Science in Society Archive

Biotechnology, Ethics

Index of articles in the Science in Society Archive on the ethical aspects of biotechnology. For articles in other categories, please see the SiS archive menu.

Commercial Formulations of Bt Toxins Lethal to Amphibians
The ecotoxicological risks of widespread Bt spraying for mosquito vector disease control exposed
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 14th January 2016

CRISPR Too Fast for Comfort
A new gene-editing technique has taken the world by storm, it can disable or change specific gene in the genome of all animals including humans faster and more efficiently than ever before but it has raise unprecedented concern over safety and ethics
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 12th January 2016

Monsanto Tried for Crimes against Humanity
Monsanto is to be tried at the International Monsanto Tribunal 12-16 October 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands, home of numerous International Conventions on crimes against humanity
I-SIS 7th December 2015

Elsevier Climb Down over Séralini Retraction but IARC Retraction Next for Monsanto
Elsevier has quietly distanced itself from its misdeed, but Monsanto is outrageously calling for another retraction
Prof Peter Saunders 30th March 2015

Chorus of Condemnation on Seralini Retraction Worldwide
Thousands including scientists and non-scientists around the world have signed the Open Letter condemning the illicit retraction of a peer-reviewed published study that has found serious health impacts from a genetically modified maize and Roundup herbicide
ISIS 15th January 2014

Over 1170 Condemn Retraction and Pledge Elsevier Boycott
An open letter protesting journal retraction of Seralini study and pledging to boycott publishing giant Elsevier attracted 1175 signatures in less than a week
Dr Mae-Wan Ho and Prof Peter Saunders 11th December 2013

Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics
Publishing giant of fake pharmaceutical journals fame now retracting damning research findings against GMOs and Roundup herbicide on behalf of the biotech industry
Dr Mae-Wan Ho and Prof Peter Saunders 4th December 2013

Open Letter on Retraction and Pledge to Boycott Elsevier
The background to this open letter is described in 'Retracting Seralini Study Violates Science & Ethics'
ISIS 4th December 2013

Transgenic Mosquitoes Not a Solution
All attempts at controlling the spread of diseases by transgenic mosquitoes are ineffective, inefficient, costly, and hazardous to varying degrees
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th March 2012

Regulation of Transgenic Insects Highly Inadequate and Unsafe
USDA set a dangerous precedent for a permissive regulatory regime over environmental releases of transgenic insects that is now adopted across the world
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 22nd February 2012

Unspinning the Web of Spider-Goat
Breeding transgenic goats for spider silk is unethical, and passing surplus goats onto the public food chain unsafe; the project has never been subject to regulatory risk assessment and there is not a single report characterizing the transgenic sequences in the spider-goats’ genome
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 20th February 2012

Nina Fedoroff Misfires at EPA's Modest Proposal
US Academy scientists’ public attack on EPA proposal on regulation of GMOs misdirected, misleading, and irrelevant; deregulation is likely to destroy the export market for US crops altogether
Prof. Joe Cummins 31st August 2011

Scientists Discover New Route for GM-gene 'Escape'
Genetically modified genes can jump species via wounds, yes horizontal gene transfer happens, and at high frequencies; it is the greatest, most underestimated hazard from GMOs released into the environment
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 2nd March 2011

Victory for Independent Science
World-famous independent scientist researching the risks of GMOs wins libel case against biotech association fronting a concerted campaign to discredit and victimise him
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 26th January 2011

Defend Gilles-Eric Seralini and Transparency in GMO Risk Assessment!
Gilles-Eric Séralini, professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen in France, and president of the scientific council for independent research on genetic engineering (CRIIGEN), is among the world’s leading researchers into the risks of GMOs. His critique of the dossier submitted by Monsanto’s subsidiary in India for commercial growing of ‘Bt Brinjal’ (GM egg plant) played an important part in persuading the Indian Environment Minister to impose a moratorium.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Peter Saunders 5th October 2010

Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects
Developmental biologists traced glyphosate birth defects to key morphogen and signalling genes
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th October 2010

New Evidence Links CaMV 35S Promoter to HIV Transcription
The controversial promoter in all GM crops does enhance multiplication of disease-causing viruses; yet another reason why [1] GM is Dangerous and Futile (SiS 40)
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 15th June 2009

Vioxx, A Mercky Story
After paying out almost $5 billion in the US, Merck is defending a class action in Australia where a journal that never was came to light, meanwhile UK victims see no prospect of compensation
Prof. Peter Saunders 1st June 2009

Corporate Monopoly of Science
Corporations are aiming for an absolute stranglehold on scientific research and the flow of scientific information; that’s why patents on GM crops should be abolished
Prof. Peter Saunders 8th April 2009

Who Owns Life, Not Monsanto?
Percy Schmeiser is a real life hero who played David to Monsanto’s Goliath, and like David, he won
Sam Burcher 6th April 2009

GeoEngineering A Measure of Desperation
We have all the means to save the climate without risking the earth in unregulated geoengineering research
Prof. Peter Saunders & Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th February 2009

GM Papaya Should Not be Deregulated
USDA's environmental assessment based on obsolete opinion and ignores published findings of serious potential hazards
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 10th November 2008

GM is Not the Way to Sustainability
GM crops are unsound and unsafe; the biotech corporations are still making promises that they cannot keep while their real aim is to tighten their stranglehold on seeds to starve the world.
Prof. Peter Saunders 29th October 2008

Marketing Masquerading as Scientific Survey
Professor Peter Saunders reviews the unpublished, non-peer-reviewed research report behind a press release from the UK government Economic and Social Research Council claiming "UK farmers upbeat about GM crops"
Professor Peter Saunders 25th March 2008

Udder Disregard for Safety. GM Tobacco for Preventing Mastitis in Cows.
The USDA is promoting a potentially disastrous strategy for controlling mastitis in cows that could enhance a host of other diseases and create new disease agents
Prof. Joe Cummins 2nd October 2007

Science and Scientist Abused
We are writing on behalf of the Institute of Science in Society* to express our deep concern over your recently published article about Dr Irina Ermakova and her work. The article is grossly unfair to Dr Ermakova and certainly not in the best traditions of scientific publishing.
ISIS 20th September 2007

Biotech Canada SLAPP Scandal
How a Canadian Government agent is involved in shoddy research and across-border intimidation of public interest organisations over GM crops
Prof. Joe Cummins 30th August 2007

Yeasts Targeted for High Ethanol Production
Metabolic engineering of yeasts for high ethanol biofuel production may generate toxic metabolites and pose unique threats to agriculture
Prof. Joe Cummins 12th January 2007

GM Grapevines & Toxic Wines
Synthetic genes, toxins and cyanide gas are some of what to expect from wines on your dinner table
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 10th January 2007

'Self-Cloned' Wine Yeasts Not Necessarily Safe
Yeast genetics is more precise, but altering the expression of a single native yeast gene can change the entire metabolic network in an unexpected way
Prof. Joe Cummins 8th January 2007

GM Wine Sold Unlabelled in the United States
Prof. Joe Cummins exposes the potential hazards of the GM wine yeast that has been approved as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration and advises against drinking US wines
Prof. Joe Cummins 6th January 2007

GM crops for Africa? No Thanks!
Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety based in South Africa exposes the machinations of USAID and other agencies to push GM crops under the guise of biosafety capacity building
Mariam Mayet 4th October 2005

Organic Cotton Beats Bt Cotton in India
Organic cotton is incomparably superior to genetically modified Bt cotton
Rhea Gala 5th August 2005

Italy's Genebank At Risk
Prof. Pietro Perrino tells the story of how Italy's gene bank, among the ten largest in the world, risks being destroyed under an enforced merger with groups preoccupied with genetic modification of crop plants
Prof. Pietro Perrino 3rd August 2005

Iraqi Government Urged to Revoke "Cynical and Wicked" Patent Law
Aid agencies and NGOs across the globe have been reacting with horror to the news that new legislation in Iraq was carefully put in place last year by the United States that will effectively bring the whole of the country's agricultural sector under the control of trans-national corporations
Dr. Brian John 8th March 2005

Your Genes or Your Health
The UK government launched a DNA BioBank in 2002 to collect DNA samples from 500 000 volunteers aged 45-69 to "capitalise on the knowledge from the Human Genome Project, which made available the genetic book of life". The hope is that by combining genetic, medical and lifestyle information, the study will unravel the origins of important diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, and lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th March 2005

Which Science or Scientists Can You Trust?
Michael Meacher told a public conference on Science, Medicine and the Law in the strongest terms that we need independent science and scientists who take the precautionary principle seriously and sweeping changes are needed in science funding and scientific advice to the government that ensures the protection of independent science
ISIS Report 25th February 2005

Death Domains in New Bio-pesticides
Professor Joe Cummins warns of new bio-pesticides the US Food and Drug Administration proposes to deregulate that may cause all animal cells to commit suicide
Prof. Joe Cummins 21st February 2005

Corporate Hijack of Sustainable Agriculture Backfired to Moratorium on GMOs
An attempted corporate takeover of the World Conservation Union turned into a moratorium on GMOs
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th February 2005

Corporate Hijack of Sustainable Agriculture
Agribusiness is embracing sustainable agriculture in the form of ecoagriculture. Prof. Miguel Altieri explains why it isn't the genuine approach
Prof. Miguel Altieri 16th November 2004

Secret Trials in GM-Free Australia Raise New Fears of Contamination
Secret Trials in GM-Free Australia Raise New Fears of Contamination - Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 2nd November 2004

Drought Resistant GM Rice Toxic?
why one method to genetically engineer drought resistant rice could be perilous for human and animal health
Prof. Joe Cummins 24th September 2004

No to GM Trees
Sam Burcher reports on a global movement to ban GM trees
Sam Burcher 2nd August 2004

Transgenic Fish Coming
Prof. Joe Cummins exposes the regulatory vacuum behind the rush for commercial release of transgenic fish
Prof. Joe Cummins 14th December 2003

'Pharmageddon' / Risks of Edible Transgenic Vaccines
Our fields are being turned into pharmaceutical and industrial factories that poison our food supply and entire life support system. Our governments have been warned and should be held liable for all damages along with the companies involved
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 2nd December 2002

African Consumer Leaders Support Zambia
African consumer leaders came out in support Zambia's rejection of GM food after a stormy 3-day conference in Lusaka.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 29th November 2002

The "Academic-Industrial-Military Complex" Engineering Life & Mind
The "academic-industrial-military complex" is shaping every aspect of our lives, beginning with the kind of science and scientific research that gets done and gets reported. We are not only losing our right to self-determination and self-sufficiency, but most seriously of all, our right to think differently from the corporate establishment. The suppression of scientific dissent threatens the survival of science and endangers lives.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Jonathan Matthews 30th October 2002

Putting Genes in Chloroplast Not "Environmentally Friendly"
Regulatory agencies and the public have traditionally entrusted the scientists developing new technologies to conduct rigorous evaluation and research of their products to ensure safety to human health and the environment. But one biotech CEO bluntly said, "we not in the business of making problems for ourselves", which is why critique by scientists outside industry is sorely needed
Dr. David Quist 21st October 2002

Good-Bye GMOs
Forcing GM food aid on famine-stricken southern Africa is a sheer act of desperation. Behind the aggressive stance and rhetoric, the biotech corporate empire is crumbling. It is morally, scientifically and financially bankrupt
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 10th September 2002

Canadian Farmers Against Corporate Serfdom
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho caught up with Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser at the Earth Summit. He tells her why hes fighting Monsanto and other corporate giants for his right to plant crops of his choice and to protect the future of agriculture
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th September 2002

Civil Society Organisations Condemn GM Food Aid
More than 140 African civil society representatives and organisations from 26 countries have voiced their support of the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments for rejecting GM contaminated food
ISIS 2nd September 2002

The Brave New World Quartet
A quartet of corporate technologies is poised to take over the world. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho takes a peek at what''s in store.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 23rd August 2002

Sense & Nonsense in Horizontal Gene Transfer
What do most scientists do when faced with findings that threaten to topple the ruling paradigm? They describe the findings in detail, fail to interpret them correctly, and avoid discussing their practical implications, dismissing incriminating evidence.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th August 2002

GM-free Food Aid!
GM food, rejected across the world because it is unsafe, continues to be dumped as ‘food aid’ (includes 'Famine as Commerce' by Devinda Sharma).
ISIS 7th August 2002

Towards a Convention on Knowledge
The advancement of science - the predominant knowledge system of the West - has been linked historically with progress and civilisation, and general improvement of the lives of the masses, at least up to the beginning of the twentieth century
ISIS-SGR-TWN 27th July 2002

The National Health Crisis and 'Health Genomics'
Continuing crisis in the National Health Service in Britain has been hitting the headlines almost daily. The nation desperately needs to invest in research that can improve the health of its citizens. But research funds are being swallowed up by 'health genomics'
Sam Burcher and Mae Wan Ho 10th February 2002

Genomics for health
Despite heroic efforts to keep up the hype, prospects for genomics – information gathering around genomes, genes and proteins look bleaker than ever before, and for good scientific reasons
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 20th January 2002

Human DNA 'BioBank' Worthless
Health genomics' promises to 'revolutionalise healthcare' in the new millennium. Britain is forging ahead with plans to set up a human DNA 'Biobank' collection Dr. MaeWan Ho and 4 tell us why the Biobank assets are not worth the huge investments required, and call for wideranging open debate.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Nick Papadimitriou 19th January 2002

Biopesticide and Bioweapons
Bacillus thuringiensis, used as biopesticide and Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax species involved in current bioweapons scare are related
Prof. Joe Cummins 23rd October 2001

Use and Abuse of the Precautionary Principle
The precautionary principle states that when there is reasonable suspicion of harm, lack of scientific certainty or consensus must not be used to postpone preventative action.
Prof. Peter Saunders 31st July 2000

Maurice Wilkins Talks on Social Responsibility in Science
There are various levels in which social responsibility in science can be demonstrated.
Angela Ryan 11th May 1999

Why We Should Reject Biotech Patents from TRIPS
This Report examines the TRIPS
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Terje Traavik

Ethical Aspects of Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms
Response to the Government Position Paper
Prof. Peter Saunders

Towards a New Ethic of Science
Genetic engineering biotechnology is raising a whole range of ethical issues, and a new breed of 'bioethicists' have been enlisted to consider not only genetic engineered (GE) crops, but
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Xenotransplantation - How Bad Science and Big Business Put the World at Risk from Viral Pandemics
a multi-billion dollar business venture built on the anticipated sale of patented techniques and organs, as well as drugs to overcome organ-rejection
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins

UK Government to Establish Population DNA Database
The UK Government is investing more than £2.5 billion in human genomics research... ISIS press release 22/01/01
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Why Biotech Patents Are Patently Absurd
Scientific Briefing on TRIPs and Related Issues. TRIPs, or Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights, is an agreement between member states of the WTO that seeks to enforce US style patent laws around the world.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho