GENTECH archive


Pusztai, GM food and the media


I am delighted that Pusztai's friends have come to his defense, but we now
know from the Daily Telegraph (15 Feb) that this has been used in a crude
attempt by Friends of the Earth to manipulate the story, and one that you
have been sucked into.

The passage you cited and commented on below only further demonstrates your
ignorance of biology and experiments in claiming that GE was the cause.
David Wengraf was right.

>Clive wrote:
>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.

Do you even know what a "control" is?  In this case it was clearly
non-transgenic potatoes ("parent line potatoes"), not spiked with anything.
Contrary to your claims that GE potatoes caused worse damage that potatoes
spiked with the lectin, the very passage you sent us says "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". Even  Pusztai's friends said in their memo (archive 780) that
"There was also strong evidence that GNA-GM tubers were not substantially
equivalent to parent potatoes and indeed the two lines of GNA-GM-potatoes
in the study were also different."  They did not say, contrary to your
claims, that there was a difference in spiked vs transgenic potatoes, or
that GE caused the problem. They said these GE potatoes were worse than
non-GE potatoes.

The only establishment "discredited" here is your own. Please do scan and
send us the whole report if you dare. I'd especially like to see Table 3.

By the way,
>You also write, Rick:
>"because the current assessment process looks at the transgenic product
>What do you mean exactly by "looks at"?

"Tested" in animals. Simple, Clive.

No stumbling yet on my part, Clive, but quite a bit on yours.  I'm still
looking for some real facts from a truly independent assessment panel, but
I no longer expect to find it from you.


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