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8-Misc: International Society for Biosafety Research founded

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----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------

TITLE:  GMO scientists unite!
SOURCE: Science, Vol. 289 (5484)
DATE:   September 1, 2000

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GMO scientists unite!

Hoping to bring a voice of reason to the debate over transgenic 
crops, a group of scientists is, according to this story, launching 
the first society and journal to specifically address their risks.

The idea grew out of a series of international meetings, held 
biannually since 1988, that brought together an ad hoc group of 
scientists to discuss science-based regulatory policy for genetically 
modified organisms (GMOs). At its July meeting, organizers decided to 
form a permanent International Society for Biosafety Research. Mark 
Tepfer, who studies virus transfer at INRA, France's national 
agronomy research institute, was quoted as saying that after years of 
getting hammered by "both the Greens and industry people, we need a 
clearer voice for scientists in the field." He and others hope to 
exercise "complete neutrality" in studying such hot-button issues as 
Bt corn's impact on butterflies.

The group's journal, Environmental Biosafety Research, will be 
launched early next year by Elsevier. Alan McHughen, a plant 
geneticist at the University of Saskatchewan, says it will feature 
research that other journals often turn down-including "negative 
results" studies showing that a transgenic crop appears no different 
from its traditionally bred counterpart. 


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