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Counting Chickens Before They Hatch?

LSN Media Release : March 1, 2004

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch?

Professor Terje Traavik has put his reputation on the line by going public with warnings of serious health risks from GE foods before the research he cites has been published or peer-reviewed, Chairman of the Life Sciences Network Dr William Rolleston said today.

"A responsible scientist would have presented their evidence to the appropriate regulatory authorities in a manner which allows time for proper scrutiny instead of using the media in an attempt to cause public panic and regulatory over-reaction. If this evidence is credible then the appropriate regulatory authorities will take it into consideration in their decision making as they have always done.

"GE free NZ is right to suggest that Professor Traavik will be criticized for circumventing the proper scientific process and it is probably no coincidence that Professor Traavik's claims coincide with the first major international meeting to discuss the implementation of the Cartegena protocol, which regulates the international shipment of GMOs.

"We have seen these scare tactics before from the anti-GM lobby - Professor Puztai and his potatoes, Professor Kaatz and his bees, and the Monarch Butterfly story. All have failed the test of time through lack of credibility or because they were just plain wrong. Even Professor Traavik's own evidence on DNA vaccines failed to impress New Zealand's Royal Commission on Genetic Modification.

"Professor Traavik should know that safety is based on considering all the evidence, taking into account its credibility and putting it into context with current risks," Dr Rolleston concluded.

ENDS

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