ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

3 February 2002


According to the article below, the Royal Society has a new report coming soon on GM - so stand by for the usual rubbishing of the critics from the organisation which:

*tried to rubbish Pusztai's research by means of a partial 'review' of his unpublished work - something the medical journal, the Lancet described as "a gesture of breathtaking impertinence to the Rowett Institute scientists who should be judged only on the full and final publication of their work"

*threatened the editor of the Lancet with the loss of his job to try and prevent the publication of Pusztai's fully peer-reviewed research

*has repeatedly attempted to control UK media coverage of GM

*promotes Professor libel-case Trewavas as one of its media experts on GM,9865,565353,00.html

*helped fix the Nuffield report

*takes millions from big business, including the biotech corporations

And contrast the antics and likely findings of the UK's Royal Society with 'The Report of the Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel on the Future of Biotechnology' (published February 2001) which not only raised serious concerns over GM and how it is being regulated but noted the growing evidence of researchers building "unprecedented ties with industry partners" and the "profound impact" this was having.
GM back in spotlight as new report is published

A major report focusing on the safety of using genetically modified plants in food is being published by the Royal Society.

The study reviews evidence that has emerged since Britain's leading scientific academy last reported on GM plants in 1998.

Then the Society said that, while GM plants may lead to improvements in food quality, nutrition, health and agricultural practice, they might also pose some risks.

Last year the Society announced that in light of public concern it was launching a new review taking account of the most up to date findings.

One issue being addressed is the possible hazards of using DNA from a plant virus to improve the performance of GM plants.

Cauliflower mosaic virus is universally used as a "promoter" which amplifies gene activity.

But there have been fears that the viral DNA might recombine with the host plant's own genetic material to produce new and potentially dangerous viruses.

The possibility of GM foods causing allergy has also raised concerns. In 1999 a British study showing that food allergies relating to soya had increased by 50% the previous year led to claims that GM food was to blame.

Soya is the plant product most associated with GM foods.
"We have contributed early and proactively to public debate about genetically modified plants..." - President's Address, The Royal Society Annual Review 1998-99

"The Royal Society report was totally negative and unhelpful, and obviously made to cut me down, to give the political masters the backing they required from an august body." - Arpad Pusztai

"Every day I talk to scientists about their research long before they publish it. Only one has been sacked because of it - Dr Pusztai." - Daily Express journalist John Ingham

"British citizens are paying taxes to fund an organisation that actively promotes the interests of multinational biotech corporations, under the guise of independent science." - Tom Wakeford

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