Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is nothing new under the sun

I had Word crash while writing an article last night . So instead of ranting I randomly searched ridiculous topics. The most absurd thing I could think of off the top of my head was "Potato Band".
And, yes, there is a Korean rock band called Potato Band. Apparently they are doing quite well. 4 albums.


Do I know how to have a fun wednesday evening or what? :)

This AM I came in for sweaty spin class with evil Mel. Pushed myself and felt great after. I've been living off beets and roasted summer squash on the days J works late. Last night was so delicious...more for lunch! Whoop :)

I am currently on a quest for knowledge. I have done genetic research, and even briefly worked for research project related to GMO canola. I have had to do a lot of reading into how GMO crops are created. I also do not wish to work with them or eat them because of the high chemical use in their cultivation and growth and think they should be clearly identified in my food stream for that reason alone, because depending on the type of GMO crop it is, it could be toxic. Without that knowledge, I refuse to eat it. I'm on this reading kick after Yum Yucky (whom I respect for her well researched posts) linked to a website that ranted against GMOS (nothing new) but had photos from animals fed GMO corn that developed hideous huge tumours.
Seriously. Huge tumours. They were horrid.

Firstly, I was angry....because it is absolutely inhumane for any animal study to be allowed to be carried out to that point. It would never be allowed in the facility I work for. That is ethically unconscionable to do so and the new rules regarding animal research in Canada would prohibit something like that form occurring because it is cruel and unnecessary. If 70% of an animal group died of liver or kidney failure the study would be stopped so that the animals would not have to suffer unnecessarily.
But also, and equally importantly, I want access to this study and the research details. I want the published results...because if this is true and from a well designed and validated study it would be published in a scientific peer reviewed journal.  Even Monsanto and pharmaceutical companies cannot stop the printing of independent research. The fact the animals were allowed to live in the state they are in suggests otherwise to me, but rules in Europe are different, so I want to know just what they did. If this is the case people need to know this. *I* need to know this. So I want to know control information, what they were fed, how...the important stuff. It's hard to know if whether I ate nothing but GMO corn my entire life if I wouldn't develop huge tumours too. And strangely, many chemical agents (like BPA) are, strangely, much more harmful at low doses than overwhelming ones, so dosage is important. Were some fed only a bit of it? And what happened to them? I mean,  maybe I would develop tumours if I ate only regular corn all my life too. When you seek the truth you have to look at everything. Sometimes the results you get aren't what you want...but you can't let bias interfere with reporting the facts. So it's important to know things like what else, if anything, were they given? What pesticide was the GMO crop grown with and how much was sprayed on the field? What KIND of GM crop was it (developed for pesticide resistance or nutrient enhancement).
I'm being so very nerdy, but I get all twitchy when things are presented incompletely or out of context to build an argument...for me it makes me suspicious. Thing is, I *know* how easy it is to twist data to say what you want it to. Bias comes from both sides, and it makes for bad science. If you want things to change and you want scientists to lobby for this change this kind of clear argument building is critical. There's a LOT of bad science out there.
Stories like this have been around for ages looking at how to better and properly stay away from hype and look at the facts about GMOs. It's hard to do.

I have a thing against GMOs. I also have a thing against bad science. I am a supporter of guys like Ben Goldacre who spend their time debunking false and inaccurate results and studies and push for scientific transparency. If you ever want a good read into what makes a good study and some more well known examples of poor science and false claims, pick up one of his books or watch a few of his TED talks. It's definitely worth it. Even if you don't agree with him on every point he encourages you to think and examine things for yourself scientifically.
As for me, I'm gonna do some more Pubmed searches and see what I literature references can come up with on this...if I find anything I'll let you know...

1 comment:

Yum Yucky said...

I love that you're doing this. I'm just a novice researcher. But you have researching super powers beyond anything I would even think to search out & undercover. I can't wait to hear more.