Top scientist caught in GM moratoria cross fire (7/9/2007)

Comment from Dr Brian John: We shouldn't be surprised by this - the GM industry specializes in the vilification of scientists who discover things or say things that Monsanto et al find uncomfortable. "Shoot the messenger" is a standard technique - expect it to be used more and more frequently as the GM debate hots up in Australia.


Top scientist caught in GM moratoria cross fire
SOURCE: Extract from Farm Weekly, WA's leading rural newspaper.
Friday, 17 August 2007

A leading Australian scientist has been commissioned by the WA Government to conduct a critical animal feeding study that may decide the future of commercial Genetically Modified (GM) crop production in that state.

But she has come under fire from the pro-GM lobby, which has questioned her involvement in the research.

Dr Judy Carman, a director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research (IHER) in Adelaide, has been accused by the pro-GM sector of lacking the expertise and independence required to conduct the study.

The same critics also claim Dr Carman, with almost 30 years experience, and her scientific group have no track record in conducting animal feeding studies and believe it is a waste of $92,000 of WA taxpayer's money.

But Dr Carman has hit back, questioning the motives of those people who were attempting to prevent the research work from going ahead.

Dr Carman has extensive, senior experience in conducting investigations into food-borne disease and says she is not a spokesperson for Greenpeace, as some of her critics had claimed.

In 1996, when calicivirus escaped from quarantine and started to infect rabbits in Australia, Dr Carman was asked to lead the world’s first epidemiological investigation into whether it could infect people.

"Any suggestions that I am some sort of anti-technology Luddite are ridiculous," Dr Carman said.

"IHER is an independent, not-for-profit research institute with an interest in GMOs, particularly those destined for food.

"The directors have training and expertise in plant science, agriculture, medicine, chemistry, biochemistry, nutrition, epidemiology and biostatistics."


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