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Minister says insurance approach not unusual


Minister says insurance approach not unusual

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says the attitude taken byan insurance company over genetic modification is unsurprising as it reflects the relative "newness" of the technology in New Zealand.... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4850

FAO Biotech News now available

The latest issue of FAO BiotechNews is now available, providing a wealth of useful papers accessible via the internet. Topics include:Biotechno... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4849

Chromatin receives US$2.7M for gene research

Chromatin, Inc. has received $2.7 million dollars in grants from the United State's National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and the National Institute... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4847

RSNZ backs bid to ban human reproductive cloning

New Zealand's science academy has backed a call to the United Nations to ban human reproductive cloning, which has hit headlines over the past year with purported attempts at cloning a human being.... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4845

Gene therapy increases melanoma recovery odds

Austrian researchers have unveiled a radical new gene therapy that can increase the chances of recovering from a deadly type of skin cancer by 25 percent. Skin cancer kills 66,000 people each year... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4844

Breast cancer gene test may improve chemotherapy

Testing tumours in women with breast cancer for the BRCA1 gene could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy dramatically, researchers said on Thursday. In laboratory tests, scientists from the... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4842

Dog genome adds insights to human genetics

The gene map of man's best friend shows dogs are closely related to people and will add insights into our own genetics, United States scientists said on Thursday. The method used to map out the ca... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4841

ERMA sets hearing date for GM onion application

Submissions on the application by Crop and Food Research Limited to field test genetically modified onions in containment will be heard in Christchurch from 3 November 2003.The Environmental Risk ... More... http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=4840

Like a series of aftershocks, responses to Dr Peter Wills’ paper continue to arrive at the LSN. Here is today’s feedback:

Peter Wills paper is notable for a number of things, not the least being the plethora of half-truths and prejudice that permeate this purportedly "up to date" and scholarly assessment of research findings since the RCGM delivered its report to the Governor General. It beggars belief that in the second sentence of the Summary Analysis, the RCGM report was criticised as being deficient because it did not predict the detail of results of future research, much of which is unlikely to withstand peer review.

I will comment on one issue that relates to human health consequences of GM. Five years after the FDA approved papaya genetically modified with the coat protein of Papaya Ringspot Virus, a hypothetical allergen has been identified by extensive bioinformatic screening techniques and computer predictions of IgE-binding epitopes. However, what is not mentioned by Wills is that that these results have not been validated by serum IgE binding assays, and that this potential allergen is highly likely to be a false positive because it is also present is several human proteins that are ubiquitously present in all cells in the body. Furthermore, five years of human exposure to GE papaya has not resulted in single substantiated case of allergic response to the viral coat protein . This example is reminiscent of the Starlink corn fiasco in which humans were exposed to GE corn that was not approved for human consumption because it showed a degree of resistance to acid hydrolysis, a very weak orange light for potentia

Dr Mike Berridge

James Cook Fellow & Cancer Society Senior Research Fellow Malaghan Institute of Medical Research

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