martes, noviembre 18, 2008



Klaus Ammann, retired from the University of Berne, Switzerland, and guest professor at Delft University of Technology gave a presentation entitled “Do GM crops pose risks to the environment?” at the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) in Cork, Ireland during August 24-27, 2008. The power point file of the talk is available on-line at: ( ). In this talk, Klaus Ammann made several public accusations of scientific fraud and misconduct against GenØk – Centre for Biosafety.

(download a pdf of this article)

GenØk is a government-mandated research centre that studies the potential risks of genetically modified foods and vaccines for human health, the environment and food safety. No one from GenØk was attending ABIC.

In our humble opinion, it behoves anyone interested in fairness and accuracy to apply at least basic standards of information gathering and evidence verification from first hand sources before making such serious accusations. Klaus Ammann has made no attempt to obtain such direct evidence from anyone at our institute. Regrettably, this unfortunate situation of unfounded allegations could have been avoided, and Klaus Ammann’s confusion resolved, if basic scientific standards of evidence gathering, fitting of any responsible scientist, had been exercised (if, in fact, the quest for science and truth is the primary motivation).

Klaus Ammann is a well-known advocate of the biotechnology industry (see e.g. Since we became aware of Dr. Amman’s accusations against us, we have subsequently learned that he has engaged in similar irresponsible behavior directed at individuals and organizations that do not share his political or scientific views.

While it is unusual for GenØk to address groundless claims made by individuals, on this occasion Klaus Amman has crossed a line by directly slandering and defaming GenØk as an institution at a public international conference. We, therefore feel compelled to respond directly to his accusations, which are in our view irresponsible, and undermines efforts of the whole scientific community to achieve conscientious and constructive scientific discourse on the responsible use of biotechnologies in medical and agricultural applications.

We, therefore, find it necessary to respond publicly to each of his accusations. We believe that Klaus Ammann should be held accountable for his deliberate scientific misconduct.

In his presentation Klaus Ammann displayed slides stating:

• “GENOK: How you can tell lies with a slide..”
• “GENOK Slide Fraud” (repeated twice)
• “False Information replacing original legend”
• “Semi-holistic, grossly misleading approach”
• “An alarmist paper on the 35S promoters activities…”

Below, each of these allegations is refuted. Following that, we will discuss Klaus Ammann’s apparent incompetence at evaluating evidence and sources.

1. Accusations of “Lies”, “Fraud” and “False Information”.

These dramatic allegations can be tracked back to a table appearing in an article by Kuiper et al. from 2001(Assessment of the food safety issues related to genetically modified foods. Plant Journal 27: 503-528). In the article the table looked like this:

In his talk, Klaus Ammann has labelled his versions of the table as “GENOK SLIDE FRAUD” and has given them numbers 17 and 18 in his Powerpoint series.

The “GENOK SLIDE FRAUD” that Klaus Ammann referred to is a low resolution approximation of an image apparently copied from a pdf provided in some years of our Biosafety capacity building courses. Klaus Ammann has never participated in any of these courses and therefore was not a witness to either how the material was presented or what the material looked like in its original form as a Po



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