Dissecting MIT computer scientist Stephanie Seneff’s claim that glyphosate herbicide causes autism


[Editor’s note: Josh Bloom is director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council on Science and Health. He has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Virginia.]

Back in 2014, Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, when speaking at a panel discussing GMOs (she’s against them, of course), made the following statement:

At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.

[Read the GLP’s coverage of MIT computer scientist Stephanie Seneff’s claims here and here.] 

OK, anyone with even one working neuron knows that such a claim is nonsense. One-half of children having autism in eight years? Please. But you may not understand the basis of the claim, or why it is nonsense. Let’s take a look. There are a few dead giveaways.

One of them is the website on which the article about Dr. Seneff’s statement appeared. In about five seconds, things start to make sense.

Related article:  Vote to approve glyphosate herbicide shakes up German, EU politics

Had Stephanie Seneff looked hard enough she may have uncovered other “causes” of autism. Perhaps the number of yellow Volkswagens on the road, the daily humidity in Boise, or maybe even the number of paisley ties worn by guys named Steve. Which should you believe? None of them. In fact, one prevailing theory about the rise in autism is due to more diagnoses, not more cases. And, David Warmflash, writing for the Genetic Literacy Project, argues that autism is genetic.

Screen Shot at PM Screen Shot at PM Screen Shot at PM

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: MIT Researcher: Glyphosate Will Cause Half Of All Children To Be Autistic By 2025. Yeah, Sure.

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
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 ...

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