Farm Press Blog

More GMO-bashing, but as usual the other side gets short shrift in media


A French study reporting that mice that ate genetically modified corn sprayed with glyphosate — or drank water with glyphosate levels similar to that in U.S. tap water — were much more likely to die, and to die younger is the latest we’re-all-being-poisoned-the-sky-is-falling scenario from those those who would have agriculture revert to mules and manure — and certainly is nothing new in France, where opposition to GMOs has been a cause célèbre from Day 1.

In U.S. publications, the business magazine Forbes had an online article, “Scientists smell a rat in fraudulent genetic engineering study,” that cites, among other things, “methodologically flawed, irrelevant, uninterpretable — but over-interpreted — experiments intended to demonstrate harm from genetically engineered plants and the herbicide glyphosate” by the French microbiologist who was the lead researcher.

The author of the Forbes report, Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, lists numerous flaws in the study, conflicts of interest, and other problems.

“(These) experiments show that he [the French researcher] has crossed the line from merely performing and reporting flawed experiments to committing gross scientific misconduct and attempting fraud,” Miller writes.

“There is so much wrong with the experimental design that the conclusion is inescapable that the investigators intended to get a spurious, preordained result.”

There is no question, Miller writes, that the publication of the study “was a well-planned and cleverly orchestrated media event … designed to produce exactly the false result that was observed and was deliberately allowed to continue until large, grotesque tumors developed.” The conduct of the study, including the treatment of the animals, “raises serious ethical concerns and questions of scientific misconduct,” Miller writes.

See Miller’s article here:

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