GENTECH archive


Re: lectins; potato

In any case the potatoes in some of the trials were not raw (perhaps in all,
I haven't finished reading the study).
Also I gather that the snowdrop lectins were chosen for the GE trials
because they were considered NOT to be toxic.

Clive Elwell

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Mann <>
To: David Wengraf <>
Cc: Jane Evans <>; <>
Date: Wednesday, 17 February 1999 16:14
Subject: lectins; potato

>Dear David Wengraf,
> The enthusiastic anti-GE activist Clive Elwell has copied
>to me his comments on your brief post about Pusztai's rats.  May I add
>comments which I believe will be helpful?
> I am a former medical-school teacher of biochemistry.  In
>particular, it was my duty (admittedly a long time ago, but that is not
>relevant here) to teach what little nutrition was in the Auckland medical
> Your rhetorical question about eating raw potatoes is, with
>respect, misconceived.
>(1)  Raw potatoes are eaten sometimes in emergencies and sometimes by
>choice.  My friend Bob Barnes asked in Colditz for his ration of potatoes
>to be issued to him raw, and his health then improved notably (probably
>because he thereby ate more unspoilt vitamins especially C).  Grated raw
>potato features in some modern salads, and why not?
>(2)  The fastest method of cooking the noble spud is the Swiss' roesti', in
>which the middle of the fritter is damn near raw  -  and I like it.
>(3)  Lectins vary in their rates of inactivation by cooking.  There is no
>need to add any such hazard to the mighty murphy, so there is no reason why
>anybody should be exposed to ANY risk from this gratuitous GE.
>Dr Robt Mann
>science chairman, Physicians & Scientists For Responsible Genetics
>P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand
> (9) 524 2949