Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Flawed" Studies

This morning I woke to emails from people I don't know saying that pesticides in food aren't a problem because studies don't prove it.

This happens to me when I post about the risks of GMOs. I get anonymous comments and emails from people I don't know defending GMOs, saying the studies are flawed, and sometimes ridiculing me for posting about them.

(It makes me wonder if the authors of these emails aren't employed by companies that benefit from the sale and use of GMOs and pesticides.)

Studies are not "flawed." This is science. You test a hypothesis, you tweak the design, you test again. If it is true that studies are flawed or imperfect, then all studies are indeed flawed, since all studies are imperfect. The claim that studies are flawed is used by businesses to plant the seed of doubt while they continue making money.
  • Monsanto calls studies that show fertility problems in rats fed GMOs "flawed."
  • GlaxoSmithKline calls studies that show heart problems in people taking their drug Avandia "flawed."
  • Philip Morris calls studies that show lung cancer deaths linked to cigarette smoking "flawed."
This is just my personal blog. I don't make money from it. I don't sell products or advertisements. I'm not promoting my book, my designs, my speaking engagements . It's just a place where I write about things I find of interest for my friends and family. I don't use my words to ridicule, at least I try not to.


virginia said...

thank you for being thoughtful, and for covering these issues.

sometimes i think i would like to see a "book by bix", but something would be lost in that process.

maybe a post about designing a study? interpreting the results?

Autumn Hoverter, MS, RD said...

Here, here!

Calvin said...

Hey Bix,

I totally appreciate your blog, so thank you! Personally, I think the pesticide and GMO posts were some of your most health relevant posts to date, so damn naysayers--if they don't like your posts, they can go read somewhere else!

Best, Calvin

Perovskia said...

Thanks for calling it as you see it. Anonymous people may feel threatened, but we're greatly appreciated. Don't stop talkin'.



Anonymous said...

Well, this occasional anonymous poster is sending you a vote of confidence. I think your blog is brilliant. Your work is inspiring, to both specialists and lay persons. While it may occasionally include messages some won't agree with, you always present ideas fairly and support them with evidence. Plenty of us appreciate your views. Please keep it up!

Anrosh said...

i second virginia.

Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I've only just discovered (and now bookmarked) your blog, and wanted to add my thanks for the work you've done. I'm particularly pleased that you add links to your sources - excellent for research! We've consciously tried to live sustainably for the last 25 years, and our son has had primarily organically-grown food his whole life (he's now 15, incredibly bright, healthy, talented and focussed - a good advert for a healthy lifestyle!) It's great to have it confirmed that we have been doing absolutely the right thing for him since before he was born.

I look forward to reading more.

Margaret said...

Like the previous commenters, I think your blog is capital-letter FABULOUS, and I have at times linked to it from my own blog (even though our topics are quite different), my Facebook page and the multiple myeloma FB support group that I co-founded...

While it is certainly true that drug-company-sponsored clinical trials may be flawed (see this recent study:, I still have a lot of faith in scientific studies...BUT I always check the authors' conflict of interest statements, which can yield very interesting bits of information!

I am sure you are right about the anonymous naysayers...anyway, keep up the great work, Bix!
Your big fan Margaret in Florence, Italy! :-D

Bix said...

Very touched by all these votes of support. Thank you!

caulfieldkid said...

Ignore all of those comments who obviously have ulterior motives. It's not worth your time or ours. I can go read a press release from Monsanto any time I want their side of the story (was that uncalled for? prob so. Ignore that last sentence).

Keep up the good work Bix.

- shaun