Global Climate Change Influence Of The Scientific Community Assignment

Question Description

Section 1

A. Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt once said “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see." Discuss at least two common denialist strategies are reflected in these statements?

[Note: Current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has been in the news much less than Pruitt, but the views of both are quite similar].

B. An additional claim of climate deniers is that “climate has always been changing.” How has climate changed since 1800 (indicate conditions at 3-4 time points during this period)? How do these changes compare with historical patterns over the last ~ 1,000,000 years? Over the last 10,000-20,000 years? Has the rate of global temperature change been linear since 1800? List and briefly describe 5 measurable effects on climate (in addition to temperature per se) that have occurred over the last ~50 years. (Note: “briefly describe” = a couple of meaty sentences).

Section 2

This question is based on a Wikipedia article about the “Seralini affair”, as well as the original 2012 Seralini article (retracted) and the journal editor’s retraction. All of these are available in the Blackboard GMO folder.

A. Summarize the findings of Seralini’s journal article.

B. How was this article “rolled out,” that is, how was it presented to the public and the scientific community?

C. Why was the paper retracted?

D. A. Wallace Hayes was the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicol. Based on Seralini's earlier publications, sources of funding, etc., do you agree/disagree with Hayes when he wrote: “Dr. Séralini deserves the benefit of the doubt that this unreliable conclusion was reached in honest error.” Why? Whatever stance you take, you must back up your arguments with evidence.

E. What similarities are there between this incident and the Wakefield MMR-autism paper?

*Journal Editors Retraction is the attachment without the (2012) parenthesis and the original retraction is the one with (2012) parenthesiséralini_affair

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 65, March 2014, Pages 394–395 Reply to letter to the editor Editor in Chief of Food and Chemical Toxicology answers questions on retraction • A. Wallace Hayes (Editor-in-Chief) Show more Get rights and content Under a Creative Commons license Open Access Refers To • A. Rosanoff • • Letter to the Editor Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 65, March 2014, Page 389 • o PDF (154 K) Referred to by • Marcel Roberfroid • • Letter to the editor Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 66, April 2014, Page 385 • 1 o PDF (242 K) In November 2012, this journal published an article titled “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by Séralini et al. (2012). The publication of this article caused quite a stir in the media, as well as in the scientific community. The journal received many letters expressing concerns about the validity of the findings. A careful and time-consuming analysis found that the data were inconclusive, and therefore the conclusions described in the article were unreliable. Accordingly, the article was retracted. Since the public announcement of the retraction, the journal has received many letters to the editor; a selection of these letters will be published, along with this response to those letters. Many of these letters expressed concerns about the decision making process behind this action, particularly what role (if any) current or former Monsanto employees played, whether or not COPE guidelines were followed, and if the journal was also considering retraction of a similar paper by Hammond et al. (2004). The answers to these questions are below. The membership of the editorial board is composed of academic, government, and industrial scientists. Contrary to what has been suggested by some, the appointment of Professor Richard Goodman, University of Nebraska, as an Associate Editor was not influenced by Monsanto or any other party. Members of the editorial board are chosen based on their expertise as toxicologists/ scientists. It is the goal of this journal to have a variety of different viewpoints. In this case, as in other cases, I as Editor-in-Chief listened to as wide and diverse a set of expertise as possible. To wit, Professor Goodman, along with other members of the editorial board was involved in initial discussions of the Séralini paper and the request to view raw data. When the request was made to Dr. Séralini to review the raw data, the journal suggested to Dr. Séralini that all parties involved sign a confidentiality agreement. This confidentiality agreement was designed to protect Dr. Séralini and his data so that it was (A) not viewed by anyone he did not want to view his data and (B) that it would not go beyond the people he agreed would review the raw data. Not initially, but during the process, Dr. Séralini made a direct request that Professor Goodman be excluded, and we at FCT readily and quickly agreed. It is understandable that Dr. Goodman’s involvement, however small, might be cause for concern for some. However, the decision to retract the paper was mine alone, made by me exclusively and not by a vote of the editorial board. Further, when Dr. Séralini asked for Dr. Goodman’s involvement to stop, I agreed, fully and promptly. The Monsanto Company did write a letter to the editor regarding this article, and it was published along with a number of other letters to the editor (Hammond et al., 2013); neither the company nor any of their scientists put any pressure on the Editor-in-Chief regarding this matter. A second concern that has been raised is whether this retraction follows the COPE guidelines. The COPE guidelines were consulted when making this decision. According to the COPE guidelines, “Journal editors should consider retracting a publication if … they have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).” (COPE, 2009). The retraction statement could have been clearer, and should have referred to the relevant COPE guidelines. The data are inconclusive, therefore the claim (i.e., conclusion) that Roundup Ready maize NK603 and/or the Roundup herbicide have a link to cancer is unreliable. Dr. Séralini deserves the benefit of the 2 doubt that this unreliable conclusion was reached in honest error. The review of the data made it clear that there was no misconduct. However, to be very clear, it is the entire paper, with the claim that there is a definitive link between GMO and cancer that is being retracted. Dr. Séralini has been very vocal that he believes his conclusions are correct. In our analysis, his conclusions cannot be claimed from the data presented in this article. At this point it is very important to state that the retraction does not reflect or impact the journal’s view on GMOs or associated organizations. Our journal would, in fact, very much welcome the opportunity to review follow-up studies that have a greater sample size, a finetuned method, and proper controls. We are also actively searching and recruiting people to provide a balance view on this topic to serve on the editorial board. Finally, the letters post-retraction have questioned whether an earlier study done by Monsanto received different treatment from our journal. This article was published in 2004, well before I became Editor-in-Chief. However, I take the issue seriously and have reviewed this paper in detail. The Hammond et al. article was a 13 week feeding study performed in rats feed grain from Roundup Ready corn which is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate (Hammond et al., 2004). The authors reported the following: “Purina TestDiets formulated Roundup Ready corn grain into rodent diets at levels of 11 and 33% (w/w). The responses of rats fed diets containing Roundup Ready corn grain were compared to that of rats fed diets containing non-transgenic grain (controls). All diets were nutritionally balanced and conformed to Purina Mills, Inc. specifications for Certified Lab Diet 5002. There were 400 rats in the study divided into 10 groups of 20 rats/sex/group. Overall health, body weight, food consumption, clinical pathology parameters (hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis), organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were comparable between groups fed diets containing Roundup Ready and control corn grain… This study complements extensive agronomic, compositional and farm animal feeding studies with Roundup Ready corn grain, confirming it is as safe and nutritious as existing commercial corn hybrids.” The authors also stated “The study design was adapted from OECD Guideline No. 408 (1981) and the study was reported to have been conducted in general compliance with OECD Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) guidelines at the Metabolism and Safety Evaluation-Newstead, toxicology laboratory.” In accordance with OECD Guideline No. 408 (OECD, 2009a), the Hammond et al. study was limited to 90 days and used 20 rats/sex/group, and was conducted in general compliance with OECD Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) guidelines, as previously stated. The Séralini et al. study ran for two (2) years with only 10 rats/sex/group and was reported to be done in a GLP environment according to OECD guidelines (which guideline is not explicitly stated in the paper). Séralini et al. state that they had “had no reason to settle at first for a carcinogenesis protocol using 50 rats per group,” as recommended in OECD Nos. 451 and 453 (guidelines for Carcinogenicity Studies and Combined Chronic Toxicity/Carcinogenicity Studies, respectively) (OECD, 2009a and OECD, 2009b), and instead seem to have opted for 10 rats/sex/group as recommended by OECD No. 408 (guidelines for Repeated Dose 90-day Oral Toxicity Study in Rodents). While the number of animals used may have been sufficient to reach conclusions regarding oral toxicity, it proved insufficient for conclusions related to the carcinogenicity of the test substances. 3 In conclusion, FCT has retracted this article because our thorough investigations revealed that its methods were scientifically flawed. The low number of animals, and the strain selected, rendered the conclusions unreliable. No definitive conclusions could be drawn from the inconclusive data. Therefore, in accordance with both the COPE guidelines and the journal policy, it was necessary to take this action of retracting the article. References o o o o o o o COPE, 2009 COPE, 2009. Retraction guidelines. Hammond et al., 2004 B. Hammond, R. Dudek, J. Lemen, M. Nemeth Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn Food Chem. Toxicol., 42 (2004), pp. 1003–1014 Article PDF (470 K) View Record in Scopus Citing articles (73) 2. o o o o o Hammond et al., 2013 B. Hammond, D.A. Goldstein, D. Saltmiras Response to original research article, ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’ Food Chem. Toxicol., 53 (2013), pp. 459–464 Article PDF (241 K) View Record in Scopus Citing articles (2) 3. o o OECD, 2009a OECD, 2009a. OECD Guideline for the Testing of Chemicals. 4. o o OECD, 2009b OECD, 2009b. Combined Chronic Toxicity Carcinogenicity Studies. 5. o o Séralini et al., 2012 G.-E. Séralini, E. Clair, R. Mesnage, S. Gress, N. Defarge, M. Malatesta, D. Hennequin, J.S. de Vendômois o Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize Food Chem. Toxicol., 50 (2012), pp. 4221–4231 o o Article PDF (2286 K) View Record in Scopus Citing articles (123) Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. 4 Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (2012) 4221–4231 Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect Food and Chemical Toxicology journal homepage: Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize c University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Risk Pole, MRSH-CNRS, EA 2608, Esplanade de la Paix, Caen Cedex 14032, France University of Verona, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, Verona 37134, Italy University of Caen, UR ABTE, EA 4651, Bd Maréchal Juin, Caen Cedex 14032, France a r t i c l e i n f o Article history: Received 11 April 2012 Accepted 2 August 2012 Available online 19 September 2012 The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences. Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license. ET R Keywords: GMO Roundup NK603 Rat Glyphosate-based herbicides Endocrine disrupting effects a b s t r a c t TE b AC a D Gilles-Eric Séralini a,⇑, Emilie Clair a, Robin Mesnage a, Steeve Gress a, Nicolas Defarge a, Manuela Malatesta b, Didier Hennequin c, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois a 1. Introduction R There is an ongoing international debate as to the necessary length of mammalian toxicity studies in relation to the consumption of genetically modified (GM) plants including regular metabolic analyses (Séralini et al., 2011). Currently, no regulatory authority requests mandatory chronic animal feeding studies to be performed for edible GMOs and formulated pesticides. However, several studies consisting of 90 day rat feeding trials have been conducted by the biotech industry. These investigations mostly concern GM soy and maize that are rendered either herbiAbbreviations: GM, genetically modified; R, Roundup; MRL, maximal residual levels; GMO, genetically modified organism; OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; GT, glutamyl-transferase; PCA, principal component analysis; PLS, partial least-squares; OPLS, orthogonal partial least-squares; NIPALS, Nonlinear Iterative Partial Least Squares; OPLS-DA, Orthogonal Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis; G, glycogen; L, lipid droplet; N, nucleus; R, rough endoplasmic reticulum (on microscopy pictures only); U, urinary; UEx, excreted in urine during 24 h; APPT, Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time; MCV, Mean Corpuscular Volume; PT, Prothrombine Time; RBC, Red Blood Cells; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; MCHC, Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration; A/G, Albumin/Globulin ratio; WBC, White Blood Cells; AST, aspartate aminotransferase. ⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 (0)231565684; fax: +33 (0)231565320. E-mail address: (G.-E. Séralini). 0278-6915 Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license. cide tolerant (to Roundup (R) in 80% of cases), or engineered to produce a modified Bt toxin insecticide, or both. As a result these GM crops contain new pesticide residues for which new maximal residual levels (MRL) have been established in some countries. If the petitioners conclude in general that there is no major change in genetically modified organism (GMO) subchronic toxicity studies (Domingo and Giné Bordonaba, 2011; Hammond et al., 2004, 2006a,b), significant disturbances have been found and may be interpreted differently (Séralini et al., 2009; Spiroux de Vendômois et al., 2010). Detailed analyses have revealed alterations in kidney and liver functions that may be the signs of early chronic diet intoxication, possibly explained at least in part by pesticide residues in the GM feed (Séralini et al., 2007; Spiroux de Vendômois et al., 2009). Indeed, it has been demonstrated that R concentrations in the range of 103 times below the MRL induced endocrine disturbances in human cells (Gasnier et al., 2009) and toxic effects thereafter (Benachour and Seralini, 2009), including in vivo (Romano et al., 2012). After several months of consumption of an R-tolerant soy, the liver and pancreas of mice were affected, as highlighted by disturbances in sub-nuclear structure (Malatesta et al., 2008a, 2002a,b). Furthermore, this toxic effect was reproduced by the application of R herbicide directly to hepatocytes in culture (Malatesta et al., 2008b). G.-E. Séralini et al. / Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (2012) 4221–4231 views on GMOs (Domingo and Giné Bordonaba, 2011; Snell et al., 2011) we had no reason to settle at first for a carcinogenesis protocol using 50 rats per group. However we have prolonged the biochemical and hematological measurements or disease status recommended in combined chronic studies using 10 rats per group (up to 12 months in OECD 453). This remains the highest number of rats regularly measured in a standard GMO diet study. We have tested also for the first time 3 doses (rather than two in the usual 90 day long protocols) of the R-tolerant NK603 GM maize alone, the GM maize treated with R, and R alone at very low environmentally relevant doses starting below the range of levels permitted by regulatory authorities in drinking water and in GM feed. 2.1. Ethics D 2. Materials and methods The experimental protocol was conducted in accordance with the regulations of our ethics in an animal care unit authorized by the French Ministries of Agriculture and Research (Agreement Number A35-288-1). Animal experiments were performed according to ethical guidelines of animal experimentations (CEE 86/609 regulation). Concerning field studies of plant species, no specific permits were required, nor for the locations/activities. The maize grown (MON-00603-6 commonly named NK603) was authorized for unconfined release into the environment and use as a livestock feed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Decision Document 2002-35). We confirm that the location is not privately-owned or protected in any way and that the field studies did not involve endangered or protected species. The GM maize was authorized for import into the European Union (CE 258/97 regulation). R AC Since then, long-term and multi-generational animal feeding trials have been performed with some possibly providing evidence of safety, while others conclude on the necessity of further investigations because of metabolic modifications (Snell et al., 2011). However, none of these studies have included a detailed followup of the animals with up to 11 blood and urine samples over 2 years, and none has investigated the NK603 R-tolerant maize. Furthermore, toxicity evaluation of herbicides is generally performed on mammalian physiology through the long-term study of only their active principle, rather than the formulation used in agriculture, as was the case for glyphosate (Williams et al., 2000), the active herbicide constituent of R. It is important to note that glyphosate is only able to efficiently penetrate target plant organisms with the help of adjuvants present in the various commercially used R formulations (Cox, 2004). When R residues are found in tap water, food or feed, they arise from the total herbicide formulation, which is the most commonly used mixture in agriculture; indeed many authors in the field have strongly emphasized the necessity of studying the potential toxic effects of total chemical mixtures rather than single components (Cox and Surgan, 2006; Mesnage et al., 2010; Monosson, 2005). Even adjuvants and not only glyphosate or other active ingredients are found in ground water (Krogh et al., 2002), and thus an exposure to the diluted whole formulation is more representative of an environmental pollution than the exposure to glyphosate alone in order to study health effects. With a view to address this lack of information, we have performed a 2 year detailed rat feeding study. The actual guideline 408 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was followed by some manufacturers for GMOs even if it was not designed for that purpose. We have explored more parameters and more frequently than recommended in this standard (Table 1) in a long-term experiment. This allowed us to follow in details potential health effects and their possible origins due to the direct or indirect consequences of the genetic modification itself in GMOs, or due to the formulated herbicide mixture used on GMOs (and not glyphosate alone), or both. Because of recent re- TE 4222 2.2. Plants, diets and chemicals The varieties of maize used in this study were the R-tolerant NK603 (Monsanto Corp., USA), and its nearest isogenic non-transgenic control. These two types of maize were grown under similar normal conditions, in the same location, spaced at a sufficient distance to avoid cross-contamination. The genetic nature, as well as the purity of the GM seeds and ...
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Final Answer



Influence of the Scientific Community
Institution Affiliations


Influence of the Scientific Community
Section 1: Denialist Strategies
The climate change remains a controversial debate that has attracted divergent views
exact cause of global warming. Firstly, Former EPA Administrator refutes the claim that point
finger on human contribution to climate change. Scott Pruitt sticks to his stance using a denialist
strategy that opposes popular view regarding human activity and global warming. Former EPA
boss suggests it's challenging to associate human activity on current climate changes. Scott
remarks create controversy that denies or contradicts scientific findings. He seems to develop a
notion suggest the increasing rate of global warming results from various factors, so human
activities should not take the blame for current implications of climate change. Secondly, EPA
administration differs with evidence that suggests human activities are the primary contributor to
global warming. Ironically, his denial statement is more of climate denialism, a strategy used by
a group of manufacturers to challenge climate change science. The denial strategy that rejects the
idea that human activity is the primary contributor to the climate seems to conceal a hidden
Regarding the history of climate change science back in 1800, the mean global
temperature was roughly 13.7 degrees. Additionally, the emission of carbon dioxide gas in the
air was approximately 290 parts per ...

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