• van Dam, Unicef and the Netherlands, please accept this apology

    Open letter to:

    Anthony Lake
    Unicef CEO

    Bernt Aasen
    Latin America and Caribbean Unicef Branch

    Roberto de Bernardi
    Unicef Colombia

    Nicolette Van Dam

    Dear Sirs:

    Unfortunately, it was no surprise to me to see that the social networks of people with my same nationality were full of hate speech against Nicolette van Dam, after she, in the exercise of her freedom of expression, retweeted a joke about Colombian soccer players and cocaine.

    My sincerest apologies on behalf of that herd of Homo sapiens that I have to call compatriots, who pride when someone from their country scores a goal or wins the Giro d’Italia, as if they had any interference or credit on that result.

    These people are silent in complicity when the country gets the last place in international education tests and before reports of extrajudicial executions by death squads operating in collusion with the military. These Colombians live in a bubble where Colombia is the best country in the world.

    Due to this dangerous tribal dynamic (further promoted by the Government), these people believe, wrongly, that their feelings and beliefs are exempt from any analysis, any criticism and of course, from any humor whatsoever. So it’s no wonder they believed, mistakenly, that they had some sort of right to have their chauvinistic delusion not threatened by a post in a social network.

    This explains why, during the last five days, your emails were flooded with all kinds of absurd claims about the “insult” of Van Dam towards Colombian people. (!) Let us remember that education in the country is not very high —unlike the spiral of violence— so it is not feasible to demand a relatively decent number of Colombians who understand that there is the right to offend and the right to be offended, but there is no right to not be offended.

    To make it even worse, some had the audacity to gloat in a Third World victimhood, accusing the Dutch drug policy of being part of the problem. This is probably what made me cringe the most (besides, of course, the death threats van Dam got). Colombia has decided to meet the absurd, puritanical, prudish and sadomasochistic Christian notion of the Vale of Tears and has banned the drug trade, making it therefore a lucrative and lethal business; it’s a stupid mistake that’s solely on religion and the country which chose to poison its own public policy with such a ridiculous and shortsighted narrative.

    While the Netherlands understood perfectly that everyone is the owner and sole responsible for their own body, Colombians know nothing about freedom, much less responsibility; thus, they think the Dutch government is to answer for the statements of a citizen — I think it is a miracle Colombians don’t wear loincloths any more! It is entirely plausible to assume that, for these reasons, Colombians could not withstand an image and demanded van Dam leaving Unicef​​, which will not make Colombia’s drug policy fairly logical at all, it won’t increase the country’s education, nor will it reduce the number of murders or drug addicts we have.

    It only served to quench the thirst for revenge of undeveloped, feudal people who are as far from civilization as Pluto is from the Sun, and to reaffirm in their negligence to take responsibility for their own feelings, while indulging their pastoral reverie of blaming others for their own failures.

    It also served to deprive children of a face that could have and is more than willing to take Unicef name and ​​message very far.

    I’m sorry you had to waste your time, patience, tranquility and dignity with the shouting caused by the bruised ego of the natives of a so-called country that has not yet learned that it is more important to change the reality than our image and what others think about us. Please do not make the mistake of meeting the primitive tantrums of these human specimens again.


    David Alejandro Osorio Sarmiento
    Citizen of the World (shamefully labeled as Colombian)

    Category: Philosophy


    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker

    One Pingback/Trackback

    • Pingback: Chasing the Scream: Hari’s new book | Avant Garde()

    • Meh…

    • jordi casals

      David Osorio is not honest I

      1. The lies of “DeAvanzada …”
      The Colombian journalist David Alejandro Osorio Sarmiento, member of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, supposed to be a promoter of “reason and science”, holds on his site: “I am committed to making this a more rational, free and equitable world” (Osorio, 2011 ) He claims to be a leftist of the civil libertarian type in which neither the State nor anyone else “amputates civil liberties. In economics, I defend the social state of law, which should be responsible for redistributing wealth to ensure equal rights and opportunities and the exercise of freedoms, “and that” Critical, and I think that should be criticized, to anyone who call or be told left if you act in a manner contrary to science, intelligence and knowledge, to justice, to freedom, to human dignity, to democracy and to respect for individual rights. “For this energumeno Critics are “trolls” or “spam” and then go to the censorship despite claiming to defend freedom of expression. Up to this point, nothing seems strange but we will pick it up throughout the text to link loose ends.

      A. The case of the Round Up.
      In 2012 Gilles Éric Séralini and collaborators published an article in the Food and Chemical Toxicology that showed that the RoudUp herbicide is genotoxic. In a very summarized way, the study consisted of a set of 200 rats divided into 20 groups, that is, 10 rats in each group. The study fed a diet of transgenic corn + RoundUp. The novelty of this study is that it tested Roun Up and not just glyphosate alone, which is a component of the herbicide sold. In addition to that studied the effects of this diet in a period of more than 90 days, that is, long term.
      The authors were accused of fraud, manipulation and unnecessarily suffering the animals to do a “junk” investigation. Curiously, most of the means of “spreading” self-described “scientific skepticism” were those who frequently repeated (and repeat) that the study had serious methodological flaws and that it did not prove anything. Other criticisms, however, came from some scientists … linked to the industry as the former editor of the Food and Chemical Toxicology that was related to Monsanto, although he himself admitted not having found any fraud.
      The “scientific skeptics” argued that the study did not show harmful effects because the mice used were prone to develop cancer spontaneously, because the doses administered were massive and because the statistical analysis was wrong. Rivers of ink were dedicated in letters to the editor in the magazine, and all the accusations were refuted point by point. However, this did not stop unscrupulous journalists from claiming, without having understood the study, that there was fraud or even “scientists” cackling the above and arguing that there was a unanimous consensus against the study.
      A critical thinking and a healthy skepticism should lead by example, but in what follows we will see that the self-styled “scientific skeptics” are the biggest science fraud in history linked not a few of the times, at least their maximum exponents, to the industry service. Of course, they deny this, arguing that this is “conspiranoia” or “thing of magufos”. In what follows we will address what was written by David Osorio in his blog.

      September 24, 2012
      Osorio wrote: “Last week, the enemies of science were given a feast spreading without the slightest bit of critical thinking, the disclosure of a ‘study’ that would make a relationship between Roundup and tumors in mice” (Osorio, 2012a). To reinforce his argument he went to the observations of the chemist José Miguel Mulet Salort. Among other things:

      a) A study that uses only 10 mice per sex is insufficient to draw relevant conclusions.

      b) Has used a line of transgenic mice susceptible to spontaneous mutations.

      c) In proportion to the weight, the dose given to the mice is several orders of magnitude higher than could be exposed accidentally. “(Osorio, 2012a).

      Later we will address each of the points.

      October 1, 2012
      Osorio wrote:

      In less than 24 hours, the credibility of the study was shattered by the scores of the scientists. The consensus resolution was swift and conclusive: The study was full of errors – serious, blatantly obvious defects that should have been captured by the reviewers. Many critics pointed out that the researchers chose a strain of rodents that was very prone to tumors. Other important aspects of the study, such as sample size and statistical analysis, have also been widely criticized. A scientist at the University of Florida suggests that the study was “designed to scare” the public. (Osorio, 2012b) October 22, 2012

      Osorio (2012c) affirmed that the Scientific Academies of France had “destroyed” the Séralini study, and put it in the plural, implying that all those schools agree. When the source is reviewed, it is the veoverde site (https://www.veoverde.com/2012/10/academias-de-ciencia-en-francia-critican-estudio-sobre-toxicidad-de-maiz-transgenico/) that he mentions the word “criticize” Séralini’s study. Again, they mention in the plural but do not indicate what all those academies were. In the same news there are three sources cited, one mentions that it is the European Union which decides to discard the study, but the news is wrong because later it mentions that it is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and not the European Union, which decides to dismiss the results of Séralini because they are “insufficient”. The second link says that the French authorities (the government) requested the review of the findings, and mention a spokesman for Monsanto, Thomas Helscher, claiming that there are a hundred studies that contradict it. The third link is from the newspaper Vasco, which mentions that again the French Scientific Academies “questioned” the study, but again they do not mention what these academies are, although they mention the National Agency for Sanitary Safety of Food, Environment and Work (ANSES) and the High Council of Biotechnologies (HBC), which remarkably admit not having examined in detail the work of Séralini but were already sure a priori that the methodology was wrong and that the mice used were prone to develop tumors.
      Definitely, none of the news on which Osorio supports mention having “destroyed” Séralini’s studio.

      January 19, 2013
      Osorio (2013a) offers another translation of an article in French where Séralini is disqualified mentioning that he has conflicts of interest with a company called Sevene Pharma that sells homeopathic products. He mentions that the CRIIGEN, the organization that financed the study Séralini its president is a homeopathic doctor. Y? Does that refute the study on Round Up? What Osorio and the columnist to whom he has translated, is called poisoning the well.

      11th of September, 2013
      David Osorio published the post “The Séralini Rule” where he offered a translation of the Skeptico site. In this translation, it is fallaciously commented that the person who uses the study loses the debate automatically because it would be a clueless and dishonest person of “a blatantly fraudulent study, which is not worthy of any more serious consideration” (Osorio, 2013b). The objections were that the design was not scientific because the study was not controlled or randomized, an objection that quickly fades when one considers that the pro-Round Up studies are not randomized, nor double blind, and use the same number of mice per group in their experiments.
      Osorio’s defense is that there is a GENERA database (http://genera.biofortified.org) with more than 600 studies demonstrating its innocuousness. Of course the database exists, but he forgets to mention that not all the studies cited there are about the herbicide but also includes studies where glyphosate is not used but the resistance of transgenic plants to pests, among others. . So there you have one point less. Nor does it mention that the database, although presented as supposedly independent and free of funding from biotechnology companies, admits that it has received donations from Monsanto and the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI), the second is an association comprising 6 large companies as the German BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Monsanot and Syngenta (Sourcewatch, 2012).
      Tim Schwab (2014) mentions that the database contains a small part of the scientific publications and that they only show 400 available studies. Of these, only 83 do not show conflicts of interest. Naturally, it is not saying that this base is Monsanto’s but that it has received funding and that most of the studies presented present conflicts of interest.

      July 7, 2015
      Osorio wrote:

      Gilles-Eric Séralini’s first ‘study’ – on transgenic corn and mice, used rats prone to develop tumors and committed so many methodological flaws that the article was removed. (Then, the ‘study’ was republished in a journal with a very low Impact Factor, and without being reviewed by peers) (Osorio, 2015)

      The supposed consensus
      José Miguel Mulet Salort in different interviews and at Naukas.com affirms that the safety of both the herbicides and Round-Up and all the transgenics are completely innocuous. From saying that: “In the interview José Miguel Mulet makes it clear that” the rejection of transgenics is an ideological position that wants to disguise itself as scientific “since the consensus on its security is a reality among researchers.”

      “Why is there a lack of full consensus in the scientific community about transgenics?” Mulet: `There is no lack of consensus.” Link

      This same gambit is repeated by David Osorio throughout his blog in favor of the harmlessness of the Round-Up, but when asked about this supposed consensus, they affirm that it is “evident”, that all the studies “well done” say. … but with conflicts of interest. There is no proof of the supposed unanimous consensus.
      Since 2013 the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) has launched a letter claiming that there is no such consensus on the safety of genetically modified foods.

      The slanders of David Osorio
      Throughout your log we can see affirmations such as the following:

      “First ‘study’ by Gilles-Eric Séralini – on transgenic corn and mice, used rats prone to develop tumors and committed so many methodological flaws that the article was withdrawn”

      “First, the study was carried out by Gilles-Eric Séralini, that anti-transgenic activist who has no idea how to do a serious study.”

      “Apart from that, there were several methodological errors, which JM Mulet summarizes very well: a) A study that uses only 10 mice per sex is insufficient to draw relevant conclusions. b) Has used a line of transgenic mice susceptible to spontaneous mutations. c) In proportion to the weight, the dose given to the mice is several orders of magnitude greater than that which could accidentally be exposed to someone. ”

      Responding to Osorio’s “critics”:
      1. Spawey Dewey rats were used in a study on toxicity, not carcinogenesis. The use of this species is listed in the document of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The study did report an increase in certain tumors and premature death in the group treated with the Round Up + GMO diet, but that does not imply carcinogenesis.
      2. Osorio goes to an ad-hominem attack qualifying Séralini as “anti-transgenic”. Practically the journalist comes to tell us that he knows how to do a study and better than a multidisciplinary group of scientists in biotechnology. However, all of Osorio’s statements are mere fallacies and slanders, since nobody has shown that the study has been manipulated or that it is fraudulent.
      3. The idea that only 10 mice were used for each sex is the same used by other studies on toxicity. So Mulet’s “rebuttal” is laughable.
      4. There is no proof that the article was withdrawn due to having “so many methodological failures”. As indicated by Portier et al (2014), the retrataction occurs when there is a lack of research ethics, plagiarism, duplicate publication and scientific misconduct, however none of these reasons apply to the article by Séralini et al. In addition, they defend that the investigation is not conclusive because it is known that many articles are subsequently found to be erroneous. And they conclude that:

      We believe that the decision to retract a published scientific paper because the editor finds it “inconclusive” based on a post-hoc analysis, is a very serious erosion for the consolidation of the peer review process, and ELSEVIER should reconsider this decision. (Portier, 2014).

      5. Fortunately, sites such as OMG Observatory (http://www.observatorio-omg.org) offer a detailed review and refutation to each of the points of the “skeptical” propagandists on the subject of genetically modified organisms and their relationship with the RoundUP. Of course it is not about rejecting biotechnology as the “skeptics” often alarm and repeat on the web.

      Now there is evidence that “skeptical” lobbyists are looking for herbicides such as Round-Up, to be presented as totally innocuous and without any side effects in order to give green light to products that have not passed the safety controls (Fagan, Traavik & Bohn, 2015). While for homeopathy they demand controls as bullying as they are exaggerated, for herbicides they apply a double standard in which they say that they do not need proof of their innocuousness because it is “evident” or because “all or most” of the tests say so . The tactics of the so-called “skeptics” are as petty as they are curious.
      As Florence Piron and Thibaut Varin mention, the double morality among pro-Round Up advocates is clear: The biologist Frédéric Jacquemart, horrified by the unpublished article of Séralini and by the refusal of the magazine Food and Chemical Toxicology to unpublish another article with the same protocol, but that had generated positive results for the studied ogm, makes the following observation: ” We knew that the supposed neutrality of the scientists and experts was no more than an assumption, now we have the proof; the Séralini case will at least have been used to clarify things “. (quoted in Piron & Varin, 2015: 269)

      Séralini et al (2014) in a letter to the editor answered and refuted the claims of their critics, mentions equally the double standards of Monsanto, EFSA and the former editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology where articles were not withdrawn with the same number of rats per subgroup. They also say they have re-analyzed the data from some studies funded by Monsanto where they found that feeding transgenic maize and Round Up caused toxicity damages in the liver and kidneys of the mice.

      It is not difficult to find that on the same page of the CRIIGEN group the details of the study are clarified:

      1. Most criticisms of Séralini’s study mistakenly assume that it was a poorly designed cancer study. It is not like this. It was a chronic toxicity study, designed and carried out correctly.
      2. The Séralini is the only long-term study on the transgenic corn marketed NK603 and the pesticide (Roundup) designed for cultivation.
      3. Séralini used the same strain of rats (Sprague-Dawley, SD) that Monsanto used in its 90-day studies on transgenic foods and its long-term studies on glyphosate, the chemical component of Roundup, for approval by The authorities.
      4. The SD rat is as prone to tumors as humans. As in humans, the tendency of the SD rat to develop cancer increases with age.
      5. Compared to the industry’s evidence on genetically modified foods, the Séralini study analyzed the same number of rats, but over a longer period (two years instead of 90 days), measured more and more frequently, and allowed for the first time to distinguish the effects of the transgenic food from those of the pesticide with which it is grown.
      6. If we consider that Séralini’s study does not demonstrate that the transgenic food tested is dangerous, then we must also recognize that the industry studies on transgenic foods do not show that these are safe.
      7. Séralini’s study showed that the 90-day tests commonly performed on transgenic foods are not long enough to observe long-term effects such as cancer, organ damage and premature death. The first tumors did not appear until 4-7 months after the start of the study.
      8. The Séralini study showed that the industry and regulatory authorities make a mistake by dismissing the toxic effects observed in the 90-day studies on transgenic foods because they are “not biologically significant”. Signs of toxicity detected in Monsanto’s 90-day studies turned into organ damage, cancer and premature deaths in Séralini’s two-year study.
      9. No regulatory authority in the world requires long-term testing of GM foods.
      10. Numerous studies have shown that transgenic foods have toxic effects for farm and laboratory animals.

      There are some indications that the tables are reversing, recently the Food and Chemical Toxicology, the same magazine where the first article of Séralini was retracted in it, published in its October edition of this year, a review where they clarify that chronic toxicity It is still unclear if it is due to the giphosate alone or to the commercial compound Round-Up, and they point out that the regulatory organisms are very lax for this type of herbicides (Mesnage et al, 2015).


      Osorio, David. (2011). About. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/p/acerca-de.html

      ____________ (2012). No, the Monsanto corn does not cause tumors in mice http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2012/09/maiz-transgenico-tumores-ratones.html

      ____________ (2012a). The “dark side” of Professor Séralini. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2013/01/Gilles-Eric-Seralini.html

      ____________ (2012b). The anti-transgenic are the climate skeptics on the left. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2012/10/los-antitransgenicos-son-los-escepticos.html

      ____________ (2013b). The Séralini rule. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2013/09/regla-Seralini.html

      ____________ (2012c) Academies of sciences of France destroy `estudio’de Séralini. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2012/10/los-antitransgenicos-son-los-escepticos.html

      ____________ (2015). The third `study ‘of Séralini arrives. http://de-avanzada.blogspot.mx/2015/07/Seralini.html