lunes, junio 01, 2009

Arpad Pusztai on the Risks of Genetic Engineering

Why is genetic engineering a risky technology?

Gene insertion is a major problem. You cannot direct where the splicing of the genetic construct will happen. It is well known that when you insert a genetic construct into the DNA network of a plant, you create changes in that network. As a result, you will get changes in the functionality of the plant's own genes. They may become more active or silent. The effects will be unpredictable and uncontrollable. It can sometimes cause irreparable damage to the genome. This is insertional mutagenesis.

The biotechnology industry simply overrides this concern. They say we don't have to worry about it, and if you raise your voice, you are called a Luddite.

Fundamentally the science of genetic engineering is crap. One gene expressing one protein is the basis of genetic engineering, but the Human Genome Project discovered 23,000 genes, and there are 200,000 proteins in every cell. With this discovery, genetic engineering should have disappeared into the dustbin, but the biotechnology industry is so strong. Genetic engineering is a product driven technology. If you have enough money to throw at it, you can do many things. But the industry won't waste money on safety assessment.



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