GENTECH archive


Re: Pusztai, GM food and the media

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Roush <>
To: <>
Cc: Sue Kedgley <>; stephanie@greenpeace
<>; quentin Gargan
<>; Peter Garfield <>;
<>; <>
Date: Friday, 19 February 1999 07:20
Subject: Pusztai, GM food and the media

CE - You have sent copies of this letter to many people you have no contact
with and you have in no way requested it. I question this action.

>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.

CE  - in another posting you give certain comments on these scientists -
that they have certain connections to pusztai, or are actice in advocating
caution in the implementation of GE tech. are you implying their scientific
skills/knowledge is invalidated?
>The passage you cited and commented on below only further demonstrates your
>ignorance of biology and experiments in claiming that GE was the cause.

CE - You are quite right in saying that I am largely ignorant of biology.
Does this mean I should shut my mouth, stop enquiring into GE?
I came to this subject last year when I realised i was being forced to feed
my children "food" that might well be extremely dangerous. That was largely
untested, unlabelled, because of a few companies and government's desire for
profits and control. That i was was being treated as a pawn in a political
The more I read the more I saw the possibility of disaster. The more lies
and propoganda i saw being fed to the public. I saw how the " advisory
bodies" were in fact extremely prejudiced, and were using their position for
their own ends.
I am not a scientist. i have come to see that the "facts" of GE are
completely subsidary to the politics - by which I mean the corruption (of
course corruption exists in us all)  I have never considered myself an
activist, and I would much rather not spend my time investigating these
matters, making useless submissions and trying to keep track of
developments - but it seems i  have no choice, as it seems many scientists
have no qualms about overthrowing a natural order which has its own
intelligence, developed over millions of years, for their own self

>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
>>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
>>equivalence might also be extended to a lack of equivalence in the
>>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
>>diets spiked with GNA (table 3)"
>>Thus it is not the effect of lectins on the rat's organs that has been
>>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.

Not so simple. Monsanto is successfully applying to introduce GE foods into
Australia/NZ which don't appear to have been tested in animals at all.
>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.

CE So am I, but I doubt very much if such independence exists at all.
Not being a research scientist I'm not in a position to create "real facts".
I rather not see my children used as guinea pigs to produce data.
But it's sure odd how anyone who throws doubt on GE safety immediately gets
so hounded.
>                        *PLEASE NOTE THE ADDITION OF AN "8" TO OUR NUMBERS*
>Richard T. Roush
>Associate Professor and Director          Phone +61 8 8303-6591
>Centre for Weed Management Systems        FAX   +61 8 8303-7125
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