isisnews

No 9/10 July 2001
Edited by Mae-Wan Ho
Institute of Science in Society
www.i-sis.org.uk
ISSN: 1474-1547 (print)
ISSN: 1474-1814 (online)
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Contents

Written and compiled by Mae-Wan Ho, Angela Ryan, Joe Cummins, Nick Papadimitriou, Sam Burcher and others
Edited by Mae-Wan Ho

Institute of Science in Society
www.i-sis.org.uk
and Department of Biological Sciences,
Open University, Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, U.K.

Reports

Slaving Science and Society with Public Subsidy
Stop Release of GM Insects!
Senior Scientist Sacked Defending Academic Standards
First GM Humans Created
GM Cotton in India Exposes Rot in Science
Patents Choke Agricultural Research
Big Business = Bad Science?
Monsanto Coming to British University
GM is Kidstuff
Genetic Engineering Superviruses
Superbugs and Superviruses from AIDs Vaccines
Chief Scientist Lambastes Human Genetics Panel
Scrambled Genome of RR Soya
GM Rice Unstable
GM Crops Face Potential Genetic Meltdown
People Power and Open Science Won the Day
More Horizontal Gene Transfer Happens
UK GM Field Trials - A Tragi-Comedy of Errors
Open Letter on UK Farmscale Field Trials
ISIS Submit Evidence to House of Lords on Stem Cells

Articles

Radical Solutions Needed for Antibiotic Resistance
Royal Society Soft Selling GM Animals
Human Genome is a Big White Elephant
Terminator Insects - the Killing of Females
Dietary Interventions for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Kanamycin Still in Use and Cross Reacts
Gene Therapy Oversold by Scientists
Gene Therapy with Your Salads, Anyone?
Investing in Health Care or the Health Market?
Taking Science Seriously in the GM Debate

Biopatents

Bushmen Knowledge Plunder
South Africa's Floral Heritage Sell Off
Dupont's Biopiracy Challenge
India Robbed Again
No 'Collaborative' Deal
Patently Patenting People
European Court of Justice to OK Patents on Life
Monsanto's Suing Campaign Backfires
Monsanto Torpedoes AgBiotech
Mycogen-Monsanto Case Returns
Japan Grants Academics Go-Ahead for Profit
Wellcome Shuts Out Celera
Taq DNA Polymerase Patent Revoked

Science Bytes

E. coli 0157 and Genetic Engineering
New Corn Virus Related to Tomato Viruses

Book Briefs

Privatising the Human Genome
Animal Experiments Worse than Useless


From the Editor

The science war is running red-hot. Several issues have entered the frontlines and need immediate action.

First, our tax money is being squandered in funding degenerate research at both international and national levels. It is supporting failed and failing corporate technologies, including some of the most hazardous, such as nuclear energy and GM. See "Slaving Science and Society with Public Subsidy" and "Investing in Healthcare or the Health Market?"

Many of the most pressing environmental, health and social problems are not being addressed. On the contrary, we are being committed to more of the same, blocking the paradigm change that can get us out of the mess. Politicians and ngos have yet to recognise just how important science policy is, especially with regard to research and development. The European Union is about to finalise its science-funding pro-gramme for the next four years, and Members of the European Parliament must be alerted to recapture research funds for independent scientific research that can really benefit society, such as sustainable agriculture and holistic medicine. Please act now. ISIS suggested some specific areas for funding in "Human Genome is a Big White Elephant".

Second, the corruption of academic standards, freedom, and ethics is getting out of hand. Urgent action is needed to reinstate independent researcher Ted Steele, see "Senior Scientist Sacked for Defending Academic Standards". If you are still in doubt, please read "Big Business = Bad Science", "First GM Humans Created" and "Monsanto Coming to British University". "Patents Choking Agricultural Research" describes how broad biotech patents are killing agricultural science, encouraging corporate mergers and benefiting no one except lawyers hired to settle patent disputes (see many items in biopiracy and biopatents).

Third, the scientific establishment and government regulators are still ignoring and dismissing scientific evidence of GM hazards, and are about to let loose "genome invaders with wings". Please write to the US Department of Agriculture to "Stop the Release of GM insects!". For further details, see "Terminator Insects - the Killing of Females".

For more instances of how hazards are being ignored in favour of profit or promised benefits, see "Gene Therapy Oversold by Scientists", "Royal Society Soft Selling GM Animals", "Gene Therapy with Your Salads, Anyone?", "Kanamycin Still in Use and Cross Reacts", "UK GM Field Trials - a Tragi-Comedy of Errors", "Open Letter on UK Farmscale Field Trials" and "Taking Science Seriously in the GM Debate". And the problem is world-wide, as "GM Cotton in India Exposes Rot in Science" makes clear.

New evidence on why GM is inherently hazardous is described in "Genetic Engineering Superviruses", "Superbugs and Superviruses from AIDS Vaccines", "More Horizontal Gene Transfer Happens", "E. coli 0157 and Genetic Engineering", and "New Corn Virus Related to Tomato Virus".

There is also new evidence on the instability of transgenic lines, see "Scrambled Genome of RR Soya", "Questionable Stability of GM Rice" and "GM Crops Face Potential Genetic Meltdown".

We present some alternative approaches in "Radical Solutions Needed for Antibiotic Resistance" and "Dietary Interventions for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's". These areas of research are definitely underfunded or not funded at all.

This double issue reflects the full range of ISIS' activities, from giving evidence to the European Parliament to helping local communities stay GM free. For a rare glimpse of community action and science working together, read "People Power and Open Science Won the Day".

A total of 437 scientists from 54 countries have now signed our World Scientists Open Letter asking for moratorium on releases of GMOs, ban on biotech patents and support for sustainable organic agriculture. Please sign on at ISIS website www.i-sis.org if you haven't yet done so. It does make a difference!

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