Food Law News - UK - 1999

12 February 1999: GM FOODS - ACNFP Still Waiting For Details Of Research Results From Dr Pusztai's Work On Potatoes

ACNFP News Release (2/99), 12 February 1999

ACNFP Still Waiting For Details Of Research Results From Dr Pusztai's Work On Potatoes

Following press reports last month that Dr Ewen at the Pathology Department of Aberdeen University had analysed tissue samples from rats fed GM potatoes the ACNFP requested access to the results as a matter of urgency.

The ACNFP chairman Professor Bainbridge said: "it is deplorable that these results are apparently being made available to the press while the Dean of the Medical Faculty at Aberdeen University has forbidden their disclosure to the ACNFP."

"I would once again urge Dr Ewen to make the results of his analyses available to the ACNFP so we can establish whether the findings have any significance for the regulation of GM foods.

"No GM potatoes have yet been submitted for approved under the novel foods regulation and any such application would be carefully assessed taking into account all relevant information including the results of studies such as those reportedly carried out by the Rowett Institute. The novel foods approval system is specifically designed to ensure that novel foods which might give rise to safety concerns do not reach the market.

"From what we currently know of the Rowett work, potatoes containing the Concanavalin A lectin at the levels used in their studies would not be approved for food use."

All GM foods are rigorously assessed for safety by the independent Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes as part of an EC wide scrutiny system before they are approved for use.

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