GMO foods transfer DNA to humans-another myth

franken-corn-DNAHere we go again. A pseudoscience pushing website (which occasionally tosses in stories about real science) is trumpeting a primary research study (published 6 months ago) that may, or may not, indicate that plant DNA may survive intact in the digestive tract and show up in the bloodstream. You just know what they’re going to say next.

This will now be all about genetically modified foods.

In case you’ve ignored this area of pseudoscience, genetically modified crops are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs); of course, all types of agricultural breeding induces genetic modification, but in general, GMO usually implies actual manipulation of the genes. Based on some of  the worst science available, anti-GMO cultists have condemned GMO foods as being dangerous. Of course, there is actually no science supporting the anti-GMO claim, and the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe to humans, animals and the environment.

A paper published in the online journal, PLoS One, seems to indicate that possible DNA fragments pass from the digestive tract into the blood. The authors, Spisak et al., concluded:

…based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system.

Based on our knowledge of the digestive process, fats, DNA, carbohydrates, and proteins are broken down into their simplest components, and specialized transport systems move these simple components across the barrier between the digestive tract and blood. They have evolved to not transport full size molecules, partially because the blood is incapable of carrying large foreign molecules (and could induce an immune response). Moreover, small constituent molecules, like amino acids instead of the whole protein, or glucose instead of a long-chain carbohydrate, are more easily transported to locations in the body to be then used as fuel or building blocks for new proteins and DNA. We just have not seen a mechanism in the digestive tract that can move large molecules, like gene-length DNA fragments, into the bloodstream.

In fact, the authors admit that the mechanism is unknown, though it’s curious that years of study of the molecular transport of nutrients has never uncovered this until 2013. Based on this limited evidence, here’s what the anti-GMO crowd says about it:

What biotechnology and biotech corporations like Monsanto have done, is they have allowed for the transfer of genes from one to the other without any regard for the biological limitations, or constraints. The problem with this is that it is based on very bad science. The conditions and biological ‘rules’ that apply to vertical gene transfer, at least those that we are aware of, do not necessarily apply to horizontal gene transfer. Biotech science today is based on the assumption that the principles governing the inheritance of genes are the same when we move genes horizontally as they are when they are moved vertically. It just goes to show that GMO’s should be subjected to much more experimentation and rigorous research before we continue to consume them.

Oh no. Franken-foods might cause franken-humans. And because…Monsanto.

But since this is a skeptical website, let’s look at this research and the conclusions of the anti-GMO lunatics more carefully:

  1. This study is a primary publication that has not been confirmed by subsequent research. On the list of scientific evidence, the quality of primary research is good, but not great, and certainly not enough to establish a firm scientific consensus.
  2. The study was published in a moderately low impact factor (3.730) open access, online journal, PLoS One, which has the publication philosophy of “publish first, judge later.” Well, we’re judging now.
  3. The study examine minuscule levels of DNA in blood, nanogram levels. We definitely are able to detect nanogram levels of DNA, but at that low level, substantial risk of contamination is so high, that if one were to see these results, the initial hypothesis would probably be “this blood sample was contaminated,” rather than the infinitely more complex and undiscovered mechanism to move these huge molecules into the blood. Yes, Occam’s Razor does apply, the simplest explanation might be the best.
  4. In fact, RW Lusk of the University of Michigan, spent six months reviewing the data and methods of Spisak et al. and concluded that they must consider contamination as the source of plant DNA, not some mysterious digestive mechanism. Lusk stated that contamination can account for these results, because DNA measurement is so sensitive, that even washed laboratory equipment harbors DNA fragments.
  5. In a review of the papers by Spisak et al. and Lusk, it was concluded that “Poor commentary and cherry-picking data helps no one. Spisak’s study tells us about a significant biological finding that needs to be carefully analysed. The cautionary tale is that one must not extrapolate wildly from good science to create horrific scenarios that are not based on any scientific observations whatsoever.” In other words, even if Spisak’s work is not set aside by potential contamination, it doesn’t say anything about anything dangerous about modified DNA.
  6. But let’s assume that there’s some unknown, mysterious mechanism that allows DNA to be transmitted into the blood (while excluding long chain carbohydrates, whole proteins, and other large molecules). The numbers are so small, just a handful complete genes, that the probability that those DNA molecules will have any effect on the body is near 0.
  7. Genes don’t easily jump from one species to another. If gene transfer were so simple, the medical usefulness of gene therapy would be extremely high, instead of being incredibly difficult. We’re trying to transfer genes to cure diseases, and we’re finding it almost impossible. If consuming a few kernels of corn, introduced some gene into the bloodstream that somehow gets incorporated into the human genome, well that would be a miracle. But reality is, even if the article is accurate, and there’s doubt to that, it has little clinical meaning.
  8. But the most important thing is that if there is some heretofore mysterious mechanism to transfer DNA from the digestive tract to the human genome, it should be noted that nearly everything we consume contains DNA. The probability that any number of DNA fragments from hamburger, salads, cereal, eggs, or the billion other foods will eat getting into the bloodstream is higher, substantially higher, than a modified DNA fragment. But we don’t turn into corn. Or lettuce. Or a cow. Or a chicken. It just doesn’t happen.

I don’t know if the study in PLoS One is going to stand given the high probability of contamination, which has been demonstrated by another researcher. But even if it is confirmed by other research or becomes the initial observation that leads to a new mechanism of transport of nutrients, it provides NO evidence whatsoever that GMO’s suddenly become dangerous because those genes will be incorporated into our human genome. You may as well become worried that we’ll turn into a chicken after eating an egg.

Note: This updated article was originally published on 25 February 2014.

Key citations:

  • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

    Which of course is discussed in THIS article, so you’re not reading anything but the comments. Moreover, that article has been debunked, which kind of kills your argument.

    You cannot go through life finding evidence that supports your beliefs. That’s confirmation bias. You need to weigh the fuckton of evidence that supports the safety of GMO, evidence that thoroughly refutes the plausibility of the dangers of GMOs, against beliefs about GMOs. Real science weighs both the quality and quantity of evidence.

    Based on your cherry-picked badly written and poorly designed junk article vs. my fuckton of quality articles published in real journals, peer-reviewed by real scientists. Well, you just have a belief. You ought to join up with the sasquatch nutjobs.

    • Steve Misosky

      GMO wheat: Medical issues

      Professor Judy Carman, who independently reviewed Heinemann’s research, explained in her professional report that modified RNA from GMO wheat likely survives the digestion process, eventually making its way into the tissues of people who consume it. Not only does the modified RNA cause changes to that individual’s cells, but those changes may become “established,” meaning they can be passed on to future generations.

      The medical issues as a result of gene silencing can be life-threatening. “It results in an enlarged liver, cirrhosis of the liver,
      and failure to thrive,” Carmen wrote of the ramifications of GMO wheat gene silencing. “Children born with the disease usually die at about 5 years of age. In adult polyglucosan body disease, the activity of the branching enzyme is a
      little higher and so symptoms do not appear until later in life.”

      http://voxxi.com/2013/04/25/gmo-wheat-health-liver-death/

      ***
      What You Eat Affects Your Genes: RNA from Rice Can Survive
      Digestion and Alter Gene Expression

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/09/21/what-you-eat-affects-your-genes-rna-from-rice-can-survive-digestion-and-alter-gene-expression/

      ***

      Feed your genes: How our genes respond to the foods we eat
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919073845.htm

      • FrenchKissed

        What GMO wheat would that be, exactly? Unless you mean genetically modified in the truest sense and not bio-engineered, there is none and has never been any on the market in any country.

        • Steve Misosky

          That would be wheat that was thought to be ready for market, and was going through testing for approval.

          The researchers also cautioned consumers against eating the wheat if it is approved prematurely. “I would advise citizens to request that these tests be done and the evidence meet with their standards of scientific rigour if in the end it is approved for use,” said Heinemann.

          “What we found is that the molecules created in this wheat, intended to silence wheat genes, can match human genes, and through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes,” Heinemann stated. “The findings are absolutely assured. There is no doubt that these matches exist.”

          Flinders University Professor Judy Carman and Safe Food Foundation Director Scott Kinnear concurred with Heinemann’s analysis.

          “If this silences the same gene in us that it silences in the wheat — well, children who are born with this enzyme not working tend to die by the age of about five,” Carman said.

          However, there is GMO wheat on the loose, and people may have eaten it. That wouldn’t be very good if people were eating experimental GMOs.

          (Reuters) – U.S. officials raced to quell global alarm on Thursday over the first-ever discovery of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat, working to figure out how the rogue grain escaped from a field trial a decade ago.

          In the wake of news that a strain developed by biotech giant Monsanto Co (MON.N) had been found in an Oregon field late last month, major buyer Japan canceled plans to buy U.S. wheat while the Europe Union said it would step up testing.
          Worried U.S. farmers wondered if their own fields had been contaminated.

          • FrenchKissed

            Judy Carman tested GM soy on pigs, not wheat.

            And who cares, anyway? Foreign DNA found in our blood stream isn’t the same thing as having our genetic code overwritten. I eat plenty of DNA, sometimes from one species at a time, but usually I prefer to mix it up. I love spinach salad with pears, pecans, gorgonzola, olive oil and champagne vinegar. That’s got plant DNA, animal DNA and even bacterial DNA in it.

            If you don’t want to consume DNA, you’ll be limited to purified water and sterilized
            rocks/minerals.

          • hyperzombie

            And there is no GMO wheat available. If DNA that you eat could mess with your own DNA, I would be 99% pizza and beer by now.

          • Steve Misosky

            Oh, what silly comments. Yes, Judy Carman did her own studies, therefore she’s qualified, and her comments on Heinemann’s work is relevant. That’s a reason to care.

            I, too, like to eat a variety of DNA. What the study was referring to is how DNA operates within us. Sometimes DNA gets fragmented. Then, repair work is done. If a fragmented section of foreign DNA that has compatible ends is available, it may find itself inserted into our own DNA. I’m currently looking into this possibility in regards to PDK1. Medical research has determined that inhibiting this protein is a way to cure cancer. At the same time, GMO plant research is working to promote this protein because it enhances photosynthesis. Originally the similarity to the human and plant version was only 40%. However, they have modified the plant version and it is now 45% similar. Who knows what mutations they will come up with next, or what mutations might occur naturally, or under some extreme condition in the environment. And, as far as I can tell, the debate is still open as to how much fragmented DNA that we consume finds its way into our bodies. Currently, the differences between our DNA and that which we eat poses no problem. What does the future hold?

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            Honestly though, let’s just get more testing on both sides. All this arguing doesn’t matter until there is more testing….of course, most of the companies out there won’t test GMO’s since it is counterproductive to their business model. Until that happens, we’ll just keep arguing ina circle.

          • Chris Preston

            Except Heinemann did no such thing, because he didn’t understand what he was doing. When it was pointed out to him that he was using the wrong sequence to search with, there was an embarrassing backdown.

            The only matches that Heinemann found in the end were to non-coding sections of DNA.

            It would be a bit of a surprise if Carman and Kinnear didn’t concur with Heinemann’s analysis. They were co-authors of the report on it.

          • Steve Misosky

            Actually, you’re repeating a rumor. That story was trying to say he used a different plant, but he didn’t. Here’s the response in his own words:

            “I’m pleased to see this attempt by the New Zealand science community to consider the issues we raised in our risk assessment of GM wheat. However, before too many fun rumours get the credibility of some kind of truth, I thought I’d briefly respond.”

            “Nice to see a controversy caused by a single blast search with the wrong sequence!”

            Genetics Otago might want to get his facts straight. From the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s document: “The SEI and SEII genes were isolated from the wheat Aegilops tauschii (donor of the D genome in wheat) and Triticum aestivum, respectively.” For the risk assessment we did, we took the SEI sequence from CSIRO’s posting.

            And we did two blast searches thank you. 😉 (smile)

          • Chris Preston

            Obviously, you failed to read the updated report from Heinemann . In the first search Heinemann used a pice of DNA 25,187 base pairs long to look for matches. This is clearly nonsense. No one would put a piece of DNA that long into a GM crop. After this was pointed out, he re-did the analysis with a 540 base pair piece of DNA. Even that would be too long.

            When Heinemann did the reanalysis with the 540 bp piece of DNA, the match with the gene that Carman made all the claims for was conspicuous by its absence.

          • Steve Misosky

            Thanks for the link. I will look into this and see if I need to reassess this assessment. I do know that they estimate that it takes about about 1000 siRNAs for silencing, and each of those are 20 to 24 bp. So in that aspect it does make a difference because I think that’s what all of the drama was about, the possibility of silencing certain genes in humans. But, if he says that a strand 25,187 bp matched a strand in human DNA, then that is a potential problem because they’ve found strands longer than that relocating. Anyway, I’ll find time to follow the link. I like to know these things.

          • Steve Misosky

            I looked at the new report. The new report shows matching sequences, and Heinemann reconfirmed his original argument.

            Update on “Evaluation of risks from creation of novel RNA molecules in genetically engineered wheat plants and recommendations for risk assessment”

            An expert opinion of Professor Jack A. Heinemann, PhD first
            issued 28 August 2012
            Update 21 March 2013

            On 28 August 2012 I issued an opinion.

            I concluded that it was likely that the intended dsRNA molecule and unique 2° dsRNA molecules were present in the GM wheat; it was plausible that they would transfer to exposed organisms including people (Jiang et al., 2012); and it was possible that exposure could result in changes in exposed organisms. As a result, and because these conclusions were possible to reach well before the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator approved the release of the GM wheat into a field trial and for feeding to human volunteers, I suggested that these exposure pathways and potential for adverse effects
            should have been formally considered in the risk assessment (DIR093).

            New information

            Madeleine Love of Australia contacted me subsequent to the issuing of my opinion with information she had obtained from CSIRO. According to emails released to me by her, all or some of the ‘SE’ sequences described in DIR093 as “confidential” relate to those disclosed in a publication (supplementary information published under Regina et al., 2006) that appeared
            some 5 years before CSIRO removed its claim of confidentiality, and 3 years before it submitted that information as confidential to OGTR.

            Using Regina et al. (2006) as a guide, I reconstructed at least some of the intended novel DNA sequences used to create the GM wheat described in DIR093 (Figure U1). I interrogated both the human genome and selected parts of the human genome using this sequence. The methods used were similar to those reported in my original report of 28 August 2012. The sequence in Figure U1 was compared using blastn (default settings). As I found previously, there are matches to the human genome that are in the size range which may affect gene regulation (Table U1). Therefore again this update
            reinforces my previous argument that the risk assessment conducted on the GM wheat should be informed by both bioinformatic and experimental evidence that off-target effects do not arise or if they do, they will not cause adverse
            effects on animals or humans, or any adverse effects can be mitigated.

  • Steve Misosky

    You guys and your psuedoscience claims are a riot.

    Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood

    Published: July 30, 2013
    @ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069805

    Abstract

    Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample
    was found to be free of plant DNA.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Obviously, you were too ignorant to read this article. You cherry pick ONE article to confirm your bias, which is truly pseudoscience. A real scientist weighs all the evidence, determines the quality and quantity of said evidence, and then develops a conclusion. This study was flawed, and has been ridiculed by real science. It is simply contamination. Oh well.

      Your pseudoscientific beliefs are seriously a riot if it weren’t so ignorant and harmful to humans.

  • Trojan Horace

    What more urgently needs further peer reviewed double-blind research, is whether GM foods negatively impact on gut bacteria. This would more helpfully explain the statistical large increase in reported auto-immuine diseases and IBD, IBS, Chrones etc.

  • Lynda Jones

    EFSA guidelines on long-term GMO experiments

  • Lynda Jones

    So, Monsanto et al still deny the documented evidence that Bt in plants is mutagenic, and that transgenic cells in GM plants are mutagenic. Smoke and mirrors, bribery, corruption and intimidation is all they do. Wise up, humans are not as gullible as you think.

  • http://linux-blog.org devnet

    I’m on the fence with this debate…but, if there is a possibility that GMO’s do harm at all…then that’s all I need to abstain from them.

    Here’s the deal: There are no long term studies on the effect GMO’s have on humans. Until there is a peer reviewed major study not sponsored by Monsanto or other GMO companies, then no one will stop rallying against GMO’s. You want them to shut up? That needs to happen in order for it to happen.

    The question is…will those large GMO companies ALLOW a peer reviewed long term study to exist or occur?

    • FrenchKissed

      Of course they would. How could they not? There is nothing to prevent researchers from testing GM foods, but if a study misrepresents the data or is deliberately misleading (as was the case with the Seralini et al 2012 study) they would probably, rightfully, protest its publication.

      Here are a few reasons why you won’t see long term GMO feeding studies done on humans:

      ·Toxicology studies typically require test subjects to be sacrificed at the end so their organs can be harvested, analysed and weighed

      ·All test subjects would be required to live on site to ensure they ate all of what they were supposed to eat and only what they were supposed to eat

      ·Humans live a long time. A 90 day feeding study using rats is equivalent to at least 5 years for humans (I originally calculated 10 years, but some have argued that the typical rat’s lifespan is much longer than 2 years)

      ·Humans are genetically diverse, which means a much larger group of test subjects would be needed to eliminate the risk of random outcomes due to factors other than diet tainting the results.

      If you can make such a study happen, following OECD guidelines, with well documented results, I’m sure you’d have no problem getting it published (though I’m not a scientist, FWIW).

      • http://linux-blog.org devnet

        It seems that no one is truly interested in long term impacts (if there are any) of GMO foods in humans.

        – So, numerous studies out there showing the toxicity levels in humans that have been completed without sacrificing humans for their organs must be scientifically inaccurate?

        – Subjects wouldn’t have to live on premises because numerous other studies on diet have occurred in various facets of the medical study field and subjects weren’t required to live in isolation.

        – Rat studies are great…except that there is no long term study with them. 90 days may be 7 years in a rat but its not long enough to satisfy most people…so why is there no longer term study?

        – diversity in humans has not stopped countless other studies on diet, drug interaction, toxicity levels, etc. from occurring.

        So, what’s really stopping a long term study from happening? I’ll tell you this: The reason researches choose rats is a double edged sword. They DO have that fast maturation and a quick lifecycle..this allows researchers to push through results more quickly to satisfy safety requirements. So, it’s nice that they use rats, but it’s also because no one has patience or wants to put money into a long term study.

        I can’t make a study happen…I’m a computer scientist so it’s not in my field of expertise. If they need a system to store their results in, they can give me a holler. I feel that a longer term study is needed to do two things:

        1. Reassure those who choose to consume GMO’s that their choice is the right one.
        2. Silence those who think GMO’s are the devil

        I really hope one occurs but I don’t think it will happen. It hasn’t happened since 1994 when GMO’s were approved for sale in the United States. The dumb part about this is that these companies that champion GMO’s should be really happy about and welcome a longer term study in humans so that they can have the ban imposed on them by 150 countries worldwide lifted so that they’ll have even more profit. You’d think they’d sponsor a longer term study but they don’t. Maybe someday I guess. Until then, we’re the ones at a loss due to having less data than we need to make an informed decision.

        • hyperzombie

          Well you can jump off the fence and support GMOs now.

          http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/early/2014/08/27/jas.2014-8124

          Geneticists with the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis, reviewed 19 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of GE animal feed. The field data represented more than 100 billion animals.

          There were no indications of any unusual trends in the health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested. Considering the size of the dataset, it can reasonably be said that the debate over the impact of GE feed on animal health is closed: there is zero extraordinary impact.

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            As soon as there is an independent, long term study of GMO’s impact on humans and the variety of GMO foodstuffs we eat, I’ll climb down off that fence. I don’t eat GMO feed.

          • hyperzombie

            Where are the long term independent studies of the food that you eat now? Are there any long term studies comparing Organic to conventional, maybe you are paying extra for less healthy foods?

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            So many independent long term studies out there for organic food and non GMO food…pretty much every study for long term diets before 1994 was non-GMO so take your pick. Too many to list and it would take someone weeks to sift through all of the studies.

          • Warren Lauzon

            I have never seen a long term study on organic vs conventional – in fact I have never even seen one mentioned anywhere – perhaps because there are none? Or perhaps you could cite just ONE?

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            I didn’t say ONLY organics…I said studies with non-GMO foods (every single food before 1994 when they were approved in the US).

            Take your pick of the thousands of long term diet studies published before 1994.

            I’d like a long term study on organics too but no one will pay for those studies of course.

          • FrenchKissed

            Most foods were not approved, and of those that were (mainly additives, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives) had industry sponsored, 90 day rodent feeding studies.

            What it all comes down to is that bioengineered foods are almost identical to the conventional varieties they were made from. There are no novel proteins, allergens or toxicants. If inserting the tiny fragment DNA into a host organism resulted in a dangerous mutation, it would be detected and tossed out before being reproduced.

          • Warren Lauzon

            Organics have been around since at least the 50’s, they just were not “official” until 94. “..For over 70 years, Rodale’s Organic Gardening has been the leading magazine resource for discovering a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle..”

          • hyperzombie

            variety of GMO foodstuffs we eat,

            they are the same varieties.

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            We have 10,000 years of genetic manipulation of crops, and human beings now live longer, mainly because of vaccines, better transportation to get food to the market, better water, and better medical care. There is 0 evidence over the past 10,000 years of any deleterious harm to human beings.

            Now get down off the fence and man up about science.

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            I’ve already addressed this 10,000 years nonsense in a previous comment. I’ll summarize for you here: Humans manipulated crops prior to 1960 via cross breed hybridization (remember Mendel’s Pea Plants in school?)

            In the 1960’s, transfection became the vehicle for hybridization and genetic modification.

            So, 10 thousand years…nope. But please do keep commenting on how I need to go back to school and how dumb I am. It helps to commit that logical fallacy to support your stance…especially in comments of your own blog.

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            Just by an ignorant little fool saying “it’s nonsense” does not make it so. It just makes you sound like an ignorant fool.

            I know you never took evolution, which I obviously did over several years of college and grad school, but I’m well aware of Mendel, but it is completely irrelevant here.

            How do you think that mutations occur in genes so that we can selectively breed for them? Magic? The beautiful Mother Nature waving her wand? NO.

            Mutations and gene change are random, completely random, with no forethought, no advantage, no anything, until we select for those mutated traits (or, in real natural selection, environmental pressures do so). Adding genes is NOTHING more than moving the timeline of genetic mutation ahead.

            I know you like being ignorant, as most anti-science people are, but how does it feel to be just as foolish and idiotic as climate change deniers? Or evolution deniers?

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            1960 to current is a little less than 10,000 years. I figured you’d understand that. Guess not.

            I’ve assumed nothing about your education level so I’ll thank you to assume nothing of mine.

            I’m not being ignorant btw, I’m being practical and logical…which is EXACTLY what science demands people to be.

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            You failed to comprehend that I stated there is NO difference between natural selection and human involved artificial selection. You failed to understand that gene mutations are irrelevant as to their cause or source. You failed to understand that you are an ignorant fool. Oh wait, you’re too uneducated to understand that commentary about your commentary. Oh well. Only so much I can do with evolution deniers.

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            No man, the science is completely different. You’re going from cross breeding hybridization for dominant traits to forced genetic transfection.

            Transfection of DNA and RNA has only existed in science since around 1960. Cross breed hybridizations started with the father of Genetics, Gregor Mendel in the 1860’s. They’re definitely not 10,000 years old either.

            They are not the same. I’m sorry, it is illogical to claim that hybridization is transfection or vice versa.

            Once again, thanks for all the personal attacks…that’s what people do when they can’t prove their point logically.

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            This is why I have no patience with people like you. You invent science to further your beliefs. AND you are so close-minded that it’s impossible to have a sane conversation. I have a policy of one civil reply. You’ve exceeded that, mainly because you will NEVER be an openminded individual who values the quality of evidence and the plausibility of a belief.

            You intentionally ignore the core point. You bring up Mendel to make it appear that you have scientific knowledge, when it’s clear you don’t. And you get all whiny about personal attacks because, well, you’re a close-minded ignorant dumbass.

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            Got it..

            – You’re saying 50 years is equal to 10,000

            – You’re also saying cross breed hybridization is the same as genetic transfection

            – I bring up mendel because it is THE EXACT EXAMPLE OF CROSS BREED HYBRIDIZATION.

            – You’re alluding that evolution somehow is in there and that since I’m saying that hybridization and transfection are not the same…that I’m somehow denying evolution.

            You really need to work on reading comprehension…I suppose it is hard for some individuals. How does that make me close minded when I don’t agree with your lack of logic?

            The only ignorance here is how you treat those who comment on your little blog here…no respect, tons of insults, ad hominem attacks and building up straw men then claiming others are the ones building them. You’re really low class…ignorance is bliss I suppose. Keep up the shitty work!

          • Lynda Jones

            There is no comparison between the evolutionary process of cross-pollination and the process of adding bacillus thirungesis gene to a plant. There is no possibility of that happining in the natural world. There is no comparison to be made!

          • Warren Lauzon

            Yet despite the fact that those critters have obviously had offspring over that 20 year period, some are still claiming that GMO makes them sterile :P.

          • hyperzombie

            But But But,,,,Natural News said that they were EVIL.

          • Warren Lauzon

            They ARE evil – the are the offspring of satanic cows.

        • FrenchKissed

          Other studies on human diet have been limited to supplementation. We can give a group of people a vitamin pill to take and a control group a sugar pill, but you can’t ensure that group A had a certain percentage of a particular GMO food in their diet and group B had no GMOs present in their diet.

          Sure, there have been plenty of meaningless survey style studies that you read about all the time. You know the type “researchers have found that people who drink a glass of red wine with dinner are less likely to suffer from depression,” for example.

          There are many anti-GMO groups out there conducting research. If a long-term human study is feasible, they’re welcome to do it. So far they haven’t even been able to show harm to rats, but they’re welcome to try.

          GMOs have not been banned in 150 countries, and they haven’t been banned in a single country due to scientific evidence.

          • Warren Lauzon

            I think that is the key point that nearly all anti-GMO people have – that despite looking for years for some evidence of any harmful effects, they have found zero. They also totally ignore the fact that GMO’s have been in the food supply for 20 years, yet not one single scientific study has found any harmful effects. (and it seems like the number of countries that have supposedly banned GMO’s goes up every weekly round of posts).

          • Lynda Jones

            Compositional
            differences in soybeans on the market: glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready
            GM soybeans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24491722

          • Lynda Jones

            Prove that!

      • Lynda Jones

        Seralini’s study was validated by the 2013EFSA guidelines on long-term GMO experiments

        • FrenchKissed

          No, it wasn’t. This is what the EFSA had to say about Seralini et al 2012:

          The study as reported by Séralini et al. was found to be inadequately designed, analysed and reported. The authors of Séralini et al. provided a limited amount of relevant additional information in their answer to critics published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Taking into consideration Member States’ assessments and the authors’ answer to critics, EFSA reaches similar conclusions as in its first Statement (EFSA 2012). The study as described by Séralini et al. does not allow giving weight to their results and conclusions as published. Conclusions cannot be drawn on the difference in tumour incidence between treatment groups on the basis of the design, the analysis and the results as reported. Taking into consideration Member States’ assessments and the authors’ answer to critics, EFSA finds that the study as reported by Séraliniet al. is of insufficient scientific quality for safety assessments.

        • FrenchKissed

          Sorry, I guess I answered this already. It’s just so blatantly false I felt compelled to answer it again. Sorry for the repeat.

      • Steve Misosky

        150 Global Scientists Condemn Retraction of Seralini GMO Study

        The number of scientists and experts condemning a journal editor’s retraction of a study that found serious health effects in rats that
        ate a Monsanto genetically modified (GM) maize and Roundup herbicide has climbed to 150.

        The editor of the Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology(FCT), Dr A. Wallace Hayes, claimed he retracted the study by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini’s team because some of its findings are “inconclusive”.[1,2] This rationale was widely derided by scientists, who pointed out that many studies contain inconclusive findings.[4]

        The retraction came just months after the arrival of a former Monsanto scientist on the editorial board of FCT.

        “The retraction is a shameful violation of scientific and publishing integrity by economic and political interests.” Donald R. Davis, PhD, nutritional biochemist at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University; retired from Biochemical Institute, University of Texas at Austin, USA

        “The excellent work of Professor Séralini and his colleagues should be published in all the independent scientific journals of the world, as a form of protest and resistance against pressure of transnational corporations.” Tomás Enrique León Sicard, PhD, Professor of Agrology, Institute of Environmental Studies, National University of Colombia

        “Séralini’s study underpins the urgent need of carcinogenic risk assessment of GMO crops, and should never have been retracted from FCT.” Henk A.Tennekes, PhD, consultant toxicologist, member of EUROTOX; Dutch, Swiss and British Societies
        of Toxicology; Society of Toxicologic Pathology; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), Netherlands

        “The retraction was clearly based on political and economical interests and pressure, as it does not have a scientifically sound justification. Science is not built upon ‘definitive’ studies. In fact, within a scientific framework, a hypothesis is never definitive; it can always be re-tested and generate new, more robust knowledge. This is what should be done in this case. The article should be
        reinstated, and its findings can be confirmed or contested by replication and new studies. It is shameful that, in this day and age, commercial interests still have so much influence in scientific publishing.” Daniel Ferreira Holderbaum, MSc, PhD student in Plant Genetic Resources, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

        “What has been done regarding retraction of Seralini’s peer-reviewed publication and defamation is outrageous. It is without precedent, and is completely unacceptable.” Richard Doherty, MD, retired Faculty Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Genetics, Radiation Biology & Biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, USA

        “This study should be reinstated or studies supporting the safety of NK603 should retracted as well: they are no more conclusive.” Vincent Detours, PhD, IRIBHM (a research institute of the Faculty of Medicine), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

        “Withdrawal and censorship of the Séralini report is an act of complicity to conceal the flaws of a lethal technology. This is criminal behaviour.” Miguel Lovera, PhD, Universidad Católica de Asunción – CEIDRA (Studies and Research Center for
        Agricultural Law and Agrarian Reform), Paraguay

        “What happened to the Séralini study is not science, it is censorship. Scientific data should not be suppressed merely because it does not conform to pre-determined beliefs or conflicting interests. The Séralini study should be reinstated and if necessary, repeated.” Catherine Greenall, MPhil, MRSC, CChem, C.Sci, MCIWEM, CWEM

        “This retraction is politically motivated and ignoring science that is now consolidated in many studies showing that glyphosate is a damaging substance both for human health and the environment generally.” Malcolm Hooper, Professor Emeritus, PhD, BPharm, MRIC, CChem Royal Society of Chemistry, Society for Medicines Research, British Pharmacological Society, UK

        “This is reminiscent of trials of Galileo at the hands of the Vatican. These tactics bring shame onto the scientific fraternity and erode the confidence of the public in the scientific process.” Shideh Pouria, PhD, MBBS, BSc, MRCP (UK); Vice President, British Society for Ecological Medicine; Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London, UK

        “Science must remain independent if it is to be relevant and must be evidence-based not results-driven. Elsevier are shooting themselves in the foot as they have lost all credibility as a science publisher and made a mockery of the peer review system.”
        Vivienne Laval, PhD, molecular genetics, UK

        http://www.endsciencecensorship.org/en/page/press-release#.VOtxvC5cATu

        Misleading Media Reporting.
        A key pattern with risk-finding studies is that the criticisms voiced in the media are often red herrings, misleading, or untruthful. Thus, the use of common methodologies was portrayed as indicative of shoddy science when used by Seralini et al. (2012) but not when used by industry (see refs above and Science Media Centre, 2012). The use of red herring arguments appears intended to sow doubt and confusion among non-experts. For example, Tom Sanders of Kings College, London was quoted as saying: “This strain of rat is very prone to mammary tumors particularly when food intake is not restricted” (Hirschler and Kelland, 2012 ). He failed to point out, or was unaware, that most industry feeding studies have used Sprague-Dawley rats (e.g. Hammond et al., 1996, 2004, 2006; MacKenzie et al.,2007).

        I can provide more if you still don’t understand the corruption in science.

  • Warren Lauzon

    What I don’t understand is why the anti-GMO crowd is touting this. If it were true, then everything that any animal has eaten in the past billion years or so would have had the SAME issue with non-GMO food sources. I see no possible reason why only GE foods would have the ability to “insert DNA” into our cells (as one site claimed).

    • That Food Man

      I think the idea is based on unstable DNA that’s been inserted to the gmo, there’s been a lot of concern and a little research on this already about GM’s genome being unstable and having random gene insertions and also with additional unwanted DNA fragments being inserted too etc etc…

      The DNA from normal food we consume isn’t an issue as its stable and has occurred in its stable form in our diets for years and years so why would there be any problems its DNA doesn’t contain foreign genes, unlike say bt corn that has foreign genes inserted in it, and food that contains foreign genes, genetically is obviously different. Its the donors gene that is the concern of many professionals in this field I believe…

      • Warren Lauzon

        “Natural” food is not all that stable either over the long term. Plants need sunlight, sunlight has tons (or kilograms) of ultraviolet and other radiation. There is also some natural background radiation. All of those and many other factors, such as virus, can cause random mutations.

        A couple of years ago some guy ran some DNA tests on common weeds from widely separated regions and found that some changes had crept in, though not to the point where they could not fertilize each other.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Dude!!! Are you expecting logic from these people? They think that genes inserted by human beings are completely different than say genes “naturally” by viruses, random mutations, bacteria, cross breeding, and whatever else nature throws our way.

      You see, these anti-GMO types flunked evolution, genetics, cell biology, physiology and probably any other biology out there. That way they don’t have to be encumbered by basic biological science, and can spout whatever they want.

      • Warren Lauzon

        I have noticed that a lot of the anti-GMO people are also anti-vaccine and anti-evolution. Some accept climate change, if it suits their agenda, but most are basically just anti-science and don’t want to know about it.

  • Notso F. Stupid

    Check Skep’s bio. He worked for the medical industry. He is conservative. He has an agenda. He calls people nasty condescending names in the comments section. Now check the PLOS site.

    http://www.plos.org/?s=gmo&submit=Go#page-1

    They have 10 pages or more of research on different GMO related stuff. A no brainer on who you are going to listen to…. and it’s not the conservative windbag.

    But, first hand, I lived on Kauai, one of the most beautiful and sacred places on earth. Since sugar left the island, much of the land that is privately owned or owned by the state, is being used to test GMO crops. All the common sense concern about stacking pesticides, cancer in nearby schools, etc., is being fought off by these big companies. As usual. It’s redundant, money wins over common sense every time. People of the island just wanted them to disclose what pesticides they were using…but noooooo, that’s trade secret, blah blah. It’s frigging insane.

    You don’t even have to be a genius, or even if you flunked science as Skep assumes, we still much smarter than ol’ Skep. We know that screwing with mother nature for profit is bull. We don’t need or want no stinking GMO, got it? Monsanto is nothing but a bunch of thugs, same as the fracking industry.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Conservative? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      You ought to check out my article on cherry picking. Pure synthetic cherry picking. LMFAO.

    • Warren Lauzon

      “..We know that screwing with mother nature for profit is bull..”. I hate to burst your bubble, but people have been doing that for at least 10,000 years.

      • http://linux-blog.org devnet

        No they haven’t. The way that GMO’s are created are by injecting bacteria loaded with DNA that scientists want to take root in-vitro on a crop. Farmers have not been using test tubes OR bacteria to genetically modify crops…they’ve been using Gregor Mendel’s method (remember his pea plant experiment in school?) for thousands of years.

        So, please do not spread misinformation here.

        • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

          Bacteria are extremely poor vector for transferring genes. Just goes to show how ignorant people like you are. Get an education before posting here.

          • http://linux-blog.org devnet

            It’s one of the methods used…it may be one you consider poor, but it is a method of transfection (Protoplast fusion) via bacteria. Sorry you feel that somehow this means I’m not educated.

            Also, this process of transfection has not been around for 10 thousand years so my original post stands as a correction of the post I replied to.

  • Henry

    This bit at the outset is PURE BUNK: “… of course, all types of agricultural breeding induces genetic modification, but in general, GMO usually implies actual manipulation of the genes. Based on some of the worst science available, anti-GMO cultists have condemned GMO foods as being dangerous. Of course, there is actually no science supporting the anti-GMO claim, and the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe to humans, animals and the environment.”

    “all breeding induces genetic modification?” Not like THIS breeding, buddy!

    “cultists?” Ooooh, hurt me with your words!!!!

    and finally. “the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe?”
    __________

    Common sense + a bit of reading + observation will tell you that Genetic Engineering is one of the stupidest, most fraudulent, and most dangerous things we’ve ever done. Open your mind. LOOK. THINK.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Bring science. Ad hominems only prove that you’re an ignorant, uneducated fool. But If you’ve got real science cult member, I await it. :)

    • Warren Lauzon

      “Common sense” almost never is. What common sense really means is that “I have no facts so I will base my opinion on bad information and not bother to upgrade that information later”.

  • Kristin Lund

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/gmo-safety-zmgz13amzsto.aspx#axzz345yl08uQ
    I know this study was retracted (by science publications not the scientists or the authors). The retraction was picked up by more publications than the original study, yet no one gave a good reason for the retraction. The study was too small is the only one. Has anyone of those ppl advocating a retraction ever looked at the studies by Monsanto to prove gmo’s are safe? 90 days is hardly enough time to determine anything, yet Monsanto’s studies are sound? I don’t see real objective Ness on your site. Maybe you should actually look at the other side of the argument instead of ranting and raving about bad science. It makes you sound like less than a scientist, than someone paid by Monsanto to beat the drums for their lies. Study the history of the pesticide industry. We are spraying glyphosate all over gmo crops because supposedly these crops don’t take up the poison. Meanwhile, glyphosphate is in our rivers streams and drinking water. It is found in toxic levels in the umbillical cords of babies and in men’s urine. Glyphosate, by the way is a cousin of DDT, you know the chemical that was banned because of the damage it causes. We don’t know what will happen with Monsanto’s wonton experiment with our environment and our health, just from the 100 of thousands of pounds of this toxin sprayed in our environment annually. You want to claim that’s safe too? You don’t sound like a skeptic to me. In either case, if it’s so great, and you really believe it’s so great, then why don’t you replicate the rat study with your body and tell us all what happens, if you live to tell about it.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      DDT saved more lives in the world than just about anything I know, except for vaccines. I’m glad we don’t have have malaria in the USA and Europe.

      But whatever. The study was retracted for:

      1. Poor study design
      2. Low number of experimental animals
      3. Bad statistics. In fact, I know 4th grade science fair projects with better stats.
      4. Because it did not show correlation, causation or plausibility.
      5. Because one of the co-authors is a homeopath. A fucking homeopath. Someone who thinks water has a memory and can cure disease wrote a “science” article? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      We’re done here. But thanks for playing.

    • FrenchKissed

      How is glyphosate the cousin of DDT? One is an herbicide that offers no residual protection due to its rapid breakdown in the environment; the other an insecticide that persists for many years (which is why it worked so effectively at eradicating malaria carrying mosquitoes). Glyphosate works by suppressing the EPSPS enzyme in plants, preventing the bio-synthesis of aromatic amino acids and thereby causing the plant to wither and die. The mechanism by which glyphosate works isn’t present in members of the animal kingdom. DDT was banned because Rachael Carson hypothesized that the consumption of poisoned insects was causing the demise of certain birds. There was never evidence that it was harming human health, except in cases where application was done without proper PPE gear.

  • James T.

    Skeptical Raptor, it looks to me like you left your skepticism and critical thinking at the door, while picking up a nice side of bias. Personally, I’m all for genetic engineering, in controlled laboratory conditions, with strict controls to prevent release into the environment, and long term, multiple-generation testing. Without those safeguards, we’re making many gambles that are certain to lose. You work in the medical field? Let’s see where your experience and education has put your mind…

    Vertical gene transfer… what mechanisms do you think they use to generate recombinant DNA? One way or another, all gene transfer vectors are designed for one purpose – to get foreign DNA into a target organism. Considering this is done purposefully, what the hell do you think is going to happen when you toss the dice a quadrillion quintillion times? Contamination will occur. Mutation will occur. Results you couldn’t possibly predict will occur.

    Plasmid vectors appear to be mostly useful in getting bacteria to manufacture a specific substance… so guess what vector is probably used for more complex organisms? You guessed it… viral insertion! And wait, since the viral insertion vector is “non infectious” we’ll also be needing a “helper virus” with better capabilities… viral DNA is still present in the modified product, and in fact can be depended on as a marker of a successful insertion. So, what do you think happens when real life kicks in for the organism, stresses occur, genetic damage and mutation happen as per the status quo of life… how many times do we roll the dice before something unexpected happens? How do you think the immune system reacts to this surprise viral DNA in the system? Maybe a little chronic inflammation? Maybe a little immune system stress? Maybe a long term inflammation of the bowel, leading the chronic immune system fatigue and body-wide inflammation? That’s not even starting on the glyphosate or 2-4D…

    Also, perhaps you may want to direct some of your “skepticism” toward the industry that tells you that people can’t survive without this “low-cost” food… you know that modern industrial farming is far less efficient and far more expensive than good practices in organic and natural farming methods? Russia produces a large portion of their produce in back yards. With less than half my yard converted, I produce enough food for many. A friend of mine nearby does small plot intensive farming in people’s back yards he rents and makes incredible yields, using only bicycle power. The only reason Mrs. Mom of 4 on food stamps is unable to obtain quality food is because the entire western agricultural paradigm is fundamentally flawed and will never produce affordable, quality food – it’s not designed to. It’s a simple supply/demand profit machine, not considerate of the qualities of its inputs or outputs, only quantities.

    /ramble

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Looks like you flunked science. So, you’re going to convince me that some unknown virus, randomly picks up one gene out of 100’s of thousands in the plant, but the inserted gene, infects a human, extremely rare, and then causes problems.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      If gene transfer were so easy, why is it that gene transfer research is so hard? Because you are simply an uneducated person.

      Oh and Russia? It’s because it’s a poor, sad country where all of the money is concentrated in few, and Putin has to commit to a policy of irredentism to take the minds of his poor, xenophobic populace off of how lousy his country is. They have to grow foods because they’d starve.

      Then again, you have NO peer reviewed research to support your close-minded ignorant views.

      • James T.

        Haven’t flunked a thing I’ve tried at, science included. I use science as a tool to assist common sense and intuition, to inspire and to problem solve. It’s not a way of thinking though. Science is just trying to define what is. What is, just is, with or without definition, and regardless of how you define it. All of our best attempts to define are still humbled in the face of the reality of our universe. If you lose that humble perspective, science becomes very arrogant and often stupid, a barrier to actual understanding. As it seems to be with you.

        A biological structure evolved for vertical gene transfer, being manufactured along with a gene for production of a poison, being produced by the food supply. I can see the cheesy comic strip with the caption “what could go wrong?”

        Russia is a poor, sad country? Irredentism? Browse something other than Fox news or whatever garbage you’re reading and take a look around. Russia has been barely lifting a finger while the US sets up bases all along their borders, staying pretty laid back considering the economic assault that’s been initiated against them. Russia’s state of affairs makes perfect sense if you look at the political backdrop. Regardless, you make my point for me – it’s cheaper and more efficient to produce food naturally, locally. Why use industrial farming methods then? It’s a profit and control scheme, which patent seeds and bio-terminator genes play a part in. One day the US will have a decent logistical disruption and people will realize how vulnerable that infrastructure is… until then, remember the fun things… “food security = national security” … “if you bought it, a truck brought it.”

        Where are the long term tests? Where, oh where, are the long term, multi-generation studies? If everyone was so confident, where are the studies to back that confidence? I suppose you don’t like the Seralini et al study? There was quite a firestorm over that, and there was an fantastic response to criticism from the authors of the study where they very effectively defended and supported their results. Too bad the journal got leaned on.

        Oh well, good think we have keeners like you to be the long term test subjects.

        • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

          You have flunked science, which uses a rational and logical method so that you don’t have to rely upon guesswork, “intuition”, and common sense. It relies upon evidence, something you can’t even spell you’re so uneducated.

          Let’s move on. Your knowledge of genes is simply idiotic. Next.

          Your strawman argument about my political leanings is ridiculous. Russia is an oligarchy barely different that the fascist Czars, Lenin and Stalin. It is irredentist, it’s actions against neighboring countries support that. But you can go on believing in your worthless intuition and screwed up common sense.

          Your Argument from Ignorance is laughable. You believe if that I haven’t “proved” that GMO’s are safe forever and in every delusional situation, then it must be bad. Yup, you flunked science. I hate arguing with uneducated fascists who use the same idiotic and illogical arguments as your climate change denier cousins. You all must get together and hug it out.

          • James T.

            Oh, wow, how intimidating, you’re calling me names! You must be a really great, well-educated person with a good head on your shoulders. A much better person, clearly. Do you have a white picket fence and 1 1/2 kids? You’re completely uneducated about the reality of life, if your attitude is any indicator. I hope I am never called educated by blind drones like you, because that would mean I’d fallen into the trap as well.

            Science, as pointed out, is a tool. Be science, think science, and you’re a tool too. A means to an end. It’s not the be-all end-all of human thinking, and many great scientists and thinkers still made their greatest achievements by leaps of intuition. Go tell Einstein about how intuition is so useless compared to science. Science is something I can pick it up and put it down, as I need to, and in order to use it well it must be understood for what it is – heavily influenced by the opinions of the researchers and very human interpretations of the situation. Science is calcified by formations of repute and career, and if you are unable to perceive that then you have been residing under a rock. I don’t have to rely on guesswork to determine that if a chemical that’s poisonous to a large portion of the ecosystem is also going to be poisonous to me. Similarly, I don’t need guesswork to figure out that if you put the biological machinery for vertical gene transfer into an organism, there’s going to be an increased risk of vertical gene transfer, or more accurately, a risk, that hadn’t been there before. If you want to try and use science to make yourself feel safe, again, go right ahead. Enjoy the symptoms and side effects. I use science like a hammer. It makes stuff happen when I want it to, I use it well, and I enjoy great success with it. It does nothing for me at the spiritual, existential level, and that’s where the meaning is in life. Keep on missing the boat ^_^

            As I said, you aren’t following the news if you think Russia is the antagonist. Get a clue. Pick 10 international news agencies and compare all their stories, it might start to round out your square ass perspective.

            The fact is, I can “prove” anything is safe, in particular conditions and quantities. The meta is this. It’s like you’re trying to tell me that falling is safe. I’m pointing out that at some scale, it’s obvious that falling is dangerous or fatal. You’re trying to tell me that because some studies of falling 6″ showed minimal danger, falling is safe, and everyone should jump off a bridge. Go for it bud. Jump off that bridge. Why don’t you drink up your cup of 2-4D or perhaps you’d like the fire hose? Oh wait, glyphosate is so much safer, right? Drink up.

            How is a long-term multi generational study not something you’d want? I’m not asking for the moon here, or being unrealistic. Have kids? Plan on it? Are you so selfish that you wouldn’t even care about your kids’ kids being potentially sterile? Or the total failure of reproduction after only a few generations? Those crazy uneducated fascists…

            Oh and by the way, I heard the Seralini et al rat study got republished by a different journal, with additional critical response. What were your thoughts on the results of that study, smart ass?

            Also, occam’s razor this. Seems like every independent study on GMO’s seems to turn up negative results, while all the industry-funded studies seem all positive. I think in law they call it a “conflict of interest.”

            You should change your name to parrot donkey or something, that way you could at least metaphorically suit your debate style. It’s fun though, thanks for the entertainment. Pretty easy to poke holes in arguments as devoid of thought as yours. It’s like wrestling with an angry teenager who thinks they’re really strong but are really just laughably cocky…

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            Here’s a quote from Sam Harris: “Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. What if someone says, “Well, that’s not how I choose to think about water.”? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

            Since you’re someone who does not value logic, logical arguments and scientific values, I have nothing more to give you but my disdain and strong insults. So that’s how it works. You have no evidence. You lie. So I get to call you a dumbass, because the argument is done. You value bullshit and pseudoscience, and you get to be treated pretty badly for that.

          • James T.

            So you conveniently ignore anything that doesn’t suit you, and ignore all the logic presented. Nice. I value and use logic and science in day to day life, as I expressed. I just value other things as well, and use whatever tools are best suited to the situation. Do I have to spell out my entire thought process in a logical step by step fashion so you can follow along, not get lost when the idea moves too fast? Also, logic is not science, and science is not logic. They may relate in some ways, but as I pointed out, modern science is not about fact, it’s about interpretation and money. Science today has become a brand name, a marketing tool, and a slave to outside interests that have little concern with fact or the advancement of knowledge.

            A scientist can define water as hydrogen and oxygen all he wants. To a tree, does it matter? Life doesn’t need science to exist, and science is only a parody of reality.

            I’m not concerned with how you treat me, I just find it entertaining and ironic that you so quickly become disrespectful and hostile just because you don’t agree with someone or think you’re better than them, while acting like you’re still so much the better person, despite acting in a completely juvenile fashion. You remind me of me as a teenager… judgemental, arrogant, narrow minded and shallow. Maybe one day when you’re smarter you’ll look back on this conversation and realize where I was coming from.

  • Drewtazy .

    You make the assumption I am white and rich ……and I will make the assumption that you are a shill for Monsanto. You are the one that dabbles in pseudo science . On the one hand GMO’s are patented as unique and on the other hand you say there no different or harmful for consumption. You can’t have it both ways. People deserve a choice as to whether they want to eat Franken foods or not.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Ah, the old ad hominem. You have no evidence for your close-minded views, so try to switch the claims against the other side.

      YOU are a white rich Republican using the global warming tactics they use. How can you sleep wanting the poor to starve because of your white privilege pseudoscience? You’re a sad person.

      • Jeremy Rawley

        You get any shill checks from Monsanto yet? I’m still waiting for mine, along with a cruise aboard the S.S. Conspiracy Theory. I even asked them on their Facebook page about it. No answer.

  • Drewtazy .

    if gmo’ s were so great they’d willingly put them on food labels. If they were so great they wouldn’t have to be forced on people who do not want them.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      That’s a strawman argument, and a typical one for the white privileged class. Labeling food increases the costs on so many levels, so those who cannot afford the luxury of listening to pseudoscience and left-wing science deniers, have to pay more. A mother of 4, using an EBT card, can’t afford to indulge in your fantasies about the safety of GMO’s.

      Why is it that liberals like you hate other humans and want them to die? Is it some odd eugenics belief?

      Well, I hope you like cuddling with your climate change denier pals. They hate people too. And they reject real science too.

      • Jeremy Rawley

        Does he want to build a straw man? Then knock it down and say he won?

  • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

    Heard Alex Jones raving about this paper today on his radio show, as “Confirmed: GMO DNA can infect human beings.” Knew immediately he must have had it wrong (as always). Not quite as egregious as his oft-repeated claim that childhood cancers are up 10,000% in the last 40 years (I kid you not).

    I would quibble about one thing in the article, though. You mention that PloS One is a “publish first, judge later” journal, but I don’t believe that to be true. They have a peer review process just like any other journal. They were the only open-access journal to reject that deliberately faked paper submitted as a test last year after they couldn’t confirm all the necessary legal clearances had been made.

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      The rate of cancer is the same as it was 40 years ago. The mortality rate from cancer is improved, you need to look at survival rates post diagnosis. Some cancers are stubborn. And some cancers we’ve bested.

      But you know Alex Jones and Mike Adams are lying about cancer, since smokers have dropped by like 200%, and that is the #1 cause of cancer in the country.

  • 99problems

    If evolution is true, then every living thing on this planet has evolved to get where it is, if you study science you know how delicate an ecosystem is, how can there be no danger in genetically modifying organisms?

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      You make it sound like that there was some “goal” for evolution. In fact, evolution is random and responds to random circumstances. Humans evolved intelligence, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that humans will use science to benefit it.

      You are inventing a logical fallacy, one in which YOU predict the future, patently impossible. It’s called the Slippery Slope Fallacy.

      Your knowledge of biology and physiology is massively deficient. Tomorrow a 100,000kg meteor can disrupt the ecosystem. The ecosystem adapts. The ecosystem adapts to humans, and will adapt long after we died out.

      • 99problems

        So… not gonna answer my question? How can you say there’s no danger in genetically modifying organisms?

        • savim

          Because no credible evidence of this exists. It’s like asking “how can you say purple unicorns are not a danger to society?”

          • 99problems

            Is harvard a “credible” source to you people? http://chge.med.harvard.edu/topic/genetically-modified-foods

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            1. No it’s not a credible source. It’s a press release, which is not peer reviewed. It ranks at the bottom of acceptable sources of data, just above Natural News and whale.to.
            2. It said nothing about anything. It was speculative, not real science.

        • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

          I’m a scientist. I don’t work in absolutes. I don’t know that there is not a teapot floating around the dark side of the moon. To insist because I don’t know that it’s there is evidence that it is, that’s the Argument from Ignorance, a formal fallacy.

          • Jeremy Rawley

            Only an anti deals in absolutes.

  • Megan

    Monsanto Is Jacking with plant DNA. It Is Possible That They Messed With It Enough That It Is Now Able To Pass Some Sort Of Barrier Unpassable Before. GMOs Very Very BAD!!!

    • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

      Wow, you really don’t understand that DNA is DNA is DNA. There’s no magical Monsanto DNA.

    • Jeremy Rawley

      Patents =/= copyrights. Patents EXPIRE. Patenting plants isn’t new–it dates back to the passage of the Plant Patent Act of 1930.

      Introduction of genes into the environment: Cross-pollination isn’t new. “Organic”, conventional, and wild plants cross-pollinate GE fields and each other all the time. Why are GE plants any different? If you’re so paranoid about crop purity or environmental issues, just use a greenhouse!

      • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

        Excellent answer. The strawman argument about Monsanto–I get so tired of that.

        And as of today, there is no evidence that GMO genes have shown any harm to the environment. I guess we could rely upon the Argument from Ignorance, that is if we can’t prove it won’t happen, the it’s guaranteed that it will. I won’t however.

        • That Food Man

          thats not true there plenty of justified concern and also some evidence that shows GM farming is having an impact on the environment

          http://environmentalcommons.org/gmo-impacts.html

          http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/genetic-engineering/

          The danger that 2,4-D and dicamba pose is a real threat to crops…nearly every food crop,” Steve Smith, director of agriculture at Red Gold, told Reuters last year.

          Dr. Gina Solomon, a board-certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Internal Medicine specialist, wrote of concerns stemming from the use of 2,4-D as a crucial component in an infamous chemical warfare campaign during the Vietnam War. “There’s no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it,” she said.

          heres a study showing toxic roundup in maternal womens and their fetuses blood

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

          you can tell me thats considered safe for the baby or the mother

          exposure to environment hazards…
          http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html

          summary of 3 gm corns on health..

          http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm

          also the biofortified has had all their studies reviewed by a team of scientists nd investigators and they found around 40% of authors and scientists had financial ties to bio tech industries and GM corps…which to be honest should come as no surprise given their bias name “biofortified”

          “Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products
          Johan Dielsa, Mario Cunhab,
          Célia Manaiaa,
          Bernardo Sabugosa-Madeirac,
          Margarida Silvaa, ,
          a CBQF/Escola Superior de Biotecnologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
          b Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Dep. Geociências, Ambiente e Ordenamento do Território and Centro de Investigação de Ciências Geoespaciais, Rua do Campo Alegre, s/n, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
          c Escola Superior Agrária de Ponte de Lima, IPVC. 4990-706 Ponte de Lima, Portugal. ENVISED – Grupo de Ambiente, Sociedade e Educação do Centro de Geologia da Universidade do Porto. Rua do Campo Alegre, s/n, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal

          heres the discussion

          http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15618-biology-fortified-misleads-the-public-on-gmo-safety

          also by your standards based on the impact factor isnt the journal monsanto published their “safe” study in no great impact factor 2? dont your question its validity based on that and the corruption and conflict of interests?

    • Jeremy Rawley

      1. Monsanto doesn’t sell food, they sell agricultural products. There’s hundreds of seed companies and Monsanto hardly has a monopoly on anything.

      2. Monsanto had nothing to do with inventing saccharin. It was first synthesized by a Johns Hopkins chemist, Constantin Fahlberg, in 1878. It has never caused cancer.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=f4I9AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA36#v=onepage&q&f=false
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8910956

      3. Monsanto had nothing to do with inventing Agent Orange, nor were they they only manufacturer. The U.S. Army created the formula; Monsanto, Dow, Uniroyal, Hercules, and other companies only manufactured it. They never claimed it was safe, and in 1952, Monsanto warned the U.S. government AGAINST using Agent Orange, citing concerns of dioxin contamination. The government’s response was to ignore the data and use Agent Orange anyway.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=waTdqLYCyPMC&pg=PA17#v=onepage&q&f=false

      Saying GE foods are bad because Monsanto made Agent Orange is as retarded as saying Ziploc bags are bad because Dow made Agent Orange or that Krupps coffee makers are bad because that company used to make tanks. These aren’t the only companies with shady pasts. Volkswagen was founded by the Nazis. Mitsubishi’s Zero fighters were used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. Bayer made heroin until the end of World War I, and during the Third Reich, they made Zyklon B while aiding Josef Mengele in his inhumane experiments. Kodak and Siemens used Holocaust labor. Nintendo sold playing cards to Japanese soldiers and politicians, including to at least one war criminal “honored” at Yasukuni Shrine. Chase assisted the Nazis by freezing the bank accounts of Jews. Last but certainly not least, Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, LBGT people, and others who didn’t fit Hitler’s racist ideal while Imperial Japan killed millions of Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Malays, East Indians, and Allied soldiers and forced civilian women into sex slavery.

      These atrocities were the acts of governments and militaries. None of this makes the companies’ products bad. It doesn’t mean all Germans and Japanese are terrible people, nor that you should stop using Ziploc bags. It doesn’t mean your VW Beetle or Mitsubishi Lancer is going to explode. It doesn’t mean your Wii is going to commit a repeat of the Rape of Nanking. It doesn’t mean your aspirin is secretly designed to murder you. More importantly, 1) the Monsanto of Agent Orange and the Monsanto of agriculture are two distinctly different companies (Pfizer bought the former decades ago), and 2) probably everybody who had a hand in developing and selling Agent Orange is dead–from old age, not Agent Orange poisoning. The people crying about Monsanto being the Great Satan aren’t looking for the truth in context. They just want to make a laundry list of decontextualized tragedies so they can smear anything the company produces.

      4. Handful of studies? Define “handful”. Is 600+ safety assessment studies on GE foods a “handful”?
      http://gmopundit.blogspot.co.uk/p/450-published-safety-assessments.html

      • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

        As someone who has family members who have fought, and one died, in the Vietnam war, let me say this. Agent Orange was considered a lifesaver.

        War gets dirty sometimes.

        But thanks Jeremy. You saved me an hour of digging up stuff.

        • James T.

          As someone who’s also had family in wars, you know what’s a real lifesaver?

          Peace.

          US never should’ve been in ‘nam.

      • hyperzombie

        Wow, great comment. You win the internet!
        Hope you don’t mind, but I am going to plagiarize the bejesus out of your comment.

        • Cassandra

          I was just thinking the same thing:-)

      • Jeremy Rawley

        5. “Increase in allergies”
        Yeah, and pirates prevent global warming. Correlation is not causation.

    • savim

      What does this have to do with gmo safety?

      • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

        Pseudoscience people use strawman arguments all the time.

  • Pingback: The "Frankensquito"–trying to save lives in the Florida Keys()

    • Jeremy Rawley

      That’s all you have? A shill gambit? You just committed an ad hominem fallacy. Instead of attacking the argument, you attacked the person making it. You just admitted you can’t defend your anti-GE stance.

  • Pingback: GMO foods transfer DNA to humans – another myth | Illuminutti()

    • Ripshed

      Why is marijuana and gay marriage banned in so many countries? Got an answer for that, punk?

    • James T.

      Cheers for a well structured response :)

    • That Food Man

      Food. DNA from consumed food is usually not considered as

      a possible source of cfDNA since during food digestion all

      macromolecules are thought to be degraded to elementary

      constituents such as amino acids and nucleotides, which are then

      transferred to the circulatory system through several complex

      active processes [3]. Though, there are animal studies, mainly

      focusing on the GMO issue [4], supporting the idea that small

      fragments of nucleic acids may pass to the bloodstream and even

      get into various tissues. For example foreign DNA fragments were

      detected by PCR based techniques in the digestive tract and

      leukocytes of rainbow trouts fed by genetically modified soybean

      [37], and other studies report similar results in goats [38], pigs

      [39,40] and mice [5]

      my research agrees with that notion too…

      • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

        Then we should be mooing like a cow or snorting like a pig or clucking like a chicken.

        If nucleic acids are actually passed through the digestive tract, as laughable as that hypothesis is, and your research isn’t published, or you would have bragged about it, then the probability that the full gene inserted into the plant actually being incorporated is so small as to probably be 0 if it isn’t 0 anyways.

        If incorporating genes into the human genome were as easy as eating it, we could redefine medical science. And you would win a fucking Nobel Prize. Neither is going to happen.

        • hyperzombie

          If incorporating genes into the human genome were as easy as eating it,

          Oh, no if this was true I should be 3/4 pizza and beer by now

          • http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php Skeptical Raptor

            If you are, you could sell yourself to a frat house for a boatload of money.

        • That Food Man

          Without getting into a silly internet argument which I don’t have all the time for I will say, some thing that concerns me is your condescending attitude towards people. There really is no need for that lets just discuss things in an adult and objective manner. Insulting people adds no credibility to your point or to your knowledge especially when confronted by a logical concept based on a scientific study conducted by geneticists and experts in this field. In fact the only way your opinion would exceed theirs in validity is if you were a geneticist yourself and you could provide me with a more recent study that completely refutes the one I referred to. I am not one for taking sides I just observe the evidence and conclude and I just want a logical answer not sarcasm. You are almost insulting and undermining the integrity and conclusions of these scientists work by acting the way you are, without proving any grounds for you statement.

          First of all saying we should be mooing or clucking because we’ve been eaten chicken and beef is just plain silly please surpass statements like that in your reply. No ones implying by eating their protein you will develop chicken/cow like characteristics that’s not how gene expression works as i’m sure you know and that certainly wasn’t the point I made or what was implied in that study either. What did you study in the medical/health field may i ask?

          I’m not the author of that article by the way i’m not at that stage in my life yet, maybe another year… you also talk about genetics like we know every thing there is to know, but we really don’t, in fact a recently discovery about a second hidden DNA code has only recently come to light….

          The mechanism of how DNA fragments can be absorbed into the bloodstream in unknown to scientists but if foreign DNA fragments has been found in the leukocytes of salmon, mice etc on what evidence or logic are you concluding it to be beyond the realms of possibility with it occurring to humans?

          Additionally, i’m curious to know what your thoughts are on our intestinal flora picking up foreign genes from GM plants, say Bt endotoxin gene found in Bt corn, do you think that’s impossible? is there a risk our intestinal flora could go into a symbiotic relationship with it? Through HGT Similar to how prokaryotes attained plastids, chloroplast’s, mitochondria etc..

          • Cassandra

            If you’re concerned about foreign genes being picked up by intestinal flora, why would you be any more concerned about transgenic genes than about any other genes? I don’t understand your point. We ingest bacteria on our food all the time. Why would you feel more scared of a bacterial gene in your corn than a bacterial gene in bacteria?

    • hyperzombie

      , if GMOs are so safe, are they banned in 26 countries. I have still not received a reply.

      Well they are not banned in 26 countries, but if they were it would be due to POLITICS, not safety.

    • hyperzombie

      Avoid the GMO humans