ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
10 November 2000


'Allo! Yes, it's that time of the month again - time to send in those nominations for the Pants on Fire Award for the month of October - [award details at:]

So après Sir John Smoking-Trouzers and ze scorched undie brigade at Aventis, who next???? Send 'em in!

We have one little nomination of our own, as per the earlier ngin 'LOONY  TOONS' bulletin which we repeat below.

Jean de Bris
Pants on Fire Awards International

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On 18 Oct 2000, at 21:36, Prof Jo Cummins wrote:

The editors of Nature Biotechnology seem to have gone completely insane!  Hodgson seems to be claiming Arpad Pusztai did not do any experiments at all! Those morons certainly should apologize for such a claim!  They may be taking "science" lessons from Avery!
Nature Biotechnology October 2000 Volume 18 Number 10 p 1023

Taking a leaf out of Arpad Pusztai’s studies, researchers at the University of East Anglia have published work on the impacts of GM crops "without doing any experiments."

Computer modelers Andrew Watkinson and colleagues at East Anglia modeled the effects of GM herbicide tolerant beet on the population dynamics of a weed that is an important food source for farmland birds (Science, 289, 1554-1557 2000;MEDLINE).

The model predicts that bird populations will be low where weed densities are low, and that the use of GM herbicide tolerant crop will reduce weed populations. They extrapolate that GM crops will reduce bird populations.

However, among the real-life facts the model ignores are field studies showing that  herrbicide-tolerant beets allow farmers to maintain weeds longer (because they can be treated after crop emergence not before), and the possibility that greater efficiency of GM crops may allow more land to be "set aside" for wildlife.

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