When Science is Suppressed
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-06-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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When Science is Suppressed
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The WHO says that glyphosate is "probably" carcinogenic.

But, when it made that determination, scientific evidence existed that in fact there was no association between common industrial (e.g. farm worker, etc) exposure to weedkillers containing the chemical and cancer.

None.

The WHO failed to consider this evidence because it was unpublished.  The scientists who didn't publish it claim there was no nefarious intent; that the evidence and study in question was so large (as it covered much more than just glyphosate) that it would not fit in an individual paper.

Note that the National Cancer Institute also knew of the paper, and yet did not disclose separately -- claiming, again, that "space constraints" were why the research was not published.

This was not a small study and in fact was prospective, not simply observational or retrospective.  Further, it was aimed at and studied agricultural workers, who are exposed routinely to this and other chemicals.  That it was sensitive enough to pick up correlations is known since other chemicals, specifically some pesticides, that were also in the study did show links.

There has been a lot of screaming by people over glypohsate and Monsanto in particular when it comes to safety, and now there are a handful of lawsuits claiming that the weedkiller causes lymphoma. The fact is that the scientific evidence says it does not -- agricultural workers take body exposures much higher than residue levels found in food and water, not to mention those who use these weedkillers around their homes and gardens.

I remind you that while observational studies can never prove that something causes an effect they can and do prove that said causal link does not exist.

In other words these studies are only sufficient to support suspicion on the positive side but when they fail to find any correlation they are dispositive on the negative side.

There you have it folks -- while you can argue over glyphosate for various reasons you no longer can make any sort of argument over it being a human carcinogen until and unless you can void these results.

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Oldno7
Posts: 2567
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RECALL STATE USA
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Sounds very similar to the formaldehyde issue I was involved with. The EPA tested and had a couple of rats form nasal tumors when exposed to extreme concentrations of formaldehyde. Our industry supplied medical records going back 50+ years showing there was no correlation between cancer in humans and formaldehyde. We supplied data that would fill a room from floor to ceiling but they ignored the data and placed a ban on the use of urea formaldehyde resins in the manufacture of particleboard. There were other non-UF resins produced but in my testing we showed that when exposed to high humidity these boards lost almost 50% of their flexible strength. And then there is the circus called California and that's another story.

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IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID The US must become less a government of men, and more a government of LAW.When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose they lose it -Gerald Celente
Themortgagedude
Posts: 10273
Incept: 2007-12-17

saint louis
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My parents fan a farm services company. Both have suffered from cancer. His competitors in our area all did as well. I have no scientific evidence. It's all just a guess but I think something from the 1960-1985 era that we were spraying on crops was carcinogenic. And just a guess here as well but I bet you Monsanto does t give a damn.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Tickerguy
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There were other chemicals in that study that did show associative links - specifically, some pesticides.

There have been zero herbicidal agents that, on the science, have shown said links. That's one of the other interesting aspects of this -- glyphosate has been claimed to have carcinogenic effects that none of the other common herbicides studied have demonstrated.

As it turns out the evidence is in fact that it isn't carcinogenic EITHER.

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Winding it down.
Snowman
Posts: 1918
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Well, cancer is one thing, but other illnesses are another. From the research, glyphosate can make humans sick. It's a poison, so it all boils down to what are the safe levels to ingest and how glyphosate affects human physiology, especially in combination with other poisons. Here is a summary of over 100 papers published on herbicide toxicology http://www.glyphosate.eu/literature-data.... Bottom line, it impairs the digestive and reproductive system, and sort of acts like an antibiotic.

Different countries set different maximum residue levels of pesticides/herbicides/toxins in table ready foods. It's pretty clear from food testing that Glyphosate shows up > MRL in grains and legumes. This makes sense given where RoundUp is used.

But very little has been published, from what I can find, on the impact to humans, particularly infants, from the cocktail of residual poisons we ingest every day. RoundUp might not cause cancer, but it's still a poison. I wouldn't exactly use it in salad dressing....

It's too bad the "anti-Monsanto" effort is so focused on cancer when glyphosate's toxicity has enough issues to warrant it's significant reduction, or elimination. Even Monsanto has seed varieties (non-GMO, non RoundUp ready) that are pretty well weed resistant. However, Monsanto's chemicals division hasn't allowed these seeds to be widely marketed for fear of losing revenues on the RoundUp side. This has been an evergreen fight inside Monsanto.
Vernonb
Posts: 1803
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.

Considering the nature and the origin of the lawsuits in California my best advice is to leave California. After all even California admits that when when substances come into their state they somehow magically become carcinogenic. Best to stay away from inside those borders.


On a more serious note glyphosate breaks up fairly rapidly in the environment and honestly if it were to cause cancers I'd expect to so it in the organs used to remove salts and excess water from the bodies (as the kidneys) or the point of contact due it its ionic nature and the nature of its break down products.

Glyphosate is washed away washed away easily with tap water from common foods though I'd think the stuff would be in infinitesimal quantities by the time plant became mature enough to bear fruit or be harvested as a vegetable. It mostly used when the plant is first germinated to stop weeds from choking it to death. I really would not see how glyphosate could benefit "permanent" trees that bear fruit or nuts that are often in groves.

The first sign of exposure (in commercial use) would likely be a skin rash. Without first seeing that IMO all other claims are dubious at best.

For Oldno7:

The fact is also formaldehyde is a natural product of organic decomposition and metabolism. It is naturally occurring in the human body and rapidly metabolized. Formaldehyde has to be present for the body to synthesize certain amino acids. That is not so say certain individuals will not have a sensitivity to the chemical. I tend to be aware of foreign things in my environment rather quickly.

Take anything in a high enough dosage and it will harm you if not kill you.

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Snowman
Posts: 1918
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Vernonb. Agree. When used properly!
However, glyphosate ends up in seeds of cereals and legumes because harvesting is often done when the moisture content is too high and/or spraying too close to harvest. For example, grain must have a moisture content below 30% at harvest so that the grain is physiologically mature (filled) and the glyphosate can't be translocated into the grain from the plant. Then there are regs in many countries where grains/legumes for human consumption can't be sprayed with Glypohsate whereas feedstock is ok (provided meets MRL). This has issues too, as some of this ends up in food anyway. A lot of German beer is known to have way too high MRL of the stuff, in the barley and wheat.

Then you have developing countries, but glyphosate is the least of worries.

And yes, fruit trees are fine due to the sorbtion effect of the herbicide in the soil.

Compared to all the other poisons we are exposed to, it's not top of the list. But then again, in combination with all the other crap in our environment, who knows.
Londoncat
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Kansas
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I agree with Snowman. Based on my research of glyphosate, it seems like the biggest risk from ingestion is the destruction of the healthy bacteria in the gut biome (which can trigger a whole host of negative reactions like leaky gut, autoimmune triggers, elevated immune responses, etc. which can, in turn, heighten the risk of autoimmune diseases and possible cancer)- but again, you dump 1000x's "normal" exposures levels of just about anything on/into a rat (or human), and you can get very toxic results that might not otherwise show up if only exposed to trace amounts, so who knows. Obviously, I would prefer to avoid ingesting it all together, but on the long list of things that will eventually kill me if I don't cut them out of my life, I am not going to loose any sleep over micro-exposures to Roundup at this point.
Imhotep
Posts: 31
Incept: 2013-07-18

United States
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I'm about to go spray about 6 acres with glyphosphate tomorrow...I don't like to use it much, but need to this first initial round of clearing a field to plant for doves. Might need 2 rounds, but after that, things should be good with just disk/roto tilling.

I just hope the boom sprayer is not clogged up from the last time we used it :)
Orionrising
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Just because something kills plants does not mean it can effect humans. It acts by blocking a receptor found only in growing plants.

Now that does not mean its use is harmless, its manufacture involves nasty chemicals which could be carried along possibly, and its application may involve various adjuvants and surfactants that could be harmful.

Its widespread use also has lead to resistant weeds and reduced bird habitat. (but also greatly reduced the use of other much nastier chemicals, and reduced erosion and nutrient runoff through it allowing notill farming)
Nonsensical
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La Verne, CA
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I want to interject some philosophy, and I mean real philosophy, not some academic study or department, but real philosophy from a real philosopher, and that comes once maybe every hundred years.

To sum a small notion from the philosopher Nietzsche. God is dead. He doesn't offer any argument against God, none is needed. Just saying God is dead and no one bats an eye is enough. The apathy for him is argument enough.

But where does that leave us when th old way is dead? (essentially No Country for Old Men, as the poet Yeats said, or the writer Cormac McCarthy, and then the film makers the Coen Brothers). It leaves us on precipice of the abyss, the abyss of nihilism. Except there's one thing we have left: an intellectual conscious. And only one virtue that's even believable enough not not collapse into absurdity: honesty (he would make a distinction between truth and honesty). That in essence is what science is--see Richard Feynman's 'surely you're joking, Mr Feynman,' and his, 'what do you care what other people think.' especially concerning his investigation into the space shuttle Challenger's explosion.

An intellectual conscious and the last virtue honesty is all that stands between us and the abyss. But this takes strength which unfortunately seems to be lacking in much of the supposed scientific community.

"The test of one's strength is measured by how much truth they can handle."
--F. Nietzsche.

These "battles" of of science are not benign, what's at stake is the only virtue left to us: honesty.
Krzelune
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Bull****. If honesty is the last holdout we are ****ed because it's already dead. Just open your eyes and see what is going on.
Dd
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Quote:
Even Monsanto has seed varieties (non-GMO, non RoundUp ready) that are pretty well weed resistant.


Weed resistant seed huh
Nonsensical
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La Verne, CA
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Krzelune. My eyes are very much close, but not in the way you mean.

When I mean honesty I'm not referring to sound bites, congressional testimonies, state of the Union addresses, NY Times editorials, etc; this is all noise. I'm talking the very perspective of the culture itself.

What's at stake? Everything. Everything is at stake, and because everything is at stake we need need to approach this with a scientific rigour, that is, methodically and honestly.

You see, at the downward turn of a culture, as the old ways become unbelievable, and it was these old ways that provided the goal and focus for the energy of that culture's participation. At a cultural height, the question of the goal to life isn't a conscious or unconscious question: it's not a question at all. It's instinct.

At the height of the Roman Republic there was no such question of what it meant to be Roman to a Roman: it was obvious. One just did it. Latter, after the collapse of the Republic and the early stages of the Roman Empire, a philosopher statesmen by the name of Tacitus becomes concerned with what does I mean to be Roman now. But you see, and as Tacitus realized, the very destruction of what it means to be Roman is embedded in the question itself. To call it into question already indicate it's dead. Just as by the time your tooth aches, the tooth is already dead.

So now we look to our young and we see a disengaged, lethargic, unmotivated generation. So we just pass it off, they're just lazy. Okay, maybe a few, but the majority of them? Just being young carries a natural discharge of energy. But it isn't with them per se, it's that they look to the world and they don't see anything worth doing. They don't believe in the goals. The goals are too conscious, and consciousness isn't the beginning of thought, it's the terminal point of a thought, it's a conclusion. Consciousness is a symptom that something has broken down, whether minor or major.

Once the old values have fallen, the Twilight of the idols, and the old saying here fits well enough: it's not that you lied that shakes me, it that I don't believe you. It's though values that we evaluate, and that's what drives us towards goals and directs energy. But once those have fallen, the default and collapse is power politics.

Typically the first reaction once one sees this is to become angry, and try to resist it. And that goes on for some time. But an insightful person will begin to have a thought, more of a hunch really: is resistance itself just a symptom and NOT a solution?

This in turn usually entails an inward search. And it is this inward search that requires scientific rigor and most of all honesty, a monstrous unforgiving and unsympathetic honesty, because what's at stake is everything. The investigation: Is it worth saving? You see, what's being asked isn't can it, o should it, or even how, but it's worth.

Anyone who has enough honesty for such an investigation already knows the initial hypothesis, as soul shaking as it is, is built into question itself: NO.

It's from this disturbing point one begins a more engaged and personal investigation. And there's a risk, the truth can be dangerous, even deadly. But what is one to do once they've realized that the lies, noble or not, are poisonous and spell a certain, slow painful death.

One may or may not survive the truth, the contest remains to be seen. But even if it is, there's still a further question: does one want to go out with a bang or a slow whimpering death. I'm sure there's questions even beyond that, I can only speculate.

It's a difficult position to be caught in, the same difficulty people of past cultures had to face, the very thing you may say no it's not worthy inevitably is you yourself as a product of that very culture and decadence.

This disciplined thinking starts with the small things, it always does. That's where you discipline yourself to go deeper and deeper, one small step at a time. This in essence is what scientific thinking is.

This why Socrates on his death bed said life was one long sickness, as he was as decadent as his beloved Athens and it was time for them to pass.

So when it comes to having my eyes open, then, open to what, shut to what? If you tell me the news, I'm past that, and this perhaps goes to my point: people read the news like the Bible use to be read.

So when you inform me honesty is dead, you see to imply that the great evidence is what...politicians lie. I'm supposed to find this surprising or a proof or disproof of what? I'm not talking about the honest of others, but my own, or in the most general sense, which is almost a contradiction of the very thing I'm saying, one's own honesty.

the inwardness is the only place to go in the face of decadence, that is, if one still has any concern of the world, because it's either that or power politics.

There was a prophecy that Zeus would one day destroy Mankind, and he was asked when he would do that, and he answered: when men are born old.

I would like to add another tale of Zeus when he had decided to punish Man by allowing Pandora to open the box that contained all the World's ills. However, Zeus wanted to only punish and not destroy mankind, so he had to quickly act to shut the box before the last ill got out that would destroy Mankind. What was that deadly ill? Hope.

I apologize for such a long post, and the likely incoherence of it a I wrote it as I went and how things occurred to me at the moment I was writing.


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