GENTECH archive


RE: retracted studies


To help this discussion along, why don't you provide us YOUR definition of a "study", since it is very clear that you do not use the same as the rest of the scientific community.  Regarding your continued issue with anecdotal information verses peer reviewed data.  Anecdotal information can be used to help form a hypothesis for a study, but hard data is required to prove or disprove the hypothesis.   I don't know where you got the idea that "for you  there is no difference between anecdotal evidence or peer reviewed studies".  I have never made such a claim.  It is you who does not distinguish between anecdotal information and peer-reviewed data.  As I noted above, I do believe that anecdotal information can be used to develop hypotheses but should not be relied on for drawing hard and fast conclusions, which you seem to have no problem doing.  Please do not assume that you know anything about what I do or do not know or think.  Your track record on such endeavor is horrific.  The only person screaming on this list has been you about the quality of Rick's paper.  I am simply pointing out the obvious.  I am sorry that you cannot grasp these simple concepts.


>>> <> 08/14/02 12:41PM >>>

Indeed now I really am confused. So a survey is a study but does 
not need to fulfill the requirements of a study? I know for you there 
is no difference between anecdotal evcidence or peer reviewed 
studies so maybe you mean a survey is anecdotal evidence? 
I know of a published study where SOME people Screamed VERY 
LOUD that it should be retracted because the main conclusion was 
not justified by the given evidence. If I remember right, it was on GE 
maize in Mexico. It was negative news for GE. Does that standard 
not apply for a survey that shows gene flow in canola is "extremely 
low", positive for GE? Besides, I thought a basic requirement in 
science was that a study must be repeatable by others. Does that 
standard not apply if the result of the survey is positive for GE? 

I agree we should spend more time on more pressing issues like 
the rejection of African countries of GE food not-aid and the utterly 
disgraceful position your country is taking in that. I agree we 
should urgently analyse how the US, IMF/Worldbank and the 
Green Revolution in Africa have led to returning hungersituations 
and are the root cause of it. First you create the hunger and than 
you try to force feed them GE. Is there any word for such 
I agree we should look more to Argentina where the IMF/Worldbank 
and the Green Revolution has led to the situation of today.   
How disastrous the removal of traditionalseeds (which were much 
more drought resistant, needed less water etc.)  shows to be
 It was not me who started again on the canolastudy but to expose 
the double standards in judgement of studies remains important as 


On 14 Aug 2002, at 10:42, David Kendra wrote:

A survey IS a study, in this case the frequency of gene flow for a
herbicide resistance gene.   I realize this simple concept is often
difficult for non-scientists to grasp, but please try so that we can
move on to more pressing discussions and away from remedial 


>>> <> 08/14/02 12:13PM >>>

How could I have been so dumb?  Maybe because the paper itself 
does not mention the word survey? I do understand the word survey 
the paper presents itself as a study. The words "This study" (which 
also understand, can be found 3 times in the paper. I also thought,
but may be wrong there, that Science is a journal that publishes
scientific studies, not surveys.

kind regards

On 14 Aug 2002, at 9:22, David Kendra wrote:

It was a SURVEY wytze, what part of the word SURVEY dont you
understand?  Geeze.  


>>> "" <> 08/14/02 08:57AM >>>

Geez Dave, and would it in the real world maybe, possibly make a
difference if the windspeed was 1 on Scale of Beaufort at pollination
time or 12 on scale of Beaufort? And would it, in the real world, make
a difference whether the winddirection was offward or toward the
sinkfield? And, in the real world of course, would it make a
difference whether there were 63 source fields and 20 sinkfields?  I
could go on. These points are not important for this study?? Do you
wonder why people do not have great confidence in regulators and


On 14 Aug 2002 at 9:00, David Kendra wrote:


Did you actually read the canola paper?  From the comments you 
made regarding it I truly doubt that you did or at best you did not
understand it.  The data is the result of a SURVEY
 of 63 conventional canol fields grown near herbicide-resistant
 fields.  They reported 
happened in the real world in actual production fields.  All of the
questions you raise are not important for this study.  They were
simply reporting on the actual amount of gene-flow (as measured by
incidence of ALS-resistance) from herbicide-resistant traits into
conventional fields.  This was not a study to monitor
 flow from a point source (there are already quite a few studies
 already published on 
this subject). 
 Plant Pathologists routinely conduct similarly structured studies all
 the time to identify 
disease epidemics. 
 From the data reported, it looks like the gene-flow epidemic is
 pretty much a bust. 


>>> "" <> 08/14/02 08:22AM >>>

The main conclusion of the paper is: "this study demonstrates that
cross pollination between commercial canola fields at low frequencies
but to significant distances"

The first part of this broad statement, that gene flow happens at low
frequencies, is a conclusion that cannot be drawn without giving more
evidence on all points I have raised in a number of postings
(windspeed and direction, distances between fields, number of fields
etc. etc.).

Concerning the retraction of Nature: however you want to call it,
Nature has made a big mess and severely damaged its position as
prestigious scientific journal. Its recent Syngenta funded Future of
Food special further blows its position as independent scientific
journal. Just like Science shows its bias by accepting studies like
the canola paper.


On 14 Aug 2002 at 13:45, Heine J. Deelstra wrote:


You're welcome. About this paper in Science you wrote (i'm trying to
catch up again):

-My critique is scientific, not political:
1)With the data given in the paper, nobody can repeat this study
2)The main conclusion of the paper is not justified on the basis of
the given evidence. </quote>

Could you elaborate on point 2. That is; what is the main conclusion
of the artice and especially *why* it is not justified on the basis of
the given evidence?


Heine Deelstra

PS May I point once again to the fact that the paper by Quist &
Chapela was *not* retracted? Please?

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