miércoles, septiembre 30, 2015

A Short Report on Journalists Mentioned in our FOIA Requests 

Posted on September 28, 2015
On September 23rd, Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspeladmitted to receiving “plenty” of money from pro-agrichemical industry sources.
Following her admission, I thought it might be useful to report on journalists – including Haspel — mentioned in the documents we have received from state public records requests.
U.S. Right to Know is conducting an investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, their PR firms and front groups, and the professors who speak for them.
So far, three reporters come up in interesting ways: Amy Harmon, Keith Kloor and Tamar Haspel.
These reporters appear in the context of Jon Entine, who is perhaps the leading PR operative working to promote the views of the agrichemical industry, and its pesticides and GMOs. Entine is founder andexecutive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, which, along with the PR firm Ketchum’s GMO Answers, are the agrichemical industry’s two most visible front groups. Entine is also founder and president of the PR firm ESG MediaMetrics, whoseclients have included the agrichemical giant Monsanto.

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martes, septiembre 29, 2015

La situación de los transgénicos en Ecuador (2015)


Por: Richard Intriago Barreno


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”.

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miércoles, septiembre 23, 2015

From GM Watch: Critics of Alliance for Science gonged into silence

The Alliance for Science is a campaign of Cornell University that claims to want to "depolarise the charged debate" around GMOs. Supported by a $5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and with the GMO industry as its partners, the real aim of the campaign appears to be to promote GMOs and silence critical voices.

This became crystal clear on 10 September, when the Alliance hosted a panel discussion titled, "Ask Me Anything About GMOs", at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is also home to Cornell.

The Bioscience Resource Project has posted a video recording of the event, which appears to have been most memorable for being extraordinarily boring, thanks to all critical voices having been excluded from the panel. The Bioscience Resource Project has also chronicled some of the background to the Ithaca event.

Two highlights particularly stand out. At 29 minutes into the video, the pro-GMO scientist Kevin Folta, who was recently exposed as having received a $25,000 grant from Monsanto despite repeated claims of never having had a dime from the company, says, "I am one of the most fiercely independent people you will ever meet". Interestingly, emails between Folta and Monsanto, released by the New York Times, discuss setting up “Ask Me Anything" events at US universities with Folta on their panel, i.e. they set out the PR formula followed in Ithaca.

Then at 38 minutes, the director of the Bioscience Resource Project, DrJonathan Latham, questions the claims being made by the panel on pesticide use due to GMO crop adoption. Just as Dr Latham is getting into his stride, supporters of the Alliance for Science start banging a gong to drown him out!

Perhaps the event should have been titled, "Ask Me Anything About GMOs, As Long As It Doesn't Successfully Challenge Our Pro-GMO Claims".

This bizarre episode helped prompt a letter to the editor of the Ithaca Times from Trevor Pinch, reproduced below. Prof Pinch is not only a musician and author of The Golem: What You Should Know About Science; he is also the Goldwin Smith Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell.

Letter: For whom the bell tolls

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Maíz en México. Boletín 621 de la RALLT



"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."

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martes, septiembre 22, 2015

GenØk: Safe use of new biotechnology

Official course opening
Official course opening

This week international recognized speakers within synthetic biology are gathered together with key scientists, regulators and NGOs at North-West University in South Africa. The event is a course that addresses biosafety and the contribution of synthetic biology in addressing societal challenges. The course was opened by the Ambassador of Norway to South Africa, Ms. Trine Skymoen, and Dean Prof. Kobus Plenaar from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at NWU. Funding for this important event comes from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Synthetic biology is a new and emerging field within modern biotechnology that through engineering and de novo synthesis of genetic material aims to improve biological systems for human, agricultural and environmental purposes. The technological advance of SynBio enables easier, faster and potentially more targeted GMO design with the prospective for crop improvements and more efficient biofuel production.

The main objective of this course is to provide high-level policy makers, regulators, scientists, industry representatives and NGOs/civil society from SADEC countries with knowledge and training in crucial gene technology biosafety issues, innovation possibilities and sustainable use of genetic resources with particular attention given to synthetic biology. In order to support governments and authorities and enable them to build up their own system of regulations and management, the course also includes presentations and discussions on how SynBio processes and products are covered by the international protocols under The Convention on Biological Diversity (i.e. Cartagena Protocol, Nagoya Protocol).

The course is organized by North-West University, GenØk-Centre for Biosafety and NIBIO (Norway) and is attended by 40 participants from 13 countries in the SADEC region. In addition, speakers from South Africa, Malaysia, Brazil and Norway also attend and assist in the training.

This successful event is a result of collaboration between NWU and GenØk since 2008. Through this collaboration, bursary support to more than 30 Honours and MSc students, as well as 3 PhD students has resulted in significant local capacity development in the field of biosafety research and risk assessment.

- See more at: http://genok.com/arkiv/4497/#sthash.gpjRnvBb.dpuf

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sábado, septiembre 19, 2015

A Systems-Based Assessment of GMOs Urgently Needed


Over the past 20 years, agricultural biotechnologies have generated chronically unresolved political controversies. Their governance has largely been restricted to regulation through a technical assessment of risks to human health and the environment. Resistance to the commercialisation of GMOs, however, stems from a wide spectrum of concerns, covering issues well beyond the scope of risk assessment such as socio-economic impacts.
A new paper looks at this situation from a systems perspective.
The authors cite how researchers have typically conceived and assessed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as neutral, autonomous and individualised technological objects, ignoring the fact that they operate as socio-technical and socio-ecological systems. They argue that a systems-based approach to GMOs is required to (a) acknowledge and account for the way in which all technologies are inevitably entangled in complex networks of material and conceptual relations; and (b) to adequately capture, consider and assess the full range of concerns the public has regarding GMOs.
The authors of the paper review available work from across different disciplines and traditions and propose a set of methodological guidelines for creating comparative cartographies of "agri/cultures" for the purpose of advancing a systems-based approach to our understanding and assessment of GMOs.

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Amaranta Herrero, Fern Wickson and Rosa Binimelis
Over the past twenty years, agricultural biotechnologies have generated chronically unresolved political controversies. The standard tool of risk assessment has proven to be highly limited in its ability to address the panoply of concerns that exist about these hybrid techno/organisms. It has also failed to account for both the conceptual and material networks of relations agricultural biotechnologies require, create and/or perform. This paper takes as a starting point that agricultural biotechnologies cannot be usefully assessed as isolated technological entities but need to be evaluated within the context of the broader socio-ecological system that they embody and engender. The paper then explores, compares and contrasts some of the methodological tools available for advancing this systems-based perspective. The article concludes by outlining a new synthesis approach of comparative cartographies of agri/cultures generated through multi-sited ethnographic case-studies, which is proposed as a way to generate system maps and enable the comparison of genetically modified (GM) food with both conventional and alternative agri-food networks for sustainability assessment. The paper aims to make a unique theoretical and methodological contribution by advancing a systems-based approach to conceptualising and assessing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and proposing a synthesised methodology for mapping networks of relations across different agri/cultures.

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jueves, septiembre 17, 2015

Death threats, libel and lies – Part 2: Documented liar?


In the second part of this series, Jonathan Matthews examines Kevin Folta’s claims to have done “nothing wrong, said nothing false”

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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)


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).

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domingo, septiembre 13, 2015

Marion Nestle: Should scientists with financial ties to Monsanto be subject to FOIA requests?


Sunday’s New York Times story on academic conflicts of interest focused on scientists with financial ties to Monsanto.  The ties were revealed by open-records requests for e-mails and other information.
The Times was not the only one to make these requests.  U.S. Right to Know, a group devoted to investigating Big Food and its front groups had already done so.  U.S. Right to Know is funded primarily by the Organic Consumers Association, a national grassroots network advocating for organics, sustainability, and food safety—but against GMOs.
U.S. Right to Know rightfully takes credit for establishing the basis of the Times’ story.  It sent open-records requests to scientists working for public institutions who seemed likely to have financial ties to Monsanto.  Bingo.  Some of the e-mails revealed such ties.*
But should government-funded scientists be subjected to open records requests?  Couldn’t these requests amount to open season on academics—a modern-day version of witchhunts?  This question is now under active debate (and see comments on my previous post).
While these debates are raging, here is one aspect of this story that the New York Times did not tell.
Earlier this month, Paul Thacker and my NYU colleague Charles Seife, wrote a piece for PLoS [Public Library of Science] Blogs arguing that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests “for personal correspondence are not just appropriate, but crucial to ensuring transparency.”   They argue that the benefits of transparency outweigh the costs.
But transparency laws remain a fundamental tool for monitoring possible scientific misbehavior. And it would be a mistake to believe that scientists should not be subject to a high level of outside scrutiny. So long as scientists receive government money, they are subject to government oversight; so long as their work affects the public, journalists and other watchdogs are simply doing their jobs when they seek out possible misconduct and questionable practices that could threaten the public interest.
Thacker and Seife explain:
Last week, Nature reported that the University of Florida had provided them with emails that U.S. Right to Know had FOIA’d on one of their researchers…the [Nature] story noted that the researcher has received money from Monsanto to fund expenses incurred while giving educational talks on GMOs.  The article also noted that the PR Firm Ketchum had provided the scientist with canned answers to respond to GMO critics, although it is unclear if he used them [the Times story says he did but now regrets it].
The article does not report that the scientist has repeatedly denied having a financial relationship with Monsanto. The article also does not report on an email titled “CONFIDENTIAL: Coalition Update” from the researcher to Monsanto in which the scientist advised Monsanto on ways to defeat a political campaign in California to require labeling of GMO products.
Some readers of PLoS were outraged that this online journal would publish an article supporting open-records requests of scientists (see, for example, this from the American Council on Science and Health).
Here’s where things get interesting.
PLoS responded to the criticism by, of all things, retracting the article.
Seife and Thacker explained their views in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
If the public pays your salary, citizens have the right — within limits — to see what you’re doing. That’s the principle at the core of the federal Freedom of Information Act and of the many similar state freedom of information laws… “snooping” on scientists’ inboxes by journalists, watchdogs and government officials has revealed significant problems that would never have come to light via other means.
That, of course, is the basis of the New York Times’ exposé of Monsanto’s funding of scientists to testify on the company’s behalf to reporters, Congress, and the public.
Bottom line: Because industry-funded science and scientists almost invariably provide data and testimony that favors the sponsors interests, the press and public need to know about sponsorship.
One more comment:  A substantial body of literature exists on industry sponsorship of science, particularly on the effects of pharmaceutical industry funding of medical professionals.  Conflicts-of-interest researchers conclude that such conflicts are generally unconscious, unintentional, and unrecognized by participants.  The remedy is increased government spending for research, an unlikely possibility these days.  This means journalists will be kept busy exposing the many problems that arise when scientists take industry funding.
*The documents collected by the New York Times

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sábado, septiembre 12, 2015

Lessons in critical thinking and William Saletan – Part 2


In the second of a two-part series, Claire Robinson points out scientific errors in the journalist William Saletan’s latest attack on her and other GMO critics

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jueves, septiembre 10, 2015

Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s 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.


miércoles, septiembre 09, 2015

Los medios de comunicación y el poder del agronegocio. Boletín 623 de la RALLT


El geógrafo brasileño Carlos Walter Porto Gonçalves critica en un artículo reciente la participación de dos personalidades bastante conocidas en los medios de comunicación de Brasil en la publicidad de dos empresas agroindustriales de productos cárnicos. Recordemos que la industria ganadera constituye, a nivel mundial, el primer consumidor de alimentos transgénicos. Esto también es una realidad en Brasil.

El actor de telenovelas Tony Ramos y la periodista Fátima Bernardes, son la imagen publicitaria de las marcas Friboi y Seara, ambas pertenecientes a JBS, una de las empresas agroalimenticias más grandes del Brasil, que abastece al mercado interno y exporta a más de 100 países.

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martes, septiembre 08, 2015

The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out)


by Jonathan Latham, PhD
“Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up” tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by the NY Times on Sept 5th. The emails in question result from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and are posted in the side bars of a front-page article by Times reporter Eric Lipton (“Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show”). The article is highly disturbing, but, as the Food Babe implied, the Timesburied the real story. The real scoop was not the perfidy and deceit of a handful of individual professors. Buried in the emails is proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides.

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domingo, septiembre 06, 2015

From GM Watch: Folta affair exposed in the New York Times

Damning email stream shows Kevin Folta was in a cosy collaboration with Monsanto since early 2013
The New York Times has published a fascinating article on the Kevin Folta scandal. Folta was revealed by Freedom of Information Requests to have accepted $25,000 from Monsanto, even though he had repeatedly denied having any Monsanto funding.

A damning string of emails, released as a result of the Freedom of Information requests, have been posted online by the New York Times, with a commentary by the NYT editors. Many of the emails are between Kevin Folta and Monsanto or other industry and PR players.

The emails show Folta as an eager partner in a cosy relationship with Monsanto from as early as the spring of 2013.

In November 2013 Folta sent an email to employees of the PR firm Ketchum, which runs the pro-GMO website GMO Answers for its client the Council for Biotechnology. Regarding an upcoming meeting with the rest of the GMO Answers team, Folta wrote: ”Tell them I'm a friend of Ketchum”.

In 2014 Folta wrote to a Monsanto manager: “I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like.”

After Monsanto agreed to Folta’s funding bid for $25,000 for a pro-GMO communications programme, Folta wrote to a Monsanto executive, “I’m grateful for this opportunity and promise a solid return on the investment.”

Another Monsanto executive called the Folta deal “a great 3rd-party approach to developing the advocacy that we’re looking to develop [sic.]”.

The 3rd party PR technique is when industry places its messages in the mouths of supposedly independent third parties, such as scientists and doctors, because the public are more likely to trust them.

Folta claimed to be open about funding

Folta has repeatedly claimed that he was open about his funding arrangements. For example, early this year he wrote, "The bottom line is that my university operates under the Sunshine Law.  Emails are public information, just like my funding, my salary, my cholesterol levels, and everything else about me."

And in response to online speculation from critics about his funding sources, he wrote: “Hey guys, you know you could just reach out and ask… always glad to talk about such things. My research has been funded 100% by public sources, except for a small amount we get for strawberry research, mostly molecular marker development that helps our breeding program pyramid flavor-related genes via traditional breeding. No Monsanto.”

But while the $25,000 Folta got from Monsanto was for outreach and not research, he was anything but open about it. On page 104 of the newly released emails, you can see Folta apparently trying to hide Monsanto’s $25,000 grant so that it is not “publicly noted”.

GMO Answers

Among his outreach work for the GMO industry, Folta answered questions on GMOs for the Ketchum’s pro-GMO website GMO Answers. Ketchum provided canned answers for Folta to repeat for the reading public. Folta had previouslysaid of Ketchum’s pre-prepared points in an article published in Nature, “I don’t know if I used them, modified them or what…”

The email string published by the NYT remedies Folta’s memory failure. The NYT’s editors note: “Dr. Folta was encouraged to make any changes he wanted, but he largely stuck with the script.” Two examples, in which Folta regurgitated Ketchum’s responses, are provided.

Finally, it should be noted that while the NYT tries to draw an equivalence between Folta taking money from Monsanto and Dr Charles Benbrook being funded by the organic industry, the two are not comparable. Benbrook never denied being funded by, or having a relationship with, the organic industry. But Folta repeatedly denied his Monsanto links.

[Comment by Claire Robinson. Read this article online here.]

1. Food industry enlisted academics in GMO lobbying war, emails show
2. Our investigation of Big Food and its front groups

1. Food industry enlisted academics in GMO lobbying war, emails show

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No substantial equivalence


Biosafety Information Centre 

Systems Biology Study Finds GMOs not “substantially equivalent”

The safety assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a contentious topic. In the U.S., the debate centres around the methodology used to determine the criteria for substantial equivalence (whether GMOs are “equivalent” to their non-GMO counterparts).
A new peer reviewed study (Item 1), based on a computational systems biology analysis, has found that the genetic modification/engineering of soy disrupts the plant’s natural ability to control stress and causes an accumulation of formaldehyde, a known Class 1 carcinogen, as well as a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an important anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification. Systems biology looks at the complexity of the whole organism as a system rather than just studying its parts, which the authors contend would provide a framework for more appropriate criteria to measure how GMOs affect the emergent properties of a whole system.
The study concludes the U.S. government’s current standard for safety assessment of GMOs, based on the principle of “substantial equivalence,” is outdated and unscientific for genetically engineered food as it was originally developed for assessing the safety of medical devices in the 1970s. If formaldehyde and glutathione were used as distinguishing criteria, the GM soy would likely not be deemed “equivalent” to its non-GMO counterpart. This calls into question the FDA’s food safety standards for the entire country. (Item 2)
The study underscores the urgent need to modernize safety assessments of GMOs, and the author argues that “This is not a pro- or anti-GMO question. But, are we following the scientific method to ensure the safety of our food supply? Right now, the answer is ‘no’. We need to, and we can, if we engage in open, transparent, and collaborative scientific discourse, based on a systems biology approach.”

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sábado, septiembre 05, 2015

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


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?

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jueves, septiembre 03, 2015

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

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miércoles, septiembre 02, 2015

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