Friday, January 15, 2010

Response to de Vendômois et. al's Report on GMO's & Organ Damage

After reading a recently sited report on the relationship between GMO’s and organ damage by de Vendômois et. al., ( I did a little research on the study and came to the following conclusions.

1. de Vendômois et. al. did not use traditional statistical methodology to reassess their toxicology data resulting from their studies with the three varieties studied.

2. de Vendômois et. al's conclusions appear to be unsubstantiated.

    a. The HCB (French High Council on Biotechnology) stated that de Vendômois et. al's study did not contribute to the safety assessment of GMO’s.

    b. The FSANZ claims that de Vendômois et. al “distorted” the significance of the toxicology by failing to account for “other” relevant factors and overly “emphasized” the statistical treatment of the data.

3. de Vendômois et. al failed to considered the following:

    a. Reproducibility

    b. Dose-related trends;

    c. Relationship to other findings;

    d. Variance of delta and relationship to findings in the norm; and

    e. Rate of occurrence when findings varied between sexes.

4. At first glance, de Vendômois et. al's findings demonstrate no negative effects with the three varieties used, especially when considering normal/traditional statistical analysis.

5. Put simply: de Vendômois et. al's study was designed to reach a pre-determined outcome and thus, utilized statistical methodology that would support that outcome.

Certainly, I’m just a farmer and rancher, but I do have a college education with ample background in statistics and science. I would be interested if anyone with a doctorate in science finds any flaws in my Common Sense approach to analyzing this study while feeding hay in the field.

Back to feeding now, I certainly am enjoying this air card for the laptop.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AFBF 2010 Convention Demonstrates Open Arms, Appreciation & Values

At the 2010 American Farm Bureau Convention, President Bob Stallman opened the activities with an inspiring address and was commended through a standing ovation by a very diverse crowd of family farmers and ranchers. Farmers and ranchers representing every commodity, every state, including Puerto Rico and every method of production were joined together for one objective; to work together to ensure “Passage to Success” for all American Agriculture. It is the ability for this diverse community to come together and discuss sensitive issues in a professional and civil manner and coming to agreement for the benefit of agriculture that makes the American Farm Bureau Federation so special.

The American Farm Bureau Federation opened the doors to the media, including representatives from publications of opposition. It was and is the intent of the American Farm Bureau to welcome individuals with open arms to engage in positive dialogue and demonstrate the tremendous grass root foundation that exemplifies Farm Bureau’s purpose to make progress based on freedom and dignity of the individual, sustained by basic moral and religious concepts.

Certainly, it was disappointing to see several articles published that portrayed the American Farm Bureau Federation in a negative light. However, family farmers and ranchers will continue to encourage positive dialogue, even with those who are in opposition, in the hope that understanding can be reached in an effort to share the positive message that farmers and ranchers have with the public. Family farmers and ranchers are and always shall be optimistic, welcoming and looking for opportunities to engage the public in a civil manner with the hope for beneficial outcomes.

As Terry Bradshaw stated in his address to the delegation, “Life is too short not to smile and be appreciative for the bountiful blessings bestowed upon us by our creator.” We should all be thankful for the work of America’s farmers and ranchers for providing the country and the world with a bountiful supply of safe and healthy food. Thank a farmer!

About Me

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Jeff Fowle is a fourth generation family farmer and rancher from Etna, California. He and his wife Erin and son Kyle raise registered Angus cattle, Percheron draft horses, warmbloods, alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay. They also start and train horses for riding, jumping, and driving. Their family run ranch has incorporated many environmentally beneficial and water efficient technologies and management strategies. Jeff attended college at Colorado State University for two years and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for four and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Following college, he worked in Washington State for a year as a herdsman for BB Cattle Company and then returned to Etna, California in 1995 to own and operate KK Bar Ranch and Siskiyou Percherons. The latter was started by his grandfather, Clarence Dudley, who devoted much of his time to the Percheron Horse Association of America, specifically to developing their youth education program.