Sunday, August 23, 2015

What A Cute Little Commentator! Mike McCarthy Self-destructs.

Re my penultimate post, the following comment from Biofortified (folk there are apparently afraid to come on my blog in case they catch WBAS (What Biology Actually Says)--their Biology might not be Fortified enough to give them immunity) appeared there this morning:

what a cute little blog. Can I take an excerpt?
"Not even a half-truth—a flat-out lie this time. If you eat GMO food, you have a roughly nine-out-of-ten chance of eating RoundUp."
now, now Derek. You have ZERO chance of eating Roundup. You may have a 9 out of 10 chance of eating micrograms of glyphosate, but that is not the same as eating Roundup.
I also like this one:
"Well, endocrinologists have proved that levels as low as one part per million (OR LESS!) can seriously affect hormones that are essential to your health, provoking many different chronic diseases ESPECIALLY IN YOUNG CHILDREN!"
Cute. You seem to have missed a citation in there.
Or, my personal favorite:
"“Pants on fire” AGAIN! If the beets were sprayed with RoundUp, it has RoundUp in it!"
No, Derek. Sucrose is sucrose. C12H22O11. There is no "roundup" in it. Non-GM beet or GM beet yields an identical substance after processing.

Assuming the portrait is a faithful one, Mike is at least as cute as this blog--cuter, I'd say.  So here's the answers.

1.  If you can figure out what this is all about, let me know.  Roundup is what is sprayed on most corn crops, and RoundUp contains glyphosate--I used the first term rather than the second in case the Celeb Moms never heard of glyphosate.  What is stunning about this is that Mike admits that "You may have a 9 out of 10 chance of eating micrograms of glyphosate."  Thanks, Mike.  I rest my case.

2.  Just go read my post Unsafe At Any Dose? and references therein (or any respectable work on endocrinology if it comes to that).  I removed all citations, theirs and mine, from the "Celeb Moms" post because it was unfair to post only one lot and confusing to post both.  As regular readers know, all important references on this site are cited.  But Monsantoites are lazy and expect their opponents to do all the work.

3.  "Sugar beets grow very slowly. Wild grasses and weeds are usually much faster and compete for light, water and nutrients. Without massive weed control, young sugar beet plants hardly are able to establish themselves. Compared with other crops, they require the most intensive and frequent use of weed control products...Normally, only three applications of herbicides are necessary, which, as a rule, contain four to seven different active ingredients."

"[The process of extracting the juice] also collects a lot of other chemicals from the flesh of the sugar beet…The juice must now be cleaned up before it can be used for sugar production. This is done by a process known as carbonatation where small clumps of chalk are grown in the juice. The clumps, as they form, collect A LOT of the non-sugars so that by filtering out the chalk one also takes out the non-sugars".

"A lot" is NOT all, even though the pro-industry piece I cite tries to suggest that.  Residues of as little as a few parts PER BILLION can disrupt the endocrine system, especially in development.

OK, Mike, let's hear your response to that.


  1. "Thanks, Mike. I rest my case."
    And what case would that be?? That a product that has a LD 50 of 5000mg/kg would be even slightly toxic at ppb levels?
    "2. Just go read my post Unsafe At Any Dose?"
    Well that claim is just stupid. Even the most toxic substance known to man is still safe at low doses.
    "Normally, only three applications of herbicides "
    Only one is needed if you go with GMOs, Liberty link or Roundup ready.
    "Residues of as little as a few parts PER BILLION can disrupt the endocrine system, especially in development."
    LOL, you are clueless.

  2. I've got good and bad news for you. Th good news is that at least, unlike many others, you've had the balls to come to my site. The bad side is, you're going to wish you hadn't.

    1. LD stands for Lethal Dose. LD is a measure of ACUTE toxicity. Nobody, but nobody, least of all me, ever accused Glyphosate OR Roundup of being ACUTELY toxic (except at high doses). What we're talking about if we're talking endocrine disruption (which I am) is CHRONIC toxicity If you think the measure is relevant here, you just proved your total ignorance of elementary toxicology.

    2. That is sixteenth-century bullshit as I've already proved on this site. Can't keep repeating myself--I have a life, even if you don't.

    3. Here you prove yourself totally ignorant of endocrinology. Just read the articles in Endocrine Reviews (if you can understand them, which I doubt) cited in Unsafe at any Dose? Then come back and tell not just me, but the world's top review if endocrinology, that we're clueless.

    Take-home message: Monsantoites claim to know science But they don't.
    Autobiographical note: It was not neophobia, or any other kind of fear, of science, GMOs or anything else, or hatred of big corporations (though I certainly don't like them) or ignorance, or reading Dr. Mercola, or anything else that turned me against GMOs--it was MONSANTOITE BAD SCIENCE.

    1. 1. LD 50 is still the most important threshold in toxicology. It is an extremely useful way to understand how toxic something is. It doesn't mean you can eat all you want up to the LD50 and be fine. It certainly does serve toxicology well.

      But, you are correct, LD50 is not a great way to measure chronic toxicity. I don't know of any single useful indicator of chronic toxicity, but look here and you'll see that glyphosate has been well studied for chronic toxicity.

      2. You think you "proved" this? That's pretty extreme. At very best, you have shown that there are rare exceptions to the norm. The norm is still the norm, ask people actually working in toxicology.

      There are exceptions. Endocrine disruptors CAN be one of those exceptions.

      But think for a minute about the bizzare dose/response curve you'd have if you are correct. Huge response and almost zero (PPB region). then almost no toxicity, then it starts to show the normal linear curve. Is that normal? Is it known to exist for anything else.

      I don't know the answers, but I know that not knowing is not the same as proving that it is the case. And I will also say that if simply not knowing causes enough suspicion that we need to stop using glyphosate, then we're screwed - we simply do not know this information for anything. So why stop at glyphosate? Why not look at carrots, organic kale. There are millions of natural substances that exist in the ppb concentration range in everything we eat.