lunes, marzo 30, 2015
domingo, marzo 29, 2015
Scientist defends WHO group report linking herbicide to cancer
By Carey Gilliam
(Reuters) - A World Health Organization group's controversial finding that the world's most popular herbicide "probably is carcinogenic to humans" was based on a thorough scientific review and is a key marker in ongoing evaluations of the product, the scientist who led the study said Thursday.
"There were several studies. There was sufficient evidence in animals, limited evidence in humans and strong supporting evidence showing DNA mutations ... and damaged chromosomes," Aaron Blair, a scientist emeritus at the National Cancer Institute, said in an interview.
Blair chaired the 17-member working group of the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which rocked the agricultural industry on March 20 by classifying glyphosate as "probably" cancer-causing.
sábado, marzo 28, 2015
Is Monsanto on the side of science?
EXCERPT: Following the attacks, [Dr Judy] Carman says she was forced out of two successive university posts. She is fortunate not to need income from a university position, but points out that isn’t true of most scientists: ‘Any scientist in my shoes relying on a university income to eat or pay a mortgage would feel forced to stop investigating GMOs.’
Is Monsanto on the side of science?
New Internationalist, April 2015
[references and links to sources are at the URL above]
lunes, marzo 23, 2015
El Salvador Farmers Successfully Defy Monsanto
Farmers in El Salvador are acutely aware of the importance of producing their own seeds, and avoiding those from the bioengineering giant. The farmers, who have already been consistently outperforming Monsanto with their seed, as the local seed is far healthier and more productive, have just managed to bring about a giant defeat of Monsanto by preventing it from supplying El Salvador with its seeds. Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture released a new round of contracts to provide seed to subsistence farmers across the country.
"Remember that Monsanto is together with DuPont, Pioneer, all the large businesses that control the world's seed market," said Juan Luna Vides, the director of diversified production for the Mangrove Association, a nongovernmental organization that was created to support a grassroots social movement for environmental conservation in El Salvador. "Unfortunately, many of the governments in Latin America, or perhaps the world, have beneficiary relationships with these companies."
domingo, marzo 22, 2015
GMO Science Deniers: Monsanto and the USDA, by Andrew Kimbrell
The great GMO legitimation crisis
sábado, marzo 21, 2015
WHO: Monsanto's Most Used Herbicide 'Probably' Causes Cancer
viernes, marzo 20, 2015
No, Monsanto NO compró a Blackwater
jueves, marzo 19, 2015
Jack Heinemann: Science vs assumption
13 November 2014
The first intentionally pesticidal GM crop trait based on RNA is before food safety regulators for approval to release as a food for humans or feed for animals. Will regulators substitute their assumptions, seemingly validated by the bold statements of some scientists, for data on its safety?
A key plank in the argument made by the food regulator and some scientists is that ingested dsRNAs are too fragile to survive digestion and therefore we cannot be ‘exposed’ to them in an active form. A second plank in the argument is that the concentration of dsRNAs in food would be too low to have an effect even if they were taken up. These arguments are rapidly losing their power to convince as a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that nature doesn’t share their assumptions.
Differences between food and environment regulators
Furthermore, risk assessment by food regulators does not take into account environmental effects. Therefore, their opinions are not relevant to the potential for adverse effects to arise in the environment and are not the final word when it comes to generating the full picture of GMO safety, for people or the environment.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently concluded a large-scale evaluation of dsRNA-based pesticide products and whether or not existing risk assessment frameworks are sufficient to evaluate them for safety. The answer, succinctly, was ‘no’.
...the argument that RNA won’t survive digestion is hypothetical because there are few studies on dsRNA stability through digestion, and none that prove complete removal of dsRNA at the stomach acidity levels typical of different kinds of consumers. Consequently, the EPA Panel “recommended that the stability of dsRNA in individuals that manifest diseases, immune compromised, elderly, or children be investigated.”
Probably more troubling to the scientists and regulators who have attempted to paint a one-dimensional picture of dsRNA risk assessment will be two new publications. The first demonstrates that dsRNAs (miRNAs) found in cow milk are biologically active in humans. The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that the miRNA in the cow milk survived digestion and could alter gene expression. The authors said: “We conclude that miRNAs in milk are bioactive food compounds that regulate human genes”