Re: Dr. Arpad Pusztai, archive 731
- To: "Clive Elwell" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: Dr. Arpad Pusztai, archive 731
- From: Rick Roush <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 17:30:20 +0930
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No, Clive, I believe that you are incorrect on the facts here. I went
back to my notes from emails last August to check my recollections (see
example below). Without doubt, Dr Pusztai said then that the lectin
was harmful. The problem was apparently that he had said that the GE
potatoes were at fault, when in fact he had inadvertantly looked at
data in which the lectin was mixed into the food.
This example does not undermine the assessment process, both because
BOTH transgenic and mixing experiments showed a problem, and because
the current assessment process looks at the transgenic product anyway,
at least for the cases of insect resistant plants with which I am
> Surely Dr Pusztai's findings showed that this lectin becomes harmful
>transferred by GM into the potato. This was shown in feeding trials
>rats which suffered severe organ damage, even brain damage - a finding
>has now been confirmed by a senior pathologist. However, the lectin is
>harmful when mixed with normal potato and fed to the rats. This
>it is the MODIFICATION ITSELF which is the problem, which is why this
>is so explosive as it undermines the whole basis on which GM foods
>assessed to date.
>Whether this particular lectin is in use or not seems to me to be
>immaterial, as far as what Dr Pusztai's research points to.
<bold><fontfamily><param>Times</param><bigger><bigger>As the BBC called
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
But his employers, the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, said
scientist had got into a "muddle" and had provided misleading
Professor Phillip James, Director of the Aberdeen-based Rowett
Research Institute, said Dr Arpad Pusztai had been interpreting the
"Dr Arpad Pusztai had got
himself, under the intense pressure of media interest and huge
experiments, into a state where he actually thought he was looking
the transgenic study when he was not."
Professor James described the mistake as tragic. "He went too fast,
Dr Arpad Pusztai will now retire. In a statement, the Rowett said
would not in future have responsibility for institute, UK or
studies into GM food.</bigger></bigger></fontfamily>