The Tobacco Industry: The Pioneer of Fake News
No. That is false.
The studies on glyphosate are plenty, but most are inadequate.
The only answer I have so far is that we need to fund our research institutes better to get more studies faster. I do appreciate though that glyphosate has replaced many less safe herbicides.
I think even going off of the WHO FAQ, the comparison of the situation to one the tobacco industry faced is not the correct one.
On one hand you have scientists publishing letters of concern regarding glyphosate arguing for more studies to be done because of hints of carcinogenic properties.
On the other hand you have a full blown shill campaign on Reddit and other website, being all like, "there is absolutely nothing to worry about, why do you hate science!". And lobbyists bullying the EFSA into publishing a statement in support of glyphosate so that it could be relicense for further use within Europe.
You can trust science. You just have to be aware of the conflicts of interests. Monsanto hasn't bought every single scientist out there.
Skimming this link definitely raises some serious red flags for me with Monsanto, but there's also some very stupid shit in there, e.g. the highlighted "you cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen" - hell, I bet the same is true of most foods in the freezer aisle.
Depopulation is necessary and luckily it's also fairly easy.
What is happening here is "lying". The people creating false and misleading scientific results are liars and it becomes a question of taking skeptical views towards sources and knowing who to trust.
Wouldn't you say mathmatics is the most infallible thing human's have come to creating? The level of rigor in mathematics is much higher and there aren't as many repeatability issues.
What is happening here is "corruption". The people using Christianity to further their own egos and desires are liars and it becomes a question of taking skeptical views towards authoritative figures and knowing who to trust.
Be careful about making Science™ a religion.
Nothing in this world is infallible.
Beyond the existing standing question of why more science papers don't publish information like the computer code they used, I've wondered why there isn't a push for "science-as-code". For example, if there was a common DSL that describes science lab automation, then a futuristic science paper would come with some a package that would drive another lab's robots and equipment to do the exact same experiment with the same steps, and let other labs alter the steps as they see fit once they reproduce the same results to toy with the experiment's findings.
Then all the calibration steps of each piece of equipment, all the sampling steps, all the measurement steps, etc. are all completely reproduced as code. Steps only expressible as "human hands do [insert-motions-here]" are translated to waldo motions, pressure sensing, etc.
Then a lab notebook would be filled with human interpretations of what scientists are seeing, hypotheses, etc., alongside a time-series recording of every step taken, environmental metrics measured, expressed in that DSL.
I agree. My brother (Aerospace Eng.) and I (Software Eng.) talk often about this with our Dad (Electrical Eng.).
Given that big business and BIG money has now been proven to have hidden the truth about Monsanto Chemicals, sugar and many other things, how many other things in our would would big business pay billions or even trillions to cover up if they had a study that showed it was somehow harmful?
Just to throw out some ideas, how many trillions would they spend to hide that cell phones are bad, or TVs or "new car smell", or plastic containers for food.
It's quite clear that almost everything in our society that is sold for profit is now backed by trillions and trillions of dollars, and they would hide any ill effects if they could.
It's not that "science" failed us, it's that we let money buy it out, much like democracies too (i.e. unlimited campaign contributions)
In order for science to truly work in advancing our understanding of a given problem all studies both with positive and negative results need to be published. However, that is often not what happens. In academia often only the 'interesting' results end up getting submitted to journals and published. In the private sector the problem is even more pronounced because there is a vested interest in only publishing results with a certain outcome.
I work in R&D and we often do scientific studies that don't get published because they don't advance our companies viewpoint or could harm sales. And of course that makes perfect sense when you are not required to do so. So in the end you have to take that into account when evaluating a study, especially when coming from industry. There could be contradictory results that never saw the light of day.
Now there is a very simple fix to this which would greatly alleviate this problem: Have a requirement for publishing that forces the researcher to submit the scientific hypothesis, planed research methods, and variables to be studied before submitting the final results, no matter what they may be. This also prevents a researcher from cherry picking results after the fact and leaving out variables that cast doubt on the original hypothesis.
It's honestly just baffling to me that people find it surprising that consistent, low doses of poison may cause cancer.
That's not to say this doesn't cause cancer. Whether or not it does is irrelevant to the point that plant biology is not human biology — hell, other mammals' biology isn't human biology (see: cats and chocolate, grapes, macadamia nuts, and onions) — and making inferences based upon this hypothesis is not particularly likely to result in correct assessments.
Further, "the dose makes the poison". Alcohol is a poison. Oxygen is a poison in high enough doses. Is weed killer a poison? In some arbitrarily high dose, certainly. In some arbitrarily small dose, no. In the dose you're likely to encounter on the surface of produce? Possibly, perhaps even probably. But again, making inferences based on the fact that it kills weeds is faulty thinking. By that logic, one would be forgiven for avoiding onions at all cost; after all, they're cat poison.
> "the ambivalent quality of pharmakon is more than purely a matter of ‘wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong route of administration, wrong patient’. Drugs, as is the case with anti-retroviral therapy, have the capacity to be beneficial and detrimental to the same person at the same time."
Most publicity about "cancer" and "Monsanto" is traceable back to an IARC report that the World Health Organization (IARC's parent) essentially retracted. The report itself concerned dozens of different pesticides and herbicides and mentioned glyphosate only in passing. The studies it referred to equivocated about any link between glyphosate and human cancer.
(I'm going from memory here and someone will probably correct me on this, which will be great!)
It would be surprising if glyphosate turned out to be toxic, because it straightforwardly targets a metabolic pathway that plants have and the entire kingdom of Animalia lacks.
California recently added glyphosate to its list of chemicals that it's required to alert consumers about. But of course, that list is long and includes substances that virtually nobody controls their own exposure to, such as acrylamide --- a known human carcinogen --- which is universally present in cooked foods.
Finally, and this is obvious, but we're reading articles on a plaintiff lawyer's website. That's fine, but you're clearly not going to get the whole story from them. For instance, the lawyers are happy to leave you with a headline about Monsanto trying to "retract a cancer study". But they're of course going to leave out the fact that the study in question was the Séralini study, of "Séralini affair" fame; you can look this up in Wikipedia to see what I'm referring to.
Many of the later documents in this dump center around formulated Round-Up's unexplained toxicity when compared to the survey of glyphosate studies in the literature, and a variety of understudied surfactants in the formulation.
Ex (ignoring sensationalized document titles):
It's irrelevant if glyphosate alone is cancerous or not, because 99.9999% of deployment is via sprays like Round Up. The combined product, in both animal and human models, need thorough mutagenic research. It's just news shows don't want to give Monsanto free advertising or face libel laws, so they conflate the generic compound with the product.
The actual Roundup product toxicity is from the inactive ingredients used as a carrier for the glyphosate . Supposedly pure glyphosate itself is low toxicity. If (and this is a big if) the LD50 for humans follows mice models , at the highest amount of glyphosate required of 10,000 mg/kg, then the average human at 70 kg would require 700,000 mg of glyphosate to incur a 50% chance of a lethal dose. That is 0.7 kg solid form glyphosate, well over what we might find in a cup that is roughly diluted to the concentration levels one finds in the least concentrated form of Roundup. The lower end of the animal models is rabbits, acute dermal LD50, at 2,000 mg/kg, five times lower, 0.14 kg solid form glyphosate for that average human.
If there are 540 grams glyphosate per liter of Roundup R/T 540 Liquid Herbicide (the term of art is "540 grams acid equivalent per litre", please, some chemistry hacker out there correct my quantities, I'm sure I'm getting this wrong), then a US customary cup of this kind of Roundup contains 127.76 g glyphosate. I chose this kind of Roundup because it looks like the least concentrated. The rabbit LD50 toxicity translated to a 70 kg human is 140 grams. The mouse LD50 toxicity translated to a 70 kg human is 700 grams. That cup is uncomfortably close to those levels for me, if my numbers are close to the ballpark; I sure as hell wouldn't drink that cup if my numbers are correct. I welcome corrections.
This goes both ways - shouldn't we decline Monsanto's products, because they've shown they value profit over safety, and corporate control over farmer independence?
But, you can actually watch a video of someone else drinking some! (at about 8:00) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8sgEhpHM4k
> The bar tender reaches down at 5:16 and brings up a different glass than the one he pours the chemicals in so this is a snow job. The two glasses have a different shape too and the new glass is greener. This is so fake. Why do the guys sprying this crap wear spacesuits if it is so safe?
The guy on the street outside wears thick waterproof pants and thick waterproof rubber boots when he cleans the street with a pressurized water hose.
Water is generally considered safe , but you still don't want to get hosed in it for hours on a daily basis.
- Constantly wet feet catch fungus and foot rot.
- Water lowers your body temperature, making you more susceptible to infection from and outbreak of common cold.
- Containing water contamination to an surface - instead of your clothes and skin - makes it easier to rid yourself of surplus water when taking a break.
- Wet clothes are highly impractical because they are heavy and shed water everywhere you go for hours after.
TLDR; Protective clothing doesn't imply toxicity.
The issue with roundup isn’t whether it’s safe if you drink it (most “safe” cleaners, etc will at least make you feel crappy if you just drink them - he’ll copper sulphate spray used for low level onset protection would send you straight to hospital if you drank it).
It’s a matter of cumulative exposure and time. Most cancers, even chemically induced ones take time to become large enough to be noticed and people get many different cancers naturally - if a small amount of roundup cause cancer immediately it would be gone already.
Much like Uber I take issue with the unethical behaviour of Monsanto in multiple areas. Maybe roundup is safe and could be used as icing at a five year olds birthday, but they shouldn’t be ghost writing papers for journals.
Also unethical is allowing someone to ghostwrite a paper for you and publishing it with your name.
They are protecting against a lifetime of large exposures.
Would eating food products everyday be considered a "lifetime of large exposures"?
It may be safe in low doses but I wouldn't exactly try to drink large quantities of something that is made for the only purpose to kill some animal/plant.
Again: fuck Monsanto, I guess? My interest here is mostly in the notion that glyphosate is toxic, since that, along with "glyphosate is genetic engineering" and "Monsanto sues farmers for growing seeds that blow onto their fields" falls into the bucket of "things the Internet very strongly believes about Monsanto, despite being based on very incomplete information".
Thanks for that clarification.
Every single time there's someone "reluctantly" doing overtime in their defense.
I'm sure Monsanto is not a great company.
It's impossible to make a list of all proscribed behaviors and if we tried, people would take it as a license to do anything not on the list. So that's not the way it works.
As for whether the 'don't insinuate astroturfing/shillage' bit is enforced, try scrolling through https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturfing&sort=by... and you'll find dozens if not hundreds of cases. Actually I've posted so many of these that my body rejects writing them and I have to trick myself into doing it.
It took until 2014, but eight out of nine pesticide formulations tested were up to one thousand times more toxic than their so-called active ingredients. So, when we just test the isolated chemicals, we may not get the whole story. Roundup was found to be 100 times more toxic than glyphosate itself. Moreover, Roundup turned out to be among the most toxic pesticides they tested.
Don't be so high and mighty about the science against glyphosate being flimsy, then throw out your own pet theory in support of glyphosate without any scientific studies. It's hypocrisy. Either you only support theories backed by strong scientific evidence or you don't. You can't have it both ways.
EDIT: I think it's prudent to wash vegetables to clean off any herbicides and other chemicals even if they are "known" to be harmless.
Here's a possibility. The scientific social networks consist of people who's research is paid for by the same corporations/government agencies with inherent conflicts of interest.
I only raised a real possibility that is not factored in the two bullet points. Conflict of Interest. We assume that scientists are somehow immune & should not be questioned, particularly when there is evidence contracting their conclusions.
Nothing to do with HN logic. From what it looks like, you are far more of the HN maven than I am...
you're gonna have a real hard time getting all the chemicals off your veggies using dihydrogen monoxide, what with its high boiling point. i suggest using formaldehyde instead.
Or maybe get some veggies that don't have the chemicals on them in the first place?
Biochemistry is not that simple. My favorite example is n-hexane, the linear hydrocarbon with 6 carbon atoms. It is more toxic than any of the other small alkanes; about 3 times as toxic as n-pentane, with 5 carbons, but also less toxic than n-heptane, with 7 . Why? I don't know if anyone knows, but seems like it must have something to do with the exact size of the molecule. Maybe it's just short enough to fit someplace and just long enough to cause a problem when it's there.
The point is, so much of biochemistry is about how molecules fit together in 3-D space. This is not something that's easy to predict. Your line of reasoning here is just not valid.
The real point is that it is not glyphosate we're talking about, it's roundup. And it would appear that the cocktail of whatever makes up roundup may not be fine. So please address that, not glyphosate.
 Monsanto Canada Inc v Schmeiser
It's unethical, and generally a violation of journal rules to publish another's work listed with yourself as an author.
Then there's a journal editor that they pay, who they worked with to get a paper retracted, surely that should result in a re-review of everything involved there as well?
Has anyone done the work to determine which papers are involved and start the retraction notification process?
A lot of the pro-GMO people seem to argue in really bad faith if they're not paid shills.
Unfortunately nuance and middle ground are hard to come by online. And it doesn't help when you dismiss all GMO proponents as paid shills.
>modifying a crop to be resistant to a carcinogenic poison farmers are going to dump all over it
This is purely speculation at this point. I recognise the ecological harms of massive monoculture enabled by GM but again, opponents seems fixated on unproven health effects and miss the bigger picture.
What is "monoculture" and why is it GM that enabled it? Didn't monoculture exist before GM? Could you describe to me a field where non-monoculture is used.
And I've never bought the characterization of breeding/selection as a form of GM. Breeding is selection of a pathetically tiny set of modifications, but GM is on a whole other level. With GM we can write arbitrary binary strings of code into any organism. That's simply not comparable with breeding -- the space of realizable phenotypes is orders of magnitude larger with GM.
>Breeding is selection of a pathetically tiny set of modifications, but GM is on a whole other level.
The truth is probably closer to the opposite of this: most GM species in the pipeline are rather unimaginative ones improving one phenotype at a time, and the vast majority of them focus on pest or herbicide resistance. There is a couple of near commercial crops aimed at improving nutritional content such as golden rice and high-lysine corn, but they are more exceptions than the rule.
The kind of totally disruptive GM e.g. introduce C3 photosynthesis in C4 plants, has not left the drawing board yet for a good reason.
OK if you wanted to create, say, a fluorescent horse, which technique would you use:
* breeding with radiation and chemical mutagens
You have one month.
On the other hand, one can slowly breed for desirable traits such as speed, endurance or disease resistance in horses, good luck doing that with GM.
We can do that precisely for fluorescence and many other traits with GM today, but good luck trying to breed a fluorescent horse, it could take millions of years if at all.
Besides, GFP fluoresence is the proverbial low hanging fruit as it is robustly expressed in many cell types but has very little practical value. Inserting useful traits via GM is often no short cut because they are rarely determined by a single gene.
Your point about multiple genes is a very good one but we have a good understanding of how some gene networks work already and the rest will follow.
I'd say that our ability to interact with the genome is still rather crude, else we'd have already cured cancer by now - we already have a pretty good understanding of the cellular biology of cancer but it only helps us so much.
Also I understand that this is a computer centered site but thinking of DNA as binary is a often used but terrible analogy. Living organisms were designed through complete randomness, try refactoring that. If you wanted to turn teosinte into corn without any random mutations and selection I think that would be far beyond our abilities for 100 years at least.
In evolution there's no design, which implies prediction and a model of function. But evolution is far from "completely random". In fact evolution goes to great lengths to correct mutations and only allows mutation in certain carefully controlled sequences of the genome where variation is potentially useful. There are sequences in our genomes that are identical to those of yeast, having been faithfully copied, and error-corrected, for billions of years.
Even CRISPR-CAS9 is not perfect and introduces a lot of unwanted genetic changes when used. Further the big advantage of GM compared with selective breeding is that you can inject Transgenes. This makes them totally incomparable.
Isn't your comment self-defeating? You have legitimate concerns about corporate abuse of IP law and a specific crop product- not with the scientific field of genetic modification. So why do you insist on villifying the term GMO instead of using accurate language to describe what you're talking about? From the other perspective, I cannot begin to understand how you are the one not acting in bad faith.
A lot of the anti-GMO people seem to argue in really bad faith if they're not paid shills.
See, I can create straw man arguments too.
It's worth noting that having such groups is a commonly used counter intelligence tactic: create a loud and incoherent pseudo-strawman opposition to distract from those who are actually asking legitimate questions.
An effective astroturf campaign calls for both pro-x and anti-x shills.
Do you know of any well documented cases of this (though by its nature, any case of this is probably not well documented)?
See flat earth as an obvious example of this.
Who is funding the anti-vaccine campaign? Nobody. It's stupid online bloggers and dishonest researchers egging each other on with fake news.