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Dr Russell Poulter - Re: Corn Wars

See also yesterday’s statement from Professor Peter R. Wills… Industry may be holding proof of contamination

Dear Sir, I am delighted that this nonsense is disappearing from the media allowing other more important issues to be considered prior to the election. However, more in sorrow than in anger, I note Dr. Wills continues to publish innuendo concerning me. May I exercise my right of reply, I hope for the last time.

The following is abstracted from Wills release yesterday. " The following important questions remain:

1. Did GeneScan find positive proof of GE contamination in Lot NC9114 after 5 December by completing measurements made by using the more sophisticated Online-PCR method?

2. Were any results of such tests supplied to Novartis?

3. Did Novartis, who had originally alerted the government that its seed might be contaminated, sit on results obtained after 5 December, confident that the New Zealand government had by then decided to allow the planting and harvesting in New Zealand of a crop now proved to be GE-contaminated? When all of the evidence has been released it may be possible to put the matter to rest. [Note: The differences between the results produced by GeneScan and Crop and Food can be explained in terms of GeneScan being better (more sensitive detection) than C&F or worse (more artefacts). I do not have any evidence on which to judge the matter and I am suspicious of the judgment of an interested party. Much of the dispute about the interpretation of test results comes from Russell Poulter who I am told has some connection with Crop and Food. He dismisses the GeneScan assessments in favour of a declaration from C&F that the positively testing samples were actually GE-free. I suspect that PCR-envy is playing a role here and that rivalry for technical prowess has sullied objective analysis.]"

In answer to these questions: 1. GeneScan has never provided any report in writing or verbally on LotNC9114 subsequent to the preliminary December 5 report. Neither I, Heinz-Wattie, Cedenco or the Government know of any such report. I am assured by Novartis Australia that no such report exists.

2. As stated above I am assured by Novartis that no such report exists.

3. As stated above I am assured by Novartis that no such report exists. The crop was not contaminated with GMO. Since all the evidence has now been released hopefully the matter can now be put to rest.

Wills says he has no evidence to judge the question of the relative sensitivity of the Crop&Food and Genescan PCR machines. Since neither provided any worthwhile evidence of GMO this is not significant.

Wills says 'I am suspicious of the judgment of an interested party. Much of the dispute about the interpretation of test results comes from Russell Poulter who I am told has some connection with Crop and Food.' I am growing tired of Wills innuendo. I have from the very outset made my involvement explicit. I was approached by Heinz-Wattie to help them understand this highly technical system. My involvement was done as a contractual arrangement between the University of Otago and Heinz-Wattie. I received no personal payment. I have no involvement with Crop&Food other than knowing some of the people (they are only 300k up the road). I have no joint grants with Crop&Food, no joint students, I last saw Tony Connor about 10 years ago when the NZ Genetical Society held its Annual Meeting at Lincoln. Who told Wills I have some connection with Crop&Food? Why are these claims always anonymous? Wills raises the question of 'PCR-envy'. TheCrop&Food instrumentation is the most advanced in the world (as is ours in Otago). The Melbourne instrument appears to be subject to prolonged failures. It is not clear if Wills has even got one.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Russell Poulter


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