Dr. Oz Interview with Dr. Martina McGloughlin

Dr. Martina McGloughlin Interview with Dr Oz

Dr. Oz:  Now Martina believes genetically modified foods is safe.  So how do you respond to Jeffrey’s claims that these genetically modified foods have not really been all that well tested and caused the health issues they described?”

Dr. Martina McGloughlin: “Well actually we’ve been genetically modifying foods for thousands of years.  Modern techniques are far more precise, far more predictable, far more controlled than these older studies.  In addition they’re more thoroughly tested than any food or ag process ever in the history of food and ag research.  So to me there have been thousands of experiments done and in fact I’ve been involved in some of those as external reviewers.  There are no tests on conventional crops whatsoever, you can produce them one day and sell them the next day.  Biotech goes through eight to 10 years of research before any of them are commercialized.

Dr. Oz: “Could you help me understand that one study that Dr. Bernhoft mentioned where you had rats that had been fed genetically modified foods and they had those large tumors on them?”

Dr. McGloughlin: “Well if you look at rat kibble that has been fed to test rats for the last 15-20 years a large proportion of that has actually been genetically modified and there’s been no increase whatsoever in the occurrence of spontaneous tumors above what you already expect for this particular variety of rat.”

Dr. Oz: “You’re a mom. (Yes) and you feed your kids genetically modified foods?”

Dr. McGloughlin: “My number one concern is the safety of my family.  No way am I going to feed them anything that isn’t safe and nutritious.  In fact I would probably choose genetically modified foods over other foods to feed to my children because in fact I know that not alone are they safer this is perhaps the most sustainable product system you can find out there.”

Dr. Oz: “So, let me give you some feedback from the FDA we reached out to and the American Medical Association.  They gave us statements.  They believe genetically modified food is safe as you claim. But they support labeling.  Here’s what they have to say, the FDA argued that they support voluntary labeling that provides consumers with this information and has issued draft guidance to industry regarding such labeling.  The AMA said they support the FDA’s science-based approach to product labeling, recognizing that there is no evidence, as you said, that there are material differences of safety concerns in available bioengineered foods.  For the full statements you can go to Dr. Oz dot com.  Whether or not genetically modified foods cause health concerns or not, the reality is my friends that you are probably getting it today.  Should it be labeled?  And that’s really the big question we have to answer this year and what will that end up costing you?  That’s next.

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  1. Alison Van Eenennaam, B.Ag.Sci, M.Sci,, Ph.D. says:

    It is a shame that Dr. McGloughlin’s comment about the Seralini rat study being “bogus” was edited out of the show! There was NO ASSOCIATION between diet and tumors in the Seralini rat study – controls were not different to rats that ate GMO. The controls developed tunor too, as do 50-80% of all old female Sprauge-Dawley rats depending upon the calories in their diet(http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/16/3/194.short).

    The FDA, AMA and American Association of for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)DO NOT SUPPORT LEGALLY-MANDATED labeling about production methods (i.e. GE):

    FDA CANNOT REQUIRE labels include information about production methods if there is no material difference in the products due solely to the production process and considers that mandatory labeling of GE would be “false, misleading [and] deceptive” because it implies that there is a difference between GMO ingredients and non-GMO ingredients.

    American Medical Association believes that as of June 2012, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education. www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/a12-csaph2-bioengineeredfoods.pdf

    AAAS Board of Directors: Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could “Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers”

  2. Martina Newell-McGloughlin says:

    As a participant on the recent GMO edition of Dr Oz I was disturbed at the lack of objectivity and the clear bias in the final format that aired. When we agreed to participate our understanding was that that participants would be provided with equal opportunity to present their position yet the final time allocation and editing was clearly designed to negate the science and present anecdotal “evidence” as equally valid to the peer-reviewed scientific data.

    It was disappointing that my refutation of many of the points made by Smith were edited out giving the appearance that his outrageous statements went unchallenged. For example I queried their ex post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy suggesting a correlation between the commercialization of biotech crops and the increase in various gastrointestinal ailments such ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Determining cause and effect after the fact is utter nonsense as you could use any random variable as the comparator for example the proliferation of cell phones towers and organic consumption also increased over the noted time period which for some unstated reason ended in 2004. It is more likely that there was an increase in reporting or diagnosis which accounted for the increase in incidence which, coincidentally, was also increasing before the approval of biotech crops. Their comment that the incident decreased when they removed the GM products is likewise without merit. They provided zero context for this assertion for example who were the subjects and what was the size of the study, what was the background of and how many were the controls – what other variables had been changed and most importantly where was the peer reviewed data supporting their conclusions? I pointed out that where we actually had peer reviewed data was from the over four hundred peer reviewed publications confirming the safety of these crops and crop products. Biotech crops are more thoroughly assessed than any in the history of plant breeding and food safety. All biotech products must go through a rigorous safety assessment both in the US and the EU. For the latter this is overseen by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Specifically these products are tested to ensure they are as safe as conventional crops, and have similar nutritional and compositional content.

    In 2000 and 2010, the European Commission released two reports that cover 25 years of research on GM crops or food on human health or the environment: “A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2010)” and “EC-Sponsored research on the safety of genetically modified organisms (1985-2000).” Both concluded that the use of a more precise technology and the greater regulatory scrutiny probably make biotech crops even safer than conventional plants and foods. The more recent was a compendium of 50 research projects on the safety of GMOs over the last decade. The Commission funded research from 130 research projects involving 500 independent research groups over 25 years, concluding that “There is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.”
    In Europe, tens of millions of livestock, including chickens, pigs and cows are fed with GM soybeans mostly imported from Brazil and Argentina. With the current regulatory environment and monitoring by veterinary authorities, any health impacts related to the consumption of GM crops should have been reported if there were any safety concerns. This has not been the case for the almost two decades since biotech products were first approved by the EU. An estimated 2 trillion meals containing GM ingredients have been eaten around the world over the last 13 years without a single substantiated case of ill-health. The World Health Organization has said that: ‘No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved’. The French Academies of Medicine, Pharmacy and Sciences have stated: “No evidence of health problems exists in the countries where GMOs have been widely eaten for several years,” an opinion endorsed by academies of science, medical councils and regulatory agencies around the world.
    The other item for which my challenge was truncated was the Seralini study. This study is without scientific merit. Contrary to what they claim, this study is not the first to have evaluated the long-term health effects of GMOs. These studies have been carried-out using rats but also other animals by scientific researchers from all parts of the world. No unexpected adverse effect has been reported. If this was the case, International, European and national food safety agencies would have taken the appropriate measures. The only outcome they do demonstrate is that old (2yrs) Sprague-Dawley rats are susceptible to developing tumors spontaneously. Dr. Bernhoft asserts that this occurs in only 15-20% in fact numerous studies indicate that this occurs in greater than 80% for female Sprague-Dawley rats which correlates well with the observations in the Seralini paper. In addition this study group is too small to demonstrate statistical significance and the statistical tools that they do apply are contrived to say the least. In this study 25% of the controls also got tumors and the test subjects were cherry picked for visual impact – there were 9X test subjects to controls across all “studies”- sheer numbers alone would suggest a higher observable incidence in the test subjects. Interestingly, they achieved identical results with glyphosate as with GM corn and there was no observable dosage response and no hypothesis was put forward as to the mechanism of action for this observation. Of course a cursory review would support the obvious interpretation that old, especially female, Sprague-Dawley rats are susceptible to developing tumors! Many long term studies have been conducted with the herbicide glyphosate and none demonstrate any evidence of carcinogenic effects. The EPSPS enzyme which confers resistance to glyphosate is present in all plants as well as in the bacteria found in human and animal gut flora. It is a readily digestible protein not known to have any adverse effect on any species. The fundamental experimental flaw clearly lies with the test strain of rat in which the incidence of tumors reported over many studies and years is the same as that reported in the Seralini paper – this study does not provide any greater evidence of statistical significance of tumor development above random occurrence for this strain of rats.

    In the past, EFSA has found Seralini’s scientific findings to be without merit. EFSA had examined a previous animal feeding study paper by Séralini et al. and found that “Following a detailed statistical review and analysis by an EFSA Task Force, EFSA’s GMO Panel has concluded that this re-analysis of the data does not raise any new safety concerns.” And that “The statistical analysis made by the authors of the paper did not take into account certain important statistical considerations. The assumptions underlying the statistical methodology employed by the authors led to misleading results (a simple standard deviation should be sufficient to determine significance). EFSA considers that the paper does not present a sound scientific justification in order to question the safety of MON 863 maize.”

    Bottom line, despite over 400 studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and substantial experience with humans and animals around the world consuming biotech cops for over 16 years there has not been a single substantiated case of negative outcomes or a single documented health problem. The problem here appears to be with the experimental design whether deliberately devised to attain the desired outcome remains to be seen.

    In sum, I consider that the program’s intent and staging was designed to present a one sided and scientifically unsupported view of the issues.

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