GENTECH archive


Re: Royal Society

joe cummins just posted some useful comments regarding the involvement of 
the (brit.) Royal Society in support of GM.

Meanwhile, as a non-biologist, I've been trying to sort through the
distinction between "good science" and "advisory opinions of good
scientists", particularly in regard to the Pusztai experiments.

It seems to be established that

(a) GM potatoes exist which produce the snowdrop lectin. 
(b) The snowdrop lectin can be isolated from snowdrops.
(c) Dr. Pusztai conducted rat-feeding experiments.

My view is that the good scientific experiment would involve at least
three groups of rats - one being fed the GM potatoes, one being fed 
"ordinary" potatoes, perhaps the variety subjected to GM, and the third
being fed ordinary potatoes spiked with lectin derived from snowdrops.

If only the first group is affected, I would conclude that the GM process
has unexpected effects which require further study and experiment. At this
point the one "good scientist" may have a hunch that GM can have nothing
to do with the observed effects, will begin to make critical examination
of the experiment and the experimenter, another "good scientist" will
repeat the experiment and a third will devise further studies on what
modification the potato gene may have undergone when the lectin gene was

Will someone please translate the existing info. so I can understand where
Dr Pusztai went beyond my conclusion (that the GM process has unexpected
effects which require further study and experiment) in what he said to the
world, OR where Dr Pusztai failed by designing an experiment on which
his conclusion could be based.