Quote from MaryM on January 10, 2013, 15:56
I think all of us are in favor of good data and good design. And I have no problem with looking at whether the designs are right. However, this could become an excuse for some people to demand 20 year rat studies, well exceeding the lifetime of any rat and the budget of any research group. I am willing to bet a $10 donation to Greenpeace that anti-GMOers and scientists would be unlikely to agree on a suitable and reasonable protocol-to-end-all-protocols.
I'm sure you guys are aware as well but Scientific American actually pointed out that Seralini's claims that he followed the same protocols is a little bit disingenuous as yes he used the same rats but there is a specific reason those rats are used in 90 day studies and he ignored the recommendation of the Sprague-Dawley suppliers. Here is the quote from the article http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hyped-genetically-modified-maize-study-faces-growing-scrutiny
>"The biggest criticism from both reviews is that Séralini and his team used only ten rats of each sex in their treatment groups. That is a similar number of rats per group to that used in most previous toxicity tests of GM foods, including Missouri-based Monsanto’s own tests of NK603 maize. Such regulatory tests monitor rats for 90 days, and guidelines from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) state that ten rats of each sex per group over that time span is sufficient because the rats are relatively young. But Séralini’s study was over two years — almost a rat’s lifespan — and for tests of this duration, the OECD recommends at least 20 rats of each sex per group for chemical-toxicity studies, and at least 50 for carcinogenicity studies."
>"Moreover, the study used Sprague-Dawley rats, which both reviews note are prone to developing spontaneous tumours. Data provided to Nature by Harlan Laboratories, which supplied the rats in the study, show that only one-third of males, and less than one-half of females, live to 104 weeks. By comparison, its Han Wistar rats have greater than 70% survival at 104 weeks, and fewer tumours. OECD guidelines state that for two-year experiments, rats should have a survival rate of at least 50% at 104 weeks. If they do not, each treatment group should include even more animals — 65 or more of each sex."
So I'm sure you have heard or read John Vandermeer's response to Lynas's talk and he makes a statement about Glyphosate saying there is evidence that it causes endocrine disruption. Doing a search in google scholar I found Seralini authored many of those papers which doesn't descredit them outright but makes me highly skeptical. On the other hand I found some that did not have Seralini as an author and seemed interesting:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00204-006-0170-5?LI=true (Although I note that Springer is a pay for play "peer-review" journal that has published 9/11 conspiracy theory papers.)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17984146 this one I'm less sure on as I can only see the abstract and couldn't see the results.
While most of the negative effects seem to mostly be centered around amphibians this does seem to be a concerning environmental aspect to the use of glyphosate. I note that it has little to do with GMO and more to do with herbicide and pesticide use which organics use as well, however as Monsanto seems determined to continue down the Roundup Ready crop path it does seem like a potential for problems. I know that a few studies don't overturn the massive amount showing safety but if the data is good shouldn't they be explored at the very least. However as layman its hard for me to evaluate the veracity and strength of these studies, as some are behind paywalls, and I don't have the technical expertise to understand them. Some insight would be great.