There are plenty of indications suggesting that the evidence-based paradigm across sciences is built on quicksand, having been largely bought and paid for by many major multinational corporations.Nowhere is this more evident than in the chemical industry, where pesticide companies posing as “biotechnology” firms specializing in genetics have peddled their wares based on seriously flawed science from the very beginning.Increasing numbers of scientists are now speaking out in objection to the rampant scientific misconduct muddling the field. Public mistrust in scientists and the corporations that pay them is also on the rise—and rightfully so. Conflicts of interest have become the norm within virtually all fields of science, which creates a completely unworkable situation in the long run.Our society is largely built on the idea that science can help us make good, solid decisions. But now we’re facing a world so rife with problems caused by the very sciences that were supposed to keep us healthy, safe, and productive, it’s quite clear that we’re heading toward more than one proverbial brick wall.In a sense, the fundamental role of science itself has been hijacked for selfish gain. Looking back, you can now see that the preferred business model of an industry was created first, followed by “scientific evidence” that supports the established business model.The injection of industry employees into every conceivable branch of government has led to insanely detrimental health and environmental policies, and the generally accepted idea that scientific integrity is somehow an unassailable fact has allowed the scam to continue for as long as it has. Good old fashioned gangster tactics have also kept the spiel going.
Silencing Scientific Dissent
The featured Corbett Report above and a recent article in The New Yorker1 both discuss the less-than-honorable methods used by industry to silence dissenters—especially scientists whose research doesn’t jibe with preconceived industry decisions.Corbett discusses the case of Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues; French researchers who, in 2012, published the first-ever lifetime feeding study2assessing the health risks of genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready corn (NK603). The findings, published in Elsevier’s peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, were a bombshell.Rats fed a type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems, including early death. Some of the tumors weighed in at 25 percent of the rat’s total body weight.The study was, and still is, among the best evidence of the toxic effects of GE foods. It was also some of the strongest evidence to date that we really need to exercise the precautionary principle and avoid these foods.The longest industry-led feeding study was 90 days long—a far cry from two years. Of utmost importance, Séralini’s study showed that the major onslaught of diseases really set in during the 13th month of the experiment, although tumors and severe liver and kidney damage did emerge as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.Still, the industry-funded studies simply didn’t evaluate the health effects of their wares long enough for problems to be detected. And based on that, they’re marketed as safe.
What Séralini’s Research Means in the Big Scheme of Things
The average lifespan of a rat is two to three years. Humans live around 80 years, so we will notice these effects in animals long before we see them in humans. What do you think the effects might be if you feed your child GE foods from day one (yes, many commercial infant formulas even contain GE ingredients) IF the health effects are anything like those found by Séralini?If 24 months of a rat’s life equates to about 80 years of your child’s, the 13-month mark would be somewhere in your child’s early to mid-40s… GMOs have only been on the market in mass quantities for about a decade. If the effects are as dramatic and as dire as Séralini’s research suggests, then we still have aboutthree decades to go before the jig is up and the effects become apparent, en masse, more or less all at once, in the general population.GMOs are a long-range gamble, and the pesticide industry is gambling that they won’t have to deal with the fallout once it occurs. Since the publication of Séralini’s 2012 paper, mounting research suggests that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, may be to blame for many of the health problems associated with GE foods, although in the Séralini study, the adverse effects were equally dramatic in rats fed GE maize grown without Roundup.