Economists, in ‘predatory’ journal, challenge Syngenta study finding neonics pose ‘low risk’ to bees

Screen Shot at AM

Editor’s Note: This article discusses the attack on a Syngenta study by economists published in the Environmental Sciences Europe titled “An experiment on the impact of an neonicotinoid pesticide on honeybees: the value of a formal analysis of the data.” Environmental Sciences Europe is known as a predatory “play for play” journal, meaning it often publishes articles by activist scientists who could not get their work accepted by more mainstream academic journals. The GLP profiled ESE after it republished the discredited GMO rat tumor study by Gilles-Éric Séralini, without peer review, after it had been retracted from a more mainstream publication. It also published a letter from activist scientists and anti-GMO campaigners, including Vandana Shiva, Consumer Reports Michael Hansen and colleagues of Séralini,, claiming there is “no scientific consensus” in support of GMO safety, despite the fact that more than 275 independent science oversight agencies have concluded otherwise.

A study by a global agrochemical company that concluded there was only a low risk to honey bees from a widely used agricultural pesticide has been described as “misleading” in new research published by statisticians at the University of St Andrews.

A major study conducted by Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta on the effects of the neonic thiamethoxam on honey bees in the field concluded that there was only a low risk to honey bees.

New research conducted at the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) by Dr Robert Schick, Professor Jeremy Greenwood and Professor Steve Buckland shows even large and important effects could have been missed because the Syngenta study was statistically too small.

Related article:  Who is Vandana Shiva and why is she saying such awful things about GMOs?

The Syngenta study involved two experiments: an experiment conducted at two locations and a maize experiment at three locations. At each location the experiments used pairs of fields – in one field the crop was treated with thiamethoxam at levels normally used by farmers, in the other field the crop was untreated.

The Syngenta study concluded that because the experiments involved so little replication …  a formal analysis of the data “would lack the power to detect anything other than very large treatment effects … Therefore a formal statistical analysis was not conducted because this would be potentially misleading”.

The St Andrews team believe this is fundamentally wrong because formal statistical analysis is only potentially misleading if the wrong method is used and because the mere inspection of the results is always potentially misleading because it is an entirely subjective procedure.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: New research debunk honey bee pesticide study

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend