Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

ACT Leader Richard Prebble Misleads Public

It was reported on the news today that Richard Prebble said, "not a single person has ever died from genetic engineering."

* Is Mr. Prebble not aware that genetically engineered tryptophan, produced by the Japanese chemical company Showa Denko, killed 37 people and permanently disabled a further 1500?

* Is Mr. Prebble not aware that genetically engineered soya beans contain Brazil nut 25 albumin which is toxic to those allergic to Brazil nuts and that the same toxicity exists in the GM soya beans?

* Is Mr. Prebble not aware that the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture near Zürich have proven that genetically engineered toxins increase with each insect or animal that ingests another which has initially ingested GM toxins, and that by the time these toxins get down the food chain to humans the toxicity could be multiplied many times?

QUESTION: How can a radio station repeat such false comments without researching the facts?

Pages two and three contain research references to the Show Denko case.

Contact details: Charles Drace TEl : 03-364-9140 days TEL: 03-365-6607 eves Fax: 03-364-9132 email: charles@cdrace.co.nz

TRYPTOPHAN SUMMARY, NOVEMBER, 1997, JOHN B. FAGAN, PH.D.

Food supplements, such as amino acids, are often manufactured by fermentative processes, in which large quantities of bacteria are grown in vats, and the food supplement is extracted from the bacteria and purified. One amino acid, tryptophan has been produced in this way for many years. In the late 1980's the company Showa Denko K.K. decided to use genetic engineering to accelerate and increase the efficiency of tryptophan production. They genetically engineered bacteria by inserting several genes that caused the bacteria to express certain enzymes at much higher levels than normal and to express other enzymes that are not normally present in the original bacteria.

The enzymes expressed in these bacteria through genetic engineering altered cellular metabolism substantially, leading to greatly increased production of tryptophan. These genetically engineered bacteria were immediately used in commercial production of tryptophan, and the product placed on the market in the USA in 1988. According to US law, Showa Denko was allowed to sell the tryptophan produced in genetically engineered bacteria without safety testing because they and other companies had been selling tryptophan produced in non-genetically engineered bacteria for years without ill effects. It was considered that the method of production (whether via natural or genetically engineered bacteria) was immaterial and that, since tryptophan had already been shown to be safe, the new material needed no testing. In effect they considered it substantially equivalent to the tryptophan that had been sold for many years.

This product was placed on the market, and within a few months it caused the deaths of 37 people and caused 1500 more to be permanently disabled. (1). It took months to discover that the poisoning was due to toxin present in the tryptophan produced using Showa Denko's genetically engineered bacteria (1, 2). One factor that contributed to this time delay was the fact that the product was not labeled to distinguish it from tryptophan produced through conventional methods.

The disease caused by this toxic product was called eosinophilia myalgia syndrome or EMS, because the initial symptoms were elevated numbers of blood cells called eosinophils and myalgia (muscle pain). Over time many other symptoms developed in patients that led in some cases to death and in many other cases to serious long term disability. These symptoms included paralysis and neurological problems, painful swelling and cracking of the skin, heart problems, memory and cognitive deficits, headaches, extremelight sensitivity, fatigue, and heart problems (3,4).

It was later shown that the tryptophan produced in genetically engineered bacteria contained one or more highly toxic contaminants. The most prominent of these, called EBT, was identified as a dimerization product of tryptophan. It comprised less than 0.1% of the total weight of the product, yet that was enough to kill people (1). Based on fundamental chemical and biochemical principles, scientists have deduced that this compound was probably generated when the concentration of tryptophan within the bacteria reached such high levels that tryptophan molecules or their precursors began to react with each other (5). Thus, it appears that genetic manipulations led to increased tryptophan biosynthesis, which led to increased cellular levels of tryptophan and precursors. At these high levels, these compounds reacted with themselves, generating a deadly toxin. References

1. Mayeno, A.N. and Gleich, G.J., Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome and tryptophan production: a cautionary tale, TIBTECH, 12, 346-352, 1994. 2. Raphals, P., Does medical mystery threaten biotech? Science, 249, 619, 1990. 3. Brenneman, D.E., Page, S.W., Schultzberg, M., Thomas, F.S., Zelazowski, P., Burnet, P., Avidor, R., and Sternberg, E.M., A decomposition product of a contaminant implicated in l-tryptophan eosinophilia myalgia syndrome affects spinal cord neuronal cell death and survival through stereospecific, maturation and partly interleukin-1-dependent mechanisms, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 266(2), 1029-1035, 1993. 4. Love, L.A., Rader, J.I., Crofford, L.J., Raybourne, R.B., Principato, M.A., Page, S.W., Trucksess, M.W., Smith, M.J., Dugan, E.M., Turner, M.L., Zelazowski, E., Zelazowski, P., and Sternberg, E.M., Pathological and immunological effects of ingesting l-tryptophan and 1, 1'-ethylidenebis (l-tryptophan) in Lewis rats, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Inc., 91, 804-811, March 1993. 5. Raphals, P., EMS deaths: Is recombinant DNA technology involved?, The Medical Post, Maclean-Hunter, Toronto, 16, November 6, 1990.

Have you read our most recent report? http://www.satori.cc/free-crashreport.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election