Conflicts of Interest in Science
"Duty, Honor, Country" in the World of Science.....

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Posted:
28 July 2000
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: "Duty, honor, country" in the world of science.....
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 16:07:58 -0500
From: Roy Beavers <guru@emfguru.com>
Reply-To: guru@emfguru.com
Organization: EMF-L Bulletin Board
 

Hi everybody:

Long-term readers of this list know well of guru's "disenchantment" with the way the U.S. Government is working these days.  It has become an "oligarchy," I have written ... many times. Fortunately, most other Americans have come to recognize the same:  that BIG $$$$$ are in control of our federal government (White House, Congress, Senate and the bureaucracy).......  Such was the finding in a recent national poll taken jointly by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.  Fifty-five percent (55%) of the 1557respondents stated that they considered "government corruption" a very important problem.  (That was the strongest answer category.)  The poll was conducted during May-June 2000.

"The people," however, do still have the court system to turn to.  The wonderful example reported below proves my point......  I do not know anything about the case these scientists (employees of the FDA) have filed in the Federal Court, but God bless 'em (!!) for the courage and intellectual independence (used to be synonymous with "scientific") they are displaying......  "Duty, honor, country," we used to call it in my profession......

As you will read (below), these scientists, of the U.S. Government Food and DrugAdministration (FDA),  are suing the U.S. Government (their employer) for violating its own law!!!!!  It is "wonderful," I tell you.......  Whether or not the dangers alleged really exist (caused by genetically engineered foods), or whether or not the scientists "win" the court decision they seek -- the American people are certain tobe "the winners."

We need to see more of this.......  The U.S. Government frequently violates its own laws.....!!!  Some readers may find that difficult to imagine -- but, consider, our government is NOT some invisible, omnipotent being -- like God.  Our government is YOU and the people YOU put in there to do YOUR business......  The "people's" business -- not Motorola's business, or General Electric's, or AT & T's business.......  So ... when the people YOU put in ... do not do their job ... sue them!!!

In particular, you should sue them ... when (as alleged below) ... they are violating the law!!!  Which it is their job to enforce......

We desperately need to see the that happen in the EMF case....!!!!!  Indeed, I do not doubt that there are many such situations in the U.S. Government today ... worthy of the same treatment.....!!! Ours has become a government of the "special interests," by the "special interests," and for the "special interests."  ......And therein lies the "tale" ... so far as the EMF/EMR health hazards are concerned......!!  If only the EMF scientists at EPA or NIEHS (or at FDA, too) ... would find it in their "conscience and integrity" to do the same.......  Not only America -- but the world -- would be better for it....!!!

In the EMF case, the behavior of our government clearly shows that it is more interested in protecting the "interests" of the BIG $$$$$$$ corporations that have "taken over" our system ... than is it interested in the "health or life" of the people.......

Litigation like the FDA case below -- or like the case which could be brought against the EPA for "hiding" the results of its own 1990 scientific panel -- that called EMF a probable carcinogen -- would do wonders in bringing this corrupt U.S. system to account ... and to the attention of the people.....!!

By such court cases, the people would see the extent to which we no longer have a government that is working on behalf of "the people" in the EMF "health" issue.   Instead, we have a government that is working on behalf of the electrical/electronic/telecommunications industries......

(The FDA that is being "accused" below, you know, is the same "industry friendly" FDA that has reached an agreement with the trade association of the cell phone industry to "prove" the safety of their cell phones for public use......   That is what they claimed in a press release previously quoted on EMF-L....)

So ... let this be the first call to other scientists who have the knowledge, scientific integrity, and courage to do the same.....!!!  I ask them:   carefully examine the FDA case below.........  Your country -- indeed, mankind -- needs you ... now........

Think about it........

Cheerio.......

Roy Beavers (EMFguru)
roy@emfguru.com

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness..

People are more important than profits!!


 

............From the pages of EMF-L............




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FDA taken to Court
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 09:08:38 -0700
From: "Hans Karow" <core@vip.net>
To: "Roy Beavers" <guru@emfguru.com>
 

Headline: FDA Taken To Court By Its Own Scientists
Posted by ecott on Monday July 10, @10:20PM

In a landmark lawsuit filed against the US Food and Drug Administration, nine eminent scientists including some of the FDA's own Life scientists, Biologists and Advisers are taking the FDA to court to obtain mandatory safety testing and labeling of Genetically Engineered foods.

/*Written 5:44 PM Jul 8, 2000 by ilena@san.rr.com in gc:sci.environmen */

http://www.cfis.org/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000077.html
http://www.wefarm.net/board/Sustainable/messages/10017.shtml#0
 

"FDA taken to court by its own scientists" , Mon 3 Jul 03:52

In a landmark lawsuit filed against the US Food and Drug Administration, nine eminent scientists including some of the FDA's own Life scientists, Biologists and Advisers are taking the FDA to court to obtain mandatory safety testing and labeling of Genetically Engineered foods.

They have been joined by a whole host of consumer groups, religious organizations and concerned scientists. They claim that every genetically engineered food in the U.S. is on the market illegally and should be recalled for rigorous safety testing. The FDA has deliberately unleashed a host of potentially harmful foods onto American dinner tables in blatant violation of U.S. law.

The case is currently pending in the District of Colombia. The scientists have formed a coalition called the "Alliance for Bio-Integrity", their website:

http://www.biointegrity.org/index.html

9 eminent life scientists formed a coalition in order to emphasize the degree to which the FDA's policy is scientifically unsound and morally irresponsible. Now the FDA's own files confirm how well-founded are their concerns. They are required to deliver copies of these files, totaling over 44,000 pages, to the plaintiff's attorneys. False claims and a policy at odds with the FDA's records reveal that it declared genetically engineered foods to be safe in the face of broad disagreement from its own experts.

1) Agency scientists repeatedly cautioned the FDA that products produced through recombinant DNA technology entail different risks than do their conventionally produced counterparts.

2) The advice was consistently disregarded by the bureaucrats who crafted the agency's current policy, which treats bioengineered foods, the same asnatural foods, contradicting the FDA's claims that its policy is science-based.

This evidence shows that the agency violated the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Safety Act, allowing genetically engineered foods to be marketed without testing on the premise that they are generally recognized as safe by qualified FDA scientists.

The FDA repeatedly ignored resistance from its own scientists who warned that gene splicing differs from conventional practices and entails a unique set of risks.

Numerous agency experts protested that the FDA was ignoring the recognized potential for bioengineering to produce unexpected toxins and allergens.

The suit demands that the agency bring its policy back in line with sound science and US law by requiring comprehensive safety testing on all genetically engineered foods.

Underscoring the fact that labeling is required not only to uphold the basic right of consumer choice but consumer freedom as well, 17 religious leaders have also joined this protest. They represent a wide variety of faiths, including 7 churches (including the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Protestant denominations from Episcopalian to Baptist). Conservative and reformed rabbis, Hindu and Buddhist organizations. They express religious reasons for distancing themselves from tampering with God's creation, the integrity of humanity's relationship with God.

Dr. Louis Priybl of the FDA Microbiology Group wrote, " There is a profound difference between the unexpected effects of traditional breeding and genetic engineering, which is glanced over in this document."

Dr. Linda Kahl, an FDA compliance officer, objected that the agency "was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by trying to force an ultimate conclusion that there is no difference between foods modified and traditional."

Misrepresenting the facts in order to approve the foods, nonetheless, so strong was the FDA's desire to promote the biotech industry, that it not only disregarded the warnings of its own scientists, and the unique risks of gene-spliced foods, but actually took a public position that was the opposite. Its official policy asserts "the agency is not aware of any information showing that these new foods created by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way." Yet in 1991, within months of release, 37 people died and over 1,500 were disabled from the genetically engineered supplement L-Tryptophan forcing the FDA to recall the product from all stores nationwide. Dr. Norman Ellstrand, professor of genetics, University of California: "The generation of genetically engineered plants and animals involves the random integration of artificial combinations of genetic material from unrelated species into the DNA of the host organism. This procedure results in the disruption of the genetic blueprint of the organism, with totally unpredictable consequences. The unexpected production of toxic substances has now been observed in genetically engineered bacteria, yeast, plants and animals, with the problem remaining undetected until a major health hazard has arisen." Dr. Michael Antoniou, senior lecturer in molecular pathology, London, UK: "Recombinant DNA technology places in human hands the capacity to redesign living organisms, the products of some 3 billion years of evolution. We are now essentially creating new organisms, self-perpetuating and hence permanent. Once created, they cannot be recalled. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight in wholly new associations, with consequences no one can fullytell, either for host organisms or their neighbors. Going ahead in this direction would not only be very unwise, it could be dangerous." Dr. George Wald, Nobel laureate in medicine, 1967 Higgins Professor of Biology, Harvard University: "We are breeding new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."

The notice further describes unintended or pleiotropic effects that pose unknown safety concerns. It has always been the position that the sponsor (i.e. the biotech industry) needs to generate the appropriate scientific information to demonstrate product safety to humans, animals, and the environment.

Dr. Peter Wills, Auckland University, New Zealand: " Probably the greatest threat from genetically altered crops is the insertion of modified virus and insect virus genes in to crops. It has been shown in a laboratory that genetic recombination will create highly virulent new viruses from such construction. Modified viruses could cause famine by destroying crops, or cause human and animal diseases.

Dr. Richard Lacey, professor of food safety, Leeds University, UK: "Genetic engineering bypasses conventional breeding by using artificially constructed parasitic genetic elements, including viruses, as vectors to carry and smuggle genes into cells. Once inside cells, these vectors slot themselves into the host genome. The insertion of foreign genes into the host genome has long been known to have many harmful and fatal effects including cancer of the organism." Professor Mae Wan-Ho, Department of Biology, Open University UK: "In 1983, hundreds of people in Spain died after consuming adulterated rapeseed oil. This rapeseed oil was not toxic to rats." Dr. Park warns that current testing procedures for genetically altered foods, including rodent tests, do not prove safety for humans. Professor Dennis Parke, School of Biological Sciences, Surrey University UK, is calling for a moratorium on the release of genetically engineered organisms in foods and medicines. "Genes encode proteins involved in the control of virtually all biological processes. By transferring genes across species barriers which have existed for eons, between species like humans and sheep, we risk breaching natural thresholds against unexpected biological processes. For example, an incorrectly folded form of an ordinary cellular protein can under certain circumstances be replicative and give rise to infectious neurological disease.

n.b. the writer of this press release is
Stephen Jones
9442 South Pleasant Avenue, Chicago, IL 60620
(tel): 773 233 5513




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