Thanks Soup! You could not have found a better person to answer your question. I was front-and-center when this news/chart hit the prime time in March of 2012. It was posted on Moms Against Monsanto where they portrayed it as you do—proof that GM corn is nutritionally vacant and full of glyphosate and formaldehyde.
I’ll tell you up front that the “moms” site, Howard Vleiger (the guy that produced these data) and many other anti-GMO websites and promoters stand by these data as valid and representative of actual tests. They stand by them to this day. Keep that in mind.
I looked at the data and immediately saw some problems. First, the tests performed were not tests you’d use on corn, or any produce. We don’t measure “cation exchange capacity” in food. These were soil tests and probably soil data. Even if they were soil data, they were clearly altered.
We know that they were altered for faked because there is no 1% Brix (soluble solids; sugars) corn. Can’t be done. (note, they even get the definition of Brix wrong in the footnote). 1.2% organic matter? A corn kernel is pretty close to 100% organic matter outside of a pinch of minerals. There’s more iron than carbon, but carbon is the basis of just about every macromolecule in corn, or any cell. You get the picture. These data are bo-o-o-o-gus, and derived from someone not even trying to get it close.
Those that promoted the data stood by them rabidly as legitimate. They didn’t report the kind of corn, the lab that did the test, the number of samples, etc. All of the details were a mystery.
When I pointed this out to them I was blocked from their comments sections and facebook pages.
So I offered to build their case. I personally offered to pay out of pocket for an experimental replicate. You can read the whole story on the links below. In short,
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho contacted me quite kindly and wanted to take me up on my generous offer. She cc’d the original person behind the data, Howard Vleiger, and also Dr. Don Huber. She was enthusiastic about the experimental replicates.
The rules were simple. They would send us the seeds and we’d plant at several locations in Wisconsin, Florida and Indiana. They could plant anywhere they wanted to. We’d have GM and control. At the end we’d exchange coded samples and then have them tested at independent labs, one at my choosing, one their choosing. We’d then compare data.
At that point I’m looking at about $13,000 out of pocket to do this (Eeek!). Still, I was excited by their participation. I started to think that maybe their data were an honest mistake from a soil lab and not the contrived fabrication I thought them to be. I was feeling really good about this and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
We started to talk about replicates, locations and independent tests. I also mentioned that all of us would agree to publish the work in a peer-reviewed journal and that all of us would be authors—no matter what the outcome was.
Then it turned sour. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and others decided to pull out. They claim that it was because I was “pro-GMO” etc, but these results were being done by a lab of their choice and materials in their control… maybe they just didn’t have something to replicate…
You can read the emails on the links below.
So the table you see on the URL you cited contains fabricated data that make zero sense when you sit and think about them. They are doctored soil data.
To this day those responsible for these data stand by them as legitimate. They are not only impossible, not only NOT corn, but any other living thing. Moreover, those that stand by the chart refused a paid-for test to establish the truth. That should say a lot.
LINKS: (This was fun to read again)
Another quick note. Glyphosate is applied when the corn / soybeans are young and competing with the weeds. It is not sprayed onto the corn ears in any case I’ve ever heard. It’s long gone by ear set and does not accumulate in kernels. Maybe you can find a tiny bit here and there, but it is because we have phenomenal detection—not because the herbicide is appreciably present.
Labeling is a whole ‘nutter issue. Read about that somewhere here at GMOAnswers.
Constitutional issue? Not so much. The Constitution protects us from an over-reaching government. What we need are real scientists to protect us from an over-reaching activism and fear mongering. That’s what I’m trying to do here.
To conclude, even though this table and these data are clearly false, they continue to be touted by those that think GM foods are dangerous. Ask them tough questions about corn with 1.2% organic matter and less carbon than iron. Biologically impossible. See if they’ll keep deceiving you.
I hope you take the time to critically assess these data and then maybe question those that provide them and stand behind them. And of course, always reach out to me anytime you have questions.