Many women, no Cry by Marcel Kuntz 29 April 2011 A recent publication by Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc in the journal Reproductive Toxicology (Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to Genetically Modified Foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada) claims to have detected traces of: herbicides (used on herbicide tolerant ‘genetically modified’ plant varieties) or their major metabolite, and the insecticidal protein Cry1Ab (produced by certain varieties called Bt-resistant insect pests) in the blood of Canadian women, pregnant or not pregnant, and in umbilical cords. Th[e Kuntz] site will publish any credible information about the validity of these claims and this article will be updated periodically. A publication lacking credibility Only claims of Aris and Leblanc on Cry1Ab are discussed here for the time being. The Cry1Ab protein is produced by some Bt cotton and corn (e.g. MON810). Aris and Leblanc claim they detected this protein in 93%
Gilles- Eric Seralini has won a court case in Paris over the issue of whether his funding by Greenpeace may have influenced his scientific judgement. Richard Hudson of ABC radio in Western Australia interviewed Seralini on this matter[link to ABC webpage], and also asked David Tribe to comment about the merits of Seralini’s scientific arguments (strongly criticised elsewhere on GMO Pundit website, for instance in Sad Seralini Statistical Saga and GMO statistics Part 5. FSANZ say non-validated statistical dredging doesn’t mean much). Seralini has also been strongly criticised by expert statisticians for the mistakes he has made in analysing of experiments done with rats to see how they react to genetically modified corn feed. In this interview with David Tribe we hear about the difference between statistical significance (mentioned by Seralini) and biological significance (not properly evaluated by Seralini).
Repeatedly claims are being made about food safety based on searches for differences between foods based on the concept of statistical significance (see for example Academics Review Genetic Roulette 1.3). In many cases the differences that are claimed are not even statistically significant because the wrong statistical models are used. Quite often the assumptions used when apply the test are violated , and the old saying, a garbage in garbage out applies .When using statistical tests based on certain assumptions it is always important to always ask whether or not the assumptions are justified. But other statistical mistakes are being made when making claims about GM feed safety. A common one is to confuse statistical with practical and biological significance. Even when the assumptions of use a statistical test are justified, a statistical indicator that comes out of them may be of no practical medical or clinical importance. The results