Hogwash! A review of Whitewash by Carey Gillam

A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey neighbor
Your debts are paid cuz you don’t pay for labor
“We plant seeds in the South. We create.”
Yeah, keep ranting
We know who’s really doing the planting
–Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton,
by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Carey Gilliam Whitewash, set against a box of kitty litter.
I took notes. Lots of notes. The litter helped with odor control.

Last fall a new book hit the shelves, timed to coincide with public hearings on the European Union’s re-authorization of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The book was Whitewash, by Carey Gillam, and came with quite a bit of fanfare from a chorus of organizations who are actively campaigning to ban the herbicide. Glowing reviews were posted by colleagues and friends of the author, while critical reviews penned by those who read the book and were familiar with the arguments being made were being deleted or accused of being fake.

The book promised to educate us on how glyphosate causes cancer, but that the industry knew this and used “strategic deception” to sow doubt about science and mislead the public about its relative safety. Does the book measure up against the hype, and does it carefully address inconvenient data that runs contrary to its thesis? I waited in the queue at my local library so I could read the book for myself. I read the book from cover to cover, and I took notes. Here is my review.

Whitewash, or Hogwash?

Carey Gillam starts her book “Whitewash” with a lofty quote about agriculture, penned by Thomas Jefferson. But as we know today, Jefferson’s rhetorical skills are not matched by the reality of his slave-owning lifestyle, and in fact his debt was astonishing.

Although Jefferson was wealthy in land and slaves, farming proved to be an unreliable and inadequate source of income.

Similarly, Carey’s crafty rhetorical skill is not matched by the realities of science or farming. This unfortunate parallel is probably the largest theme in this book. Nor is she doing the planting of anything–except doubt. Doubt is her product. You should be very afraid. And you might be, based on this book. She presented the things that she wanted you to see, not the full body of evidence that we have about the target of her ire. Some people would call that cherry-picking. But she wants you to be afraid of cherries, too.

Snippet from Whitewash by Carey Gilliam.

Or, maybe you’d care to hear from a scientist: “But she does not understand that the reason it is used in these contexts is because it is not taken up. If it was, the plants would die. Ugh.” (Kevin Folta, PhD). She could explain many features of farming better–she admits in the book that nearly half of the crops that encounter glyphosate are not genetically engineered for herbicide tolerance. But she can’t be bothered to help you really to grasp that fact. It’s much more important for her that you think glyphosate = GMOs.

The book is mostly a quick read, as Carey is not bogged down by statistics, farming context nor scientific details. Her emphasis is certainly spending time on what she claims are nefarious connections and hidden evidence. It is an extended conspiracy theory designed to create fog, with cherry-picked anecdotes, unsupported and unchallenged science claims, and dubious sources. In short, it’s crafty and dishonest on many fronts. I’d like to offer up the author’s own words: “This is strategic deception. It’s not accidental or ambiguous. It’s intentional”. Academics would call it Agnogenesis. I’d call it Hogwash.

To be fair, there are some actual facts in the book. Glyphosate is a chemical. And Monsanto was founded in 1901 by JF Queeny. There are other items that are technically true – papers have been published that claim some of the things that she suggests. But one of two things happened on the way to the book: her science training was inadequate, or she chose not to provide the context you need to understand the issues. Well, ok, maybe she’s two-for-two there. Hopefully, a book called Fearmonger will be written someday, maybe by another Reuters reporter (Kate Kelland, I’m looking at you), and we’ll get an independent examination of the agnogenesis she employs.
Until such time, here’s my summary of the main problems with this book.

  • Claims glyphosate causes Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, except the data shows it doesn’t.
  • Claims Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma rates went up over the last 20 years when they have actually remained the same.
  • Reports that Glyphosate is found in breast milk when the peer-reviewed literature shows it is not.
  • Sets up a cartoonishly false dichotomy between heroes and villains that reveals a systematic, underlying bias.
  • Blames the retraction of Séralini’s study on Richard Goodman, when he was not involved in its review.
  • Throws a defense of a retired consultant to the IARC glyphosate review panel claiming his independence of financial influence (which we now know to be false), while chastising a retired consultant whose views differ from hers.
  • Falsely smears independent groups like Science Moms and March Against Myths as being run by industry (they’re not).
  • Systematically omits industry funding and affiliations for her own organization and those who she quotes favorably.
  • Entirely ignores the extensive, important, detailed, 2-year long key review of the GMO arena done by the National Academy of Sciences, #GECropStudy http://nap.edu/gecrops.
  • Fails to engage in a reality-based discussion of farming issues faced by growers in the real world.

For those who feel the need to bash their heads against the wall, I’ll take you through these issues step by step, of course, doused and drenched with snark. Who’s ready for some hogwash?

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is the foundation of fear

The book begins Carey laying out her premise: in the mid-1990s everything changed as GMOs were introduced. “But shadowing the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is what I believe to be the true health and environmental calamity of modern-day agriculture–the flood across our landscape of the pesticide known by chemists as glyphosate and by the rest of us simply as Roundup.” [emphasis hers] She tells you the sad tale of a farmer who died of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) at age 69. Also, Monsanto killed their dog. Certainly it is sad to lose loved ones to cancer–it’s happened to all of us. And it would help to have someone to blame.

After the anecdote of a farmer’s illness, I expected her to make the case about the true calamity with some very obvious statistics. If the last two decades of the “flood” was causing massive spikes in NHL, of course we’d be presented with the chart of that data, from a reputable source like SEER, the cancer epidemiology database of the National Cancer Institute. What does that look like? Carey doesn’t want to bother your pretty little head about that. But I’ll show you. I’ve highlighted when the flood began. Hmm.

SEER data for NHL, mid-90s highlighted. The rate of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma remains constant after the introduction of glyphosate-tolerant GMO crops.

You should think about her claims of how much a flood of glyphosate would be represented by the data in the last couple of decades. That is, if they were true.

Glyphosate Testing (well, not all of it)

Carey Gillam goes into the issue of testing for glyphosate with a number of stories. She sources information from the Alliance for Natural Health’s exposé of breakfast cereals. Alliance for Natural Health is an anti-vaccine lobbying group for the alternative medicine and supplement industry, and they keep an “FDA Death Meter” on their site to make you afraid of conventional medicines and vaccines. They report that glyphosate was found in a variety of breakfast foods that they tested. Using a test called ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) for detection, they provide a non-peer-reviewed report on their site with their findings.

For another example, she describes the heroic Henry Rowlands’ Detox Project effort to get testing of glyphosate done that others weren’t doing. Although she references that his “family heritage is rooted in farming”, she neglects to mention it was “a family run organic sheep farm” – so they have had financial interests in the organic industry. A curious omission. She describes how so many labs turned him down (but she never talks to the labs about why this might have been). Those of us who understand testing protocols are aware of how carefully designed testing protocols need to be – and they vary by substance being tested. This would be expensive and time consuming to establish, with proper controls. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) documents of organic researchers and activists, though, reveal Henry’s real goal with testing. These documents were obtained by Stephan Neidenbach via MuckRock.com.

But his Detox Project can now sell you a test kit if you are worried. Don’t sweat the scientific accuracy. I’m sure the level of fear that the activists are aiming at will be sufficient.

She also talks about Moms Across America who valiantly exposed the hidden glyphosate in breast milk with the Inotech ELISA tests. But FOIA discovery reveals that even Michael Hansen of the Consumers Union said that “they are very dangerous because significant portions of the grass roots activists buy into their nonsense” and dissed the testing they had done. Carey Gillam further neglects to mention the PhD-carrying mom and breast milk expert who led a study (with proper protocols and appropriate controls) who found that was untrue, there is no glyphosate in breast milk. A German group found the same thing with proper testing. This should be welcomed by moms to help them allay their fears, and someone looking for the truth should tell you this. But that’s not the point of Carey’s book and you are not even told that these studies exist. Remember: be afraid.

Glyphosate “heroes” and “villains”

To help craft her tales of fear, Carey offers up a variety of heroes and villains. Charles Benbrook, an apparent hero, is quoted selectively. Richard Goodman, apparent villain, not quoted, is falsely blamed for the retraction of the Séralini paper (by Séralini, quoted at length). (Séralini even specified Goodman’s non-involvement as a condition of him sharing his data with the journal editors.) Some of the nefarious connections Carey details include media training provided by industry revealed by FOIA requests. Scientists typically don’t get media training in their careers, and they really are no match for slick activists, detox peddlers, and allied (sometimes unwitting) reporters who are always seeking media attention. In fact, in one case we find that FOIA documents reveal that Richard Goodman, a scientist at the University of Nebraska, was offered media training by agribusiness to speak to issues of GMO labeling.

Organic Valley helped with great coverage and training.

We do need more scientists speaking out on issues in the public sphere, it’s not something I think is that nefarious. But let’s look at FOIA documents about media training here on the right.

Oh, I’m sorry – wait, that’s Carey’s source Charles Benbrook’s media training provided by the organic industry. I’m sure she just forgot to mention that. We are not told whether Goodman actually got media training or how much money it involved, or if had anything near the success rate of Benbrook’s media strategy.

Speaking of media manipulation, Carey covers the publication of Gilles-Eric Séralini’s rat study publication event at length, and how “news outlets around the world published stories about the study findings, and regulators in many countries were understandably rattled.” Carey neglects to mention that Séralini’s team manipulated the media coverage, raising outrage among qualified journalists: From Darwinius to GMOs: Journalists Should Not Let Themselves Be Played. (BTW, Séralini’s team also coordinated with the folks on the California GMO labeling campaign, Michael Pollan noted in a lecture he had been invited to the launch call that was described to him as a “game changer”.) This well-timed but ultimately bad science and media drama had real consequences on trade and regulations, and that is a very unfortunate outcome that we see over and over in this arena.

IARC and Portier

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an organization that reviews various substances and situations for potential cancer-causing hazards. Items on their lists include wine, hot beverages, bacon, hairdressing, shift work, the sun, and other such scary topics. People have been critical of the often misleading ways the IARC conclusions are hyped. In 2015 they reviewed some farming chemicals, including glyphosate, and returned with a determination that it was a class 2A probable carcinogen. This was in contrast to every other agency around the world, but was a cause of much rejoicing among people peddling fear and lawsuits against Monsanto.

This case of dubious science is covered in the book. But not how you might expect from someone who claims to be a warrior for truth – with fairness and accuracy. Instead, Carey describes the IARC’s famous assessment at some length while omitting certain details.

One of the players in the IARC story is Christopher Portier, a toxicologist (left, with Carey). Reportedly he had no background in glyphosate when he became an “invited specialist” to the IARC group reviewing glyphosate. Portier is portrayed as a credentialed former scientist who had retired to a remote Swiss village (can’t you just smell the fresh mountain air?). Carey is dismayed that people used his consulting work with an environmental activist group to suggest that he was biased in his IARC role. Eight pages later, Carey impugns a retired credentialed former government scientist, Jess Rowland, and his influence on an EPA report and invokes nefarious and unknown retirement consulting work.

We don’t know if Carey could have known the extent of Portier’s influence on the IARC report at the time, it’s not described in the book. Since that time, though, it has come to light that someone in this group altered the original documents in a consistent manner to make the conclusions lean towards one direction: In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited out “non-carcinogenic” findings. We have also since learned that Portier has, in fact, been working for law firms who are suing Monsanto right now, on the basis that Roundup caused that farmer’s NHL cancer. He signed a contract the same week IARC released their glyphosate monograph. Since Carey’s organization – USRTK – also works closely with these law firms, it seems surprising that an intrepid investigator and researcher seeking truth wouldn’t have been aware of this, and neglected to mention it.
As one weed science researcher noted about the IARC document editing revelations: “I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but that is a pretty odd set of choices to make, if the goal is really to figure out the truth.”

Lies on Ties

It clearly is a matter of consternation to Carey Gillam and her colleagues that public scientists and some moms disagree with her truth about GMOs and glyphosate. She spends time on many stories everyone has already heard, attacking public researchers who have exchanged emails with corporations. She never provides you with the context that many public scientists are required by their jobs and grants to work with a variety of stakeholders including farming groups and industry. But the emails are used as evidence of collusion, which should make you discount all of them. (Except her experts and the warrior moms she courts.)

Carey implies that the Science Moms are tied to Monsanto. They are not. This is a flat-out lie. These are women who are frustrated that nonsense peddlers using bad science and fear campaigns are causing parents to make bad choices on food and vaccines. And this is why your can’t let your conspiracy-fogged brain trample over the facts – Carey cannot distinguish between the science and her conspiracy theories. (Full disclosure: I gave money to the SciMoms crowdsourced film project, and I got a t-shirt and a copy of the film in return. Apparently they shill for me?) In another case of omission, Carey pretends that her own industry team is not having mommy bloggers and her scientist sources influencing people with social media. Be sure to see the photo and caption: “Harvard Researcher Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD Speaking to Bloggers at Stonyfield Organic Breakfast”. Carey cites Lu’s work in her book.

And, of course, Carey writes very differently about Vani Hari, the Food Babe, who calls Carey “my dear friend”. The Food Babe profits off products she sells from her fear-mongering website.

Similarly, Carey Gillam suggests that the grassroots March Against Myths about Modification (MAMyths) group is an industry front group, claiming it was founded, funded, or backed by industry. Like the SciMoms, they are not, and she again presents no evidence of this dark association. (Editor’s note: MAMyths is a project of Biology Fortified, Inc., which is supported by individual donors and not by the industry, as is clearly noted on both sites.)

A snapshot of OCA’s 2016 Form 990, showing two large, secret [corporate?] donors. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Credit: Andrew Kniss

She includes the story of a retired scientist, now wellness farmer, Thierry Vrain, who was slated to present a talk at a Houston science museum about “The Poison in our Food Supply”. Carey had earlier described Vrain’s conversion based on “obscure studies”. (Mm hmm. I’m sure they high-quality studies.) She reports that “Kevin Folta and other industry supporters” were responsible for shining a spotlight on Vrain’s unsuitable talk for a science museum. The talk was booted. The group that actually sounded the alarm to alert the science museum about Vrain’s talk was MAMyths – a decent investigative researcher might have figured this out, especially since his relocated talk was debunked live by them on Twitter (#JustAThierry). Kevin Folta was very involved as well. But in her complaint she also neglected to tell you the story of a science panel that Folta was part of, booted out of a food coop by a member of Carey’s activist circle, Jonathan Latham.

The irony of Carey’s claims is beyond astonishing, over and over. She cites Michele Simon on industry groups this way: “The idea is to fool the media, policymakers, and the general public into trusting these sources, despite their corporate-funded PR agenda.” Michele Simon is the executive director for an industry PR and lobbying group, and previously worked on the GMO labeling policy issue in California, which was run by Carey’s current bosses: Gary Ruskin and Stacy Malkan. She neglects to inform the reader that her current job at USRTK is funded largely by money funneled via the Organic Consumer’s Association from industries that stand to benefit by raising fear and doubt about their competitors’ products. I’m sure these are just accidental omissions. </sarcasm>

It would be one thing if Carey Gillam reported about actual cases of the biotech industry having financial ties to organizations that speak favorably about their products (to be fair there are some) and forgot to do the same on the other side. But to just make up lies about independent groups while falsely portraying members of competing industries as independent means that she’s not even trying to look intellectually consistent or honest.

Facts about GMOs and Glyphosate

There are so many errors of omission, and repetition of common activist tropes (SEED SAVING!1!!), uncited and unsourced insinuations, conflations of pesticides, serial abuse of cell culture models without context, and flat out falsehoods that dissecting them would take pages and have no value at all to her fans, and would be unnecessary for those of us who have been following the science. I’ll just wrap up with a few more observations on her strategies.

Carey spends chapters 7-8 conflating all pesticide use with GMOs and glyphosate – without any tinge of awareness that her glypho-hate fixation may actually be harming the discourse by causing people to fixate on the wrong thing. And absolutely no comment about what happens if they did manage to ban glyphosate. Even one of her favorite sources – Charles Benbrook – advises against a ban because it would cause increases in more harmful compounds. (From FOIA documents):

“I do want to share one thing. In many countries, especially abroad, rapid action to ban GLY will lead to increased use of paraquat. While I am glad to see pressure building for more judicious use of GLY, I personally do not support a total ban, not even close. The chemical alternatives are almost certainly orders of magnitude worse, both in terms of environmental and human health risks.”

But there’s no evidence that Carey wants you to understand that context.
In Chapter 9, Carey works very hard to convince you that the fact of German and European-wide food and chemical agency assessments finding that glyphosate studies were flawed, and expressing their disagreement, it’s all because Monsanto told them to do so. Look away from the scientific agencies, she wants, and look to the activist groups and organic farmers for your answers. Because conspiracy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In chapter 10 she talks to some actual weed scientists about the issues of resistance, and tells us about how much weed impacts on yield can really hurt farmers (this is another actual fact in this book). She talks about how awful and expensive hand weeding is. But she provided no evaluation of alternatives. She talks to someone who says, “When you spray glyphosate on a plant it’s like giving it AIDS.” And she prints that uncritically and unchallenged. Soon after she attempts to blame glyphosate for citrus greening disease. This is utter nonsense. In fact, it’s worse than nonsense–it’s like blaming vaccines for autism. Blaming the wrong thing is really harmful if you want to find solutions. It’s really pure idiocy.

In addition to the long list of evil things that glyphosate supposedly does, several times she hinted at endocrine disruption. This has been repeatedly flogged by glypho-haters every time their other theories fail. And this came too late for her book, but I’m sure she’ll be relieved to know that glyphosate “does not have endocrine disrupting properties”. Damn those government scientists and their demands for the weight of evidence!

In her focus on the conspiracies and cranks, Carey apparently didn’t have room for what the actual scientific bodies have to say about GMOs and herbicides. During the writing of this book, an important study came out from the US National Academy of Sciences about “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects“. There is not a word about the findings of this highly respected body in this book. It’s probably wise for her to avoid this, because they observed that the “pounds” metric for pesticides was not a helpful descriptor and a more sophisticated assessment was recommended.

RECOMMENDATION: Researchers should be discouraged from publishing data that simply compares total kilograms of herbicide used per hectare per year because such data can mislead readers.

Oh, the respected scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say that weight of herbicide may “mislead readers”? Yet Carey constantly drops pounds of fear on readers.

Additionally, the National Academy report looked at health issues related to genetically engineered crops and the long list of concerns that people claim are related to them, such as “cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal tract illnesses, kidney disease, and disorders such as autism spectrum and allergies”. They compared countries with widespread use of GMO crops and those without. In brief, their conclusion on the health issues:

No pattern of differences was found among countries in specific health problems after the introduction of GE foods in the 1990s.

It is utterly–UTTERLY–irresponsible to ignore the multi-year National Academy of Sciences’ investigation into these issues. In the book preface Carey says, “As you’ll see in this book, the only bias I hold is for the truth.” No, you won’t see that in the book because she omits this key major document. It’s like talking about climate without mentioning an IPCC report. It is peak bias and ultimate dishonesty. She does note that a German federal “Renewal Assessment Report” in 2013 concluded that “glyphosate was unlikely to pose a cancer risk”, but claims that this report was based on an industry dossier. Carey’s source for this? A non-peer-reviewed screed that Nancy Swanson has posted to Academia.edu. Nancy Swanson has no visible training or experience in this field.

She does refer to a government study that she did appear to favor. The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a long-term study of many thousands of pesticide applicators and their spouses. She admits that the study “thus far found little or no connection between glyphosate and disease, including NHL”. She does attempt to sow some doubt on this, though, saying they haven’t followed the farmers long enough. Well, just recently a new publication came out on this study. The conclusion?

“In this large, prospective cohort study, no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall, including NHL and its subtypes.

Let the handwaving ensue.

The decision by the European Union to renew the license for glyphosate was looming as Carey was writing this book. Her Whitewash was perfectly timed to influence that decision. Carey took her book and presentation to the EU to testify before legislators (you can see an awful animated version of her presentation hosted at Chuck Benbrook’s site), and it almost worked. But glyphosate has been renewed for now. Unsurprisingly, Carey seemed irked that the actual science from the Agricultural Health Study that demonstrated no link to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was published in time before the vote. Or was it timed to undermine the lawsuit? Conspiracy theorizing is hard. Also unsurprisingly, of course she thinks this is nefarious. Alas.

Conclusion and the way forward

Farming is a hard job, as it had been before Jefferson’s time and it will continue to be in the future. A real look at the challenges and trade offs that are made, with serious discussion about the alternatives, and their features and bugs, is warranted. But that’s not what we get in this Whitewash.
Carey closes the book with a chapter called “Seeking Solutions”. It begins with a quote from Rachel Carson–but not the one where Carson implores us to use biology instead of chemistry–as we do with Bt crops and GMO mosquitoes. And not the fact that we tweak a gene enabling us to use safer chemistry to battle weeds. She talks about biological seed treatments that are being worked on–which may be great, we’ll have to see. She has no apparent concern about introducing new microbes into a system. Of course, she wants it all to become organic, despite the higher costs and lower yields that she admits. She flogs the Rodale report. She does not tell you that her sources Francis Moore Lappé and Chuck Benbrook found the Rodale study “disappointing and shallow”, while adding that no one takes Rodale seriously anymore.

She describes agroecology as a way forward. She does not acknowledge that agroecology means “proper use of technology is an indispensable part of achieving sustainability”. This may include GMOs and herbicides. She does cite Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur, a lawyer. Elver’s UN report on agroecology actually cited the fake Monsanto Tribunal as evidence. This may not be someone with a good grasp of quality sources.

This book, overall, is a large exercise in doubt–attempting to mislead you with selected information, while fogging the field with suggestions that so much is being hidden from you by people with black helicopters. In fact, much is being hidden from you in this book. It’s a perfect example of what was recently described as “’agnogenesis’ — the intentional manufacture of ignorance”. Carey has attempted to manufacture readers’ ignorance by leaving out very important scientific facts and using unsupported claims and insinuations as her shoddy foundation.

I understand that people with cancer and their loved ones want to have someone to blame. It would be satisfying to be able to point to a villain and say: YOU–you are responsible for my cousin’s death from leukemia! Because cancer being something random that kills a 15-year-old is hard to take. But you can’t just blame the wrong thing. If you do that, you cannot get to the real sources and solutions to the actual issues.

Conspiracy theories and mavericky lone scientists are appealing to some. Yet they are typically ultimately unproductive and often harmful. This case is very much like that of the vaccine dramas, where blaming the corrupt feds and Big Pharma, and championing the underdog doctor, may be the story you’d rather believe. But we need to look to the body of evidence on a topic, we need to look to qualified scientists and sources, and we need to resist the lure of filling in the gaps between the realities of the data with the outcomes you prefer. This book is about whitewashing. But you need to look at what Carey painted over. And you need to ask why.

We all want our government agencies and careful journalists to be our protectors and arbiters of facts. We need them to stand in the middle between greedy corporations and people who prefer to run the system based on their personal beliefs that are not grounded in science. Mostly, government scientists do a decent job–we have safe and abundant food, we have new medications from methods including gene editing, and we have technological innovations that changed our lives, like the internet, because they helped us to get there. Painting them as corrupt people who want to inflict you with cancer is really unhelpful in many ways. And letting activists with loose tethers to facts establish policy is a very risky strategy. Skip this hogwash, and instead look at what reputable scientific agencies have to say. Walking away from fearmongers may add years to your life, and is good exercise.

PS: The Organic Consumer’s Association, the main funding channel for Carey Gillam’s employer, USRTK, just happens to be an organization that ran a project to mislead the Somali community in Minnesota about vaccines, leading to a measles outbreak that harmed vulnerable children.

Editor’s Note: A request for clarifications of claims in this book was issued to the author, editors, and publisher, and the publisher declined to comment on fabrications or omissions in the book. The editors and author did not respond to repeated requests to comment.

Mary Mangan

Written by Mary Mangan

Mary Mangan has a PhD in cell, molecular, and developmental biology from the University of Rochester. She co-founded OpenHelix, a company that provides awareness and training on open source genomics software tools. She has published numerous articles on biology, biotechnology, biometrics, and genomics.

112 comments

  1. Looks like the “flood” of glyphosate helps 5 year survival rates of NH Lymphomia and stemmed the rising tide of new cases! 🙂

  2. Hey now, correlation does not imply causation! But at least we can say non-correlation implies non-causation.
    It reminds me of those old claims from Jeffrey Smith about allergies “skyrocketing” due to genetically engineered soy. It turns out there was no such skyrocketing, and the claim was based on an old advert saying more people are buying a lab’s soy allergy tests than before.

  3. Hmmm..maybe.someone that works for Reuters? Like Kate McClelland, the reporter that Carey Gillam never was and never will be.

  4. Posted on Linkedin. I was even complimentary. That is genetically rough due to the epigenetic effects of glyphosate.

  5. Huh. Nobody has offered a defense of Carey’s behavior. They just seem to want to layer more conspiracy theories on this. My favorite is that Karl just told me what to say, because we got orders from Big M.
    I think fan fiction is hilarious. Unfortunately, it’s ultimately dangerous that people fall for Carey’s nonsense over the facts.

  6. I keep keep losing track. Am I issuing the orders or is MonSauron? I need to know whether I’m writing checks or receiving them. Taxes and all.
    There will be no substantive response because that’s harder than crying shill.

  7. Having read several of Gillam’s pieces and interacted with her below the line in her articles, I have no great faith that her book is anything other than fiction. What she wants to be the truth is more important to her than reality. Thank you for reading it and saving me the trouble. My taste in fiction leans more to 19th century novels of manners and early crime fiction.

  8. Suggestion: publish a short version of this devastating review in the Amazon webpage of the book – if it is allowed.

  9. Oh, right, I didn’t think through the tax consequences. But yes, I heard you are both on the take and forcing me to write, so I assume you paid me according to this conspiracy theory.

  10. Just a point of fact: The ‘Complete Scientifc Accuracy’ point in Rowlands e-mail was not related to avoiding scientific accuracy it was related to not needing a method with a very low LOD for glyphosate (which most activists call for), which hadn’t been created at that time – we know this point as this was published clearly in the media. Also having an organic farm does not mean anyone is involved in the ‘Organic Industry” – “industry” is a big word to use in that case. Are conventional farmers like myself then involved in the “chemical” industry?
    Also stating that laboratories would have needed to create specific protocols for glyphosate testing is a wild guess from your side – as most big laboratories have had the ability and have tested glyphosate for years in many matrices.
    I agree with most of your article but be careful of facts when pointing out errors in the book.

  11. 1. I believe that Rowlands is part of a very wealthy family of organic yogurt production in the UK. But I’d love for him to clarify that as well. Do you know him?
    2. Are you Rowlands, or involved with that work at all? How can you speak to that? It’s actually pretty clear from what the activists have wanted to do is fearmonger and accuracy is not their aim. But in addition–it says so right there in the actual text. They have been told repeatedly that the testing they do is insufficient.
    3. Why was it not possible for us to get the data on the testing for all the cereals and the Ben & Jerry’s and all the other things they did–besides the bogus breast milk testing? Nobody has shown the Doritos protocol. But it’s absolutely not true that there are published protocols for all of the nonsense that’s been tested to date. Or if you claim there is, you should feel free to bring all those papers over.

  12. The German study of glyphosate in breast milk was done by two independent labs and used different methodologies. As stated in the sbstract: “Both methods were newly developed for breast milk and are able to quantify glyphosate residues at concentrations as low as 1 ng/mL.”
    The glyphosate extraction and testing method was not something the 2 labs had on hand.

  13. I am not sure what this is a reply to? As I was talking in generall about laboratory testing – I am a laboratory consultant / conventional farmer 9a strange mixture:) and I have worked with many FDA registered laboratories. For food testing for the FDA as long as the sample is tested for a specific pesticide or pesticide screen with an in-house verified method that is a modificiation of another method for similar products it can be used and resultss reported for import and export of produce. It is good that the German study did that but it is not generally needed for food testing – it is great for human sample testing though!.

  14. Thank you for your reply.
    1. I have no idea and I really don’t care who Rowlands is – my point is simply that we need to avoid acting like ‘them’ by labeling people as part of the industry, when we have no proof they are and have only said they grew up on an organic farm – I have been labeled as a ‘chemical’ industry pusher for having a conventional farm, which is stupid!
    2. I was wanting to criticize Rowlands for the scientific accuracy comment – but I was put straight on this in an article somewhere, which published more information on that conversation – I’ll dig it out if I can.
    3. I have seen some reports for example for the Ben and Jerry’s testing, which do not contain the method used – which is not good at all – some NGOs really don’t know how top report testing correctly. However, again after wanting to criticize the testing by Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project in 2016 (they didn’t do the B&Js), I was impressed by what they reported from the lab – again I am totally supportive of what you are all saying I just think we need to be careful how we label people and who we criticize and when – we do not want to fall in to the trap of being unbalanced!

  15. 1. There’s more to the Rowlands history, but that is not the point of this. It is sufficient to know that Carey actively neglected to tell you about the bias of her sources over and over. It is deliberate.
    2. Rowlands is running a fear campaign, like all the other crappy testing activist fear campaigns. I don’t care what else you heard about it, he admitted it in the very email that’s posted.
    3. We do not have the Doritos protocol. You have no idea what all the ingredients in those are doing to the testing. Turmeric lights up everything as researchers recently showed. We do not need to create false balance based on your speculations.

  16. From this reply I realize that you are just as bad as they are – so will not be commenting further on this site.
    You obviously have no idea about food laboratory testing too – so you cannot comment – Turmeric lights up everything?????? – have you every used Mass Spec – obviously not! Doritos would be one of the easiest things to test.
    Signing out and very dissapointed – you guys will never get far as biased reporting is always found out in the end – just like Carey’s biased reporting.
    I will be giving my opinion to our close family friend Dan at Monsanto to make sure they fight back against misinformation on all sides of the debate, as he has already suggested.

  17. Feel free to go away. I am not talking only about Mass Spec because that’s not what a lot of this testing is. So you are admitting you don’t have any idea what testing we are talking about–that clarifies things, at least.
    Edit to add: besides misunderstanding the testing, you have missed the point of this piece. Carey did not distinguish from the poor quality stunt testing when she was dropping the fear bombs. And she completely avoided the quality testing that showed no glyphosate.
    Buh-bye.

  18. Also stating that laboratories would have needed to create specific protocols for glyphosate testing is a wild guess from your side – as most big laboratories have had the ability and have tested glyphosate for years in many matrices.

    The 2 labs used by the German BfR did the right thing. They modified an existing testing protocol because the protocols they did have available did not accurately detect glyphosate in breast milk when an aliquot laced with glyphosate was tested.
    What Moms Across America did with their breast milk ‘study’ was use a lab that used a test that specifically states it is only accurate in water samples.
    We have no raw data from the cereal and food studies. Just some numbers. We do not know whether the testing method was standardized to detect glyphosate in that food stuff. We do not know whether the numbers posted were outliers that were cherry picked. The independent lab may have done everything correctly, but when they gave their results back to the people who hired them, all we saw were what they announced to one and all as scary numbers. We have no idea if those numbers actually reflected the averaged results of multiple repetitions. That is the problem with groups with an agenda using independent labs.

  19. You are as anti-science as everyone else – you have no deep knowledge and are just a talking shop – time to get a real job and I will try and make people aware of this blog and its anti-science rubbish! Trump would be ashamed of you all.

  20. I haven’t claimed to be anything more than what I am – I just wish that you were doing a better job at fighting the opposition – you are failing and they are winning – can’t you see that? You need to change your tune and become serious and balanced so the mainstream media starts to trust you again! Failures cannot be continued to be supported and that will be my message.

  21. have you every used Mass Spec – obviously not! Doritos would be one of the easiest things to test.

    I have used a Mass Spec and this is not the case.

  22. That “Trump would be ashamed of you all” comment is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen here. After a claim about being anti-science, no less.
    But let’s try not to bite off each others’ heads right from the get go, m’kay?

  23. Personally, I would love to be the source of Donald Trump’s disappointment. Can we arrange that?

  24. I’ve run a testing lab and worked under ISO 17025 accreditation. Under that standard it is absolutely necessary to validate any existing analysis method for any new matrix, including LOD & spike/recovery. Anything less lacks rigor to the point of being speculative.

  25. I agree Karl – I am just sometimes frustrated by the situation – I apologize for reacting too strongly.
    I just want to be sure that our general arguement does not turn in to a fringe argument because we react like the opposition and write things without real proof. They are the fringe we are not!

  26. With current extraction methods and using new machines it is not as difficult as it once was.
    I have been using Mass Spec for many years (too many to count)

  27. It is certainly not “one of the easiest things to test” like you claimed.
    It would not be impossible, but it would be a difficult matrix because of all the potentially contaminating compounds that would be extracted along with the glyphosate. With a suitable set of tests to work out recovery and proper clean up, it would be possible to test for glyphosate, although I fear the LOQ would be relatively high.
    Your claim that it “would be one of the easiest things to test” leads me to the conclusion that you don’t really know what you are talking about.

  28. I agree as well, David, although calling someone anti-science pretty quickly is not very productive. Sometimes it helps if we know more about the person we’re talking to. You mentioned you are a farmer, what do you grow, and what part of the country?

  29. Carey covers the publication of Gilles-Eric Séralini’s rat study publication event at length, and how “news outlets around the world published stories about the study findings, and regulators in many countries were understandably rattled.”

    So she broke The Seralini Rule. Actually that’s all you need to know to dismiss this book.

  30. michael v patti Comment left 22nd September 2016 14:02:45
    THE MOST DISCONCERTING FACT IS THAT THE INFORMATION ABOUT ROUNDUP AND GLYPHOSATE, AND SUBSEQUENT DESTRUCTION AND INTERFERENCE OF THE SHIKIMATE PATHWAY, HAS BEEN AVAILABLE FOR SOME TIME NOW. THIS CANNOT BE ANYTHING LESS THAN A CONSPIRACY OF GREAT PROPORTION ON MANY LEVELS OF INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT OVERSEERS, WHICH HAS PROMPTED ME TO EXPLORE AND PURSUE LEGAL ACTION.
    michael patti Comment left 22nd September 2016 14:02:55
    In lieu of the information available about Roundup, and the ill-effects glyphosate has on EPSPS, cytochrome p450, shikimate pathway, etc., the numerous physical problems associated with the chemicalproduct, and last but not least, the emotional and mental disorders that are often not connected, but can easily be a result of cause and effect due to this herbicide, the continued use of this product cannot be construed in any alternative manner except a conspiracy via Monsanto and the F.D.A. and others. I am currently delineating materials and information for a lawsuit against Monsanto and the U.S. F.D.A.

  31. In fact, because we understand the pathway we know why it works on plants and not on humans. And we have for decades.
    I saw you left the same copypasta screed on the Mesnage paper today too. Did you know that even Mesnage and Antoniou have tried to stop the crazy Seneff-style claims that you are making because they are harming the discourse?
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00316/full
    When even these guys think your claims are bad, your claims are bad.

  32. “In fact, because we understand the pathway and we know why it works on plants and not humans”….try telling that to lactobacillus. Your gut microbiome might disagree with you, as well as the women who didn’t take m. folate and ended up with neural tube defects. A little suspicious of the folic acid recommendation for pregnant women as well as associated birth defect spikes. The cumulative evidence is evident.

  33. Researchers have looked at that. I mean qualified ones. The presentation to the National Academy of Sciences on specifically this issue found no evidence. It is not “evident” if there’s no “evidence”. Sorry.
    But you won’t find the National Academy info in Carey’s book–she completely avoided it. She’s misleading everyone. As is Seneff and cranks pals.

  34. You’re not very good at this.
    The point is, your claim of gathering information for a suit against the FDA and Monsanto is most likely complete baloney. But if it’s not, show your evidence!

  35. Try explaining away andor offering alternative rival hypotheses (as my graduate school research design professor Dr. Dwight Hare would say) for the disproportionate spikes in depression and adhd. Do you think it was a coincidence? Or is it just a coincidence that there is a relationship involving the shikimate pathway, dopamine, and serotonin production?

  36. Corn “traits” and “production” do not have anything to do with safety. A meta-analysis combines information from multiple studies….no causeeffect variables

  37. It’s beginning to look that you are unable to support your claimed conspiracy between FDA and Monsanto with anything resembling facts.
    Instead you just deflect further.

  38. It seems like some of this discussion went off the rails. I’m removing a part of this thread that devolved into insults and proclamations about reporting comments. If there’s a problem, flag it – announcing that you are flagging it just makes things worse. Hold off on the conspiratorial claims and personal attacks, people.

  39. The graph showing no special correlation between the introduction of GMOs and any increase in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma doesn’t disprove a link between glyphosate pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    The research used for the European registration renewal was funded by the pesticide industry and contradicts the IARC, which says that epidemiological studies show a correlation. More research is needed – but it’s not the only health problem associated with glyphosate herbicides. Fatty liver disease has now been linked as well.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26302742/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28067231/
    To me, this controversy demands more careful and independent research. I’m not interested in the book – we already know that the EPA is limited in what it can assess and relies on the industry’s research. We don’t really have a good picture of what this ubiquitous herbicide means in the ecosystem – it’s the most widely used in the world and it’s tough to tease out. My own evaluation of the EPA data suggests that you’d want to limit exposure for young children, and that with glyphosate being present in every food, including baby food, that is difficult. Remember, those of us at a certain age have already survived a period of time free of glyphosate, but young children who are ingesting it every day in everything they eat are being exposed at levels we haven’t evaluated.

  40. The graph is there to illustrate that Carey’s claim that GMOs caused widespread dousing of crops after that point would cause more lymphoma. It very clearly doesn’t. I don’t know if you’ve been watching the trial at all, but the judge is also seeing through Carey’s and her fellow traveler’s claims.
    And you really shouldn’t rely on the Seralini data for anything, ever. Their work was bogus right from the beginning, but we also know that their analysis in that paper was wrong. But you go ahead and do your own proteomics research with proper analysis and get back to us.
    I don’t know how old you are, but glyphosate existed when I was a kid.

  41. The graph showing no special correlation between the introduction of GMOs and any increase in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma doesn’t disprove a link between glyphosate pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Epidemiological studies show a correlation, as the IARC concluded.
    Unless you can make a valid criticism of the studies I linked to, you can’t dismiss them scientifically – you can only dismiss them as someone who’s not interested in the science.
    It’s not about glyphosate “existing” beforehand – it’s about the exponential increase of use and presence in our food and other environments. This likely presents a risk for young children.

  42. The graph showing no special correlation between the introduction of GMOs and any increase in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma doesn’t disprove a link between glyphosate pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    But it makes it unlikely.
    If the hypothesis that glyphosate use was causing NHL were true, you would expect to see a large increase in incidence of NHL some time after a massive increase in use. The graph shows no real change.

    The research used for the European registration renewal was funded by the pesticide industry and contradicts the IARC, which says that epidemiological studies show a correlation.

    This occurred in some small studies. The largest ever study of pesticide applicators in the US found no correlation. https://academic.oup.com/jnci/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jnci/djx233/4590280

    Fatty liver disease has now been linked as well.

    In some very poor research. The paper doing so is a multinomics paper where they looked protein and metabolite expression in livers from 10 treated and 10 control female rats from the retracted Seralini experiment. For some strange reason, female only rats were chosen. There was no pathology shown (although a previous paper was referred to looking at the same livers, which found no fatty liver disease pathology and ironically showed a micrograph from the original Seralini paper of a male rat in this paper labelled as a female rat). However, looking at the data, when corrected for multiple comparisons there were only 3 metabolites were significantly different between the groups, none of which are related to fatty liver disease. It would seem that the conclusions are not supported by the data. We have seen this from Seralini’s group before.

  43. You can’t look at all cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and look at the use of GMOs, and determine whether or not there’s a correlation between Glyphosate or roundup exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    And yes, there is a problem with the fact that there have been few studies on the health effects of increasing use of roundup in agriculture (and elsewhere) and the presence of such pesticides in our food. The research that does exist indicates kidney and liver dysfunction.

  44. Could you provide this research? I’m unfamiliar with it.
    And, correct me if I’m wrong, but the study provided looked at farmers and farm workers who use glyphosate (the population likely to be most exposed to it) and found no correlation to those people having NHL.

  45. The IARC used a subset of the same studies the BfR used (that’s my understanding). The BfR used survey studies by Mink et al, which were industry-funded, as their main support for their claims. Monsanto and the EPA were fully aware of these effects based on studies done decades ago, but deregulated the pesticide based on what were expected to be typical exposures. Now, the EPA, basing its conclusions on diet surveys already somewhat outdated, says that those most at risk would be 3 year olds. however, the government’s stance is still that there’s no harm. Frankly, if I had young children, I would be doing what I could to limit their exposure.

  46. Sorry, I don’t think I differentiated between the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the kidney and liver damage. Mink et al were regarding NHL.

  47. But the IARC made no kidney or liver disfunction claims. In fact, no one has made kidney or liver disfunction claims save Giles Seralini and his work has been universally criticized as a joke.
    And I’m not sure where you’re getting this stuff about the EPA & 3year olds. There has been nothing suggesting any more harm to young children. All exposure levels are based on body weight and younger children tend to have lower body weight and there for lower exposure thresholds. But it’s irrelevant because food residues are hundreds, and often thousands of times lower than what could cause anyone harm.

  48. I have. That’s why I’m pressing you for information. You apparently have info that no one else is privy too.

  49. There were many valid criticisms of the studies at the journal and in pubpeer, and there is also a pending issue with the journal, where cranks are good at stalling–that’s what the Seralini team does every time they are asked to fix the problems with their papers. It’s a good strategy for them, because they get to lie about the work for a lot longer.
    And yes, it is about the “exponential” increase not resulting in changes to the the NHL levels. Glad you can understand that.

  50. Please be more specific, Mlema: what “kidney and liver damage”?
    (BTW it’s good to see you again. We haven’t cross paths—or swords—in a while).

  51. I’m not sure why, but in response to your clam that I have some special privilege, I’m providing the following:
    https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361-0071
    There’s much more information on the EPA site regarding glyphosate. Just search: EPA glyphosate
    I’m guessing you’ll want to argue with me about what I’ve concluded.
    I hope you will consider the difficulty in accurately assessing dietary exposure for any single person in the US. The conclusions have changed since the last risk assessment was done, but you’ll note that the dietary evaluation was conducted on surveys from 2003-2008 on two non-consecutive days for 20,000 people.
    And here’s how the EPA manages to ignore the IARC conclusions and continues to list glyphosate as non-carcinogenic (as the industry wishes):
    https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361-0074
    With research showing that this pesticide can cause heath problems at exposures below those tolerances set by the EPA, and with the industry holding strong sway with the EPA and also reaching its long fingers into academia – I am sharing this information with you as a recommendation of general caution for anyone feeding young children. Do what you like with my blessing.

  52. I’m not asking where to find epa data. As I said before, I’ve read that. I’m asking where the data claiming kidney & liver damage is at.
    And the EPA isn’t ignoring the IARCs conclusions. The specifically address that they disagree with them. Besides, the IARC does not assess risk. The EPA does. In fact every single risk assessment body in the world that has reviewed glyphosate has disagreed with the IARC, including the WHO.

  53. Yes, I already read it. The Seralini crew did NOT show evidence of liver and kidney damage, despite the inflammatory title. Chris Preston already covered this earlier in the thread.
    This was an ‘omics fishing expedition, unsurprisingly characteristic of Seralini’s work. No rationale was given for why the lowest dose was chosen for the study, rather than a much higher one. (My assumption is that it was political rather than scientific.) As I recall, in the 2012 paper, the authors tried to explain away a the lack of dose-response by invoking hormesis. (A desperate tactic, in my opinion.)
    No data was offered to show how much variability in profiles occurs by chance between experimental replicates from the same tissue. Without this, the simplest interpretation is that any differences observed were just noise.
    As far as I can tell, the samples used were taken from the study published in 2012, but no evidence was presented to demonstrate that these tissue samples are stable over a period of several years.
    My rating of ‘Scientific Reports’ has definitely dropped after seeing that this paper was accepted.

  54. Those who must support the biotech/transgenic industry at any cost, must support these pesticides also, at any cost. This piece you’ve written is a perfect example. There’s no critical foundation – it’s just conspiracy theory.

  55. and your graph still fails as an illustration of anything other than new cases and deaths from NHL, with a yellow band plopped on there to show when GMOs were introduced.

  56. Oh, right, asking that people stand on science is a conspiracy theory.
    I can’t help myself. I stand with science on vaccines, climate, round earth, all of it. It’s all a conspiracy of scientists, you have our number, Mlema!

  57. I linked you to the paper I referenced. I’m not interested in defending Seralini. You’re parroting criticisms that have already been addressed. What is your purpose?

  58. You can ask the question: If the hypothesis that glyphosate is a causitive factor in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were true, why hasn’t there been an increase in incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma despite a 20-fold increase in glyphosate use since 1990?
    The lack of an increase in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma incidence suggests the hypothesis is not true. When this is backed with the largest ever study of pesticide applicators over 20 years finding no significant link between glyphosate use and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma the only conclusion one can draw is that the hypothesis is wrong.

    And yes, there is a problem with the fact that there have been few studies on the health effects of increasing use of roundup in agriculture (and elsewhere) and the presence of such pesticides in our food.

    In fact there is a considerable evidence available:
    Safety Evaluation and Risk Assessment of the Herbicide Roundup and Its Active Ingredient, Glyphosate, for Humans
    Review of genotoxicity studies of glyphosate and glyphosate-based formulations
    Developmental and Reproductive Outcomes in Humans and Animals After Glyphosate Exposure: A Critical Analysis
    Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: A review
    Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and non-cancer health outcomes: A review
    These are just some of the published reviews of the data. It seems the problem is that the studies don’t come up with the answers that you want.

    The research that does exist indicates kidney and liver dysfunction.

    The only research making these claims comes from Seralini’s group. As I pointed out with two papers you linked to, Seralinis’ conclusions are frequently unreliable.

  59. But it’s not the information I’m asking for. You’re sharing information that doesn’t support your claims.

  60. The 1999 paper is outdated regarding chronic exposure estimates
    The other papers are the same ones I mentioned – those provided by private/industry interests for the BfR evaluation
    What do you mean “seralini’s group”?
    edit – please consider too that it is in more recent years that the general population suffers chronic exposure through expanded use. Prior – it has been animals raised for slaughter and agricultural workers

  61. Glyphosate was on the market in 1974. Re-examine the graph with that in mind. I’m not going to say it shows that glyphosate did cause NHL, because that’s just as stupid as saying that the advent of GMOs didn’t cause NHL.
    You’re not allowing for all probable causes of NHL

  62. Haven’t read the book so can’t comment on your article, but would like to know which “reputable scientific agencies” do not rely on corporate funding?

  63. Nice job, Mary! I had wondered about the timing of the Seralini report with the California labeling initiative, but had never heard it stated that there was a definite connection. I knew it looked very suspicious.

  64. “Glyphosate was on the market in 1974. Re-examine the graph with that in mind.
    I’m not going to say it shows that glyphosate did cause NHL, because
    that’s just as stupid as saying that the advent of GMOs didn’t cause
    NHL.”
    Glyphosate was on the market in 1974, but use directly on crops only began in 1996. So the only people with significant exposure to glyphosate would be factory production workers where it was made and farmers or pesticide applicators applying the chemical to fields. The AHS fairly well debunks the idea that even heavy users have an increased incidence of NHL.
    “You’re not allowing for all probable causes of NHL”
    If there were other major causes of NHL besides glyphosate, you would have expected to see the graph go up with increased use of glyphosate, if it were indeed a causative agent. The fact that the numbers did not go up, indicates that either glyphosate did not cause increased NHL, or something else changed to cause a decrease in incidence that has gone undiscovered so far. The chance of both those things happening in perfect unison on the timeline is highly unlikely, unless glyphosate replaced some other more likely cause of NHL. Either way, the increased use of glyphosate would be a good thing.

  65. That would be research or papers published by Seralini and/or other scientists who have cooperated with him on one or more papers (Mesnage, Malatesta, Vendomois, Antoniou, etc) . The fact that a majority of the well known papers that claim to have found problems with glyphosate safety are published by this group, makes one wonder how well versed you are in the whole topic.

  66. Having an organic farm makes one part of the organic industry. Having a conventional farm does not make one part of the chemical industry, it makes you a part of the “industrial farming” industry, according to organic activists. Extreme activists like Henry Rowlands might like to characterize all non-organic farmers as “chemical industry” farmers, but that doesn’t make it so.

  67. You don’t have a way to correlate exposure to the number of cases, or the increase in cases in the general population, because we don’t track those exposures.
    Based on your hypothesis, i could very well claim that the introduction of glyphosate in 1974 was the cause of an increased number of cases of NHL, based on the graph’s indication that numbers of cases began to increase at that time.
    The graph shows nothing except: new cases of NHL and when GMOs were introduced. It also shows deaths from NHL, which says nothing about the relationship between glyphosate and NHL. It’s a perfect example of how those associated with biofortified use data to create misleading graphics. I’m sure we’ll start seeing this graph on other industry advocacy sites.
    Which research are you saying debunks the idea that even heavy users have an increased incidence of NHL?

  68. So, papers that show detriment are from Seralini, and papers that don’t are from Monsanto et al. If you can’t parse the data, or are forbidden access, you can’t make an informed decision, and regulations are blindly-based. “majority of papers” – that would need to be verified. We know that the documents upon which the BfR relied in its regulatory evaluation were industry-produced

  69. Glyphosate became available in 1975 – the first year the graph begins. It’s use has increased since then, as has the rate of NHL. Why can’t i say that glyphosate causes NHL? Because there are other potential causes. And those exposed and developing cancer would not immediately show up. The advent of GMOs would signal an increase in exposure to glyphosate, but the graph doesn’t show exposure.
    The graph shows nothing except:
    When GMOs were introduced.
    The rate of NHL and NHL deaths since 1975.
    And I suppose survival rates are supposed to show that even if glyphosate is causing NHL, it’s not that bad? you can live? definitely worth the glyphosate? i would imagine that is her thinking, since she seems to defend a little bit of poison here and there. But it’s probably more likely that she confusticates by throwing a positive line on there – hoping the subconscious will associate glyphosate with something good (increased NHL survival rates – LOL)
    How mem_somerville has employed this graph to support her claim that glyphosate doesn’t cause NHL is trickery for the pesticide industry’s benefit. Gotta give credit where credit’s due though – not too many scientist’s who are concerned for their reputations would slam the august body of the IARC with such abandon!
    But this site has never been about credibility with real scientists. It’s always been about impressing the uneducated public with sciencey-looking stuff. Go anti-medicine!

  70. but no non-correlation has been shown. there is no information on exposure, which doesn’t automatically line up with GMO. In fact, in the graph, there is correlation between the introduction of glyphosate and an apparent rise in NHL. But again, with no measure of exposure or inclusion of other potential causes – one can show neither correlation or non-correlation. one can only show the desire to protect glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant products

  71. Stop with all your criticisms of the book, author and excessive defenses of this crappy chemical. (As MOST chems are toxic to our bodies, not just crappy Roundup/Glyphosate). It or its other inert chems simply f-peoples body’s up. I used this for work unknowingly, for 2 years as a young and healthy person, and my health started to decline. It began with getting mysterious episodes of diahrrea whenever I was around it & spraying it, especially during Spring and Fall planting seasons. ( and yes I was using proper protective gear, using it to proper amnt, etc.) Was never eating anything bad/ spoiled to cause these episodes. Many other digestive and other symptoms. HELL, when I went to WEEDEAT some old timer friends YARD, 4 MONTHS after they had sprayed their drive, upon my first bowel movement, the diarreah returned. That was THREE years since I had used the stuff/been around it or had the inability to form a solid turd, and I had an immediate response to the disruption of my digestive Microbiome. The fact is, it has been patented as an anti-microbial to all sorts of microscopic life we depend on for assistance in many functions. (It was also used/patented as an industrial pipe cleaner. That kind of odd to be using on a crop.) It leads to many many other problems, that in fact it’s usage by folks makes them SO much more susceptible to other weaknesses/ illnesses/chronic disease of many types. You can continue to blab on and on trying to defend the chemical, but to no avail. People have experienced their own sufferings/trials/health declines from using it, and fortunately, some of us were able to turn the tide before a cancer or other serious problem. Listen to Dr. Zach Bush, triple board certified med doc who has researched much about this chemical, soil science, was even a cancer researcher at one time, etc. Keep an open mind and learn beyond what you already think u know.

  72. Ghost written by Monsanto for a well known industry stooge to put her name to and a huge pile money, enough to bury her mountain of shame…….
    none of you fools use Round-up or have seen the sterilisation of soils and even the people that are seduced into recklessly applying it, well do any of you actually buy Round-up and apply it to the food you’re going to eat or sell? Well that’s what I used to do until I researched and learnt the truth. In 1978 we would spray fallow at 1 litre of 270g/ltr today the going rate is 2 litres of 640g/ltr sprayed twice before planting and again prior to harvest on NON-GMO crops. Sales of Glyphosate in 2015 were over a billion kilograms of water soluble toxin that travels wherever water can.
    Monsanto has a perfect history of shame, almost every product they’ve produced did far more harm than good, even involvement in the Manhattan Project. The list is impressive that any genocidal psychopath would be proud of DDT, Dioxin, PCB’s and Agent Orange to name a few.
    I digress, the author and her book are about the systemic corruption of all important protective oversight and governance in which once set a standard the world as a whole respected, trusted and followed. Gone, over, not any more, the blatant lies, the lack of accountability for those exposed as not just cheats but participants in a continued genocidal experiment of extraordinary magnitude, silenced by cover-up, fear and intimidation and fuelled by a sickening greed of a morally bankrupt society.
    USA shed your shame,
    lower the Stars and Stripes to half mast,
    better still fold up and put her away,
    not until you’ve cleaned up this yet another mess,
    said sorry, purged and confessed,
    should you once again have earned the peoples trust,
    to unfurl to see the light of day,
    and raise your flag to dizzy heights again.

  73. So you write fan fiction? Carey has some interesting conspiracy theorist fans.
    It is true, though, that she abandoned the science to write the story she would rather you think. She fooled you too. I admit, she’s good at deception.

  74. You mention the concentration of herbicide, not the amount per acre/hectare. Why?
    What is an appropriate application level, and why?

  75. sorry Peter my oversight, litres/hectare “spray fallow at 1 litre/ha of 270g/ltr today the going rate is 2 litres/ha of 640g/ltr sprayed twice before planting” the concentration of chemicals in Round-up namely Glyphosate and the adjuvants has got stronger and stronger to compensate for resistance. The chemical mix appears to be far more toxic than Glyphosate alone
    Adjuvants are used to modify the physical characteristics of a liquid spray application to improve its performance. That can include many different functions — from improving the coverage of an application to spray drift reduction to water conditioning and other functions. Adjuvants include such products as nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, water conditioners, stickers, drift reduction agents, deposition agents and others.

  76. who’s the denialist then? I note you don’t address any of my points and all your comments seem to try to trivialise any serious debate.

  77. “…concentration of chemicals in Round-up namely Glyphosate and the
    adjuvants has got stronger and stronger to compensate for resistance.”
    You are incredibly clueless. If a weed is resistant to a herbicide you don’t use more of that herbicide.

  78. There’s no need to address your absolutely bogus fake claims. And the logorrhea conspiracy thread.
    How about you address the problems with Carey’s book–which is what we are here about? Her paymasters in the organic industry?
    Why did she ignore the actual science on this topic? Does she have things to hide because they don’t support her case?
    You are in deep denial, I’m afraid. The debate is serious–as Chuck Benbrook said. Removing glyphosate from the toolbox has real consequence for the poor. Why do you hate the poor and want them to be hurt by this nonsense?

  79. the concentration of chemicals in Round-up namely Glyphosate and the adjuvants has got stronger and stronger to compensate for resistance.

    This is simply not true. Glyphosate’s allowable application limit per acre has not changed one bit. And I’m afraid calling the mixtures “far more toxic” is simply a lie.

  80. If a weed is resistant to a chemical, no amount of that chemical is going to kill it. The only way to stop resistance is to alter the method used to kill. One pass with one chemical–uh oh, some of those weeds are still there. Next time use a different chemical.

  81. The only argument you put forward was “Glyphosate’s allowable application limit per acre has not changed one bit.” what is the allowable application limit per acre that hasn’t changed one bit, no one to stop you pouring it on neat!
    Broad-acre Round-up product when purchased, the concentrate of chemical mix is stronger than it used to be 270g/ltr late ’70’s to now up to 640g/ltr. Application is mixed at 70 -100ltrs of water per/ha. Target plants are what dictate strength of mix applied as per label advice.
    Below is the beginning of a very long list of rates to mix and apply(according to State regulation).
    as for the toxicity of the mixed and sold herbicide compared to Glyphosate alone then I rely more on the studies and advice from my govt advisory bodies not your corrupt and distorted so called independent departments USDA, EPA, USFDA……………….
    As to insults from Trolls, you are who and what you are and not even the ignorant fool is likely to be swayed or impressed by your hysteria.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8d8ac7c36d7b8ce8480ee0088c23f36b2ca3c81d9995d2fe798c4d28ab4e6941.jpg

  82. It’s the only argument I put forth because it’s the only one needed. You claimed the product has gotten steadily stronger due to weed resistance. We’re that true, the label would indicate that. But it doesn’t. Gly herbicides have always been 35-50% active ingredient and still are today. Your reference to the 70s is irrelevant (and most likely innacurate) because weed resistance didn’t appear until the early 2000s.
    I also rely on studies and govt bodies and all of them, including yours seem to disagree with you.

  83. Yes as is normal practice and advised by agronomy, but doesn’t address the issue why the gradual increase of chemical in product sold from 270g/l – 360g/l – 420g/l – 450g/l – 560g/l – 640g/l, happy for an explanation that is logical not just abuse.
    I am a real farmer and have used Round-up for 30+ yrs over our 7,700ha (19,000ac). I clearly remembering my father purchasing our 1st 60lt (US 13gal drum) in 1976 for AU$2000, along with a new Hardi 12m 1200lt boom spray unit to apply this liquid gold.
    Label said Biodegradable, which I believe still has the same meaning today, just not used by Monsanto on this ‘same’ product.

  84. Yes as is normal practice and advised by agronomy, but doesn’t address the issue why the gradual increase of chemical in product sold from 270g/l – 360g/l – 420g/l – 450g/l – 560g/l – 640g/l, happy for an explanation that is logical not just abuse.

    You mean the loading has changed?
    This gets done because of advancing technology allows more active ingredient to be placed in a given volume of water. This has occurred through the use of smaller salts, going from isopropylamine to potassium for example, and changing surfactant packages that require less surfactant to be included. At the top end, there is less overall surfactant and the user will have to add some of their own to the spray tank.
    The advantage is that as a farmer, you now have to buy fewer containers for the same amount of acres treated. The companies save by having smaller transport and storage costs.
    If you read the labels you will notice that the use rate per acre of product for the same use decreases as the loading of active ingredient increases, keeping the grams active the same.

  85. If you were a real farmer you’d be able to calculate the active ingredient quantity in any formulation and see that the application rate hasn’t changed.
    Nice try, though, many anti-ag activists pretend to be farmers just like anti-vax advocates like to say they work in health care.

  86. Attempting to silence opposition is a common tactic of rabid anti-vaxxers. You have a long history of this, Barbara. If you actually had facts on your side, you wouldn’t resort to these childish tactics.

  87. It is not easy for us all to come to terms we have been duped by this product, by Monsanto.
    The significant part of this debate is the detractors of my original statement have argued the concentration point, one I see as so insignificant in the story at hand.
    The real story is Monsanto is a company that has zero morals, poisoned and destroyed the lives of millions of Americans and possibly billions of people and animals across the globe, taken corruption of governance to a level beyond return, has been a very major player in the toxic pollution of the planet and now the old hooker Monsanto has got a new pimp Bayer!
    If that’s not a problem for you people, then not even god can save us from ourselves.
    What if the billions of kilograms of this water borne toxin that run off our land and into our rivers is killing our oceans? What will we say to our grandchildren? Science won’t save us, we humans collectively can, but will we?
    I don’t argue with any of you, sure we have a differing point of view, it’s that we argue, and so we should.
    Goodbye and good luck.

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