are virtually guaranteed not to find anything.

    Overall, we're pleased to see EFSA taking on board our cautionary lessons on spurious "reference" control groups and historical control data (even if in the same document EFSA subsequently allows the use of both!), as well as validating the aspects of Seralini's experiment that he was most criticised for.” (End of Article)

    While Seralini’s study may not be without its flaws, it seems that the EFSA has indeed validated more than his critics ever thought would be possible. I don’t mean to be confrontational, and certainly I have learned a lot from this site. Having said that, I find this recent validation intriguing.

    Regarding the idea that 90 days of a rat’s life equals 10 years of a human’s life, one could “hypothesize” that tumours and pathology tends to show up later on in life, in the adult years. Taking that position, or following that hypothesis, wouldn’t it make sense to then have a longer study, say up to 1 year of a rat’s life?

    Also, I Googled Dr. Kuiper’s article per your suggestion. I was able to read the abstract, but would need to purchase the article to read it, I believe...unless there is an accessible link that you are aware of. Thank you.
  • Bill Reeves's picture
    Bill Reeves
    08.28.2013
    EFSA is not adopting Seralini’s research methods. They are requiring 90 day studies, the need for which is refuted in a publication by the former head of the EFSA GMO panel as I mentioned in my post below. The two year rat study protocol and the 90 day rat study protocols are described in guidelines from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and are commonly applied to new chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides. Seralini did not follow OECD’s two year study protocol but rather seems to have improvised his own protocol by extending a study originally meant to only last 90 days. That is not an example of how reliable toxicology studies are conducted and no science-based regulatory agency would develop new standards based on such an approach.

    Safety assessments for GMOs in food and many other products rely on what’s referred to as a weight of evidence. The evidence is comprised of studies submitted by Biotech companies that I described below. Agencies review the data as a whole to determine whether more information is needed. Animal studies are confirmatory of what the other studies demonstrate and only add value if the initial studies indicate a problem. 90 day rat studies assess growth and development, general animal health, organ damage, premature death and can detect pre-cancerous lesions. Keep in mind that 90 days of a rat’s two year life span is the equivalent of 10 years for a human and the GMO is up to 50% of their diet. If half your diet was apples for 10 years and you checked out OK with your doctor at the end of that time, would you worry about letting your kids eat apples?

    Please read Dr. Kuiper’s publication if you are interested in the need for animal studies. He and his coauthors are not “industry shills” they are experts in GMO safety assessment.
  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.26.2013
    Thank you Kevin F. and Bill R., I appreciate what you’re saying here -- that tests are highly regulated, and no solid evidence has shown GMOs are toxic. I believe that. And that is definitely a good thing.

    I must ask, however, how many of these tests that prove GMO safety lasted two years or longer? None? I believe scientists will never find significant GMO toxicity from tests that last only 90 days.

    Seralini has borne the brunt of condemnation and ridicule; however, his website makes a seriously good point noting “his study showed that 90-day tests commonly done on GM foods are not long enough to see long-term effects like cancer, organ damage, and premature death. The first tumours only appeared 4-7 months into the study.”

    If 90-day tests are the norm in testing GMOs, then it just goes to follow that there will never be human trials as disease can take months to develop.

    In an interesting turn of events, it appears the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has made a possible turnaround and is now validating Seralini’s research methods, so much so that the EFSA appears to be adopting some of them and making them official standards for modern food safety. I know this will raise some eyebrows and generate a good deal of criticism, but I believe this turn of events opens-up the discussion for mandatory labeling of GMOs for safety. It does seem the book is far from closed on this matter, and additional long-term testing is warranted.
  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.25.2013
    @Kevin Folta
    You speak many 'words' however, I'm not surethere is any substance to what you say:
    1) to quote you "The international conventions for human tests demand that such tests only be done if necessary." This is simply bizzare. Chemical Compaines are changes the DNA of food, and for some reason, it isn't neccessary to do Human Trials?!?! That is not what the American People want!
    2) You mention human trials for drugs. Firstly, do you know how many drugs have undergone Human Trials and ended up killing thousands of people? Vioxx?? Drugs -- an option whether people ingest them or not. But we're talking FOOD here, with no 'opt out' option, and you're actually saying, all indications point to GMO safety? Finally, our government is regualting 'natural vitamins, herbal supplements, and alternative health treatments', not because they've been proven unsafe....so wth? There is no regulation for HUMAN STUDIES on FOOD?

    2) you mention scientist vs activists, yet this page sites scientists
    who are OPPOSED to GMO's (and a lot more can be sited!). These scientists have been in good standing until they speak against GMO's.......now you call them activists and discredit their findings.
    3) Finally, you mention 'if there was one credible study...' That's always going to be your 'final argument', yet the truth is, the market was flooded with GMO's and no one watched for side effects and health problems........
    The bottom line is, no chemical company has the right to alter food proteins - period.
  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.25.2013
    The problem with GMO is simply this; we were forced to consume GMO's without consent, without labelling. When we tried to get labelling, we were essentially told, 'you don't get to know'. And to make matter worse the BioTech Reps gave lectures at Ag Conventions to 'talk up organics'. So, we have combined, no way for the opposing consumer to be heard (they were actually name-called and belitled!), and a shift to focus on organics. Now we are at a precipice, namely: GMO's are close to unstoppable - their out of control with cross pollination and 'oops, how did those farmers end up with GMO crops??'.
    Bio techs are frustrated with the public outcry, and hanging on by their toenails are 'buying time' as they can scatter their GMO's, get the GMO apples and oranges and god knows what else approved, and before you know - Biotech, Food Sovereignty, and Not One HUMAN TRIAL.
  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.25.2013
    @Ben
    1) The GMO apple: http://www.okspecialtyfruits.com/
    This is an apple that quote 'does not turn brown'. That in itself should send warning lights, but to take it further, the apple growers who refused to take on this GMO apple trial were told, 'The apples remain looking healthy and pristine......until you go to eat it.....looks great, but it's actually rotten inside.'
    2) I have sited several professionals here to support the fact many do not agree that GMO's are safe.
    3) MAny farmers worldwide have reported their cattle have become sick and in need of medicines while fed GMO's and have recovered since diet has returned to pre-GMO. There are no labs and white coats -- just 'real life'.
    4) http://rense.com/general33/fd.htm as do dozens of web searches reveal 'the revolving door' between Monsanto lawyers, and upper staff, and Government Agencies, including acting as judges, lawyers, and decision makers when it comes to court cases and green lighting GMO's.
    http://occupy-monsanto.com/tag/revolving-door/
    reveals 8 lawmakers including Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who own stocks in Monsanto.
    Monsanto made a 1/2 million dollar polictical contribution; funny thing is, Obama since passed 'The Monsanto Protection Act'.
    Quoted in the New York Times Magazine (October 25, 1998, “Playing God in the Garden”), Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, famously stated: “Monsanto shouldn’t have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
  • Kevin Folta's picture
    Kevin Folta
    08.25.2013
    @Transparency I think the answer is a pretty easy one. The international conventions for human tests demand that such tests only be done if necessary. There is no reason to believe that a transgenic would have any human physiological consequence. This is what we know from mechanisms, from what we know about the transgenes and their proteins, and from extensive studies in animal systems.

    We do clinical tests for drugs because by definition they integrate with human physiology. We need to assess for possible side effects of agents known to have biological effects.

    The two principle proteins in GM foods, Bt and EPSPS are well understood and we know how they work. The EPSPS protein is already in plants and the GM version does exactly the same function, just without binding glyphosate.

    If there was even one credible study that showed a mechanism connecting Bt or EPSPS to a human ailment, you'd see clinical trials. More likely, you'd see the use of the transgene discontinued or hugely revised.

    To date, there is no evidence of harm and no reason to anticipate it.
  • Bill Reeves's picture
    Bill Reeves
    08.23.2013
    Regulatory data requirements for GMOs to be used as food or feed are significant and the studies directly address the concerns described below. Newly expressed proteins that provide insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, drought tolerance, etc. are screened against university curated databases of known allergens and toxic proteins. Newly expressed proteins are also assessed for digestibility, heat stability and potential mammalian toxicity through high dose assays with mice. Molecular characterization studies precisely describe what was inserted, where it was inserted, how it was inserted and whether any of the plant’s native genes were disrupted. For crops like soy that are already known to produce allergens, the impact of the GMO trait on the crop’s inherent allergenicity is assessed. Levels of nutrients/vitamins/minerals and antinutrients are compared between the GMO and a conventional control across multiple sites. The performance of the GMO vs. a conventional control is assessed under relevant agronomic conditions to determine whether the inserted DNA produces adverse effects on the plant as a whole. These studies are in addition to the list of environmental interaction studies conducted for cultivation approvals. Most of these studies are conducted under good laboratory practices (GLPs) to ensure data traceability and reproducibility. GLPs also allow for government audits of the raw data to ensure accuracy.

    All of this information is used by regulators in the US and around the world (Japan, Korea, EU, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, China, etc.) to assess safety. Any differences or indication of potential hazard leads to a deeper review until the agency is satisfied. The data allow a comprehensive safety assessment but nevertheless, some countries require animal studies. The 90 day rat study is often disparaged but it actually spans 1/8 of a rat’s two year life span which is about a decade for a human. It also involves feeding as much corn or soybean as possible in the diet so the doses are much greater than a human would experience. There’s also a broiler chicken study that lasts the animals’ entire life.

    Most importantly, there’s growing consensus that animal studies are not necessary to assess the safety of GMOs. The former head of the European Food Safety Authoritiy's GMO panel recently published a paper discussing the role of short and longer term feeding studies in the food and feed safety assessment of GMOs. The title is "New EU legislation for risk assessment of GM food: no scientific justification for mandatory animal feeding trials" (Kuiper et al., 2013).

    One of the key points in the paper is, "There is general consensus amongst toxicologists that animal feeding trials with whole (GM) foods are difficult to perform, have a low power to detect adverse effects, carry inherent risks of matrix effects and contribute little, if anything, to the safety evaluation of whole foods. Therefore, this type of study should, in principle, be avoided and far better analytical, molecular and toxicological methods should be applied for the risk assessment of GM foods. Such methods will have a proven capacity to identify unintended effects resulting from plant breeding, including genetic modification."
  • Transparency's picture
    Transparency
    08.22.2013
    @ Kevin Folta – I appreciate your willingness to share your time and professional expertise on this site, many thanks. I respect your thoughts, and we certainly throw a lot of questions and comments your way! And here’s more. You state, “There are no demonstrated linkages between GM and allergies, or gut problems, other than a correlation. There is no causal evidence and many scientists have looked for it, both in the companies (they'd be sued out of business it allergies/health probs were verified; plus it is not good to poison your customers) and in independent research.”

    How can science and the biotech industry unequivocally conclude that GMOs are safe without any human clinical trials? If the presumption of safety is based animal or lab tests, isn’t that yet another example of correlation? Human physiology is extraordinarily complex. If scientists fully understood the human body, we’d have cures for cancer, diabetes, immune disorders, and all the other diseases out there. But since science has yet to master and fully understand the human form as it relates to disease, how is it scientists find no need for human clinical trials? I honestly was shocked to read that there have been no human clinical trials – well maybe one – and GMOs didn’t come out looking too positively in that one. If anything, I would think scientists would jump at the chance to have human clinical trials to prove to society at large the safety of GMOs. The paucity of human trials appears to be a big red flag…and truly stands out in the context of this discussion. Forgive me, but I just can't wrap my head around the logic of assuming safety without human clinical trials.
  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.21.2013
    Here are a few scientists / professionals / regulators who began pro-GMO and with increasing research and studies, they turned against GMO;
    1) http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/gmo-scientist-turned-anti-gmo-activist/
    2) http://www.monsanto.no/index.php/en/environment/gmo/gmo-videos/147-the-conversation-with-deepak-chopra-food-safety-gmo
    3)http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2013/may/6/former_pro_gmo_scientist_talks_dangers_of_GMOs/
    Furthermore, there are indeed many many more indiviuals who when they raise concerns about GMO are discredited and or fired.
    This is a major concern and so is your comment,"evaluated by their peers" aka "big boys club" --- there is no option to question, because the club only allows 'like minded indiviuals' to join the fold. (I already cited examples of what happens when one changes their opinion due to becoming more informed on GMO's.)
    You say 'scientists are not taken seriously'. Are you even paying attention to what your saying? This is our food, our childrens food, and the reality that GMO's are taking over the entire food crops. One case of GMO's mysteriously ending up in conventional wheat fields tell me either Monsanto is very stupid......or very bright. Both equally dangerous. It also tells me, unless you physically test every farmers' field in America we have no idea how many more farms have been infected.
    Countries that have banned GMO crops and/or require labelling:
    http://naturalrevolution.org/list-of-countries-that-ban-gmo-crops-and-require-ge-food-labels/
    Monsanto has made a public statement that GMO's have mainly been a benefit to the farmer. Monsanto did not do controlled studies and close monitoring of their product. Biotech's fire and discredit anyone who speaks about concerns with GMO's. Time is marching on and GMO's are popping up where they shouldn't be. We want this stopped -- don't you see that? We want long term controlled studies done on GMO's.
    Why is it there is so much outrage about GMO's? 1) It was snuck into our grocery stores 2) There were no long term studies done WHEN THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 3) GMO's are almost impossible for the farmer to rid his field of GMO's once they are in 4) We don't believe that BT corn which explodes the gut of insects does not affect human stomachs; we don't eat one kernal.... 5) BT corn is now requiring more pestisides - WE DON'T WANT MORE PESTICDES IN OUR FOOD 6) It is suicide to allow a chemical company to control the food, to change the structure of food, and conveniently sell herbicides as the GMO crops develop super weeds.
    7) It has been well documented that Michael Taylor, the Judge, and others have played revolving door between Monsanto and Government Regulators, lawyers and Judges! Do you not understand that this raises suspicions on GMO's?
  • Kevin Folta's picture
    Kevin Folta
    08.21.2013
    Hello OhNoGMO, thanks for the question.

    Every scientist is evaluated by his/her peers. I am too. A scientist's work is cited frequently if it is good quality, as their research expands and grows. There is nobody actively publishing any solid evidence of GM harm. The papers that are published have serious flaws and overinterpretations. These are the conclusions of thousands of scientists that understand the topic.

    It is a lot like the handful of scientists that say our earth is cooling, or those that tell us there is evidence against evolution. A few oddballs does not make the vast vast consensus invalid.

    In all these cases the results are not frequently cited and the scientists are not taken seriously. Many of the GM=harm ones have strong ties to anti-GM interests or even are book and documentary writers.

    If you talk to independent, public scientists you'll find almost universal agreement that this is reasonable technology.

    Please let me hammer away at #2.
    Who are the "great scientists" that have evidence that gm is harmful?

    "Most countries" have not banned their use. There are some that banned growing them, but that is slowly changing. Spain and Portugal now grow them, Belgium, England, Germany, The Netherlands all have trials. French leaders recommended lifting their ban, but the president overruled it for political reasons. You'll see this change a lot in the next few years.

    There are many third-party studies and long term ones too. Search around this site for more information.

    There are no demonstrated linkages between GM and allergies, or gut problems, other than a correlation. There is no causal evidence and many scientists have looked for it, both in the companies (they'd be sued out of business it allergies/health probs were verified; plus it is not good to poison your customers) and in independent research.

    Small studies, poorly run trials, etc are not compelling. Sometimes they are good starting points for sure, but they never move beyond that.

  • Ben's picture
    Ben
    08.21.2013
    @ohnogmo Could you please provide sources for the many claims you made in your post?
    With regard to your apple comment, I don't believe there is a single commercially available GM apple. Any improvements to this fruit have, thus far, been achieved through convention breeding. The "Arctic Apple" you are probably referring is still under review and not available for commercial use.
  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.21.2013
    This is the second answer to one question. Please address the follow-up questions I asked.

  • ohnogmo's picture
    ohnogmo
    08.19.2013
    Then are you saying that the 'scientists' who have spoken out against GMO's are not really scientists? Of course you are aware of the many articles and small scale studies which provide evidence that GMO's are contradictive to human health.
    Here are 3 issues to the GMO's:
    1) We were forced GMO's starting in the 90's, and people who questioned the products were told, 'that's just the way they are - they're all like that'. We were lied to. Label GMO's!
    2) There are a great many scientists and other professionals who claim GMO's are dangerous, as well most countries have banned their use, citing unknown health risk due to no third party studies, and unkown longterm risks, plus professional 'observations' that livestock developed increased health problems when fed GMO and recovered when normal feed was given. (Countries do not trust American seed providers because there has been discovered seed/feed tainted with GMO's. Yet, biotech compainies report no health issues......they flood the market with ubiquious GMOs' and never had anyone assigned to watch for increased health (in particular; gut) problems -- yet since the inception of GMO's there has been an increase nationwide of allergy and gut problems!
    3) When a company has the power to change the DNA of seeds, prohibit seed saving, get farmers to use technology to for example produce apples that are pristine yet rotten on the inside, and use the influence of their own employees, eg Michael Taylor - just to name one, to infiltrate the very organizations that are supposed to scrutinize and be non-biased, the GMO industry, there becomes an uneasy mistrust from the public.
    I do not believe GMO's are safe.....we were tricked.....we don't want GMO's. And we certainly don't want chemical companies IN CONTROL of OUR FOOD!
  • Ben Schaefer's picture
    Ben Schaefer
    08.19.2013
    I think you will find most are pro-science, not pro-GMO.
  • Community Manager's picture
    Community Manager
    08.18.2013
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