Washington, D.C., April 4, 2002-The Competitive Enterprise Institute is encouraged by an admission today from the science journal Nature that a controversial article on genetically engineered corn in southern Mexico should not have been published.
The article, written by University of California at Berkeley graduate student David Quist and professor Ignacio Chapela, reported last year that genes from genetically engineered corn had crossed into un-modified corn varieties in the Mexican state of Oaxaca and that the genes were unstable and moving around in the corn genome. The authors then leveraged their notoriety to scare people about the supposed danger of genetic engineering. Anti-biotechnology activists hailed the study, saying it confirmed worries that the technology was not being controlled adequately.
However, CEI Director of Food Safety Policy Gregory Conko says the journal’s finding that the evidence presented was “not sufficient to justify the publication of the original paper,” is an example of how anti-biotechnology activists often rely on faulty data to justify their campaigns.
“There very well may be genes from engineered corn in southern Mexico, but Quist, Chapela, and their supporters in the anti-biotech movement have shown that they can’t be trusted to tell us the truth about it,” said Conko.
Agricultural Biotechnology Expert Available for Interviews:
Gregory ConkoDirector of Food Safety PolicyCompetitive Enterprise Institute202.331.1010, ext. 203[email protected]
*Mr. Conko has been studying the politics of biotechnology since the mid-1990s and his writings have been published in newspapers, magazines and journals, including the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, and Nature Biotechnology.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, visit our website at www.cei.org.