Why Monsanto's attempt to "disappear" tumours by using historical control data is invalid

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Tom Usher

To illustrate the point by analogy: a small proportion of people who never smoke get lung cancer. If you smoke, your risk of getting lung cancer is about 12 times higher than if you don't smoke. The measurement is called a "relative risk". So even if there were an ethnic group of people with a higher rate of naturally occurring lung cancer, if people in that group smoke, their rate of lung cancer will still increase like that of everyone else.

This is a basic principle of science and it is worrying that attempts are being made by pro-GM lobbyists to override it in the interests of keeping the products of powerful multinational biotechnology companies on the market.

The responsibility now lies with Monsanto to pay for a full 2-year carcinogenicity study on its NK603 maize and the associated pesticide, Roundup. Such a study would, however, have to be carried out, not by industry or its contracted labs, but by independent scientists commissioned by an impartial publicly funded body consisting of a wide range of stakeholders representing the public interest.

In the meantime, NK603 must be immediately withdrawn from the market and all GMOs must be subjected to long-term testing.

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Why Monsanto's attempt to "disappear" tumours by using historical control data is invalid

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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