no evidence for disease/genetech link

suter at suter at
Fri Jun 18 09:18:44 EST 1993


i have recieved one reply to my quest on the pasteur / genetech / cancer
link: however, still no pointers toward a DIRECT link. therefore i get
more and more the impression that this story is humbug, and therefore
that there are no cases in which a direct link between genetech and illness
has been shown to be the case. (allthough genetech skeptix are probably implying
that the scientist who are reading these message do not reply because of
a cover-up....)

the one message that i recieved quite classicaly confuses the differences 
between biotech (has been around for the last 10000 years, with all its 
disadvantages and advantages) and genetech (30 years ?).

i cannot show the whole text (please conatct the responsible parties for this),
but an excerpt is here:

+From:	EAN%"DD.X400-88=(q)/RFC-822=wcsbeau(l)a(r); OU=ixgate;OU=dfnrelay;P=GmD;A=DbP;C=DE" " (OPIRG)" 18-JUN-1993 09:01:00.04
+To:	EAN%"S=suter;OU=VAX;O=MPIZ-KOELN;P=mpg;A=dbp;C=de"
+Subj:	Re: genetech caused sickness ??
+Hi. Thought this might be of interest to you.  We'll be posting it in
+a few days, as soon as we can figure out which newsgroups would be
+most suitable.
+Dianne Murray
+Reid Cooper
+                        TINKERED GENES IN THE SUPERMARKET
+by Joseph E. Cummins, Ph.D.
+(Associate Professor (Genetics), 
+Dept. of Plant Sciences,
+University of Western Ontario
+London, Ontario, Canada).
+from "alive", Vol. 130, May 1993, pp 12-13. 
+[posted with permission of Dr. Cummins]

lots of stuff deleted.....

+      The biotechnology industry hopes to market such crops without labelling
+them or testing them on animals, obliging the people of North America to be
+white mice for their experiments.  Such tests on humans has already led to
+disaster.  A food material sold in natural food stores - *tryptophan*
+(_Nature's_Bounty,_ _Showa-Denko_Co_) was contaminated by a byproduct produced
+by a gene-tinkered bacterium.  The byproduct caused an auto-immune blood
+disease called *eosinophile* *myalgia* syndrome (a disease somewhat similar to
+Lupus).  The disease killed 27 people and permanently injured between 5,000
+and 100,000.  
+      These were the first acknowledged victims of biotechnology - but not the

.....bulk of message deleted...

i would like to make two remarks:

1. the tryptophan case went as follows (if my recolection is ok, please correct
me) a bacteria contained a manipulated gene for tryptophan production.
the japanese company purified the tryptophan, but some bacterial, decontami-
nating material was not removed (an toxin perhaps??). people died because of 
this. the japanese company was sued for negligence and had to pay. 
all experts agree that the toxic substance was NOT the manipulated gene
or its product (=genetech) but the sloppy purification afterwards (=biotech).
this could (and has occured) over the years with many different preparations,
from bacterial or other cellular sources, albeit not with such catastrophic 

2. the 27 people that died were NOT the FIRST victims to die of biotech !
i can imagine that some vikings in 500 AD drank some rotten beer (=biotech !)
or some bulgarians ate the wrong batch of yougurt (=biotech !) and that these 
people got either terrible diarhoea and perhaps died also. 

perhaps we could continue the discussion on the net ? i would also like to
submit the entire text by Joseph E. Cummins, Ph.D. to the net, because it
would be a nice starting point for a discussion.


Clemens Suter-Crazzolara, PhD
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Zuechtungsforschung
Abteilung Genetische Grundlagen der Zuechtungsforschung
Carl-von-Linne Weg 10
5000 Koeln 30
Tel. xx49-221-5062.221       Fax. xx49-221-5062.213
e-mail: suter at

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