A War on Christmas Peace Accord

Well, Tiny Tim, it’s time that you learned about the war on Christmas.

It’s 2017 in America, and the war rages on…. Actually, no, it doesn’t. You see, there is an imagined war going on in America. Um, well, perhaps I should start at the beginning, to give this a little perspective.

In the beginning, the Puritans banned Christmas. For about 30 years, it was outlawed in MA.

“But, I thought it was those atheists waging war on Christmas?” Nope, at least not in the beginning.

Later, it was a Jewish war on Christmas, because, you know, they didn’t celebrate it…the heathens. In more recent times, the John Birch Society propagated the myth that it was the godless communists waging war on Christmas. That makes perfect sense, right? In a time where we change our pledge to include God, and we replace “E Pluribus Unum” with “In God We Trust” on our money, the fear of the rise of communism was high.

“Well, fear of something sounds like an odd reason to make up a war.” Indeed it does, Tiny Tim.

Today, the war is fought on new fronts. The righteous Christian army is battling attacks on Christmas from every side! It’s chaos!

“Wait, wait, wait. You said the war was imaginary!”

Oh, yes, of course. I’m sorry. I got a bit carried away.

There are really two major things today that are pointed at as the war on Christmas. One involves various secular groups speaking out against, and even seeking lawsuits against, government entities having sectarian Christmas displays.

“Well, that seems silly.”

It does, Tiny Tim, but when you really look into it, it makes sense.

You see, the establishment clause of the first amendment of the constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This is what frames a separation between church and state in America, one upheld time and time again by the supreme court. When a government entity uses tax payer funded property to showcase a single religion, then they are taking preference in a country with many religions.

“But, aren’t most Americans Christian?”

Yes, though non-Christians are rapidly growing in number. Even then, however, the government couldn’t stand for Christianity without choosing a denomination, and so many of the denominations contradict each other in doctrine that it wouldn’t work very well. That’s why the founding fathers sought to separate the two, especially after seeing what a merging of church and government in England could become. Also, though they are the majority and we’re a land ruled by the majority, the constitution is framed in such a way as to provide protections for the minority from the tyranny of the majority. This is primarily housed within the duties of the supreme court, who have already ruled in favor of the separation.

“Oh, that makes sense. What’s the other battle?”

Well, this is the really big one. Christians all over the country are up in arms because people working in department stores dare to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” This started with Amazon and has spread from there. Even one year a woman punched a Salvation Army volunteer for saying “Happy Holidays.”

“What?!?!”

I told you that it got heated. In the end, however, they’re missing the point. People in this country are from many different religions and celebrate many different things this time of year. Whether someone says “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” or any other holiday greeting, the best thing to do is to take it to be saying exactly what it means, “I wish you well.” That is what this season is all about.

This time of year, even us “filthy heathens,” the secularists, atheists, humanists, and whatnot of the country find something to celebrate. We go to Human Light Celebrations, a time for friends and good conversation, reflecting on the year and planning for the future. We spend time with family. Sometimes, we just take time to ourselves.

To some, like secular musician AdeKwit, it means family, as he expresses in his newest Christmas song, Sad Xmas. For myself, Tim Minchin’s “White Wine in the Sun” really brings home the meaning, especially not having been able to be home for the holidays for a number of years.

“That’s really cool! So, what do we do now that we know all of this?”

Well, Tiny Tim, to me it’s very simple. This is a time for good tidings, no matter what you believe, or don’t believe. There’s no war on Christmas. The only war is in the minds of those who miss the whole meaning of it all completely. So, take a step back to reflect, stop fighting any wars this Christmas, and remember that everyone has a reason for the season…even if it’s different than yours.

From Tiny Tim and myself…..We wish you well!

Goat Testicles Make Me Skeptical

In the early 1900s, there was a man named John Brinkley who implanted the testicular glands of goats in men to restore their virility.

People who fell for this raved about the procedure, because, after all, it was expensive and they wouldn’t want to be seen as fools.

Because of those reviews, he went on to do the transplants for other illnesses.

It wasn’t until people started dying that he was stopped.

The story sounds so absurd, right? I know most people today would roll their eyes at the obvious quackery.

Here’s the thing. Think about how absurd this sounds, then consider this…

When you tell me about the newest “natural” treatment you got from your naturopath or chiropractor, or the latest miracle diet, or some rare herbal supplement you have to import from another country, but it “works so well,” I want you to consider how you feel when you hear the goat testicle story and realize that’s exactly how I feel when you tell me about your own brand of nonsense.

But Her Identity Politics!

When people speak out against “identity politics,” as many, typically straight cisgender affluent white men seem to want to do lately, there’s a subtext and a whole lot of missed perspective.

First, the subtext.

When these guys speak out against identity politics, what they’re typically attacking are those fighting for their rights and/or lives against social structures and institutions.

They’re rarely speaking out against the politicians who think we should require funerals for miscarriages or the ones who thinks we have such a problem of voter fraud that laws stopping primarily poor communities of color from voting are a good idea.

No, of course not.

They’re speaking out against Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ+ community, women fighting for reproductive rights and a fair wage, and other groups whose identity is directly threatened by the current political climate.

The problem is that these people tend to see governance as some abstract, intellectual pursuit, that’s only to be handled as a rational, unbiased structure by the educated and “well bred.”

Now, the perspective problem.

ALL POLITICS IS IDENTITY POLITICS!

Until such a day as race, gender, sexuality, etc, has no play in how people are treated, or how our society is structured, all politics will always be identity politics.

Here’s the crux of the perspective problem, though.

They’re saying that identity politics are bad and have no place in the world. BUT…what they’re really saying is that only other people’s identity politics have no place in the world. Theirs are OK.

When they make these claims, they never say their own hatred of Muslims and love of anti-immigration policies are wrong. They never say THEY are wrong for forming their politics around their own identity and experiences.

It’s always the “others.”

Bear this is mind while the nearly obsolete of our society rant against the people who are catalysts of change. Bear this in mind and let them rant while the rest of us change the world.

The Language of the Unheard

“If any other country had a police force that was systematically beating and killing members of a minority group, the US would already be over there liberating their oil.”

“These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.” Dr. Martin Luther King said in a speech several weeks before his assassination. That great man lived and died a peaceful man whose dream was to make the voices of his people heard without raising a hand in violence. A few days ago, riots erupted from the peaceful protests in Baltimore, MD. These words have become their mantra, their battlecry, as they struggle to be heard over the admonitions of those who couldn’t ever understand their lives or their struggles. Contrary to the dichotomy expressed across the traditional and social media of either peace or violence, in the end, both paths are often essential to ignite change.

Race has long been at the forefront of the social and political spheres in America. To build our great nation, we systematically purchased and enslaved a people from the other side of the world and kept them in shackles for generations. Those shackles were made of iron and steel, but also of words and rhetoric that shackled these people both physically and spiritually. We infused them with the idea of punishment after death for disobeying until there was no need for the physical shackles. When you own the soul of a person, you have no fear that they would try to escape. Then came the abolitionist movement, and there was hope for these people. They began escaping the South and heading north, until eventually the nation itself went to war for their freedom.

For a moment, the blacks of this nation were free. Then came Jim Crow, “The pattern of their feet as they walked through Jim Crow barriers in the great stride toward freedom is the thunder of the marching men of Joshua” (King Selma). The mantra was “separate but equal” and was more rhetoric than reality. In truth, there was no real equality. With the Jim Crow laws, the oppression of blacks went from overt to systematic and became more insidious and hard to combat due to its ambiguity. This brings us to the four great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement who helped shape the views and the methods that we see in Baltimore today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin were men of peace and preached nonviolence as the best route to freedom. Malcom X and Stokely Carmichael cauterized their people into a nation and infused them with the ideology that they held their own power in their hands and were meant to use it.

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Dr. Martin Luther King said in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963 after being arrested during peaceful protests. He was writing to the white clergy that had attempted to admonish him for even being involved in the protests. You see, Dr. King knew something, or I should he understood something, that these men never could. He understood oppression and the responsibility of moral people to combat it. This is the crux of the problem we see even now, in the wake of Baltimore, when even the white liberals of the nation admonish the violence of the black protestors. In a country where the power system places privilege in the hands of white people, those white people, even those whose intentions and ideologies are noble, cannot understand the oppression that is the day to day life of the black person in America. They have no point of reference with which to gain real empathy and understanding.

“A segregationist is a criminal. You can’t label him as anything other than that. And when you demonstrate against segregation, the law is on your side. The Supreme Court is on your side.” said Malcom X in his speech The Ballot or the Bullet. Malcom X understood something, as well. He understood that when oppression is so deep seeded, so systematic and ingrained in society that it’s infused to the very core of a nation, then you need to cut it out from its roots. You see, he spoke a lot on government in that speech, and how the government, the Democrat run government at the time, was put into power by black votes. He spoke on how the blacks of the nation put them in power to they could fulfill all those promises to give back to that community. He spoke of how they failed in those promises.

Today, we don’t call it segregation. It doesn’t have defined lines and labeled drinking fountains, like it did in the Jim Crow era. The power systems in America have ensured that the racial divide has become entwined intrinsically with the income divide. This makes it easier, after all, since poverty breeds desperation and desperation breeds crime. This way, when an impoverished black person commits a crime, it only enforces the stereotype in the minds of the white middle class that black means criminal. They’ve coined a new term today, “thug.” It’s the new derogatory term, since the old one is no longer acceptable in polite conversation. They mean the same thing, though. They mean that segregation still exists. We’ve simply found new ways to hide oppression until the point that it boils over and the voices of the unheard get so loud that the entire nation shakes. When Malcom X said “You talk about a march on Washington in 1963, you haven’t seen anything.” he didn’t know how right he was. The protests of 2015 shake the nation, and they’ve only just begun.

Bayard Rustin spoke to this shift from overt segregation after the Civil Rights Act to the insidious caste system that had forced the blacks in America into a lower economic class, allowing for systematic and hidden segregation. “More Negroes are unemployed today than in 1954, and the unemployment gap between the races is wider.” he said in From Protest to Politics, and those words spoken today would still ring true. “I believe that the Negro’s struggle for equality in America is essentially revolutionary. While most Negroes – in their hearts – unquestionably seek only to enjoy the fruits of American society as it now exists, their quest cannon objectively be satisfied within the framework of existing political and economic relations.” he goes on. The status quo is always a point of contention between the “equality minded” and actual revolutionaries.

I suppose the distinction should be made here, between equality minded individuals and revolutionaries. Today we can see the equality minded as the liberals and progressives in general. These are people who often have no reference point to really understand oppression, but they agree that it’s a bad thing. They don’t really know how it’s bad, though, but they’re on board. Well, they’re on board so long as it doesn’t affect their shopping habits, their work, their taxes, their daily lives. They’re on board so long as it doesn’t affect the status quo. Revolutionaries have two major differences that make all the difference. First, they typically have a reference point for oppression. Usually, they’ve lived it or watched other live it, and simply can’t stand for it anymore. Secondly, they’re willing to not only step outside the status quo, but tear down the status quo in order to force the necessary change in the world around them. Whether for peace or violence, and all the nuanced spectrum in between, every one of the Civil Rights Movement leaders from then and now was and is a revolutionary.

Stokely Carmichael, the final leader that I’ll cover here, didn’t mince words. “The concept of integration had to be based on the assumption that there was nothing of value in the Negro community and that little of value could be created among Negroes, so the thing to do was to siphon off the ‘acceptable’ Negroes into the surrounding middle-class white community.” (Carmichael). This ideology still persists today, only I think it’s even worse, as many in the black community seem to think that doing better means moving into the surrounding white middle-class neighborhoods. This thought has been reinforced in the media and in film and in everyday life. The idea that black means inferior permeates the very soul of white culture in this country and is seeping into communities of color more and more each day. I think Carmichael understood this dynamic in a really fundamental way, and sought to empower the black people to where they would never think that again.

This brings us back to today and the events unraveling across the nation. Baltimore wasn’t the first to progress to the status of riot, and it won’t be the last. Ferguson erupted around a police killing, as did New York City. More and more, the levels of police violence towards people of color in this country are being brought to the light. More and more, people are getting fed up and taking to the streets to protest the systematic oppression towards anyone who isn’t white in America. The words of King and Rustin that speak of peaceful protest against overwhelming resistance have rung out across the nation and sparked more protests than we’ll ever see in the media, and those protests, those voices joined together as one, are spreading like a wildfire of change. The words of X and Carmichael that talk of the power of a great people joining together as a nation of their own to forge their way in a world set against them are rising up from the lips of revolutionaries in every corner of this country.

The oppression of the black communities in America is subversive today. It’s not the Jim Crow era or the era of the slave. It’s the era of the system of oppression that hides in the shadows. Today, we don’t segregated by order of the Supreme Court. We segregate using the excuse of the free market. We don’t kill black people for being black. We kill them for being criminals. Of course, those that actually commit a crime before being killed are all too often shoplifters or vandals. The white voices in America do their best to make it clear that these killings are justified because of the crimes of the victims, while ignoring that these crimes have never and should never be punishable by the death penalty in a civil society. We force a people into poverty, then excuse our oppression by blaming them when they need to steal bread to eat.

There’s a pattern that we go through in this country when it comes to the oppression of minorities. We do horrible things to them, like the systematic killing of people by a militant police force. They report the problem up the chain and ask for it to be stopped, but we ignore them. They take the problem national and ask for it to be stopped, and we ignore them. They protest peacefully and ask for it to be stopped, and we ignore them. Then they riot, and we admonish with “How dare you! That’s not the solution! You people are so violent!” We push people to a last resort through oppression, then we use those actions to continue to justify oppression.

The common admonition heard from the equality minded and the overtly oppressive alike is that violence is never the answer. They call out the protestors for destroying property and fighting back. They call them thugs. They ignore that there is far more violence and destruction of property by white people after they lose a sporting event than in any protest against the killing of people. But there’s hope, in the end, because the words of King and X, of Rustin and Carmichael ring forth and shake the very foundations of a nation, because it’s not a matter of peaceful resistance versus violent revolution. Each path has its place and is necessary when you’re trying to change the world in such a profound way as those taking to the streets are today. In the end, what matters is that the world changes, and so it has, and so it will again.

Gilles-Eric Séralini Debunked

Canned Response

The Seralini study is commonly thrown into the discussion by anti-GMO activists who don’t understand basic science.

“The experiments reported last week show that he has crossed the line by committing gross scientific misconduct and attempted fraud.” – Academics Review

The study itself claimed to link Roundup with cancer through a rat feeding trial. Unfortunately, there was so much wrong with the study that it didn’t show anything beyond the lack of competence of Seralini.

FLAWS:

The strain of rats used were bred to develop tumors as they age, something not disclosed in the study itself. Given the time-frame of the study, tumors were extremely likely. The rats used develop tumors at exactly the same rate as they did in his study.

Read on ncbi.​nlm.​nih.​gov

The control rats were smaller in size than they should be (only 20 of the 200) for the length of the study and were omitted from the results, though they also contained tumors. Not releasing that data is scientific misconduct.

Lack of statistical analysis.

Insufficient information on the composition of the diet.

Negative results omitted from the study.

Nodose-response – a critical comonent of demonstrating a toxic effect. (some rats fed higher doses did BETTER than the others)

http://academicsreview.org/2012/09/scientists-smell-a-rat-in-fraudulent-study/

No demonstrated mechanism.

Didn’t allow outside comment on the paper prior to publication and press release.

Major ethics violation in allowing the rats to suffer with growing tumors well beyond what is necessary.

Conflict of Interest: Seralini is the president of an anto-GMO NGO hosted by his laboratory. COI not disclosed in the study.

Moreover, the study used Sprague-Dawley rats, which both reviews note are prone to developing spontaneous tumours. Data provided to Nature by Harlan Laboratories, which supplied the rats in the study, show that only one-third of males, and less than one-half of females, live to 104 weeks. By comparison, its Han Wistar rats have greater than 70% survival at 104 weeks, and fewer tumours. OECD guidelines state that for two-year experiments, rats should have a survival rate of at least 50% at 104 weeks. If they do not, each treatment group should include even more animals — 65 or more of each sex.

Hyped GM maize study faces growing scrutiny

Food-safety bodies slam feeding study that claims increased cancer incidence in rats.Read on nature.​com

Even many who support GMO labeling criticized the poorly constructed study.

Does the Seralini Corn Study Fiasco Mark a Turning Point in the Debate Over GM Food?

Are anti-biotech campaigners the leftwing version of climate change deniers?Read on forbes.​com

In the end, the study is less than worthless. However, even if it were solid and well-constructed, a single study should never be used to base definitive conclusions on.

Unfortunately, since the methodology was flawed and so much was omitted, the study can’t be replicated, so those conclusions aren’t relevant or useful.

Full list of resources on Seralini

The Seralini Rule

If you cite this study as demonstrating any dangers in genetically modified food, you are either (a) so clueless as not to have spent 30 seconds checking to see if there are any reported problems in the study, or (b) so dishonest in citing a blatantly fraudulent study, that you are not worthy of any more serious consideration. You just lost the debate and you’re done. (Obviously you don’t lose the if you cite the study to demonstrate its flaws, only if you claim the study’s conclusions are valid.)

The Seralini Rule

I have a new rule for debating anti-GMO people: If you favorably cite the 2012 Séralini rats fed on …Read on skeptico.​blogs.​com

Scientists Smell A Rat In Fraudulent Study

“With this post we depart from our usual practice of restricting the scope of this site to peer review of unreviewed science claims and critical analysis of poorly peer-reviewed scientific papers to publish this editorial. The Editors of AcademicsReview.org (Tribe & Chassy) have taken this step in response to the gross violation not only of scientific standards (i.e., proper experimental design and analysis) but of scientific ethics, animal welfare standards, and journalistic ethics of which Seralini, his co-authors, the journal editors, and publisher are objectively guilty. The code of scientific ethics clearly states that scientists who do not report misconduct are guilty of misconduct. A peer reviewed analysis of the paper itself will be forthcoming.”

http://academicsreview.org/2012/09/scientists-smell-a-rat-in-fraudulent-study/

Hyped GM Maize Study Faces Growing Scrutiny

Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen, France, is under intense pressure to report the full data behind his team’s finding that rats fed for two years with Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant NK603 maize (corn) developed many more tumours and died earlier than controls (see Nature 489, 484; 2012). The study, run in collaboration with the Paris-based Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), also found that rats developed tumours when their drinking water was spiked with glyphosate, the herbicide that is used with the GM maize. The findings have had a huge public impact in Europe, empowering those opposed more broadly to GM foods, and leading some politicians to call for tighter regulations or outright bans of the maize.

http://www.nature.com/news/hyped-gm-maize-study-faces-growing-scrutiny-1.11566

EFSA Publishes Initial Review on GM Maize and Herbicide Study

The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that a recent paper raising concerns about the potential toxicity of genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 and of a herbicide containing glyphosate is of insufficient scientific quality to be considered as valid for risk assessment.

EFSA’s initial review found that the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate. To enable the fullest understanding of the study the Authority has invited authors Séralini et al to share key additional information.

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/121004

Review of the Seralini et al. (2012) Publication on a 2-year Rodent Feeding Study

On 19 September 2012, Séralini et al. published online in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology a publication describing a 2-year feeding study in rats investigating the health effects of genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 with and without Roundup WeatherMAX® and Roundup® GT Plus alone (both are glyphosate-containing plant protection products). EFSA was requested by the European Commission to review this publication and to identify whether clarifications are needed from the authors. EFSA notes that the Séralini et al. (2012) study has unclear objectives and is inadequately reported in the publication, with many key details of the design, conduct and analysis being omitted. Without such details it is impossible to give weight to the results. Conclusions cannot be drawn on the difference in tumour incidence between the treatment groups on the basis of the design, the analysis and the results as reported in the Séralini et al. (2012) publication. In particular, Séralini et al. (2012) draw conclusions on the incidence of tumours based on 10 rats per treatment per sex which is an insufficient number of animals to distinguish between specific treatment effects and chance occurrences of tumours in rats. Considering that the study as reported in the Séralini et al. (2012) publication is of inadequate design, analysis and reporting, EFSA finds that it is of insufficient scientific quality for safety assessment. Therefore EFSA, concludes that the Séralini et al. study as reported in the 2012 publication does not impact the ongoing re-evaluation of glyphosate, and does not see a need to reopen the existing safety evaluation of maize NK603 and its related stacks. EFSA will give the authors of the Séralini et al. (2012) publication the opportunity to provide further information on their study to EFSA.

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2910

Letter to Prof. Seralini Regarding EFSA’s Review of the Seralini et al. (2012) Publication on a 2-year Rodent Feeding Study

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/assets/corporateSeralini121004.pdf

A study of the University of Caen neither constitutes a reason for a re-evaluation of genetically modified NK603 maize nor does it affect the renewal of the glyphosate approval

The authors’ conclusion that rats fed with genetically modified NK603 maize throughout their life have a shorter lifespan than animals fed with conventional maize is not sufficiently corroborated by experiments. This is the conclusion of an assessment conducted by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) following publication of the study “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” by Gilles-Eric Séralini and co-authors in the scientific journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology”. “The study shows both shortcomings in study design and in the presentation of the collected data. This means that the conclusions drawn by the authors are not supported by the available data”, says Professor Dr. Reiner Wittkowski, Vice President of the Federal Institute. Additionally to the statement on NK603 maize the autors concluded that the glyphosate-containing pesticide Roundup may lead to severe health problems and early death which is not sufficiently substantiated by the evidence in the report. In contrary to the authors conclusions, a number of long-term studies on glyphosate as an active substance in herbicides does not indicate any carcinogenic potential, increased mortality, or an impact on the hormonal system of the test animals. However, the BfR is aware of certain co-formulants, that might affect the toxicity of glyphosate containing herbicides.

http://www.bfr.bund.de/en/press_information/2012/29/a_study_of_the_university_of_caen_neither_constitutes_a_reason_for_a_re_evaluation_of_genetically_modified_nk603_maize_nor_does_it_affect_the_renewal_of_the_glyphosate_approval-131739.html

Scientist Deconstructs Seralini’s PLOS GMO Study: ‘Failed Attempt At Redemption”

Gilles-Éric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen in France, is hoping for redemption with a new paper about the effect of pesticides and genetically modified (GMO) feed on rats and mice. He hasn’t earned that redemption.

A few years ago, Séralini suffered the ultimate humiliation for a scientist. The Journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted his high-profile study. The editors reviewed the raw data and found the results were “inconclusive” and did not back the conclusions that were loudly trumpeted in media headlines. The authors themselves eventually conceded that the study had serious flaws, noting in a press release that “the data are inconclusive, due to the rat strain and the number of animals used.”

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/06/18/scientist-deconstructs-seralinis-plos-gmo-study-failed-attempt-at-redemption/

Monsanto Response

This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment. The study has been the subject of initial critical reviews by multiple regulatory agencies (links provided below). For example, the

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Germany states that “the authors’ main statements are not sufficiently corroborated by experimental evidence, due to deficiencies in the study design and in the presentation and interpretation of the study results.”

http://www.monsanto.com/products/documents/productsafety/seralini-sept-2012-monsanto-comments.pdf

The Gm Corn Rat Study

So – they presented their controversial findings, which they consider “alarming,” but prohibited journalists from doing their job before presenting the results. That’s more than suspicious – I think it’s unethical. Transparency in science is critical, especially when that research has immediate implications for public safety and can have a profound effect on public opinion.

It is much easier to provoke fear than to reassure with careful analysis. It’s almost as if the researchers wanted an undiluted initial shock reaction to their research before the careful analysis could even take place.

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-gm-corn-rat-study/

Anti-GMO study is appropriately dismissed as biased, poorly-performed

The anti-GMO study released late last week has raised so many bad science red flags that I’m losing count. Orac and Steve Novella have both discussed fatal flaws in the research, the New Scientist discussed the researchers’ historical behavior of inflating insignificant results to hysterical headlines. And all this new paper seems to be proof of is that these researchers have become more savvy at manipulating press coverage. The result of this clever manipulation of the press embargo and news-release stenography by the press is predictable. The internet food crackpot army has a bogus paper to flog eternally with Mike Adams predicting the end of humanity, and Joe Mercola hailing this as the bestest study of GMO Evar. Lefty publications that are susceptible to this nonsense like Mother Jones have largely uncritical coverage and repeat the researchers’ bogus talking points. It’s a wonder Mark Bittman, organic food booster and anti-GMO half-wit hasn’t used it for his assertion that the evidence against GMO is “damning”. He substantiates this claim, by the way, by linking an article without a single scientific citation, just links to crankier and crankier websites.

Anti-GMO study is appropriately dismissed as biased, poorly-performed

The anti-GMO study released late last week has raised so many bad science red flags that I’m losing …Read on scienceblogs.​com

GM Corn-Tumor Link Based on Poor Science

Opponents of genetically modified crops have jumped on the results of a new study, which claims to have linked the consumption of GM maize with the development of tumors in rats — despite widespread criticism of the research from independent scientists around the world.

GM Corn-Tumor Link Based on Poor Science

Criticisms trump the results of an alarming new study, which used questionable methods.Read on news.​discovery.​com

From Darwinius to GMOs: Journalists Should Not Let Themselves Be Played

I don’t like starting the weekend in a state of infuriation, but here we are.

On Wednesday, French scientists had a press conference to announce the publication of a study that they claimed showed that genetically modified food causes massive levels of cancer in rats.

The paper appeared in a peer-reviewed journal. That being said, outside experts quickly pointed out how flimsy it was, especially in its experimental design and its statistics. Scicurious has a good roundup of the problems at Discover’s The Crux.

From Darwinius to GMOs: Journalists Should Not Let Themselves Be Played – The Loom

I don’t like starting the weekend in a state of infuriation, but here we are. On Wednesday, French…Read on blogs.​discovermagazine.​com

Study Linking GM Crops and Cancer Questioned

Are the findings reliable?

There is little to suggest they are. Tom Sanders, head of nutritional research at King’s College London, says that the strain of rat the French team used gets breast tumours easily, especially when given unlimited food, or maize contaminated by a common fungus that causes hormone imbalance, or just allowed to age. There were no data on food intake or tests for fungus in the maize, so we don’t know whether this was a factor.

Study linking GM crops and cancer questioned

Rats fed modified maize are more likely to get large breast tumours and die early, says a new…Read on newscientist.​com

Scientists savage study purportedly showing health dangers of Monsanto’s GM corn

Are GM foods harmful or nutritionally less beneficial when compared to conventional or organic foods? Scientists and regulators almost universally say “no.” That’s why a study published this week claiming that GM corn causes cancer in rats is creating such a furor. What’s the story behind the story? Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, reports.

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2012/09/20/scientists-savage-study-purportedly-showing-health-dangers-of-monsantos-genetically-modified-corn/

Does the Seralini Corn Study Fiasco Mark a Turning Point in the Debate Over GM Food?

The study sparked an immediate furor among independent scientists, including those who support the labeling of GM foods but found Seralini’s research sloppy and poorly documented. Scientists have often responded forcefully after the release of poorly constructed studies. What’s unusual this time is that science journalists, who traditionally have given activist scientists and NGOs a free pass when they circulated questionable science about GM crops and food, are up in arms as well.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2012/09/30/does-the-seralini-corn-study-fiasco-mark-a-turning-point-in-the-debate-over-gm-food/

As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On

The headlines on the press releases that started showing up yesterday, here at The Salt certainly got our attention. Just one sample: “BREAKING NEWS: New Study Links Genetically Engineered Food to Tumors.”

The reason for all the excitement was a study published this week in the well-respected journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. The French scientists who conducted the study basically concluded that rats fed a diet of genetically modified corn and small amounts of herbicides got sicker faster than their counterparts eating regular corn and no herbicides.

As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On

Scientists question the methods and results of a new study showing harm to rats fed a diet of GMO…Read on npr.​org

Rats, Tumors and Critical Assessment of Science

My email box exploded with new messages. A flurry of notes contained a link to a new peer-reviewed paper, a work showing that rats fed “GMO” corn developed massive tumors and died early, compared to controls. Immediately I smelled a Seralini paper.

A click on the link did not disappoint– it’s Seralini again. I was electronically whisked to a PDF of the whole text and began to read. Within minutes I was blown away by the lack of rigor, poor experimental design, attention to controls and loose statistics. Most of all, I was blown away by the conclusions drawn by a study with tiny numbers of subjects in a rat line known to grow endochrine tumors.

http://kfolta.blogspot.be/2012/09/rats-tumors-and-critical-assessment-of.html

 

Rational thought for a better world.