The trapdoor into the dark interior of genetic research (15/6/2005)

Eco sounding
Toby Sawday
The Guardian, June 15, 2005

Kernel of truth

The trapdoor into the dark interior of genetic research was prised open by German courts last week as Greenpeace won access to Monsanto's controversial study into the effects of one of its maize strains. The study found "statistically significant" effects in rats fed on MON863, though the company will appeal in the courts against the ruling, saying that the study contains commercially sensitive information.

Dr Arpad Pusztai, who conducted an independent review of the 1,000-page study for the German authorities, questioned both commercial sensitivity and the scientific value of the report, but nevertheless found evidence that feeding rats on large doses of the MON863 can be "potentially detrimental to the health of these animals". Still, the European Court [Commission?] will decide later this month whether to authorise imports of the maize.

Cream crackers

And the WI [Women's Institute] doesn't just stop at recycling. Alongside GM Freeze and Friends of the Earth, it is staging a week-long demonstration outside the Sainsbury's headquarters in High Holborn, London, to highlight the failure of British supermarkets to phase out milk from cows fed on GM crops. Knitted banners, Brazilian dancers and pantomime cows will take to the pavement each day, between 8am and 9am, outside the HQ. Milk Monitor, the event's organiser, wants people to don pantomime cow costumes and join the demonstration.

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