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Seralini anti-Monsanto study was so poorly conducted it harms the anti-GMO movement

Credit for the text goes to Reddit username kerovon. It is a sad day when Reddit is more sensible than the DailyPaul. I encourage everyone to read through the comments on this thread as it contains some very intelligent scientific insights.


"Alright, I'm going to run through some of the problems from the study, so people don't have to dig through links themselves.

First, issues with the study author and initial reporting. The study was done by Gilles-Eric Séralini, who is a well known Green Peace funded anti-GMO activist (http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/19/greenpeace-financed-scientist). While being associated with a group that has prior interest isn't a guarantee that his work is bad, it does raise an immediate red flag that says you should look at it a bit more closely. Additionally, while he does say that there is no conflict of interest in the paper, you should look at a amazon search in his name (http://www.amazon.com/Gilles-Eric-S%C3%A9ralini/e/B001K7OMLK...). He does make money off of the anti-GMO food position. Again, see the previous disclaimer.

With the initial reporting, the journalists who had access to the study in advance had to sign a contract saying that they would not talk to any scientists who were not directly involved in the study. This means that they had to rely on their own knowledge of GMO crops and study design for whatever they wrote. This generally means all early reporting will be biased in favor of the study's author's positions.

Second, problems with the study. The first one that comes to mind is that they had a control group of only 20 rats, which was then subdivided into two groups of 10 male, and 10 female rats. This is an incredibly small control. He also used 10 groups of 20 rats, similarly divided to test each of his 10 different variables (Which is rather complex). A major problem with this is that Sprague Dawley rats have a very high tumor incidence rate naturally. By very high, we are talking approximately 72% of female Sprague Dawley rats develop tumors within 2 years (Spontaneous endocrine tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats., Suzuki et al, 1979; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/521452). If he was using a group of 1000 rats for each one, you could expect numbers very different from 72% to indicate something meaningful. Because he is looking at effectively 10 rats, it is not unreasonable for only 50% to get tumors, and its not unreasonable for 100% to get tumors, because probability.

They don't appear to have done any blinding on the tests, which can allow researcher bias to show through when analysing the rats. Blinding is a basic thing used in noncontroversial research. It certainly should be used in something like this.

Going back to the complexity of the experiment, it looks like the measured upwards of 47 different parameters in their testing. However, their statistical analysis is bad. Really bad. They didn't do basic things like checking for the statistical power of the design. They also leave massive gaps in their statistical methodology, like not giving any info on how they looked at mortality or tumor data. The appear to have done statistical fishing for interesting results, while ignoring a lot of standard analyses to see if their results mean anything. (http://michaelgrayer.posterous.com/in-which-i-blow-a-gasket-...)

Another problem, is that they quote ”All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here”. This is not done. Ever. This means that the authors almost certainly cherry picked only the best results to show.

They tested both response against GM corn, and corn with the roundup herbicide, and reported THE EXACT SAME EFFECT for two vastly different treatments. There are ZERO mechanisms that can explain this, but they came up with it anyway.

They didn't control for the total amount of food consumed, so the rats could easily gorge themselves, which can effect the rate of tumor incidence. They didn't control for fungal contaminants on the food, which can effect the rate of tumor incidence.

They didn't control for the fact that standard rat chow can frequently contain GM corn, so even their controls were probably exposed to it (http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/21/proof-per...)

Their graphs are needlessly complex, which obfuscates them to a massive amount. This means that it is very hard to try to draw your own conclusions from them, so you need to rely on theirs.

They didn't do any dose response analysis to see if the different doses actually mattered. For all they can tell, 11%GM food causes the exact same response as 33%GM food.

In short, this study was bad. It doesn't matter what your ideological position is, drawing any conclusions from this study would be wrong.

Other places to read more, they I used heavily for this writeup: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/09/24/bad-science-on-... http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-gm-corn-rat... http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22287-study-linking-gm...

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Controlled Opposition

Environmental groups like GreenPeace are funded by.....OIL Companies.
Big Oil use these environmental groups as Useful Idiots, to keep their competition out of markets.

Outside of the private sector, 95% of all other research is paid for by the government. Anyone asking for funds to research must first get governments approval for a grant.


"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon


but no, NO, can't smoke that one weed over there that just grows.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, NO, no we're not even going to tell you if what you're eating is genetically modified. WE'RE THE FREAKING FDA.


We should not accept the authority of either the FDA, or even law enforcement, over nutrition issues.


+ALL our society needs , is enforcing the behavior laws on the books. Alcohol ACTUALLY IS a matter of "nutrition." if you don't care about feeding us GMOs or labelling it or telling us anything about it, then we shouldnt care about doing drugs.


uncontrollable and dangerous people will do drugs and should be intercepted. the rest will not care; they will be busy living their own lives.

there are already rules on the books to take care of people who actually DO THINGS to harm society.


-i'm just saying to law enforcement and the FDA, stay away from me. just stay... away...from...me. stay away from my life, stay away from my decisions.

-the SECOND any of my life decisions becomes a physical danger to someone in society, that is the police's job.

-see? it was simple before so many people needed a gdamned job, right?

^i suppose they'll just "second hand smoke" anything we do for reasons of "physical harm". god who the fk knows what law enforcement justification will be fabricated to actually detain you.

I openly support full drug legalization

I don't understand what this incoherent rant was about.

Junk science was used to demonize drugs and scare the public into accepting prohibition. Junk science is being used to demonize genetic engineering.

You are right, you do have the right to sell, purchase or consume drugs. Weed and other drugs should be legalized, and there shouldn't be a law requiring the specific strain of weed to be labeled. If you choose to buy unlabeled weed that is your right. Same thing with food.

This issue is pretty cut and dry. I don't get the outrage and demands for government intervention.

Open letter from scientists

I thought I'd post a link to an open letter on the Independant Science News titled: Seralini and Science: an Open Letter


Worth reading, imo. (I'm not a fan of GMO's)

apparently any scientists want further study of gmo

are anti-science and anyone who want no studies at all are heroic champions of freedom.

As I said elsewhere the monsanto shills make tobacco shills look like choirboys.

Are you saying we should eat GMOs and love it and trust it

or what? What are you saying, other than the huge wall of text you expect us to do the research on?

Just have the balls to tell us to eat GMO and nothing at all is wrong. Affirm this, and at least your bigass post will be a lot more manly or womanly.

Yes I DO expect you to do research

The problem is that the vast majority of the anti-GMO sensationalists are not going any research besides reading the blogs of snake oil salesman Mercola, the whackjob Mike Adams, and Infowars. They refuse to even acknowledge counter-arguments.

This GMO thing is exactly like the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Progressives get maniacal if anyone even hints about opposing the discrimination law (even though it is a logical position) and the anti-GMO sensationalists foam at the mouth at the suggestion that GMOs aren't killing humanity.

If you are too lazy to read this criticism of the Seralini study while blindly defending the study and attackign GMOs than you should be ashamed of yourself.

You do not know that...

"The problem is that the vast majority of the anti-GMO sensationalists are not going any research besides reading the blogs of snake oil salesman Mercola, the whackjob Mike Adams, and Infowars. They refuse to even acknowledge counter-arguments."

You do not know that. You are making claims with no proof.
You are actually more "sensational" in your claims
than those you say are.

Your argument is that anyone who rejects GMO is ignorant of
scientific facts.
You're saying anyone who rejects GMO does not do research,
or acknowledge counter-arguments.
lol...you have no idea who has done research and what is known.
You are simply trying to claim superiority because you support GMO.

Why is Monsanto spending so much money, along with other GMO accomplices to not have GMO labeled?
If it's so safe, would that not actually be something to
advertise as a benefit, and positive thing?

Do you work for Monsanto? You sound like you're doing
damage control.

RON2012PAUL...The r3VOLution continues...
"I always win"
+GOLD and SILVER are money+

Then start giving me some scientific explantions

I do not work for Monsanto. Neither do thousands of other geneticists and biochemists.

You are paranoid. I seem to be one of the only people on the DP askign questions while everyone is too busy fear-mongering and making shit up.

wow, you're comparing GMO to Civil Rights... what in the f......

I mean, if you are this invested in the research topic, then maybe purport to be anything of a scientific person, AT LEAST compare "apples to apples"
compare it to Norman Borlaug's work if you're going to make an argument to a layman (crop yield, etc etc). BUT the actual current health research is so new, and so on-going, that I cant believe this stuff is on our shelves to eat RIGHT NOW

and ......NO M A T T E R WHAT the final answer is---> i cannot BELIEVE that the GMO process is so incredibly ubiquitous right now as well.

^^^ also. complete non-topic, but, given HOW FAST the Food and Drug Admin was to approve of all of this, I ****************************DEFINITELY*************************************** feel that i should be able to smoke any weed I find, right now, under no provisions, at all. if my neighbor can get drunk legally and crash his car (WHICH HE HAS ) then i should be able to smoke all the weed i want to smoke for NONE OF YOUR FKING BUSINESS REASONS. and i will eat all that GMO stuff you want to sell me. it's a crazy world.

you can't just command a population who knows anything whatsoever to do stupid things, and then allow only a tiny bit of stupid things under stupid laws, and THEN SOMEHOW EXPECT PEOPLE TO NOT REACT TO THIS PATHETIC ATTEMPT AT CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

if you feel you need to sell me crazy stuff and live an experimental lifestyle by eating GMOs, then I will accept your demands, provided you ACTUALLY LET ME LIVE EXPERIMENTALLY AND SMOKE WEED W/O GOING TO JAIL


Good job proving my point.

I didn't compare GMOs to civil rights. I compared the HYSTERICAL REACTIONS people have to these two issues. By completely ignoring what I said and giving a rambling, irrelevant knee-jerk reaction to my comments, you just demonstrated the phenomenon.

What everybody is missing is

What everybody is missing is the fact that the corn is designed to absorb the pesticides and herbicides used on the crops and still produce. The problem is that the chemicals are then passed to the cattle, the chickens, the eggs and everything else that we eat that gets fed the corn. That is what we need to look at more closely.

There has been plenty of studies done on many of this chemicals, including 2-d,4, which have time and again cause raise in the percentage of cases of cancer on lab animals and is banned in many countries. For us to freely choose our food, we should know what we are eating.

Ron Paul for Freedom!!!

Knowledge is the currency of the Universe.-
Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

this is a lot to piece together--

I don't need to have it proven to me that GMOs are bad--

I've never seen the point of them--

but I still need to read this through and think about it--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

GMOs are neither bad nor good.

It depends what humans do with the technology. It is much like a cell phone/computer technology. One could look at an "evil" corporation like Apple and say "look at all of the wonderful things their computers and cell phones are giving us" or one could look at it and say "APPLE IS KILLING US WITH THEIR BRAIN CANCER CAUSING NONIONIZING RADIATION AND MAKING A HUGE PROFIT AND KILLING OFF ALL OF THE SMALL TECH COMPANIES." I used this example because I have seen similar claims before.

There is nothing inherently good or bad about computer technology and there is nothing good nor bad about genetic engineering. It is not a violation of what is "natural" and it is not a massive conspiracy to kill off humanity like the Nazis (like Mike Adams claimed today). Genetic engineering has the potential to change the world in a great way. Can you imagine if these scientists/engineers can figure out how to make a wide range of safe crops that can survive pests and diseases? That is human progress at its finest.

Accepting your argument,

what Monsanto has done with the technology is offensive on every level, legally, politically, scientifically, commercially. They're arguably the world's worst corporate citizen. I don't understand how you could be drawn to Dr. Paul, and then ride to the defense over and again of a monopolist, corporatist bully. It's not like they haven't earned the reputation. They send legal teams against family farms with this argument: If my crop pollinates with yours, I own all of your crop, and you owe me licensing fees, because I own the organism. They destroy researchers who simply conduct and publish independent studies (that's why there are none). They buy influence at the highest levels of government, globally, for market advantage. They spend billions to control the public narrative, and to prevent the public from the simple knowledge that they are buying and consuming their product. They're the nastiest of the nasty. Even without considering the science, you seem misinformed.

here you go again

using stupid logic. There is nothing bad about GMOs? Go read up on them.

Maybe you should go read up on his comment.

GMO's are like guns: the goodness or badness comes from its user, not the thing itself.

I don't play, I commission the league.

GMOS are NOT like guns

You really need to educate yourself. There is allot that needs to be said and quite frankly I dont have the energy to spend countering your argument as good as I could. But when you blast in new genes or use vector viruses to insert foreign genes into a plant/animal, you cause new proteins to be either turned off or expressed. Now lets get back into the world you understand. These plants produce pollen that blows in the wind and cross pollinates other same and/or similar plants around. Thats called cross pollination and can very easily lead to genetic drift. Now genius, do see you see the flaw in your logic? Guns dont randomly float around killing people like pollen floats in the air. Your argument is very naive and stupid. I hate to be rude, but proponents of GMOs for the most part use the stupidest logic to try to justify GMOs. And that is that GMOs have not been proven to be unsafe. If thats your basis for your argument, then I feel very sorry for how ignorant you are. Have a nice day.

The argument doesn't necessarily

apply in this case. Inserting genes that ride into genetic material by a "shotgun blast", is not the same thing as cross pollination. Genetic expression is extremely complex, and not well understood. The potential for unintended consequences is off the scale. No one can see around that corner. In the headlines this week are cows with human genes, that produce milk that is part human. Aside from unexpected expression of proteins or toxins that could result from the method, there is concern that diseases will begin to cross the species barrier. I don't think that's a case of "guns don't kill people, people kill people".

herp a derp

Yeah because I have never heard negative claims made about GMOs. Give me a break.

Next time please come back with a better comment than "you're stupid go read some more man."

I really think you are a complete idiot

or either are some robot. Your logic on defending GMOs against negative comments is because you "have never heard negative claims made about GMOs". lol Get real. Thats moronic logic. I will repeat this in other words... Your sitting here telling me your defending GMOs simply because you have never heard any negative claims AGAINST GMOs. Well now you have, and I've seen several others, MANY others make negative claims against GMOs. So will this now trigger you to reconsider fighting back against negative claims of GMOs? Will this perhaps trigger some research on your behalf to actually look into GMOs? lol

Let me paint the picture for how stupid you sound...
If I was ignorant about MSG or HFCS and then someone tells me MSG and HFCS was bad, your logic would be to say "MSG and HFCS are not bad because I have never heard negative claims about them.". So based on the fact you've never heard negative claims automatically makes them GOOD? lol You are an idiot if you believe that, and are the DUMBEST Ron Paul supporter I have EVER met(and I have never met a dumb Ron Paul supporter other than you).

here you go again

using stupid logic. There is nothing bad about GMOs? Go read up on them.

well, I don't believe that--

and we can disagree amicably. I have studied botany and even plant genetics, though I'm not implying that you haven't as well--

this reminds me of when Australia imported American (western) Jack Rabbits to take care of some of their problematic vegetation, and then the Jack Rabbits became a worse problem.

The same thing happened with human health with regards to antibiotics, and now many M.D.s are drastically cutting back in their use of antibiotics, because of superbugs--

Why can't *we* learn these lessons from history? Because GMOs, like other technology that is not really helping humanity--make a lot of $ for a very few--on the backs of those who are already struggling to survive (family farmers)

Most pests and diseases can be handled naturally, if farmers don't have more land than they can handle--

GMO can only benefit agribusiness--

Agribusiness doesn't do very much for the American economy and is an immense welfare recipient--

I don't believe that scientists will solve plant problems as long as they are 'owned' by giants like Monsanto; I believe that wise stewardship of the earth is the only way plant problems can be solved--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Net gain for antibiotics = positive

You can't say that GMOs only benefit agribusiness. Plenty of people have benefited already from Round Up. The evidence is that people are buying it and using it. And saying GMOs are useless for humanity is a little presumptious. How do you know?

And about this "most pests and diseases can be handled naturally" claim, please check out my essay "There are no uniquely natural chemicals as every chemical is natural."


as I said . . .

we're going to have to agree to disagree. I am an organic gardener; I've been gardening for almost 40 years--

and I've never used roundup; it's not necessary--

This is the same sort of argument that occurs about immunizations; do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Some of *us* believe so; some of us believe not--

Those who have been damaged by immunizations will never agree; those who believe they were saved by them will never agree--

we'll just go around in circles and never get anywhere--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I don't think we are disagreeing with anything

But hey, if you know a way to stop black rot without my family spending thousands of dollars on pesticides, please don't be shy.

You are an idiot man

You are sitting here making these comments when you have no scientific backing, and whats sad is you think your right. You have no way to prove this because you CANT prove it.

Copper and Maintenance

Usually does the trick.


I don't know what black rot is--


you'll have to illuminate me--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Joη's picture

I was floored to read Socrates was against introducing writing


(for example)

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?