Study Design Questioned

GMO banana Scientific Research Study Design should be questioned

GMO bananasThis experiment at Iowa State University exclusively targets non-smoker female students of 18-40 years of age to find out the Vitamin A efficacy in their bodies after eating beta-carotene enriched GM bananas, and then conclude that they would get efficacy results that are not statically different from those of their gender age group counter parts leaving in African environments under totally different conditions.

Controversy of the research goes across continents. The Study Design requires that the study is done on non-smokers only.  Other previous collaborated study findings concluded that “Smoking induces vitamin A depletion,” therefore, it would be logical to conclude that that was the reason why ISU GM Banana enriched Vitamin A research study design excluded smokers from participating.

However, every woman and child is a smoker in an African village kitchen when cooking with firewood is going on. Their lungs would care less whether they are being choked with smoke from tobacco leaves or mahogany trees.

Yet, Iowa University GMO Vitamin A Banana Study excludes smokers, but knowing very well that the intended recipients of Beta-carotene Bananas are basically smoking daily.

Therefore ISU researchers should explain how their results could be applicable to smokers of another kind – the ones who smoke by inhaling smoke day in and day out all their lives from firewood when cooking in ventilation-less African village kitchens just like this one: 

In addition, there is an assumption in the Study Design that different environmental factors don’t have any effect on Safety, therefore no need to have Safety Trials to address the beta-carotene paradox.

The paradoxical findings: beta-carotene supplementation do not support the observed beneficial associations or a role for supplemental b-carotene in lung cancer prevention; instead, they provide striking evidence for adverse effects (ie, excess lung cancer incidence and overall mortality) in smokers. Check out beta-carotene and lung cancer study

If the study is to be consistent with real life environment which its impact on Ugandan village women and their young ones can’t be ruled out, then any credible design study can’t exclude voluntary smokers in the U.S. to understand involuntary smokers in ventilation-less village kitchens that use firewood for cooking. U.S. smokers should be included rather than being excluded and SAFETY Studies should be conducted, because of the following reasons:

kichen hut

Smoke rising from a kitchen

#1. It’s not cigarettes per se, it is “increased oxidative stress due to smoking (as well as asbestos),” suggesting that environmental factors such as atypically high exposure to urban or indoor pollution may also have a substantial effect on metabolite formation; please refer to the Study at bottom of pg 25.

#2. Contrary to assumption that it takes a VERY Large amounts of beta-carotene as supplements or pills to cause harm, a study trial concluded that an interaction between tobacco and beta-carotene may also occur at moderate levels of intake (equivalent to eating 2 to 3 carrots daily) and not only at pharmacological doses.”

#3. There are many reasons to believe that other air Pollutants such as indoor smoke from firewood would have the same or similar effects as cigarette smoke does in inducing vitamin A depletion. Women in developing and poor countries use firewood to cook. The cooking is done in a hut (or a small building) with no windows or ventilation.

To keep the fire burning, one kneels down and blows a high pressurized stream of air into the fireplace created by inhaling deeply and then exhaling fast through the mouth with a small space between the lips. This blowing is repeated many times and produces a lot of smoke and some ash to blow in the air, which often causes coughing and eyes turning red. As usual children are with their mothers getting exposed to the same smoke. A brand new Pot and Kitchen will accumulate a coat of soot within a few days of use.


Very Smoky Kitchen

So when women of child bearing age group and children have low Vitamin A, could it be that it is the result of vitamin A depletion from smoke, ash and soot pollutants inhaled constantly over a prolonged period in kitchens and huts with no ventilation just like in smokers?

The following video demonstratively provides with you a typical daily smoke exposure to African women and children such as those in Uganda:

How do these young girls with low Vitamin A grow to become adults who are still Vitamin A deficient, while their young brothers grow out of that deficiency when they become adults, (or why are men less vitamin A deficient than women) yet sharing the same food cooked by their sisters and mothers? The only reasonable explanation is the difference in oxidative stress Toxicity of Environmental Pollutants women and children experience as I’ve illustrated above.


Smoke-Free Cooking in the U.S.

#4. By Iowa State University Research conducting this Vitamin A study using women of childbearing age in the U.S. that live in sanitized school environment without considering real life environmental conditions and factors in which Ugandan women of the same age group live and work, such as as high exposure to smoke, ash and soot air pollution in NON-ventilated kitchen huts using firewood for cooking on a daily bases, it opens a door to many questions among which is Scientific Research Study Design.

Iowa University GMO Vitamin A Banana Study excludes smokers from the Study, therefore, the study designers should explain how the Slow Killer Smoke from the three stoned Traditional African Cooking Fire Place is any different from Cigarette Smoke in depleting Vitamin A.

Instead of the GMO Vitamin A Banana excluding smokers from the Study, it should have designed a Scientific Research Study that duplicates conditions that are as similar to those in which Ugandan Women of Childbearing age are. The reason being that environmental factors such as constant high exposure to smoke from firewood in enclosed hut kitchens with no ventilation in which Ugandan women of childbearing age work daily, may also have a substantial effect on metabolite formation similar to cigarette smoking.

I hope that a closer look at the video in the following article and detailed information within, demonstratively drives the point home of indoor pollution; – “Smoke and its impact on people’s lives.

“In addition, the studies by Wang and colleagues have demonstrated that increased oxidative stress due to smoking made it more likely for eccentric cleavage products to be formed, suggesting that environmental factors – such as atypically high exposure to urban or indoor pollution  may also have a substantial effect on metabolite formation.

It is therefore necessary to identify the most significant dietary and environmental conditions that will make a person more or less prone to experience either positive or adverse outcomes from GMO Vitamin A Banana as it is suggested for carotenoid supplementation.” – please refer to the Study at the bottom of pg 25.

A concern is that if you engineer these crops to have unusually high levels of beta-carotene, they might also have high levels of these compounds,” Harrison said

Increasing Provitamin A in these women and children who are highly exposed to firewood smoke by eating GMO Vitamin A Bananas, could prove to be as disastrous as smokers taking beta-carotene supplements. The only way to know, is by conducting safety research studies consistent with real life situation of African women of the childbearing age group. It is always prudent to err on side of caution in such matters pertaining to the safety of human lives. Doing otherwise is reckless.


Cooking pot on Fireplace in African Village

-AFSA open letter opposing human feeding trials involving GM banana

-US Human Trials of GM Banana for Africa Widely Condemned

-Why is Bill Gates backing GMO red banana ‘biopiracy’?


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