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Gelencser, Pusztai, Bardocz, Grant

Thorkild C. Bøg-Hansen tcbh at BIOBASE.DK
Fri Aug 14 04:30:39 EST 1998

Dear drs Gelencser, Pusztai, Bardocz, Grant
I hope you received my E-mail from yesterday. The following is an E-mail
correspondance which is being circulated in the lectin-community. Please
tell us how we may help you. Sincerelyyours, Thorkild
Thorkild C. Bøg-Hansen wrote:

Dear dr Hoppichler,
Thank you for sending me the press release from the Rowett Institute. I
am somewhat familiar with the work of dr. Pusztai and his collegues as
we have met regularly and as he has published in our books.
Unfortunately the experimental basis for the intense and global
publicity is not very clear. Presumably the results are on experimental
feedstuff for rats produced to investigate gut events. According to the
press release the experiments are with potatoes with transgenic GNA, a
lectin. There is a short description on the internet, referenced on my
internet page "Gateway to Lectins"

In any case we could expect that transgenic food containing toxic
substances from other plants (or animals for that matter) in excess
amounts would not be suited for human consumption. It is well known that
lectins may be toxic, and several cases of "favism" occur every year
because people do not cook beans well thus leaving the bean lectin
active in the uncooked or insufficiently cooked beans.
Potatoes with transgenic lectins would be produced only in order to do
experimental animal research with the strictest control.
It is my belief that plants with transgenic poisons or toxins should
never be allowed for human consumption.
It is my opinion that the experiments performed by dr Pusztai and his
group are very special research experiments, and that they were not
performed in order to produce food for human consumption. Therefore I
find that the press has completely over reacted. Such experiments could
never be taken as a general proof that transgenic foods are dangerous.
I also find that the Institute has completely over reacted by suspending
dr. Pusztai.
I have asked dr. Pusztai and his collegues as well as other experts
about information and about their  viewpoints.
Please keep in contact with further information. If there is anything I
can do to help dr. Pusztai, please tell me
Sincerely yours,
Thorkild C. Bøg-Hansen, PhD
Senior associate professor, University of Copenhagen

Comments will be accessible on the internet:
Please send your comment to me. My viewpoints will be accessible from
tomorrow morning 02 GMT.


HOPPICHLER, Josef wrote:
 Dear Mr Thorkild Christian Bøg-Hansen,

Some days ago I ask Dr. Pusztai from the Rowett-Research-Institute to
send me some information or publications about a rat-feeding-experiment
with transgenic patatoes (Con A or GNA) "Dear Professor Arpad Puztai,
I was reading in an Austrian press releas about your eeding-experiments
on rats with genetic engineered patatoes. It was a very short
information, but it had got a very interesting sound though without
scintific background.  So I want to ask you
about some information or your publications about this
feeding-experiment. In Austria we have a lot of discussion concerning
these problems and our Institute is interested on and is going to
collect all publications about "abnormal" or "unsuspected" effects of
genetic engineered  food  or feed. So if you could send us some material
on this subject, it would be of great help to us."

Today I got a Fax from the Rowett-Research Institute with a

 "......THIS MORNING THE Director suspended Dr. Pusztai from all
responsibility for Institute, UK and European studies on these issues
and Dr. Pusztai will now retire from the Institute. Dr. Andrew Chesson,
a member of the EU's DG XXIV`s working party on the safty of genetically
modified foods will be put in charge of all data analyses and
presentations to MAFF and the EU....." (I will fax you the whole press

I think it is not acceptable for the scientific community that a well
known member is suspended, if his scientific findings don`t fit into the
 mainstream and into the interrest of the EU-politics. So if this is
going to happen, people can never find out, whether they are going to
bring toxic or risky food to the market. Even if Dr. Pusztai would have
made a real mistake, it is not acceptable, that he is driven out of his
Institute and work. We have to discuss what is the background if his

So I want to ask you to, as Dr. Pusztai is known to your
Lectins-Network, to contact Dr. Pusztai and to inform also other members
of your network.  I also would be very thankful to get the private
adress of Dr. Pusztai or somebody who knows him. I think it is very
important to find out, what is going to happen in the Rowett-Research
Institute (and to help Dr. Pusztai).

 with Thanks in advance
> > Yours sincerely

Josef Hoppichler
> >
> >
> > mit freundlichen Grüßen
> >
> > Josef Hoppichler
> >
> >    Bundesanstalt
> >           für
> > Bergbauernfragen
> >
> > http://www.babf.bmlf.gv.at
> >
> > Möllwaldplatz 5
> > 1040 Wien
> >
> > Tel.:  01/ 504 88 69 30
> > Fax.: 01/ 504 88 69 39
> > Email: josef.hoppichler at babf.bmlf.gv.at

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