CHAPTER ONE: GENETIC MODIFICATION, ITS
BENEFITS AND RISKS
What is Genetic Modification?
6. An organism's characteristics are determined by
the information contained in its deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which
carries the genetic information which in turn determines how individual
cells, and consequently the entire organism, will develop and
behave. This information is divided into individual units
the genes "in the same way that a paragraph can be
divided into individual words".
The characteristics displayed by a plant or animal will depend
on which genes it has inherited and whether or not those genes
are switched on, or 'expressed', to produce specific proteins.
7. For thousands of years mankind has sought to improve
the growth, yield and other characteristics of cultivated crops
by selecting and cross-breeding plants (which itself involves
genetic modification) which have specific desirable characteristics.
Conventional breeding involves a new plant shuffling many genes
from each parent with thousands of genes recombining in large
groups. This raises the possibility that an undesirable gene may
also be introduced. Modern biotechnologists carry out genetic
modification to change crop characteristics for similar reasons.
The process of modern genetic modification, that is the transfer
of genes from one type of organism to another, is the same as
the process of conventional breeding but the sophisticated techniques
which have been developed increase the scope of what can be achieved.
8. Modern techniques in biotechnology allow deliberate
changes affecting a small number of genes. A single, pre-selected
and desired gene, or group of genes, can be inserted into the
DNA of the new plant. Genes can be introduced into an organism
from an entirely different species. Such modification is not possible
by conventional breeding. Genetic modification may also involve
switching off a specific gene (or genes) thus removing its influence
on the characteristics of the organism.
What GM products are grown or available in the
9. In 1998 around 35 million hectares of genetically
modified (GM) crops, including varieties of soya, maize, tomatoes,
potatoes, cotton, tobacco and oilseed rape, were planted for commercial
purposes worldwide, of which some 75% was in the USA.
Canada, Australia and China also have significant commercial plantings
of GM crops. Europe, by contrast, although a leader in research
and development in biotechnology, has been slower to adopt modern
biotechnology techniques in agriculture, although they have been
extensively and successfully used in the development of pharmaceuticals.
Limited commercial plantings of GM maize in Spain and France in
1998 formed less than 1% of the global total.
10. There have been no commercial plantings of GM
crops in the UK although GM crops have been planted for research
and trial purposes. The area under cultivation in the UK for these
purposes is expected to be around 300 hectares in 1999.
11. Three GM foods have been approved for sale in
the UK to date. These are a tomato paste, derived from GM tomatoes
with an altered ripening pattern, a type of soya which is resistant
to a specific herbicide and a type of maize resistant to a different
herbicide. Both soya and maize (GM and conventional varieties)
are used in a wide range of processed food so GM ingredients are
present in many food products on sale in the UK. A number of GM
enzymes have also been approved for use in food production. For
instance rennet, used in the production of cheese, which is traditionally
derived from calves' stomach linings, can now be replaced by a
GM version. (Consequently a broader variety of vegetarian cheese
is now available). The cheese itself, however, contains no GM
material. Refined food products derived from GM crops may also
contain no remnant of GM material. For example, it is estimated
that some 80 to 90% of the global supply of soya oil is produced
from GM crops and, although detectable traces of GM protein may
appear in unrefined oils, such traces are removed by the refining
Benefits and Risks
12. No human activity is entirely risk-free.
Certainly no food is.
This is not, however, a reason to trust unquestioningly in new
technologies such as modern genetic modification. Risks must be
identified, evaluated and minimised. However "scientific
findings will not always produce the clear cut answers the public,
the press and policy-makers might prefer".
Scientific committees advise in areas which are, by their nature,
more uncertain than most. If the scientific advisory system is
to function effectively all parties must accept the nature of
its limitations in this regard. Science cannot offer people what
they really wanttotal certainty. Scientists are seldom
in a position to say 'never'. It is impossible to prove a negative.
We agree with Dr Cunningham's statement that "There is no
point in asking for certainty. We do not live in a world of absolutes;
we do not live in a world of certainties".
What we can ask of the scientific advisory system is that it rigorously
examines what is known, identifies where there are risks and uncertainties
and explains to Ministers the extent to which such risks and uncertainties
can be said to be a potential problem and how they can be minimised.
13. GM foods potentially offer significant benefits
for the public, producers and the food manufacturing industry.
The Institute of Biology state that "we are certain that
the potential for Genetically Modified ... Crops to contribute
to the world's food supply is considerable".
The Chief Scientific Adviser has put the argument clearly, noting
that modern intensive agricultural practices, with their high
dependence on fossil fuels and chemicals, are not sustainable,
he said "in the longer term we need to bioengineer crops
which work with nature to reduce the need for intensive use of
chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides".
He sees GM technology as producing an "agriculture which
can feed the super-abundant human population but ... in a way
which requires less input of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals".
Some witnesses argued that growing herbicide tolerant or pesticide
resistant crops could result in the more effective use of agricultural
chemicals and therefore lead to a reduction in the overall volume
needed to control weeds and pests. Rather than having to spray
crops with different selective herbicides to control weeds, farmers
may be able to use fewer applications of a broad spectrum herbicide.
English Nature told us that GM crops "have the potential
to solve the environmental problems of intensive agriculture".
Monsanto told us that, following the introduction of GM cotton
varieties in the USA, "the use of chemicals on cotton has
been reduced by something like 80 to 90 per cent".
More immediate benefits to the consumer in the UK could include
lower prices coupled with greater nutritional value or healthier
Zeneca have stated that "biotechnology has the potential
to have a profound and beneficial impact on agriculture and the
14. The exploitation of GM technology could provide
substantial economic benefits for countries with a strong science
base. The UK's contribution to genetic research has been out of
all proportion to its size and it is well placed to capitalise
on such advances with companies such as Zeneca Plant Science running
their own research programmes into GM foods and other international
companies choosing to site their research centres here.
The Chief Scientific Adviser has pointed out that there is a huge
potential market for GM food in Europe. Successive UK Governments
and the European Commission have identified biotechnology as an
area for future economic expansion.
15. It has also been argued that the exploitation
of GM technology for food has considerable risks. These fall into
two broad categories: risks to health and risks to the environment.
Risks to Health
16. Concerns over the consumption of GM food centre
on four issues. The first is over the safety of the intentional
changes made in the genetic make-up of crops, including consideration
of any toxic or allergenic effects. For instance, some plants
naturally produce toxins as a defence against pests. Generally
these are either present at such low levels that they have no
impact on the humans or animals which consume them or are eradicated
by processing (eg cooking). Whilst genetic modification could
remove or lower the level of allergens or toxins, it is also possible
that levels could be increased.
Secondly, there is a possibility that unintentional changes may
have occurred as a result of genetic modification.
Thirdly, it needs to be established whether a genetic modification
will be inherited in a predictable manner over several plant generations.
The fourth is whether modified genetic material could be transferred
to organisms which occur naturally in the human gut. Of particular
concern is the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes.
17. Antibiotic resistance marker genes have been
used in the genetic modification process to allow researchers
to trace transgenes.
Some suggest that the gene sequence conferring antibiotic resistance
could be transferred to bacteria which colonise the human gut,
and thereby assist in the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans.
The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) assessed
the risk associated with antibiotic resistance marker genes as
extremely low but nevertheless recommended that researchers should
stop using them and develop alternatives.
The spread of resistance to antibiotics is a serious threat to
our ability to treat diseases but it is likely that the widespread
use of antibiotic growth promoters and antibiotics as drugs are
the causes of resistance, rather than the use of antibiotic resistance
marker genes. The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment
(ACRE) has made a similar statement and more recently the Royal
Society has argued that "it is no longer acceptable to have
antibiotic resistance genes present in new GM crops under development
for potential use in foodstuffs". Alternatives are now available.
18. The direct effects of releasing GM plants into
the environment have also raised some concerns. One, for example,
is about "escaping genes" where a GM plant may
transfer its new genes to other plants. Transfer of genes between
plants is a natural part of the normal evolutionary process and
also occurs between unmodified plants. Should this happen repeatedly
when genetic modifications have conferred tolerance to herbicides,
it has been suggested that a new breed of plant which cannot be
controlled with conventional herbicides super-weeds as
they have been termed could emerge.
Such invasions also occur without genetic modification. For example,
Spartina Anglica, a form of salt marsh grass, grows rampantly
over British salt marshes and is a cross between a native species
and an accidentally introduced species, neither of which themselves
grows particularly well. Conventional crops, including organic
crops, are vulnerable to cross pollenation and inadvertent chemical
contamination. This is not an issue specific to genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). Nor are GMOs likely to be the greatest source
19. Biodiversity is an area of concern. Both English
Nature and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
state that biodiversity in the UK countryside has been in decline
for a number of years. Some suggest that the cultivation of GM
crops could exacerbate existing trends towards the intensification
of agriculture which are in part responsible for this decline.
We have already noted that GM technology may reduce the use of
chemicals in agriculture; but there are also arguments that cultivation
of herbicide tolerant crops might allow extravagant use of herbicides
which may, in turn, have an impact on plant life and consequently
on the habitats and food supplies of wildlife. It has also been
suggested that crops engineered to be pesticide resistant may
harm non-target wildlife. Such concerns, of course, apply equally
to conventionally bred crops which possess herbicide tolerance
or pest resistance an area which has received far less
20. Others have pointed out that biotechnology should
not be seen as the root cause of the biodiversity problems or
the cause of intensive farming practices. Professor Beringer,
the chair of ACRE, said the intensification of agriculture "is
not a GM issue. GM is a minor part of that problem and maybe it
is a solution to part of it".
The Chief Scientific Adviser too is concerned about the intensification
of agriculture but stated that "if I had to identify one
worry about the changing shape of the British countryside at the
moment it would not be GM crops, it would be winter wheat, winter
oil seed rape" and their effects.
Public Values and Acceptability
21. Perceptions of risk and benefit play a large
part in the decisions the public make over whether or not, and
under what conditions, new technologies are acceptable. It can,
however, take many years for technological breakthroughs to deliver
widespread benefits. Consequently there is a potential risk that
new technologies with the potential to deliver huge benefits may
be lost in their infancy if public apprehension over risk, not
balanced by immediate benefit, rises to such levels that commercial
exploitation of the new technology becomes non-viable. Direct
and immediate benefits to the consumer are likely to play a strong
part in decision making. Also, in the case of GM foods, indeed
any food, attitudes are not only dependent on an analytical assessment
of risk and benefit. Other factors, such as ethical and moral
considerations, knowledge of the technology and trust in the regulatory
system, play a part. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
stated that "values are an essential element in decisions
about environmental policies and standards".
This is no less true of decisions over the food we eat and the
crops we grow.
22. The first clearance for the use of a GM material
in food production in the UK was granted in 1990, when ACNFP consented
to the use of a GM bakers' yeast in bread-making. Its introduction,
and that of the GM rennet in cheese production, caused little
concern on the part of the public.
Nor did the more high-profile launch of GM tomato paste in 1996
which Sainsbury's were the first to market. Sainsbury's experience
illustrates a fundamental shift in public perceptions which has
subsequently occurred. The paste was sold alongside its conventional
equivalent but at a cheaper price and initially outsold the non-GM
variety by 2:1.
During 1998 the volume of sales declined and "since Christmas
 it has reduced to a very low level indeed".
The paste is now being withdrawn because at the present sales
rate it does "not justify its position on the shelves".
Sainsbury's, like many other food manufacturers and retailers,
has decided to remove all GM ingredients from its own-brand goods.
In every instance these decisions have been made on the basis
of commercial judgement that consumers will demand choice, rather
than any belief on the part of the companies concerned that the
products they have been selling are unsafe.
Iceland, for instance, said that it had withdrawn GM ingredients
from its own-brand products in response to customer concerns.
At the current rate at which food manufacturers are withdrawing
GM ingredients or ingredients derived from GM sources from their
products, there will be no market for GM food in this country.
23. As mentioned above, there are several factors
which have played a part in affecting public attitudes towards
GM food. A number of surveys has shown that a key factor in influencing
public acceptability of GM food is consumer choice.
The first GM foods on the market in the UK were clearly labelled
as such and non-GM alternatives were readily available. This has
not been the case with other GM products such as soya and maize.
Much of Europe's soya and maize comes from the US where producers,
on the grounds that there is no significant difference between
GM and non-GM plants, have not segregated crops and the Food and
Drug Administration has not required labelling if GM products
are substantially equivalent to their conventional counterparts
(see paras 60-1). Thus European food processors and retailers
had no way of telling whether any given batch of processed food
was derived from or contained GM material. Sainsbury's told us
that "It was extremely frustrating throughout 1996 and 1997
to see no action with the commodity crops" in the US and
that they repeatedly asked "for a consistent treatment in
terms of segregation. In the event that did not take place. The
American Soya Bean Growers' Association, Monsanto and the trade
associations confirmed that it could not be segregated on the
farm, it could not be segregated in the supply stream".
Subsequent efforts by Sainsbury's and others have demonstrated
that segregation is possible but in the interim UK consumers were
precluded from making choices about whether or not to buy GM products.
24. Another factor contributing to the current antagonism
towards GM food is the stance taken by established and influential
lobby groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, both
of which have campaigned heavily against the introduction of GM
foods. Greenpeace told us that it had no principled objections
to GM technology per se but that its concerns resulted
from an evaluation of the risks posed by release into the environment
and the food chain and therefore was absolutely opposed to its
use in food.
Campaigns, such as the Genetic Engineering Alliance's for a 5
year freeze on commercial plantings and imports of GM food and
farm crops, on the basis that far too little is known about the
consequences of widespread use, have exacerbated existing widespread
concerns about the intensification of agriculture more generally.
Moreover some lobby groups have challenged the Government's scientific
advisory system by calling into question the impartiality and
integrity of those serving on committees (see paras 49-52).
25. The media, too, have played a key role in influencing
public attitudes towards GM food. Sainsbury's found that initial
media interest in GM food, at least in relation to the launch
of their GM tomato paste, was "on the whole interested, curious,
but fairly positive".
Monsanto's high profile advertising campaign during the summer
of 1998 provoked further media interest and fuelled controversy.
It added little to informed debate and provided fertile ground
for the subsequent tone of media reporting. Against that background,
one single incident would seem to have caused a fundamental shift
in the tone of media reports.
DR PUSZTAI'S RESEARCH
26. On 10 August 1998, a World in Action programme
was broadcast in which Dr Arpad Pusztai, then working at the Rowett
Research Institute, claimed that "the effect [of feeding
GM potatoes to rats] was slight growth retardation and an effect
on the immune system. One of the genetically modified potatoes,
after 110 days, made the rats less responsive to immune effects".
On the same day a Rowett Research Institute press release stated
that feeding GM potatoes in experiments had led to reduced growth
and immune functions and called for further research.
Dr Pusztai's assertions attracted massive, and unquestioning,
Two days later the Rowett published another press release announcing
that Dr Pusztai had been suspended and would be retiring.
It transpired that Dr Pusztai's experiments involving GM material
were incomplete and the Rowett Research Institute's press release
had misreported the scientific findings of the experiments and,
indeed, that the experiments referred to had not been carried
The announcement of Dr Pusztai's retirement further fuelled speculation
that the authorities were attempting to suppress scientific evidence
of potential dangers of GM foods and also led to Dr Pusztai receiving
support from other scientists concerned at his treatment by the
Institute. Moreover, Dr Pusztai's interpretation of his research
data was disputed, not only by the Rowett Institute, but also
by an independent statistical analysis, commissioned by Dr Pusztai
himself, which found "no consistent pattern of changes in
organ weights" and which questioned the validity of the design
of the experiment.
Dr Pusztai told us that in his 110 day feeding trials, "no
differences between parent and GM potatoes could be found".
This directly contradicts his statement on World in Action.
Dr Pusztai's appearance before us attracted far more press interest
than did some of our more credible witnesses. The press continues
to give credibility to Dr Pusztai's claim despite it being contradicted
by his own evidence.
27. A number of lessons can be learnt from this episode.
The combination of naive media handling on the part of researchers
and their institute pursuing a publicity agenda, aimed at securing
and irresponsible broadcasters in search of ratings, provided
the perfect basis for the "total delirium, hysterical headlines
and a series of alarmist, largely fact-free stories that suggested
all ... GM foods were a threat to human health" that has
Scientists and research institutions must recognise that they
can have a major impact on public opinion, particularly when novel
products are being considered. It is right that scientists should
warn of possible health hazards but they must accept that such
influence needs to be wielded with the utmost responsibility.
The Importance of Peer Review
28. For many years peer review in advance of publication
has been accepted as the most appropriate way of ensuring scientific
validity. As Professor Bainbridge, the chair of ACNFP, told us,
"We must have open debate and peer review of the sciencenot
science by press release".
In February 1999, nineteen Fellows of the Royal Society, stimulated
by the Pusztai affair, said "it is a dangerous mistake ...
to assume that all statements claiming to be scientific can be
taken at face value. Good science is work that has stood up to
detailed scrutiny by independent workers in the field and contributes
to new knowledge and understanding. Those who start telling the
media about alleged scientific results that have not first been
thoroughly scrutinised and exposed to the scientific community
serve only to mislead, with potentially very damaging consequences".
We fully support these sentiments. There need to be improvements
in the way research institutes, universities and researchers present
their results. Researchers and their employers must be aware of
the implications of discussing partial findings publicly. We
recommend that directors of research establishments and university
departments should take steps to ensure that all scientific staff
are able to respond effectively and competently to media pressure.
This is clearly not the case at present.
29. Journalists, too, must recognise the duty they
have to report accurately, particularly on such sensitive issues
as food and health. Since media interest in GM food was reawakened
earlier this year there has been a continual succession of reports,
implying that eating GM food would lead to all sorts of serious
diseases, such as those which appeared in late April 1999 in several
newspapers relating GM food to meningitis, but which are totally
unsupported by evidence.
Not only do such stories jeopardise the future of a potentially
beneficial technology but also cause undue worry and distress.
Conversely, premature disclosure of technological breakthroughs
raises unrealistic public expectations which may lead to disappointment.
Science editors appear to be have been sidelined over this issue.
We recommend media coverage of scientific matters should be
governed by a Code of Practice which stipulates that scientific
stories should be factually accurate. Breaches of the Code of
Practice should be referred to the Press Complaints Commission.
30. These media reports have resonated with understandable
public scepticism towards the Government's handling of food matters
following the BSE crisis and have formed the hostile background
against which the scientific advisory system must deliver its
advice to Government.
31. The risk the UK faces, should it prove impossible
to return to a measured and informed debate on the issues relating
to GM food and crops, is that any potential benefits from GM technology
may be lost solely as the result of misconceptions. The Chief
Scientific Adviser said that the UK must keep up with this technology
because it "is a vital industry of the future. We have played
a hugely disproportionate part in creating the underlying science:
are we going to lose it like we lost things in the past?"
It would be deeply regrettable if the UK forfeited all the potential
economic and social benefits offered by GM technology on the basis
of unfounded scare stories. If the UK is to reject it, it should
be on the basis of scientific assessments of identifiable risks
or well-considered value judgements not the result of journalistic
hyperbole and unfounded fear. We entirely agree with Mr Rooker
MP, the Minister for Food Safety, that it is not for the Government
to either promote or prevent the introduction of GM food.
However, the Government does have a role in ensuring that the
public are adequately equipped to make informed choices. Blanket
reassurances on safety are no more likely to promote rational
debate or informed decision-making than some of the more extreme
media coverage regarding GM foods that we have seen in recent
Scientific advice needs to be communicated to the public in a
manner which sets out any uncertainties. The Government has a
crucial role to play in explaining the risks and rewards associated
with new technological developments and also in ensuring that
the public has confidence in a regulatory system that is not seen
to be beholden to commercial interests. We question whether the
current controversy would have reached such heights if GM soya
and maize had been segregated from conventional crops from the
outset. GM technology and its potential benefits may be permanently
lost to the UK unless there is rational debate. The Government
must provide leadership in this debate but it is also incumbent
upon scientists to present findings clearly and in a manner not
open to misconstruction and on the media to report accurately.
32. EU regulations require all new GM foods to be
labelled as such. The regulations do not apply to GM additives
or to derivatives of GM crops, such as tomato paste or refined
vegetable oils, which contain no modified constituents. The Government
intends to 'gold plate' these regulations by imposing additional
requirements in the UK. It is also pressing the European Commission
to bring forward proposals for labelling rules for GM additives.
The Commission is currently developing proposals for thresholds
for labelling of GM foods.
33. The current EU regulations are based on the premise
that labelling requirements should only apply where the accuracy
of labels can be checked by testing the product. This may meet
the requirements of those who do not wish to consume GM material,
but cannot address the concerns of those who do not wish to consume
food derived from, or processed with, GM technologies where no
modified material remains in the final product. Many retailers
are actively promoting the fact that they will soon have no GM
derived ingredients in their products and consumers will be making
choices based on these policies. Such claims are not at present
covered by the GM food labelling requirements and in many cases
there is no scientific means of testing the final product in question
to establish the validity of assertions of GM status. To reduce
the risk of fraudulent use of GM free labels we recommend that
the Government obliges retailers not to claim GM free status unless
a full audit trail from seed to supermarket shelf is in place.
34. Professor Bainbridge was strongly supportive
of labelling for food derived from GM crops but pointed out that,
if labelling were to be fully effective, it would be necessary
to reach agreement on thresholds.
Sainsbury's told us that if agreement were not reached on thresholds
all the effort that had already been put into developing a labelling
regime would be wasted as the system would not be trusted.
We agree. It is important that threshold levels for the labelling
of GM foods are established and are understood by the public.
Thresholds should be open to review as the technology to test
for GM material improves. We recommend the Government pursues
these objectives in its negotiations with European partners on
labelling and thresholds and in other international fora.
35. The Country Landowners' Association told us that
effective and meaningful labelling was also dependent on crop
segregation "without proper segregation of GM from conventional
crops it will be impossible to label products as GM free".
There has been debate over whether segregation, at least in the
volumes required, is practical.
Professor Bainbridge told us that she considered that segregation
was possible at present, but she was unsure whether it would continue
to be so.
Similarly, Sainsbury's were not sure whether they would be able
to continue to identify sources of segregated crops in the long
term, although they were confident that "if there is a market
requirement ... and a market demand of value to the grower and
the supply chain then it can be achieved". We also acknowledge
the argument made by the Country Landowners' Association that
an extension of labelling requirements to animal feed products
would enable farmers to make more informed choices regarding their
farming practices and to pass on better information to their customers.
The Government should press for international agreement on
regulations requiring the separation of GM from conventional crops.
These requirements should also be extended to include animal feed
and meat products.
3 The Royal Society, Genetically Modified Plants
for Food Use, ("GM Plants for Food Use"),
September 1998, p. 4. Back
Sir Robert May, Genetically Modified Foods: Facts, Worries,
Policies and Public Confidence, ("GM Foods: Facts,
Worries, Policies and Public Confidence") February
1999, p. 2; International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech. Back
Foods: Facts, Worries, Policies and Public Confidence,
p. 9 Back
Ev. p. 298 Back
p. 188 Back
Audit Committee, Fifth Report, Session 1998-99 on GMOs and
the Environment: Coordination of Government Policy, HC 384,
Institute of Biology, Genetically Modified Crops, the Social
and Ethical Issues, August 1998, p. 2. Back
Foods: Facts, Worries, Policies and Public Confidence,
p. 19. Back
384, Q. 104. Back
p. 64. Back
Q. 406. See also Ev. p. 272. Back
384, QQ. 136-7 Back
of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, Second
Report, 1998-99, on EC Regulation of Genetic Modification in
Agriculture, HL Paper 11-II, p. 19. Back
Office of Science and Technology, Genetically Modified Foods:
Benefits and Risks, Regulation and Public Acceptance, ("POST,
GM Foods"), May 1998, p. 46; European Commission White
Paper, Growth Competitiveness and Employment, Preparing the
Next Stage, 1994. Back
of Science and Technology, Allocation of the Science Budget,
1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, October 1998, p. 10. Back
GM Plants for Food Use, p.12. Back
the gene or group of genes to be transferred between organisms
and any associated control elements can be accurately identified
and isolated, it is not possible to specify exactly where, or
how often, the gene will be inserted into the host's genome.
Thus, whilst the characteristic of the transgene will be expressed
by the host, it is not yet possible to predict accurately other
effects modification may cause. Such unpredictable consequences
can however be identified during testing afterwards. Back
'Transgene' is the term used to describe a gene transferred from
one organism to another. Back
POST, GM Foods, p. 20. Back
Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, Report on the Use of
Antibiotic Resistance Markers in Genetically Modified Food Organisms,
Plants for Food Use, p. 8. Back
example, the 'Roundup Ready' crops, marketed by Monsanto plc,
are genetically modified to be tolerant to Monsanto's herbicide
p. 280. Back
384, Session 1998-99, Q. 105. Back
Commission on Environmental Pollution, Twenty-first Report, Setting
Environmental Standards, October 1998, Back
GM Foods, p. 47. Back
GM Foods, p. 47. Back
269 and 284-5. Back
Engineering Alliance, Five Year Freeze on Genetic Engineering
and Patenting in Food and Farming, p.1. Back
in Action, Granada TV, 10
August 1998. Back
Research Institute, press release, 10 August 1998. Back
p. 42. Back
Research Institute, press release, 12 August 1998. Back
p. 42; Q. 131. Back
p. 20. Back
.p. 20. Back
McKie, in Science and Public Affairs, April 1999,
p. 7. Back
p. 88. Back
from 19 Fellows of the Royal Society to the national press, 22
February 1999. Back
Sunday Times 25.04.99; Daily Mail, 26.04.99. The
claims of GM food links were based loosely on concerns that the
use of antibiotic resistance marker genes may increase antibiotic
resistance and hence decrease the value of antibiotics as therapeutic
agents. In reality, the problem of antibiotic resistance is not
a GM issue but is caused by widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics
in agriculture and elsewhere. Back
pp. 283-4. Back
384, Session 1998-9, Q. 105. Back
p. 218. Back
p. 220. Back
p. 1. Back
p. 220. Back