Home > Education, Poor Science > Response to de Vendômois et. al’s Report on GMO’s & Organ Damage

Response to de Vendômois et. al’s Report on GMO’s & Organ Damage

After reading a recently sited report on the relationship between GMO’s and organ damage by de Vendômois et. al., (http://is.gd/6k7mz) I did a little research on the study and came to the following conclusions.

1. de Vendômois et. al. did not use traditional statistical methodology to reassess their toxicology data resulting from their studies with the three varieties studied.

2. de Vendômois et. al’s conclusions appear to be unsubstantiated.

    a. The HCB (French High Council on Biotechnology) stated that de Vendômois et. al’s study did not contribute to the safety assessment of GMO’s.

    b. The FSANZ claims that de Vendômois et. al “distorted” the significance of the toxicology by failing to account for “other” relevant factors and overly “emphasized” the statistical treatment of the data.
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/educationalmaterial/factsheets/factsheets2009/fsanzresponsetoseral4647.cfm

3. de Vendômois et. al failed to considered the following:

    a. Reproducibility

    b. Dose-related trends;

    c. Relationship to other findings;

    d. Variance of delta and relationship to findings in the norm; and

    e. Rate of occurrence when findings varied between sexes.

4. At first glance, de Vendômois et. al’s findings demonstrate no negative effects with the three varieties used, especially when considering normal/traditional statistical analysis.

5. Put simply: de Vendômois et. al’s study was designed to reach a pre-determined outcome and thus, utilized statistical methodology that would support that outcome.

Certainly, I’m just a farmer and rancher, but I do have a college education with ample background in statistics and science. I would be interested if anyone with a doctorate in science finds any flaws in my Common Sense approach to analyzing this study while feeding hay in the field.

Back to feeding now, I certainly am enjoying this air card for the laptop.

Categories: Education, Poor Science Tags: , ,
  1. M. A.
    January 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    You’re a farmer and a rancher? You almost come across as someone being paid to write something like this.

    Unlike you, I am a scientist. I read the article and in fact, de Vendomois conducted careful statistical analyses that were chosen specifically because there are PROPER ways to conduct analyses, in toxicology or any other field of study. Rules of statistical analysis do not vary by scientific field. That’s my answer to your Point #1.

    Point # 2: de Vendomois and colleagues clearly said they reassessed data that was already collected, they never claim to have contributed to data collection; if this statement is meant in a more general sense, it’s merely a group’s opinion on the impact of a work. Irrelevant, in any case. The FSANZ statement is an opinion, like yours and like mine. Holds no scientific weight.

    Point #3. Arguably Monsanto never considered dose-related trends either, because they didn’t properly conduct an experiment (you cannot get a dose response curve with 2 levels of a drug, this is very basic research methodology folks, you need 3 or more levels of a drug). Monsanto in fact addressed none of these points that are brought up. I guess everyone is guilty, huh?

    Point #4. False, unless the first glance is directed at the wall and not at the text in front of you.

    Point #5. This isn’t a point at all, it’s an opinion with not substance behind it. In a vitally important issue like this, if you’re going to try to make a critique, don’t just try to talk over people’s heads and intimidate them into believing the study is wrong. It’s very well conducted–clearly de Vendomois’ group had a purpose for conducting the study, which was to protect people from getting sick off of food. That is noble in my book.

    To anyone reading this, move on and be wary of people bullsh*tting you. Read lots of opinions, and even if you don’t understand the study yourself, you will see a pattern emerge.

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      M.A.,
      Thank you for responding. I appreciate your taking the time to post your thoughts.
      I am a farmer and a rancher and also happen to have a degree in science with a few minors. You are correct that statistical analysis is not supposed to vary by field, in fact, ANOVA (analysis of variance) is the accepted practice across all fields, especially when evaluating multiple t-tests, as was the case with this study. However, de Vendomois did not utilize this method.
      My second point was that de Vendomois’ conclusions were unsubstantiated. By not utilizing ANOVA, their results simply reaffirm what we already know, there is a gender difference when it comes to kidney and liver functions. This naturally occurring difference does not indicate toxic effects as de Vendomois tries to claim.
      Regarding your comment on point three, testing on enzymes that naturally occur and metabolize chemicals found in the environment is not a part of protocol for routine toxicity testing. I am referring specifically to the testing for cytochrome P450. Additionally, what would the reasoning be for testing for CC P450 when it doesn’t predict pathology?
      On point four, de Vendomois based the conclusions on separate tests and non-relevant degrees of difference, not ANOVA.
      You are free to dismiss my fifth point. However, what de Vendomois did is, unfortunately, becoming more common. More and more “activist” scientists are conducting “studies” to reach a pre-determined outcome, rather than follow accepted scientific process and remain objective.
      I have spent the past ten plus years fighting and debunking scientific studies that purposefully ignore data sets, manipulate numbers and include irrelevant sets to arrive at a set conclusion. I am more than willing to accept sound science, even if it disproves something that I believed to be different. However, when bad science is used to negatively impact others, particularly private property or to drive a fear campaign, I put my foot down.
      Thank you again for taking the time to post.

  1. February 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

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