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GE food safety researchers use human volunteers

Press Release from PSRG - Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics

- Tuesday, 23 July 2002.

PSRG has no affiliations with industry or any political party.

GE food safety researchers use human volunteers

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics raise concerns over the safety of genetically engineered foods following the results of new research.

The first ever research using human volunteers, commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency, substantiates the concerns that using antibiotic marker genes in genetically engineered foods could add to the growing antibiotic resistance among patients.

The Agency research shows gut bacteria do take up transgenic material. Thus there is the real potential for gut bacteria to take up antibiotic-resistance. Patients prescribed the antibiotics to which these bacteria have become resistant, could find those antibiotics ineffective.

In the USA, drug-resistant infections in humans increased significantly from 0.8 percent in 1996 to 3 percent in 1998.

(122 words)

Enquiries to 64 7 576 5721 or roberta@clear.net.nz

Spokespersons: John Clearwater PhD - 09 828 3339 or 025 224 8955; Dr Paul Butler 09 445 9454.

For reports see www.foodstandards.gov.uk/science/sciencetopics/gmfoods/gm_reports : *Survival of ingested DNA in the gut and the potential for genetic transformation of resident bacteria, *Evaluating the risks associated with using GMOs in human foods, *Assessment of the risks of transferring antibiotic resistance determinants from transgenic plants to micro-organisms and *Dissemination of GM DNA and antibiotic resistance genes via rumen microorganisms.1 (2) GM genes found in human gut, John Vidal, 17 July 2002, The (UK) Guardian www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,2763,76666,00.html

PSRG has no affiliations with industry or any political party.

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