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Project News and Views

Ithaca Event: Lawyer Steven Druker introduces his new book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

On Wednesday, September 30th from 7-9pm, the Bioscience Resource Project is hosting an event featuring lawyer Steven Druker from the Alliance for Bio-Integrity. Steven Druker will introduce and answer questions about his new book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.Altered Genes-Twisted Tuth Steven Druker

After Steven Druker’s talk, there will be refreshments and a chance to talk to him, as well as to local non-profits working on healthy, sustainable and just food system alternatives. Biologists Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson will be representing The Bioscience Resource Project and Independent Science News. Visit these and other information tables before and after the main event. Buffalo Street Books will be selling copies of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.

Time and Place:
The Unitarian Church in Ithaca, NY, on the corner of Aurora and Buffalo Streets.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6:30pm). This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

More about Steven Druker and Altered Genes Twisted Truth:
Steven Druker is the person whose lawsuit obtained early biotech regulatory discussions from within the FDA, revealing that FDA suppressed warnings by its own scientists. He also uncovered information that the rats fed FlavrSavr tomatoes, the first ever GMO crop, had unexplained stomach lesions. His important book reveals the failure of the U.S. to regulate GMOs and the unscientific nature of GMO proponents’ claims that genetic engineering is safe, precise and predictable. Early concerns of scientists about dangers inherent in the genetic engineering process and release or escape of GMOs were quickly suppressed and a false consensus on GMO safety was claimed. Altered Genes Twisted Truth documents how this process started in the the 1970s and continues today.

Without doubt, one of the most important books of the last 50 years. I shall urge everyone I know who cares about life on earth, and the future of their children, and children’s children, to read it. . . . Steven Druker is a hero. He deserves at least a Nobel Prize.”–Jane Goodall, Ph.D. (from the Foreword)

Steven Druker has written a great book that could well be a milestone in the endeavor to establish a scientifically sound policy on genetically engineered foods. The evidence is comprehensive, clear, and compelling; and its credibility is irrefutable. No one has documented other cases of irresponsible behavior by government regulators and the scientific establishment nearly as well as Druker documents this one. His book should be widely read and thoroughly heeded.”–John Ikerd, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri – Columbia

The examination of genetic engineering from the standpoint of software engineering is especially insightful, exposing how the former is more like a ‘hackathon’ than a careful, systematic methodology for revising complex information systems. I will recommend this book to my friends.”–Thomas J. McCabe, developer of the cyclomatic complexity software metric.

Steven Druker’s meticulously researched book pieces together the deeply disturbing and tremendously important history of the intertwined science and politics of GMOs. Understanding this ongoing struggle is a key to understanding science in the modern world.”–Allison Wilson, PhD molecular geneticist, Science Director, The Bioscience Resource Project

Download PRESS RELEASE  or POSTER for Steven Druker’s Ithaca Event.

See Also:

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth reviewed by Jane Goodall in the Ecologist on 26th March 2015 at: http://www.theecologist.org/reviews/2782286/altered_genes_twisted_truth.html

Sustainable Pulse review: Jane Goodall and Steven Druker Expose US Government Fraud over GMOs

BioEngineering is Biohacking by Steven Druker: http://bioscienceresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BioEngineering-is-Biohacking_Druker-Lecture-Description.pdf

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The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out)

Independent Science News has just published a revelatory new article by Jonathan Latham, PhD: “The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out).

Synopsis: Earlier this year, a US group called US Right to Know (USRTK) set in motion Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests directed at public university scientists it suspected of working with (and being paid by) the biotech industry and/or its PR intermediaries. A new front page article (NY Times Sept 5th) by Eric Lipton reports on similar FOIA emails obtained from University of Florida professor Kevin Folta and others. However, Lipton’s focus on individual academics like Folta obscures the fact that the emails (some available online as links to the NYT article) expose a vast network of academics employed by industry to promote GMOs and defend them from scientific criticism. Also missing Read More »

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Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs

Independent Science News has published a new article by Jonathan Latham, PhD., the Executive director of The Bioscience Resource Project: Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs.

Synopsis in Jonathan Latham’s own words: I am a scientist who once made and used GMO crops for research. Twenty years of experience has taught me important lessons about them. One concerns the lack of scientific integrity of GMO risk assessments. Careful study of the documents shows that applicants (mostly companies) are gaming the system in numerous and interesting ways; at the same time, government regulators are allowing them to do so. None of this would matter if GMOs were inherently safe, but they are not. They even have dangers that are rarely discussed, but which should be more widely known. These two understandings have led me to conclude that no GMO currently on the market would pass an honest risk assessment, even by the rather low standards that most national regulations and laws require.

Read the entire article at: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/growing-doubt-a-scientists-experience-of-gmos/

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GMO panel event September 10, 2015

Event updates available now. CANCELLED but NOW REARRANGED FOR THE UNITARIAN CHURCH on the same date and time: Thurs 10th Sept, 6pm. (See links in this text to keep updated on the event and the issues). Jonathan Latham will be discussing this event, the Cornell Alliance for Science, and the incredible GMO propaganda machine on Tuesday 9/8/2015 at 4:30pm on WRFI (88.1 FM). Also, earlier the same day with Jim Murphy at 7:25-8am. Keep up with the evolving story at http://bsr.wpengine.com/greenstars-gmo-event/.

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GMO Health Risks — Financial Conflicts and Suppression Bias Scientific Understanding

Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning, recently published an excellent and data-laden analysis of GMO health risks:

Krimsky, Sheldon. “An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment.” Science, Technology & Human Values (2015): 0162243915598381.

Certain prominent scientists and policymakers claim there is a scientific consensus on GMO safety and call anyone whose opinions differ “anti-science” or a “GMO denier.” Such advocates believe “that genetically modified crops currently in commercial use and those yet to be commercialized are inherently safe for human consumption and do not have to be tested.”

Krimsky uses several methods to critically assesses this claim Read More »

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The Twin Research Debate in American Criminology

New publication: The Twin Research Debate in American Criminology

by Jay Joseph, Claudia Chaufan, Ken Richardson, Doron Shultziner, Roar Fosse, Oliver James, Jonathan Latham, and John Read

Published in Logos (Vol 14) 2015.

Summary: Classical twin research has been one of the most influential research methods in all of biology. Twin research is based on the proposition that human twins can be either monozygotic (genetically identical) or dizygotic (share 50% of their genes) and this genetic difference can be used to infer the magnitude of a putative genetic component contributing to any physical or behavioural trait. Based largely on many thousands of such studies, which usually show that monozygotic twins are significantly more alike than are dizygotic twins, the scientific community at large has concluded that there is a strong genetic component to many human attributes. Characters for which such conclusions have been reached include practically every familiar physical and mental illness (including heart disease, diabetes, Parkinsonism, ADHD, etc.) and also human behaviours such as IQ, voting preferences, and criminality.

The flaw in this logic, which is outlined in this paper, is that this twin methodology makes use of improbable assumptions. Most notable of these is that the environments of monozygotic and dizygotic twins are identical, and in particular that the environments of monozygotic twins are not more alike. This particular assumption is called the equal environment assumption (EEA). This assumption has never been proven. On the contrary, it can clearly be shown to be often false. This casts grave doubt on ALL twin study findings.

The genetic explanations extrapolated from twin studies have almost never been supported by actual positive findings of significant gene variants in human populations (e.g. Manolio et al., 2009). This failure provides another reason to suppose that the twin method is flawed and we propose that this faultiness lies with the equal environment assumption. In other words, the explanation for the higher similarity of monozygotic twins compared to dizygotic ones is not their genes but their more similar environments.

In this paper, we examine the specific flaws in the EEA from the perspective of criminology, but equivalent or identical arguments apply to all twin research. The scientific implication is that most human variation results from environmental variation in physical, chemical, and social factors (or chance) and not from variation between genes or genomes, and that all twin research is effectively worthless. More broadly it also follows that society has been erroneously led by genetic researchers into a genetic determinist mindset that bears little relation to reality.

Manolio T. et al. (2009) Finding the missing heritability of complex diseases. Nature 461: 747-753.

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Neoliberal Ebola: The Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak

Neoliberal Ebola: The Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak by Rob Wallace, PhD has just been published on Independent Science News.

Synopsis: The West African Ebola virus outbreak of 2014/2015 killed over 11,000 people. The outbreak has been assumed in the Western media and elsewhere to be caused by a novel Ebola virus strain. The scientific evidence, however, does not suggest the strain responsible is in anyway unusual. So, if not the virus itself, what else might explain the outbreak?

The regions affected by Ebola are undergoing environmental disruption, social upheaval and often impoverishment as a result of land use changes and “investment.” Funded by European and other international sources, large parts of West Africa are being transformed by landgrabbing, systematic plunder and forest decimation. However, this agroeconomic story has been lost from most media accounts. This is profoundly unfortunate. Not only is it an important story in its own right, it is also a better explanation of the origins of the Ebola outbreak. Equally crucially, it has implications for agriculture and the prevention of future disease outbreaks worldwide.

The author Dr. Rob Wallace is an evolutionary biologist and public health phylogeographer currently visiting the Institute of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Read this important article at: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/neoliberal-ebola-the-agroeconomic-origins-of-the-ebola-outbreak/

For more on the topic see https://farmingpathogens.wordpress.com/

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From DDT to Roundup by Evaggelos Vallianatos

On July 17, 2015, Independent Science News published “Ruthless Power and Deleterious Politics: From DDT to Roundup” a new article by former EPA analyst Evaggelos Vallianatos.

Synopsis: The modern controversy over Roundup (glyphosate) and the
documentation of its effects on humans, animals and soils, has much in common
with that over DDT fifty years ago. In particular, Monsanto recycles standard
industry tactics in its attempts to sideline critics while Read More »

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Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True

Independent Science News has just published “Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True,” an important new article by Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project.

Synopsis: The decision of the restaurant chain Chipotle to go GMO-free is potentially a huge blow to the agbiotech industry. The decision opens up a crack in the previously solid front offered by the food industry in support of GMOs. Two factors are at work that will widen that crack: the growing unpopularity of GMOs and Read More »

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Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation

Independent Science News has just published: Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation an important new article by George Wuerthner, the Ecological Projects Director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology. While the Anthropocene booster agenda opposes wilderness conservation, it is also an attack on public health as well as social and environmental justice movements — including the food movement.

Synopsis: Conservation is under attack. The attack comes from individuals and institutions (described in this article as Anthropocene Boosters, but sometimes referred to as “Neo-greens,” the “New Conservationists,” the “New Environmentalism,” etc.) whose intention is to undermine traditional wildlife conservation Read More »

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