New Scientist on GM Crops

Ken Hanly khanly at
Sun Mar 26 14:11:28 PST 2000

So just how are scientists supposed to show that bacteria are unlikely to pick up and activate bla? How would a properly designed experiment to show this look?

I assume that my water hose has been subjected to over 100 psi and did not break. That is why it is rated as it is. Did the negative result not show anything re the risk of its breaking at pressures considerably below that--mine runs on 40 psi.? I guess we should sue the capitalist manufacturer for engaging in tests that prove nothing since they are only interested in profits not whether our lines will stand 100 psi.

Cheers, Ken Hanly

Chuck Grimes wrote:

> Re-post from Lisa & Ian Murray:
> ..But these negative findings aren't the end of the story, Heritage
> warns. "That doesn't mean there aren't conditions where it might be
> taken up and activated." Next, he plans to test the fate of the bla
> gene when the maize is fed to sheep. (Andy Coghlan)
> Then Carl Remick:
> `... British researchers report having tried and failed ...'
> Pretty much the story of the past century, innit? ;-)
> Carl
> ----------------
> I never know who I am addressing in this comb Lisa or Ian--oh,
> well. Carl R. look at the above and think about it. What's wrong with
> this picture, besides a dig at the Brits? This is indeed a new kind of
> science, and I am thrilled to see it promulgated (see PS for detail)
> My arguments for opposition to GM food are based on its potential
> given US patent law, to facilitate and promote the monopoly practices
> of predatory capitalism and its use as an instrument of US
> imperialism--excuse me, foreign policy.
> In any event, it needs to be pointed out to the worships on the
> committee that a negative finding is indeterminant and non-predictive
> according to the consensus of what qualifies as scientific
> evidence.
> In other words such studies are meaningless, and prove nothing,
> precisely because there was no result.
> This study was too obviously a political/commercially inspired
> charade. No scientist in their right mind would design a experiment
> under the logic that the failure to find a result could be counted as
> a fact of scientific value. Who looks for what probably won't happen?
> On the other hand, this argument can be used by the opponents of GM
> food to claim with absolute certainty, that the absence of evidence of
> risk is not evidence of the absence of risk. This is part of the
> wonder of the non-predictive logic under which the studies and the
> propaganda wars are preceding.
> Chuck Grimes
> PS. If these jerks at Leeds can get funded and published on negative
> results, then my science buddies have reams of negative results that
> need funding. Can you please forward the committee's e-mail and snail
> mail address? If you're worried that word will get out about this gold
> mine, off-list is fine.
> If the committee's into maize, boy we've got almost eleven years worth
> on maize (big into Lazy and Zea mays)--genetics, molecular and cell
> biology, physiology--the works. How about five years on
> arabidopsis--Norvartis should like some of this since they bought the
> lab and grad students over at Koshland. How about something on hydra
> and cyanobacteria? This one has some very classy rejections: DOE, LBL,
> NSF, NIH, NASA. I personally would highly recommend this work to the
> committee in light of its absolute failure to produce any result
> whatsoever. Allow me to quote the glowing remark of one of the
> reviewers at LBL, "What did you expect? That you were going to create
> Life?"
> Trust me, we're ready as soon as they are. God, I can't wait to get
> out of wheelchairs.

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