Sunday, July 20, 2014

BBC News | Sci/Tech | GM food safety row

BBC News | Sci/Tech | GM food safety row:

Dr Arpad Pusztai: Vindicated 

Twenty established scientists have come out in support of a colleague who said that rats fed on genetically-modified potatoes suffered damage to their immune systems.

The UK Government is now facing calls for an urgent safety review of genetically-modified (GM) foods and a row is brewing in the scientific community over the apparent suppression of important research.

Dr Arpad Pusztai, 68, made a public statement about his fears last August. He was effectively forced to retire by the Rowett Research Institute after it accused him of misinterpreting his results.

But the group of scientists, drawn from 13 different countries, have re-examined his work and signed a joint memorandum supporting his conclusions.

[ image: GM crops: Moratorium requested]
GM crops: Moratorium requested
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Labour MP Alan Simpson said Dr Pusztai had been "completely vindicated" and called for a moratorium on GM food.

Last year, the doctor's £1.6m research project, funded by the Scottish Office, found that when rats were fed on GM potatoes for a period of 10 days, the development of certain vital organs was impaired and their immune systems suffered.

Reports in the press also says the size of the rats' brains decreased.

Speaking on BBC Two's Newsnight programme, group spokesman Dr Vyvyan Howard, a Liverpool University toxipathologist, said he believed Dr Arpad's data was "sound".

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