GENTECH archive


reply to Nina about conflict of interest


I am sorry that you have such a twisted view of how scientists really work and think. I guess I should come to expect it, but I am still amazed that when people don't like an answer, they accuse the people giving it of being dishonest. You wrote:

>FDA regulators of transgenic products are generally recruited directly from
>the biotechnology industry and then return to it when their stint in
>government is done.

Give me some numbers, and I mean numbers, not just a few anecdotal examples. I know several government regulators in the US and Australia, and NOT ONE has ever worked for any company with interests related to their regulatory responsibilities.

You continued:

> (by all means,
>include their stock options and other perks!)

Well now that you mentioned it, how about OUTSIDE of Greenpeace but relied upon by them? That darling of the anti-GE food crowd and the Natural Law Party, Dr John Fagan, apparently has a significant financial interest in a company that markets PCR tests for the presence of GE ingredients in food.

See below. How many more examples are there?


Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 11:43:40 -0500 (CDT)
From: Carl Jorgensen <>
Subject: Dr. John Fagan

Dear Rick,

Thank you for your e-mail message. Dr. John Fagan is well known both as an
accomplished molecular biologist and as an advocate for responsible use of
genetic science. Dr. Fagan developed the procedures used by Genetic ID for
detection of genetically modified content in crops and foods. Because of
his own perceptions of a potential conflict of interest between his advocacy
activities and having a financial interest in a company that benefits from
consumer demand for non-GMO foods, Dr. Fagan refused compensation from
Genetic ID. However, the Directors of Genetic ID felt that just as it is
appropriate for proponents of agricultural biotechnology to benefit
financially from their research, scientists like Dr. Fagan should receive
compensation arising from research that uses the same science to detect
genetic manipulations. Accordingly, the Directors of Genetic ID have given
Dr. Fagan equity in the company to compensate him for his scientific

Genetic ID's public position on genetically modified foods:
"Genetic ID, L.C. supports the principle of consumer choice, and favors
balanced public discussion of the issue of genetically modified foods."

Genetic ID's technology has been independently validated and blind-tested
for its reliability and sensitivity, and the company is recognized as the
leader in the field of genetic analysis of food products.

Dr. Fagan's c.v. follows.

Carl Jorgensen
Marketing Director
Genetic ID