Preliminary Data Touch Off Genetic Food Fight

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Science  19 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5405, pp. 1094-1095
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5405.1094

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The controversy in Britain over genetically modified food reached a new high on 12 February, when preliminary, unpublished data made headlines for the second time in 6 months. The latest media frenzy was touched off when 21 European and American scientists released a memorandum in support of Arpad Pusztai, a protein biochemist who was suspended last year by the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, after he sounded an alarm in a TV interview about potatoes altered to resist pests. The scientists said Pusztai's statements were correct and demanded that the Rowett Institute exonerate him. Several Members of Parliament immediately called for a moratorium on genetically modified food.