GENTECH archive


Re: GM food and the media

Dear David

You are quite wrong.
The experiments compared rats fed potatoes genetically engineered with
snowdrop lectins, and rats fed potatoes merely "spiked" with an equivalent
amount of similar lectin.

The rats fed the GE potatoes, and I quote directly from the Report of the
Project coordinator on Data produced at the Rowett Research Institute
(SOAEFD Flexible Fund Project RO 818)

"there were highly significant differences in the wet and dry weights of
many essential body organs, indicating that the effects of GNA-GM-potatoes
on body and organ metabolism were significantly different from those of the
control potatoes......
other effects which included the enlargement of the pancras,jejunum and
testes on raw GNA-GM-potatoes diets suggested that the lack of compositional
equivalence might also be extended to a lack of equivalence in the metabolic
consequenses between feeding of GM and parent line potatoes. This is of
particular importance because as shown before (table 3) this occurs depite
that the behaviour in the gut lumen of "potato GNA" after GNA-GM-potatoes
potato diets was closely similar to that of "snowdrop GNA" in parent potatoe
diets spiked with GNA (table 3)"

Thus it is not the effect of lectins on the rat's organs that has been shown
to be disastrous, but the GM process itself.

Also, in experiment D227, the one the above extract is describing, the
potatoes were boiled, not raw.

Rick Rush please note.

If there is sufficient interest, I am willing to  have the report scanned
and made available through e-mail.

I wonder which way the establishment will find to "discredit" the research
now? Doubtless they will find some way.

Clive Elwell

-----Original Message-----
From: David Wengraf <>
To: Gentech List <>
Date: Wednesday, 17 February 1999 01:41
Subject: GM food and the media

>According to what I've read, the potatoes that Dr Pusztai fed to his rats
>had lectins engineered into them. These are chemicals that damage the gut
>and impair digestion. These occur naturally in some tropical seeds and
>where they protect the plant against pests.
>The rats were fed raw potatoes.
>The rats became sick.
>Lectins are denatured by cooking.
>When was the last time you ate a raw potato?
>All this experiment has shown is that you can genetically engineer a lectin
>into a potato an it will continue to act as a lectin. Cook the potatoes and
>there'll be no problem.