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Institute Copes With Genetic Hot Potato

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Science  21 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5380, pp. 1124-1125
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5380.1124b

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A premature warning about the potential dangers of transgenic potatoes sparked a global media frenzy last week and appears to have ended the career of a food safety expert at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. In a press statement, the institute said it regretted "the release of misleading information about issues of such importance." The incident has left a bitter taste in the mouths of biotech boosters. It "caused a tremendous amount of confusion among consumers, which will take years to undo," claims Anthony Arke of EuropaBio, a Brussels-based biotech association.