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The BBC and EDF corrupts nuclear science with the help of the USA

“….In 2011, as their share value continued to plummet[Because of fukushima Arclight2011], EDF formed a stakeholder advisory panel, employing Chris Patten, chair of the BBC Trust, as chair of the panel and Diane Coyle, vice chair of the BBC Trust, as a member the panel. She is married to BBC News Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. Other members of the panel include Will Hutton, former editor of the Observer and a leading commentator on social and political affairs, and Sir Richard Lambert, former director of the CBI and former editor of the Financial Times. Chris Patten is linked to David Cameron through Patten’s former chief of staff, who is now chief of staff to Cameron….[Also, The UK SMC and the USA senseaboutscience  began its promotion of the “right” science. Arclight2011]”

18 Sep 2013


The Nuclear Industry, Government and the Media

Have you ever wondered why we receive so little information about the ill-fated nuclear reactors at Fukushima? Or the massive, year-long protests against proposed new nuclear reactors on the East and West coasts of India? Or even about Scotland’s decision to be nuclear-free? Why do we hear so little about the ill-effects of nuclear power, its enormous cost and legacy of dangerous radioactive waste?

In 2004 Andrew Brown, Gordon Brown’s brother, was hired by the world’s largest nuclear power provider, Electricite de France (EDF), as head of media relations. In 2008, EDF bought British Energy and its eight old nuclear power stations. In 2010, the nuclear industry worldwide peaked, before beginning its rapid decline to the present level, the same as 10 years ago. EDF’s shares began their downward slide and the prospect of them being allowed to build any more new nuclear power plants in France looked less and less likely.
In 2011, as their share value continued to plummet, EDF formed a stakeholder advisory panel, employing Chris Patten, chair of the BBC Trust, as chair of the panel and Diane Coyle, vice chair of the BBC Trust, as a member the panel. She is married to BBC News Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones. Other members of the panel include Will Hutton, former editor of the Observer and a leading commentator on social and political affairs, and Sir Richard Lambert, former director of the CBI and former editor of the Financial Times. Chris Patten is linked to David Cameron through Patten’s former chief of staff, who is now chief of staff to Cameron.
The British public have been subjected to a barrage of pro-nuclear publicity, including mantras such as ‘Nuclear is carbon free’ and ‘We need nuclear to keep the lights on’. But the cost of nuclear new-build has risen exponentially over the past decade, and EDF has now lost 85% of its share value while the cost of many forms of renewable energy has fallen and continues to fall.
EDF has been promised numerous Government subsidies to help cover the costs of nuclear new build, while Hitachi, who were responsible for the design of the Fukushima reactors and bought the land adjacent to the old Oldbury nuclear power plant, are watching with interest to see how much taxpayer money they can rely on. Do we really want to allow Hitachi to build a new nuclear power plant at Oldbury?
Angela Paine
Together with Nadine Smykatz-Kloss and John Marjoram, Angela has organised two talks on aspects of nuclear energy. The dates for your diary are:
Thursday, 26th September: John Large will talk about radioactive waste and threats to Gloucestershire.
Wednesday, 30th October: Roger Moody will talk about the devastating environmental impact of uranium mining and ask whether nuclear power really is carbon neutral

Both talks will take place in the Old Town Hall in Stroud, from 7.30 till 9.30pm.

Risk Perceptions about Nuclear Power and the UK’s Energy Infrastructure

by ScienceOffice

30 Jan 2013

Ms. Fox added that focus shifted away from panels of science experts set up by the Science Media Center to brief government officials and the media on the real risks associated with the crisis.  The pressure to sensationalize headlines is real, according to Ms. Fox. “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”  She described instances where journalists she knew were taken off stories for presenting a more “measured, balanced, accurate narrative” instead of the “scare stories” that their editors wanted.


A second source of risk misperception at Fukushima, according to Ms. Brown, is overly conservative national safety regulations.  As an example, she cited Japanese officials who reported that tap water in the areas around Fukushima showed 210 becquerels per liter of iodine-131 – more than twice the Japanese recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants.  Media picked up this statement, headlining that the water was not safe to drink.  (Becquerels is a measure of radioactivity).  However, the recommended limit for adults in Japan is 300 becquerels per liter.  Further, IAEA international guidelines set the safety limit ten times higher, at 3,000 becquerels per liter, for major events like Fukushima.  “What was set out to be a precautionary measure to protect the public,” stressed Ms. Brown, “actually became a source of concern and a source of alarming stories.”

USA Science Media centre

UK Science media centre (Formed in 2001 and running by 2002)

September 24, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hi Arc; how do?

    Was surprised to see this in my Vancouver Courier.

    I remember that kind “little old lady”, harassed by an utter ass.

    Comment by Dud | September 24, 2013 | Reply

  2. Alright, Sons of Scota!

    I hope you get the Stone of Destiny back.
    Somebody there may be a rightful heir.

    Say, i thought that it was GE that was (ir)responsible for the Fuku’d-up design.
    How was Hitachi (ir)responsible?

    PS: Got anything on Chinese cities in Candu, er Canada, as alleged by Jim Stone and his paranoid Android?
    Apparently it would seem to either be nonexistent, or media has conveniently forgotten to tell us Canadians (not that that would ever happen, neh?).
    I have learned to smile, as it can confound biometrics.

    PPS: Am concerned about Bobby1’s blog. says that it is not just me. 😦

    PPPS: Good eye, mate!

    Comment by Dud | September 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Well blah blah – I don’t understand what you are talking about. But perhaps others will

      Comment by Christina MacPherson | September 24, 2013 | Reply

  3. hi dud and there is more Inside Sellafield’s hazardous nuclear waste site 23 September 2013 Last updated at 06:16 BST Sellafield has more high-level nuclear waste storage than anywhere else in the UK, and the government has allocated £67.5bn towards a huge clean-up project. As Calder Hall, it became Britain’s first atomic power station in 1954 and, almost 50 years on, it is a place where high level industrial waste is reprocessed and stored. But the Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) project to tackle the waste is over budget, behind schedule and has faced a catalogue of problems. As the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority debates whether to renew its contract later this month, Dr Ian Hudson from NMP claims they are back on track. Inside Out is the first British TV crew to go inside the most difficult and hazardous part of Sellafield’s decommissioning site and visit the contaminated open ponds area. But is sufficient progress being made to make the site safe? Inside Out is broadcast on Monday, 23 September at 19:30 BST on BBC One North East and Cumbria and North West, and nationwide for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer. Cropped version here Full version here Backup full version here Nuclear power is back at the top of the political agenda. The UK relies on atomic energy for nearly 20% of its electricity. But all but one of its existing power stations are due to close by 2023. No reactors have been built since the 1980s, as accidents, spiralling decommissioning costs and the problem of nuclear waste eroded enthusiasm. But with soaring oil and gas prices, dwindling fossil fuel reserves and pressure to tackle climate change, the government has renewed its support for nuclear power. It is backing a new generation of atomic power stations because it believes they provide the necessary security of supply while helping reduce carbon emissions. Click through this guide to find out more about nuclear power in the UK. For the last few decades, nuclear power has been seen as a prohibitively expensive option and no new power stations have been built. But it has begun to look more favourable as oil and gas prices have risen. Nuclear power also looks more cost effective when a financial value is put on carbon dioxide emissions, as assumed in the Royal Academy of Engineers’ estimates. A nuclear reactor itself does not emit any greenhouse gases, and even if the emissions from the mining of uranium, building of power stations and treatment of waste are taken into account they are still much less than from the burning of fossil fuels. 13 September 2013 Last updated at 05:11 Share this page Email Print Share Facebook Twitter Nuclear plants ‘do not raise child cancer risk’ Leukaemia accounts for around a third of childhood cancers Continue reading the main story Related Stories Richer areas ‘child cancer risk’ Power stations ‘no cancer risk’ Children living near nuclear power plants do not have an increased risk of developing leukaemia, a study says. Experts looked at data on 10,000 children diagnosed under five between 1962 and 2007, and where they lived. The British Journal of Cancer study is not the first to rule out a link – but previous studies’ methods were challenged. Cancer Research UK said the results were “heartening” but added monitoring should continue. Leukaemia is the twelfth most common cancer in the UK, but accounts for a third of all cancers diagnosed in children. Around 500 new cases were diagnosed in children under the age of 15 in 2010 in the UK. Concern over a link between nuclear power plants and childhood cancers was triggered in the early 1980s when a TV investigation reported a higher number of cases among children living near the Sellafield plant in Cumbria. Since then, there have been conflicting reports from studies in the UK and the rest of Europe as to whether there is a link. Some anti-nuclear groups have criticised the way previous studies have been carried out. They point to a German study which suggested there could be a link. ‘No correlation’ In this latest study, carried out using the same method as the German one, experts from the Childhood Cancer Research Group in Oxford looked at data on almost 10,000 children who were diagnosed with leukaemia or similar cancers in Britain between 1962 and 2007 when aged five or under. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote The incidence of childhood leukaemia near nuclear installations in Great Britain has been a concern ever since the 1980s ” Dr John Bithell, Childhood Cancer Research Group The data was taken from the National Registry of Childhood Tumours, which has kept records on nearly all children diagnosed with cancer since 1962 and which is linked to birth records for children born in Britain. They looked at where these children were born and where they lived when they were diagnosed. They also compared the information with data on more than 16,000 children with different cancers. The study found there was no apparent increased risk of developing childhood leukaemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma among children living near nuclear power plants. Dr John Bithell, honorary research fellow at the Childhood Cancer Research Group who led the study, said: “The incidence of childhood leukaemia near nuclear installations in Great Britain has been a concern ever since the 1980s when an excess of cancer in young people near Sellafield was reported in a television programme. “Since then, there have been conflicting reports in the UK and Europe as to whether there is an increased incidence of childhood cancer near nuclear power plants. “Our case-control study has considered the birth records for nearly every case of childhood leukaemia born in Britain and, reassuringly, has found no such correlation with proximity to nuclear power plants.” Cancer Research UK said the study did support previous findings, but said its small numbers and the fact it did not look at plants which carried out other work such as fuel processing – plus the finding of an increased risk in the German study – meant more work was needed. Hazel Nunn, head of health information, said: “It’s heartening that this study supports the findings of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), that being born or living near a nuclear power station doesn’t lead to more cases of leukaemia and similar cancers in children under five in the UK. “But these results can’t rule out any possible risk, so it’s still important that we continue to monitor both radiation levels near nuclear power plants and rates of cancer among people who live close by.” Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 18:10 GMT E-mail this to a friend Printable version Nuclear review ‘was misleading’ A High Court judge has ordered a rethink of the government’s nuclear power plans, after a legal challenge by environmental campaigners Greenpeace. A judge ruled that the consultation process before the decision last year had been “misleading”, “seriously flawed” and “procedurally unfair”. Greenpeace said ministers should “go back to the drawing board”. But Tony Blair said while the ruling would change the consultation process, “this won’t affect the policy at all”. The government will consult again, but still favoured nuclear power being “back on the agenda”. “If we don’t replace the existing nuclear power stations then, first, I can not see how we are going to meet our climate change targets,” he said. “And secondly we will end up as we move as a country from self sufficiency in gas to importing large amounts of foreign gas…. we are going to be dependent on very uncertain supplies of energy and that would be bad for business and bad for the consumer.” The government has stressed that the judge’s ruling was on the “process of consultation, not the principle of nuclear power”. ‘Updating’ Greenpeace’s Emma Gibson told the BBC: “The government’s so-called consultation was a sham and we are very pleased the judge has agreed with us on that. “If Tony Blair wants to continue with his misguided plan for a whole new generation of nuclear power stations, the government will have to go back to the drawing board.” In 2003, the Energy White Paper described nuclear power as an “unattractive option”. It said before any decision was taken to build more stations, there would have to be “the fullest possibly public consultation and the publication of a further white paper setting out our proposals.” The government launched a fresh energy review in January 2006, and after public consultation in July published a report, The Energy Challenge, which said “new nuclear power stations would make a significant contribution to meeting our energy policy goals”. In court, Greenpeace said the consultation had not fulfilled the promise to carry out “the fullest public consultation”. It complained that there had been a failure to present clear proposals and information on key issues, such as disposal of radioactive waste and building costs. ‘Radically wrong’ The government had argued that the energy review was only part of an ongoing process which would ensure full consultation. But Mr Justice Sullivan said “something has gone clearly and radically wrong”. The consultation document had given every appearance of being simply an “issues paper”. It had contained no actual proposals and the information given to consultees had been “wholly insufficient for them to make an intelligent response”. The judge said information given on waste had been “not merely inadequate but also misleading”. Fairness required that consultees should be given a proper opportunity to respond to that substantial amount of new material before any decision was taken. ‘Tough choices’ “There could be no proper consultation, let alone the fullest consultation, if the substance of these two issues was not consulted on before a decision was made,” said the judge. “There was therefore procedural unfairness and a breach of Greenpeace’s legitimate expectation that there would be the fullest consultation before a decision was taken.” The judge granted what he called a “quashing order”. Shadow trade and industry secretary Alan Duncan said: “This is an astonishing ruling. “What it really says is that the government has been shown up as fundamentally deceitful.” Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Huhne said: “The judgement really shows you can’t perform a 180-degree U-turn on a matter as important as nuclear power without a proper public debate. “It’s a real slap in the face for prime minister’s sofa style of government.” And Green Party principal speaker Sian Berry said: “Today’s historic result shows that the government have got a fight on their hands. “The Energy Review was clearly just a rubber-stamping exercise for a decision the prime minister had already taken.” The government says its proposals, including building more nuclear plants, will cut carbon emissions by 19 to 25 million tonnes by 2020, compared with projections based on current trends. Mr Blair announced in January that a white paper would be published next month. It is not yet clear whether the court ruling will lead to a rethink on timing. Published on 23 May 2013 Serious doubts have been raised about the future of a plan to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk. The electricity company EDF said it was still committed to a Sizewell C but a major investor has already pulled out and a deal with the government, which should have been completed months ago, is still deadlocked. [youtube=] BBC Radio shuts up Fukushima Diary author “The expert” kept on talking.  Said, “Fukushima is much much smaller than Chernobyl. You can’t compare.” then I heard the ending music. I was given 0 question to answer. [Column] The reason why I published only one article today -Invited by BBC and given 0 sec to talk on the radio show Iori Mochizuki August 21st, 2013 In the quiet morning of 8/21/2013, I was communicating with my readers on Twitter. Suddenly a lady talked to me if I can be on BBC at 19:30 in JST. After nearly 2 years blank, BBC and some other international media are coming back to cover Fukushima. Since this morning, BBC has been featuring the latest leakage of 300m3 water. I talked to her on the phone and we arranged the schedule. She was supposed to call me in 2 hours from that time. She was nice and professional. She asked me what I think about the leakage. I answered this is only the beginning.When she asked me if I trust what government says, I laughed and said obviously no. She asked me why. I was “Because the government has been saying no meltdown, no meltout was going on. There is no short term health effect etc. Then last year, the chief cabinet secretary of  Japan said they didn’t announce Fukushima was having meltdown because he thought everyone was already aware of it.”. She said, “Sure.”. It was the radio show “World Have Your Say [URL]“. We had 30 mins. Japanese commentators found each other on Twitter and we waited for them to call me. I was supposed to talk on the phone. I found the program relatively fair in the beginning except for the “coughing” on the background. (Is it normal to catch someone’s coughing on the radio show of BBC ?)    and they started leaning to the “safer” side as it went toward the end. 20 mins have passed but still I had no phone call. I wondered if they don’t have everyone talk on the show, but all the other people seem to have a talk. 5 mins before the end, finally I got the phone call. It was the lady. I might have misheard but I think she asked me “Do you have any point of view to be asked?”. I didn’t really get what she meant. I said, “Cynical, just as always.”. She said, “Ok, I hope you to have a chance to talk”. My phone was connected to the studio. “The expert” kept on talking. Said, “Fukushima is much much smaller than Chernobyl. You can’t compare.” then I heard the ending music. I was given 0 question to answer. I was passed to the lady, she was “I’m sorry, it’s finished. If you have the next chance..”. This is why you read only one article today. In the middle of the program, another commentator, who is a film director, was asked “From what source those mothers in Fukushima get informed ?” Looking back the program, I think it was supposed to be the time to get me in the studio. but I wasn’t connected. It was quite an interesting and sad experience. I dare not to say they didn’t want to get me to talk because I have the anti-nuclear point of view and they found me too radical. If they didn’t want to have my talk on the show, they wouldn’t have invited me from the beginning. If I was a producer and wanted my talk on the show, I would invite someone like me just before the program and let him show his opinion in the last minute hoping for no interrupt. In the first phone call with the lady, she said they want to talk about the leakage in Fukushima. I said, “Which leakage?” because there are at least 5 potential leakages suspected in Fukushima nuclear plant. but then she stopped “… Which ??” If other programs are made that way too, each program must make someone like me all the time. This is what you hear and watch. And a video here showing the bbc correspondent reporting lethal amounts of radioactiviity at Fukushima, reported by Racheal Maddow (USA ) Rachel Maddow   |  September 04, 2013 ‘No good options’ at Japan’s damaged nuclear plant Edwin Lyman, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, talks with Rachel Maddow about the alarming new radiation readings coming from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and the despairingly few options for how to contain the vast quantities of radioactive wastewater accumulating at the site, threatening the Pacific Ocean. 3 September 2013 Last updated at 14:06 Share this page Email Print Share Facebook Twitter Fukushima leaks: Japan pledges $470m for ‘ice wall’ Joanna Gosling explains where the leaks are coming from Continue reading the main story Related Stories At the source of Fukushima’s water Watch Fukushima ‘much worse’ than reported Q&A: Fukushima leak problems Japan is to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into building a frozen wall around the Fukushima nuclear plant to stop leaks of radioactive water. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said an estimated 47bn yen ($473m, £304m) would be allocated. The leaks were getting worse and the government “felt it was essential to become involved to the greatest extent possible”, Mr Suga said. The plant was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The disaster knocked out cooling systems to the reactors, three of which melted down. Water is now being pumped in to cool the reactors, but storing the resultant large quantities of radioactive water has proved a challenge for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). ‘Closely watching’ Under the government plan, a wall of frozen earth will be created around the reactors using pipes filled with coolant to prevent groundwater coming into contact with contaminated water being used to cool fuel rods. Water treatment systems will also be upgraded to tackle the build-up of contaminated water, officials said. Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, told the BBC that the situation at the nuclear power plant was an “unprecedented crisis” and that it was “getting worse”. He said the plan to freeze the ground around the site was “challenging”, and a permanent solution was needed. The technique has only been used on a small scale to control pollution before but not with radioactive contamination, he added. The damage to the plant has necessitated the constant pumping of water to cool the reactors – a process which creates an extra 400 tonnes of contaminated water every day. That water is being stored in temporary tanks at the site. Last month Tepco said that 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from one of the tanks, in the most serious incident to date. Satellite images show how the number of water storage tanks has increased in the past two years. The tanks store contaminated water that has been used to cool the reactors. But in recent months there have also been leaks from pipes and there are concerns that water is seeping from damaged reactor buildings into the ground. Last month, Japan’s nuclear regulator classified the severity level of radioactive water leak issues at Fukushima as a three on the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (Ines). The triple meltdown at Fukushima two years ago was classed as a level seven incident, one of only two nuclear events ever rated that highly – along with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union. “The world is closely watching whether we can dismantle the (Fukushima) plant, including the issue of contaminated water,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “The government is determined to work hard to resolve the issue.” The funding pledge comes days before a decision is due on the host nation for the 2020 summer Olympic Games, for which Tokyo is a candidate. Meanwhile, one of Japan’s only two nuclear reactors still online was shut down on Tuesday for mandatory inspections. The shutdown of Kansai Electric’s Oi Unit 3 reactor will leave the plant’s Unit 4 reactor the only one still functioning in Japan. Unit 4 must also be taken offline later this month for routine assessment. Restarting Japan’s other nuclear reactors remains a highly controversial issue, but the government is working to get this done to fill an energy gap. Water from the storage tanks has seeped into the groundwater and then into the sea. Efforts to use a chemical barrier to prevent sea contamination have not worked. Video here January 30, 2012 Subscribe Risk Perceptions about Nuclear Power and the UK’s Energy Infrastructure by ScienceOffice Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee held its second inquiry into “Risk Perception and Energy Infrastructure” on January 25 to investigate public perceptions toward the risk of nuclear power in the UK.  The first inquiry took place on January 18.  In this second inquiry, two panels of experts testified.  The science media panel — Sense about Science Managing Director Tracey Brown, Science Media Centre Director Fiona Fox, and former Science Editor for The Times Mark Henderson — testified about the responsibility journalists and government officials have in presenting accurate scientific assessments of risk to the public during crises, rather than sensationalized headlines.   As an example, Tracey Brown and Fiona Fox explained how during the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident, Europe’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced to the press:  “There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen.  Practically everything is out of control.  I cannot exclude the worst in the hours and days to come.”  Ms. Brown noted that journalists seized onto the Apocalypse term, which headlined in almost every media outlet.  Ms. Fox added that focus shifted away from panels of science experts set up by the Science Media Center to brief government officials and the media on the real risks associated with the crisis.  The pressure to sensationalize headlines is real, according to Ms. Fox. “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”  She described instances where journalists she knew were taken off stories for presenting a more “measured, balanced, accurate narrative” instead of the “scare stories” that their editors wanted.    Separate from this type of sensationalism, Ms. Brown pointed to inadequate international standards as another source of risk misperception during a crisis.  Under its International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) classified Fukushima as a Major Accident (7) – the highest level.  Some media outlets then published that Fukushima equated to Chernobyl, which too was a Major Accident.  However, Ms. Brown pointed out that IAEA’s scale fails to communicate the varied risk levels associated under each level.  The risks to public health in Japan differed considerably from that in Chernobyl.  She recommended that the IAEA develop a new scale that quantified degrees of public health risk to better assist the media and public understand an event as it unfolded in the future.   A second source of risk misperception at Fukushima, according to Ms. Brown, is overly conservative national safety regulations.  As an example, she cited Japanese officials who reported that tap water in the areas around Fukushima showed 210 becquerels per liter of iodine-131 – more than twice the Japanese recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants.  Media picked up this statement, headlining that the water was not safe to drink.  (Becquerels is a measure of radioactivity).  However, the recommended limit for adults in Japan is 300 becquerels per liter.  Further, IAEA international guidelines set the safety limit ten times higher, at 3,000 becquerels per liter, for major events like Fukushima.  “What was set out to be a precautionary measure to protect the public,” stressed Ms. Brown, “actually became a source of concern and a source of alarming stories.”  The IAEA has since stated on its website that “the standards adopted by the Japanese authorities for this emergency are precautionary.  Japanese water remains safe to drink.”    The second panel of experts testifying before the committee included Sedgemoor District Council Corporate Director Bob Brown, EDF Energy Nuclear New Build (NNB) Director Richard Mayson, and Central Lancashire University Applied Policy Sciences Executive Director Dr. Rick Wylie.   Interestingly, Dr. Wylie described the “paradox” of the Fukushima accident on the UK Nuclear New Build program.  Support for nuclear power in the UK has changed little since Fukushima, he noted, pointing out that “people who live close to nuclear power plants may not fully trust it, but they still like it.”  According to Mr. Mayson, every community designated as a future EDF Energy New Build site wants more nuclear plants.  The reason, he speculated, is the generational reliance on economic benefits flowing from the industry to the community.  At the EDF Energy-operated nuclear power station Hinkley Point, according to Mr. Brown, the local community understands the risks of nuclear power, and civil officials engage on a regular basis with plant operators to mitigate that risk.  Dr. Wylie noted that over 13,000 people, about ten percent of the west Cumbrian population, works at Sellafield, a nuclear reprocessing site operated by the UK government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).  Most west Cumbrian families have relatives that have worked there for sixty years, according to Wylie, and therefore even support the construction of a new radioactive waste and nuclear fuel reprocessing facility at Sellafield.    Where in many countries like Germany, public opinion has shifted firmly against nuclear power, it has not in the UK.  Mr. Mayson asserted that EDF Energy has invested 500 million GBP to mitigate risks identified by the UK public, elected community councils, or government regulators during the NNB planning and design approval process.  (EDF Energy, a UK subsidiary of the French state-owned EDF Group power company, acquired an 80 percent stake in British Energy in 2003 and operates eight UK nuclear power stations.  EDF Energy announced it will construct four NNB reactors at Hinkley Point and Sizewell C and is competing to build eight more reactors at three other UK sites).  Nearly 95% of the questions it receives no longer relate to nuclear safety and waste, but to the transportation of nuclear material and socio-economic effects of nuclear power.  This nuanced inquiry into the risks of nuclear power in the UK suggests that it will remain a part of the UK’s clean energy mix for the foreseeable future.    Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee will hold its third inquiry on February 1 with a panel of UK government experts:  Environment Agency Chief Executive Dr. Paul Leinster; Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency Deputy Director Dr. Jill Meara; Health and Safety Executive Chief Geoffrey Podger, and HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations and Office for Nuclear Regulation Head Dr. Mike Weightman. Roger Harrabin Environment analyst Nuclear plants are not breeding fast – it has taken a whole generation to get this close to a new pair. But today’s decision is only the start of a government struggle to fuel much of the country on atomic power. Because Hinkley is the only nuclear plant queuing for planning permission at the moment. What’s more, the stations there will have to be subsidised massively by the public under a deal being “intensely” discussed by the Treasury. Its owners are asking for government guarantees that may possibly be challenged under EU competition law and the firm is still looking for a business partner. And even if the plants at Hinkley actually do get off the ground, there is still a huge question mark over the rest of the new-build programme. To replace historic capacity would need at least three more developments on this scale. But it’s barely conceivable that the new-build programme could progress with no sign of a long-term nuclear waste disposal in prospect. The stakes are high. The government’s chief energy scientist David Mackay recently warned that to supply clean energy to industry would take a four-fold increase in nuclear power – or (based on new figures) an increase in wind power of between 12-20 fold. That’s unless we all start saving energy with a level of frugality and invention which has eluded us so far the telegraph in climate denial mode here but with an interesting qoute about scientists from an ex bbc director mark thompson at the royal society.. My favourite bit though is the one where – again unwittingly, it seems – he resorts to yet another rhetorical fallacy (the argumentum ad populum) to demonstrate that “scientists” are considered in opinion surveys to be much more trustworthy than “journalists.” Well given what the BBC has done over the years in its piss-poor reportage of any number of issues to discredit the cause of honest journalism, is it any wonder? The New York Times is more than welcome to its new editor. Frankly, they deserve each other. UPDATE I’m not going to do a separate post on Maurizio Morabito’s scoop. (I’m writing it up for my Speccie column instead: important to get this stuff beyond the blogosphere, I think) You can read the full story of 28Gate here at Watts Up With That? Wednesday, 11 September 2013 Is the BBC anti-science? It’s a point that keeps coming up: Does the BBC have an anti-science bias?  The question isn’t usually meant in the sense of ‘Does the BBC dislike science?’; no, it’s more a question of whether the BBC has a preference for the humanities and whether it undervalues science.  An earlier post tackled the question of why BBC One’s Question Time features so few scientists (a mere two in over three years), but Professor Lisa Jardine has recently raised a more general point. She claims the BBC is, as the Telegraph puts it, “dumbing down science programmes because it is staffed with humanities graduates who are ignorant about the subject”. Her essential point is that BBC producers – most of whom are trained in the humanities – assume that we, the public, know as little about science as they do. Hence, science presenters are “told to avoid using any technical terms for fear of alienating people, while arts presenters can reference relatively obscure cultural figures without any further explanation”. She concedes that Radio 4 is now introducing more scientific content, but says that its science department is still dwarfed by the arts unit. (I have to say that my impression is that Radio 4 has rather less scientific content now that it had during the four-year controllership (if there’s such a word) of James Boyle in the late 1990s.) This passage from the Telegraph article (quoting Lisa Jardine) rather tickled me – especially for the Telegraph’s helpful parentheses, which seem to assume that its readers don’t know much about anything!: “Anyone who has done broadcasting on science for the BBC will know that whereas you are never asked to explain who (actor) John Carlisle is, if I say ‘mitochondria’ (energy-producing components of cells), they say, ‘Can’t you say it in ordinary language because people won’t understand’. “They always say, ‘Because my mother won’t understand’. Many mothers now have PhDs, so let’s leave out the mothers. In the rising age groups, 45 per cent of that cohort went to University for goodness’ sake.” (That said, though I knew about mitochondria, I will confess that I’d hadn’t a clue who John Carlisle was.) Now, though the Telegraph article quotes a BBC spokesman saying that’s everything’s fine and that BBC is getting it about right, I do think there’s a lot going for what Lisa Jardine is saying.  I’ve got my Radio Times for next week, and there’s not much science on either BBC One or BBC Two – though there’s more than there usually is.  There’s a new landmark history of British science starting next Wednesday, but guess who’s presented it? With the inevitability of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it just has to be Professor Brian Cox.  Yes, he’s an enthusiastic, knowledgeable man – and, wow!, coincidentally, used to be a pop singer and goes down well with the ladies because of his youthful good looks – but does the BBC have an ulterior motive for using him on so many of its high-profile science documentaries? Something to do with its ratings, perhaps? Still, that other trusty and time-honoured ratings-grabber Sir David Attenborough also has a new series starting next week on the evolution of vertebrates, which sounds splendid. Typically, the blurb promises “stunning CGI”.  Both are on BBC Two rather than BBC One, as BBC One seems to have largely given up on Reithian values of education long ago.  History seems more the BBC’s thing, if this coming week’s TV schedule is anything to go by (and it is, with four such documentaries), and Radio 4’s schedule is stuffed to the gills with humanities-based material over the coming week, but offers very little science – though, ironically, Lisa Jardine’s Seven Ages of Science is one of the exceptions.   Curiously, if you think about it though, both Prof Jardine’s Seven Ages of Science and Brian Cox’s Science Britannica are history programmes too. They come under the category of ‘The History of Science’. Did that help them get commissioned? Did the humanities graduates at the BBC find something they could relate to – and assume their audiences could relate to – in that? Would they have so willingly commissioned a true ‘hard science’ series?  While I’m on (and am I ever off at the moment, lord ‘elp me?), another gripe of mine about the BBC and science arises from John Humphrys and his larky, ‘ooh,-look-at-me,-I-don’t-know-much-about-science-so-I’ll-affect-an-ironic-tone-whenever-a-scientist-comes-onto-Today-and-everybody-will-love-me-for-it’ attitude. Give it a rest please, John.  The other Today presenters aren’t as bad, but they usually sound as if they want to say ‘Gee Whiz!’ after every science story.  So what do you make of the BBC’s science coverage? Has Horizon got worse?  I’m not sure about the last question because I stopped watching it some years ago. In the ’90s, it was passing tolerable, though it went through a phase when most episodes seemed to climax in something apocalyptic (the end of humanity, the end of the universe) – so much so that I used to laugh when the inevitable ‘We all doomed, doomed I tells yer!’ passage came up [and it usually came up again and again in each episode] – but then it started getting silly and I gave up on it. Has it improved again?  (I did watch one recently about cats, as I tend to watch things about cats. I enjoyed it – as it was about cats – but I saw lots of online comments slagging it off for dumbing down as well). So what do you, our well-informed readership, make of this question? Is the BBC clueless about science? Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’ By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News Rupert Wingfield-Hayes travels to the source of the water being contaminated by Fukushima Continue reading the main story Related Stories Fukushima water leak ’emergency’ Steam seen at Fukushima building Q&A: Fukushima leak problems A nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated. Mycle Schneider is an independent consultant who has previously advised the French and German governments. He says water is leaking out all over the site and there are no accurate figures for radiation levels. Meanwhile the chairman of Japan’s nuclear authority said that he feared there would be further leaks. The ongoing problems at the Fukushima plant increased in recent days when the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitted that around 300 tonnes of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank on the site. Moment of crisis The Japanese nuclear energy watchdog raised the incident level from one to three on the international scale that measures the severity of atomic accidents. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place” Mycle Schneider Nuclear consultant This was an acknowledgement that the power station was in its greatest crisis since the reactors melted down after the tsunami in 2011. But some nuclear experts are concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit. They are worried about the enormous quantities of water, used to cool the reactor cores, which are now being stored on site. Some 1,000 tanks have been built to hold the water. But these are believed to be at around 85% of their capacity and every day an extra 400 tonnes of water are being added. “The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic,” said Mycle Schneider, who has consulted widely for a variety of organisations and countries on nuclear issues. “What is the worse is the water leakage everywhere else – not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that. Satellite images show how the number of water storage tanks has increased in the past two years. The tanks store contaminated water that has been used to cool the reactors. “It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse,” said Mr Schneider, who is lead author for the World Nuclear Industry status reports. At news conference, the head of Japan’s nuclear regulation authority Shunichi Tanaka appeared to give credence to Mr Schneider’s concerns, saying that he feared there would be further leaks. “We should assume that what has happened once could happen again, and prepare for more. We are in a situation where there is no time to waste,” he told reporters. The lack of clarity about the water situation and the continued attempts by Tepco to deny that water was leaking into the sea has irritated many researchers. Dr Ken Buesseler is a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who has examined the waters around Fukushima. “It is not over yet by a long shot, Chernobyl was in many ways a one week fire-explosive event, nothing with the potential of this right on the ocean.” “We’ve been saying since 2011 that the reactor site is still leaking whether that’s the buildings and the ground water or these new tank releases. There’s no way to really contain all of this radioactive water on site.” “Once it gets into the ground water, like a river flowing to the sea, you can’t really stop a ground water flow. You can pump out water, but how many tanks can you keep putting on site?” Several scientists also raised concerns about the vulnerability of the huge amount of stored water on site to another earthquake. Water from the storage tanks has seeped into the groundwater and then into the sea. Efforts to use a chemical barrier to prevent sea contamination have not worked. New health concerns The storage problems are compounded by the ingress of ground water, running down from the surrounding hills. It mixes with radioactive water leaking out of the basements of the reactors and then some of it leaches into the sea, despite the best efforts of Tepco to stem the flow. Some of the radioactive elements like caesium that are contained in the water can be filtered by the earth. Others are managing to get through and this worries watching experts. “Our biggest concern right now is if some of the other isotopes such as strontium 90 which tend to be more mobile, get through these sediments in the ground water,” said Dr Buesseler. “They are entering the oceans at levels that then will accumulate in seafood and will cause new health concerns.” There are also worries about the spent nuclear fuel rods that are being cooled and stored in water pools on site. Mycle Schneider says these contain far more radioactive caesium than was emitted during the explosion at Chernobyl. “There is absolutely no guarantee that there isn’t a crack in the walls of the spent fuel pools. If salt water gets in, the steel bars would be corroded. It would basically explode the walls, and you cannot see that; you can’t get close enough to the pools,” he said. The “worsening situation” at Fukushima has prompted a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland to call for the withdrawal of Tokyo’s Olympic bid. In a letter to the UN secretary general, Mitsuhei Murata says the official radiation figures published by Tepco cannot be trusted. He says he is extremely worried about the lack of a sense of crisis in Japan and abroad. This view is shared by Mycle Schneider, who is calling for an international taskforce for Fukushima. “The Japanese have a problem asking for help. It is a big mistake; they badly need it.” Follow Matt on Twitter. the bbc as a factual link here with greenpeace as “other views” this has partners of corporate origin and euractive (that issued criirads iodine warning for europe from fukushima) and bellona (I need to check with bellona about their being associated with the nuclear playdown on this site with the euractive/criirad/fukushima contradiction…) from Highlights of recent reports on the consequences of the Chernobyl accident on thyroid cancer, leukaemia, effects on children health and birth defects (updated version) you get this to replace chernobyl consequences by yablakov ?? Revealed: British government’s plan to play down Fukushima 2011-06-30, The Guardian (One of the UK’s leading newspapers)… British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known. Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK. “This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.” Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power. Louise Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, said the emails looked like “scandalous collusion”. “This highlights the government’s blind obsession with nuclear power and shows neither they, nor the industry, can be trusted when it comes to nuclear,” she said. Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government and corporate corruption, click here and here. Why can’t nuclear waste be sent into outer space? | Focus Magazine‎ 28 Nov 2012 – The world’s nuclear reactors have generated tens of thousands of tonnes of high-level nuclear waste, and the current solution is to simply store the stuff. … Education prospectus 2013/14 … The licence to publish Focus Magazine was acquired from BBC Worldwide by Immediate Media Company on 1 November 2011. Click to access Speaker%20info_online.pdf eveson Inquiry I Leveson gives verdict on press ethics – and on science reporting in the media November 29, 2012 Overall, this document gave a positive review of the current scenario but listed a number of problems and suggested recommendations to improve the general standard of reporting. SMC chief executive Fiona Fox was also called to give oral evidence, after which Lord Leveson invited her ‘to provide some draft guidelines for science journalism which, if followed, would reduce the risk of the press printing the type of story that has received critical comment’. This resulted in the submission by the Science Media Centre of a document, 10 best practice guidelines for reporting science & health stories’, to which the RSS contributed. In his report, Lord Leveson described the guidelines as ‘commendable for their utility as well as their succinctness.’ He added that ‘Any new regulator should bear them closely in mind’. Elsewhere, Lord Leveson also acknowledged the press’s responsibility when it comes to reporting science and health reporting. ‘In some cases, it will be neither easy nor obvious for readers to orientate themselves in relation to material they read in the press,’ he said, citing examples in science and health reporting, ‘where most non-specialist readers cannot easily judge for themselves what experts are telling us.’ Roeland Beerten, RSS Director of Public Affairs, said ‘It is clear the Leveson report, although only just published, will continue to drive the discussion on the quality of media reporting. Click to access Witness-Statement-of-Fiona-Fox.pdf Click to access Second-Submission-to-Inquiry-Guidelines-for-Science-and-Health-Reporting.pdf POLESTAR SIGNS £75 MILLION DEAL WITH IMMEDIATE MEDIA CO Posted on Polestar has renewed its magazine printing contracts with Immediate Media Company in a multi-year deal worth around £75 million. The deal encompass Immediate’s flagship weekly listings title Radio Times, together with leading brands including BBC Good Food, BBC Top Gear, Lonely Planet Traveller, olive magazine and top children’s titles including Doctor Who Adventures, Match of the Day and CBeebies Weekly. Under its terms, Polestar will also now print a number of Immediate titles originally won by Polestar Bicester (prior to its acquisition by Polestar), including You & Your Wedding and Practical Parenting & Pregnancy. James Povey, Marketing Director – UK Print at Polestar, said: “This major commitment by Immediate Media Co to Polestar is fantastic news for us. We are delighted that our long standing relationship on these magazines has been validated in such a way. This deal is an indication of the positive reaction Polestar is receiving from our clients following announcement of the £50 million new web offset investment programme earlier this month.” Mal Skelton, Production Director of Immediate Media Co said: “This deal is mutually beneficial to both companies and is a reflection of our successful, long-term business relationship with Polestar. I look forward to continuing to work with James and his team to ensure production values of Immediate’s market-leading portfolio are of the highest quality.” For further information, please contact: Polestar James Povey Tel: 07831 011236 E-mail: Immediate Media Co Sarah Williams-Robbins Tel: 0207 150 5014 Email: Immediate Media Company Limited (styled as Immediate Media Co) is a combined publishing house, combining the former assets of Origin Publishing, Magicalia and BBC Magazines. It was created in late 2011 following the clearance by the Office of Fair Trading of the purchase of BBC Magazines from BBC Worldwide by Exponent Private Equity.[1] Exponent Private Equity BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products, Brands, Consumers & New Ventures and Magazines, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website:;; Exponent is a private equity firm investing in UK headquartered businesses with an enterprise value of between £75m and £350m. It typically targets companies that are market leaders, supporting management to grow their businesses. Formed in 2004, it invested its first fund of £400m in nine companies before raising a second fund of £800m, and is currently investing from this second fund. Exponent’s current portfolio includes: Ambassador Theatre Group, the largest owner and operator of theatres in the UK; Radley, one of the leading suppliers of premium branded handbags in the UK; and Trainline, the UK’s leading internet retailer of train tickets. Most recently Exponent announced its acquisition of Quorn Foods, the meat-free business of Premier Foods plc, and Pattonair, the supply chain division of Umeco plc. BBC Worldwide announces new programming deal with CCTV at China Showcase Date: 21.08.2013 “Natural history programming has been growing in popularity in China, partly due to BBC and CCTV’s strong relationship in China,” said Pierre Cheung, VP and GM of BBC Worldwide, Greater China.  “We’ve been providing increasingly amounts of natural history and factual programmes to our trusted partner, and this deal gives Chinese viewers even more access to award-winning quality natural history programming from the BBC’s Natural History Unit, as well as access to top quality programmes from our other genres.” BBC Worldwide signs deal to launch CBeebies programming block to BesTV New Media in China Date: 11.06.2013Last updated: 11.06.2013 at 10.19 Category: BBC Worldwide CBeebies content be seen on multi-screens across China Click to tweet: BBC Worldwide signs deal to launch #CBeebies programming block to BesTV New Media in #China via @BBCWpress  BBC Worldwide today announced a deal with BesTV, China’s largest new media company, to launch a CBeebies branded block on their multi screen platform. Return to Chernobyl – Is Nuclear Power Safe? – Horizon – BBC 4 minute clip [youtube=] shows depressed woman as health effect.. no health effects on galina and her children .. they were made to stay inside for 2 days and the inpact caused headaches high blood pressure and might be radiation.. I live in fear (fear mentioned a few times.. ) no link to one persons illness and their exposure to radiation.. then the chernobyl forum prof tronko in ukraine says there was only some thyroid cancer incidence.. no confirmed increases in general population.. BBCWorldwide Published on 20 Feb 2013 Galina Chayka, who was living in Pripyat at the time of the Chernobyl accident, visits her old flat for the first time in 25 years. Professor Jim Al-Khalili then talks to experts about the impact that the 1986 disaster had on human health. Subscribe to the BBC Worldwide channel: BBC Worldwide Channel: Return to Fukushima – Is Nuclear Power Safe? – Horizon – BBC Shows resident not wearing mask with kalili discussing not going back to his evacuated home even if the restrictions were lifted.. very short clip no real mention of the radiation hazard.. Published on 13 Feb 2013 Former Fukushima resident Kunitomo Tokuzawa visits his house with his mother, six months after the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan and the release of radiation there. Fascinating clip from BBC 2 science series, Horizon. Subscribe to the BBC Worldwide channel: BBC Worldwide Channel: [youtube=] How much Radiation is Harmful? – Horizon – Is Nuclear Power Safe? – BBC Bananas nuts and kalili == low dose could be harmful.. other scientists think there is a threshold level.. an different way to look at it.. arguments is in the curve.. other might be more sensitive to radiation.. the debate continues.. mentions pipryat .. short clip shows depressed woman.. no harm but real fear and horror and fear grief , shot to crying woman… blimey! Published on 27 Feb 2013 In today’s world, small amounts of Radiation are all around us. But when does some become too much? Professor Jim Al-Khalili finds out. From hit BBC 2 science series, Horizon. Subscribe to the BBC Worldwide channel: BBC Worldwide Channel: Category Science & Technology Licence Standard YouTube Licence [youtube=] ARCHIVED 2007 Sceptics Some scientists disagree with the global and UK predictions for climate change, mainly because the climate had changed naturally before. In addition predicting changes to our climate is very complex and the use of computer models has raised some criticism. On top of that, some experts believe it is impossible to be certain about how our climate will change as it can be very unpredictable. They also believe, the climate is supposed to change and it has done before. Many believe activities from humans can not be to blame for changes in the climate. Some sceptics have criticised the reports of the IPCC as being based on unknown assumptions about the future and based on computer models which are not adequate for such a job. Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the University of London, Philip Stott summed up his thoughts on the issue in a newspaper article in 2005. “Climate change has to be broken down into three questions: ‘Is climate changing and in what direction?’ ‘Are humans influencing climate change, and to what degree?’ And: ‘Are humans able to manage climate change predictably by adjusting one or two factors out of the thousands involved?’ The most fundamental question is: ‘Can humans manipulate climate predictably?’ Or, more scientifically: ‘Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?’ The answer is ‘No’. In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.” Climate change continues to cause a great deal of debate but if you would like to find out more about the arguments presented by the Climate Sceptics, the following links provide access to information on the wide and diverse opinions surrounding this subject. (The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites) BBC News Institute for Climate Impact Research The Scientific Alliance Science and Environmental Policy Project George C. Marshall Institute AND ARE THERE FORCES IN THE BBC TRYING TO GET THE INFO OUT BUT THE INFO IS BLOCKED BY SMC ETC.. Chernobyl’s Legacy Recorded In Trees [youtube=] Published on 18 Aug 2013 Exposure to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident had a lasting negative legacy on the area’s trees, a study has suggested. Researchers said the worst effects were recorded in the “first few years” but surviving trees were left vulnerable to environmental stress, such as drought. They added that young trees appeared to be particularly affected. Writing in the journal Trees, the team said it was the first study to look at the impact at a landscape scale. “Our field results were consistent with previous findings that were based on much smaller sample sizes,” explained co-author Tim Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US. “They are also consistent with the many reports of genetic impacts to these trees,” he told BBC News. “Many of the trees show highly abnormal growth forms reflecting the effects of mutations and cell death resulting from radiation exposure.” Prof Mousseau, who has been carrying out field studies since 1999 within the 30km (19-mile) exclusion zone around the site of the 1986 explosion, said it was the first time that a study of this scale – involving more than 100 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) at 12 sites – had been conducted. “There was one similar study conducted before but it only looked at a total of nine trees and was mainly interested in wood structure, not growth,” he said. “Another study was performed in the 1950s but it was for a different tree in the US and it used a single external gamma source suspended above the ground to show growth effects for a very limited number of trees.” BBC science reporter Victoria Gill in 2011 joined a team of scientists studying wildlife in the Chernobyl exclusion zone For this study, the team took core samples from Scots pine trees for a number of reasons, such as the species is found across Europe and well dispersed within the Chernobyl region. “They are also a favourite for silviculture and have enormous economic value,” Prof Mousseau added. Collage of photos showing mutated Scots pines (Image: Tim Mousseau) The twisted stems of Scots pines have been attributed to mutations caused by radiation exposure “Also, based on past work and our own observations, they appeared to be a good target for radioecology as they showed signs of being impacted by the fallout. “In fact, one of the first ecological observations at Chernobyl was the death of the so-called red forest: a stand of these pines which very quickly died and turned red following the disaster.” Scots pines’ tree rings were also easier to read than other species, such as birch, found in the study area, he explained. Prof Mousseau and his team hope to follow up this study by carrying out similar work in the Fukushima region in Japan, where logging also had considerable economic importance and pine trees were widely dispersed. “Based on our limited field observations in the most contaminated regions of Fukushima prefecture, there did not appear to be a major die off as seen in Chernobyl for Scots pines,” he said. “However, anecdotally, we have noticed significant die off of growing tips and branches in some areas that suggests that there could be impacts on growth. “This is worth further investigation.”… 7 July 2012 Last updated at 01:30 Share this page Email Print Share Facebook Twitter Chernobyl’s radioactive trees and the forest fire risk By Patrick Evans Chernobyl, Ukraine THEY DONT TALK ABOUT THE 2010 FOREST FIRES OR THE LACK OF MONITORING FOR THE CONTAMINATION .. IE WATFORD STATS ON EMERGENCY ADMISSIONS TO HOSPITAL FOR RESPIRATORY EMERGENCIES.. A PEAK AFTER THE REPROTED CHERNOBYL FIRE I 2010.. 9 August 2013 Last updated at 01:50 Share this page Email Print 4.2K Share Facebook Twitter Chernobyl’s legacy recorded in trees By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News The change in wood colour in these Scots pine logs indicates the year of the accident Continue reading the main story Related Stories The radioactive trees of Chernobyl Plants endure Chernobyl radiation Mammals decline in Chernobyl zone Exposure to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident had a lasting negative legacy on the area’s trees, a study has suggested. 🙂 more to come

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | September 24, 2013 | Reply

  4. Think you might like Helen Dawson’s comment.

    Ah, before you continue, i might need a little time to review this.
    After all, you have likely only just grazed the surface! 😛

    Don’t stop on my account though. Don’t want to interrupt genius at work.

    ♫ “My music at work” ♫ – tragically hip

    Comment by Dud | September 25, 2013 | Reply

  5. just keeping all the research in one place for the budding investigator..
    coca cola???????? lol! easy tax free money marketting scheme.. imo
    little or none of this funding seems to be for good causes and the finances are tightly managed ..
    list of past funders of the Science media centre

    Current Funders

    (To date: August 2013)

    Airwave Solutions
    Alzheimer’s Research UK
    Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
    Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)
    Bayer Plc
    Biochemical Society
    Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
    BP International Ltd
    Bristol University
    British Heart Foundation
    British In Vitro Diagnostics Association
    British Pharmacological Society
    British Psychological Society (BPS)
    Cancer Research UK
    Cardiff University
    Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
    Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
    Chilled Food Association (CFA)
    CropLife International
    Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
    Diamond Light Source
    DMG Media, including Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro and MailOnline
    Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
    Elsevier BV
    Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    EUK Consulting
    European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Food and Drink Federation
    Food Standards Agency (FSA)
    The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
    Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority
    Human Tissue Authority (HTA)
    Imperial College London
    Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST)
    Institute of Mental Health
    Institute of Physics (IOP)
    Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
    Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
    Institution of Civil Engineers
    Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET)
    Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
    John Wiley & Sons Inc
    King’s College London
    L’Oreal UK
    Life Technologies
    Medical Research Council (MRC)
    Mental Health Foundation
    Mental Health Research Network
    Mental Health Research Network Cymru
    Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Limited
    The Met Office
    Mobile Manufacturers Forum
    Mobile Operators Association (MOA)
    National Grid
    National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
    National Institute for Health Research
    National Nuclear Laboratory
    Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
    Newcastle University
    Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)
    Nuclear Industry Association
    Proctor & Gamble
    PR Works
    The Physiological Society
    Queen Mary, University of London
    Research Councils UK (RCUK)
    Royal Academy of Engineering
    Royal Pharmaceutical Society
    The Royal Society
    Sanofi Pasteur MSD
    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    Scottish Mental Health Research Network
    Smith & Nephew
    Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)
    Society for General Microbiology (SGM)
    Society for Radiological Protection
    Society of Biology
    Maudsley Charity
    Springer science+business media
    Technology Strategy Board
    UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKPCI)
    UK Energy Research Centre
    University College London
    University of Bristol
    University of Cambridge
    University of East Anglia
    University of Oxford
    Wellcome Trust

    Previous Funders

    AAAS and the magazine Science
    Alcohol Research UK
    Allied Domecq
    ARM Holdings Plc
    Association for Science Education
    BASF Plc
    Beeson Gregory
    BBC Worldwide
    Boots UK Ltd
    British Computer Society (BCS)
    British Energy Plc
    British Geological Survey (BGS)
    British Embassy in Washington
    British Land Plc
    British Neuroscience Association
    British Transplantation Society Council
    Cadbury Plc
    Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
    Chiron Vaccines
    CNAP Artemisia Research Project
    Coalition for Medical Progress (CMP)
    Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the European Union (CIAA)
    Conoco (UK) Ltd
    Co-operative Group (CWS) Limited
    Daily Express
    Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
    Dixons Group Plc
    The Dow Chemical Company
    The Drayson Foundation
    Du Pont (UK) Ltd
    EDF Energy
    Eli Lilly & Company
    Emergent Biosolutions Inc
    Engineering UK
    Environment Agency
    European Science Foundation (ESF)
    GE Healthcare
    The Government Office for Science (GO-S)
    International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
    Independent Climate Change Email Review
    Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Techology (IMarEST)
    JH Ritblat Charitable Trust
    Kraft Foods Inc
    Lever Faberge
    The Marmot Review
    Merlin Biosciences
    Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association
    Monsanto UK Ltd
    National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
    New Scientist
    News International Ltd
    Northern Foods
    Parkinson’s Disease Society
    Pfizer Limited
    Philips UK
    The Posen Foundation
    Rothamsted Research
    Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
    Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP)
    Royal College of Pathologists
    Royal College of Physicians
    Royal Society of Medicine
    Science Council
    Shell UK Limited
    Siemens Plc
    Simon Best
    Smith & Nephew Plc
    Tate & Lyle Plc
    Tesco Limited
    Trinity Mirror Plc
    UCL Institute of Health Equity
    Unilever UK
    University of Portsmouth
    University of Teesside
    Vodafone Group
    Weizmann UK
    Wi-Fi Alliance
    World Health Organisation (WHO)

    download pdf from charity commision.. the bbc is getting training advise from the smc for their bbc journalist college.. hmmm??

    more to come after some digging..

    ps 500,000 pounds approx income a year to pay 9 staff members and there are 12 volunteers.. 320,000 approx staff costs.. and 120,000 approx expenses..
    limited donations to have the perception of avoiding financial obligations but these funders are largely having some product they sell..

    the nuclear lobby is well represented on this list as are the big pharma and gmo`s and big oil for fracking.. fair and balanced science reporting???? not really..
    now i am off for more ferreting..

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | September 25, 2013 | Reply

  6. the power of the media

    19.09.13: Opposition to nuclear power in Britain has fallen since 2005 despite Fukushima accident.
    Similar proportions of people now support and oppose the use of nuclear power, according to research findings published today by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

    Researchers based at Cardiff University and the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan carried out a number of nationally representative surveys in Britain and Japan, both before and after the Fukushima accident, asking detailed questions about attitudes to nuclear power and covering aspects such as perceived risks and benefits, trust in safety and regulation, and the future of nuclear power in the Britain and Japan.

    The research found that the Fukushima nuclear accident had virtually no impact on British public attitudes to nuclear power, despite being responsible for a near-total collapse in public confidence in nuclear energy in Japan.

    Attitudes in Britain have become somewhat more positive in recent years, with similar proportions of people now supporting (32%) and opposing (29%) the use of nuclear power, compared to 26% (supporting) and 37% (opposing) in 2005.

    While a similar number of people want to continue nuclear at current levels or with expansion (43% in 2005, 46% in 2010 and 44% in 2013), fewer people now want to see nuclear power phased out or shut down (50% in 2005, 47% in 2010 and 40% in 2013).

    Even though there is still a substantial level of public concern over the storage of radioactive waste and nuclear accidents, concern over nuclear power in Britain has dropped since the Fukushima accident, from 58% in 2005 and 54% in 2010 to 47% in 2013.

    The proportion of respondents who agree that the risks of nuclear power outweigh the benefits has fallen from 41% in 2005 and 37% in 2010 to 29% in 2013, while the proportion of people who agree that the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks has increased from 32% in 2005 to 38% in 2010 and 37% in 2013.

    While there has been a shift in recent years in favour of nuclear power, fewer people now than in 2005 and 2010 are willing to accept the building of a new nuclear power stations to tackle climate change (47% in 2013 vs. 55% in 2005 and 56% in 2010). However, this may be associated as much with an increase in climate scepticism as with changing attitudes to nuclear power.

    The survey found that just under three-quarters of the British public (72%) accept that the world’s climate is changing. Nevertheless, the proportion of people doubting the reality of climate change has risen to one of the highest levels since 2005 (4% in 2005, 15% in 2010 and 19% in 2013).

    Dr Wouter Poortinga of the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, lead researcher, comments: “British attitudes towards nuclear power have been surprisingly robust in the wake of the Fukushima accident, and trust in regulation has held up fairly well. It even appears that the attitudes to nuclear have softened somewhat after Fukushima. However, in reality, nuclear power remains relatively unpopular as compared to renewable energy sources”.

    “We hope these findings will prove beneficial to both policy makers and industry, and help to ensure that key decisions about the future of Britain’s nuclear policy are informed by the best available evidence on public values and attitudes”.

    In comparison, very few Japanese people want to continue nuclear at current levels (15%) or with expansion (2%), and a majority wants to see nuclear power phased out gradually (53%) or immediately (23%). Only 17% of the Japanese public are now willing to accept the building of new nuclear power stations to tackle climate change, as compared to 22% in 2011 and 33% in 2007.

    While trust in the regulation of nuclear power was already low in Japan before the Fukushima accident (19% in 2007), it dropped to even lower levels after the accident (9% in both 2011 and 2013).

    Dr Midori Aoyagi of the National Institute for Environmental Studies states: “Our research shows that nuclear power has become very unpopular in Japan after the Fukushima accident. Public trust in the regulation of nuclear power is now at an all-time low. Instead most people would like to see the development of more solar and wind energy to replace nuclear power in the longer term”.

    – Ends –

    Notes to Editors

    The nationally representative survey in Great Britain was carried out as part of Ipsos MORI’s face-to-face omnibus that took place between 8 and 26 March 2013 (Great Britain, n=961). Respondents were aged 15+ and weighted to the profile of the known population.

    The findings from previous years were from nationally representative in-home quota surveys conducted by Ipsos MORI in Great Britain. Respondents were aged 15+ and weighted to the profile of the known population.
    2010: Survey took place between 6 January and 26 March 2010 (n=1,822).
    2005: Survey took place between 1 October and 6 November 2005 (n=1,491).
    The nationally representative survey in Japan (n=1,121) was carried out between 9-24 February 2013. Respondents were aged 20+.
    The results of the study were presented at a seminar on Nuclear Power after Fukushima, 19-20 September 2013, supported by the UK Energy Research Centre, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and the DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation.
    To download a full copy of the Working Paper, titled “Public Attitudes to Nuclear Power and Climate Change in Britain Two Years after the Fukushima Accident”, go to

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | September 25, 2013 | Reply

  7. Research intelligence – Shock troops check ‘poor’ GM study

    4 October 2012 | By Paul Jump

    Science Media Centre’s rapid rollout of experts’ views sway most media. Paul Jump reports

    The gentle folk of Middle England must have spat out their cornflakes a fortnight ago when confronted with a Daily Mail headline reading: “Major trial links Frankenfoods to cancer dangers”.

    Illustrated with a photo of an anti-GM protester dressed as the Grim Reaper, the article began: “Eating a GM food diet over a lifetime can cause breast cancer, severe organ damage and early death, according to a scientific study.”

    The study in question was carried out by a team led by Gilles-Eric Seralini, professor of molecular biology and co-director of the unit on multidisciplinary risks, quality and sustainable environment at the University of Caen in France, and was published in the Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

    The paper, “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize”, claimed that rats fed for two years with a form of maize that had been genetically modified to be resistant to a particular weedkiller were several times more likely to develop lethal tumours and incur severe liver and kidney damage than those fed on standard wheat. The effect was also observed when the rats drank water containing the weedkiller.

    According to the Mail, “scientists” believed the results “raised serious questions about the safety of GM foods”. Michael Antoniou, reader in molecular genetics and head of the Nuclear Biology Group, King’s College London, was quoted as saying that he was “shocked by the extreme negative health impacts” reported in the study.

    Only those resolute enough to read as far as the last three paragraphs of the 22-paragraph story would have encountered any quibbles. Anthony Trewavas, professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, was quoted as saying that the number of rats involved in the study was too small to draw any “meaningful” conclusions. He also described Professor Seralini as an “anti-GM campaigner”.

    Most scientists unimpressed

    But this comment was the mere tip of an iceberg of frosty reactions to the paper gathered from scientists by the UK’s Science Media Centre and circulated to journalists. Concerns centred around Professor Séralini’s statistical approach, selectivity with data and images, and choice of a strain of rat known to be prone to tumours.

    Tom Sanders, head of the diabetes and nutritional sciences division at King’s College London, said it looked like the paper’s authors had “gone on a statistical fishing trip”.

    David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, added: “The methods, statistics and reporting of results are all well below the standard I would expect in a rigorous study.”

    Even Food and Chemical Toxicology’s former editor, Alan Boobis, professor of biochemical pharmacology at Imperial College London, expressed reservations.

    Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre, insisted that the centre had not deliberately targeted pro-GMO scientists when eliciting responses. “No one would be happier than us if this paper had shown real effects because it would have been the biggest story in a decade,” she said.

    But she took pride in the fact that scientists’ emphatic thumbs down had largely been acknowledged throughout UK newsrooms: apart from the Mail, only The Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times covered the story in their print editions – and both used quotes supplied by the Science Media Centre. She had also heard that several television news programmes had also rejected the story after reading the quotes.

    Ms Fox took this as evidence that the 10-year-old centre was fulfilling its remit to prevent a repeat of incidents such as the uncritical reporting in 1998 of the claim – heavily criticised by the scientific community – made by Árpád Pusztai, a former researcher at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, that rats fed on GM potatoes had stunted growth and a repressed immune system.

    She said that the relatively muted coverage in the UK contrasted with how the story was reported in other countries, particularly France, where it was “front-page news everywhere”, prompting the French government to launch an inquiry into the study’s findings.

    According to Ms Fox, the Science Media Centre’s ability to gather a lot of expert comment quickly was particularly valuable in this instance because journalists who were shown the paper in advance of its publication were required to sign a highly unusual agreement that prevented them from sharing it with third parties. Critics claimed that this minimised the time journalists had to gather potentially negative commentary.

    Stand by for (book) launch

    The press liaison for the paper was also handled by an unlikely source: the Sustainable Food Trust. In a statement, the trust said the terms of the embargo had been dictated by the Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN), a Caen-based non-profit organisation whose scientific council features Professor Seralini as president and Professor Antoniou as a member.

    The committee’s aim is to supply “scientific counter-expertise to study GMOs, pesticides and impacts of pollutants on health and environment, and to develop non-polluting alternatives”.

    A spokesman for the committee said: “An embargo is needed for any research published.” He denied that the paper’s release was timed to coincide with the late-September publication of Professor Séralini’s book Tous Cobayes! OGM, Pesticides, Produits Chimiques, which translates as (We Are) All Guinea Pigs! GMO, Pesticides, Chemical Products.

    The Sustainable Food Trust agreed that “due to the sensitive nature of the research outcomes, any leak might jeopardise their subsequent publication”. It said it believed the paper would make “an important contribution to the debate” about GMOs and herbicides, and noted that it “had been peer-reviewed for publication in a respected journal”.

    But that publication is regarded by some scientists as a demonstration of the fallibility of peer review. Professor Spiegelhalter noted the Mail’s claim that peer review guaranteed that “the experiments were properly conducted and the results are valid”. “Any scientist who has been subject to the vagaries of peer review knows this ‘guarantee’ to be nonsense,” he said.

    Show your work

    Maurice Moloney, institute director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research, an agricultural research station funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, said the paper would “need to undergo another round of peer review”, but that would be possible only if Professor Seralini released all his data. An online petition calling on him to do so had garnered nearly 600 signatures within less than a week of the paper’s publication.

    The editors of Food and Chemical Toxicology, which has a relatively low impact factor of 2.999, did not respond to invitations to comment.

    Both the Sustainable Food Trust and CRIIGEN have posted detailed responses to the criticisms on their websites.

    Professor Seralini dismissed most of the concerns as “non-serious, erroneous, false or stupid”. He told Times Higher Education that he was surprised by the “violent and rapid [reaction] by scientists” and questioned the motives and expertise of his detractors, adding that most of them “have not published any peer-reviewed scientific papers on mammalian or human pathophysiological and toxicological studies”.

    He said his study was “the most comprehensive lifelong mammalian toxicological study ever performed on an agricultural GMO and a pesticide in formulation with its adjuvants”, and had used the same experimental design as a previous, shorter safety study conducted by the GM maize’s manufacturer.

    “If 10 rats is a too small number per group to [draw conclusions about] safety, then the [GM maize] and most agricultural GMOs should be forbidden,” he said.
    Readers’ comments (4)

    04 Oct 2012 2:58pm

    Here’s a brief backgrounder on 7 of the 8 experts quoted by the SMC in its press release – see if you notice a pattern: *The first one is Prof Maurice Moloney, Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research. What the SMC fails to tell journalists is that Moloney doesn’t just drive a Porsche with a GMO number plate, but has a c.v. to match. It is in fact Moloney’s GM research that lies behind Monsanto’s GM canola (oilseed rape). He also launched his own GM company in which Dow Agro Science were investors. In other words, Prof Moloney’s career and business activities have long been centered around GM. *Another expert quoted by the SMC is Dr Wendy Harwood. Dr Harwood is a GM scientist at the UK’s John Innes Centre, which has had tens of millions of pounds invested in it by GM giants like Syngenta. In fact, a previous director of the JIC told his local paper that any major slow down or halt in the development of GM crops “would be very, very serious for us.” *Prof Anthony Trewavas of the University of Edinburgh is another of the experts that the SMC GMO corn caused increased risk of tumor risk in ratsquotes. They don’t mention that Prof Trewavas is also a GM crop scientist, as well as a fervent opponent of organic farming, or that he is notorious for his attacks on scientists who publish research critical of GM. *Prof Mark Tester is yet another GM scientist quoted by the SMC. He is described by the SMC as Research Professor, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, University of Adelaide. His University of Adelaide profile tells us: “His commercial acumen is clear from his establishment of private companies and successful interactions with multinational companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and Pioneer-DuPont.” *The SMC describes Prof Ottoline Leyser as Associate Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. They don’t mention that the Laboratory is funded by the Gatsby Foundation of Lord Sainsbury, the well known GM enthusiast and biotech entrepreneur, who also set up and funds the GM-related work of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Centre. *Prof Alan Boobis is described by the SMC as Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, Imperial College London. They don’t mention that he is a long-time member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), i.e the very body that approved the GM corn in question, or that he has also long been on the board of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) – a biotech and food industry lobby group whose backers include the GM giants BASF, Bayer and Monsanto. *Prof Tom Sanders is described by the SMC as Head of the Nutritional Sciences Research Division, King’s College London. Like Prof Trewavas, Prof Sanders was involved in attacking the Pusztai study that earlier suggested concerns about GM. His criticisms do not appear to have been well founded. This was back in the late 1990s. According to an article in The Independent in 1996, Prof Sanders was at that time “Nutrasweet’s professional consultant”. Up until 2000, Nutrasweet was owned by Monsanto.

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    04 Oct 2012 4:17pm

    I’m shocked that the TES fell for the line that the SMC or its “experts” are in any way independent. The SMC takes corporate funding and its experts can be relied on to deliver packaged quotes casting doubt on studies that cast into question risky technologies like GM and mobile phone masts. Here’s more about the SMC: You only have to attend one of the many scientific conferences on environmental risks to know that there are plenty of scientists who say there’s evidence that GMOs, mobile phone masts, and endocrine-disruptor chemicals are very dangerous. But somehow we never hear from them via the SMC. All we get are the SMC’s “shouters” defending dodgy technologies, who often don’t seem to have even read the studies they dismiss!

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    09 Oct 2012 1:15pm

    Since Anthony Trewavas is keen on expertise, perhaps he’d like to tell us what expertise he has in toxicological feeding studies on animals, which Seralini has published lots of? And contrary to Klaus Ammann’s claims, I couldn’t see any actual scientific arguments being made in this article. The rude and possibly libellous comment of Tom Sanders is not a scientific argument as no data is given to back it up. I agree that the industry affiliations of the Science Media Centre “experts” quoted in the attacks on Seralini should not matter, that what matters is the scientific arguments. But their criticisms are not scientific but are ill-informed, emotional, and have no basis in fact:

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    09 Oct 2012 6:08pm

    Lisa: Just reporting what I read. “China is the leading producer of glyphosate in the world. In 2008, China contributed to more than 30% of the world’s total glyphosate production. More than 80% of China’s total glyphosate production is exported to around 95 countries around the globe”. [] Here in Scotland glyphosate is selling for 60% the price of equivalent Roundup. And how did Monsanto `in effect’ extend its market share of an out-of-patent product? Farmers are not stupid. I repeat: Séralini’s findings hit China harder than Monsanto. If Séralini had wanted to show Roundup was toxic then he should not have tried to show GM maize was toxic in the same experiment.

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | September 25, 2013 | Reply

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