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  • Community Manager's picture
    Community Manager
    Veronica your question regarding funding of the Horticultural Sciences Department is under review here: http://gmoanswers.com/ask/how-much-have-biotech-companies-donated-horticultural-sciences-department-university-florida. Please check back for a response. Thank you.
  • plainspeaking's picture
    'Listen to the consensus' That can only be done safely when information and knowledge is not only shared but universally available. This site references the safety of GMOs to the testing and validation processes in the USA. It does not state however that the FDA 'authorizes' on the basis of GAR and that testing to standards amounts to self validation by the product promoter, 'Go forth and pollute the world' until someone can prove otherwise (if they can afford more and better attourneys than we can). The Seralini paper was removed from publication by Elsevier on apparently spurious grounds. The decision was based on criticisms of protocols (including strain of rat) used in the very tests that Monsanto had used to justify the products approval in the first place, no critcism of Monsant. A comparative paper was released http://www.enveurope.com/content/pdf/2190-4715-25-33.pdf which had studied the various protocols and concluded that withdrawal was not warranted and that EFSA the European Agency responsible for GMO regulatory approval had applied double standards when granting approval of the product and critiquing the study showing adverse results. Also, recently taking up a hitherto non-existent post on the editorial board of the relevant journal was a former employee of Monsanto. I have read his denial of bias but ... http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/seralini-and-science-nk603-rat-study-roundup/ Lobbyists of all shades MUST be required to make any interest clear however remote they are from the companies involved such a viral marketing company used by Monsanto which is proactive in launching general criticism of, amongst others, Seralini to create an environment of animosity. You query Seralini's impartiality 'After all, the science should not, and usually is not, affected by the funding source'. Why then are field trials now commonly designed by the sponsoring company and routinely quashed if they don't come up with the right result? Pioneer submitted for type approval on I think a maize including tests showing no hazard to a particular beetle after eight days of feeding (the test showed that all had died after nine!). Are you telling me that those scientists weren't a) influenced by their source of funding or b) by the potential for legal action if they disclosed adverse results? Where is the freedom to publish? Have a look at the following for another viewpoint from too many signatories for me to count. http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/seralini-and-science-nk603-rat-study-roundup/
    • Joseph Najjar's picture
      Joseph Najjar
      I dont know how it can be stated any more clearly than the answer above said it , Seralini has clear anti-GMO alignments. the FDA is not the only governing body for GMOs in the world, nor are they the only ones doing safety research on these crops. Here is a paper out of the EU, raising no red flags on GMOs: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Nicolia-20131.pdf Apart from Seralini, look at Joe Mercola and Jeffrey Smtih! Neither of them has any formal training at all! But that doesnt stop people from taking their words as fact. Seralini abused his position as a researcher, to manipulate the data to show what he wanted. You want to accuse companies like Pioneer of doing that, but it definitely works both ways.
  • Veronica's picture
    That sounds great and dandy but before you go on about self-policing, I'd like to know how much the biotech companies have donated to the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida.
    • Joseph Najjar's picture
      Joseph Najjar
      Well, like the above answer mentioned, funding for research should not, and does not, affect the science that is being done. If biotech companies fund UF's program, it may be so that they will collaborate with the private sector to expand an experiment to a larger region. I work in the Soybean Breeding department at the University of Georgia, and we work in collaboration with a couple companies, running field trials with some of their material, along with our our lines. This additional data , taken in different locations than the company's own tests, can help companies make more informed decisions on which lines should be moved forward to commercial cultivar production. I was recently taking samples from a field in south GA, screening for soybean rust resistance. If that can be harnessed within a commercial line, it would limit damage from that disease, and lead to a healthier plant overall. Funding is hard to come by in public universities, researchers here must constantly apply for grants to pay for their work. If you don't like the idea of private companies funding public research, you should tell your representatives to support more funding from the federal government.
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