Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 10:27:31 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: GE News
AGRICULTURE-INDIA/ VIGIL AGAINST GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SOYABEANS
August 13, 1998
NEW DELHI - Inter Press Service via NewsEdge Corporation : A campaign
against the landing of one million tons of soyabeans from the United
States, suspected to be genetically engineered, got off today with a
farmer's rally in the capital.
The suspicions arise from the fact that soyabean consignments from the U.S
have been found to be mixed with crops from the biotechnology giant
Monsanto which has more than five million hectares under genetically
engineered (G.E.) soya.
"What the Europeans have rejected due to environmental and health hazards
is now being dumped on Indians who traditionally do not consume soya," said
leading activist Vandana Shiva.
The scientist in UK who brought the information to the public that the
genetically engineered potatoes injured rats has been fired. The institute
he was working for has not said that his results were incorrect, but has
said they require further analysis. It seems that the controversy he
stirred up resulted in him losing his job.
BBC Wednesday, August 12, 1998 Published at 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Genetics scientist suspended
Dr Arpad Pusztai will now retire
BBC Science Correspondent James Wilkinson reports
The scientist at the centre of controversial claims over the risks of
eating genetically-modified (GM) food has been suspended.
Dr Arpad Pusztai claimed research on rats fed with genetically modified
potatoes had suffered immune damage.
He had gone on the ITV World In Action programme to raise questions
about the safety of GM food in the human diet on the basis of the study.
But his employers, the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, said the
scientist had got into a "muddle" and had provided misleading information.
August 13 1998 BRITAIN
Scientist's potato alert was false, laboratory admits
BY NIGEL HAWKES, SCIENCE EDITOR
The Times (UK)
WARNINGS about genetically modified food issued by a scientist earlier this
week were improper and misleading, a top British nutrition laboratory
The scientist involved, Dr Arpad Pusztai, 68, has been suspended by the
Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen and will retire. He had claimed that
experiments with genetically modified potatoes had shown immune-system
damage in rats that ate them for more than 100 days.
The Rowett said yesterday that this was not true. The data to which Dr
Pusztai had referred, first in an interview with World in Action and then
with The Times and other media, did not involve genetically modified
potatoes. Rather, it involved feeding trials in which a protein from the
jack bean, a lectin, was added to a potato-based feed. Since this lectin is
known to harm the immune system, the damage was not surprising. ....
Last night Dr Pusztai said ... : "I do not want to speak right now because
I have effectively been sacked."
Dr Pusztai is thought to have arrived in Britain from his native Hungary in
1956. He is a leading world expert in lectins and, according to institute
sources, has an "enormous international reputation". He has worked at the
institute for 20 years.
The facts on this story may take some time before they are clear---Richard
Thanks to "Quentin Gargan," <email@example.com> for the following two
Danes debate safety of Round Up herbicide
ENDS Daily - 10/08/98
A debate is under way in Denmark about the health risks of one of the most
widely used herbicides in Europe - Round Up - sold by US firm Monsanto,
which contains the active ingredient glyphosate.
The debate was prompted by reports in the Danish press of research at
Italy's National Institute for Cancer Research, which found that an
"unknown compound" in the formulation of Round Up - not glyphosate itself
-caused gene damage in mice, indicating that it could be a carcinogen.
Around 86% of Round Up is made of so-called "inert" chemicals that support
the action of glyphosate.
Newspapers have also been asking why Denmark has less strict rules on the
use of glyphosate than neighbouring Sweden, where the national chemicals
inspectorate has ruled that it should not be used within 10-14 days of
crops being harvested because otherwise it left unacceptably high residues
in food that were a "danger for human consumption."
Mounting public concern has led to a number of leading bread manufacturers
in Denmark refusing to buy flour made from grain treated with Round Up
close to harvesting. ... Tomorrow, environment minister Svend Auken is
due to answer questions put to him by the Danish parliament's environment
and planning committee, including why Denmark has not followed Sweden's
rules on the use of
Contacts: Danish environment ministry
(http://www.mem.dk/ukindex.htm), tel: +45 33 927 600;
Danish parliament, tel: +45 33 37 55 00; Monsanto
(http://www.monsanto.com), tel: +32 2 776 4111;
Danish Farmers' Union, tel: +45 33 12 75 61.
Research Highlights Risk of using Viral Promoter Genes in New Foods
Fragments of artificial genes inserted into foods were detected in the
brain cells of baby mice in research conducted Dr. Walter Doefler of the
Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne. (Ref: Journal of molecular
genetics and genetics Vol 242: 495-504, 1994 ) Conventional wisdom had
previously assumed that genetic material was destroyed in the process of
digestion. The research emerged on the UTV World in Action programme last
"This has huge implications for the use of genetically engineered foods"
said Quentin Gargan of Genetic Concern. "Industry would have us believe
that genetic engineering is a simple technology in which a single naturally
occurring gene is taken from one plant and inserted into another, but
nothing could be further from the truth".
We may have a gene which gives us blue eyes, and this gene exists in every
cell in our body - part of this gene is a promoter region which ensures
that it is only switched on in cells in our eyes - otherwise, every part
of our body would be blue from our hair to our toenails.
When artificial genes are inserted into a plant, they are accompanied by a
promoter region from a virus. This promoter ensures that the gene is
switched on at all times and in all parts of the plant. Viruses such as the
cauliflower mosaic virus and a figwort virus have promoter regions which
are highly active, and these are included in genes which were inserted into
the sugar beet currently being tested in field trials by Monsanto around
"The idea that fragments of DNA from viral promoters could find their way
into cells of new born babies is a frightening prospect", said Quentin
Gargan of Genetic Concern "yet Monsanto admitted in the World in Action
programme that they do not conduct long term testing of these genetically
engineered foods". ....
"Once again, we hear regulatory authorities assuring us that there is no
scientific evidence that genetically modified foods are unsafe - this was
exactly the situation with BSE, DDT, Thalidomide and many other calamities"
said Mr Gargan "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and with
something irreversible such as genetic engineering, we must learn from past
mistakes and take a very cautious approach"
Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596
Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
contains more information on genetic engineering as well as
previous genetic engineering news items
Subscription fee to genetic engineering news is $35 for 12 months
See website for details.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command