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!Kaggen
28th April 2013, 02:12 AM
Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases

Abstract: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate's inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.

Full article here
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416/pdf

PixyMisa
28th April 2013, 02:15 AM
What about it?

!Kaggen
28th April 2013, 03:16 AM
What about it?

Read it, educate yourself and others.

Acleron
28th April 2013, 03:51 AM
What are we supposed to be reading?

It is certainly not a literature review as it doesn't discuss any conflicting evidence to their hypothesis. They uncritically present Seranini's (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2012/09/30/does-the-seralini-corn-study-fiasco-mark-a-turning-point-in-the-debate-over-gm-food/) appalling work.

It isn't a learned review, one of the authors is a computer scientist. What experience did she bring to this discussion?

It may be the case that glyphospate does have long term effects but let us see some real evidence.

PixyMisa
28th April 2013, 04:42 AM
Read it, educate yourself and others.
I started reading it, but I was suddenly deafened by all the crackpot alarms going off when they blithely ascribed depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to "the Western diet".

My ears are still ringing. What do you have to say to that?

Dancing David
28th April 2013, 04:49 AM
Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases



Full article here
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416/pdf

Sorry !Kaggen, I did read some of it looking for the effects on animals.


This alleged article, exaggerates, does not provide context or meaning to the papers it oes cite in those areas. I looked at the papers and the claims that were made about them and the conclusions drawn.

This article is crap.

Please reference the individual studies if you wish, that would make sense.

catsmate1
28th April 2013, 05:03 AM
Hmmm. Authors are a retired environmental activist and computer scientist, published in a minimal IF journal dedicated to Information Studies. That's a couple of red flags there.
I'll leave the critique of the science to those more up to date in biochem and more willing to wade through thirty page (plus eighteen of cites).
BTW the comments on HuffPo to the 'paper' are hilarious..

casebro
28th April 2013, 05:09 AM
So it works as a Statin, inhibiting p450s, and lowers LDL cholesterol levels??

Diogenes
28th April 2013, 05:19 AM
This article is crap.

And that's without even looking at the journal's description

" an international and interdisciplinary open access journal of entropy and information studies"

and that it is "open access" meaning the authors paid to get published...and what is an "Independent Scientist and Consultant"?

Diogenes
28th April 2013, 05:21 AM
...
I'll leave the critique of the science to those more up to date in biochem and more willing to wade through thirty page (plus eighteen of cites).
BTW the comments on HuffPo to the 'paper' are hilarious..

It is just a version of the Gish Gallop.

macdoc
28th April 2013, 06:04 AM
All technology bears risks and to accurately assess the pros and cons one needs to evaluate the damage removing Round up as a technical tool would entail.
Even if conducted by appropriate scientists the study would not answer that.

There are numerous "naturally occurring" plants in use that have negative effects on humans....hell castor beans can kill you.

I have far more concern with some of the estrogen in soaps and shampoos with their impact on humans and the biome.

Dymanic
28th April 2013, 06:34 AM
This alleged article, exaggerates, does not provide context or meaning to the papers it does cite in those areas. I agree. One rather glaring example is this:

"A strong link between autism and hepatic encephalitis has been identified [55], where the key underlying pathology may be excess ammonia in the blood stream."

Reference #55 is an article by Andrew Wakefield. On that alone: Resolved: This article is crap.

Please reference the individual studies if you wish, that would make sense.I agree again. This "independent scientist and consultant" (hey, I'm an independent scientist-consultant type person, too; ask me anything) and his computer science sidekick have taken an extremely ambitious and extremely sloppy approach with their casting of a very wide net, but that doesn't automatically mean that their entire haul consists of nothing but bycatch.

For instance, I have never seen the potential for unanticipated effects from glyphosate contamination of streams as a concern that can easily be brushed aside, and another of the cited references leads to what appears to be a respectable enough study which seems to provide at least some support for their initial premise, if not for the absurd conclusions to which it leads them:

The use of glyphosate modifies the environment which stresses the living microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to determine the real impact of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. The presented results evidence that the highly pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate. However, most of beneficial bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus spp. were found to be moderate to highly susceptible. Also Campylobacter spp. were found to be susceptible to glyphosate. A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community. Also, the toxicity of glyphosate to the most prevalent Enterococcus spp. could be a significant predisposing factor that is associated with the increase in C. botulinum-mediated diseases by suppressing the antagonistic effect of these bacteria on clostridia.

I feel that there are legitimate bases for concern about widespread use of glyphosate -- at least partly balanced by the potential benefits -- but with this "Gish Gallop" approach (as Diogenes quite aptly puts it), this effort by these authors does more harm than good to that cause.

Dancing David
28th April 2013, 06:56 AM
I agree. One rather glaring example is this:

"A strong link between autism and hepatic encephalitis has been identified [55], where the key underlying pathology may be excess ammonia in the blood stream."

Reference #55 is an article by Andrew Wakefield. On that alone: Resolved: This article is crap.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

Oh my

Dancing David
28th April 2013, 06:57 AM
I will say this, when it comes to large term spraying I would rather live near Roundup then 24D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic_acid

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
28th April 2013, 11:03 AM
From the Conclusion:

"The pathologies to which glyphosate could plausibly contribute, through its known biosemiotic effects, include inflammatory bowel disease, ..."

Biosemiotic effects? Biosemiotics studies the interpretation of signs and codes in the biological world. What does that have to do with this issue?

Of course, if you read the Wiki introduction to biosemiotics, you get a little light-headed anyway:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosemiotics

~~ Paul

ectoplasm
28th April 2013, 09:00 PM
Of course, if you read the Wiki introduction to biosemiotics, you get a little light-headed anyway:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosemiotics

~~ Paul

I read the wikipedia article twice but I have no idea what biosemiotics actually is.

PixyMisa
28th April 2013, 09:28 PM
Very simple:

Biosemiotics attempts to integrate the findings of scientific biology and semiotics, proposing a paradigmatic shift in the occidental scientific view of life, demonstrating that semiosis (sign process, including meaning and interpretation) is its immanent and intrinsic feature.
Either of those would be a red flag; together, they're a black flag. What it is, is irredeemable nonsense.

marplots
28th April 2013, 09:48 PM
I scrolled through that looking for data and experiments they'd done. Didn't see any - were there any?

What was the hypothesis the authors were testing? How did they test it? I'm lost here.

Stomatopoda
28th April 2013, 09:49 PM
Sounds like something the Postmodernism Generator spat out.

ThunderChunky
28th April 2013, 10:03 PM
Glyphosate is used because it is less toxic than other herbicides, especially for the farm workers using it.

GlennB
28th April 2013, 10:56 PM
Sounds like something the Postmodernism Generator spat out.

Yeah, and who knows, perhaps it did?

Lowpro
29th April 2013, 12:13 AM
Wait how does Glyphosphate inhibit CYP function? Or let me be specific. Acetominophen inhibits p450 enzymatic activity by way of just reducing its concentration to act on OTHER toxins (it's why you don't drink alcohol when you take acetominophen; p450's compete to detoxify both and any acetic acid it does not break down damages the liver).

In what way is this toxic effect being measured, what is its relative risk in this instance. The abstract you copy pasted doesn't demonstrate the toxicity and the other stuff (risk factors of western diet) are irrelevant to Round-up.

Please explain.

EDIT: Wait a second..this article is horse crap. It's saying that the inhibition is NOT of human CYP's but of gut flora CYP's and tries to show that because recent evidence shows that there becomes a competitive loss of beneficial flora to diseases like Clostridium that this links all the diseases they're saying to Roundup...I mean that's speculative blow-it-out-your-ass horsecrap dude.

cosmicaug
29th April 2013, 04:30 AM
GMO Pundit: All you ever wanted to know about Glyphosate, Biosemiotic Entropy, Disorder, Disease, and Mortality but were too afraid to ask. (http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2013/04/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about.html)

cosmicaug
29th April 2013, 04:36 AM
I agree. One rather glaring example is this:

"A strong link between autism and hepatic encephalitis has been identified [55], where the key underlying pathology may be excess ammonia in the blood stream."

Reference #55 is an article by Andrew Wakefield. On that alone: Resolved: This article is crap.

As mentioned in the GMO Pundit blog post, she has written on the subject of vaccines and autism as well also for the same publication. The research consisted of looking at various correlations in the VAERS (http://vaers.hhs.gov/index) database of words allegedly connected to autism in her opinion. Orac covered that one (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/11/20/dumpster-diving-in-the-vaers-database-again/).

The Central Scrutinizer
29th April 2013, 03:22 PM
Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases



Full article here
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416/pdf

You realize this is a skeptics forum, right? People don't automatically believe nonsense.

Acleron
30th April 2013, 09:58 AM
Derek Lowe (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/04/30/is_glyphosate_poisoning_everyone.php) has looked at this paper. He notes that one of their references actually tested glyophospate in humans

Reference 121 showed that glyphosate was inactive against all human CYP isoforms except 2C9, where it had in IC50 of 3.7 micromolar. You would also not know from this new paper that there is no way that ingested glyphosate could possibly reach levels in humans to inhibit CYP2C9 at that potency.

They seem to have forgotten to mention this small point.

Dymanic
30th April 2013, 10:16 AM
Derek Lowe (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/04/30/is_glyphosate_poisoning_everyone.php) has looked at this paper. He notes that one of their references actually tested glyophospate in humans



They seem to have forgotten to mention this small point.Have another look at the portion added by edit to Lowpro's post above.

Mister Earl
30th April 2013, 10:18 AM
Anyone willingly citing Andrew freakin' Wakefield, of all people, isn't just standing at the door of lunacy. They've already moved in and swept the porch of fallen leaves and dust. Maybe even touched up the enamel on the gate fixtures. This is full blown lunacy residency. They're getting junk mail at that address now.

Dymanic
30th April 2013, 10:30 AM
Anyone willingly citing Andrew freakin' Wakefield, of all people, isn't just standing at the door of lunacy. They've already moved in and swept the porch of fallen leaves and dust. Maybe even touched up the enamel on the gate fixtures. This is full blown lunacy residency. They're getting junk mail at that address now.
Not sure how crazy the authors of the OP's linked article are, but one thing for sure is that they're damned sloppy, as proven by their citing Wakefield. I would not be too quick to assume, however, that everything in that article is automatically tainted by that.

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 09:27 AM
Why is it that interactions with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes, whether true or not, are needed to understand that reliance on glyphosates are not good?

Already we know biodiversity is beneficial. 100% for sure glyphosates kill multitudes of plants, impacting heavily all forms of life that have symbiotic relationships to those plants, and creating even more starkly monocrop fields devoid of biodiversity. Isn't that enough to know it is dangerous to the environment and should be used as sparingly as possible, if at all?

marplots
2nd May 2013, 09:48 AM
Why is it that interactions with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes, whether true or not, are needed to understand that reliance on glyphosates are not good?

Already we know biodiversity is beneficial. 100% for sure glyphosates kill multitudes of plants, impacting heavily all forms of life that have symbiotic relationships to those plants, and creating even more starkly monocrop fields devoid of biodiversity. Isn't that enough to know it is dangerous to the environment and should be used as sparingly as possible, if at all?

If you follow that trail of logic, you end up where you did. When I look at it, I'm still stuck at the first step, the one about biodiversity being a kind of universal good or a goal.

Dancing David
2nd May 2013, 10:55 AM
Why is it that interactions with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes, whether true or not, are needed to understand that reliance on glyphosates are not good?

Already we know biodiversity is beneficial. 100% for sure glyphosates kill multitudes of plants, impacting heavily all forms of life that have symbiotic relationships to those plants, and creating even more starkly monocrop fields devoid of biodiversity. Isn't that enough to know it is dangerous to the environment and should be used as sparingly as possible, if at all?

hello,
Spaying glyphosate is much better than spaying 24D, it is not the same contaminant nor does it have as many side effects, drift and water toxicity issues.

now granted people should intersperse their fields with unsprayed fields, but that isn't going to happen soon.

meg
2nd May 2013, 11:26 AM
..
Already we know biodiversity is beneficial. 100% for sure glyphosates kill multitudes of plants, impacting heavily all forms of life that have symbiotic relationships to those plants, and creating even more starkly monocrop fields devoid of biodiversity. Isn't that enough to know it is dangerous to the environment and should be used as sparingly as possible, if at all?

Now, I am not a fan of glyphosate, however I think you've kind of gone over the deep end here.

You realize that by your logic you are basically saying that even by mechanical weeding or hoeing you are eliminating biodiversity in that field, and therefore endangering the environment?

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 12:14 PM
If you follow that trail of logic, you end up where you did. When I look at it, I'm still stuck at the first step, the one about biodiversity being a kind of universal good or a goal.
Well now. Good point. I am not so sure it is necessarily a universal goal. All I can say is that it is a goal for me, and it works for me. And I can point out that I am not alone in that goal. I suppose it is likely some people prefer living in a sterile world, totally cut off from their biological roots. That certainly has no glamour for me. I like living with nature's biodiversity. Beyond that I like how that biodiversity improves the productivity of the land.

But your point is well taken. I stand corrected. I can't automatically assume that is a universal goal for mankind.

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 12:18 PM
hello,
Spaying glyphosate is much better than spaying 24D, it is not the same contaminant nor does it have as many side effects, drift and water toxicity issues.

now granted people should intersperse their fields with unsprayed fields, but that isn't going to happen soon.

Aha! Improvement over 2-4-D? I'll agree with that in principle. Absolutely. But why settle? Why not take the next step and make another improvement over glyphosate?

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 12:26 PM
Now, I am not a fan of glyphosate, however I think you've kind of gone over the deep end here.

You realize that by your logic you are basically saying that even by mechanical weeding or hoeing you are eliminating biodiversity in that field, and therefore endangering the environment?

Often times that is also true. So yes I do realize it. I use primarily no till and minimal till for that very reason.

But I would like to point out not all disturbance is bad. There are times when disturbance of the soil can be a good thing. The key is figuring out when, where, how much, and for how long the soil needs a disturbance for optimal sustainable productivity.

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 01:15 PM
Beyond that I like how that biodiversity improves the productivity of the land.

Strange then that modern farming seems to prefer "unproductive land". They all must be stupid bozos, since they spend time and money on products and methods just to have that productivity reduced, and thus have less profit.

Also, i am sure that you can explain how it is more productive in terms of yield of a crop to have more plants using up the finite amount of resources in a given area, compared to have those resources available to only a few or single plant.

It may be "more productive" in terms of "having a larger variety of plants" on a given area of land, but that in return also means that the _wanted_ plant, i.e. the actual crop, occurs less. After all, it has to share space and resources...

Greetings,

Chris

The Central Scrutinizer
2nd May 2013, 01:24 PM
Strange then that modern farming seems to prefer "unproductive land". They all must be stupid bozos, since they spend time and money on products and methods just to have that productivity reduced, and thus have less profit.

Also, i am sure that you can explain how it is more productive in terms of yield of a crop to have more plants using up the finite amount of resources in a given area, compared to have those resources available to only a few or single plant.

It may be "more productive" in terms of "having a larger variety of plants" on a given area of land, but that in return also means that the _wanted_ plant, i.e. the actual crop, occurs less. After all, it has to share space and resources...

Greetings,

Chris

I was laughing at an anti-GMO nutter on Facebook, regarding crop yields increasing over the past 50 years, and he was of the "opinion" that was all just Monsanto propaganda, and that GMO yields are actually decreasing. These people really believe this stuff.

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 01:45 PM
I was laughing at an anti-GMO nutter on Facebook, regarding crop yields increasing over the past 50 years, and he was of the "opinion" that was all just Monsanto propaganda, and that GMO yields are actually decreasing. These people really believe this stuff.

Yes, it's really sad. I mean, if that were true, how comes that so much food is dumped nowdays? After all, if there would have been no increase in yields, and it is all just propaganda, but at the same time our population numbers are rising rather quickly, we should see a severe lack of food in the western world nowdays.

Sure, one can complain about the methods that Monsanto uses wrt. patenting and licensing, and the policies they force the farmers to agree to. One could even make the argument that GMO may have problems in the long run (after all, we don't have it for that long yet, so long term studies are naturally missing to some extent). But to make the argument that those technologies did not help greatly to increase crop yields is just crazy.

A 100% "natural" method of farming does not guarantee a better product, and it surely is insufficient to feed that many people. Sure, this is only anecdotal, but whenever i see "organicaly grown" vegetables (and we have strict laws here in Germany how it must be produced to use that label), they are always smaller and more expensive.

But that is contrary to what people want to make us believe. If those "organic" methods would result in higher productivity, we should see those things being equal in size, and cheaper too. After all, no need to pay for the chemicals, no need to pay for expensive seed, and since productivity is better it should need less work to produce, thus driving cost of the end product down.

Somehow that is not what i can see...

Greetings,

Chris

Dymanic
2nd May 2013, 01:57 PM
Strange then that modern farming seems to prefer "unproductive land". They all must be stupid bozos, since they spend time and money on products and methods just to have that productivity reduced, and thus have less profit.

Also, i am sure that you can explain how it is more productive in terms of yield of a crop to have more plants using up the finite amount of resources in a given area, compared to have those resources available to only a few or single plant.

It may be "more productive" in terms of "having a larger variety of plants" on a given area of land, but that in return also means that the _wanted_ plant, i.e. the actual crop, occurs less. After all, it has to share space and resources...

Greetings,

ChrisBecause none of that is related to the topic of this thread, I would suggest that you might want to carry on that discussion in another recent thread, "Woo food facts that seem to be generally believed". Perhaps you'd have some comments to make in response to my last post there, which included this:
The results of the following long term study, published last October, suggest that a possible candidate for addition to the list of "Woo food facts that seem to be generally believed" is the myth that chemical-based industrial monoculture produces higher yields than can be obtained through "organic farming" (as long as it is noted that among the multiple definitions for the latter are some practices that constitute the original core of the "organic farming" concept, such as greater emphasis on crop rotation and replenishment soil with organic matter):

The journal article, "Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability and environmental health, was written by Adam Davis, USDA-ARS weed ecologist in Urbana, Illinois; Iowa State University agronomist Matt Liebman, who leads the research project; Jason Hill, an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota; Craig Chase, economist and interim program leader at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; and ISU Extension economist Ann Johanns.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047149

A couple of snippets:
Integrated crop–livestock systems remained widespread in northern Europe, England, and much of the humid, temperate regions of North America until the 1950s and 1960s, when increased availability of relatively low-cost synthetic fertilizers made mixed farming and nutrient recycling biologically unnecessary and specialized crop and livestock production more economically attractive. In recent years, there has been interest in reintegrating crop and livestock systems as a strategy for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, minimizing the use of increasingly expensive fertilizers, and limiting water pollution by nutrients, pathogens, and antibiotics.
Here, we report the results of a large-scale, long-term experiment examining the consequences of cropping system diversification on agronomic, economic, and environmental measures of system performance. The experiment was conducted during 2003–2011 in Boone County, Iowa, within the central U.S. maize production region, and comprised three contrasting cropping systems varying in length of crop sequence, levels of chemical inputs, and use of manure. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on surrounding commercial farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with reduced N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of composted cattle manure.
The results (reduced to simplest terms) were that: "Cropping system diversification enhanced yields of maize and soybean grain and system-level harvested crop mass (grain, straw, and hay) while maintaining economic returns."

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 02:00 PM
Strange then that modern farming seems to prefer "unproductive land". They all must be stupid bozos, since they spend time and money on products and methods just to have that productivity reduced, and thus have less profit.

Also, i am sure that you can explain how it is more productive in terms of yield of a crop to have more plants using up the finite amount of resources in a given area, compared to have those resources available to only a few or single plant.

It may be "more productive" in terms of "having a larger variety of plants" on a given area of land, but that in return also means that the _wanted_ plant, i.e. the actual crop, occurs less. After all, it has to share space and resources...

Greetings,

Chris Ah yes, the zero sum argument. That is a good argument when reducing and limiting your view to monoculture. However, it ignores one key factor, human ingenuity. All it takes is changing your viewpoint.

When grasses are a weed, an unwanted plant growing between your crops and stealing the nutrients you paid good money to purchase from a chemical company, then sure. KILL EM! KILL EM ALL! Even pay MORE money to that chemical company to provide even more effective ways to KILL EM!

BUT When those weeds provide useful functions, like capturing even more solar energy and carbon, or forage for the animals you raise, or limiting erosion, or reducing the effects of drought, or feeding the microbiology of the soil, feeding those worms, providing habitat for predators, building new fertile topsoil etc etc etc.... They are no longer weeds anymore. Now instead of being weeds, they are co-laborers and beneficial to your farm.

The key is NOT in finding creative ways to kill weeds. The key is in finding creative ways to use weeds to increase the productivity of your farm. It is not a zero sum because any additional plant on your farm collects additional solar energy, increasing the net usable solar energy available to your farm. The trick is to figure out creative ways to use that solar energy. This way instead of weeds stealing from your crops, they actually ADD to your crops.

One very interesting farmer that has done a lot of work in this area of research is Hellen Atthowe, Biodesign farm, Stevensville MT. Another good source is "Innovative No-Till: Using Multi-Species Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health" by NCAT-ATTRA

Now in some cases, glyphosate and other chemicals are still used somewhat. Although I believe Hellen has completely eliminated glyphosate use, several of the farms in the ATTRA project still use it occasionally when needed. On the Attra farms, the longer they have been using the innovative No-Till, the less and less they use each year. So I wouldn't say everyone everywhere has figured out how to eliminate its use entirely. It can still be useful. But for sure, it and other chemical inputs can be dramatically reduced, while actually increasing the total productivity of the farm.

meg
2nd May 2013, 02:06 PM
Sure, one can complain about the methods that Monsanto uses wrt. patenting and licensing, and the policies they force the farmers to agree to. One could even make the argument that GMO may have problems in the long run (after all, we don't have it for that long yet, so long term studies are naturally missing to some extent). But to make the argument that those technologies did not help greatly to increase crop yields is just crazy.



Well, actually, I don't think there's any real evidence that gmo technology has increased crop yields, though there is quite a bit of hype from proponents saying it does. The only thing that's really measurably increased is the sale of RoundUp.

Most of the research I've read says that crop yields from roundup ready or bt corn, for instance, are similar to yields from conventional hybrids.

For instance here:
http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/grains/corn/hybrids/comparison-of-roundup-ready-and-conventional-corn-hybrids

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef118.asp

The Central Scrutinizer
2nd May 2013, 02:07 PM
Yes, it's really sad. I mean, if that were true, how comes that so much food is dumped nowdays? After all, if there would have been no increase in yields, and it is all just propaganda, but at the same time our population numbers are rising rather quickly, we should see a severe lack of food in the western world nowdays.

Exactly. Either farmers are lying about yields (for some unknown reason), or they're really, really bad at math.

Sure, one can complain about the methods that Monsanto uses wrt. patenting and licensing, and the policies they force the farmers to agree to. One could even make the argument that GMO may have problems in the long run (after all, we don't have it for that long yet, so long term studies are naturally missing to some extent). But to make the argument that those technologies did not help greatly to increase crop yields is just crazy.

Poor choice of words. Farmers are free to not use their products. :)

But that is contrary to what people want to make us believe. If those "organic" methods would result in higher productivity, we should see those things being equal in size, and cheaper too. After all, no need to pay for the chemicals, no need to pay for expensive seed, and since productivity is better it should need less work to produce, thus driving cost of the end product down.

Exactly. I've heard that claim that "organic" crops yield just as much as conventionally grown crops. If that were true, every farmer would go "organic".

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 02:10 PM
Because none of that is related to the topic of this thread, I would suggest that you might want to carry on that discussion in another recent thread, "Woo food facts that seem to be generally believed". Perhaps you'd have some comments to make in response to my last post there, which included this:

Funny how you first complain that it is off-topic and that i may put that in another existing thread, only to then follow it up by posting a big blurb of that other thread here....

Also note that the argument i was repsonding to was not about monoculture, but rather the result from a chain of posts regarding the use of herbicides killing of a wide variety of plants, and that leaving them in there would somehow increase the productivity.

See, you can click the little arrows in the quotes next to the posters name, and that way go back to those posts, resulting in a chain of posts that shows you what it was about.

So no, not really off-topic.

Greetings,

Chris

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 02:28 PM
Ah yes, the zero sum argument. That is a good argument when reducing and limiting your view to monoculture. However, it ignores one key factor, human ingenuity. All it takes is changing your viewpoint.

I can only give you the same hint that i just gave to Dynamic: Click the little arrow-icon next to the quoted posters name. Do that again on thepost that shoes up then, etc. Then you will see that the start of that argument you made was not about monoculture. But then, you should have known that best, since you are the one who originally participated in that argument.


When grasses are a weed, an unwanted plant growing between your crops and stealing the nutrients you paid good money to purchase from a chemical company, then sure. KILL EM! KILL EM ALL! Even pay MORE money to that chemical company to provide even more effective ways to KILL EM!

Hyperbole much? And then, yes, if i would farm a crop to sell it, i damn well want to make sure that the majority of my time and resources put into it will benefit the actual crop. If other plants take away nutrients form that crop, so that i have to bring more of them into the field, then yes, i really want to make sure that they are gone during that crop.


BUT When those weeds provide useful functions, like capturing even more solar energy and carbon, or forage for the animals you raise, or limiting erosion, or reducing the effects of drought, or feeding the microbiology of the soil, feeding those worms, providing habitat for predators, building new fertile topsoil etc etc etc.... They are no longer weeds anymore. Now instead of being weeds, they are co-laborers and beneficial to your farm.

Problem is that the amount of land available for agriculture is finite, and even shrinking in some places. This means that we can not just "give away" resources on the existing land while reducing crop yields, and simply use some more land to make up for that.

And just in case you forgot: I am still not talking about the issue of monocultures.

See, the problem is not really what any of us wants, but what is feasible. Sure, i too would prefer a world with no pollutions, locally produced food, etc. but unless a big chunk of this world population simply vanishes into thin air, the main issue is to feed them.


The key is NOT in finding creative ways to kill weeds. The key is in finding creative ways to use weeds to increase the productivity of your farm. It is not a zero sum because any additional plant on your farm collects additional solar energy, increasing the net usable solar energy available to your farm. The trick is to figure out creative ways to use that solar energy. This way instead of weeds stealing from your crops, they actually ADD to your crops.

How so? Any actual crop co-existing with these weeds would not directly benefit, since those weeds take up nutrients that in turn are no longer available for the actual crop. Also, unless those weeds are not much smaller than the actual crop, they won't get much light either, take corn fields for example. Not much light left at the bottom. The next problem is the harvest. You somehow have to get the weeds out then, which in turn takes more effort and energy, resulting in a net loss of productivity.

If by some new method we could harvest crops efficiently while leaving the weeds on the ground, then yes, i can see the benefits. But the same could, imho, be achieved by not only cyling through different crops on the same field, but also have one cycle with no crop but only weeds. (Which is a procedure that is well known to farmers, btw.)

And real ingenuity would be to make complete different forms of farming profitable, ones that don't need any soil at all. That way no herbicides are needed either, and it could be placed virtually everywhere.

Greetings,

Chris

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 02:37 PM
Well, actually, I don't think there's any real evidence that gmo technology has increased crop yields, though there is quite a bit of hype from proponents saying it does. The only thing that's really measurably increased is the sale of RoundUp.

Most of the research I've read says that crop yields from roundup ready or bt corn, for instance, are similar to yields from conventional hybrids.

For instance here:
http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/grains/corn/hybrids/comparison-of-roundup-ready-and-conventional-corn-hybrids

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef118.asp

At the risk of causing more complaints about being off-topic... But riddle me this:

What exactly is the difference between a "GMO" crop and a "traditional" crop?

Hint: Only the time required to get the wanted results. Pretty much everything we use as crops nowdays _is_ already GMO: Just that it was created using the much slower process of breeding, selecting for traits, re-breeding those, etc.

And from the stuff that i have read, and that a few medium-sized farmers told me, GMO does have benefits wrt. yields. As mentioned, something must be responsible for the fact that we can throw away more and more food, while at the same time having population growth. And no matter where i look, organic farms have always less yield while at the same time requiring more work.

Also, GMO is not just for some corn plant to increase production of bio fuel, for example. Think of third worl countries that have little water available for their fields, sometimes drastically different climates, etc. A GMO crop that is modified to be OK with less water, different clima, etc. surely is beneficial to them. It's already bad enough that we in the western world throw so much food onto landfills. But working against GMO technology that in the long run will benefit those folks, just because we may or may not do some stupid things with them here, that's surely not a worthwile goal.

Greetings,

Chris

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 02:40 PM
Poor choice of words. Farmers are free to not use their products. :)

Maybe. Personally i find the idea that a farmer is not allowed to use the seeds, that the crop he planted and cared for produced, to plant (parts of) his next crop rather disgusting. I would have no problem in forbidding them to sell those seeds. But for using them for him/herself?

But then, that's just me...

Greetings,

Chris

Dymanic
2nd May 2013, 03:01 PM
Funny how you first complain that it is off-topic and that i may put that in another existing thread, only to then follow it up by posting a big blurb of that other thread here....
I offered that sample as a teaser. What I find funny is that you'd prefer to continue to discuss it here, knowing that there is another recent thread in which it would not be a tangent.

Also note that the argument i was repsonding to was not about monoculture, but rather the result from a chain of posts regarding the use of herbicides killing of a wide variety of plants, and that leaving them in there would somehow increase the productivity.I did notice that. All of that is off-topic for this thread, which is about the possibility of a connection between diseases in humans and glyphosate interfering with enzyme production in gut microflora.

See, you can click the little arrows in the quotes next to the posters name, and that way go back to those posts, resulting in a chain of posts that shows you what it was about.Just as YOU can use the little arrow next to my name in the above post to warp directly to the discussion in which this stuff you find of such interest is actually relevant to the topic of the thread. Or not. Suit yourself.

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 03:14 PM
Hyperbole much? And then, yes, if i would farm a crop to sell it, i damn well want to make sure that the majority of my time and resources put into it will benefit the actual crop. If other plants take away nutrients form that crop, so that i have to bring more of them into the field, then yes, i really want to make sure that they are gone during that crop.

Well of course the hyperbole was on purpose. But apparently the point still didn't stick, because you went right back to the zero sum argument. I probably should try to figure out an even bigger hyperbole!:eek:



Problem is that the amount of land available for agriculture is finite, and even shrinking in some places. This means that we can not just "give away" resources on the existing land while reducing crop yields, and simply use some more land to make up for that.

So you should be jumping all over using the same exact land for multiple productive uses in the same year! It's like doubling or tripling your acreage, without adding anymore land at all.



See, the problem is not really what any of us wants, but what is feasible. Sure, i too would prefer a world with no pollutions, locally produced food, etc. but unless a big chunk of this world population simply vanishes into thin air, the main issue is to feed them.

That's all any farmer wants.



How so? Any actual crop co-existing with these weeds would not directly benefit, since those weeds take up nutrients that in turn are no longer available for the actual crop. Also, unless those weeds are not much smaller than the actual crop, they won't get much light either, take corn fields for example. Not much light left at the bottom. The next problem is the harvest. You somehow have to get the weeds out then, which in turn takes more effort and energy, resulting in a net loss of productivity.

If by some new method we could harvest crops efficiently while leaving the weeds on the ground, then yes, i can see the benefits. But the same could, imho, be achieved by not only cycling through different crops on the same field, but also have one cycle with no crop but only weeds. (Which is a procedure that is well known to farmers, btw.)

You are getting there! At least you are thinking about the problem in the right way! That actually is the biggest hurdle always. I don't have all the answers. No one does. But at least you are flexible enough in your thinking to pose good questions! Now all you have to do is find out how many of those questions have already been answered, and how many still need work. You might be surprised how far technology has already progressed.

And real ingenuity would be to make complete different forms of farming profitable, ones that don't need any soil at all. That way no herbicides are needed either, and it could be placed virtually everywhere.

Greetings,

Chris

You lost me there Chris. I for one don't want to live on a soil-less planet. :eek: If you mean hydroponics? Then sure, figure out a way to make hydroponics more efficient than nature and put it in cities where it won't harm anything. You can try and work on that. It might be helpful in colonizing the moon.:D I doubt we are even close to feeding the billions of people we have now with anything like that though.;)

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 03:36 PM
Suit yourself.

Indeed. It suits me to respond in _this_ thread to a comment made in _this_ thread.

Feel free to report that post if you think it is off-topic. Other than that you are in no position to tell me where to post, i'm afraid.

Greetings,

Chris

Dymanic
2nd May 2013, 03:44 PM
Indeed. It suits me to respond in _this_ thread to a comment made in _this_ thread.

Feel free to report that post if you think it is off-topic.Tempting, I'll admit. Of course, that would make it the first time in more than a decade of posting here that I've taken the step of reporting a post, and since it's really not that big of a deal to me, it looks like my record will stand for now.

I would be delighted to discuss -- in that or any other appropriate thread -- the issues that have been raised in the tangent, but I will decline to participate in the derail here.

Christian Klippel
2nd May 2013, 03:54 PM
Well of course the hyperbole was on purpose. But apparently the point still didn't stick, because you went right back to the zero sum argument. I probably should try to figure out an even bigger hyperbole!:eek:


No. You should try and start to explain how the productivity of a crop is supposed to increase when other plants (like weeds), which will take away resources from the actual crop, are left in there. Hyperbole is not helping you with that. Not at all.

Glyphosate helps eliminating the unwanted weeds and stuff that use nutrients that would be better used for the actual crop.


So you should be jumping all over using the same exact land for multiple productive uses in the same year! It's like doubling or tripling your acreage, without adding anymore land at all.


I can already hear the organic farmers complaining how that would deplete the soil of nutrients and stuff even faster. Plus, you have the problem of finding suitable crops that would even allow that, since we (at least where i live) only have a rather short time in one year where there is enough sun and suitable climate to grow anything at all that one could consider a commercially usable crop...

I get the feeling that far too many people look at these problems from a local perspective only. Sure, if you live somewhere with good weather and sun for 9 out of 12 months, you can easily have multiple crops in one year. But here, where i live? Not really. If it would be possible they would already do it.

You are getting there! At least you are thinking about the problem in the right way! That actually is the biggest hurdle always. I don't have all the answers. No one does. But at least you are flexible enough in your thinking to pose good questions! Now all you have to do is find out how many of those questions have already been answered, and how many still need work. You might be surprised how far technology has already progressed.

Which brings me back to what i said earlier: All these farmers must be bozos then, since they don't jump onto those new oh-so-progressed technologies that you talk about to increase their crops, and heck, even the rate in which they can grow them. They truly must be out to just waste money since they already have more than enough, i guess.

You lost me there Chris. I for one don't want to live on a soil-less planet. :eek: If you mean hydroponics? Then sure, figure out a way to make hydroponics more efficient than nature and put it in cities where it won't harm anything. You can try and work on that. It might be helpful in colonizing the moon.:D I doubt we are even close to feeding the billions of people we have now with anything like that though.;)

Again with the hyperboles. Please try to read _and_ understand what i wrote. How you can get from what i said to "live on a soil-less planet" is beyond me. You are employing classic woo-peddler tactics here.

Regarding hydroponics, i can assure you that it is _very_ efficient. Just for fun i grew tomatoes in deep-water hydro for quite some while. (Yes, really, tomatoes. Although i got the idea for that hydro-system by looking at what canabis growers do). And all i can say is that the results were far, far better than the plants i had in the garden. And i did not need any herbicides there. Through reverse osmosis i was able to recover most of the used water, so that the overall consumption of water was far less than to that for the "real garden" plants. And all i needed were some buckets, air-stones and -pumps (the ones used in aquaristics) and nutrients.

And what harm should come from it? Just more hyperbole you are spewing here.

Greetings,

Chris

ETA: Not to mention the fact that more and more of those organic farmers are caught in the act of using conevntional herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, or sometimes even relabeling conventionally grown crops as organic. One has to wonder why that is if those "organic methods" are supposed to be that good. From the looks of it one may think that they are not, thus driving the farmers to cheat, so that they can be profitable...

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 04:05 PM
Tempting, I'll admit. Of course, that would make it the first time in more than a decade of posting here that I've taken the step of reporting a post, and since it's really not that big of a deal to me, it looks like my record will stand for now.

I would be delighted to discuss -- in that or any other appropriate thread -- the issues that have been raised in the tangent, but I will decline to participate in the derail here.

To be fair, it was me that posed the question Why is it that interactions with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes, whether true or not, are needed to understand that reliance on glyphosates are not good? It wasn't Chris.

I guess by definition any thinking outside the box can be called a derail. I sincerely apologize. I was thinking that the pro's and con's of glyphosate use was the subject, more than the specific issue of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes.

Please forgive me. My only defense is that I am a noob to this forum. I really am sorry it aggravated you.

PS @Chris,
I guess this discussion is taking too much of a tangent and now is coming very close to a full derail. Probably the best thing is to make a new thread. All I can say at this point is that regardless if the problems with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes are true or not, if you can figure out a way to stay just as productive or more without using glyphosate (and you can in many cases), it doesn't matter.

Dancing David
2nd May 2013, 04:17 PM
Aha! Improvement over 2-4-D? I'll agree with that in principle. Absolutely. But why settle? Why not take the next step and make another improvement over glyphosate?

And that is? ...?

Dancing David
2nd May 2013, 04:19 PM
Often times that is also true. So yes I do realize it. I use primarily no till and minimal till for that very reason.

But I would like to point out not all disturbance is bad. There are times when disturbance of the soil can be a good thing. The key is figuring out when, where, how much, and for how long the soil needs a disturbance for optimal sustainable productivity.

How many acres?

One of my coworkers is married to a farmer (2,000 acres, his brother and two sons)

:)

Dancing David
2nd May 2013, 04:25 PM
BUT When those weeds provide useful functions, like capturing even more solar energy and carbon, or forage for the animals you raise, or limiting erosion, or reducing the effects of drought, or feeding the microbiology of the soil, feeding those worms, providing habitat for predators, building new fertile topsoil etc etc etc.... They are no longer weeds anymore. Now instead of being weeds, they are co-laborers and beneficial to your farm.


So, if you don't have animals, what is the pigweeds doing to improve your productivity, and the velvet leaf and other crop pests, besides the various grasses.

How much do they increase yield?

Dymanic
2nd May 2013, 04:42 PM
I guess by definition any thinking outside the box can be called a derail.

If that's true, then this thread was a derail from the OP.

Please forgive me. My only defense is that I am a noob to this forum. I really am sorry it aggravated you.When I said it's not that big of a deal, I really meant that. A certain amount of thread drift is to be expected. For all that, a truly fussy person might raise the objection that my suggestion of an addition to the OP's "list" (in self-quote above from the other thread) itself constituted a derail of that thread. We've already established that the article linked in this thread's OP is crap anyway, so there's probably not much to lose by derailing this thread. I guess my real objection is that I find the issue of industrialized monoculture versus organic farming to be interesting and important enough that is is best discussed in threads with titles likely to attract participants interested in and knowledgeable about that subject, rather than in tangents spawned by unrelated threads which many of those potential participants are likely to ignore.

Red Baron Farms
2nd May 2013, 05:12 PM
How many acres?

One of my coworkers is married to a farmer (2,000 acres, his brother and two sons)

:) The system I personally use won't work on 2,000 acres.....yet. I am working on a scale-able model though. Probably will be a couple years for the results of that trial. We will see.

How many acres?

So, if you don't have animals, what is the pigweeds doing to improve your productivity, and the velvet leaf and other crop pests, besides the various grasses.

How much do they increase yield?

:)Depends entirely on the crop. Most likely you'll have to mow between rows instead and wait a few years as the soil gradually improves. Animals are better because they also "mow", don't require fossil fuels to fill their tanks either, and their waste cycles those "stolen" nutrients right back into the soil immediately, without needing to wait a few years for the cycle to complete. I know Hellen Atthowe mows. She waited those few years. But her specific increase in productivity I couldn't tell you. I guess you could send her a letter? It's a simple concept she uses though. Instead of bare dirt between her rows of black plastic, she allows the weeds to grow and controls them with mowing instead of chemicals like glyphosate. I personally am working on a way to do basically the same thing, except use grazers instead of mechanical mowers. Not a completely new idea either. Fairly common now-a-days with perennials like vineyards and orchards. The trick I am trying to work out is using the same concept with annual crops. So I guess you could say what I am personally working on is figuring out how to take 1/2 of one proven method, and 1/2 of another proven method, neither of which rely on glyphosate, combine them, and then increase it to full size commercial scale. If you don't use glyphosate, you don't need to worry about suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes one way or the other. That was my point. We will see.;)

PS This is probably the last post I'll make here considering it is already derailing the thread. So if you want to discuss more details, we should talk on a different thread.

The Central Scrutinizer
2nd May 2013, 08:50 PM
Maybe. Personally i find the idea that a farmer is not allowed to use the seeds, that the crop he planted and cared for produced, to plant (parts of) his next crop rather disgusting. I would have no problem in forbidding them to sell those seeds. But for using them for him/herself?

But then, that's just me...

Greetings,

Chris

Again, they are free not to use them. They know the deal going in.

The Central Scrutinizer
2nd May 2013, 08:51 PM
What exactly is the difference between a "GMO" crop and a "traditional" crop?

Hint: Only the time required to get the wanted results. Pretty much everything we use as crops nowdays _is_ already GMO: Just that it was created using the much slower process of breeding, selecting for traits, re-breeding those, etc.

And from the stuff that i have read, and that a few medium-sized farmers told me, GMO does have benefits wrt. yields. As mentioned, something must be responsible for the fact that we can throw away more and more food, while at the same time having population growth. And no matter where i look, organic farms have always less yield while at the same time requiring more work.

Also, GMO is not just for some corn plant to increase production of bio fuel, for example. Think of third worl countries that have little water available for their fields, sometimes drastically different climates, etc. A GMO crop that is modified to be OK with less water, different clima, etc. surely is beneficial to them. It's already bad enough that we in the western world throw so much food onto landfills. But working against GMO technology that in the long run will benefit those folks, just because we may or may not do some stupid things with them here, that's surely not a worthwile goal.

Greetings,

Chris

You are correct.

Dancing David
3rd May 2013, 04:47 AM
The system I personally use won't work on 2,000 acres.....yet. I am working on a scale-able model though. Probably will be a couple years for the results of that trial. We will see.

Depends entirely on the crop. Most likely you'll have to mow between rows instead and wait a few years as the soil gradually improves. Animals are better because they also "mow", don't require fossil fuels to fill their tanks either, and their waste cycles those "stolen" nutrients right back into the soil immediately, without needing to wait a few years for the cycle to complete. I know Hellen Atthowe mows. She waited those few years. But her specific increase in productivity I couldn't tell you. I guess you could send her a letter? It's a simple concept she uses though. Instead of bare dirt between her rows of black plastic, she allows the weeds to grow and controls them with mowing instead of chemicals like glyphosate. I personally am working on a way to do basically the same thing, except use grazers instead of mechanical mowers. Not a completely new idea either. Fairly common now-a-days with perennials like vineyards and orchards. The trick I am trying to work out is using the same concept with annual crops. So I guess you could say what I am personally working on is figuring out how to take 1/2 of one proven method, and 1/2 of another proven method, neither of which rely on glyphosate, combine them, and then increase it to full size commercial scale. If you don't use glyphosate, you don't need to worry about suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes one way or the other. That was my point. We will see.;)

PS This is probably the last post I'll make here considering it is already derailing the thread. So if you want to discuss more details, we should talk on a different thread.

So in other words you don't have a system that works for the agriculture in Central Illinois, I know 'organic' farms, they are labor intensive and not for general agriculture.

Grazers will mow your cash crop.

Don't leave the thread, I want to see you 'proof'.

Red Baron Farms
3rd May 2013, 04:03 PM
So in other words you don't have a system that works for the agriculture in Central Illinois, I know 'organic' farms, they are labor intensive and not for general agriculture.

Grazers will mow your cash crop.

Don't leave the thread, I want to see you 'proof'.

Sorry, but my own personal original research is both off limits and off topic here. When I am ready to publish results, I'll be happy to post. It will be a few years though. ;) So don't hold your breath. And I don't live in central Illinois either. Would be nice to have some of that prime land to do research on though. :D

What I can tell you is that the family farm is a bit more than 700 acres and I am not running trials there. My cousin runs that particular operation, parts of it "semi-organically" and parts of it conventionally. I wouldn't even attempt to try and talk to my cousin to change anything there until my own trials have positive results, assuming they ever do.

If you know anything at all about the subject, organic annual crop horticulture has been able to outproduce conventional agronomy time and time again, but on a small scale only. Attempts to increase the scale and still out produce conventional have repeatedly over and over again failed, primarily due to labor restrictions.

Since I am personally trying to crack that wall, that so many others have failed at, it would be foolish to assume I will succeed. All I can do is try and hope that even if I fail, the few ideas I added will help the next person to try.

Secondly I am NOT certified organic, nor do I have a dogmatic attachment to organic with some sort of religious zeal as some of the activists have. There are some parts of the organic movement that make me furious. The ban on all GMO's no matter if they are reasonable or not, safe or not, reduce dangerous chemical use or not....just a blanket ban.... is ridiculous. Who knows what the future holds? They want to ban something that hasn't even been produced yet because it falls into a broad category of GMO? The ban on antibiotics, I feel the same way about. If my vet says my animal needs a shot, then I am going with what my Vet says. Screw the religiously dogmatic "organic" activists. Now, having said all that, do I use GMO's? NOPE Do I feed my animals antibiotics? NOPE I have no need of them currently. But I reserve the right to do so if it ever is needed. If that means I can't call myself "certified organic", then so be it.

However, there are a couple things that have been cracked by organic producers in a scale-able way to any size operation and consistently out produce conventional. One is animal husbandry. That's where I came in with my comments about glyphosate. The vast majority of glyphosate resistant crops are used to raise livestock feed. Perennial grassland significantly outproduces ALL livestock feeds like corn soy wheat etc.. in total usable biomass and doesn't require glyphosate in most cases. (although spot treatments are sometimes used to start until the grassland fully matures.) In fact it outproduces it by so much, even the higher conversion rate seen in CAFO's is not enough to offset total productivity per acre. What method gives such good results? multispecies MIRG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managed_intensive_rotational_grazing). A second method that beats conventional is similar. Integrated multi species MIRG with perennials like orchards.

Both those have figured out ways to outproduce conventional methods by turning culls, pests, and weeds, into food for the animals. So the "problem" becomes the solution. Whatever they loose on one side of the equation is more than made up for by multiple revenue streams of additional production. ie... Grasshopper or locust plague eating the pasture? Well chickens just love grasshoppers! Cows don't particularly like certain weeds or brambles? Well goats or sheep just happen to love what cows don't like. Grubs attacking your apple trees? Chickens love scratching under those trees for those grubs and will head there first every time. A few still get into the apple crop by avoiding the chickens? Well all culls are absolutely hog heaven for the pigs! So when you add all those multiple streams of productivity up, even though each might be slightly less than conventional by 10-20% +/- or so. The TOTAL productivity per acre taken as a whole FAR exceeds conventional. With modern technology, a few farmers have figured out how to do it in a scale-able way to nearly any size farm.

What nobody has figured out how to do yet is grow annual crops in combination the same scale-able way. That's what my own personal research will attempt to do. I have a few ideas, but no results yet, and likely no results in under 5 years. So please, don't get on my back about that. Baby steps first. We all had to learn to walk before we learned to run.

Dancing David
4th May 2013, 05:07 AM
Thanks for the answers!

Interesting ideas, however I think it will run up against the ways that the corporate structure runs. There seems to be a division of labor between the production of crops and then the raising of animals, and your idea makes sense from an integrated management model where an individual farm raises the feed crop for animal production.

That is not the current model for production, and in fact in my county there are only farmers raising animals for their own consumption and one feed lot farmer, who seems to be mainly a row crop farmer with a feed lot. In my county over the last forty years all the small scale raising of animals has pretty much disappeared. The eggs farms are gone, so are teh hog farms, there are a few dairy farms but not many. Almost all row crops.

The farmers seem to want to focus on row crops as that is easier than animal management, we do have a few small orchards as well.

So I think the idea is interesting but will run right into individual model of the farms of families vs. the corporate farms.

Red Baron Farms
4th May 2013, 10:22 AM
Absolutely agree. I am well aware of the sorry state the individual family farm is in across the country. The good news is that already the few survivors that made it through are making in the thousands of dollars per acre, instead of the corporate farm model of typically hundreds of dollars an acre. So the ones that survived by making a new more productive business model are seriously prospering. And we still are in a free market. What can change can change back, but the only way it will is if the profits make it worth while.

We can talk high ideals all day long. But in the end you still have to raise your family, still have to put them through college, still have to earn 2 full incomes off the same land for 20-30 years if you want to pass that farm down to the next generation. So that takes a lot of money. That's why in my project I think in terms of business models and labor costs instead of actually trying to invent new ways to grow plants and animals. The methods are all there already on a small scale. Been that way for years. Be sure I am not the first person to realize feeding your pigs the culls from your fields or orchards saves a lot of costs in feed, or that chickens love insects and worms, or that sheep and cows complement each other in grazing, or that some crops complement each other. The three sisters method was invented by the Native American Indians, there is your corn, your beans for nitrogen fixation and your squash for ground cover and weed control all figured out thousands of years ago. But you can't mechanically combine the harvest, so you can't make enough money to put together a modern business plan using the three sisters method.

But organic and mostly organic technology has been advancing steadily over the years right along with all technology. Now there are solutions to spraying your fields with glyphosate. In fact the whole idea of the current no-till business model came directly from organic technology. A lot of people don't know that. But it is true. People believe the first place they personally heard it from is where it was developed. Monsanto was the first person to tell them, so they think Monsanto developed the method. Actually organic farmers developed the method and were doing no-till on row crops decades before Monsanto went out and told their people to advocate it. It most definitely can be done without glyphosate or in some cases nearly none. If it wasn't possible and wasn't being done and the method publish for all to know about, Monsanto probably would have ignored it or never known at all, and never developed their spin on it.

marplots
4th May 2013, 02:39 PM
Red Baron, You bring a fascinating perspective. Thank you for participating.

I'm curious as to how significant the stochastic elements are, specifically as it relates to predictability. My guess is that standardization with the fewest variables (as in the feed cycle held separate from livestock production) has a benefit not yet discussed. Even if my go-to process is less efficient, it may have a more predictable outcome. Fewer hits from the capricious gods of weather, pest and disease.

Where there is risk, in a modular, straight-line system, I can insure against those. Known risks being easier to deal with than complex, possibly multi-facor risks.

To put it plainly - I might very well accept lower productivity if I can be more assured of a predictable outcome.

Consider how many links are in the chain in the model you talked about. The orchard is needed or you'll have to purchase feed (and lose the quantity discount). The animals are needed or you'll have to do expensive custom weeding or pest control. And on and on.

A certain level of robustness seems needed in the way real ecosystems work. But real ecosystems have an advantage a farmer doesn't have - there is no end goal; what happens happens.

When I read about integrated systems, they recognize this problem and build in a certain robustness that then pares away all the advantages. They also seem to depend on being able to tap into the mono-culture mega-farms for supplies when needed.

What do you think?

Dancing David
4th May 2013, 05:34 PM
Absolutely agree. I am well aware of the sorry state the individual family farm is in across the country. The good news is that already the few survivors that made it through are making in the thousands of dollars per acre, instead of the corporate farm model of typically hundreds of dollars an acre.

Sorry I know you are new to the JREF, but i really have to ask you to cite your sources. You made these statements, now where is your data. Who exactly is doing what in what market and production?

The plight of the family farm is many things.
I was pointing out that they choose to engage in row crops, as that is profitable livestock has many more risks and the competition is using large scale production. The choice to engage in row crops is not part of the plight.

So the ones that survived by making a new more productive business model are seriously prospering.

Facts figures and data please. :)
The ones I know are already prospering.

And we still are in a free market. What can change can change back, but the only way it will is if the profits make it worth while.

We can talk high ideals all day long. But in the end you still have to raise your family, still have to put them through college, still have to earn 2 full incomes off the same land for 20-30 years if you want to pass that farm down to the next generation. So that takes a lot of money. That's why in my project I think in terms of business models and labor costs instead of actually trying to invent new ways to grow plants and animals. The methods are all there already on a small scale. Been that way for years. Be sure I am not the first person to realize feeding your pigs the culls from your fields or orchards saves a lot of costs in feed, or that chickens love insects and worms, or that sheep and cows complement each other in grazing, or that some crops complement each other.



Most farmers in this area are choosing to not raise livestock, but that is what you insist on talking about.

It is their choice.

The three sisters method was invented by the Native American Indians, there is your corn, your beans for nitrogen fixation and your squash for ground cover and weed control all figured out thousands of years ago. But you can't mechanically combine the harvest, so you can't make enough money to put together a modern business plan using the three sisters method.

But organic and mostly organic technology has been advancing steadily over the years right along with all technology. Now there are solutions to spraying your fields with glyphosate. In fact the whole idea of the current no-till business model came directly from organic technology. A lot of people don't know that. But it is true. People believe the first place they personally heard it from is where it was developed. Monsanto was the first person to tell them, so they think Monsanto developed the method. Actually organic farmers developed the method and were doing no-till on row crops decades before Monsanto went out and told their people to advocate it. It most definitely can be done without glyphosate or in some cases nearly none. If it wasn't possible and wasn't being done and the method publish for all to know about, Monsanto probably would have ignored it or never known at all, and never developed their spin on it.


Farmers are choosing to not raise livestock, so what is it that you are talking about? They want to raise row crops, low investment in production, no maintenance in terms of the numbers of animals. They don't want to do it. As I stated four people to run a 2,000 acre farm and make a living for their families.

Given the margins for soy bean production, and soy meal, I don't see why they would raise livestock. And maize is still profitable as well.

Dymanic
4th May 2013, 05:55 PM
Facts figures and data please.

If you'll flip back to the last post on page 1, you'll find a link to a long term study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, which contains a wealth of figures and data indicating that methods such as integrated crop-livestock systems can indeed produce yields comparable to chemical based monoculture farming -- as well as a suggestion that further discussion on that subject be taken up there instead of here, as none of that has anything whatsoever to do with enzyme suppression in gut microflora.

Red Baron Farms
4th May 2013, 06:40 PM
Red Baron,

What do you think?
I deleted my answer because it is off topic. Sorry I keep getting sucked into this thread by questions!:blush:

Dancing David
5th May 2013, 06:41 AM
If you'll flip back to the last post on page 1, you'll find a link to a long term study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, which contains a wealth of figures and data indicating that methods such as integrated crop-livestock systems can indeed produce yields comparable to chemical based monoculture farming -- as well as a suggestion that further discussion on that subject be taken up there instead of here, as none of that has anything whatsoever to do with enzyme suppression in gut microflora.

I will discuss here thank, that did not answer my question to RBF however.

That study is interesting, however it does not address the profit motive of teh farmer.

I am all for integrated crop rotation, that is great stuff, as is anything that would encourage something other than two crop monoculture.

My point is that it is the choice of the farmers that drives the equation. there is no timothy grown in my county any more, or at least I have only seen two fields in the last twenty years. A coworker of mine ten years ago worked on a project to encourage crop rotation and green manuring.

the paper acknowledges my point at the start of the discussion

"Grain production in the U.S. is dominated by short rotation systems designed to maximize grain yield and profit."

That is it right there, so while I agree the study show various wonderful effects it ignores what the reason is for the choice of farmer, immediate profit per season. Yes, that four yrar rotation looks great, but what is the profit yield on the non soya and maize crops in the other parts of the rotation?

So yes that is great, but the people who own the farms will not do it. Now my county is not running as hot as some areas of Iowa in property values, but it is very close, and unfortunately the large corporations are moving in. The reason that they grow what they do is motivated solely by making enough money to continue.

The yield in the four year rotation is great, but there are two years of very diminished profit by acre in the non-cash crop years, so a 50% decrease in profit and cash flow is not something the people who own and manage the farms are going to do.

I would like to see many changes to the way agriculture is run (the destruction of the complex of slough and riverine systems in my county is a real tragedy), but it is up to the owners to change. The biggest model I hope that will change right now will be the reduced use of chemicals in integrated pest management, where the actual cost of application will be weighed against the actual benefit of application in the application of all chemicals.

Red Baron Farms
5th May 2013, 07:09 AM
You apparently were not listening Dancing David.

1) We are off topic and hijacking the thread. You want to ask me?> Start a new thread and ask me there.
2) I am not shy to answer, but I refuse to disrespect the OP and the topic he brings up in this thread. They are related topics but not the same topic.

All I can answer here is a point I repeated many times. It doesn't matter if glyphosate Suppresses Cytochrome P450 Enzymes if there are alternatives for the farmer that are more beneficial to that farmer. There are profitable alternatives. Thus there is no reason to argue Cytochrome P450 Enzymes. Agriculture isn't about figuring ways to sell more glyphosate and figuring ways to prove it safe. Agriculture is about providing food and fiber for human use.

Dymanic
5th May 2013, 08:00 AM
will discuss here thank
Fine, whatever. I give up. If either !Kaggen or one of the mods has a problem with this derail, then I'll leave it to them to deal with it. It seems that the OP's article has received a fairly thorough smackdown, so there doesn't seem to be much left to be said about that anyway.
That study is interesting, however it does not address the profit motive of teh farmer.
Well, it does, actually. Did you not notice that one of the authors was an economist?

I agree the study show various wonderful effects it ignores what the reason is for the choice of farmer, immediate profit per season.That's a problem, and by no means one limited to agriculture. Many of the most important decisions we are collectively making about the future design of our society are driven primarily by the numbers on quarterly earnings reports -- but that's even further off topic.

Yes, that four yrar rotation looks great, but what is the profit yield on the non soya and maize crops in the other parts of the rotation?The answer to that is in the study. Did you read it?

The yield in the four year rotation is great, but there are two years of very diminished profit by acre in the non-cash crop years, so a 50% decrease in profit and cash flow is not something the people who own and manage the farms are going to do.Well, some of them are doing it (that is, turning away from increasingly expensive chemical-based monoculture and toward more reliance on integrated methods, longer rotations, cover crops, etc) -- but I do agree that there is a lot of inertia resisting those sorts of changes, perhaps not the least reason being that of all the people involved in food production in the U.S., the ones who earn the least are the ones engaged in the actual growing of crops.

I would like to see many changes to the way agriculture is run (the destruction of the complex of slough and riverine systems in my county is a real tragedy), but it is up to the owners to change.In view of the considerable extent to which the system we have now was created by government ag policy that largely dictated the viable options available to farmers, I'm afraid I can't really agree with that at all.

!Kaggen
6th May 2013, 10:53 AM
Red Baron, You bring a fascinating perspective. Thank you for participating.

I'm curious as to how significant the stochastic elements are, specifically as it relates to predictability. My guess is that standardization with the fewest variables (as in the feed cycle held separate from livestock production) has a benefit not yet discussed. Even if my go-to process is less efficient, it may have a more predictable outcome. Fewer hits from the capricious gods of weather, pest and disease.

Where there is risk, in a modular, straight-line system, I can insure against those. Known risks being easier to deal with than complex, possibly multi-facor risks.

To put it plainly - I might very well accept lower productivity if I can be more assured of a predictable outcome.

Consider how many links are in the chain in the model you talked about. The orchard is needed or you'll have to purchase feed (and lose the quantity discount). The animals are needed or you'll have to do expensive custom weeding or pest control. And on and on.

A certain level of robustness seems needed in the way real ecosystems work. But real ecosystems have an advantage a farmer doesn't have - there is no end goal; what happens happens.

When I read about integrated systems, they recognize this problem and build in a certain robustness that then pares away all the advantages. They also seem to depend on being able to tap into the mono-culture mega-farms for supplies when needed.

What do you think?

Well this was exactly what this thread
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=252362
was about so how about we continue the discussion there?

cosmicaug
6th May 2013, 02:40 PM
Maybe. Personally i find the idea that a farmer is not allowed to use the seeds, that the crop he planted and cared for produced, to plant (parts of) his next crop rather disgusting. I would have no problem in forbidding them to sell those seeds. But for using them for him/herself?

Do you find the idea of modern, non-GMO hybrids disgusting?

Red Baron Farms
6th May 2013, 05:06 PM
Do you find the idea of modern, non-GMO hybrids disgusting?

The idea of it? Absolutely not. I grow lots of hybrids.

The reality of it? Go right down to the grocery. Buy a tomato and eat it! Now that's disgusting!:jaw-dropp

Then go out to the farmers market and buy a Rutgers tomato. (A commercial OP strain developed back when commercial strains still have flavor)

The difference is night and day.;)

Stomatopoda
6th May 2013, 05:50 PM
Question: why is it seemingly always tomatoes? Never broccoli, or radishes, or wheat. It's always "go buy a local organic conflict-free hand-pollinated tomato".

Christian Klippel
7th May 2013, 02:21 AM
Do you find the idea of modern, non-GMO hybrids disgusting?

You may want to reread the part that you quoted, and then ask yourself if was talking about the plants themselves or not.

Greetings,

Chris

cosmicaug
7th May 2013, 07:37 AM
You may want to reread the part that you quoted, and then ask yourself if was talking about the plants themselves or not.

Greetings,

Chris
You may wish to answer the question. I'm curious about your answer.

Christian Klippel
7th May 2013, 08:27 AM
You may wish to answer the question. I'm curious about your answer.

I have no problems with plants of any kind, be they "regular", hybrids, GMO, non-GMO, or any combination thereof.

And now i hope you can elaborate what that has to do with what you quoted, which was about what some comapnies want to enforce, right?

Greetings,

Chris

cosmicaug
7th May 2013, 09:54 AM
I have no problems with plants of any kind, be they "regular", hybrids, GMO, non-GMO, or any combination thereof.

And now i hope you can elaborate what that has to do with what you quoted, which was about what some comapnies want to enforce, right?

Greetings,

Chris

Major staple crop hybrids involve enforcement too: of course, you can save seed but it's pretty much mostly pointless. If you are disgusted by legalistic enforcement, should you not also be at least a little bit disgusted by mechanistic enforcement?

Dymanic
7th May 2013, 10:19 AM
If you are disgusted by legalistic enforcement, should you not also be at least a little bit disgusted by mechanistic enforcement?I can see what you're driving at, but it's really not quite the same thing. If sterility of seed were the primary objective of hybridization, it might be reasonable to regard the practice as "mechanistic enforcement", but most often the objective is to combine favorable qualities from different strains, the lack of viability in the seed being a byproduct of that which happens to favor the interests of the seed developers over the interests of their customers.

Now: I'd be curious as to what you think this has to do with the possible implications of suppression of cytochrome enzymes in gut microflora.

Christian Klippel
7th May 2013, 11:29 AM
Major staple crop hybrids involve enforcement too: of course, you can save seed but it's pretty much mostly pointless. If you are disgusted by legalistic enforcement, should you not also be at least a little bit disgusted by mechanistic enforcement?

Dunno how the situation is with major crop hybrids. But generally, hybrids can be fully fertile, not fertile at all, or something inbetween. In any case, an infertile hybrid simply produces non-viable seeds. This is very different from a crop producing viable seeds, but some company legalese wanting to not have people use them. That is, forbidding to make use of what the plant is capable of. The farmer has paid for it, has cared for the crop, growing it, had it produce viable seed, and is then forbidden to use them.

It's completely different from having a plant that is not able to produce viable seeds at all.

Greetings,

Chris

marplots
7th May 2013, 11:35 AM
Dunno how the situation is with major crop hybrids. But generally, hybrids can be fully fertile, not fertile at all, or something inbetween. In any case, an infertile hybrid simply produces non-viable seeds. This is very different from a crop producing viable seeds, but some company legalese wanting to not have people use them. That is, forbidding to make use of what the plant is capable of. The farmer has paid for it, has cared for the crop, growing it, had it produce viable seed, and is then forbidden to use them.

It's completely different from having a plant that is not able to produce viable seeds at all.

Greetings,

Chris

I think that part is incorrect. The farmer agreed to, and was forbidden to use them, long before the seeds appeared. The "company legalese" comes in the form of a contract and the farmer is (or should be) well aware of the stipulations. Farmers are smart enough to participate in this relationship. No one is being tricked or fooled here.

cosmicaug
7th May 2013, 11:38 AM
Dunno how the situation is with major crop hybrids. But generally, hybrids can be fully fertile, not fertile at all, or something inbetween. In any case, an infertile hybrid simply produces non-viable seeds. This is very different from a crop producing viable seeds, but some company legalese wanting to not have people use them. That is, forbidding to make use of what the plant is capable of. The farmer has paid for it, has cared for the crop, growing it, had it produce viable seed, and is then forbidden to use them.

It's completely different from having a plant that is not able to produce viable seeds at all.

Greetings,

Chris

I guess I was looking at it very pragmatically. In both cases you have a seed producing plant with characteristics a, b & c. In both cases you cannot use the seeds produced to plant a new crop with characteristics a, b & c.

Christian Klippel
7th May 2013, 02:24 PM
I think that part is incorrect. The farmer agreed to, and was forbidden to use them, long before the seeds appeared. The "company legalese" comes in the form of a contract and the farmer is (or should be) well aware of the stipulations. Farmers are smart enough to participate in this relationship. No one is being tricked or fooled here.

From what i heard here in Germany, farmers are not really made that aware of this fact. Sure, the benfits and stuff gets thrown at them as if there were no tomorrow. But the "fine print"? Virtually never.

Plus, i'm sure that you can show me where i said something about tricked or fooled. They underlying issue here for me is that people should not be allowed to let nature do what it usually does: after producing viable seeds, putting them into the ground and grow them.

And your argument is flawed anyways (as is the GMO companies): No one is forcing them to sell seeds that grow into crops that in turn produce viable seeds. They could as well grow them themselves and sell the produce. See, it works both ways. Or, while they are at modifying them, amke sure that those seeds would not be viable. I see no reason why a customer should in any way, shape or form be restricted to do whatever he/she wants to with the goods bought only because it inconveniences a company.

Greetings,

Chris

Christian Klippel
7th May 2013, 02:27 PM
I guess I was looking at it very pragmatically. In both cases you have a seed producing plant with characteristics a, b & c. In both cases you cannot use the seeds produced to plant a new crop with characteristics a, b & c.

Then you are wrong, in my opinion. On one side we have stuff that resembles a seed, but is not viable. The fact that hybrids may not produce viable seeds is long known, even among farmers. However, to introduce some legalese to prohibit someone to have nature have it's way, that is, produce viable seeds and plant them, is just silly.

Greetings,

Chris

RecoveringYuppy
7th May 2013, 03:39 PM
They underlying issue here for me is that people should not be allowed to let [I think you meant stop?] nature do what it usually does: after producing viable seeds, putting them into the ground and grow them.

So would it be OK to make copies of a musical recording and sell them wihtout paying the original artist if the copying mechanism employed was some "natural" (non technological) method of copying?

marplots
7th May 2013, 06:38 PM
From what i heard here in Germany, farmers are not really made that aware of this fact. Sure, the benfits and stuff gets thrown at them as if there were no tomorrow. But the "fine print"? Virtually never.

I am unfamiliar with farming in Germany. Where I live, this issue is covered on the Internet and farmers discuss such things among themselves. It is as far from hidden as I can imagine.

Plus, i'm sure that you can show me where i said something about tricked or fooled.

I don't think you did. I wrote that. I was pointing out that farmers are pretty savvy folks and enter into the arrangement willingly.

They underlying issue here for me is that people should not be allowed to let nature do what it usually does: after producing viable seeds, putting them into the ground and grow them.

But not letting nature do what it does is the point. We absolutely do want to change the way nature would have things. Nature is happy to put weeds all over the place. I don't see why one thing "nature does" is sacrosanct and another is not.

And your argument is flawed anyways (as is the GMO companies): No one is forcing them to sell seeds that grow into crops that in turn produce viable seeds.

Agreed.

They could as well grow them themselves and sell the produce.

Agreed.

See, it works both ways. Or, while they are at modifying them, amke sure that those seeds would not be viable.

This, not so much. I'm not sure doing this is economically feasible or even biologically possible. However, if you know it to be so, I'll take your word for it.

I see no reason why a customer should in any way, shape or form be restricted to do whatever he/she wants to with the goods bought only because it inconveniences a company.

On what basis should they be able to break their agreement with the company when they purchased the product?

The fact that a lack of hybrid sterility means they can do it doesn't justify doing it when they promised they wouldn't.

There is already a simple remedy. If a farmer doesn't like the deal offered - don't take the deal. Grow something else. Heck, sell the land for a development if you have to. Start your own seed company. Raise pigs instead. Any of a thousand legal options are available. What I don't agree with is trying to justify an unethical (and perhaps illegal) practice based on some notion of "ought to be able to."

cosmicaug
8th May 2013, 04:52 AM
This, not so much. I'm not sure doing this is economically feasible or even biologically possible. However, if you know it to be so, I'll take your word for it.

Oh, it's biologically possible, all right! And, far from being considered an acceptable solution (which it probably should be), anti-GMO zealots have been and still are screaming bloody murder about it even though, in response to the bad PR, Monsanto has pledged not to use these technologies over a decade ago (for example, Vandana Shiva still brings it up dishonestly even though she knows there are no "terminator" seeds out there).

mijopaalmc
9th May 2013, 11:01 AM
So would it be OK to make copies of a musical recording and sell them wihtout paying the original artist if the copying mechanism employed was some "natural" (non technological) method of copying?

There seems to be a bit of (unintentional) equivocation here. Yes, the law treat isolated genes and their derivatives as intellectual property and allow the holders of the intellectual property rights (be they copyrights, in the case of music and software, or patents, in the case of isolated genes and their derivatives) to control the dissemination (pun partially intended) their product. I'm pretty sure that most people are not denying the lagel aspects of intellectual property owner; I think that they're questioning it's ethical grounding with respect to biological entities.

RecoveringYuppy
9th May 2013, 02:24 PM
I'm pretty sure that most people are not denying the lagel aspects of intellectual property owner; I think that they're questioning it's ethical grounding with respect to biological entities.

Am I understanding you correctly that you're implying the person I was responding to was saying it's unethical to not plant seeds? Sounds weird to me, but, if so, then you're suggesting they wouldn't object to some other payment scheme such as a yearly license fee per acre?

mijopaalmc
9th May 2013, 06:17 PM
Am I understanding you correctly that you're implying the person I was responding to was saying it's unethical to not plant seeds? Sounds weird to me, but, if so, then you're suggesting they wouldn't object to some other payment scheme such as a yearly license fee per acre?

I'm talking about the ethics of own exclusive rights to GMO's

RecoveringYuppy
9th May 2013, 08:13 PM
I'm talking about the ethics of own exclusive rights to GMO's
OK. Is that in some other thread I'm unaware of?

mijopaalmc
10th May 2013, 03:08 PM
OK. Is that in some other thread I'm unaware of?

No, it's just a general observation about the problematics of GMO's.

pipelineaudio
10th May 2013, 08:43 PM
So would it be OK to make copies of a musical recording and sell them wihtout paying the original artist if the copying mechanism employed was some "natural" (non technological) method of copying?

Exactly perfect reply. People should know just how much technology is being held back by our lack of care regarding IP rights

In my industry its been about 20 years and we still don't see a native reverb that can compete with a piece of crap reverb from the 1980's

There's just no incentive to spend the R&D when there's no hope of recoup

Dancing David
12th May 2013, 04:35 AM
I can't recall which case it is, if it is Bowman vs, Monsanto or not, but there is a farmer suing on the basis that they planed the beans after buying them from a third party, not Monsanto, IE they did not purchase the seed beans from Monsanto, they purchased them from a grain elevator, after they were harvested by someone who did buy that seed from Monsanto.

Now the case I am thinking of is based upon the third party construct. Are third parties bound by the original contract?

marplots
12th May 2013, 08:22 AM
I can't recall which case it is, if it is Bowman vs, Monsanto or not, but there is a farmer suing on the basis that they planed the beans after buying them from a third party, not Monsanto, IE they did not purchase the seed beans from Monsanto, they purchased them from a grain elevator, after they were harvested by someone who did buy that seed from Monsanto.

Now the case I am thinking of is based upon the third party construct. Are third parties bound by the original contract?

That is the case (http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/bowman-v-monsanto-co/) although, while a contractual remedy is one of the solutions suggested, it really revolves around patent rights. Does Monsanto retain the patent rights (in essence, licensing the rights with each new crop) or, as is normally the case, do they lose the rights for a particular sale that then generates another "copy" : i.e. the plants produce a copy of themselves.

Interestingly, the overlap with software licensing and patents is perhaps the more important issue, since I can buy some patented software and then resell copies so easily.

Christian Klippel
14th May 2013, 12:29 PM
So would it be OK to make copies of a musical recording and sell them wihtout paying the original artist if the copying mechanism employed was some "natural" (non technological) method of copying?

Regarding the bolded question you added to my quote: Nope. The ones selling GMO seeds with those restrictions added pretty much want that people should not be allowed to let nature take it's course.

About your comparison to music recordings, well, congratulations to have come up with a big comparison fail.

See, if i take a record, CD, DVD, a book, or any of the the vast majority of software programs, and then use it as intended, it does not produce copies of it's own. I can try and stick a CD in the soil, but all that happens then is that it slowly degrades, but never multiplies.

But here's the kicker: plants actually _do_ replicate. All on their own. It's what they usually do, imagine that.

But hey, alright, let's grant them those right on their oh-so-precious "intellectual property". But then it would only be fair that they take responsibility as well. What if someone plants regular soy beans, and his neighbour plants GMO soy beans, which then in turn pollinate the regular ones? I guess it would only be fair if those GMO companies then pay damages to the owner of the regular crop if he finds out that the now produced seeds are contaminated with the extra genes.

But somehow i never heard of any contracts that have such a clause in them, that would free the farmer from the liabilty and have the company take responsibility. Why is that? If their precious IP is so important, it's rather strange that they go all up in arms when someone uses seeds produced by those plants, but won't take any blame if ther IP goes polluting other plants.

This, among others, is a reason why i think that contracts that forbid farmers to produce their own follow-up seeds is just stupid.

Greetings,

Chris

marplots
14th May 2013, 01:48 PM
The ones selling GMO seeds with those restrictions added pretty much want that people should not be allowed to let nature take it's course.

It's too late for nature to take its course. That left the building when Monsanto inserted the gene. Nature got modified when the product was invented.

See, if i take a record, CD, DVD, a book, or any of the the vast majority of software programs, and then use it as intended, it does not produce copies of it's own.

Neither does Monsanto's product. If used as intended, the seed is eaten or otherwise prevented from "making a copy on its own."

If you want a comparison, when I first bought Windows, I was allowed to make a backup (maybe two?). I was not allowed to sell those or allow them to produce more copies. If Windows included a utility to make a copy of the original disk, would that fall under your definition of self replicating?

But here's the kicker: plants actually _do_ replicate. All on their own. It's what they usually do, imagine that.

Not, "all on their own." Sometimes without supervision or the hand of man, but that doesn't apply in this case. This is a product we are talking about, a product that can be easily copied, but a product subject to use licenses nonetheless. It is no more natural than my fungicide treated plywood, or regular plywood, for that matter. It's different, and identifiably so.

But hey, alright, let's grant them those right on their oh-so-precious "intellectual property". But then it would only be fair that they take responsibility as well. What if someone plants regular soy beans, and his neighbour plants GMO soy beans, which then in turn pollinate the regular ones? I guess it would only be fair if those GMO companies then pay damages to the owner of the regular crop if he finds out that the now produced seeds are contaminated with the extra genes.

Correct. They would have an action against either Monsanto or the neighbor and would have to prove damages. What they would not be allowed to do is use the new functionality acquired as if it appeared "naturally."

But somehow i never heard of any contracts that have such a clause in them, that would free the farmer from the liabilty and have the company take responsibility. Why is that? If their precious IP is so important, it's rather strange that they go all up in arms when someone uses seeds produced by those plants, but won't take any blame if ther IP goes polluting other plants.

I've never read the actual contract. Are you familiar with such terms or lawsuits against Monsanto for "gene pollution?"

This, among others, is a reason why i think that contracts that forbid farmers to produce their own follow-up seeds is just stupid.

And, by extension, farmers are stupid for agreeing to the terms?

cosmicaug
14th May 2013, 02:30 PM
About your comparison to music recordings, well, congratulations to have come up with a big comparison fail.

See, if i take a record, CD, DVD, a book, or any of the the vast majority of software programs, and then use it as intended, it does not produce copies of it's own. I can try and stick a CD in the soil, but all that happens then is that it slowly degrades, but never multiplies.

If it is buried in the dirt, it won't make any copies. If it is used as intended, however, a temporary copy will be generally be made in memory.

Christian Klippel
15th May 2013, 12:20 AM
It's too late for nature to take its course. That left the building when Monsanto inserted the gene. Nature got modified when the product was invented.

Neither does Monsanto's product. If used as intended, the seed is eaten or otherwise prevented from "making a copy on its own."

If you want a comparison, when I first bought Windows, I was allowed to make a backup (maybe two?). I was not allowed to sell those or allow them to produce more copies. If Windows included a utility to make a copy of the original disk, would that fall under your definition of self replicating?


Nice way to miss the point. The genetic makeup of a plant can change by (1) natural selection, that is, a long a sequence of reproduction by nature itself, (2) forced selection/breeding, basically same as (1) but accelerated by human intervention or by (3) manipulating the genes in a lab, which is the fastest. In all three cases the end result is a modified plant. However, only in case 3 such a fuzz is made about.

"used as intended" means just that: used in a way that it is normally used. A CD or a book or whatever does not make a copy of itself. A seed does, simply by growing into a plant and producing more seeds. That's just what plants do. It doesn't matter what a company wants or not, plants simply do that.


Not, "all on their own." Sometimes without supervision or the hand of man, but that doesn't apply in this case. This is a product we are talking about, a product that can be easily copied, but a product subject to use licenses nonetheless. It is no more natural than my fungicide treated plywood, or regular plywood, for that matter. It's different, and identifiably so.

Ahh, spare me the semantics, please. I'm pretty sure you understood what i meant. But to clarify: In the case of seeds, the "supervision or the hand of man" can be minimal or even dropped completely, all that is needed is that the seeds end up in the soil. Assuming nature still works, rain falls and the sun shines, they will grow into plants and the produce new seeds.

Compare that to a CD. It is not enough to just put it into a CD writer. One has to actively read out the CD. One also needs a fresh, blank CD. And then actively have that previous data dump written back to it. A CD does squat on its own when placed in it's "natural" habitat.

And that is the difference. Obne item is easily copied, the other just copies itself. And not only that, it can even add (if we would talk only about the added/modified genes) to other, non-modified plants. See below...


Correct. They would have an action against either Monsanto or the neighbor and would have to prove damages. What they would not be allowed to do is use the new functionality acquired as if it appeared "naturally."

Now, what does "acquired as if it appeared naturally" even mean then in this context? Naturally those genes would spread out. If such GMO plants pollinate non-GMO plants, and those genes end up in the resulting seeds, how is it even possible that a company should have any say in wether those seeds can be used/sold/whatever or not? Right now, if these genes are found, the person using them can be sued for using them without having a contract. But that person never asked for those genes to be introduced there in the first place.

What if that person is unaware of this, just thinks "Ah, those plants of mine over there have some traits i like, so i'll go and breed them", and in turn produces seeds to sell them? From that persons perspective, it is simply selecting and re-breeding plants of his own. He never knowingly violated any contract terms. One may make the argument that if a farmer buys GMO seeds that he should aware that a batch of seeds created by the plants that grew out of those GMO seeds in turn contain some extra functionality. While i think it is still silly to prevent that farmer from using them, it is completely absurd to impose any form of control over those genetic manipulations in case they introduce themselves into neighbouring "normal" crops.

If that neighbour breeds those plants, and subsequently sells the produced seeds, by all means and purposes what he does is the result of his own work. If some GMO company can not control what their product does or influences, too bad for them.


I've never read the actual contract. Are you familiar with such terms or lawsuits against Monsanto for "gene pollution?"

If i would, i wouldn't find it curious that i never heard of any such contract terms. Maybe someone can point me to such terms. Until i learn that such terms exist, i can assume that they don't.

And, by extension, farmers are stupid for agreeing to the terms?

It is stupid to allow the companies to put such restrictions in their contracts in the first place. Again, we are talking about plants that, by their very nature, reprdocue themselves. There are many situations possible (and very likely already accured) in which those genes spread out. That this happens for the farmer who actually bought the GMO seeds in the first place is only one of them. Looking at only that one is a way too narrow view.

Greetings,

Chris

Christian Klippel
15th May 2013, 12:24 AM
If it is buried in the dirt, it won't make any copies. If it is used as intended, however, a temporary copy will be generally be made in memory.

I see, you like quibbling with minutiae and semantics as well. Ok, i'll play: You are wrong. Normally there is _not_ a full copy made in memory. If anything, only a small buffer is used.

And even if the complete disc ends up in memory: it still isn't a copy in the same sense that a seed produced by a GMO seed and subsequent plant would be. I let you figure out why that is for yourself.

Greetings,

Chris

marplots
15th May 2013, 07:04 AM
This argument revolves around the idea of living things having some kind of special property that exempts them from ownership. I disagree, and the matter was decided (I thought) as far back as 1980 when oil eating bacteria were patented.

As far as I can tell, there's no real difference here. Bacteria will "naturally" reproduce, but the bacteria I want to sell has a property not found in the wild, one I "invented." (To be fair, oil-eating wasn't invented so much as exploited in a novel way.)

The case is outlined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_v._Chakrabarty

Heritable modifications to biological organisms are patentable. This is a simple choice we make on how we'd like patents to work. I disagree that there is some higher morality or principle involved that trumps a straightforward decision to treat them one way or another.

If something is capable of making copies and you provide the means for it to be copied (no matter what those means are) - you've infringed on someone's patent rights. Living organisms should not be exempt just because they are easier to copy.

Suppose, instead of a beneficial trait, we were talking about a detrimental trait. Wouldn't we then impose liability on the party that allowed the trait to escape into the wild? I certainly would. And if inventors are responsible for their monstrous children, they should gain the rewards when they create angels instead.

!Kaggen
16th May 2013, 06:56 AM
This argument revolves around the idea of living things having some kind of special property that exempts them from ownership. I disagree, and the matter was decided (I thought) as far back as 1980 when oil eating bacteria were patented.

As far as I can tell, there's no real difference here. Bacteria will "naturally" reproduce, but the bacteria I want to sell has a property not found in the wild, one I "invented." (To be fair, oil-eating wasn't invented so much as exploited in a novel way.)

The case is outlined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_v._Chakrabarty

Heritable modifications to biological organisms are patentable. This is a simple choice we make on how we'd like patents to work. I disagree that there is some higher morality or principle involved that trumps a straightforward decision to treat them one way or another.

If something is capable of making copies and you provide the means for it to be copied (no matter what those means are) - you've infringed on someone's patent rights. Living organisms should not be exempt just because they are easier to copy.

Suppose, instead of a beneficial trait, we were talking about a detrimental trait. Wouldn't we then impose liability on the party that allowed the trait to escape into the wild? I certainly would. And if inventors are responsible for their monstrous children, they should gain the rewards when they create angels instead.

Rubbish, patents don't carry responsibilities due to their negative consequences for their owners only rewards for their positive consequences.

We could solve this patent issue though by simply including responsibility in patent law.

Skin in the game ;-)

marplots
16th May 2013, 07:09 AM
Rubbish, patents don't carry responsibilities due to their negative consequences for their owners only rewards for their positive consequences.

We could solve this patent issue though by simply including responsibility in patent law.

Skin in the game ;-)

I agree. (First time?)

Here's an example of where I think the patent holder could be successfully sued: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100806/full/news.2010.393.html

Their invention is costing the state and farmers more in weed control costs (since, in some circumstances, their GMO, now feral and still herbicide resistant, is a weed, not a crop).

tsig
16th May 2013, 08:55 AM
Not sure how crazy the authors of the OP's linked article are, but one thing for sure is that they're damned sloppy, as proven by their citing Wakefield. I would not be too quick to assume, however, that everything in that article is automatically tainted by that.

How much crap would there have to be in a sandwich before you'd rather not eat it?

tsig
16th May 2013, 08:58 AM
hello,
Spaying glyphosate is much better than spaying 24D, it is not the same contaminant nor does it have as many side effects, drift and water toxicity issues.

now granted people should intersperse their fields with unsprayed fields, but that isn't going to happen soon.

Well that would stop them from reproducing willy nilly.:):boxedin:

tsig
16th May 2013, 09:00 AM
Well now. Good point. I am not so sure it is necessarily a universal goal. All I can say is that it is a goal for me, and it works for me. And I can point out that I am not alone in that goal. I suppose it is likely some people prefer living in a sterile world, totally cut off from their biological roots. That certainly has no glamour for me. I like living with nature's biodiversity. Beyond that I like how that biodiversity improves the productivity of the land.

But your point is well taken. I stand corrected. I can't automatically assume that is a universal goal for mankind.


The whole objective of farming is to reduce biodiversity in a selected area.

Dymanic
16th May 2013, 11:02 AM
How much crap would there have to be in a sandwich before you'd rather not eat it?Don't think that analogy works here. If some of the content is valid, it is not rendered invalid simply because someone else came along and selected it for inclusion in their own collection of ideas.

Dymanic
16th May 2013, 11:09 AM
The whole objective of farming is to reduce biodiversity in a selected area.
I can't agree with that, either. That assertion certainly applies to industrialized monoculture, but a central principle of organic farming (in its original sense) is based on maintaining a richness of biodiversity. Obviously, the farmer has preferences for some organisms over others, but very often the way he de-selects the ones he doesn't want is through introducing the ones he does want.

ThunderChunky
16th May 2013, 08:09 PM
I agree. (First time?)

Here's an example of where I think the patent holder could be successfully sued: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100806/full/news.2010.393.html

Their invention is costing the state and farmers more in weed control costs (since, in some circumstances, their GMO, now feral and still herbicide resistant, is a weed, not a crop).

Nothing in that article states that these wild GMO plants are causing any problems at all. But even if you could prove some damages, why would the patent holder be sued? Maybe in some circumstances you could sue the person selling the seeds, which may or may not be the person with the patent.

ThunderChunky
16th May 2013, 08:14 PM
Rubbish, patents don't carry responsibilities due to their negative consequences for their owners only rewards for their positive consequences.

We could solve this patent issue though by simply including responsibility in patent law.

Skin in the game ;-)

Certainly people using and selling things (whether or not they have a patent) are legally responsible for their actions. So there is really no need to reform the patent system on this. Why should whether someone patents a GMO or not have anything to do with their legal responsibility for damages it might cause?

!Kaggen
17th May 2013, 10:01 AM
Nothing in that article states that these wild GMO plants are causing any problems at all. But even if you could prove some damages, why would the patent holder be sued? Maybe in some circumstances you could sue the person selling the seeds, which may or may not be the person with the patent.

Why not?

!Kaggen
17th May 2013, 10:07 AM
Certainly people using and selling things (whether or not they have a patent) are legally responsible for their actions. So there is really no need to reform the patent system on this. Why should whether someone patents a GMO or not have anything to do with their legal responsibility for damages it might cause?

Why shouldn't it?
What makes ideas so special that they should only have an upside?
Skin in the game is always a good thing.

cosmicaug
17th May 2013, 03:55 PM
I agree. (First time?)

Really? I invent and patent a special wrench and I (not necessarily even the implementer) can be sued for someone bashing in someone's head with it? You think that would be a good policy?

cosmicaug
17th May 2013, 04:00 PM
The whole objective of farming is to reduce biodiversity in a selected area.I can't agree with that, either. That assertion certainly applies to industrialized monoculture, but a central principle of organic farming (in its original sense) is based on maintaining a richness of biodiversity. Obviously, the farmer has preferences for some organisms over others, but very often the way he de-selects the ones he doesn't want is through introducing the ones he does want.

And I can't agree with that. If you are not reducing diversity, you are, most likely, not growing a crop. Even if you are doing some sort of co-culture and not being too aggressive with weeding you are reducing diversity (you are simply being a bit less aggressive about it than the guy who grows Roundup ready soy & nukes his fields with glyphosate).

cosmicaug
17th May 2013, 04:11 PM
Why shouldn't it?
What makes ideas so special that they should only have an upside?
Skin in the game is always a good thing.
Because ideas are only tools until they are used. Depending on specific circumstances, it would either be the user, or, if you could prove negligence, the manufacturer which materialized the idea into an actual product, who would be guilty of taking an action with good effects or bad effects and who should be legally responsible for harms produced.

The reason for patent protection is orthogonal what happens to when a particular idea gets implemented in a particular way. The theory is that by protecting intellectual property you are rewarding innovation and encouraging other people to come up with new ideas. There are arguments for and against this truly being the net effect of patent protection. What patent protection is not meant to be (and the unstated premise underlying your comments) is a direct reward for directly observed beneficial effects of the various implementations of the intellectual property.

marplots
17th May 2013, 05:52 PM
Really? I invent and patent a special wrench and I (not necessarily even the implementer) can be sued for someone bashing in someone's head with it? You think that would be a good policy?

Maybe. Your liability would increase to the extent that the foreseeable consequences of your invention led to the head bashing. So, on the other end of the spectrum, lets say you developed and patented a deadly virus. The mere act of creating and publishing such a thing could be expected to cause harm.

If your wrench design included the ability to spontaneously crack me upside the noggin, then, yes, I think you do bear some negligence burden.

Do you think that someone who invents, patents and licenses the recipe for a deadly nerve agent should be free to do so and devoid of responsibility?

ThunderChunky
17th May 2013, 07:10 PM
Why shouldn't it?
What makes ideas so special that they should only have an upside?
Skin in the game is always a good thing.

The downside is in the research costs, legal costs, and implementation risk. Patents don't protect mere ideas and they don't guarantee any returns.

Maybe. Your liability would increase to the extent that the foreseeable consequences of your invention led to the head bashing. So, on the other end of the spectrum, lets say you developed and patented a deadly virus. The mere act of creating and publishing such a thing could be expected to cause harm.

But if you don't patent it, you're A-OK? I don't see how the patent should have anything to do with the liability.

marplots
17th May 2013, 07:57 PM
But if you don't patent it, you're A-OK? I don't see how the patent should have anything to do with the liability.

True, other than a record of intellectual "ownership." But the thread was about patents, so that's how it came up. Yes, of course, negligence is negligence, patent or not. The idea is that giving someone exclusive rights by way of patent should also come with some kind of liability.

But I agree, having a patent would be just a subset of cases.

Perhaps it would be clearer if you licensed something with the reasonable expectation of further harm?

I haven't seen it laid out clearly, but I think the argument has been brought forward for guns? The difference here would be the possibility of an invented gene getting into the larger ecology and causing damage (if that can be shown).

cosmicaug
17th May 2013, 09:25 PM
Maybe. Your liability would increase to the extent that the foreseeable consequences of your invention led to the head bashing. So, on the other end of the spectrum, lets say you developed and patented a deadly virus. The mere act of creating and publishing such a thing could be expected to cause harm.

If your wrench design included the ability to spontaneously crack me upside the noggin, then, yes, I think you do bear some negligence burden.

Do you think that someone who invents, patents and licenses the recipe for a deadly nerve agent should be free to do so and devoid of responsibility?

Hell yes, they should be free of such!

I once submitted (and won) a solution for an Innocentive challenge titled Rapid Therapeutic Development Pipeline (https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9267139). The challenge asked for a means of quickly finding a compound capable of killing culturable bacteria: that is, bring me a bacterial culture and I give you a compound that will kill it while having a high probability of not killing you.

Presumably what I came up with (which was a molecular biology method of generating random peptides which had a high probability of being bioactive with good drug like properties coupled with a simple means of screening against bacteria --I suspect the reason I got an award of any kind is because I gave a molecular biology solution to a problem which was not framed as a molecular biology problem) could be used to find an antibiotic compound which if overused might have the side effect of creating resistance to some other widely used class of antibiotics (being an approach relying on randomness, anything could happen). Are you seriously proposing that if such a thing ever happened I should be held responsible for coming up with that idea (I really didn't come up with anything, I just put together different things in the literature).

My solution was meant to generate chemicals tolerable by eukaryotic organisms to be tested for toxicity against a target bactarium. Presumably, one might be able to turn things around and test generated peptides against eukaryotes and thus produce deadly toxins. If someone did this, are you seriously suggesting I should be held responsible.

marplots
17th May 2013, 09:36 PM
Hell yes, they should be free of such!
(interesting anecdote snipped)

My solution was meant to generate chemicals tolerable by eukaryotic organisms to be tested for toxicity against a target bactarium. Presumably, one might be able to turn things around and test generated peptides against eukaryotes and thus produce deadly toxins. If someone did this, are you seriously suggesting I should be held responsible.

My burden would be to prove that your process led directly (or largely) to subsequent harm and you knew it probably would be. A heavy burden, to be sure.

Here's where I might win. You license your patented process to Al Queda who has informed you they will be developing toxins using it. They do and kill a bunch of people. In this version of reality, I think you should be held liable.

In the GMO case, Monsanto wants to claim patent rights on subsequent generations when their gene appears. I'm saying they should also get ownership when that gene then appears in places it's not wanted. In the Canola case, the gene moved into the wild. Either that gene is now "natural" and owned by no one, or it's still a patented idea and owned by someone. I don't see how a patent holder gets to have it both ways.

Another example might be a computer virus that has the capability to self-replicate. I license it to you, knowing (or even strongly suspecting) you will not be able to keep it from spreading into the "wild." Shouldn't I then be held negligent?

!Kaggen
17th May 2013, 11:40 PM
My burden would be to prove that your process led directly (or largely) to subsequent harm and you knew it probably would be. A heavy burden, to be sure.

Here's where I might win. You license your patented process to Al Queda who has informed you they will be developing toxins using it. They do and kill a bunch of people. In this version of reality, I think you should be held liable.

In the GMO case, Monsanto wants to claim patent rights on subsequent generations when their gene appears. I'm saying they should also get ownership when that gene then appears in places it's not wanted. In the Canola case, the gene moved into the wild. Either that gene is now "natural" and owned by no one, or it's still a patented idea and owned by someone. I don't see how a patent holder gets to have it both ways.

Another example might be a computer virus that has the capability to self-replicate. I license it to you, knowing (or even strongly suspecting) you will not be able to keep it from spreading into the "wild." Shouldn't I then be held negligent?

Exactly, if you want to own something for profit why should you not own it for losses?

Assuming that legal processes will solve this agency problem is a ideal we can no longer afford.

It is revealing that in traditional societies (and the mafia), a respectable person with the highest rank is one that faces the downsides not the one that only basks in the upsides.

"And academic is not designed to remember his opinions because he doesn't have anything at risk from them." Nassim Taleb

Red Baron Farms
12th June 2013, 03:08 PM
A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet,
Judy A. Carman et al (http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf)

Dancing David
12th June 2013, 04:05 PM
A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet,
Judy A. Carman et al (http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf)

Yup and what about some others?

Mild inflammation
Non-GM-fed 42.5 %
GM-fed 31.9 %

Moderate inflammation
Non-GM-fed 39.7 %
GM-fed 25.0 %

Erosion(s)
Non-GM-fed 86.3 %
GM-fed 80.6 %

Gosh if we look at things like this it appears that hmmm, the non GM fed pigs are at more risk for certain factors.

Red Baron Farms
12th June 2013, 07:44 PM
hahahahaha very funny. You can attack the study if you wish. It isn't my study and I don't raise pigs. AND if I did raise pigs it wouldn't be the way that study did to EITHER group. So it is no skin off my chin.

But at least if you do comment, please ..... with intelligence. There are higher %'s with mild inflammation because mild inflammation is less severe! LOLZ The other group have worse!

That's like saying the best way to cure a mild headache is to hit them over the head with a baseball bat. At least there will be a lower % of people with mild headaches! We just ignore the fact that instead of mild headaches they have severe headaches! The baseball bat cured them of mild headaches! hahahahaha OHHHH BOY You really gave me a good chuckle there.

Kid Eager
12th June 2013, 08:06 PM
hahahahaha very funny. You can attack the study if you wish. It isn't my study and I don't raise pigs. AND if I did raise pigs it wouldn't be the way that study did to EITHER group. So it is no skin off my chin.

But at least if you do comment, please ..... with intelligence. There are higher %'s with mild inflammation because mild inflammation is less severe! LOLZ The other group have worse!

That's like saying the best way to cure a mild headache is to hit them over the head with a baseball bat. At least there will be a lower % of people with mild headaches! We just ignore the fact that instead of mild headaches they have severe headaches! The baseball bat cured them of mild headaches! hahahahaha OHHHH BOY You really gave me a good chuckle there.

First line of the Results section of the report is pretty succinct:

There were no statistically significant differences in food intake, feed, conversion ratios, number or nature of illnesses, number or nature of veterinary interventions, veterinary costs or mortality between the non-GM-fed and GM-fed groups of pigs.

Red Baron Farms
12th June 2013, 09:43 PM
First line of the Results section of the report is pretty succinct: Yes I noticed that. Made me wonder if the effect seen only made sick pigs sicker, while not affecting healthy pigs? Maybe because mucus provided a barrier? Or if there was some other interaction for which they hadn't found causality? The next part is very significant. GM-fed
pigs had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs
compared to 12% of non-GM-fed pigs (p=0.004).

Of course if that is the case, then it is still concerning. A whole lot of people have stomach problems.

They also didn't use an isogenic line of non GMO grains. So you can't completely eliminate other confounding factors.

What you do have though is a red flag that surely must be studied better to find causality. I am pretty sure they can do that fairly easily. IF someone actually tries.

Acleron
13th June 2013, 12:21 AM
A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet,
Judy A. Carman et al (http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf)

This is a very well run study. The methodology only involved partial blinding but that isn't necessarily a problem provided the conclusions are not taken too far.

I count 33 markers they monitored. If they had taken two groups of pigs and treated them identically then some of those markers would be expected to show significant differences. This is exactly what they found. This shotgun approach is useful for indicating further research but not for drawing conclusions. The authors are straining a bit by saying this is a cause for concern. A repeat of this study with stomach inflammation as a primary outcome is necessary before conclusions can be reached. And bear in mind that even the authors concede this might not apply to humans.

I'm not familiar with the GM nutrition literature but wouldn't this sort of well run pilot study be more cheaply performed in mice and rats? Follow ups and repeats would be easier and then firm conclusions can be made.

Dancing David
13th June 2013, 04:33 AM
hahahahaha very funny. You can attack the study if you wish. It isn't my study and I don't raise pigs. AND if I did raise pigs it wouldn't be the way that study did to EITHER group. So it is no skin off my chin

What kind of response is that? I pointed out that in three areas, one of which was errosion, the non-GMO group had higher values.

I guess you are here to just make responses that make no sense like
'hahahahaha very funny'



But at least if you do comment, please ..... with intelligence. There are higher %'s with mild inflammation because mild inflammation is less severe! LOLZ The other group have worse!

Errosion is worse than severe inflamation, what standards do you use?


That's like saying the best way to cure a mild headache is to hit them over the head with a baseball bat. At least there will be a lower % of people with mild headaches! We just ignore the fact that instead of mild headaches they have severe headaches! The baseball bat cured them of mild headaches! hahahahaha OHHHH BOY You really gave me a good chuckle there.
Now that is a just a dumb strawman, I wonder who is posting intelligently?

Red Baron Farms
13th June 2013, 05:29 AM
David,
Please read the study again. And it wasn't a strawman, it was an analogy.

eirik
13th June 2013, 05:59 AM
ETA: Not to mention the fact that more and more of those organic farmers are caught in the act of using conevntional herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, or sometimes even relabeling conventionally grown crops as organic. One has to wonder why that is if those "organic methods" are supposed to be that good. From the looks of it one may think that they are not, thus driving the farmers to cheat, so that they can be profitable...

Yeah but even more conventional farmers have been caught using superior organic methods and pesticides in their farming, and relabeled organic products as conventional.

Oh, wait, that never happened.. :boxedin:

casebro
13th June 2013, 06:24 AM
But causality is the question.

For a farmer to take advantage of the advantage of the more expensive GM seed, does he also get to/have to use more additives? Fertilizers, herbicides? And those additives are the problem?

Maybe resistance to herbicides is also resistance to some digestive process?

Maybe hog feed has less processing, having more GM 'hulls' and bran ? So, more of something is in the hog feed than in the same species fed to humans? Maybe GM food is processed differently by the farmer (isn't that teh point?) and that leaves a slightly different end product, whether feed or food?

And maybe there is no difference only a study anomaly.

Dancing David
13th June 2013, 06:41 AM
David,
Please read the study again. And it wasn't a strawman, it was an analogy.

Attacking argument I did not make is a strawman.

I did not say better or worse over all I just said that there were categories where the non GMO was higher.

Yoou made sarcastic comments to no one and attacked an argument I did not make.

Red Baron Farms
13th June 2013, 06:27 PM
Look David. You are right. I was sarcastic. Too much so. I apologize.

However, the point is valid. The non gmo higher incidence of certain categories was because of a lower incidence of other more severe categories. Ie the gmo fed had a lower incidence of mild inflammation due to the inflammation being more severe (on average)

So your statement "Gosh if we look at things like this it appears that hmmm, the non GM fed pigs are at more risk for certain factors." is false actually. Because having a mild inflammation is NOT a greater risk than having severe. The severe is most definitely a greater risk factor.

Dancing David
14th June 2013, 05:33 AM
Look David. You are right. I was sarcastic. Too much so. I apologize.

However, the point is valid. The non gmo higher incidence of certain categories was because of a lower incidence of other more severe categories. Ie the gmo fed had a lower incidence of mild inflammation due to the inflammation being more severe (on average)

So your statement "Gosh if we look at things like this it appears that hmmm, the non GM fed pigs are at more risk for certain factors." is false actually. Because having a mild inflammation is NOT a greater risk than having severe. The severe is most definitely a greater risk factor.

My statement is still correct 'more at risk for certain factors' means exactly what I said, not what you are making it into. The three factors are mild inflammation, moderate inflammation and erosion.

But you can argue against points I did not make. They do appear to be at higher risk for those three categories than the GM fed pigs. The risk is for the factors of mild inflammation, moderate inflammation and erosion.
:)

LSSBB
14th June 2013, 06:08 AM
So after reading this thread I feel OK spraying glyphosate on the Japanese knotweed in my yard (well, one sacrificial stalk as a path to the taproot - the rest of the stalks I continue to dig up as they show their nasty presence). For the toad I found nearby, well if it affects him at least it will get him before my dog does.

cosmicaug
14th June 2013, 06:26 AM
This is a very well run study.
Not so sure.
I count 33 markers they monitored. If they had taken two groups of pigs and treated them identically then some of those markers would be expected to show significant differences. This is exactly what they found. This shotgun approach is useful for indicating further research but not for drawing conclusions. The authors are straining a bit by saying this is a cause for concern. A repeat of this study with stomach inflammation as a primary outcome is necessary before conclusions can be reached. And bear in mind that even the authors concede this might not apply to humans.

Xkcd has a comic on this issue (http://xkcd.com/882/) (mentioned also in the Lynas blog post I mention below). You can statistically control for this "shotgun" approach. They didn't. They were fishing and, when, by chance, they found what they were fishing for, they reported it (while not reporting what they were not fishing for).

cosmicaug
14th June 2013, 06:29 AM
A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet,
Judy A. Carman et al (http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf)

Mark Lynas has a post which totally shreds this study (http://www.marklynas.org/2013/06/gmo-pigs-study-more-junk-science/). It's basically Seralini 2.0.

Acleron
14th June 2013, 08:23 AM
Not so sure.


Xkcd has a comic on this issue (http://xkcd.com/882/) (mentioned also in the Lynas blog post I mention below). You can statistically control for this "shotgun" approach. They didn't. They were fishing and, when, by chance, they found what they were fishing for, they reported it (while not reporting what they were not fishing for).

Perhaps I should have expanded on why I thought it was well run. They chose pretty equal cohorts of fair size and tried to control for relevant factors. What can be criticised are the conclusions. But in the end, it is a pilot study and not worth publishing.

Dymanic
14th June 2013, 09:22 AM
So after reading this thread I feel OK spraying glyphosate on the Japanese knotweed in my yard (well, one sacrificial stalk as a path to the taproot - the rest of the stalks I continue to dig up as they show their nasty presence).
I believe that judicious use of glyphosate can certainly represent the best possible (or at least the most practical) balance between benefits and detriments, depending on the circumstances, but you're probably going to have to continue with other control measures as well, including digging up the rhizomes (Japanese knotweed does not have taproots). Smothering with tarps is another recommended strategy. Total eradication typically requires a multi-pronged approach, sustained over a period of some years.

We performed a sort of informal experiment on a roughly half-acre piece of ground which had been heavily infested with Yellow Star Thistle (which also takes years to fully eradicate). One side was treated with herbicide (it was actually MileStone rather than Roundup, though we have used that rather sparingly along some fencelines and whatnot). Over a period of some weeks, I personally hand-pulled every sprig of the stuff from the other ~quarter acre, partly because I like getting my hands in the dirt, and partly just so I could say I did it. After some trial and error, the method I came to favor is what I call a "water trowel" -- a small high pressure nozzle on the end of a hose, with a shut-off valve attached. I would soak the target area ahead of where I was working so as to allow some time for the ground to soften a bit, and then apply a steady pulling pressure on each plant while using the water stream to excavate around the roots at the same time. Pretty quick the weed would just come schlurking right out of the muck, usually including the entire root. I actually pulled a few stragglers from the hand control area just yesterday, and this is now year three. Haven't seen a single one in the sprayed area, although I was expecting to. Evidently, I underestimated both the pre-emergent properties of the herbicide and its persistence in soil. So much for going by the manufacturer's guidelines.

For me, the biggest downside of using an herbicide is the risk of contaminating garden soil, which was a lot of the reason I wanted to keep it away from the garden as much as possible (which turns out to have been an even better idea than I realized). Unfortunately, herbicides tend to be VERY persistent in compost, and if livestock graze on treated plant material, the stuff can end up in unwanted locations via their manure. Of course, Yellow Star Thistle can be fatal to horses that develop a taste for it, so there was also that to consider.

Dancing David
14th June 2013, 10:27 AM
(it was actually MileStone rather than Roundup, though we have used that rather sparingly along some fencelines and whatnot).

that is a little different than Roundup which will disrupt any green plant but has almost no latency to speak of.

!Kaggen
14th June 2013, 11:07 AM
that is a little different than Roundup which will disrupt any green plant but has almost no latency to speak of.

Not true, in the central maize growing region of South Africa, round-up is being detected in soils 1 year after application. It is chelating trace elements in the soil and causing nutrient deficiencies in maize plants the following season.

LSSBB
14th June 2013, 11:26 AM
I believe that judicious use of glyphosate can certainly represent the best possible (or at least the most practical) balance between benefits and detriments, depending on the circumstances, but you're probably going to have to continue with other control measures as well, including digging up the rhizomes (Japanese knotweed does not have taproots). Smothering with tarps is another recommended strategy. Total eradication typically requires a multi-pronged approach, sustained over a period of some years.

We performed a sort of informal experiment on a roughly half-acre piece of ground which had been heavily infested with Yellow Star Thistle (which also takes years to fully eradicate). One side was treated with herbicide (it was actually MileStone rather than Roundup, though we have used that rather sparingly along some fencelines and whatnot). Over a period of some weeks, I personally hand-pulled every sprig of the stuff from the other ~quarter acre, partly because I like getting my hands in the dirt, and partly just so I could say I did it. After some trial and error, the method I came to favor is what I call a "water trowel" -- a small high pressure nozzle on the end of a hose, with a shut-off valve attached. I would soak the target area ahead of where I was working so as to allow some time for the ground to soften a bit, and then apply a steady pulling pressure on each plant while using the water stream to excavate around the roots at the same time. Pretty quick the weed would just come schlurking right out of the muck, usually including the entire root. I actually pulled a few stragglers from the hand control area just yesterday, and this is now year three. Haven't seen a single one in the sprayed area, although I was expecting to. Evidently, I underestimated both the pre-emergent properties of the herbicide and its persistence in soil. So much for going by the manufacturer's guidelines.

For me, the biggest downside of using an herbicide is the risk of contaminating garden soil, which was a lot of the reason I wanted to keep it away from the garden as much as possible (which turns out to have been an even better idea than I realized). Unfortunately, herbicides tend to be VERY persistent in compost, and if livestock graze on treated plant material, the stuff can end up in unwanted locations via their manure. Of course, Yellow Star Thistle can be fatal to horses that develop a taste for it, so there was also that to consider.
Thanks - sorry for the loose terminology, I was thinking taproot as the ultimate source of the entire network of rhizomes. I like your water pressure method, I've used a similar method to extract saplings from my tree nursery.
I do want to keep the use of glysophate minimal, for the reasons you mentioned. My stepson is also eager to try the saltwater alternative.

Dymanic
14th June 2013, 11:27 AM
that is a little different than Roundup which will disrupt any green plant but has almost no latency to speak of.
Glyphosate is considered to be moderately persistent in soil (average field dissipation half-life is 44 days). It varies from one soil to another, depending mainly on the phosphate level (because glyphosate competes with inorganic phospate for soil binding sites) and on the amount of microbial activity (because microbial degradation is the primary means by which glyphosate decomposes) -- but the thing is, it exhibits essentially no preemergent activity; it's hell on any plant whose leaves it touches, but is not readily absorbed by roots.

Dymanic
14th June 2013, 11:52 AM
I like your water pressure method, I've used a similar method to extract saplings from my tree nursery.
I do want to keep the use of glysophate minimal, for the reasons you mentioned. My stepson is also eager to try the saltwater alternative.
Of course, for a day or two after a good soaking rain, you can yank thistle out of the ground like pulling straws out of a bucket of sand -- but good soaking rains tend to be rather rare here in the Sierra foothills during the time of year when the thistle is starting to bloom. That's Star Thistle's trick; it lays low and concentrates on driving its roots down deep while all the other stuff is busy leafing out; then, when the driest part of summer hits, it has the root power to suck up every bit of available moisture. Suddenly you realize that there are these big patches of nothing but solid Star Thistle...

Before giving your stepson the go-ahead with that salt method, I'd ask him to show evidence indicating that it actually offers an acceptable tradeoff. I mean, getting rid of the knotweed might turn out to be a cakewalk compared to getting rid of the salt.

LSSBB
14th June 2013, 11:57 AM
Of course, for a day or two after a good soaking rain, you can yank thistle out of the ground like pulling straws out of a bucket of sand -- but good soaking rains tend to be rather rare here in the Sierra foothills during the time of year when the thistle is starting to bloom. That's Star Thistle's trick; it lays low and concentrates on driving its roots down deep while all the other stuff is busy leafing out; then, when the driest part of summer hits, it has the root power to suck up every bit of available moisture. Suddenly you realize that there are these big patches of nothing but solid Star Thistle...

Before giving your stepson the go-ahead with that salt method, I'd ask him to show evidence indicating that it actually offers an acceptable tradeoff. I mean, getting rid of the knotweed might turn out to be a cakewalk compared to getting rid of the salt.

That's essentially what I told him, specifically asking him to keep it away from the lawn. Your comments about the roots not taking in the glyphosate actually make me want to avoid the salt in favor of the glyphosate even more.

Dancing David
14th June 2013, 01:14 PM
Not true, in the central maize growing region of South Africa, round-up is being detected in soils 1 year after application. It is chelating trace elements in the soil and causing nutrient deficiencies in maize plants the following season.

I would have to see that study !Kaggen. What Roundup does not do is persist in burning down plants, it binds with teh soil and no longer destroys chlorophyll in plants.
As for chelation, I would have to see the study.

In no way does it act as a long term soil herbicide like MileStone.

Dancing David
14th June 2013, 01:16 PM
Glyphosate is considered to be moderately persistent in soil (average field dissipation half-life is 44 days). It varies from one soil to another, depending mainly on the phosphate level (because glyphosate competes with inorganic phospate for soil binding sites) and on the amount of microbial activity (because microbial degradation is the primary means by which glyphosate decomposes) -- but the thing is, it exhibits essentially no preemergent activity; it's hell on any plant whose leaves it touches, but is not readily absorbed by roots.
Which was my point compared to MileStone
:)

Red Baron Farms
15th June 2013, 10:17 AM
that is a little different than Roundup which will disrupt any green plant but has almost no latency to speak of.

It doesn't have to have latency to affect the grain. It can also create an unexpected emergent effect that persists, only indirectly related. That's one possibility. Who knows? The results are statistically significant but don't address causation.

People are assuming the trial shows causation. ie that the GM is causing the inflammation. It probably isn't directly causing the inflammation at all. It is probably causing a chain reaction of effects that produce something entirely different which causes the inflammation. The main factors associated with excess nitrate take-up are heavy application of nitrogenous fertilizers, and herbicide use. Bacteria in the gut can change nitrates into nitrites. So it could be related to mild nitrite poisoning and maybe once there is mild inflammation, the Bt toxins which are normally harmless might make it more severe or any number of other things or combination of things only indirectly related to GM's.

What the study showed was a statistical correlation, not causation.

Dancing David
15th June 2013, 02:08 PM
It doesn't have to have latency to affect the grain. It can also create an unexpected emergent effect that persists, only indirectly related. That's one possibility. Who knows? The results are statistically significant but don't address causation.

People are assuming the trial shows causation. ie that the GM is causing the inflammation. It probably isn't directly causing the inflammation at all. It is probably causing a chain reaction of effects that produce something entirely different which causes the inflammation. The main factors associated with excess nitrate take-up are heavy application of nitrogenous fertilizers, and herbicide use. Bacteria in the gut can change nitrates into nitrites. So it could be related to mild nitrite poisoning and maybe once there is mild inflammation, the Bt toxins which are normally harmless might make it more severe or any number of other things or combination of things only indirectly related to GM's.

What the study showed was a statistical correlation, not causation.

How does this address the fact that Roundup does not have a burndown effect after it binds to the soil?

Dymanic
15th June 2013, 02:16 PM
How does this address the fact that Roundup does not have a burndown effect after it binds to the soil?
RBF is still rather new, and probably doesn't realize that once a thread topic has been completely abandoned, after a while, any attempt to return to that topic is itself off-topic.

CoolSceptic
15th June 2013, 05:17 PM
What the study showed was a statistical correlation, not causation.
No, as has already been explained, the study showed that the total number of positives found were consistent with the number of false positives that would be expected to be found by chance alone from the scatter gun approach to testing that they adopted.

Shorter version: they found nothing beyond their own shortcomings in statistical analysis.

Kid Eager
15th June 2013, 07:13 PM
It doesn't have to have latency to affect the grain. It can also create an unexpected emergent effect that persists, only indirectly related. That's one possibility. Who knows? The results are statistically significant but don't address causation.

People are assuming the trial shows causation. ie that the GM is causing the inflammation. It probably isn't directly causing the inflammation at all. It is probably causing a chain reaction of effects that produce something entirely different which causes the inflammation. The main factors associated with excess nitrate take-up are heavy application of nitrogenous fertilizers, and herbicide use. Bacteria in the gut can change nitrates into nitrites. So it could be related to mild nitrite poisoning and maybe once there is mild inflammation, the Bt toxins which are normally harmless might make it more severe or any number of other things or combination of things only indirectly related to GM's.

What the study showed was a statistical correlation, not causation.

No, the statistical correlation is not there - the sample size and the controls are both flawed.

If I were to read the stats as if they were valid, the study shows that GM feeds prevent heart and other organ disease, leaving otherwise healthier pigs who display stomach inflammation.

Dancing David
16th June 2013, 03:55 AM
Just to add, there was no correlation given. There were some differences shown between two groups, no correlations.

Acleron
17th June 2013, 12:15 PM
Mark Lynas has a post which totally shreds this study (http://www.marklynas.org/2013/06/gmo-pigs-study-more-junk-science/). It's basically Seralini 2.0.

David Gorski has also piled in on it (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/once-more-bad-science-in-the-service-of-anti-gmo-activism/).

And I withdraw my remarks about it being a well run study. The inflammation results appear to be complete garbage and the animal husbandry leaves a lot to be desired.

Interestingly, he ties in Heidi Stevenson, who supported Carman. She is a well known purveyor of woo.

Red Baron Farms
18th June 2013, 04:02 PM
No, as has already been explained, the study showed that the total number of positives found were consistent with the number of false positives that would be expected to be found by chance alone from the scatter gun approach to testing that they adopted.

Shorter version: they found nothing beyond their own shortcomings in statistical analysis.

False positives? And your evidence they are false positives as opposed to positives is? You have repeated the study with the so called flaws removed to verify they are false?

I do understand that with a general study of this type false positives can happen. But I also understand that you can't just automatically call it a false positive until you falsify it.

So please show me the study or studies you think falsifies it. Not every system is capable of being reduced to cartesian style reductionist approach. Biological systems in particular are notorious for emergent properties. I don't see any way to test for emergent properties without a study of the type. It is not automatically a false positive until you investigate further what appears to be an emergent property and confirm whether it is a statistical glitch or something unknown and unexpected.

It should be easy enough right? I mean there is no way USDA and Monsanto would let something like this on the market without long term system studies, right? So the long term systems study that falsifies this is........?

Acleron
18th June 2013, 04:37 PM
False positives? And your evidence they are false positives as opposed to positives is? You have repeated the study with the so called flaws removed to verify they are false?

I do understand that with a general study of this type false positives can happen. But I also understand that you can't just automatically call it a false positive until you falsify it.

So please show me the study or studies you think falsifies it. Not every system is capable of being reduced to cartesian style reductionist approach. Biological systems in particular are notorious for emergent properties. I don't see any way to test for emergent properties without a study of the type. It is not automatically a false positive until you investigate further what appears to be an emergent property and confirm whether it is a statistical glitch or something unknown and unexpected.

It should be easy enough right? I mean there is no way USDA and Monsanto would let something like this on the market without long term system studies, right? So the long term systems study that falsifies this is........?

CoolSkeptic referred to the false positives that would be generated if a similar number of outcomes were measured when the two arms were identical.

Leaving aside whether a toxic result is an emergent property the study has several flaws, some detailed in this thread and others perhaps more major shown in supplied references. There is no reason to waste time and money repeating a study which was performed incorrectly.

CoolSceptic
18th June 2013, 04:39 PM
False positives? And your evidence they are false positives as opposed to positives is? You have repeated the study with the so called flaws removed to verify they are false?
I don't need to, because I can do statistics. You clearly haven't understood what I said.

When I refer to the expected number of false positives, I use the word expected with a very specific meaning - the expectation operator (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expected_value). This tells me the number of false positives I would normally expect from the scatter gun approach by the study in question.

So when someone conducts 10,000 tests on whether homeopathy works, and concludes that 500 of those tests show a positive indication at the 5% level, I don't need to go to the effort of falsifying each of the 500 individual cases, because I know that is the number of false positives I would expect to see. (In fact it would be peculiar if there were considerably fewer positives than that - probably an indication that something has gone wrong in the other direction).

(In fact the authors have undermined the very concept of statistical significance by their flawed approach.)

I also note your attempt to shift the burden of proof. The burden of proof is on you to show an effect that cannot be explained by chance alone, not for me to positively falsify something which can be trivially explained by chance.

This is really the basics of skepticism that you are failing at here.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 06:33 AM
CoolSkeptic referred to the false positives that would be generated if a similar number of outcomes were measured when the two arms were identical.

Leaving aside whether a toxic result is an emergent property the study has several flaws, some detailed in this thread and others perhaps more major shown in supplied references. There is no reason to waste time and money repeating a study which was performed incorrectly.

See that's where I personally believe you are wrong...or at least partly wrong. Repeat the study? Not exactly "repeat". But design a new study attempting to repeat the results? Absolutely.

You never get anywhere just trashing a study like this. I have seen quotes like this, "Therefore, there is no need to perform such long-term studies" in study after study on GM. Also in debates on the issue post after post saying basically what you just said, "There is no reason to waste time and money repeating a study which was performed incorrectly."

OK fair enough, IF there is a long term study you think was "performed correctly" that tests for emergent effects on the whole system. So where is it? I would sincerely like to see it. Until then I will remain skeptical.

Very similar to the Séralini affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9ralini_affair). A paper with obvious flaws, I admit. Not the least of which is using 10 rats per group instead of 50 rats per group which is the standard in cancer research. But where is the long term study with 50? No where to be seen.

Lots of effort trashing these studies verbally. Very little effort actually falsifying them scientifically. I would prefer much more substantial scientific evidence based rebuttals, instead of simply verbal attacks at the studies because they are not "perfect" or up to "standards".

I'll tell you why. There's big bucks involved. Whenever there is a very high financial stake in making something appear safe, that's when it is our duty to investigate very thoroughly to make sure it really is safe. Monsanto has no qualms at all what-so-ever covering up health issues related to their products. They could care less how many consumers die or how much environmental damages occur. That is well proven by the Anniston, Alabama court case. Proven by internal documents from Monsanto! If an individual did what Monsanto did, they would be in jail for murder. But since it is a powerful corporation they get off with a slap on the wrist. So when a corporation like that is allowed in our food system, EXTRAORDINARY diligence MUST be taken on EVERY product they are producing. Why? Because they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be unethical and uncaring about the safety of products they produce. When you find a study that even HINTS at a problem you MUST take it very seriously and IMMEDIATELY design a study to falsify it scientifically with real evidence. Too many lives are at stake. Otherwise you'll end up with an "oops" sorry, like what happened with transfats.

Sorry, but I categorically disagree that it is a "waste of time and money" to repeat the study with what you perceive as the flaws removed. It's the only way to be sure.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 06:54 AM
I also note your attempt to shift the burden of proof. The burden of proof is on you to show an effect that cannot be explained by chance alone, not for me to positively falsify something which can be trivially explained by chance.

This is really the basics of skepticism that you are failing at here.

UMMM No, I am not shifting the burden of proof. The Burden of proof is and always was to prove the safety. It is a fact. Both legally and ethically any GM or pesticide added to our food system must be proven safe. The burden of proof is to prove it safe, not to prove it isn't. That's the law.

So all I am asking is where is the long term system study, past or present, that refutes the "false positives" you think are in this study. Where is the proof these seemingly emergent effects are not real and only statistical false positives?

Acleron
19th June 2013, 06:54 AM
See that's where I personally believe you are wrong...or at least partly wrong. Repeat the study? Not exactly "repeat". But design a new study attempting to repeat the results? Absolutely.

You never get anywhere just trashing a study like this. I have seen quotes like this, "Therefore, there is no need to perform such long-term studies" in study after study on GM. Also in debates on the issue post after post saying basically what you just said, "There is no reason to waste time and money repeating a study which was performed incorrectly."

OK fair enough, IF there is a long term study you think was "performed correctly" that tests for emergent effects on the whole system. So where is it? I would sincerely like to see it. Until then I will remain skeptical.

Very similar to the Séralini affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9ralini_affair). A paper with obvious flaws, I admit. Not the least of which is using 10 rats per group instead of 50 rats per group which is the standard in cancer research. But where is the long term study with 50? No where to be seen.

Lots of effort trashing these studies verbally. Very little effort actually falsifying them scientifically. I would prefer much more substantial scientific evidence based rebuttals, instead of simply verbal attacks at the studies because they are not "perfect" or up to "standards".

I'll tell you why. There's big bucks involved. Whenever there is a very high financial stake in making something appear safe, that's when it is our duty to investigate very thoroughly to make sure it really is safe. Monsanto has no qualms at all what-so-ever covering up health issues related to their products. They could care less how many consumers die or how much environmental damages occur. That is well proven by the Anniston, Alabama court case. Proven by internal documents from Monsanto! If an individual did what Monsanto did, they would be in jail for murder. But since it is a powerful corporation they get off with a slap on the wrist. So when a corporation like that is allowed in our food system, EXTRAORDINARY diligence MUST be taken on EVERY product they are producing. Why? Because they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be unethical and uncaring about the safety of products they produce. When you find a study that even HINTS at a problem you MUST take it very seriously and IMMEDIATELY design a study to falsify it scientifically with real evidence. Too many lives are at stake. Otherwise you'll end up with an "oops" sorry, like what happened with transfats.

Sorry, but I categorically disagree that it is a "waste of time and money" to repeat the study with what you perceive as the flaws removed. It's the only way to be sure.

When both the methodology and the analysis are sufficiently poor as in this case then when it's trashed, it is trashed scientifically. The analogy would be disproving Maxwell's equation by using a motor wound with nylon cord rather than copper wire. It is not the responsibility of critics to do anything other than point out the experiment proved nothing.

For reasons that have been most eloquently explained by CoolSkeptic, this experiment didn't prove anything, in addition, comments from those experienced in animal husbandry doubt the competence of those who carried out the study. It is up to them to improve their skills, the design of the study, their method of analysis and do the study themselves. Until that time they have published a shoddy piece of work that advances our knowledge not one iota.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 07:00 AM
When both the methodology and the analysis are sufficiently poor as in this case then when it's trashed, it is trashed scientifically. The analogy would be disproving Maxwell's equation by using a motor wound with nylon cord rather than copper wire. It is not the responsibility of critics to do anything other than point out the experiment proved nothing.

For reasons that have been most eloquently explained by CoolSkeptic, this experiment didn't prove anything, in addition, comments from those experienced in animal husbandry doubt the competence of those who carried out the study. It is up to them to improve their skills, the design of the study, their method of analysis and do the study themselves. Until that time they have published a shoddy piece of work that advances our knowledge not one iota.

And the evidential science proving it is?......... Surely you can point to a similar long term system study done by more competent people, right? Just post it here. I'll concede the point to you then without delay. Remember, both ethically and legally, the burden of proof is to prove a synthetic pesticide or GM safe, NOT to prove it unsafe. That is the law. So prove to me the results of this so called "shoddy" piece of work are statistical false positives and not real. It is easy enough to do. The law requires the products be tested safe before allowed into our food system. So show me the long term system study proving that. It's a very simple request.

CoolSceptic
19th June 2013, 11:39 AM
And the evidential science proving it is?......... Surely you can point to a similar long term system study done by more competent people, right? Just post it here. I'll concede the point to you then without delay.
Plenty of studies show that glyphosate is safe.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10854122

Remember, both ethically and legally, the burden of proof is to prove a synthetic pesticide or GM safe, NOT to prove it unsafe. That is the law.
It always makes me laugh when people assert something as being "THE LAW". Just because you think it doesn't mean that is how the law works.

Secondly, you are failing at skepticism again. It is impossible to prove anything is completely safe, because nothing is completely safe. It is only meaningful to compare safety to the viable alternatives.

And that is important for things like herbicides and pesticides. The people most at risk to these are farm workers, and glyphosate represents a significant reduction in hazard to these people over alternatives. Which means delaying their use because you insist on endless long term studies increases the risks to a whole group of people.

But its okay because many studies show glyphosate is safe, including the ludicrous pig one you linked to. By virtue of them looking for problems, and finding nothing beyond the anticipated number of false positives, that in itself becomes more evidence that glyphosate is safer than many alternatives.

Acleron
19th June 2013, 11:42 AM
And the evidential science proving it is?......... Surely you can point to a similar long term system study done by more competent people, right? Just post it here. I'll concede the point to you then without delay. Remember, both ethically and legally, the burden of proof is to prove a synthetic pesticide or GM safe, NOT to prove it unsafe. That is the law. So prove to me the results of this so called "shoddy" piece of work are statistical false positives and not real. It is easy enough to do. The law requires the products be tested safe before allowed into our food system. So show me the long term system study proving that. It's a very simple request.

You are now making a different argument. If you feel there is insufficient data on safety then make that precise argument. But up to now your argument is that this paper proves something. It hasn't, the results are what would be expected if there was no difference between the GMO and non-GMO feeds. Given that, any other conclusion than there is no difference is wrong.

You mention the Seralini paper in another post and make similar claims about its importance. Here, you should be even more careful, this paper was even worse than the above and has inspired the Seralini Rule (http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2013/06/the-seralini-rule-gmo-bogus-study.html)

The above reference itself refers to 600 studies on GMO, many of those with direct relevance to glyophosphate resistant crops.

When the anti-GMO propaganda hit Europe, I wasn't concerned one way or another and vaguely thought that it was wrong that a foodstuff should not be tested. Since then it has become more of a concern because of the push by Monsanto to maximise their profit and the realisation that GMOs were going to be part of my diet whatever the food laws said. I can't say I've made a detailed study but have been more interested in papers and articles as they appeared. The claims of 'no safety studies' are just not true. The anti-GMO claims are unproven. The weight of evidence has convinced me that it is as safe as any other food. So as far as I am concerned, it is up to them to produce the evidence in well run studies designed to produce firm conclusions. To date, we have seen poorly performed work which almost appears to be designed to produce many vague results from which grandiose conclusions are wrongly drawn.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 12:23 PM
@ Coolskeptic,
First off I was very specific. I said long term system study. You sent me a review of a huge body of short term reductionist studies. It is impossible to ever find an emergent effect in reductionist studies, no matter how many thousands, millions, or even billions of reductionist studies you do. Unless you just happen to stumble across one by accident. But stumbling across an emergent effect by accident is not science. FIRST you have to do a systems study. THEN you have to run down the emergent characteristics using reductionism. Got the cart before the horse there.

The good news is all you have to do is a single systems study to find out if there is any emergent effects. So I am guessing that will be easy for you to find. The simple systems study done by competent scientists is........? I only need one to concede the point, because I am well aware of the reductionist studies. Just in case you still don't understand what I am asking for. There is a very simple metaphor, well known by all, that illustrates it perfectly. "Failure to see the forest for the trees." Don't send me studies of the trees, send me a study of the forest.
It is impossible to prove anything is completely safe, because nothing is completely safe.

Point conceded. You wouldn't have to prove it completely safe. Just check for emergent effects and run a risk benefit analysis on them the same way you ran a risk benefit analysis on your reductionist studies. And the long term systems study risk benefit analysis is....?

Please stop avoiding the question. All I need is one systems study of that type and I'll concede. I don't need excuses as to why none were ever done nor ever need to be done. Because that point I won't concede no matter how skillfully you are at excuses.

PS Don't even try to pretend there are no alternatives. Cows and pigs don't even naturally eat grain feeds, much less GM grains grown in synthetic monocrop environments. A chicken will sometimes go through a field and eat mostly grains, but even they will eat green leafy material and bugs too. So of course there are alternatives. In fact you can even quite easily raise more livestock per acre using those alternatives than in CAFOs. That's been proven for quite a while now.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 12:45 PM
You are now making a different argument. If you feel there is insufficient data on safety then make that precise argument. But up to now your argument is that this paper proves something. It hasn't, the results are what would be expected if there was no difference between the GMO and non-GMO feeds. Given that, any other conclusion than there is no difference is wrong.

You mention the Seralini paper in another post and make similar claims about its importance. Here, you should be even more careful, this paper was even worse than the above and has inspired the Seralini Rule (http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2013/06/the-seralini-rule-gmo-bogus-study.html)

The above reference itself refers to 600 studies on GMO, many of those with direct relevance to glyophosphate resistant crops.

When the anti-GMO propaganda hit Europe, I wasn't concerned one way or another and vaguely thought that it was wrong that a foodstuff should not be tested. Since then it has become more of a concern because of the push by Monsanto to maximise their profit and the realisation that GMOs were going to be part of my diet whatever the food laws said. I can't say I've made a detailed study but have been more interested in papers and articles as they appeared. The claims of 'no safety studies' are just not true. The anti-GMO claims are unproven. The weight of evidence has convinced me that it is as safe as any other food. So as far as I am concerned, it is up to them to produce the evidence in well run studies designed to produce firm conclusions. To date, we have seen poorly performed work which almost appears to be designed to produce many vague results from which grandiose conclusions are wrongly drawn.

Nope. I made no such argument. I said quite specifically show me the systems study refuting this study.

Lets put it this way. This is a certain type of study that instead of using a reductionist approach, uses a systems thinking approach. Or if you prefer holism. Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total), is the idea that especially biological systems and their properties, should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts. This often includes the view that systems somehow function as wholes and that their functioning cannot be fully understood solely in terms of their component parts. So sending me gazillions of "proofs" and "studies" of those component parts is not answering the question. The studies and arguments people are posting are reductionism and is the opposite of holism or systems thinking.

Now many times posters here have trashed the very concept of holism, calling it a "fishing expedition", or "shotgun study". Well criticisms which can sometimes be valid in reductionist science are not a valid in holistic science.

So all I have asked is show me the long term systems study. Once you have a baseline systems study then and only then can you criticize this systems study. That's how you know if these are "false positives" or emergent effects.

All you can say now is they statistically could be false positives, but another study is needed to prove it. Unless you are for some reason not mentioning the baseline systems study? Where is it? Does it exist? Can I see it please?

Acleron
19th June 2013, 01:02 PM
Nope. I made no such argument. I said quite specifically show me the systems study refuting this study.

Lets put it this way. This is a certain type of study that instead of using a reductionist approach, uses a systems thinking approach. Or if you prefer holism. Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total), is the idea that especially biological systems and their properties, should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts. This often includes the view that systems somehow function as wholes and that their functioning cannot be fully understood solely in terms of their component parts. So sending me gazillions of "proofs" and "studies" of those component parts is not answering the question. The studies and arguments people are posting are reductionism and is the opposite of holism or systems thinking.

Now many times posters here have trashed the very concept of holism, calling it a "fishing expedition", or "shotgun study". Well criticisms which can sometimes be valid in reductionist science are not a valid in holistic science.

So all I have asked is show me the long term systems study. Once you have a baseline systems study then and only then can you criticize this systems study. That's how you know if these are "false positives" or emergent effects.

All you can say now is they statistically could be false positives, but another study is needed to prove it. Unless you are for some reason not mentioning the baseline systems study? Where is it? Does it exist? Can I see it please?

The point is that there is no study to refute with evidence. It has already been refuted with observation of the lack of correspondence between result and conclusion. There are no positives because they did it wrong. When or if they do the study so proper conclusions can be made then you might have a case.

It was a very badly run study for several reasons, quite what their shortfalls in being able to carry out such a study has to do with an holistic approach baffles me. It is a term that is usually used by people who cannot deal with the hard evidence required in science.

CoolSceptic
19th June 2013, 02:13 PM
@ Coolskeptic,
First off I was very specific. I said long term system study.
If you think that is specific, you need to go look in a dictionary and work out what the word "specific" means.

The demand for a long-term study is the typical approach of an activist who has no credible scientific support for their position who just insists on endless pointless studies before accepting something. Of course acceptance never arrives, even though study after study shows no risk, because you are not fairly and objectively assessing evidence, you are an ideological activist.

So on one hand, we have hundreds of studies linked by Acleron, a very real, tangible and measurable risk reduction to farm workers from alternatives, and on the other hand, we have evidence-free arm waving about intangible risks that need long term studies from you.

What a waste of time.

But I'll humour you for a few seconds anyway. What alternatives would you propose and please link directly to the type of long-term studies that have been conducted on those alternatives of the type you demand for glyphosate. Not alternative to the feed for animals, but alternatives for the herbicides to be used in producing that feed. Oh and "it's been used for years" is not an alternative for the long-term studies. Many of the things we've been using for years are known to be far higher risk than glyphosate - higher toxicity, carcinogenic, etc. etc. Be specific. Which herbicide.

And secondly. Demanding expensive long-term trials before something can be brought to market drives up the level of investment needed for these types of crop. The more you drive up the cost of investment, the more you play into the hands of the megacorps that are the only ones that can afford the high investment required. Basically, your demands for further regulation and research into a food type which already has the highest cost barriers ensures that only the likes of Monsanto can afford to be in the GM game. It does appear that your stated goals and policies are completely contradictory.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 08:56 PM
The point is that there is no study to refute with evidence. It has already been refuted with observation of the lack of correspondence between result and conclusion. There are no positives because they did it wrong. When or if they do the study so proper conclusions can be made then you might have a case.

It was a very badly run study for several reasons, quite what their shortfalls in being able to carry out such a study has to do with an holistic approach baffles me. It is a term that is usually used by people who cannot deal with the hard evidence required in science.

No, holism is hard science. Yes some quacks may misuse the term. But it most certainly describes a type of hard science.

Lets give an example completely unrelated to agriculture. Aerodynamics.

In the development of jet powered aircraft, there was a problem in the early days. That problem was the sound barrier. Jets with power enough and streamlined aerodynamic designs still couldn't push past the sound barrier. When you calculated the power to drag ratio's there shouldn't have been any problem. Yet the planes couldn't do it.

UNTIL they used holism and took the plane as a whole instead of simply adding the component parts. Then the math showed the planes were not as aerodynamic as they thought. Because an emergent effect begins to happen close to the speed of sound. At those speeds it is not the drag or the cross sectional area of the wing + added to the fuselage + added to the tail + added to the control surfaces etc...ie not the drag of all the component parts added together. Instead it is the change in cross sectional area of the entire plane taken as a whole that creates drag. Simple solution, make the plane slimmer where the wings attach. It adds drag very slightly at low speeds, but at near sonic speeds the lower cross sectional area of the fuselage added to the increased cross sectional area adding the wings cancels and just like that. Sound barrier broken by production jets.

Biological systems are quite a bit more complicated and are notorious for emergent characteristics, but I used an example easy to understand. Holism and systems thinking are real sciences, and often contradict reductionist science in both methodology and results. That doesn't make them unscientific. In truth both are quite important methodologies in science. You do not apply the same rules to both though. In reductionist science to attempt to remove as many confounding factors as possible so that the statistical equations used in those reductionist studies will give meaningful results. In holism it can be thought of as almost the opposite. You purposely study the system as a whole as is. Then you look for unexpected and unknown emergent effects not predicted by your reductionist studies.

Why am I mentioning this? Quite simply because this is a study using the standard CAFO system for raising pork as is. ie this is a system study, not a reductionist study. The ones here declaring a "fault" in the study because it is using a "shotgun" or "fishing expedition" methodology are wrong. The study might have some faults but that is not one of them. Second fault found by many is the so called statistical analysis of the results and declaring them "false positives". Again, in a systems study the results are the results. They can not be called "false positives" until falsified. The math that applies to a reductionist study does not automatically apply to a systems study. It can apply, but it does not automatically apply. You have to first prove the results are not emergent, but instead truly are "false positives". You can do that two ways. A previous system study or a future system study can easily falsify it by showing no emergent effect. A reductionist can not falsify it in that manner. OR the second way is to do further studies proving causation.

So I made it easy on you. All it takes in a single long term system study past, present or future not showing these emergent effects and it proves they are likely false positives. Remember, a study using reductionism to try and remove confounding factors is NOT going to work. BUT only a single holistic study done correctly showing none of these effects will shift the burden of proof back.

So would you please point me to such a study? As soon as you do, all your points fall in place like dominoes and I concede the argument to you. No need for future studies. But if you can't point out a single systems study of this type, then the way to falsify it is with a new study. Still using a systems or holistic approach, but with whatever other flaws you think may be there removed. ie competency of the scientists or personal bias or whatever you happen to believe are the flaws.

Red Baron Farms
19th June 2013, 09:31 PM
But I'll humour you for a few seconds anyway. What alternatives would you propose and please link directly to the type of long-term studies that have been conducted on those alternatives of the type you demand for glyphosate. Not alternative to the feed for animals, but alternatives for the herbicides to be used in producing that feed. Oh and "it's been used for years" is not an alternative for the long-term studies. Many of the things we've been using for years are known to be far higher risk than glyphosate - higher toxicity, carcinogenic, etc. etc. Be specific. Which herbicide.




Which herbicide? How about no herbicide? Do I really need to link you to a study that proves it is possible to farm with no herbicides? The world record rice production was done without herbicides. Grazing can beat CAFOs using excess grains if done properly. Even making biofuels, ie... switchgrass which requires no herbicides to grow, beats corn by as much as 5 times the efficiency. Even the no til technique in which glyphosate is used was originally developed as an organic technique that used no herbicides. Farming without herbicides is relatively easy. Other pesticides like fungicides and insecticides are a bit more difficult, but it is possible, breakthroughs being made every year.

There are many alternatives, not the least of which is to shut down all the CAFO's world wide. That removes market for the vast majority of herbicide produced crops and increases productivity per acre same time.

Dymanic
20th June 2013, 08:01 AM
So I made it easy on you. All it takes in a single long term system study past, present or future not showing these emergent effects and it proves they are likely false positives. Remember, a study using reductionism to try and remove confounding factors is NOT going to work. BUT only a single holistic study done correctly showing none of these effects will shift the burden of proof back.
I'm with you on the elimination of CAFOs, though I don't see that as a matter of simply shutting down all the CAFO's world wide. We're talking about a massive shift, one which would greatly impact the lives of many millions of people, from the detailed aspects of their daily lives (especially their eating habits) to the economies and food systems upon which they depend. It needs to be a gradual transition, and it needs to begin with a shift in thinking. That's what we attempt to do here, but it can be an agonizing process, and when it happens at all, it tends to happen slow. The reason I am not usually inclined toward optimism where some of these issues are concerned continues to be that it seems to me that some of the things we're dealing with are shifting faster than we are (and, possibly, faster than we are even capable of). We must always be prepared to be the shiftee rather than the shifter, and that just doesn't seem to be something most of us are very willing to do, at least most of the time. I wish I had a cheerier message.


I also very much agree with what you have to say about holism versus reductionism, and will take the liberty of quoting one of my own posts in another thread:If this particular online community tends to be somewhat biased toward reductionism, it is probably in large part due to the frequency with which... let's say purveyors of ambitious ideas have come here, presented their ideas, and, when pressed to defend them, attempted to retreat behind some version of the "multiplication of mysteries" approach (a concept which I believe originated with Herbert Spencer). It can run something like this: "We don't know everything about X, and we don't know everything about Y; therefore, whenever both X and Y are involved, the amount of uncertainty is so great that almost anything is possible." It's easy to fall into the habit of rejecting, a priori, any argument that even looks like it might be headed in that sort of direction.

The baby in that bathwater is the considerable insight -- often purchased at very high cost -- that complex self-organizing systems, biological systems in particular, tend to feature delicate balances and deeply nuanced interdependencies that cannot easily be appreciated using a purely reductionist approach. Granted, much of what we do understand about those systems began with reductionist methods; but if one is too timid about attempting to extrapolate from those results, what's all that effort for?
Having said that, I have to add that I don't see it working very well in the other direction. Even if someone met your challenge to prove a negative by providing a study NOT showing emergent effects, it wouldn't be very useful. Remember "Russell's teapot."

Red Baron Farms
20th June 2013, 12:53 PM
I also very much agree with what you have to say about holism versus reductionism, and will take the liberty of quoting one of my own posts in another thread:
Having said that, I have to add that I don't see it working very well in the other direction. Even if someone met your challenge to prove a negative by providing a study NOT showing emergent effects, it wouldn't be very useful. Remember "Russell's teapot."

Thanks for the post. However I think you lost the context in the second part of your message. I apologize. Surely it is my fault. My language skills leave a lot to be desired.

I was attempting to relay the idea that the way to establish the difference between a statistical "false positive" and an emergent "positive" in a holistic study is with a second similar holistic type study. The odds of a completely random statistical "false positive" (as was claimed in this thread earlier) occurring in two or more separate holistic studies is increasingly remote. So at that point if the same so called "false positive" shows up twice, but never previously showed up in the huge body of reductionist studies, then it is likely a system emergent effect that was not previously expected or found.

On the other hand, if the second holistic study fails to show the same "false positive", then yes, it is far more likely to have been originally a statistical "false positive" and NOT an emergent property of the system. That of course would shift the philosophical burden of proof so as not to fall into the logic trap so eloquently illustrated by the Russell's Teapot analogy.

Holistic studies have advantages and disadvantages in science. One advantage is the ability to find emergent properties nearly impossible to find by reductionism. One disadvantage is the tendency for those results to be considered anecdotal. So in most cases, you need to do at least one or more additional holistic studies to have the property considered real and not just a statistical anomaly.

That's why it tends to grate on my nerves when people try to discredit a holistic study with arguments that do not apply to holism, then declare it is a waste of time to do a second study. That's not how holism in science works. You absolutely MUST do the second holistic study to find out which of the results really are statistical "false positives" and which could potentially be previously unknown emergent system properties. ESPECIALLY since this is involving biological systems, which as you stated, are especially well known to contain "deeply nuanced interdependencies that cannot easily be appreciated using a purely reductionist approach" ie... emergent properties.

That's why I made the challenge for someone to please supply me with only one study of the whole system, long term enough for emergent properties to show up, that didn't show the same inflammation. All it takes is one negative and the results of the holistic pig study I posted are proven very likely a statistical "false positive" as they are trying to claim. All I need is one. BUT it does need to be using holism and not reductionism. Because emergent properties very seldom show up in reductionist studies.

Was I able to convey my thoughts better this time?

PS Once (or if) you have established that in fact it is very likely an emergent property, then reductionism can be very useful in discovering exactly why, when, how etc... that emergent property surfaces. So this is NOT a criticism of reductionism. Only a discussion of when holism and reductionism are appropriate and how to understand the results from each type of study. They can and should work together, but require different thought processes and are analysed differently.

Dancing David
20th June 2013, 01:42 PM
Sorry the holistic approach is totally a different issue that the nature of statistics. If you have a small sample then there are issues that just come along with the nature of a small sample.

This means taht all conclusions have to be based upon teh sample size, and it matters because in a small sample teh chance for variance due to unknown and known factors is higher.

For example , when you see teh statement 'this poll has a margin of 4%', guess what that is? That is teh variance that you can expect if you asked the same people or ran the same data procedure again again. Just because that is what happens. The larger the sample set the less the 'margin of error'.

Now what you also seem to be doing is changing the topic, the data from the pigs and GMO study is a small sample and therefore the issues of small samples apply, there are a lot of ways that sample bias can occur without any mistakes in protocol and procedure, possible sources of sample bias abound. Like were the baby pigs taken at random from the farrowing shed? Were different sows chosen and different piglets chosen from different sows?

That is an example of possible sample bias, and they are multiple and varied. Which is why statistics are what they are, the larger the sample and the more randomly distributed across a d population, the less sample bias there is.

And sample bias is just one thing that can confound statistics.

The safety of products is not what the study about pigs and GMO food sources was about, you are right there is likely not good data on the safety of long term exposure to certain agricultural products. However that does not change teh discussion about the statistics of teh study about the pigs and GMO food stuffs.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 01:53 AM
Sorry the holistic approach is totally a different issue that the nature of statistics. If you have a small sample then there are issues that just come along with the nature of a small sample.

This means taht all conclusions have to be based upon teh sample size, and it matters because in a small sample teh chance for variance due to unknown and known factors is higher.

For example , when you see teh statement 'this poll has a margin of 4%', guess what that is? That is teh variance that you can expect if you asked the same people or ran the same data procedure again again. Just because that is what happens. The larger the sample set the less the 'margin of error'.

Now what you also seem to be doing is changing the topic, the data from the pigs and GMO study is a small sample and therefore the issues of small samples apply, there are a lot of ways that sample bias can occur without any mistakes in protocol and procedure, possible sources of sample bias abound. Like were the baby pigs taken at random from the farrowing shed? Were different sows chosen and different piglets chosen from different sows?

That is an example of possible sample bias, and they are multiple and varied. Which is why statistics are what they are, the larger the sample and the more randomly distributed across a d population, the less sample bias there is.

And sample bias is just one thing that can confound statistics.

The safety of products is not what the study about pigs and GMO food sources was about, you are right there is likely not good data on the safety of long term exposure to certain agricultural products. However that does not change teh discussion about the statistics of teh study about the pigs and GMO food stuffs.

OK lets take this step by step. Of course you are right that "the holistic approach is totally a different issue that the nature of statistics." This study obviously did use statistics, and properly so for the type of study it was. For example GM-fed pigs had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs compared to 12% of non-GM-fed pigs (p=0.004) But what was claimed by others in this thread was that while that may be statistically significant, given the fact that the study used a "shotgun" or "fishing expedition" of many things, there was likely to be one of them that had a "false positive". See they can't claim the study did it's math wrong. The Math was correct. They are claiming that because gross pathology was done on kidneys, heart, liver, spleen, lung, stomach, uterus, ovaries AND blood chemistry analysis of 17 different things that something was bound to show up as a false positive. So in other words they are attacking holistic science itself, Because in order to find an unexpected emergent property (which is the main purpose of holistic science) you have to look at as much as possible. You have to look at the broad view. That is a key foundational principle of holism! In reality they should have "went fishing" for even more! But of course there are limitations of practicality. Then of course having done one study having found possibly 2 emergent properties, you have to do a second study using the same system, but only checking those couple positives. If they are positive again, you start the reductionist road to find out how, when and why etc... ie... step by step narrowing down what exactly in the whole system is causing the emergent property.

Yet the critics of Carman et al are trying to claim it is a waste of time and money to do a second study? Really?:eye-poppi

You seem to think I am changing the subject. I am not. I am requesting someone produce for me the second study which is required to prove these significant results are in fact "false positives" or not. It could be a study done in the past, or it could be a recommendation for a follow-up. But you have to have at least two systems studies or you can't call a significant result a false positive.

Lets use a common analogy people can easily understand.

If a woman uses a home pregnancy test and gets a positive result, there is doubt still, so much that the wise woman goes in for further testing, eliminating the doubt. Only a foolish woman would declare it a "false positive" without testing again. It might be a "false positive". Who knows? It certainly is statistically possible. But the way you find out is by testing it again.

The critiques of Carman et al that claim there is no reason to investigate these significant results because they are "false positives" are both wrong and foolish. Unless they can point to a similar long term systems study with a negative result. Then the philosophical burden of proof shifts.

BTW In this case "long term" only means 22.7 weeks. We are not talking about some huge lengthy study over decades. It is well within reason. Once you do the second study falsifying Carmen et al, then sure, the more expensive studies recommended by Carmen et al should be done if the same positives are found again.

But that still assumes there never was a similar systems study done. That's why repeatedly I have asked over and over till it is annoyingly redundant even to myself:D, "Please show me the long term systems study that proves the results of Carmen et al are likely "false positives".

PS I suspect that the truth is no systems study was done at all. Do you understand why a huge red flag pops up in my mind when people both refuse to produce a long term systems study with negative results AND further try to discourage a follow-up study to this one?

Dancing David
21st June 2013, 04:29 AM
OK lets take this step by step. Of course you are right that This study obviously did use statistics, and properly so for the type of study it was. For example But what was claimed by others in this thread was that while that may be statistically significant,

The sample is too small to be reliable in any way.

given the fact that the study used a "shotgun" or "fishing expedition" of many things, there was likely to be one of them that had a "false positive".

Given the sample size and the small effect size the 'false positives' is a derivation from the statistics. It is a related issue to variance and sample errors, even if they did all the math right i it is still there.

That seems to be something you don't get. It is a coefficient of sample size.

See they can't claim the study did it's math wrong. The Math was correct. They are claiming that because gross pathology was done on kidneys, heart, liver, spleen, lung, stomach, uterus, ovaries AND blood chemistry analysis of 17 different things that something was bound to show up as a false positive.

You do not seem to understand, it is part and parcel of the statistics, even if they did the math right in every way.

It is about sample size and variance.

So in other words they are attacking holistic science itself,

You make a grave error here, it is about statistics and your attempt to change the topic makes no sense.

The effects sizes are very small, there is no standard deviation given, so it is very hard to say that the effects noticed rise above noise e level.

You keep making it about some really overblown defense of the study when really it is exactly about the statistics and the nature of statistics.

The sample size was small therefore any effect is going to be subject to the effects of variance and sample bias. This study is tentative at best, not even indicative, and given the small sample size it really says very little at all.

If they want to do a much larger trial, that is great.

But until they use larger samples, better blinding and metrics it will not be more than a tentative report.

Much less have you even addressed the fact that 'erosion' was larger in the non-GMO sample, why does that not matter when the other stuff does, when the worst criteria of all is higher for the non-GMO sample, it should make you wonder. And that is why a larger sample, with standard deviations and blinded metrics would help. It could be that none of the effects rise above the standard variation in the population (ie noise).

Does that make sense to you?

Acleron
21st June 2013, 04:40 AM
Red Baron Farms
Holism is not hard science, your claim is not supported by facts. The approximate solutions of
early aerodynamicists were only made successful by trial and error. The modern researcher in this area uses reductionist techniques which are far more precise although still requiring testing.

This study is adequately examined by applying our knowledge of statistics and has been shown as deficient in enough major areas to be valueless. Vaguely talking about holism and emergent properties may be sufficient to feed the believers of nonsense but it fails the critical question. What does it tell us? Actually it tells us absolutely nothing worthwhile. It doesn't alter the disconnect between the numbers reported and the conclusions. To use your own example, if the conclusions of the early plane designers had been as poor as in this paper, those planes wouldn't have lifted off let alone broken the sound barrier.

It was sufficient to just read the numbers to see major problems in the paper. Examining the reports of experts in the relevant fields shows that the authors were not capable of measuring inflammation thus invalidating a major part of their conclusion. They also seemed to be deficient in basic animal husbandry, raising the question, is this normal in the anti-science world?

There is a pattern observable across many unscientific areas. It is the denial of good science and its results. Then the same group wants to use that science to prove their own contention. But not having any idea of the theory behind the science their amateurish efforts produce gibberish. Another stage for them, is to find a single result from a real scientist, quote it out of context and claim it supports their own ideas, totally ignoring all the other evidence that disproves them. Haven't seen that here yet, but I'm sure it will appear before too long.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 06:33 AM
The sample is too small to be reliable in any way.



Does that make sense to you?

No it does not make sense to me. The sample size is larger than the current standard for cancer research. So explain to me please.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 08:02 AM
Red Baron Farms
Holism is not hard science, your claim is not supported by facts. The approximate solutions of
early aerodynamicists were only made successful by trial and error.b

Wrong. Although it would be more proper to say holism is used in hard science. Neither holism nor reductionism are hard science in and of themselves, just methods used by scientists. Although there is a field called systems science. As far as aerodynamics goes, go check your history. Richard T. Whitcomb worked it out and it is manifested in the classic "Coke bottle" fuselage shape. Whitcomb realized that the Sears-Haack shaping had to apply to the aircraft as a whole, rather than just to the fuselage.


The modern researcher in this area uses reductionist techniques which are far more precise although still requiring testing.

True.



I have no comment on the rest of your rant against pseudoscience. I also often rant against pseudoscience myself. However, it has nothing to do with the improper use of statistics in a study of this type by certain critics. Although I am made aware by your rant that you are unable to distinguish the two in certain cases. This case being one.

PS Still waiting on that other systems study (if it even exists) that proves the significant results from this study actually are likely "false positives". As I said before. I'll back down and concede without a fuss the moment it is posted here.

Dancing David
21st June 2013, 08:34 AM
No it does not make sense to me. The sample size is larger than the current standard for cancer research. So explain to me please.

That is not what we are discussing, so which clinical trial are you discussing?

-Pilot studies
-large scale demographics like the mammogram studies

And the comparisons will vary.

In the case of the studies with feeding pigs tow kinds of feed, the rate of 'false positives' will be related to the sample size. This is comparable to demographic based research, such as the benefits or detriments of exercise in type II diabetes. So sample size is crucial in determining if the effect measured rises to above the noise level.

Examination of variations within a population is going to be very dependent on the sample size

Now I would have to look at the cancer trials you are talking about and what the purpose of them is, they are very different in purpose and structure to demographic based surveys. They are usually solely trying to meet arbitrary targets and I would have to look at a specific study.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 09:08 AM
That is not what we are discussing, so which clinical trial are you discussing?

-Pilot studies
-large scale demographics like the mammogram studies

And the comparisons will vary.

In the case of the studies with feeding pigs tow kinds of feed, the rate of 'false positives' will be related to the sample size. This is comparable to demographic based research, such as the benefits or detriments of exercise in type II diabetes. So sample size is crucial in determining if the effect measured rises to above the noise level.

Examination of variations within a population is going to be very dependent on the sample size

Now I would have to look at the cancer trials you are talking about and what the purpose of them is, they are very different in purpose and structure to demographic based surveys. They are usually solely trying to meet arbitrary targets and I would have to look at a specific study.

I was referring to the well known critique of Seralini that he should have used 50 rats per group instead of the 10 he used for his study to meet international accepted cancer research standards.

I was also referring to the critique mentioned in this thread earlier, providing sources to detailed analysis, that off site source basically claimed (to make a crude summary) while the results of Carman et al would be statistically significant if they had been only looking at and measuring say for instance uterus weight or inflammation. The critics claim was it was not significant because they looked at too many things. (thus the "fishing trip" comments) This meant there was a statistical chance that by pure random coincidence something would appear to be significant, but actually a "false positive".

My contention is that it could be a false positive, but to actually claim that you need to produce a similar systems study that had a negative result for instance uterus weight or inflammation. Once you have a second study that only measures uterus weight or inflammation, then the exact same sample size now becomes statistically significant either with a positive or a negative. But without that second systems study you can only claim that statistically significant result could be a false positive, not that it is a false positive.

Thus I take issue with any critic of Carman et al who uses their critique of Carman et al to conclude no further study is warranted.

Dancing David
21st June 2013, 10:26 AM
In other words you are changing the topic to something other than the topic at hand, which is the rate of 'false positives' in a sample population of a certain size.

If you don't want to discuss statistics and just change the topic that is fine, i won't continue however.

Acleron
21st June 2013, 10:56 AM
Wrong. Although it would be more proper to say holism is used in hard science. Neither holism nor reductionism are hard science in and of themselves, just methods used by scientists. Although there is a field called systems science. As far as aerodynamics goes, go check your history. Richard T. Whitcomb worked it out and it is manifested in the classic "Coke bottle" fuselage shape. Whitcomb realized that the Sears-Haack shaping had to apply to the aircraft as a whole, rather than just to the fuselage.



You stated yourself, they tried something different after their first attempts failed. Holism wasn't in it.



True.



I have no comment on the rest of your rant against pseudoscience. I also often rant against pseudoscience myself. However, it has nothing to do with the improper use of statistics in a study of this type by certain critics. Although I am made aware by your rant that you are unable to distinguish the two in certain cases. This case being one.
PS Still waiting on that other systems study (if it even exists) that proves the significant results from this study actually are likely "false positives". As I said before. I'll back down and concede without a fuss the moment it is posted here.

Not only did you misinterpret the criticism with your comments on 'false positives' you were given the benefit of doubt and had it explicitly explained to you in detail. To go back and still misquote the criticism demonstrates a certain thing and it isn't that the criticism was wrong.

Until you learn how science progresses and the very basics of statistics and probability theory you have as little chance of understanding why this study shows nothing as presumably do the authors.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 03:02 PM
You stated yourself, they tried something different after their first attempts failed. Holism wasn't in it.


Apparently you missed this?
Whitcomb realized that the Sears-Haack shaping had to apply to the aircraft as a whole, rather than just to the fuselage.

And apparently also failed to realize when you said, although still requiring testing. that was holism. Aerodynamics and new plane development still to this day involves flight testing prototypes, a form of holism. ie..the "whole" plane.

But apparently holism in aerodynamics is the acceptable standard, while holism in agriculture not only isn't accepted, it is discouraged? Not even a real scientific method? To be criticized and attacked at every turn?

Now let me say it again. Just because I seem to be hitting that wall of resistance. Because the Carmen study used the whole CAFO system (as much as practical) in their study both with and without GM grains and they looked at as much as practical the whole pig, (ie holism) it will always be subject to improper statistical analysis conclusions. And when is that otherwise proper statistical analysis improper? When it declares boldly that the significant results are "false positives" instead of could be "false positive". And how do you tell the difference between a potential "false positive" and a real "false positive"? Another systems study. So any and all people who use the "false positive" argument to criticize Carmen AND conclude that there is no reason to do a follow-up are making a logic error that derives from the Improper use of statistics on a systems study. And the smart ones know it too. That's why they try to substitute reductionist studies as a surrogate for the follow-up.

And the only way you are going to knock that obvious (at least obvious to me) flaw out of the logic is to produce the 2nd systems study.:duck: Something still not done at least here. Not yet. I am still waiting. But as soon as someone does produce that 2nd systems study with a negative result for the positive results seen in Carmen, then the philosophical burden of proof shifts and then it would be safe to say the positive results in Carmen et al likely are false positives. Not before.

Acleron
21st June 2013, 03:51 PM
Apparently you missed this?


And apparently also failed to realize when you said, that was holism. Aerodynamics and new plane development still to this day involves flight testing prototypes, a form of holism. ie..the "whole" plane.

But apparently holism in aerodynamics is the acceptable standard, while holism in agriculture not only isn't accepted, it is discouraged? Not even a real scientific method? To be criticized and attacked at every turn?

Now let me say it again. Just because I seem to be hitting that wall of resistance. Because the Carmen study used the whole CAFO system (as much as practical) in their study both with and without GM grains and they looked at as much as practical the whole pig, (ie holism) it will always be subject to improper statistical analysis conclusions. And when is that otherwise proper statistical analysis improper? When it declares boldly that the significant results are "false positives" instead of could be "false positive". And how do you tell the difference between a potential "false positive" and a real "false positive"? Another systems study. So any and all people who use the "false positive" argument to criticize Carmen AND conclude that there is no reason to do a follow-up are making a logic error that derives from the Improper use of statistics on a systems study. And the smart ones know it too. That's why they try to substitute reductionist studies as a surrogate for the follow-up.

And the only way you are going to knock that obvious (at least obvious to me) flaw out of the logic is to produce the 2nd systems study.:duck: Something still not done at least here. Not yet. I am still waiting. But as soon as someone does produce that 2nd systems study with a negative result for the positive results seen in Carmen, then the philosophical burden of proof shifts and then it would be safe to say the positive results in Carmen et al likely are false positives.

Oh lol, so if I use Newton's laws of motion on an object rather than each individual quark I'm using holism am I? Nonsense.

You insist on strawmanning about 'false positives' you are doing it deliberately.

We have excellent tried and tested statistics for clinical trials and this is a clinical trial. The authors failed to use those statistics and instead used a number manipulation to produce a figure that meant nothing.

For the last time, exactly the same results would be expected if both arms had been fed non-gmo food. With one difference, it would just be some other parameter showing significance. But of course if they corrected for their multiple outcomes they wouldn't show any significance. Muttering about holism and emergent behaviour makes no difference to that reality. Come back when those authors have learned the correct statistics, how to identify inflammation, basic animal husbandry and repeated correctly this shoddy excuse for a trial. But I'll make a prediction, they won't repeat it, instead we'll get some other equally poor piece of work because they are not interested in furthering knowledge, just using it as an excuse for their conclusion.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 03:51 PM
In other words you are changing the topic to something other than the topic at hand, which is the rate of 'false positives' in a sample population of a certain size.

If you don't want to discuss statistics and just change the topic that is fine, i won't continue however.

No I am not trying to change the subject. I keep always coming back to the improper use of statistics. Unfortunately my language skills are much to be desired, so I try to use analogies and metaphors and other examples to explain it better, and people focus more on them than the subject at hand. ie the improper use of statistical analysis on a systems study like Carmen.

I fully admit that is my fault, although unintentional. If I didn't use analogies and other examples, then people wouldn't be able to try and sidetrack and derail the topic with those said examples. Unfortunately I am not skilled enough in debate to convey the thought without said examples and analogies.

But I'll try again. You said, rate of 'false positives'. Fair enough. Yes there is such a thing as a "rate of 'false positives'". You can even predict the expected "rate of 'false positives'" using statistics. HOWEVER, the way you tell the difference between a positive and a false positive is not with that particular statistical equation. Using it in that way is an improper use of statistics. All that statistical analysis shows is that it could be false, not that it is false. You need another study to determine if those results are false or not. There have been other studies, but because this was a systems study you need another systems study to falsify it. (because of the high potential for emergent properties in biological systems) All I have asked from the beginning is for someone to post in this thread the system study that falsifies Carmen et al.

Red Baron Farms
21st June 2013, 04:40 PM
Oh lol, so if I use Newton's laws of motion on an object rather than each individual quark I'm using holism am I? Nonsense.

You insist on strawmanning about 'false positives' you are doing it deliberately.


hahahahaha That is probably the funniest classic example of mirroring I have ever seen. Kudo's to you for using a strawman to claim I did! Brilliantly done! Very funny! My respect for you has increased significantly!:D

We needed some comic relief here to change the mood and you did a good job of that! Thanks.

But I'll make a prediction, they won't repeat it

Interesting prediction. It would be unfortunate if no one repeated it. That's why I have challenged anyone to post a similar systems study here, if it exists. Or if it doesn't exist to design a follow-up study to falsify Carmen. Because I agree with you that failing an older similar study, and failing a new study, the study by itself has limited to no use. Only with 2 similar studies showing the same parameter as significant can the study be considered useful. Otherwise there is no way to know if it is a false positive or an emergent property of the system.

Acleron
22nd June 2013, 12:11 AM
hahahahaha That is probably the funniest classic example of mirroring I have ever seen. Kudo's to you for using a strawman to claim I did! Brilliantly done! Very funny! My respect for you has increased significantly!:D

We needed some comic relief here to change the mood and you did a good job of that! Thanks.



Interesting prediction. It would be unfortunate if no one repeated it. That's why I have challenged anyone to post a similar systems study here, if it exists. Or if it doesn't exist to design a follow-up study to falsify Carmen. Because I agree with you that failing an older similar study, and failing a new study, the study by itself has limited to no use. Only with 2 similar studies showing the same parameter as significant can the study be considered useful. Otherwise there is no way to know if it is a false positive or an emergent property of the system.

My example of Newton's laws is a direct consequence of your belief that aerodynamics is some sort of holistic science.


This is the typical woo behaviour.

1) Someone makes a claim with zero evidence. This study shows nothing, they used the wrong statistical test among other faults of measurement.

2) The believer ignores the lack of evidence and clings to the unsubstantiated claim.

3) The demand goes up that it or something similar should be repeated.

4) Meanwhile all the good evidence that disproves the claim is dismissed because it isn't holistic, emergent or some other spurious and specious argument.

This behaviour is seen with adherents of homeopathy, acupuncture, anti-VAXXERs, AGW denialists, creationists and now with anti-GMO.

If someone wants to be taken seriously then do the serious science, spend the years learning the craft and understand why certain statistical tests are used and others are not.

There is a frequent misquote.

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

This is wrong, correctly applied statistics do not lie, but people do.

I cannot accuse the authors of lying as I have insufficient evidence, but there is plenty of evidence that they are incompetent.

So I'll ask you a question. Do you normally base your decisions on claims made by incompetents?

Dancing David
22nd June 2013, 03:36 AM
All I have asked from the beginning is for someone to post in this thread the system study that falsifies Carmen et al.

There is no reason say that the study indicates very much at all, it does not need falsification. The effect sizes are not really given in a meaningful fashion that indicates much.

It is a tentative study at best, it is not indicative. It is not really demonstrating much at all. The fact that you want to assign meaning to a very tentative result is the issue.

Red Baron Farms
22nd June 2013, 08:26 AM
My example of Newton's laws is a direct consequence of your belief that aerodynamics is some sort of holistic science.


Nope That comment is ridiculous. If that is what you thought I said then apparently I did not explain it very well.

Aerodynamics is it's own science. Holistic describes a type of scientific method used in many fields of science. Particularly fields of science that contain complex systems with emergent effects that can not easily be described by reductionism.

I used the example to try and prove to you that holism is not what you seem to think it is. And also to explain that it is the ability of holism to find emergent effects that makes it useful in science. However, the point of it is to look for emergent effects, and then confirm or falsify what you find with further study. You don't use the same method as you do with reductionism. They are two different scientific methods that both are valid for their purposes. I am sorry you can't distinguish between a field of science and a scientific method. But aeronautics uses both reductionism, and also still uses holism to discover what is difficult to explain with reductionism. That's why I used it as an example. But your continuing to focus on the example instead of the topic is derailing this thread. So I would request you instead focus the energy of your debate at the topic. Apparently you have a mental block whenever the word holism is used. Because my example is as simplified and as accepted in science as anything I can possibly think of. But I am aware that some people just have problems with understanding, just because of the way they have trained their brains to think. I first discovered this in university when I was tutoring classmates far smarter that me who were failing a class that I thought was kindergarten level. The class was called mechanics, but is better described as mechanical drawing/drafting and design entry level. Until that point it had never occurred to me that a significant % of people can't see things as a whole and reduce them both at the same time. Even very very intelligent people with genius level IQ's. I still can't explain why this happens, I just know that it is a relatively common phenomenon.

There is no reason say that the study indicates very much at all, it does not need falsification. The effect sizes are not really given in a meaningful fashion that indicates much.

It is a tentative study at best, it is not indicative. It is not really demonstrating much at all. The fact that you want to assign meaning to a very tentative result is the issue.

Part of what you said I agree with completely and always have. "It is not really demonstrating much at all." By itself that is correct. In fact that is why my first post was to simply link the study without any comment at all.

When I started commenting is when people made the logic error that because it doesn't say much at all by itself, then "it does not need falsification."

It is precisely because it needs falsification that it doesn't demonstrate much. As soon as it is falsified with another similar systems study, it will have meaning, and maybe not the meaning intended by the people who did the study. We don't know yet. If it is repeated and get negative results, it is very meaningful as a proof that the GM use probably actually is safe. If it is repeated and we get one of the same "false positives" it would show that there is an unexpected emergent effect not predicted by the huge body of reductionist studies.

In summary: By itself, you are correct, it means little. But combined with another similar systems study it could mean a lot. To either side of the controversy actually.

My question is, "Why is this even tentative?" Why can't someone simply post for me the falsification already? It is astonishingly absurd that up until this study no systems study was published by either side of the debate! That's why I still hold hope someone will post the previous systems study falsifying this.

Would you put your family in a new radical plane design that never flew before? Fresh off the design floor with component parts tested but never test flown as a whole plane? No prototypes, no nothing? And a plane is orders of magnitude more simple compared to biological systems. It's crazy:boggled:

Dancing David
22nd June 2013, 09:26 AM
No it needs replication with a larger and more random sample. Period.

cosmicaug
23rd June 2013, 02:20 PM
Nope. I made no such argument. I said quite specifically show me the systems study refuting this study.

Yes, you are changing the argument. This study is as good as no study at all. Your argument is unrelated to it. You could just as easily argue that some of the negative results could be false negatives and that that's why we need to falsify them. Your argument is that you do not believe that GMO foods have been shown to be safe regardless of what this study has or has not shown.

Interesting prediction. It would be unfortunate if no one repeated it. That's why I have challenged anyone to post a similar systems study here, if it exists. Or if it doesn't exist to design a follow-up study to falsify Carmen.

There's nothing to falsify in Carmen. Carmen has not shown anything. The fact that they've been sloppy does not mean that special dispensation from standard statistical analysis applies.

The standard response to http://xkcd.com/882/ should not be that the positive needs to be "falsified".

Your whole reductionist vs. holistic approach distinction is a red herring.

This is the typical woo behaviour.

1) Someone makes a claim with zero evidence. This study shows nothing, they used the wrong statistical test among other faults of measurement.

2) The believer ignores the lack of evidence and clings to the unsubstantiated claim.

3) The demand goes up that it or something similar should be repeated.

4) Meanwhile all the good evidence that disproves the claim is dismissed because it isn't holistic, emergent or some other spurious and specious argument.

This behaviour is seen with adherents of homeopathy, acupuncture, anti-VAXXERs, AGW denialists, creationists and now with anti-GMO.

This! Often it is phrased to indicate that the woo in question cannot be analyzed scientifically.

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 04:18 AM
cosmicaug,
LOLZ, talked yourself into a circle there cosmo. First you dismiss then claim it is woo because people dismiss?

Just show me a systems study that was done properly. I'll concede every point. Heck, it doesn't even have to be perfect. Just show me ANY other systems study ever done, even if it isn't perfect. I have challenged someone to do that, no takers so far. You don't like Carmen? Show me the systems study you do like.

But if you got no systems study, then Carmen is far more scientific than anything YOU got, because you got zip zero nada. No study at all, just your woo arguments attempting to confuse the issue. I certainly am not dismissing anything. In fact the opposite. I want to see the study. I have asked repeatedly for the study. Most likely the reason no one posted is that none was ever done. But I still hold hope one was done and someone can post it here.

Basically it is like they say in Missouri. Don't tell me, show me.

Dancing David
24th June 2013, 05:14 AM
No RBF, you are wrong, the study needs replication. Period.

cosmicaug
24th June 2013, 06:05 AM
cosmicaug,
LOLZ, talked yourself into a circle there cosmo. First you dismiss then claim it is woo because people dismiss?

I don't know what you are talking about. I dismissed it because it's a garbage study. Do you believe otherwise or not? You are dissembling.

Just show me a systems study that was done properly.
Define your terms. I do not know what you mean by a "systems study". It sounds like you mean a study done trying to replicate a factory farm environment. It sounds like you are whining because previous studies do not attempt to do this which, to me, sounds like special pleading.

I'll concede every point. Heck, it doesn't even have to be perfect. Just show me ANY other systems study ever done, even if it isn't perfect. I have challenged someone to do that, no takers so far. You don't like Carmen? Show me the systems study you do like.

But if you got no systems study, then Carmen is far more scientific than anything YOU got, because you got zip zero nada.

Are you "conceding every point" or not? Either the criticisms of Carman are correct (they are devastating criticisms and do not merely raise doubts about validity but, rather, completely invalidate it) or it's just a little bit valid. You can't have it both ways and if you believe the latter you are clearly not understanding the multiple criticisms of the study.

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 08:48 AM
You can't have it both ways and if you believe the latter you are clearly not understanding the multiple criticisms of the study.
You still don't get it do you? I really don't care what the results are. I am not dogmatic anti GMO. In fact in the early days I was a big defender of GM technology. In fact I am still an advocate of Cis-Genomic GE.

I realize I can't have it both ways. I don't even want it both ways. All I want is to see another systems study. It doesn't even matter to me if the other systems study is perfect. I just would like to know someone at least attempted a systems study before they allowed it in our food supply. And if there is no other systems study at all. Then I would like to see Carmen falsified properly with a new systems study. As I said before. Don't tell me, show me.

Stomatopoda
24th June 2013, 01:45 PM
LOLZ

kekekekeke

huehuehue

jajajajaja

lollerkeekles

wwwww

ell-oh-ell, ell-emm-eh-oh, shift-one shift-one shift-one

...is not an argument. Just a tip.

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 02:34 PM
kekekekeke

huehuehue

jajajajaja

lollerkeekles

wwwww

ell-oh-ell, ell-emm-eh-oh, shift-one shift-one shift-one

...is not an argument. Just a tip.

Actually I kinda like it. :D Better than some of the ridiculous arguments people have been posting here when all I asked was to see a holistic systems study. Of course it is partly my fault for using that dreaded word "holism" which bought out the wacko dogmatic anti-holism crowd. I should have known none of them had a chance in hell of actually providing me with a link to anything but a reductionist study.:rolleyes:

But hey, if you have so many different ways to denote laughing, maybe you have a way to describe to them what I am looking for more precisely than "system", yet without using the dreaded H word that freaks them out?;)

Acleron
24th June 2013, 02:46 PM
Actually I kinda like it. :D Better than some of the ridiculous arguments people have been posting here when all I asked was to see a holistic systems study. Of course it is partly my fault for using that dreaded word "holism" which bought out the wacko dogmatic anti-holism crowd. I should have known none of them had a chance in hell of actually providing me with a link to anything but a reductionist study.:rolleyes:

But hey, if you have so many different ways to denote laughing, maybe you have a way to describe to them what I am looking for more precisely than "system", yet without using the dreaded H word that freaks them out?;)

What you fail to understand is that the authors attempted a study using all the techniques of reductionist science. They randomised, they used reductionist assay techniques and they used reductionist statistics. These are all well worked out methods applied in thousands of clinical trials. First they were incompetent in applying those methods and derived a conclusion their data didn't support. Second, blathering vaguely about holism and emergent behaviour, neither of which you appear to understand, is not going to achieve anything.

Rather than complain here, write to the authors, complain about their shoddy techniques and demand they do the trial properly.

Alternatively, you might try to explain exactly how a holistic comparison has to be performed.

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 03:10 PM
I don't know what you are talking about.
clearly. And in a discussion if there is lack of communication, it is always the fault of the presenter. That's me. I apologize. I try.


It sounds like you mean a study done trying to replicate a factory farm environment.



No, it doesn't have to be a factory farm environment. It could be any model where GM grains are supplements. Forest finished pigs often also receive supplemental grain. There is even such a thing as pasture raised pigs, believe it or not. It just so happens that the majority of pigs raised in Western countries use the factory farm model. So that is by far the majority of usage of GM grains and soy. It also is more controlled with fewer variables to consider. That's the main system in use, so it makes logical sence to use that system in the trial. But it wouldn't even have to be pigs either. You could use any omnivorous mammal with a similar digestive system to humans.

PS Aside: I can see it now. If they ever did a study comparing actual organic animal husbandry, people would be screaming to blazes how the study was meaningless. Especially considering how many fewer pigs died just by not being subject to the harsh piggery environment. I remember an old farmer friend and neighbor of mine back in the 70's related it. "The big guys loose a lot of piglets from every litter every year. So do I. ;) The difference is mine get butchered and end up being meat on someones table. Theirs simply due to the stresses and diseases in their barns." He wasn't "organic". He simply forest finished his pigs and used them to clean up combined crop spillage in his fields. Once they got big enough to go outside they never saw the inside of a barn again. That pork was pretty damn good eating too!

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 03:20 PM
Rather than complain here, write to the authors, complain about their shoddy techniques and demand they do the trial properly.



Nope, not complaining. Just asking for someone here to post a systems trial other than this one. It doesn't have to be perfect. I'd just like to know one was done. Alternatively if this is the only one ever done by anyone, even with all its flaws, I would like to see it falsified by a new study with as many of the flaws corrected as practical.

cosmicaug
24th June 2013, 03:57 PM
No, it doesn't have to be a factory farm environment. It could be any model where GM grains are supplements. Forest finished pigs often also receive supplemental grain. There is even such a thing as pasture raised pigs, believe it or not. It just so happens that the majority of pigs raised in Western countries use the factory farm model. So that is by far the majority of usage of GM grains and soy. It also is more controlled with fewer variables to consider. That's the main system in use, so it makes logical sence to use that system in the trial. But it wouldn't even have to be pigs either. You could use any omnivorous mammal with a similar digestive system to humans.

Nope, not complaining. Just asking for someone here to post a systems trial other than this one. It doesn't have to be perfect. I'd just like to know one was done. Alternatively if this is the only one ever done by anyone, even with all its flaws, I would like to see it falsified by a new study with as many of the flaws corrected as practical.

So, again, (and as I keep pointing out) totally unrelated to Carman, all that you are saying is that if only you had your holistic systems study you might be happy?

I lay bare my ignorance and ask again (in other words, I'm still calling your bluff), what do you mean by holistic or systems studies? What defines a study as such? I'm assuming that the Seralini study does not qualify (since I assume "holistic" is not merely a synonym for "crappy"?). What makes Carman holistic and wonderful (if otherwise flawed) and Seralini not so much and reductionist (as well as presumably redundant given other "reductionist" studies --again, ignoring the crappiness).

Also, why do we want these holistic studies. What are we not learning from what you call reductionist that we might learn from these, so called, systems studies that you desire and can you show us that we can really learn from them whatever it is that you say that we can learn from them? In other words, what are the deficiencies in "reductionist studies" that you claim the systems studies (whatever those are --and I do hope you explain this clearly) would be addressing and can you show that they really would be addressed by them? That is, is there a problem here and does your desired methodology address it?

cosmicaug
24th June 2013, 04:25 PM
Just asking for someone here to post a systems trial other than this one.

To further clarify, it is my understanding that you think that the Carman study, however many flaws it may have (the nature of some of which being even so profound as to invalidate the study), has nevertheless done at least one thing right. Furthermore, it is my understanding that one such thing that it has done right is what you are referring to being a systems (or holistic) study. Indeed, this quality is apparently so unique that you claim that have never seen any other study display it before.


I would like it if you explained and properly defined what this one thing, this quality, is, why you feel it is so crucial to get this one thing right (and please, if at all possible, stop talking about airplanes) and how getting this one thing right potentially tells us useful information that we cannot get any other way.

Red Baron Farms
24th June 2013, 05:32 PM
@cosmicaug,
No the Seralini study does not qualify. I'd like to see that study done again too, correctly this time, but that's a whole other can of worms I would prefer not to open in this discussion. I heard another team of scientists attempted that, correctly this time, but couldn't even get published. So not sure if it was just a rumor or not. Since I can't see it, because it wasn't even published, ridiculous to even comment on it. It might not even exist. I apply the don't tell me, show me philosophy there too.

Secondly, Acleron is partly right. Strictly speaking, this isn't a true holistic study. But it does contain major elements that are holistic, primarily because it involves a major part of the entire conventional intensive piggery model as is standard practices now. Probably the biggest flaw in Carmen was to try and equate this study outside of hog lots. They simply should have published this as an animal husbandry feeding study. Tried to keep low key. Then had it falsified by another similar but larger and more detailed systems study, again on the conventional intensive piggery model. If an emergent effect was seen on both, that would warrant a more formal (and expensive) study. Once (if) consensus was achieved that there may be an unexpected effect on pigs, then and only then, discuss what type of study would be required to test potential similar effects on humans. Instead they went for conclusions too far reaching for the study to legitimately claim without falsification.

The basic idea was brilliant in my opinion. To actually study the whole system that is being used already with minimal modification, instead of worrying about which individual factor might or might not be harmful. Piggeries are the perfect model for that line of thinking to start. The cost of the study is relatively low, allowing the results to generate future funding as warranted. If you do that, falsify it, and still have nothing significant, then you can get a large degree of certainty that no dangerous unexpected emergent effects are raising their ugly heads. On the other hand if an emergent effect is seen in both studies, then you have clues as to where to look for causation in future studies. That's a lot of "ifs" and certainly more than one study. Again, they failed due to reaching too high too soon. Perhaps they felt some urgency due to the glaring lack of any other system studies that involved blends of all the GM grains and soy and pesticide residues, bacteria etc combined, as found in and in the ratios present in the food supply?

cosmicaug
24th June 2013, 09:01 PM
@cosmicaug,
No the Seralini study does not qualify. I'd like to see that study done again too, correctly this time, but that's a whole other can of worms I would prefer not to open in this discussion. I heard another team of scientists attempted that, correctly this time, but couldn't even get published. So not sure if it was just a rumor or not. Since I can't see it, because it wasn't even published, ridiculous to even comment on it. It might not even exist. I apply the don't tell me, show me philosophy there too.

Secondly, Acleron is partly right. Strictly speaking, this isn't a true holistic study. But it does contain major elements that are holistic, primarily because it involves a major part of the entire conventional intensive piggery model as is standard practices now. Probably the biggest flaw in Carmen was to try and equate this study outside of hog lots. They simply should have published this as an animal husbandry feeding study. Tried to keep low key. Then had it falsified by another similar but larger and more detailed systems study, again on the conventional intensive piggery model. If an emergent effect was seen on both, that would warrant a more formal (and expensive) study. Once (if) consensus was achieved that there may be an unexpected effect on pigs, then and only then, discuss what type of study would be required to test potential similar effects on humans. Instead they went for conclusions too far reaching for the study to legitimately claim without falsification.

The basic idea was brilliant in my opinion. To actually study the whole system that is being used already with minimal modification, instead of worrying about which individual factor might or might not be harmful. Piggeries are the perfect model for that line of thinking to start. The cost of the study is relatively low, allowing the results to generate future funding as warranted. If you do that, falsify it, and still have nothing significant, then you can get a large degree of certainty that no dangerous unexpected emergent effects are raising their ugly heads. On the other hand if an emergent effect is seen in both studies, then you have clues as to where to look for causation in future studies. That's a lot of "ifs" and certainly more than one study. Again, they failed due to reaching too high too soon. Perhaps they felt some urgency due to the glaring lack of any other system studies that involved blends of all the GM grains and soy and pesticide residues, bacteria etc combined, as found in and in the ratios present in the food supply?

You really did not explain but I think I understand and it's what I thought. You do not believe that tests under controlled laboratory conditions are sufficient. You believe that some effects which do not show up under one set of conditions may show up under a different set of conditions. As a result, you think that testing only under very tightly controlled laboratory conditions is insufficient.

You are technically correct about this. Take, for instance Tifton 85 grass causing deaths in cattle last year (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57459357/grass-linked-to-texas-cattle-deaths/). If I remember correctly, neither the parent types from which this hybrid was derived nor the Tifton 85 variety itself had ever been shown to produce cyanide (though some strain related to one of the parent types might have done so under some conditions). And yet, under very peculiar conditions which almost never happen, the grass did produce cyanide. The testing done with this grass during development never produced this finding because it was never done under those very specific conditions under which cyanide production was a significant issue.

And yet, I will still maintain that your apparent belief that "systems testing" perhaps should be required is not justified. I do not believe that having a more poorly controlled experimental setup is going to produce better science. I believe the opposite is the case. In addition to this, it skirts awfully close to denialist tactics. If one did a "proper" systems study I think that, based on your logic, you would have to demand more "proper" systems studies under slightly different conditions. Basically, you could continue this exercise forever (each time doing poorer quality science than the "reductionist" studies which you deride) and never have an endpoint at which you would consider the crop in question sufficiently tested.

The thing is that we generally do not even require testing for newly developed plant varieties which do not incorporate transgenic traits. And yet, everything I have said above also applies to them (indeed, the example I used of unexpected emerging harmful properties involves a conventionally produced interspecies hybrid). If anything, there is zero prior plausibility for transgenic technologies in the general case having these side effects. There may be, however, prior plausibility of unexpected ill effects for specific transgenic events. In the particulars of the Carman study, there really is not prior plausibility for the glyphosate resistance trait to be toxic and, if I am not mistaken, the Cry proteins had been extensively studied before anyone even thought of incorporating them into a transgenic construct.

Red Baron Farms
25th June 2013, 04:48 AM
@cosmicaug,
I'll start with the end. Yes, you are not mistaken, cry proteins were extensively studied long before being used in a transgenic. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis was patented in 1979 as an alternative to DDT in mosquito control. Also there was a strange (unscientific?) method organic farmers (including myself) used to handle caterpillar and other pest infestations long before that involving culturing wild bacteria. I believe the original idea for using purified strains of Bt in organic agriculture derived from that, and then Bt transgenics derived from that. I use Bacillus thuringiensis commercial cultures myself now, much easier than trying to use the old way of culturing you own strains of wild beneficial bacteria. Almost as effective and more consistent too. In the old days we used a "shot gun" or "fishing expedition" method to find our beneficial wild bacteria/ fungus used in pest control. Today we use a precision "sniper shot". But it is my contention that if we hadn't effectively used the idea for years first, the transgenic people probably would have never thought of their use, or if they did, much later.

You have to once in a while take that shotgun approach, then refine from there if your shotgun hits something. The shotgun may not be as elegant or as sexy as the sniper, but it does have its uses. Your idea that because I advocate the shotgun, that somehow I think you need to blast away continually with the shotgun is wrong. Or if you prefer the fishing expedition analogy, go searching for the fishing hole. Try several with several baits. But don't waste your time at a spot with no bite. Only settle in and serious fish the holes where the fish are biting. If you just randomly fish one section of water intensely without scouting the whole thing first, there is a good chance you'll never find that good fishing hole unless you just happened to get lucky. To me at least, it seems the more "scientific" way is a combination of holism and reductionism knowing when and why each is used, and not exclusively relying on either.

To summarize my response to your first two paragraphs. No I don't believe you have to do endless variations of systems studies. But I do believe you have to test it out at least once in a while for new transgenics added to the food supply. I would just like to see one besides Carmen because it is too small by itself to be conclusive.

Dancing David
25th June 2013, 05:42 AM
Nope, not complaining. Just asking for someone here to post a systems trial other than this one. It doesn't have to be perfect. I'd just like to know one was done. Alternatively if this is the only one ever done by anyone, even with all its flaws, I would like to see it falsified by a new study with as many of the flaws corrected as practical.

No matter how much sophistry you hide behind it does not change the fact, no one has to disprove a tentative and weak study, it is incumbent on the researcher to do followup.

So all your chest pounding and brow beating is just empty rhetoric as you defend a weak study with tentative results.

Look dude, I was a psych major and also did demographic research in my local community. All begging studies need follow through and replication, why? because of 80% of the time the original study is found to be lacking.

But it is pretty obvious at this point you just want someone to do something else so you don't have to face the fact, it was a weak study with a tentative result, it would have to be replicated in a larger sample to have any meaning. You are making your argument look worse every time you engage in this sophistry.

It is a weak tentative study and no amount of demagoguery will change that.

The Central Scrutinizer
25th June 2013, 05:45 AM
No matter how much sophistry you hide behind it does not change the fact, no one has to disprove a tentative and weak study, it is incumbent on the researcher to do followup.

So all your chest pounding and brow beating is just empty rhetoric as you defend a weak study with tentative results.

Look dude, I was a psych major and also did demographic research in my local community. All begging studies need follow through and replication, why? because of 80% of the time the original study is found to be lacking.

But it is pretty obvious at this point you just want someone to do something else so you don't have to face the fact, it was a weak study with a tentative result, it would have to be replicated in a larger sample to have any meaning. You are making your argument look worse every time you engage in this sophistry.

It is a weak tentative study and no amount of demagoguery will change that.

Bingo. We have a winner! Give that man any prize from the top shelf. Same for the other posters who have basically been saying the same thing.

cosmicaug
25th June 2013, 07:23 AM
No I don't believe you have to do endless variations of systems studies. But I do believe you have to test it out at least once in a while for new transgenics added to the food supply.
Why? Aren't you going to miss something? With the grass I mentioned they could have done a million studies and they would have still been likely to miss the issue.

I would just like to see one besides Carmen because it is too small by itself to be conclusive.
Forget about Carman!

Dancing David
25th June 2013, 07:33 AM
Bingo. We have a winner! Give that man any prize from the top shelf. Same for the other posters who have basically been saying the same thing.

Can I have the humus sandwich?

The Central Scrutinizer
25th June 2013, 07:55 AM
Can I have the humus sandwich?

No. They made it with GMO chickpeas. You'll get cancer.

Dancing David
25th June 2013, 08:45 AM
No. They made it with GMO chickpeas. You'll get cancer.

The raw garlic takes care of that!
:D

Dymanic
25th June 2013, 09:56 AM
Take, for instance Tifton 85 grass causing deaths in cattle last year. If I remember correctly, neither the parent types from which this hybrid was derived nor the Tifton 85 variety itself had ever been shown to produce cyanide (though some strain related to one of the parent types might have done so under some conditions). And yet, under very peculiar conditions which almost never happen, the grass did produce cyanide. The testing done with this grass during development never produced this finding because it was never done under those very specific conditions under which cyanide production was a significant issue.
Tifton 85 is a cross between Cynodon dactylon and Cynodon nlemfuensis. The latter is among a rather large number of species in the family Poaceae which have long been known to produce a cyanide compound, especially when stressed by frost or drought, or overfertilized with nitrates. So the "very peculiar conditions which almost never happen" aren't necessarily all that peculiar, and probably happen rather often. Two snippets from the article you linked stand out:

"A lot of leaf, it's good grass, tested high for protein - it should have been perfect,"

"Coming off the drought that we had the last two years ... "Especially in the light of this:
Severe drought is probably the most common cause of prussic acid poisoning. (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/publications/ay196.htm)

That it is so often referred to in the literature by the archaic name "prussic acid" is an indicator of just how long that knowledge has been available. Seems like the sort of thing a cattle guy would want to know about before turning his cows out to graze. After all,Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died.

Red Baron Farms
25th June 2013, 10:03 AM
You are making your argument look worse every time you engage in this sophistry.

It is a weak tentative study and no amount of demagoguery will change that.

David,
1) I never once claimed it wasn't a weak study.
2) All I have asked for in every post is for someone to please post another system study. Preferably strong, but doesn't even have to be strong for me personally. It could show GM crops safe or harmful, I don't care. Just show me another systems study.
3) Even when you repeatedly said, "No RBF, you are wrong, the study needs replication. Period." I didn't not argue the point as irritating as it was the way you worded it, because you said, "needs replication". ie another study. Which is all I asked for from the beginning.
4) It is precisely because this is a weak study that I want to see another systems study. It would be nice if it was a strong study and had already been done decades ago. But since it wasn't, at this point I'll take pretty much any sorry excuse for a systems study done by all those fancy high paid industry shills.

Just because you are a genius doesn't mean you are smart enough to tie your own shoes. Smart as they are, forgetting to do a systems study is ridiculously insanely idiotic. In my opinion. It's akin to not finding the forest because all the trees blocking your view.

There is a whole forest of multiple reductionist studies on nearly every component of the system, and not a single systems study?:eye-poppi

Don't tell me, show me. Post me a link.

cosmicaug
25th June 2013, 04:51 PM
Tifton 85 is a cross between Cynodon dactylon and Cynodon nlemfuensis. The latter is among a rather large number of species in the family Poaceae which have long been known to produce a cyanide compound, especially when stressed by frost or drought, or overfertilized with nitrates. So the "very peculiar conditions which almost never happen" aren't necessarily all that peculiar, and probably happen rather often. Two snippets from the article you linked stand out:

Especially in the light of this:
Severe drought is probably the most common cause of prussic acid poisoning. (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/publications/ay196.htm)

That it is so often referred to in the literature by the archaic name "prussic acid" is an indicator of just how long that knowledge has been available. Seems like the sort of thing a cattle guy would want to know about before turning his cows out to graze. After all,

I think that's what I wrote (from memory). What I meant is that cyanide had not been observed with Tifton 85. The fact that the grass has been around for how many years is it??? (I'm pretty sure it's decades?) and it hadn't shown up before makes it pretty rare. Perhaps this is so because the drought last year was exceptionally bad? I really don't know.

ThunderChunky
25th June 2013, 05:53 PM
David,
1) I never once claimed it wasn't a weak study.
2) All I have asked for in every post is for someone to please post another system study. Preferably strong, but doesn't even have to be strong for me personally. It could show GM crops safe or harmful, I don't care. Just show me another systems study.
3) Even when you repeatedly said, "No RBF, you are wrong, the study needs replication. Period." I didn't not argue the point as irritating as it was the way you worded it, because you said, "needs replication". ie another study. Which is all I asked for from the beginning.
4) It is precisely because this is a weak study that I want to see another systems study. It would be nice if it was a strong study and had already been done decades ago. But since it wasn't, at this point I'll take pretty much any sorry excuse for a systems study done by all those fancy high paid industry shills.

Just because you are a genius doesn't mean you are smart enough to tie your own shoes. Smart as they are, forgetting to do a systems study is ridiculously insanely idiotic. In my opinion. It's akin to not finding the forest because all the trees blocking your view.

There is a whole forest of multiple reductionist studies on nearly every component of the system, and not a single systems study?:eye-poppi

Don't tell me, show me. Post me a link.

Are there systems studies for every single 'organic' farming method and variety? I'd even like to see ones done by 'organic' industry shills.

Dymanic
25th June 2013, 09:29 PM
I think that's what I wrote (from memory). What I meant is that cyanide had not been observed with Tifton 85. The fact that the grass has been around for how many years is it??? (I'm pretty sure it's decades?) and it hadn't shown up before makes it pretty rare. Perhaps this is so because the drought last year was exceptionally bad? I really don't know.
Tifton 85 was developed in 1992, but the relatively high potential for prussic acid formation in one of the parents, Cynodon nlemfuensis (Tifton 68, or "stargrass") was well known before that, so if testing for that wasn't done on Tifton 85, it's probably because it was assumed; and it was probably also assumed that savvy ranchers would already be aware of the potiential risk, just as they would be familiar with any species of plants growing on their pasture or rangeland which might be toxic to cattle. If you're gonna run cows, you gotta know grass. Like the quote from your link says, "Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died." Right, because cattle were not allowed to graze in the affected areas. Introducing hungry, stressed cattle into fresh pasture is a generally poor practice under any circumstances; this was a case of user error. Bet he never makes the same mistake again, tho.

Drought is one of the known stressors that can trigger increased conversion of dhurrin to prussic acid; there are others, and that might take some sorting out, but this isn't as big a "mystery" as that CBS news piece suggests (that's mainstream media for ya). They already had to issue one correction to the earlier version that had Tifton 85 as a GMO. They also claim that "Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation". That sounds titillatingly ominous, but it seems extremely unlikely that any USDA scientists are actually doing that, considering that they already know that dhurrin synthesis occurs in a large number of grass species (all of the sorghums, in fact), and that it increases under stress, and they even know the stressors -- so it wouldn't have taken any "strange, unexpected mutation" to produce this incident anyway.

Red Baron Farms
26th June 2013, 03:14 AM
Are there systems studies for every single 'organic' farming method and variety? I'd even like to see ones done by 'organic' industry shills.

Of course there is. There was right at the birth of organic farming. In fact the reason we have organic farming is a result of those studies.

Organic has always been far more advanced scientifically than conventional right from the very inception of the term "organic" as applied to agriculture. That's why Albert Howard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Albert_Howard) named it that.

The first long term holistic systems study done on organic was the Haughley experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haughley_Experiment). It's a comparative study started back in 1939.

cosmicaug
26th June 2013, 04:02 AM
Drought is one of the known stressors that can trigger increased conversion of dhurrin to prussic acid; there are others, and that might take some sorting out, but this isn't as big a "mystery" as that CBS news piece suggests (that's mainstream media for ya). They already had to issue one correction to the earlier version that had Tifton 85 as a GMO.

Indeed. They had to change the title of the story. Initially it was presented as a GMO scaremongering piece.

Red Baron Farms
5th July 2013, 11:59 AM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257596/

ectoplasm
5th July 2013, 07:23 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257596/


Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase

Sophie Richard, Safa Moslemi, Herbert Sipahutar, Nora Benachour, and Gilles-Eric Seralini

Hardly inspires confidence.

Acleron
6th July 2013, 02:52 AM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257596/

Are you putting forward this non-holistic, non-systematic, reductionist work as evidence for toxicity of glysophospate? If you are, then you have to accept the overwhelming number of studies that showed no toxicity.

BTW the concentrations they used are ridiculously high.

Dancing David
6th July 2013, 06:36 AM
Who exactly is spraying glyphosate on placenta's and fetuses?

Red Baron Farms
6th July 2013, 09:13 AM
Are you putting forward this non-holistic, non-systematic, reductionist work as evidence for toxicity of glysophospate? If you are, then you have to accept the overwhelming number of studies that showed no toxicity.

BTW the concentrations they used are ridiculously high.

Good science involves both holistic and reductionist methods. I don't automatically discount either. I simply posted the study for comment and feedback. That's how we learn.

I don't KNOW that Round-up causes human disease. I simply am curious there. What I know is that Round-up as part of conventional farming practices causes plant diseases. Especially Fusarium. Every farmer who takes the time to inspect their fields closely knows that. It is also well established scientifically.

Huber, D.M., Graham, R.D., 1999. The role of nutrition in crop resistance and tolerance to diseases. In: Rengel, Z. (Ed.), Mineral Nutrition of Crops: Fundamental Mechanisms and Implications. Food Products Press, London, pp. 169–204.

Huber, D.M., Leuck, J.D., Smith,W.C., Christmas, E.P., 2004. Induced manganese deficiency in GM soybeans. In: Northcentral Fert. Extension Conf., Des Moines, IA, November 2004.

Huber,D.M., Cheng,M.W.,Winsor, B.A., 2005. Association of severe Corynespora root rot of soybean with glyphosate-killed giant ragweed. Phytopathology 95, S45.

Johal, G.S., Rahe, J.E., 1984. Effect of soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi on the herbicidal action of glyphosate on bean seedlings. Phytopathology 74, 950–955.

G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber, Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants, Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Kremer, R.J., Donald, P.A., Keaster, A.J.,Minor, H.C., 2000. Herbicide impact on Fusarium spp. and soybean cyst nematode in glyphosate-tolerant soybean. Agron. Abstr., p257.

Kremer, R.J.,Means, N.E., Kim, S.-J., 2005. Glyphosate affects soybean root exudation
and rhizosphere microorganisms. Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem. 85, 1165–1174.

Kremer, R.J., Means, N.E., 2009. Glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crop interactions with rhizosphere microorganisms. Eur. J. Agron. 31, 153–161.

Larson,R.L.,Hill,A.L., Fenwick,A.,Kniss,A.R.,Hanson, L.E.,Miller, S.D., 2006. Influence
of glyphosate on Rhizoctonia and Fusarium root rot in sugar beet. Pest Manag. Sci. 62, 182–192.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., et al., 1987. Effects of glyphosate on Fusarium spp.: its influence on root colonization of weeds, propagule density in the soil, and on crop emergence. Can. J. Microbiol. 33, 354–360.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., 1992. Herbicide interactions with fungal root pathogens, with special reference to glyphosate. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 30, 579–602.152 G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber / Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., Eaves,D.M., 1993. Fungal colonization of glyphosate treated seedlings using a new root plating technique. Mycol. Res. 97, 299–306.

Liu, L., Punja, Z.K., Rahe, J.E., 1997. Altered root exudation and suppression of induced lignification as mechanisms of predisposition by glyphosate of beanroots (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to colonization by Pythium spp. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 51,111–127.

McCay-Buis, T.S., 1998. Ramifications of microbial interactions conditioning take-all of wheat. Ph.D. Thesis. Purdue University,West Lafayette, Indiana.

Mekwatanakarn, P., Sivasithamparam, K., 1987. Effect of certain herbicides on soil
microbial populations and their influence on saprophytic growth in soil and pathogenicity of the take-all fungus. Biol. Fertil. Soils 5, 175–180.


But plant diseases and human disease are immensely different. So I don't automatically link the two. If there is a linkage, it is too complicated for me to figure out.

BTW It is my understanding that using high concentrations is an accepted scientific methodology. AND tests of chicken manure in some cases have shown glyphosate/AMPA concentrations at 0.36-0.75 parts per million (ppm), higher than the normal herbicidal application rate of about 0.5 ppm/acre. So it is possible to get higher concentrations of glyphosate in the environment than even directly spraying. That's why Monsanto is no longer legally able to call their product biodegradable as they once did, or any number of other false and misleading claims. Depending on the conditions it can persist and build up to quite high levels.

Attorney General of the State of New York.
Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
Environmental Protection Bureau.
1996.

In the matter of Monsanto Company, respondent.
Assurance of discontinuance pursuant to executive law § 63(15).
New York, NY, Nov.

False Advertising by Monsanto Regarding the Safety of Roundup Herbicide (Glyphosate)

Acleron
6th July 2013, 09:53 AM
Good science involves both holistic and reductionist methods. I don't automatically discount either. I simply posted the study for comment and feedback. That's how we learn.

I don't KNOW that Round-up causes human disease. I simply am curious there. What I know is that Round-up as part of conventional farming practices causes plant diseases. Especially Fusarium. Every farmer who takes the time to inspect their fields closely knows that. It is also well established scientifically.

Huber, D.M., Graham, R.D., 1999. The role of nutrition in crop resistance and tolerance to diseases. In: Rengel, Z. (Ed.), Mineral Nutrition of Crops: Fundamental Mechanisms and Implications. Food Products Press, London, pp. 169–204.

Huber, D.M., Leuck, J.D., Smith,W.C., Christmas, E.P., 2004. Induced manganese deficiency in GM soybeans. In: Northcentral Fert. Extension Conf., Des Moines, IA, November 2004.

Huber,D.M., Cheng,M.W.,Winsor, B.A., 2005. Association of severe Corynespora root rot of soybean with glyphosate-killed giant ragweed. Phytopathology 95, S45.

Johal, G.S., Rahe, J.E., 1984. Effect of soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi on the herbicidal action of glyphosate on bean seedlings. Phytopathology 74, 950–955.

G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber, Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants, Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Kremer, R.J., Donald, P.A., Keaster, A.J.,Minor, H.C., 2000. Herbicide impact on Fusarium spp. and soybean cyst nematode in glyphosate-tolerant soybean. Agron. Abstr., p257.

Kremer, R.J.,Means, N.E., Kim, S.-J., 2005. Glyphosate affects soybean root exudation
and rhizosphere microorganisms. Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem. 85, 1165–1174.

Kremer, R.J., Means, N.E., 2009. Glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crop interactions with rhizosphere microorganisms. Eur. J. Agron. 31, 153–161.

Larson,R.L.,Hill,A.L., Fenwick,A.,Kniss,A.R.,Hanson, L.E.,Miller, S.D., 2006. Influence
of glyphosate on Rhizoctonia and Fusarium root rot in sugar beet. Pest Manag. Sci. 62, 182–192.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., et al., 1987. Effects of glyphosate on Fusarium spp.: its influence on root colonization of weeds, propagule density in the soil, and on crop emergence. Can. J. Microbiol. 33, 354–360.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., 1992. Herbicide interactions with fungal root pathogens, with special reference to glyphosate. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 30, 579–602.152 G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber / Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., Eaves,D.M., 1993. Fungal colonization of glyphosate treated seedlings using a new root plating technique. Mycol. Res. 97, 299–306.

Liu, L., Punja, Z.K., Rahe, J.E., 1997. Altered root exudation and suppression of induced lignification as mechanisms of predisposition by glyphosate of beanroots (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to colonization by Pythium spp. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 51,111–127.

McCay-Buis, T.S., 1998. Ramifications of microbial interactions conditioning take-all of wheat. Ph.D. Thesis. Purdue University,West Lafayette, Indiana.

Mekwatanakarn, P., Sivasithamparam, K., 1987. Effect of certain herbicides on soil
microbial populations and their influence on saprophytic growth in soil and pathogenicity of the take-all fungus. Biol. Fertil. Soils 5, 175–180.


But plant diseases and human disease are immensely different. So I don't automatically link the two. If there is a linkage, it is too complicated for me to figure out.

BTW It is my understanding that using high concentrations is an accepted scientific methodology. AND tests of chicken manure in some cases have shown glyphosate/AMPA concentrations at 0.36-0.75 parts per million (ppm), higher than the normal herbicidal application rate of about 0.5 ppm/acre. So it is possible to get higher concentrations of glyphosate in the environment than even directly spraying. That's why Monsanto is no longer legally able to call their product biodegradable as they once did, or any number of other false and misleading claims. Depending on the conditions it can persist and build up to quite high levels.

Attorney General of the State of New York.
Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
Environmental Protection Bureau.
1996.

In the matter of Monsanto Company, respondent.
Assurance of discontinuance pursuant to executive law § 63(15).
New York, NY, Nov.

False Advertising by Monsanto Regarding the Safety of Roundup Herbicide (Glyphosate)

You rejected the 600 papers that several referenced for you on the basis they were non-holistic, reductionist and non systematic. Are you now saying that the vast majority of evidence shows no toxicity for glyophosphate?

Any concentration can be used but the claim was that cells became non-viable in concentrations less than that found in roundup usage. The only way placental cells could experience concentrations of 0.4% is if you biopsied them and bathed them in slightly diluted roundup stock solution.* They would of course be dying at this stage anyway.

As usual, the claim is nonsense, which brings into doubt the quality of the work. And as ectoplasm points out, the involvement of Seralini is a problem.

* I see Dancing Dave has already made this point.

Red Baron Farms
6th July 2013, 10:11 AM
You rejected the 600 papers that several referenced for you on the basis they were non-holistic, reductionist and non systematic.

I asked for ONE single solitary long term systems study, and you sent me a compilation of 600 reductionist studies.

So yes, I rejected your post because it wasn't what I asked for. Good science involves BOTH reductionism AND holism. You could have sent me 10 gazillion reductionist studies and it does not replace the one properly done long term holistic systems study I asked someone, anyone, to present. Still waiting on that BTW, but gave up asking because apparently it simply doesn't exist.

But I should ask, is it your contention that Round-up has no effect on p450 enzymes? Surely out of the 600 reductionist studies you have up your sleeve, you can post that one to me?

Acleron
6th July 2013, 12:37 PM
I asked for ONE single solitary long term systems study, and you sent me a compilation of 600 reductionist studies.

So yes, I rejected your post because it wasn't what I asked for. Good science involves BOTH reductionism AND holism. You could have sent me 10 gazillion reductionist studies and it does not replace the one properly done long term holistic systems study I asked someone, anyone, to present. Still waiting on that BTW, but gave up asking because apparently it simply doesn't exist.

But I should ask, is it your contention that Round-up has no effect on p450 enzymes? Surely out of the 600 reductionist studies you have up your sleeve, you can post that one to me?

So you are willing to cite non-holistic, reductionist, non-systematic studies when you mistakenly think it supports a problem with roundup but deny them when it doesn't. All the flim-flam about holism and the other vague concepts is just a smokescreen for cherry picking.

There is no evidence that roundup is a problem, none at all. The anti-gmo crowd had the facilities, money and opportunity to do the type of study you want, just ask yourself why they didn't do such a study, it would have been just as easy as getting the science wrong.

Red Baron Farms
6th July 2013, 02:02 PM
So you are willing to cite non-holistic, reductionist, non-systematic studies when you mistakenly think it supports a problem with roundup but deny them when it doesn't. All the flim-flam about holism and the other vague concepts is just a smokescreen for cherry picking.

There is no evidence that roundup is a problem, none at all. The anti-gmo crowd had the facilities, money and opportunity to do the type of study you want, just ask yourself why they didn't do such a study, it would have been just as easy as getting the science wrong.

Please, no more of your insulting dialogue. I asked you for a study. If you can produce the study I will graciously say thanks. If you can't produce a study (now twice I asked for science not rhetoric) then you are nothing more than an annoying shill.

You couldn't produce a holistic study...ok probably none were done. Huge over site, but it happens. Now I asked you for a simple reductionist study regarding the p450 enzyme family, which you also failed to produce.

I have to wonder what your purpose for posting is. You haven't produced the science I asked for either time, and you are quite defensive when I ask specific questions.

If my child acted the way you are replying to this thread, I would know quite certainly he was either lying or hiding something. So, can you produce the study on the p450 enzyme or not? If you can't, please simply say, "no I can't" and then it is over.

Acleron
6th July 2013, 11:28 PM
Please, no more of your insulting dialogue. I asked you for a study. If you can produce the study I will graciously say thanks. If you can't produce a study (now twice I asked for science not rhetoric) then you are nothing more than an annoying shill.

You couldn't produce a holistic study...ok probably none were done. Huge over site, but it happens. Now I asked you for a simple reductionist study regarding the p450 enzyme family, which you also failed to produce.

I have to wonder what your purpose for posting is. You haven't produced the science I asked for either time, and you are quite defensive when I ask specific questions.

If my child acted the way you are replying to this thread, I would know quite certainly he was either lying or hiding something. So, can you produce the study on the p450 enzyme or not? If you can't, please simply say, "no I can't" and then it is over.

You are the one making the claims, your evidence for those claims are faulty. Your demands for evidence are non-scientific and entirely your own problem, it is not up to me to supply such evidence. You have no problem citing papers that do not comply with your rules as long as they agree with your ideas, that is cherry picking. The bulk of evidence which you claim is invalid shows no evidence for a problem. I suspect that even if a study existed complying with those irrelevant rules then some other vague concept would be brought into play if the results were not to your liking.

I find it interesting that you did not address the reasonable point raised. The pig study could just as easily have been done properly. This type of approach is regular behaviour in pro-homeopathy circles, the work is never executed at a standard that enables proper conclusions. There and here, the suspicion must be that they are either incompetent or they know that done properly the results will not conform to their beliefs. Either way, basing one's opinion on such work will not end well.

Red Baron Farms
7th July 2013, 04:59 AM
Acleron,
Why are you bringing up homeopathy? And why are you saying "I did not address the reasonable point raised. The pig study could just as easily have been done properly."?

I addressed it, conceded the faults in the study, and asked many many times if there was any properly done study of that type with which to compare. It is a simple request but suddenly you began to obfuscate. Which you are still obfuscating by bringing up unrelated nonsense like homeopathy.

Oh and BTW the only claim I personally made was that it affects plant disease, and I backed that up with many scientific studies and can walk you out in the fields if you like. Plants and soil I know, that fits my field of expertise and knowledge. But I am not a doctor or Vet. So when it involves medicine, I ask, so I can improve my knowledge. What I would like to find out is if it affects humans and animals too. So I have ASKED for properly done scientific studies of specific types, IF they were done. IF they were not done, just say so.

Why do I wan't to expand my knowledge in this area? Because I am researching to expand my own personal agricultural project. I have been researching it for over a year and will continue to research it. So if you have some specific studies that I have asked for, I would be exceptionally grateful. If you don't, forget trying to deliberately make it more confusing in order to conceal the truth. That won't work with me. I don't want your rhetoric. I want to see the scientific studies I asked for, if they exist.

PS There is no "rules" to my request. People can comment any way they wish if that is their agenda. My agenda is different than yours. I am not here to talk about glyphosate for some debate points. I am hands on developing something for the real world. So I ask questions not for some silly debate in which you feel you have all the answers predetermined, instead for helping to make sure my project succeeds where others have failed. I want to see those studies and don't care about the results. If the results are positive, post it. If the results are negative, post it. Just don't give me a Mountain Dew, when I ask for a Coke.

Acleron
7th July 2013, 09:37 PM
Acleron,
Why are you bringing up homeopathy? And why are you saying "I did not address the reasonable point raised. The pig study could just as easily have been done properly."?

I addressed it, conceded the faults in the study, and asked many many times if there was any properly done study of that type with which to compare. It is a simple request but suddenly you began to obfuscate. Which you are still obfuscating by bringing up unrelated nonsense like homeopathy.

Oh and BTW the only claim I personally made was that it affects plant disease, and I backed that up with many scientific studies and can walk you out in the fields if you like. Plants and soil I know, that fits my field of expertise and knowledge. But I am not a doctor or Vet. So when it involves medicine, I ask, so I can improve my knowledge. What I would like to find out is if it affects humans and animals too. So I have ASKED for properly done scientific studies of specific types, IF they were done. IF they were not done, just say so.

Why do I wan't to expand my knowledge in this area? Because I am researching to expand my own personal agricultural project. I have been researching it for over a year and will continue to research it. So if you have some specific studies that I have asked for, I would be exceptionally grateful. If you don't, forget trying to deliberately make it more confusing in order to conceal the truth. That won't work with me. I don't want your rhetoric. I want to see the scientific studies I asked for, if they exist.

PS There is no "rules" to my request. People can comment any way they wish if that is their agenda. My agenda is different than yours. I am not here to talk about glyphosate for some debate points. I am hands on developing something for the real world. So I ask questions not for some silly debate in which you feel you have all the answers predetermined, instead for helping to make sure my project succeeds where others have failed. I want to see those studies and don't care about the results. If the results are positive, post it. If the results are negative, post it. Just don't give me a Mountain Dew, when I ask for a Coke.

Its very simple there are very similar approaches to both homeopathy and anti-GMO. Poor research, unsupported conclusions, denial that reductionism achieves results, vague claims of holism, treatment of personal experience to give it higher quality than controlled research, cherry picking by exhibiting such reductionist research according to result rather than quality and demanding more work should be done.

The conclusion from the proper work that has been done is that there is no problem.

Red Baron Farms
8th July 2013, 02:36 AM
Its very simple there are very similar approaches to both homeopathy and anti-GMO. Poor research, unsupported conclusions, denial that reductionism achieves results, vague claims of holism, treatment of personal experience to give it higher quality than controlled research, cherry picking by exhibiting such reductionist research according to result rather than quality and demanding more work should be done.

The conclusion from the proper work that has been done is that there is no problem.

That's where you made a mistake in your assumptions. I am not anti-GMO. Never was. In fact, I am a huge supporter of cis-genomic GE. Secondly I am an organic farmer due to the harm chemical pesticides do to the land, but understand that in some cases there are no other options. That's why I am working on another option in my project. However, Principle 7 from my project: "As organic as possible, while maintaining flexibility to allow non-organic growers to use the methods" So I do have to research the non-organic methods likely to be used and the effect they may have on the system I am developing. So I would be extremely grateful if someone could actually post the studies I have requested, if they were ever done. If they were not done, I have to wonder why not.

So many organic advocates now-a-days are consumer oriented and not supply oriented. So they miss the realities of attempting to supply that quality organic food. When the regulations were drawn up for organic production by the politicians, they of course were more interested in the larger voting block of the organic consumer, and not the organic grower. So that some of the regulations are dogmatic and counter productive. :mad: On the other hand, the more research I do for my own project, the more glaring ineptitude I find in the current body of work on conventional systems. So maybe, just maybe, some of those dogmatic advocates have a part of the truth? It would be nice to actually see science instead of he said she said rhetoric and fighting.

Thirdly I am not anti-reductionism. It has its place as a part of the scientific method. But in any biological system you must also include holism as a part of the scientific method as well. Ignoring the whole is just as grievous an error in science as ignoring the individual parts. As Dynamic so eloquently stated, "The baby in that bathwater is the considerable insight -- often purchased at very high cost -- that complex self-organizing systems, biological systems in particular, tend to feature delicate balances and deeply nuanced interdependencies that cannot easily be appreciated using a purely reductionist approach."

Finally I would like to repeat what I said earlier. If you have the studies I requested, please post them. If you don't, please just say so, instead of this tedious obfuscating.

There is a very simple fundamental principle involved here. Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted only in lieu of more solid evidence, because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims. Now you have sufficiently proved to my satisfaction that the studies I posted are sufficiently limited to be considered no better than anecdotal. So the next step is to show more solid evidence and then the matter is solved. In lieu of more solid evidence though, I can't even consider including Glyphosate in my project, even for the non-organic farmers. It would be unethical. I am certainly not going to simply rely on Monsanto's ethics and assume they properly studied and reported these findings. That's would be very foolish indeed, given Monsanto's track record.

So don't tell me, show me. Were the studies done? (p450 enzyme family & long term holistic systems studies) If so, may I see them?

Dancing David
8th July 2013, 05:51 AM
Thirdly I am not anti-reductionism. It has its place as a part of the scientific method. But in any biological system you must also include holism as a part of the scientific method as well. Ignoring the whole is just as grievous an error in science as ignoring the individual parts.

Yup and when you show us large scale controlled studies of the effect of glyphosate we can talk, I wonder if they use reductionism to study type II diabetes, heart disease and a host of issues. The holism you want is found through reductionism, otherwise you just can't say much. But exercise, diet do effect type ii diabetes as a system, I wonder how they know that?

The pig study was flawed, it needs to be replicated. Move on.

You lasts sentence has no actual basis in fact. Who is ignoring the whole and what did that strawman cost?

The Central Scrutinizer
8th July 2013, 11:55 AM
Who exactly is spraying glyphosate on placenta's and fetuses?

Monsanto executives.

The Central Scrutinizer
8th July 2013, 11:58 AM
I don't KNOW that Round-up causes human disease. I simply am curious there. What I know is that Round-up as part of conventional farming practices causes plant diseases. Especially Fusarium. Every farmer who takes the time to inspect their fields closely knows that. It is also well established scientifically.

Wow. We must have an awful lot of stupid farmers in this country. They spend tons of money on Roundup to give their crops diseases that they wouldn't get if they didn't use Roundup.

:nope:

Acleron
8th July 2013, 12:43 PM
That's where you made a mistake in your assumptions. I am not anti-GMO. Never was. In fact, I am a huge supporter of cis-genomic GE. Secondly I am an organic farmer due to the harm chemical pesticides do to the land, but understand that in some cases there are no other options. That's why I am working on another option in my project. However, Principle 7 from my project: "As organic as possible, while maintaining flexibility to allow non-organic growers to use the methods" So I do have to research the non-organic methods likely to be used and the effect they may have on the system I am developing. So I would be extremely grateful if someone could actually post the studies I have requested, if they were ever done. If they were not done, I have to wonder why not.

So many organic advocates now-a-days are consumer oriented and not supply oriented. So they miss the realities of attempting to supply that quality organic food. When the regulations were drawn up for organic production by the politicians, they of course were more interested in the larger voting block of the organic consumer, and not the organic grower. So that some of the regulations are dogmatic and counter productive. :mad: On the other hand, the more research I do for my own project, the more glaring ineptitude I find in the current body of work on conventional systems. So maybe, just maybe, some of those dogmatic advocates have a part of the truth? It would be nice to actually see science instead of he said she said rhetoric and fighting.

Thirdly I am not anti-reductionism. It has its place as a part of the scientific method. But in any biological system you must also include holism as a part of the scientific method as well. Ignoring the whole is just as grievous an error in science as ignoring the individual parts. As Dynamic so eloquently stated, "The baby in that bathwater is the considerable insight -- often purchased at very high cost -- that complex self-organizing systems, biological systems in particular, tend to feature delicate balances and deeply nuanced interdependencies that cannot easily be appreciated using a purely reductionist approach."

Finally I would like to repeat what I said earlier. If you have the studies I requested, please post them. If you don't, please just say so, instead of this tedious obfuscating.

There is a very simple fundamental principle involved here. Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted only in lieu of more solid evidence, because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims. Now you have sufficiently proved to my satisfaction that the studies I posted are sufficiently limited to be considered no better than anecdotal. So the next step is to show more solid evidence and then the matter is solved. In lieu of more solid evidence though, I can't even consider including Glyphosate in my project, even for the non-organic farmers. It would be unethical. I am certainly not going to simply rely on Monsanto's ethics and assume they properly studied and reported these findings. That's would be very foolish indeed, given Monsanto's track record.

So don't tell me, show me. Were the studies done? (p450 enzyme family & long term holistic systems studies) If so, may I see them?

I've given you the most comprehensive list of references concerning this topic that I know of. If that doesn't suit you then so be it. But if you come back with claims about holism, emergent properties or other nonsense I'll be back to argue.

cosmicaug
10th July 2013, 04:39 AM
Good science involves both holistic and reductionist methods. I don't automatically discount either. I simply posted the study for comment and feedback. That's how we learn.

I don't KNOW that Round-up causes human disease. I simply am curious there. What I know is that Round-up as part of conventional farming practices causes plant diseases. Especially Fusarium. Every farmer who takes the time to inspect their fields closely knows that. It is also well established scientifically.

Huber, D.M., Graham, R.D., 1999. The role of nutrition in crop resistance and tolerance to diseases. In: Rengel, Z. (Ed.), Mineral Nutrition of Crops: Fundamental Mechanisms and Implications. Food Products Press, London, pp. 169–204.

Huber, D.M., Leuck, J.D., Smith,W.C., Christmas, E.P., 2004. Induced manganese deficiency in GM soybeans. In: Northcentral Fert. Extension Conf., Des Moines, IA, November 2004.

Huber,D.M., Cheng,M.W.,Winsor, B.A., 2005. Association of severe Corynespora root rot of soybean with glyphosate-killed giant ragweed. Phytopathology 95, S45.

Johal, G.S., Rahe, J.E., 1984. Effect of soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi on the herbicidal action of glyphosate on bean seedlings. Phytopathology 74, 950–955.

G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber, Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants, Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Kremer, R.J., Donald, P.A., Keaster, A.J.,Minor, H.C., 2000. Herbicide impact on Fusarium spp. and soybean cyst nematode in glyphosate-tolerant soybean. Agron. Abstr., p257.

Kremer, R.J.,Means, N.E., Kim, S.-J., 2005. Glyphosate affects soybean root exudation
and rhizosphere microorganisms. Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem. 85, 1165–1174.

Kremer, R.J., Means, N.E., 2009. Glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crop interactions with rhizosphere microorganisms. Eur. J. Agron. 31, 153–161.

Larson,R.L.,Hill,A.L., Fenwick,A.,Kniss,A.R.,Hanson, L.E.,Miller, S.D., 2006. Influence
of glyphosate on Rhizoctonia and Fusarium root rot in sugar beet. Pest Manag. Sci. 62, 182–192.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., et al., 1987. Effects of glyphosate on Fusarium spp.: its influence on root colonization of weeds, propagule density in the soil, and on crop emergence. Can. J. Microbiol. 33, 354–360.

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., 1992. Herbicide interactions with fungal root pathogens, with special reference to glyphosate. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 30, 579–602.152 G.S. Johal, D.M. Huber / Europ. J. Agronomy 31 (2009) 144–152

Levesque, C.A., Rahe, J.E., Eaves,D.M., 1993. Fungal colonization of glyphosate treated seedlings using a new root plating technique. Mycol. Res. 97, 299–306.

Liu, L., Punja, Z.K., Rahe, J.E., 1997. Altered root exudation and suppression of induced lignification as mechanisms of predisposition by glyphosate of beanroots (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to colonization by Pythium spp. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 51,111–127.

McCay-Buis, T.S., 1998. Ramifications of microbial interactions conditioning take-all of wheat. Ph.D. Thesis. Purdue University,West Lafayette, Indiana.

Mekwatanakarn, P., Sivasithamparam, K., 1987. Effect of certain herbicides on soil
microbial populations and their influence on saprophytic growth in soil and pathogenicity of the take-all fungus. Biol. Fertil. Soils 5, 175–180.


But plant diseases and human disease are immensely different. So I don't automatically link the two. If there is a linkage, it is too complicated for me to figure out.

BTW It is my understanding that using high concentrations is an accepted scientific methodology. AND tests of chicken manure in some cases have shown glyphosate/AMPA concentrations at 0.36-0.75 parts per million (ppm), higher than the normal herbicidal application rate of about 0.5 ppm/acre. So it is possible to get higher concentrations of glyphosate in the environment than even directly spraying. That's why Monsanto is no longer legally able to call their product biodegradable as they once did, or any number of other false and misleading claims. Depending on the conditions it can persist and build up to quite high levels.

Attorney General of the State of New York.
Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
Environmental Protection Bureau.
1996.

In the matter of Monsanto Company, respondent.
Assurance of discontinuance pursuant to executive law § 63(15).
New York, NY, Nov.

False Advertising by Monsanto Regarding the Safety of Roundup Herbicide (Glyphosate)

Just jumping in to note that I noticed the name Huber in there with high frequency.

http://www.biofortified.org/2011/02/does-glyphosate-restrict-crop-mineral-uptake/ (http://www.biofortified.org/2011/02/does-glyphosate-restrict-crop-mineral-uptake/)

By the way, the review at dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf302436u disagrees with you.


ETA: By the way, I find it in no way surprising that a herbicide would enhance the susceptibility of various plants to fungal pathogens since it's supposed to kill or weaken plants (and weakened or dying plants would be expected to be more susceptible --IOW, weak plants are weak). Without going to the work of actually tracking down those references I am going to guess, based on dates, that some of those articles involve studying the effects of glyphosate on glyphosate susceptible plants. That seems to lack relevance to the way glyphosate is used but I could be wrong.

Red Baron Farms
12th July 2013, 05:06 AM
Just jumping in to note that I noticed the name Huber in there with high frequency.

http://www.biofortified.org/2011/02/does-glyphosate-restrict-crop-mineral-uptake/ (http://www.biofortified.org/2011/02/does-glyphosate-restrict-crop-mineral-uptake/)

By the way, the review at dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf302436u disagrees with you.


ETA: By the way, I find it in no way surprising that a herbicide would enhance the susceptibility of various plants to fungal pathogens since it's supposed to kill or weaken plants (and weakened or dying plants would be expected to be more susceptible --IOW, weak plants are weak). Without going to the work of actually tracking down those references I am going to guess, based on dates, that some of those articles involve studying the effects of glyphosate on glyphosate susceptible plants. That seems to lack relevance to the way glyphosate is used but I could be wrong.

You have it partly correct. Weakened plants do have more susceptibility to disease, and yes most will eventually die. In fact many herbicides actually work by weakening the plants and it is the diseases that perform the Coup de grâce. But one effect that is happening is many diseases then end up attacking the crop that remains. This is because the balance of the microbes in the soil become unbalanced. Generally in soil the beneficial microbes associated with the biological decay process have the upper hand and will out compete the pathogens. Nearly every plant on the planet evolved with a host of microbes in a mutualistic symbiosis.

However you have a few things going on in a conventional Ag field, the beneficial microbes are being selected against by the use of salt based ferts that bypass their function, and the disease microbes are being selected for by the herbicide use (weakening the weeds and providing a perfect breeding ground). The conventional solution is of course to then use things like fungicides, which further throw off the balance in the local soil biome. Many of the negative impacts seen are not directly the result of glyphosate, but instead an unexpected emergent side effect due to destroying that balance. That's the primary reason certain plant pathogens like fusarium are on the rise in spite of the new more aggressive methods being used to try and reduce it.

Here is a link to some interesting scientific work being in this area of soil science. Of course I have been taking advantage of this effect for over 30 years, and the basics were known by the originators of organic agriculture as early as the 1930's. It was after all soil scientists and botanists that originally developed organic agriculture around ~1940+/- in the first place.

Fighting Microbes with Microbes (http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33703/title/Fighting-Microbes-with-Microbes/)

!Kaggen
12th July 2013, 11:17 PM
Yip and we are catching on slowly that probiotics are the way forward
Animal guts and plant roots have absorption roles for nutrient uptake and converge in harboring large, complex, and dynamic groups of microbes that participate in degradation or modification of nutrients and other substances. Gut and root bacteria reg- ulate host gene expression, provide metabolic capabilities, essential nutrients, and protection against pathogens, and seem to share evolutionary trends. http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3536091/pdf/zam2.pdf

!Kaggen
31st August 2013, 12:59 AM
Abstract
The use of glyphosate modifies the environment which stresses the living microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to determine the real impact of gly-
phosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. The presented results evidence that the highly pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella
Entritidis, Salmonella, Gallinarum, Salmonella, Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate. However, most of beneficial bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis , Enterococcus faecium , Bacillus badius , Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lacto- bacillus spp. were found to be moderate to highly suscep-tible. Also Campylobacter spp. were found to be susceptible to glyphosate. A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community. Also, the toxicity of glyphosate to the most prevalent Enterococcus spp. could be a significant predisposing factor that is asso-ciated with the increase in C. botulinum -mediated diseases by suppressing the antagonistic effect of these bacteria on clostridia.

http://www.netwerkvlv.nl/downloads/2012-Krueger,%20M-glyphosate%20effects.pdf

Dymanic
31st August 2013, 07:06 AM
http://www.netwerkvlv.nl/downloads/2012-Krueger,%20M-glyphosate%20effects.pdf"Most of tested pathogenic bacteria were highly resistant to glyphosate; however, most of tested beneficial bacteria were found to be moderate to highly susceptible."

Man, what were the odds?

Put another way (and accepting at face value the accuracy of those results), what specific properties differentiate "pathogenic bacteria" from "beneficial bacteria", and how might those properties influence the way glyphosate acts upon them? Given that: "The mature microbiota profile varies considerably along the length of the GIT and may be specific to animal species and individuals", what metric is used to make the distinction between "pathogenic" and "beneficial" (particularly given that: "The microbiota of the GIT of domestic animals consists of a balanced composition of facultative and obligatory anaerobic bacteria")?

!Kaggen
31st August 2013, 11:10 AM
"Most of tested pathogenic bacteria were highly resistant to glyphosate; however, most of tested beneficial bacteria were found to be moderate to highly susceptible."

Man, what were the odds?

Put another way (and accepting at face value the accuracy of those results), what specific properties differentiate "pathogenic bacteria" from "beneficial bacteria", and how might those properties influence the way glyphosate acts upon them? Given that: "The mature microbiota profile varies considerably along the length of the GIT and may be specific to animal species and individuals", what metric is used to make the distinction between "pathogenic" and "beneficial" (particularly given that: "The microbiota of the GIT of domestic animals consists of a balanced composition of facultative and obligatory anaerobic bacteria")?

If humans have 100 trillion bacteria living on/in them then we can assume chickens have similar amounts. These outnumber the pathogens somewhat most of the time so we can presume that pathogens are rare. So it's not that surprising is it that a small amount of species are resistant.

Dymanic
31st August 2013, 01:25 PM
If humans have 100 trillion bacteria living on/in them then we can assume chickens have similar amounts. These outnumber the pathogens somewhat most of the time so we can presume that pathogens are rare. So it's not that surprising is it that a small amount of species are resistant.
Well, but it's not always a trivial matter to drop a particular strain of bacteria into one of two categories labelled "pathogenic" and "beneficial". Right? There is a gradient from mutualism to commensalism to amensalism to parasitism, and while there are some bacteria that are never beneficial, some may interact with a particular host in a particular way under some circumstances yet behave in an entirely different manner under others. I didn't see where they spelled out the criteria they were using to make the distinction (not that that means it's not there; I admit I just gave it a somewhat brief once-over).