sickness due to genetech ?

Jim Owens jow at
Mon Jun 21 15:33:59 EST 1993

In article <1993Jun15.144405.21176 at> ,
suter at writes:
>Robin walters wrote (as part of the discussion on EtBr waste) on 
>+ Rather like the cloning of an active oncogene into SV40 in an
>+ environment. This happened at the Pasteur Institute, I believe, and
>+ workers and several members of the public "caught" cancer. I don't
know if
>+ any of them died.  With proper regulation, this would never have been
>+ sanctioned.
>could anybody out there elaborate on this ? i always thought the story 
>that people at the pasteur institute got cancer due to a genetech
>was just an ugly rumour, with little basis in truth. 

A quick check with Medline came up with 3 news articles from Science and
Science 232:1597 (1986) - Cancer Deaths Probed at Pasteur Institute
(ironically on the facing page to Feynman Issues His Own Shuttle Report,
Attacking NASA's Risk Estimates)
Nature 338:607 (1989) - Inquiry into Pasteur Deaths
Nature 343:583 (1990) - Pasteur Inquiry: Cancer Risk Indicated

There also were newspaper stories about the final conclusion that Pasteur
Institute accepted responsibility for bone, pancreas and brain cancer
deaths in 1991 or 1992.  Our lab chief was so impressed that he hung up
copies of the articles from one regular newspaper (NY Times or Washington
Post) and one from a newspaper devoted to scientific interests, perhap,
The Scientist.

Jim Owens

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