sábado, septiembre 05, 2015

¿Comerán los mexicanos tortillas transgénicas?, por Víctor M. Toledo

http://www.biodiversidadla.org/Principal/Secciones/Noticias/
Comeran_los_mexicanos_tortillas_transgenicas

Y ¿tamales con alérgenos?, ¿atoles con residuos de glifosato?, ¿chilaquiles con plásmidos?, ¿pozoles con 2,4-D, componente del defoliante agente naranja utilizado en la guerra de Vietnam? o ¿totopos con genes Terminator?

jueves, septiembre 03, 2015

GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/gmos-herbicides-and-public-health




rogator spraying corn


Self-propelled row-crop sprayer applying pesticide to post-emergent corn -wikipedia
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not high on most physicians' worry lists. If we think at all about biotechnology, most of us probably focus on direct threats to human health, such as prospects for converting pathogens to biologic weapons or the implications of new technologies for editing the human germline. But while those debates simmer, the application of biotechnology to agriculture has been rapid and aggressive. The vast majority of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are now genetically engineered. Foods produced from GM crops have become ubiquitous. And unlike regulatory bodies in 64 other countries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of GM foods.
Two recent developments are dramatically changing the GMO landscape. First, there have been sharp increases in the amounts and numbers of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops, and still further increases — the largest in a generation — are scheduled to occur in the next few years. Second, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified glyphosate, the herbicide most widely used on GM crops, as a “probable human carcinogen”1 and classified a second herbicide, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), as a “possible human carcinogen.”2

miércoles, septiembre 02, 2015

Hay un nuevo tipo de plantas transgénicas que no son evaluadas adecuadamente. Boletín 622 de la RALLT

Nuevo libro de Carmelo Ruiz Marrero



El gran juego de ajedrez botánico: Escritos sobre biotecnología y agroecología es una compilación de 15 años de trabajo investigativo y educativo del periodista Carmelo Ruiz Marrero en torno a los temas de la agricultura, ecología, biotecnología y soberanía alimentaria. Es un esfuerzo por documentar y analizar el modelo de agricultura industrial capitalista, el cual está exacerbando el problema del hambre y la crisis ambiental, y servir de guía a los nuevos movimientos sociales, pensamientos ecológicos y paradigmas científicos que están surgiendo y planteando alternativas.

Para comprarlo:


http://www.editorialtiemponuevo.net/2015/01/el-gran-juego-de-ajedrez-botanico.html

http://libreriaisla.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LI&Product_Code=9781505964356&Category_Code

http://www.amazon.com/gran-juego-ajedrez-botanico-biotecnologia/dp/1505964350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421124564&sr=8-1&keywords=el+gran+juego+de+ajedrez

martes, septiembre 01, 2015

Science must be protected from commercial interests

New peer-reviewed paper exposes criticisms of the Seralini study. Claire Robinson reports

Science must be defended against commercial interests that attempt to get important papers on GMOs and pesticides retracted rather than encouraging further research to clarify any uncertainties, says an important new peer-reviewed paper published in Environmental Sciences Europe.

The paper, authored by Drs John Fagan, Terje Traavik and Thomas Bøhn, details the events that followed the publication of the research study led by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini on GM maize NK603 and Roundup. The Séralini study found toxic effects in rats, notably liver and kidney damage, from NK603 maize and Roundup, both individually and in combination.


The paper was attacked by pro-GMO scientists, who argued that it should be retracted. Eventually the journal editor capitulated and retracted the paper, though it was subsequently republished in Environmental Sciences Europe.


The authors of the new paper comment on this row, lamenting the growth of “a trend in which disputes, between interest groups vying for retraction and republication of papers that report controversial results, overshadow the normal scientific process in which peer-reviewed publication stimulates new research, generating new empirical evidence that drives the evolution of scientific understanding”.


The paper also reviews the research on the safety of NK603 maize and Roundup herbicide for human and livestock health. The authors’ analysis confirms that NK603 maize and Roundup are kidney and liver toxicants at levels below current regulatory thresholds and that “consequently, the regulatory status of NK603, glyphosate and Roundup requires reevaluation”.


The authors also say that preliminary evidence from the Séralini study indicates that Roundup and NK603, individually and in combination, may increase tumour incidence and mortality. They conclude, “Follow-up long-term carcinogenicity studies, using test animal strains and numbers of animals that assure robust conclusions, are required to confirm/refute this preliminary evidence.”


The paper represents a comprehensive summary of the gaping holes in the pro-GMO lobby’s critiques of the Séralini study. Sadly, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must consider itself part of this lobby. This is because EFSA followed the pro-GMO lobby in portraying the Séralini study as a failed carcinogenicity study, rather than what it really was – a chronic toxicity study that unexpectedly found increased tumour and mortality incidence in treated rats and which must therefore be followed up with a dedicated carcinogenicity study using larger numbers of animals.


Thus EFSA effectively pretended not to notice the main findings of the Séralini study: that NK603 GM maize and Roundup caused an increase in liver and kidney damage. The new paper sets the record straight and gives the Séralini study its due status as evidence of these serious toxic effects. It also recommends reforms in the regulatory process that would help protect due scientific process from interference by commercial interests.

The Seralini affair: degeneration of Science to Re‑Science?

John Fagan, Terje Traavik and Thomas Bøhn
Environ Sci Eur (2015) 27:19
http://www.enveurope.com/content/27/1/19 (open access)

Abstract

A paper reporting findings relevant to safety of the genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 and the herbicide Roundup (Séralini et al., Food Chem Toxicol. 50:4221–4231, 2012) was retracted against the wishes of the authors, and subsequently republished in another peer-reviewed journal (Séralini et al. Environ Sci Europe, doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5, 2014). These events exemplify a trend in which disputes, between interest groups vying for retraction and republication of papers that report controversial results, overshadow the normal scientific process in which peer-reviewed publication stimulates new research, generating new empirical evidence that drives the evolution of scientific understanding. This paper reviews the current status of research on safety of NK603 maize and Roundup
herbicide for human and livestock health, and attempts to glean from recent developments insights relevant to risk assessment policy for GM crops and pesticides, as well as relevant to the scientific process in general. Our analysis of currently published evidence confirms NK603 and Roundup are kidney and liver toxicants at levels below current
regulatory thresholds. Consequently, the regulatory status of NK603, glyphosate and Roundup requires reevaluation. Additionally, preliminary evidence indicates Roundup and NK603, individually and in combination, may increase tumor incidence and mortality. Follow-up long-term carcinogenicity studies, using test animal strains and numbers of
animals that assure robust conclusions, are required to confirm/refute this preliminary evidence. The inherent tension between the scientific process and commercial interests of product developers necessitates implementation of safeguards that protect the scientific process and prevent degeneration of Science to Re-Science (typified by retraction and republication disputes).

La situación de los transgénicos en Ecuador (2015)

http://www.ballenitasi.org/2015/07/la-situacion-de-los-transgenicos-en.html

Por: Richard Intriago Barreno

FECAOL – ACCIÓN ECOLÓGICA

Cultivos Autorizados

En Ecuador podríamos decir que hay una situación actual muy alentadora, con avances legislativos claves, con fuertes argumentos a favor de la agrobiodiversidad y con una creciente masa crítica sobre los impactos que generaría la introducción de los cultivos genéticamente modificados al país. Sin embargo, muchos de los principales voceros del gobierno nacional, especialmente el presidente de la república, han manifestado permanentemente su intención de permitir y promover el ingreso de estos cultivos, siendo un claro atentado contra la decisión mayoritaria del pueblo ecuatoriano contemplada en la Constitución de la República aprobada el año 2008.

En esta coyuntura cabe analizar los cables de los Wikileaks fechados en el año 2009 donde se afirma que: “La Oficina (Embajada EE UU) solicita financiamiento para apoyar los viajes de cinco periodistas ecuatorianos a los Estados Unidos para participar en un tour sobre biotecnología (transgénicos) de una semana. El propósito de la gira es instruir a los formadores de opinión acerca de la biotecnología…. en consonancia con la posición del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos sobre ella”. Añade que “Dado que el Ecuador es un mercado comercial para estos productos (en 2008, Estados Unidos exportó al Ecuador más de US$33 millones en harina de soja y más de US$44 millones en cereales secundarios), es de interés del Gobierno de Estados Unidos obtener apoyo público para la biotecnología (transgénicos). La cobertura de los medios de comunicación ecuatorianos respetados, en favor de los transgénicos ayudará a cambiar la opinión pública…. sentará las bases para una opinión positiva y ayudará a prevenir protestas públicas si el Presidente, o la Asamblea Nacional permiten la aprobación e implantación de transgénicos”.



lunes, agosto 31, 2015

Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs

http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/growing-doubt-a-scientists-experience-of-gmos/

Jonathan R. Latham, PhD

By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.

sábado, agosto 29, 2015

Maíz en México. Boletín 621 de la RALLT

http://www.biodiversidadla.org/Principal/Secciones/Documentos/Maiz_en_Mexico._
Boletin_621_de_la_RALLT

RED POR UNA AMÉRICA LATINA LIBRE DE TRANSGÉNICOS

"Las empresas aseguran que es posible la "coexistencia" de maíz transgénico con el maíz campesino. Existen múltiples estudios científicos y estadísticas en muchos países que demuestran lo contrario: donde hay cultivos transgénicos, siempre habrá contaminación, sea por el polen llevado por viento e insectos (a distancias mucho mayores de las "previstas" por las leyes) o por el trasiego en transportes, almacenamiento, puntos de venta, donde no hay segregación de transgénicos y otras semillas."

Lessons in critical thinking and William Saletan – Part 1

http://www.gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/16355

Slate magazine's William Saletan with Fail Report Card
In the first of a two-part series, Claire Robinson responds to journalist William Saletan’s recent attack on her and other GMO critics
In a recent incisive article on the GMO debate, Timothy Wise of Tufts University laments the "current vehemence" of the battle. He singles out Slate magazine’s William Saletan as one of the more extreme examples of those ready to tar "anyone who dares call for precaution with the stain of being another science-denying zealot". Wise accuses pundits like Saletan of "polarizing" the debate so much that they actually contribute to the suppression of scientific inquiry.

This couldn’t contrast more with how Saletan himself sees things. He responded to my three-part critique of his recent GMO promotional in Slate with a lecture on “how to think critically”. The implication is that this is something he is rather good at, whereas I and other GMO opponents are not.

So let’s take a look at the supposed gold standard of critical thinking, as exemplified by Saletan. And because we all have a life beyond the wit and wisdom of gullible journalists, I’ll restrict myself to a few major lessons in critical thinking in which Saletan gets a big “F” for “fail”.