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View Diary: First long-term study reveals massive tumors in rats fed GMOs (83 comments)

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  •  Well that is a result not a design error (1+ / 0-)
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    I don't know much about this field but my guess is that the small sample size for each subset (as noted by Andrew Cockburn below) is probably a leading factor.

    "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

    by matching mole on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:15:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It IS a design flaw - if one is looking for (1+ / 0-)
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      matching mole

      a dose response, it behooves one to incorporate an appropriate dose range into the experimental design to observe the hypothesized dose response.

      In this case, a better dose range might have been something like 0.11, 1.1, and 11% (for two reasons, to cover lower than 11% doses to avoid just seeing the maximized response at 11%, plus since hormonal responses are often non-linear, a non-linear dose regimen would have made sense).

      •  I'm not a toxicologist (1+ / 0-)
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        Roadbed Guy

        but from my background (which would be in experimental design in ecology and evolution) that sounds kind of backward.

        If I was designing the study I would use levels that would reflect variation in the population of interest (i.e. human diets).  The low concentration would approximate a diet at the lower end of (western) human consumption of GMOs, the medium concentration, the higher end of human consumption of GMOs, and the high end something higher than that as the high concentration.

        That is more of an ecological experiment - do the concentrations in 'nature' have an effect - if they don't that is data not a design flaw.  From my perspective a lack of a concentration is just a result.

        If the goal of the research is to characterize the effect of concentration then I can see where this is a design flaw.  Like I said, I'm not a toxicologist and the concentration effect (assuming the concentrations spanned normal consumption ranges) wasn't my main focus.

        "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

        by matching mole on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:34:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

          Third paragraph last sentence should say

          'lack of an effect of concentration'

          "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

          by matching mole on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:36:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wikipedia describes the importance of (1+ / 0-)
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          matching mole

          determining dose responses:

          Studying dose response, and developing dose response models, is central to determining "safe" and "hazardous" levels and dosages for drugs, potential pollutants, and other substances to which humans or other organisms are exposed. These conclusions are often the basis for public policy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed extensive guidance and reports on dose-response modeling and assessment, as well as software[2].
          As far as what is a realistic human dose of GM maize - I suspect that it would be far less than 33% (or 11%, for that matter) of the food an average person eats (unless they only ate corn chips, or that type of thing).

          To my knowledge, the overwhelming intake of GM corn comes in the form of HFCS - which is a highly processed, refined product.  IOW, all of the proteins, other small molecule metabolites, etc deriving from the corn has been removed - very literally making it irrelevant whether the HFCS came pristine heritage varieties of corn or the most evil strain that Monsanto has ever dreamed up.

          Having said that, the HFCS itself is undoubtably the most damaging chemical substance that the American population is now exposed to.  And ironically, the dosing is all self-inflicted!

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